Saturday, August 13, 2011


So, God has called you into the spiritual battle to rescue Adventists. You feel it in your bones. You know God placed you into an Adventist family so that one day you would be an effective warrior for Him in defeating the anti-biblical prophecies, the anti-gospel doctrines of the church you were raised in. You are all in for the Lord and excited to join the battle against the demonic spirits holding Adventists hostage.

God has called you to fight on a tough front. The conditions on other fronts--such as saving the whales, feeding the hungry, helping abused animals, standing up for those who are oppressed (see Bono)--these fronts are clearer. Those fighting there are seen as heroes from all sides. However, you cannot expect to be rewarded here on earth for theological battles.

This front is misty and dark. Those you are called to seek and rescue claim they are rich and are in need of nothing, for they are the remnant. They are oblivious to their wretchedness, misery, blindness and nakedness.

Like, at the bottom of Mt. Sinai when Moses called Israel to turn their swords on their own brothers; it is terrifying to be called to battle your beloved family and friends. But they are standing in enemy territory taking up for the anti-christ, so you are obligated to fight, not them but the doctrines.

It is horrifying to see the Devil convince your family that they must fight you in return. It is confusing to even the most experienced warrior of the Lord, when an entire church suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, cry out that those coming to their rescue are deceivers.

Better have a good battle plan!

Do not expect that other Christians will fully understand your struggle. Yes, the majority of Christians today understand that Adventists are hanging on the very periphery of Christianity, but they will often believe that all one really needs to do is open scriptures and Adventists will see their errors. They do not understand, as you do, the depth of the deception and veil over Adventists’ understanding. They do not realize that the Devil has sung sweet-sounding and insidious lullabies to Adventists leaving them in a spiritually disoriented stupor.

Always be clear of who your enemy is. This is a rescue mission God has sent you on. Adventist are not the targets to fight, they are the victims to release from their slavery.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Eph. 6: 12

So, time to put on the armor of God...

that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast-plate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, with which ye will be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching for this purpose with all perseverance and supplication for all saints... (see 2 Cor. 6:7; Eph. 6: 7- 18)


Let’s go over some practical war strategies against the Devil who has caught Adventists in his trap.

After much prayer and bible study, you feel scripturally competent to discuss SDA doctrine. First a couple of very practical discussion tips.

When you bring up biblical passages that discredit some Adventist doctrine, remember that generally, people remember the last thing you say or write, so never end a refutation with anything other than the primary argument. Restate the premise of your argument at the end, it will direct the attention to your main point. (As people love to go down irrelevant rabbit holes.)

Here are some common responses you will encounter from Adventists in discussions about their unbiblical doctrines. You need to understand the underlying premise and how to combat it. (Please note that these are common excuses used by all people, not exclusive to Adventists.):

“We’re nice people!”

Faulty premise: Understand what “we’re nice” means. This is defensive posturing instructing us that because they have a nice facade, their institutions should be able to get away with demonic doctrines that often lead to sexual abuse, coverups, religious abuse, dysfunction and paranoia.

This is a red herring, do not even acknowledge it with more than a “Of course you are nice. What I am focusing on is your doctrine.”

People who cannot tolerate a challenge retreat into a position of victimization. It is easier to feel oppressed than to face what the person is really saying. They will try to drag the conversation off topic into feelings, which cannot be logically argued.

Or you can clarify your position with a gentle, "Oh, did you wish to talk about the SDA people? Well, we certainly can talk about them, but that is a different subject. Could we first finish the conversation we are having about doctrine?" This shows the Adventist that the clear difference between what Adventists believe and Adventists.

In general don't argue the faulty premise of "we're nice", but at the same time, recognize that the SDA church would never accept this answer as legitimate for other Christians. Adventist have no qualms about having world-wide prophecy seminars spitting historical distortions and fomenting distrust against other Christians---against other “nice people.” They call it giving the truth in love. Do not make the mistake of expecting that they will give you the same benevolent motivation they demand from you when they point out that you are going to church on the wrong day. You, in their eyes, have become the enemy and enemies cannot have charitable intensions.

