Thursday, February 14, 2013

SDA Pastor Morris Venden Dies

http://www.atoday.org/article/1680/news/february/well-known-beloved-adventist-preacher-morris-venden-is-dead




Well-known, Beloved Adventist Preacher Morris Venden is Dead
.

Elder Morris L. Venden, the widely-known and much loved Seventh-day Adventist preacher, passed to his death on Sunday evening, February 10. He was 80 years of age.
Venden is best known for advocating a grace-oriented perspective as well as defending Adventist theology in a way that was acceptable to at least some evangelicals. 
A ministerial student at the time remembers that at the height of the controversy kicked up by theologian Desmond Ford, during a meeting of the theology faculty and students at Pacific Union College, “after a series of papers 20 to 30 pages [each] parsing the Greek and Hebrew,” Venden passed out a two-and-a-half-page paper and made this simple statement; “You must be born again. You must be born again. You must be born again. There was something wrong with your first birth so you must be born again.”

Pastor Vendon was for several years the senior pastor of the Keene University SDA Church where we were living at the time. I remember my father overjoyed at finding a preacher who held his own grace-oriented gospel. My father's friend, Morris, who spoke so slowly and sadly, like Winnie-the-Pooh's donkey Eeyore, gave Adventists a good dose of non-legalism in all his sermons

I didn't interact much with him as my pastor, but a few years later, after he had gone to another church and I was very active in the pro-life movement, I asked for his endorsement for non-political organization that went around to SDA schools and churches teaching about the development of the unborn child. 

He declined with a bit of a chuckle and smile. 

I remember always seeing so much sad in his eyes. 
RIP Pastor Venden.








14 comments:

Marcos David Torres said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Teresa Beem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teresa Beem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marcos David Torres said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Marcos David Torres said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Teresa Beem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

His books will forever be a blessing to me and the church. The church lost one of the few remaining righteousness by faith preachers.

Marcos David Torres said...

Anonymous,

It really is sad to see Venden go. I didnt know much about him but I I plan on reading some of his stuff in the near future.

I do want to take the time and encourage you. While Venden is gone he is not one of the few remaining righteousness by faith preachers in the church. The truth is that the legalistic, rule driven preachers are the ones who are gong extinct (Thank God!).

Paulr said...

Teresa and Arthur, your reasoning and arguments for converting from SDA to Catholicism are some of the most intellectual and honest I've come across.What I love is how you explored all faiths/denominations.You considered historical facts, Church traditions and most important the inspired words of the Scriptures. Nothing was parsed but bias and emotion in seeking truth. I have many SDA friends, they're awesome people and love them to death, even if the take barbs at my Catholic faith.You 2 are very inspirational, as inspirational if not more than even cradle Catholics. God bless, I'm sending your video to my SDA friends lol

Anonymous said...

Sad but glad for all your loved ones near and dear who are grieving the loss of your presence. It is with the shared hope and assurance in the promises of Jesus that we can be certain of seeing our dear Pastor again. We have just discovered and are just loving the YouTube series done by Father and son, Morris and Lee. entitled: "MORE ABOUT JESUS". We are so thankful for the time and effort put into these presentations and stories of the True Gospel of Jesus Christ. we are being blessed, encouraged and Jesus is being Glorified through These heart told messages. We cant wait to hear more of the same after the Great Resurrection Day! Amazing is Jesus Love and Redeeming Grace, in the lives of those being saved. We've got some stories to tell of Him in our lives too. We'd like to hear our guardian angels tell the stories, which will make them even more amazing to see how God was working behind the scenes. Great and Mighty is He!

Teresa Beem said...

How sweet Anonymous! Though, as a former Adventist, I don't believe we have to wait to know that Morris is in heaven right now praising and glorifying God. But I am with you in spirit--GREAT AND MIGHTY IS HE!! Thank you for commenting.

Bill Diehl said...

Teresa, I am the editor of an evangelical Adventist web site which takes a strong pro-life stand. We have even made mention of it in our evangelical SDA articles of faith. See numbers 1 and 2 below:

1.) The Abortion Issue
Whenever one stands up for the truth one will "rock the boat". It is impossible to be a Christian without "rocking the boat". Christ rocked the boat when he reproved the Scribes and the Pharisees, calling them vipers and hypocrites. The worst curses that are found in the Bible came from the lips of Jesus when He addressed the religious leaders of His day. The Old Testament judgments upon the wicked are tame in comparison to the "woes" pronounced upon these men who were called to be a light set upon a hill. These "woes" were directed towards the "social sins" that these men were not only ignoring but actually taking part in promoting.

If the Restoration movement which God raises up does not speak for Him, then He will have the very stones cry out. This is exactly what has happened in our day. The Abortion issue has been completely ignored in our day because of politics and love of the status quo. Political correctness is the Baal god of our day. This matter of political correctness has blunted the ministry of the much of the Christian church today. Now those who seek to call out the prevailing sins of the day are called extremists and alarmists.

It is no wonder that the gospel message of Christ has fallen upon deaf ears. The moral sensibilities of society have been completely eroded because the true Christian church has refused to give the trumpet call of alarm and stand forth with the banner of Truth and the Word of God. We are called to proclaim a "Thus saith the Lord" and call the world to moral accountability from the Bible. Who do we see giving the alarm today?

We exalt in the writings of the great Protestant Reformers and discuss how many angels can dance on the head of a pin while the moans of the dead and dying are drowned out by our religious chatter. If we would take a loud and firm and actively public Biblical stand on the moral issues of the day like drug abuse, alcoholism, tobacco use, prostitution, pornography on television and in print, abortion, the evolution/creation debate, and homosexuality we would see the world at the door asking "what must we do to be saved". Then we could point all to behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world. The Law of God must be proclaimed from the street corners so that the Gospel and the love and mercy of God will have RELEVANCE!!

It must make the angels weep to see such indolence among the ministers and the churches. We have withdrawn within ourselves while the world is left to perish. Are we hiding behind our closed church doors while Christ points us to the open door and the fields of harvest that are ripe and ready to be harvested? Shall we walk on by on the other side while millions of slaughtered innocent babies cry out from the dumpsters behind hospitals and death "clinics"? Shall we be silent while the enemy comes in like a flood with his Evolutionary lies, pornographic television programs and movies, and drug related murders are all around us?

We as ministers of the Gospel must give the trumpet call to the Sanctuary where we will find all the power and strength to fulfill the Great Commission that our Master has called us fulfill. The love of God constraineth us.

Lord give us men who will heed the call!!

2.) Denial #68 and #69

68. Pornography, homosexuality, lesbianism, and the feminist movement are serious sins.

69. Abortion of unborn babies except when the mother's life is in imminent danger is a serious sin.

Teresa Beem said...

Pastor Diehl,
I love you.
Thank you for your ministry. Thank you for your courage to speak with such passion and eloquence. God bless you and your ministry!