Thursday, June 30, 2011


Cliff Goldstein: Adventist Celebrity: Writer and Editor for Adult Sabbath School Quarterly
[First in series of Adventist Celebrities and Me... because so many SDAs claim I wasn't ever really an SDA but someone on the periphery of the church.]

I love Cliff Goldstein. His program "Cliff" on The Hope Channel was the best thing on there.

A guy who worked for the General Conference, Mr. Newhart, pulled me aside when I was manning a pro-life booth at a campmeeting in Keene, Texas and insisted that I talk with Cliff Goldstein. I had no idea who either of them were, but I went.... I found Cliff dramatic, enthusiastic, entertaining and smart. His energy and worldview has always thrilled and mesmerized me.

We, my husband and I, have had several encounters-- including a dinner at Jose's Mexican restaurant in Cleburne, Texas, an Indian dinner in Fort Worth followed by dessert at La Madeline's. Once he came over our house and told a fascinating experience about watching an exorcism.

My last encounter with him wasn't wholly unexpected. After we left Adventism, we stopped by the General Conference offices in DC to see him. He sat for a second and then made a quick exit.... He seemed a little uncomfortable.

He is what makes the adage "opposites attract" true for me in a theological and political sense anyway. We have very little in common other than we both have been called "Jesuits who have infiltrated the SDA church." Other than that, we really are about as opposite as you come. He hates music.... which is beyond my comprehension and Sylvia Plath is one of his favorite poets. He's a Democrat and is pro-choice.

If I were God, Cliff would get into heaven just for the sheer joy of an eternity of trying to figure out HOW he can believe what he believes!

This clip of Cliff speaking is a perfect example, he states that as an Adventist some doctrines cross the line of tolerance and the big-tent idea.

"If evolution hasn't crossed that line, nothing has."

Really? Seriously? Evolution is what gets Cliff to finally wake up and smell the Postum percolating?

Monkey dad and mom is where Cliff draws the line? Maybe if Adventists had stood courageous for the right decades ago, Adventism and evolution wouldn't be doing some theological fencing at the moment.

For all their apocalyptic handwringing, the Investigative-Judgment-preaching, Ten-Commandment-keeping sole remnant should have seen this coming. They have silently let the culture slide (and their church too!) into chaos without letting a peep come from within the hallowed halls of the General Conference against gay marriage, the sin of homosexuality and abortion... They may have a dusty document in the fine print stating firmly (and we really mean it) that they are kinda against the slow decay of our country. But hey, that doesn't mean we have to get personally involved, after all the Lord is coming soon....

Ask yourselves Adventists, when have you attended a Revelation seminar about the evils of premarital sex or adultery or theft?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

You have been so single-minded about the Sabbath as to completely erase your church from any cultural significance. It is not us who have forgotten one commandment out of ten, it is YOU who have forgotten NINE out of ten!

Today you are dealing with the evolution crisis in your schools because you didn't join the rest of us Christians in dealing with the cultural crisis of Relativism, nihilism, abortion, homosexuality. You are a one-commandment church and you let everything else slide as less important. On that note, Cliff was aware of the problem of relativism as seen on his television show and for that he was far ahead of the rest of you.

Don't mean to sound as critical as this is coming out. All I am saying is now is the time to start focusing on ALL the commandments of Christ. The NEW TESTAMENT commandments that deal a lot more with immorality and disunity than the Sabbath.

Time to step into unity with the full Body of Christ and begin the enormous task of bringing Christ back into the culture and a true sense of what being a Christian means.

And as personal note to Cliff, I still LOVE YOU!!


Amie Regester said...

Hey Teresa, thanks for your well-written piece! Just want you to know that there is a whole generation rising up from the Adventist church who resonate with your comments, and doing something internally about it! We have a pendulous history of overcompensating and swinging to far for one side or the other--on the road, that causes wrecks. Anyway, all my classmates from Arise see this situation and focus on the whole gospel and connecting Jesus to every doctrine. It seems that because the "sabbath" and "state of the dead" doctrines are so unusual to many, we end up talking about them more--not because they are more important but because people are so interested and undereducated on scripture support of these ideas. Thanks again!

d wolf said...

God is calling His ppl out not only from the sda church,but all who signed a contract with the beast in the form of the 501c3..Dr.Lorraine Day has a great article on this,she got called out. Adventist have itchy ears today,as many other Christians do too.