Don’t battle Adventists--you are sent to rescue them. Focus on destroying the doctrines of demons.

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. I Tim. 4: 1

“You’re being Judgmental”

Faulty premise: They are implying that by pointing out how SDA doctrine is not biblical we are saying that Adventists are bad or will not make it to heaven.

Everyone says this today when they don’t want to hear the truth. Utterly ignore it and continue on with, “Okay, but what about the SDA doctrine of such and such.” Steer the discussion back onto the doctrine. It will shock them that you don’t bite that bait. If, in the pursuit of exposing Satan’s lies, you are called names, so be it. Take the punch and slice the demonic artery of deception that Satan is so desperately trying to protect with stealthy maneuvering. All he has to do is get you off focus and he’s won the conflict.

Don’t battle Adventists--you are sent to rescue them. Focus on destroying the doctrines of demons.

“I think you are saved, Calm down.”

Faulty premise: That we are judging their relationship to Christ.

For more progressive Adventists, this comment will sometimes pop out of nowhere. This is more difficult for me to address for there are many people out there who do believe that Adventists are a non-Christian cult and will end up in hell.

Yet, whether your purpose is to save Adventists souls or just keep them from a hellish life of spiritual disfunction, always respond to this statement in clear and non-compromising love. Bring the conversation back to the vital importance of truth whether the person’s salvation is at stake or not, correct theology is vital as it could cause another person to miss out of heaven.

Don’t battle Adventists--you are sent to rescue them. Focus on destroying the doctrines of demons.

“You need to be positive, don’t always dwell on the negative.”

Faulty premise: This response echoes the earlier “we’re nice so you shouldn’t notice, comment about or interfere with our corruption.”

Again, the entire SDA history is based upon telling an apostate Christianity that they go to church on the wrong day. I think it is fair that we can then turn back and confront Adventists with what we see as their biblical misunderstandings. All of us need to deal with our culture of sin in positive ways, but silence is not the answer.

And do not mistake what they really are saying. They do not want to engage in a discussion that confronts Adventists with positive criticism. They want silence, for you to be quiet and allow Adventists to say anything they want without anyone disagreeing.

Don’t battle Adventists--you are sent to rescue them. Focus on destroying the doctrines of demons.

“You're mean!”

Faulty premise: You cannot be correct if you are upsetting me.

This is merely a childish way of avoiding the problem. Declaring someone is mean for pointing out a serious problem with a church is saying no more than, “We should be able to get away with anything we want and if you say anything against what we believe then you are persecuting us.” It is the pre-persecution syndrome. Rather than focus on the emotional, as Adventists will almost certainly want to do, point out that whether we are mean or not, the doctrinal issue is what is being discussed. Again, diversion is their main tactic of defense.

Don’t battle Adventists--you are sent to rescue them. Focus on destroying the doctrines of demons.

“I have a right to my own opinion.”

Faulty premise: Someone stating his opinion is forcing someone else not to state his.

This response is nothing more than a passive-aggressive intimidation tactic. It is implying that others don’t have the right to say anything against what SDAs believe. Gently remind them that the right to freedom of speech also extends to stating an opinion against SDA doctrine.

Don’t battle Adventists--you are sent to rescue them. Focus on destroying the doctrines of demons


Faulty premise: If someone else is bad, then no one should say what we do is bad.

You will find this as an excuse for the SDA institutions when you point out their abuses. But that is a school yard excuse for bad behavior, a puerile justification for not having the Christian grit to confront difficult problems.

I wonder if that is what how the remnant will one day answer to God when they are confronted with Adventist’s hospitals performing abortions-on-demand? Or when they are faced with the number of their children having pre-marital sex or drug use?

Would an Adventist think that a good response for worshipping on Sunday?

