Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Friday, March 04, 2005

10 commandment Religious Liberty Association

There is a recent release from North American Religious Liberty Association on the 10 commandments, apparently the church is taking a stand without taking a stand. I could find no official SDA site that had the release that was sent out via email to various places. So I will copy the whole thing here from SDANEWS.

SDANEWS: Ten Commandments Controversy
From: North American Religious Liberty Association (
Date: Wed Mar 02 2005 - 22:24:15 EST

Ten Commandments Controversy

It is over 3,300 years since Moses brought two tables of stone down
from Mt. Sinai. Three thousand three hundred years is a long time by
any human reckoning, and yet, the Commandments have never been as
relevant or as controversial as they are today. This week the U.S.
Supreme Court are set to decide if the government can display the Ten
Commandments, and if so, in what context.

Government Displays of the Ten Commandments are Problematic

Whenever the government becomes involved in religion, it is problematic
and the posting of the Ten Commandments is no exception.

• Which version? There are three widely recognized versions of the Ten
Commandments; the Protestant, the Catholic and the Jewish. When the
government decides to display the Commandments written out, it must
choose whose version to endorse. In recent years, edited versions of
the Ten Commandments have been displayed. These edits exclude, for
example, any reference to resting on the seventh day. This exclusion
has profound theological ramifications.

• What does the setting communicate? God placed the Ten Commandments
in the Ark of the Covenant under the Mercy Seat where blood
representing the atoning sacrifice of Christ was sprinkled. This
setting communicates the grace of God who mixes mercy and forgiveness
with judgment. The secular court house is a completely different
context. Here, if a man is guilty, he must pay the price. There is no
blood of Christ sprinkled as an atonement for his wrong doing that sets
him free. Placing the Ten Commandments in the court house setting takes
the heart out of the gospel message.

• Are the arguments accurate? At the heart of the arguments in favor
of government Ten Commandments Monuments is the claim that America’s
laws are based on the Ten Commandments, but is this true? If we look at
the Ten Commandments, only four are commonly found in the legal code,
and three of those are found in virtually all legal codes throughout
history. These three are: 1) Prohibition on killing, 2) Prohibition on
stealing, and 3) Prohibition on lying (American law forbids this in
very specific circumstances). The only laws that are uniquely based on
the Ten Commandments are prohibitions on engaging in certain kinds of
work on Sunday, which are a mistaken attempt to enforce the Fourth
Commandment. There is nothing in our laws about coveting, making graven
images, having gods before God, forcing children to honor their
parents, blasphemy (western nations used to enforce blasphemy laws),
and little if anything left regarding adultery. In truth, the laws of
the United States developed out of a long, complex legal tradition that
reaches back to the dawn of history and includes a broad array of
influences and cover a broad range of issues not even hinted at in the
Ten Commandments (e.g. everything from parking regulations to federal
communications law).

• Is this the right emphasis? There can be no doubt that society has
drifted away from God’s law. Ironically, much of this drift has been
encouraged by churches who have taught that the Ten Commandments were
“nailed to the cross” and therefore are not binding on Christians
today and that, further, it is impossible for those living under God’s
grace to keep them. Before soliciting the state to erect monuments of
the Ten Commandments, churches need to begin lifting up the law of God
as fulfilled in the life of Christ and imbued to His followers by His

Ten Commandments Litigation is Unproductive

Despite the problems surrounding the government posting of the Ten
Commandments, the litigation to have them removed is singularly
unhelpful. This litigation causes serious offense to the general public
for little, if any, gain.

Indeed, after their last Ten Commandments “victory” in Alabama, USA
Today published a pole that found 77% of Americans disagreed with the
removal of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Supreme Court. There
are times when deeply offending 77% of America may not only be
worthwhile, but essential. This is not one of those cases. The backlash
caused by these cases is likely to hurt religious liberty for decades
to come.

Ideal Way to Communicate a Gospel Focused Message

Because of the uniquely unproductive nature of this litigation, NARLA
has not filed a brief on either side of this case. Rather, NARLA-West
has produced a brochure written by Christa and Alan Reinach and edited
by Cliff Goldstein, explaining the role of the Ten Commandments in our
lives today, and a poster to publicly display.