With a response of “oh other churches have the same problem....” or similar childish excuses, the Adventist you are speaking to is probably not ready to hear a logical refutation. But if you feel they are, lovingly remind them that the SDA church claims to be a Christian organization, the very remnant of God who keep the Ten Commandments, so they should be held to a higher standard than the world.

Unfortunately, besides the enormous task of battling the doctrines of demons, Adventists will taunt you with accusations of bitterness towards them, being deceived, being the fulfillment of prophecy, being rebellious. Again, see this as clear evidence of Stockholm Syndrome.

Don’t battle Adventists--you are sent to rescue them. Focus on destroying the doctrines of demons. I know, I know... but make this your mantra.

We are rescuing Adventists, ignore their mischaracterizations and insults.

Do not allow them to make you weary or confused about your Christians duty towards them. We are called to fight against the Father of Lies who is distorting the character of God in the world.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry II Tim. 4: 1-5

Foremost, we must obey the first commandment of loving God with all our hearts, minds and strength. Confronting Adventists with biblical truths that refute some of the pillars of their faith is faithfully loving God. The Father of Lies desires nothing more than to falsify and distort the gospel.

By expressing our concern about these SDA doctrines, we are also being obedient to the second commandment of loving our neighbor as ourselves. It is our privilege and our duty to show Adventists the fullness of the Gospel of Christ. It may offend them, but that negativism reflects their emotions and has little or no basis in how we feel. By far, most former Adventists have a deep respect and love for their SDA family and friends....

You will become fatigued of being called unchristian, mean-spirited and intolerant when your life is devoted to interceding for Seventh-day Adventists. Take a rest once in a while and refresh yourself. It is unnerving when Satan treacherously uses nice people with sweet-smiling faces to introduce wolves into the sheepfold.

Finally, after you have exhausted all discussion, they will begin mocking you and deriding you. With a roll of their eyes, they will dismiss your mission as theatrical attention-seeking. Stand firm. Keep your eyes upon Christ and see His arms stretched out before you on the cross. They also said that He, our kind savior, was doing nothing but theatrical attention-seeking.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matt. 5: 10-12

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matt. 4: 44

Remember that this contemptuous jeering comes from the enemy of the Cross, they are really not coming from Adventists. Adventists are pawns and reactions like these come from a deep panic.

Do not shrink back in fear. Have confidence, not only do we have scripture behind us, we have all Christian history with us. Every Christian leader and scholar throughout the 2000 years of Christianity all the way from Christ to the present is in unity with us.


It often helps me to keep in mind a visual of my task--a parable. This is the one I use:

Adventists are on a sinking foundation of theological quicksand. Some former SDAs who rigorously struggled free from the theology become frustrated when they look at those Adventists who are sitting passively as they sink. They might understandably shout things like, “Get out stupid, don’t you see your sinking!” That often makes the SDAs retreat further into their coffin.

It is excruciatingly heart-wrenching for us who have made it out, to watch as Adventists teach their children that remaining in the mire is being faithful to Jesus. What astounding and impenetrable stubbornness to watch one’s own children being swallowed up by the doctrines of demons!

We are sent by God as a rescue team. We will be hunting down Adventists, but not to make them attend church on Sunday or to hurt them. We are calling into the abyss, storming the gates of hell, to pull them out.

We know that many wish to die a Sabbatarian martyr’s death and will refuse to leave. But if we cannot help specific Adventists to see, there are many who will come out to safety. We cannot waste too much time on those who, even if we shot them with tranquilizer darts, would, once awake just throw themselves back in to the pit.

However, we will never give up. We will continue to pray for them, as this depth of brainwashing is beyond even our human efforts.

Former Adventist, at times you may deem it necessary to be verbally rough with the more orthodox who are sabotaging your efforts to liberate those who are crying out for help. Sometimes it is necessary for liberators to fight those closing the door to another’s freedom. Do this only when necessary, as all your honest and sincere efforts will be used against you to try and prove to other Adventist that you are of the Devil.


Make sure you understand the goal. Adventists erroneous

doctrines do need to be exposed and battled because they produce in people three of the most dangerous and deadly defects know to humanity: pride, fear and confusion. These are absolutely irreconcilable with Christianity.

Theological confusion sets up sin as righteousness and righteousness as sin. A cunning demon cloaked as an angel of light whispered falsehood into the ear of the naive little Ellen and it was proclaimed as truth. Sabbath is the last day mark of Christianity, the mark of the Beast is observing the Lord’s resurrection on Sunday, eating meat and drinking coffee are sins--these are taught as truth and spread confusion. Yes, and Babylon is the mother of confusion.

Then, SDA doctrines and culture combine confusion with pride for a poisonous theological apple that they not only willingly ingest, but encourage others to bite. They pride in their separation from the Body of Christ and in their sole remnant-hood, in their messenger and “spirit of prophecy”.

Do not attempt to battle pride with more pride. You will be walking out on the field unarmed. Prayer, fasting and loving humility will work wonders against this darkness. When they observe sacrifice and charity in you, it will eat at their foundation and they will begin to question wrong doctrines.

And finally battle fear with love.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. I John 4: 18


The war has been won by Christ on the Cross, but that does not preclude vicious battles as the demons destroy as many as they can before Christ returns.

Always remember the goal of your rescue.

Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done? Prov. 24: 11-12

The Devil has enslaved our Adventist family and friends; many are staggering to the slaughter because of diabolical doctrines. We, who are called, must rescue them, no matter how vicious their counter attack upon us. In the end, we must keep in mind that they have been brainwashed.

These are wonderful people, souls of eternal worth to God and it is our greatest privilege to show them Christ by humbly, lovingly serving them.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Salvation and Christ's Body, the Church

[Jesus said]"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you..."

Matt. 28: 18- 20


When Christ's final atonement for our sins was completed. After having risen from the dead and ascended to His Father; the first thing He did back on earth was commission His disciples.

“Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He has said this, He breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” John 20: 21

His Kingdom of Heaven was brought to earth and now His disciples were to begin the great commission:

Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. Matt. 22:9

When Christ left us to return to the right hand of the Father. He placed Christians in charge of His work on earth to begin gathering souls into His Kingdom. At that moment we, His followers became His Body on earth as St. Paul tells the Colossians 1: 24 “... and in my flesh I do share on behalf of His body, which is the church....”

We, His Holy Church, have an authentic calling to be Christ’s witnesses to the world. We bring Christ’s salvation.

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed ? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard ? and how shall they hear without a preacher ? And how shall they preach , except they be sent? as it is written , How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:14-15

The saving gospel isn’t independent of the believers! Of course, God occasionally has a miraculous conversion of a person without the help of another Christian, as in the case of Saul/Paul. But that is not His regular method of giving the gospel. We have that responsibility of the great commission.

Christ uses the flesh and blood of His creation as His Divine agency to save the world. We share in the responsibility and the awesome glory of salvation. Often we do not acknowledge our part in this work. We only speak about the unseen and spiritual aspects of a born-again experience.

Every conversion experience is of course spiritual and miraculous, but it is usually through the physical and material world that someone receives the spiritual. It is through preaching and teaching and personal testimony and works of charity and mercy!

Christ could have saved us through invisible means. He could have saved us through spiritual and unseen methods that were direct from heaven and straight into our hearts without anything intervening or interceding.

And yet, He didn’t. He chose to come into the material world that He created, become us, man, and through this physical, organic substance redeem all of creation. Christ actually died in the flesh, it was not symbolic. Salvation of man joined both the physical and spiritual world together.

He continues to use the physical to do His bidding. We become part of the physical salvation process.

As it is through us, in sexual union with our spouse, we bring temporal, physical life into this world--a child in our own image. In the same way we are called to join God in bearing souls into the church, the Kingdom, for eternal, spiritual life.