The brochures and posters are now available to be distributed to
friends, family, colleagues and the press, and can be ordered from the
NARLA website:

This is a great time to talk to our communities about the Ten
Commandments and to engage in our constitutionally protected right to
display them. The “Written on the Heart” brochures and posters are an
ideal way to share the joy found in Christ.

Addendum: The Ten Commandments in the U.S. Supreme Court

Sometimes people are surprised to learn that, yes, even in the U.S.
Supreme Court there are artistic renderings of the Ten Commandments –
in fact two of them. How could the government display of the Ten
Commandments be unconstitutional if the Supreme Court itself displays
these documents?

The back of the Supreme Court (the East Pediment) is where you’ll find
the first example of the Ten Commandments. Most people don’t see this
side of the Court, but it is interesting indeed. The designer of the
sculpture on the East Pediment, Hermon MacNeil, stated that his goal
was to represent “such fundamental laws and precepts as are derived
form the East.” To do this, he designed a sculpture that groups
Confucius, Moses and Solon (the great Athenian law maker) together. To
their left and right are various allegorical figures representing
aspects of the law.

On the north and south walls inside the court are friezes that include
the great lawgivers of history. This is where we find the second
depiction of Moses with the Ten Commandments. Here he is one of
eighteen lawgivers all represented in equal proportion in chronological
order, with the Egyptian Pharaoh Menes first, Hammurabi, King of
Babylon, second, Moses third, followed by lawgivers all the way up to
Napoleon Bonaparte, and including Muhammad and Confucius.

Some people think there is a third display of the Ten Commandments on
the east frieze inside the Court. Here we find a single tablet carved
with the Roman numerals I through X. According to the sculptor, this is
intended to represent the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to
the U.S. Constitution), not the Ten Commandments (hence it is
represented on a single panel, rather than on two tablets of stone).

In conclusion, the Ten Commandments do appear in two places in the
Supreme Court. In both cases, they are in connection with Moses, in one
case in a display of great lawgivers from the East and the second in a
chronological series of lawgivers. In neither case is a particular
version of the Commandments chosen.

We don’t know what the Supreme Court will say about governmental
displays of the Ten Commandments, but we can easily imagine that they
will focus on the context of the display and the intent, as they have
done in other similar cases. If so, they could rule that the displays
in certain contexts violate the Constitution, while in other contexts
– like those found in the Supreme Court building itself – they do not.


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Adventism's latest offshoot

Here is an article from the right wing of the SDA movement. The first thing I noticed here is that in the area of offshoots they don't mention people like "Hope International" who produce "our Firm Foundation Magazine" or people like the "The Association of Creation 7th Day Adventists".

Adventism's Latest Offshoot, Pt. 1:

This article co-authored by Pr. Larry Kirkpatrick, Pr. Kevin D. Paulson, and Associate David Qualls on August 12 and 13 and published on August 13, 2004.
The Launch of Adventism's Latest Offshoot

First there was the Messenger Party, then the Seventh-day Adventist Reform Movement. In short order came the Shepherd's Rod. Herbert W. Armstrong launched the Worldwide Church of God, then along came the Branch Davidians. Next, the Brinsmead group, the post-Glacier View “Gospel Fellowship” movement inspired by Desmond Ford's attack on the sanctuary doctrine, then the Steps to Life home church movement.

Now comes “Mission Catalyst Network.”

A group of (former) Seventh-day Adventist Church employees, who insist that the structure has lost its evangelistic potential, are in the process of forming a break-away organization of churches which will be separate from the denomination that has so long employed them. They insist that they are

An association of churches that embrace the fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, are outreach focused, grace oriented, and fully committed to God (, accessed 6:13 p.m. August 12, 2004 PDT).

However, their own published doctrinal mission statement belies this claim. Entirely absent from it is any mention of the investigative judgment, the remnant Church, the prophetic gift as manifest through Ellen G. White, or church standards. Claiming that as a Church they are the “Same cart” but with “new wheels,” the absence of these key features and the presence of others which we shall in this series mention, make clear that this is an altogether different “cart.”