Notice the words of Paul:

Of this church I was made a minister ... for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages... which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. Col. 1:. 25-28

We, as ministers of the gospel will present to God our work of saving souls. It is in union with Him, as His Body, distributing His powerful grace in both word and deed through out the world that we a part of the miracle of salvation.

So, when someone insists that it is Christ who saves, we can concur-- as we are His earthly Body, His beloved Bride and His church. It is we who are called to be Christ to the world. That is what the word Christian means, “little Christs.”

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


When I grew up, Keene was a dinky, eccentric town of about four thousand Seventh-day Adventists (the few who weren’t SDA, were married to one). About monthly, we would drive the hour south from Dallas to see our family in this quirky, folksy and safe Mayberrry look-a-like. Our family had a lot of big and little fish in this pond: aunt Lilabeth Creel, widowed schoolmarm; the Hopps family cousins--with John as principle of Chisholm Trail Academy. My aunt Maddie Crawford was known for making good veggie burgers in one of the little vegetarian restaurants.
It felt quiet and safe there, so simple.

Keene had begun as a center of education for Adventist offspring in 1890. It had only one church--SDA. Because of its proud religious standards, nowhere in the city could you purchase meat or fish, alcohol, cigarettes or tobacco products. There was no theater and everything was closed on “the sabbath” meaning to a SDA--on Saturday. The United States postal service, as a special religious dispensation, granted that no mail be delivered on Saturday in Keene. Nowhere else in the U.S. was this permitted.
On my extended visits to my aunt Lila Beth’s during summer camp meetings, all my peers were third and fourth generation Adventists going to Keene Adventist Elementary School.
The 1960's and 1970's
I was there and saw it, close up and from the eye of a Adventist youth--the cultural tsunami that hit the quaint, naive town in the late 1960’s and throughout the 1970s that changed Keene forever. Oh, everyone saw it coming, they had been preaching the end of the world since 1830’s. They were just looking in the wrong place, for they expected it to be from Catholics carrying guns coming to take away their sabbath. They were looking up for the ten commandments in the sky with the "golden halo" around the sabbath comandment, when they should have been watching their kids.
The whole western culture has felt the lasting devastation of those years, but in Keene, the kids were particularly vulnerable. There, a concentration of the deadly influences didn’t just wash over and retreat, but pooled leaving a poisoned swamp the children played in. The sweet “Holy City” never recovered and I lived there for twenty years to watch the effects.
Why was Keene more vulnerable than the rest of the society? It was full of good, respectable, kind-hearted citizens who birthed nice children. What went wrong? How could a town of parents who were grieving over the rumor that the city’s worst crime was the black market of Dr. Pepper, really be oblivious to the disturbing, unrestrained drug use and sexual promiscuity? Keene catastrophically collapsed--morally and spiritually. As the older generation stood in church singing, “Jesus is Coming Again” the youth in the balcony were gambling, snickering about what Twyla and Totsie were wearing and passing around joints. All the parents knew was that their kids were in church on Sabbath. That alone made them safe--religiously safe.

For years, living in the Holy City, I sat next to the Keene survivors of the 70's dutifully bringing their toddlers to Sabbath School. I smiled watching their children waddle up in excitement to put animal felt cut-outs on the felt board and sing “Sabbath is a Happy Day!” Then watch them, with agony, grow into rebellious, cynical and disrespectful teenagers, just to have my heart torn out as they end up in jail, in early abusive marriages, divorced, unhappy, suicidal.
These nice Keenite families are still dumbfounded as to what happens to their children and resign the problem to either that the Devil is working harder on the children of the blessed remnant or passively surrender to the culture and assume their kids are no worse than the rest of the “world.”
For years, I have pondered that question of what happened to Keene and here is my assessment:
While America was being rent in two with the 1960’s and 70’s racial tensions, war and the hippie culture, Adventists, instead of seeing it as their religious and patriotic responsibility to stand against the flood of evil, took these as signs of the last days. Those Adventist who had been rather liberal in the past, hunkered down and clung ever more closely to the church’s teachings seeing these events as “signs of the times.”
The world was about to end, so they didn’t feel the urgency or need, or even have the tools in which to teach their children how to cope with the temptations of this new drug-infested and sexually permissive culture. They kept trying to bandage the wrong wound. While they were cauterizing what they thought were the sinful sins of attending a theater to watch Disney’s “Love Bug”, drinking caffeinated beverages and eating out at Jose’s Mexican Restaurant on Sabbath, blood was draining out of the vital organs as Bible teachers were sneaking high school girls out to get abortions, children were being sexually abused, dropping acid and there was a thriving drug market selling from inside the little town.
The Keene kids felt abandon and alienated from their parents. The parents protected the church more than their own children. Parents would not see the changes in Keene and wanted it to be the charming, safe, sweet little city it had been before.
Rather than stand as heroes for their children and fight for the right; the passive, conscientious-objecting mindset of the Adventists turned them inward, shunning the “worldly.” They acquiesced in religious apathy. This was foretold, they pointed out, so what were they supposed to do about it?
The Keene SDA kids were emotionally and spiritually abandoned in the new environment as their parents became detached from reality, finding their solace in prophecy.
Adventist doctrine itself wasn’t immune to the western crisis of values. Everything was being critically examined. From the 1950’s on a slowly creeping questioning of some of the pillars of the faith caused the church to react. At the same time that it was preaching end-times prophesy seminars, some of the prominent SDA scholars were seeking mainstream status and watering down the pillars of faith so that they would no longer be considered a cult. SDA kids were exposed to this internal struggle over doctrine, were shown some of the hypocrisy of the rules and began questioning themselves. “Why can’t we wear earrings, but old ladies can wear ornate pins and expensive watches and drive luxury cars? Why can’t I drink coffee when we can drink hot chocolate which has caffeine? Why can I wade in water on Sabbath, but not swim?”
In the 1960’s and 1970’s Keene was full of second, third and even fourth generation Adventists, who had little contact with non-Adventist and certainly had not been confronted about their doctrines. They had been educated in Keene SDA institutions and had trusted their families and teachers and pastors to be telling them the truth. After all, these were sweet people, they wouldn’t lie! These were the remnant living in the Holy City.
They had not been a questioning generation. And these parents were totally unprepared to deal with their children’s inquiries about their faith. Now both parents were working to be able to afford to send them through SDA private elementary school and high school and college, they were too tired, too stressed to even have the time for this. After all, isn’t that why their grandparents and parents had moved to the Holy City--to send their kids to get an SDA education so they wouldn’t have to be the ones answering these questions? Keene was supposed to spiritually protect them.
Parents reacted by either disregarding their children or making them feel guilty for not passively accepting the church’s teaching.
Keene Left Vulnerable
The greatest problem of all, which permeated all facets of Keene, was that these sweet and innocent people were easy prey for the lion seeking whom he may devour. They had been raised with the idea they were different. They were God’s special remnant and although they eagerly preached and anticipated an imminent Second Return, they also knew that before that, their very lives would be at stake in a world-wide manhunt. Other Christians, who did not accept the saving “Everlasting Gospel” of Adventism were soon to reject God and spill their wrath upon the Adventists for keeping the Sabbath holy. For over a hundred years they had been preparing themselves and their children for martyrdom for the holy Sabbath.

Adventists are raised in distrust and paranoia of other Christians. When evidence of their deep dysfunction was exposed their only salve was secrecy and plunging ever more into deeper spiritual dysfunction. They have no outside remedy--for all other people do not have the truth. They see all others as lesser Christians that may unwittingly and with all sincerity deceive them if they leave the protection of Adventism.
No Escape
Other than faulty doctrine, Keene had relied totally on its sandy foundation of nice people. While other Christians survived the cultural onslaught of the 1960‘s and 1970‘s forever crippled, Keene didn’t withstand Satan’s brutal attack and collapsed. The golden years of the Holy City are only a memory now and it is sweet to recall those innocent days.
What is dangerous is that those in Keene today are still in oblivious denial. They know something happened to their precious little safe town, but they cannot deal with the reality of it and change. For to do so, they would have to deny the very reason for Keene--to prepare a people to preach the Everlasting Gospel of Adventism.

They would have to step into the real gospel of Jesus Christ and let go of their remnant-hood. They would have to unite with the Body of Christ and release their delusional futuristic persecution complex. They would have to be more than a one-commandment church. They would have to reject fear and embrace God’s love.
Keene, we who once walked your safe and quirky streets going to Sabbath School, who fed the ducks at the Duck Pond and sneaked up onto Leiske-Pultar auditorium after a hot camp-meeting night to watch the stars, we are so privileged to pray for you and ask the Lord to grant you the knowledge of the true gospel so that we will no longer grieve your stolen children, your stolen innocence and your stolen lives.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

My Dear, Honored Mother asked me to post this:

The discussion began on Facebook when my mother posted that she wanted polygamist Warren Jeffs to be put away forever.

"Jeffs, the polygamist was found guilty. Punishment sentencing coming. There is no punishment that would be appropriate for what he has done. How did a man like this get away with what he did for so long? SHOCKING!"

My mother is a liberal Seventh-day Adventist whose worldview is seeped in Christian relativism. She believes that there is no such thing as absolute truth (that we as humans can be sure of, anyway) and we all should just tolerate each other's views and be good. Sincerity of conscience is what she believes to be important in the long run. There is some merit to that way of thinking, indeed. Sincerity is a very good thing and God will be merciful to those who, by no fault of their own, sincerely believed a lie.

However, in the course of my ongoing discussion with her about Christian relativism, the following ensued (this is edited as several people other than my mother made comments) after her post about Warren Jeffs.

I responded:
Oh boy, we have a huge problem here. What do we do with clashing religious values because this is what it comes down to? Islam allows for arranged marriages between girls as young as nine and grown men. This is a cultural tradition that has been going on for centuries. The Bible allowed for polygamy....

Some early American cultures allowed marriages to girls as young as 12. If you read early American laws, you will find a slow and steady stream of laws against marriage to very young girls creep across America in the 18th century.

We have to look at this problem with more than a microscope. We have to look at it with a historical perspective and ask ourselves some very difficult questions.
America has always stood for religious freedom. But at the same time we have had our fixed "truth" upon the Judeo-Christian morals. Right now all of our values are being tested and when you remove the fixed "truth." All you have is unrestricted religious freedom that can claim polygamy, sodomy, pedophilia, bestiality, group marriages, incest anything as their religious freedom.

We must, as Americans, ask what is now our fixed mark of truth? For if it is not clearly the Judeo-Christian tradition, then we cannot impose one religious sexual preference over the other.

What do we do with all of Europe and even some parts of America where Sharia laws are being used? If we are now a pluralistic secular government, we have to take into consideration all religious beliefs--even when they severely clash with our own. That is the foundation of American religious freedom.

But, we are also a culture based upon the traditions of Christianity. Our worldview, or interpretation of the U.S. Constitution is Judeo-Christian.

If we don't figure out what our worldview is going to be in the future, it isn't going to be so easy as to say it is decided. Maybe in this one specific case--but I am speaking of a dramatic shift in our culture.

This is going to turn into a basic--who is America 101? Today we call it rape of a minor--tomorrow it is going to be called "right of sexual education of minors."
I am saying that we have as an American culture shifted our "truth" or cultural cornerstone of what used to be Jude-Christians beliefs based upon Western traditions to an Enlightened Relativism.

When you open up truth to "whatever" is the opinion of the person, basing it on their sincerity and their personal truth--then you lose the ability to have any fixed marks to say what is authoritatively and authentically wrong. Each culture claims IT is the correct one and some are willing to fight to the death over it.

We need to clearly stand up as Christians and say why Jeffs is wrong and needs to be put away forever. We need to clearly express why pedophilia is wrong. We can't go around anymore saying truth is in the eye of the beholder. Its not because it seems icky or wrong in our eyes... it is because it is wrong... we have a fixed mark as Christians and we can't rely on people's opinions or sincerity of belief. That is my point.

(comment by someone indicating that they misunderstood me as taking up for Jeffs)

Relativism is killing our culture.
I totally agree with you. I was asking a broader, philosophical question about our culture and the extreme trouble we are in when facing such questions as Jeffs. Upon what are we basing our assessment?

I was actually attempting to sound the alarm bell--we have a much, much bigger problem than Jeffs as a person. Put him away forever and let's discuss the underlying problem of our culture and its future. That is where I was going....

Christian relativism as a position is untenable. Christian relativism is going to be the ultimate fall of our society because it does not have a fixed mark of truth and when you base a society's morals upon people's religious feelings--no matter HOW sincere--then in the end, the mark moves--Voila! Christian relativism.

Upon what does my we base anger at Jeffs? It is upon the Christian worldview that pedophile and polygamy is sinful and wrong.

Our culture is in a mighty struggle over a Christian worldview and a secular worldview. What are we going to be? If we don't figure that out--as a society--and we don't stand up really firmly and soon--we are about to default into the secular humanistic side.
So, I am agreeing with you. I just want my mother to see that she cannot be a relativist and claim Jeffs should be hung.

My Mother responded:

"I really appreciate your comments on the pedophile Jeffs. I found them well-organized and very analytical. Thank you for your insights. I think you should copy them and put them on your blog."

In the end, my mother did not understand what I was saying. So I wrote back:

Okay, I am going to try to get at this another way.

America claims to be a place of religious tolerance. It claims to be a place where anyone can come and practice their beliefs, follow their sincere conscience. America claims to be a place of separation of church and state.

Now, what do we do when someone comes here--into our Christian worldview and say, "Whew! Glad I am here in the good ol' US of A. I sincerely believe it is super okay with God that I am a polygamist and marry little girls." ?? (And they, with a proud patriotic glance at the flag sing God Bless America, wiping from the corner of their eyes a tear of gratitude for religious freedom.)

What do we do with non-christian world views that come here and claim religious freedom? This is surely not a hypothetical problem. We are being bombarded with this daily.

When we claim a separation of church and state-- what our Deist founding fathers of the Enlightenment era really meant was that in Protestant America--our worldview will hold supreme. They were speaking from a Judeo-Christian worldview that saw certain things as obvious and intrinsically true and right. "Self-evident" is the words they used.

So we actually have come to a great crisis of foundations. Now that different non-Christian world views are finding their way here en masse (or are locally grown)-- expecting religious freedom from a totally different perspective--where sodomy is not against their conscience, polygamy isn't against their conscience, abortion isn't against their conscience--Where do we draw the line?

Do we revert back to the foundation of : All get an equal religious right to do whatever they wish. Every sincere person gets to follow their conscience.


Do we revert back to the foundation of: There are self-evident truths based on Judeo-Christian values of justice, morality, marriage, murder, fidelity...

What I see are people burying their head, putting their fingers in their ears, and humming loudly. No one (hardly) wants to face the crisis of foundations we are at.

Is America a secular state where all religious views--all sincere consciences are allowed to practice moral and religious freedom as they see fit?


Is America a Christian state where traditional Judeo-Christian values will remain and we live under a worldview that certain things are intrinsically evil and intrinsically good whether or not we personally agree and no matter how sincere the believer?

So, I have posted our discussion. My dearest Mother is the one who instilled in me immovable truths of honestly, justice, compassion. She is the human cornerstone of all my thoughts and analysis and Christian worldview. The summation of it all is that you, oh brilliant and honorable mother, seared into each of your six children an unquenchable drive to discover what is true.