Carefully endeavoring to cloak their true nature, this break-away group, Adventism's newest offshoot, claims it is not separate from us. Yet Scripture warns:

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us (1 John 2:19).

The exact sequence in which events were shaped is not always readily traceable. Some now involved in the Offshoot were terminated in March. The domain name “” was registered in May. Adventist leaders met with Gladden in August. Whatever we may say about what led to what, the separation is here.
Ringleaders in Apostasy

The new offshoot has, of course, its own set of leaders. As the Spirit of Prophecy says, “Those who have been regarded as worthy and righteous prove to be ring-leaders in apostasy...” (Ellen G. White, Testimonies, vol. 5, p. 212). These people, who by and large have been respected as leaders in church planting in the denomination, believe that God is leading them to form a new organization of churches. Their non-profit corporation, their website, their own structures and plans, did not spring up 24 hours ago. It has been a long and laborious pathway to separation. Who are these people?

The names of those associated with this project which follow include both ringleaders in this apostasy and also those who have provided resource papers that hang on the offshoot's website.

The offshoot includes Ron Gladden, until recently employed at North Pacific and Mid-America Unions as Director for Church Planting (As identified by the Adventist Review online at Ron Gladden, “Building Castles for the Kingdom,” accessed August 12, 2004, 7:40 p.m. PDT).

Christianity at Bay, Spectrum article

Another Brillant article, yes true it is mine but I am not biased. When we look at the world today I wonder how anyone can believe that a strict fundamentalist Christian religion will ever become the dominant force in America.

Christianity at Bay

By Ron Corson
(March 2, 2005)

Lately, I find little with which I can agree as I read the opinion pieces in Time magazine. However, I recently read an essay that contained statements with which I could agree.

In her essay "The Battle Is Over, but the War Goes On" (Dec. 6, 2004), author Michelle Cottle posits the following : "Those who think they won on ’moral values’ may be in for a surprise." Cottle notes that liberals are "discombobulating" over the U.S. presidential election in November. But she attempts to comfort them with assurance that they "have the luxury of ignoring conservative America," with only rare intrusions. "Social conservatives, by contrast, cannot escape the world view of blue staters," she asserts. "Every time they go to the movies or turn on the television or open their child’s school books they’re reminded that traditional values ain’t what they used to be."

A cultural shift is happening in the United States, a shift away from traditional values to, as radio commentator Bill O’Reilly would say, a "Progressive Secularism." A media machine seems intent with an agenda for removing Christianity and many traditional values. Progressive Secularism is rampant in the educational system of the United States, from the lofty towers of universities to kindergartens.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Dr. Laura’s Morality Pacific Union Recorder

Principles of Congregational Ethics Dr. Laura’s Morality
By Mark F. Carr, Ph.D.

Dr. Laura bugs me! She is mean to her audience; no, she is brutal to her audience. In a matter of seconds, maybe a few minutes, she psycho-analyzes those who call in to her radio show. The advice she gives them usually revolves around ethics and morality of a personal sort.

...In ethics and morality, some of us have a tendency to boil things down to a few essential elements. Dr. Laura thinks, as do many others, that our concern for living life morally will be taken care of when we “do the right thing.”

I have to admit Dr. Laura bugs me too. But I also must admit she is frequently right. It is interesting that Dr. Laura who is a fairly religious Jew probably means more then just behavior when she says "now go and do the right thing". In Christian theology doing the right thing is to connect with God, the relationship that produces the actions which are also the right things.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Jesus and the Second Death

One of the frequent things you hear in SDA circles is that Jesus died the "second death". Like this latest example from the Conversations about God discussion list. From which I have effectively been banned because I contributed too much and the owner wanted the quieter members to have a chance. B.S. sums that up. Anyway this person writes:

Jesus came(it seems to me) to propitate us and appease our lack of knowledge of
the 2nd death requirement of sin/seperation that is the wages of sin.By taking
our well deserved 2nd death upon Himself ,He gives us a chance to have eternal
life with All of God and the rest of creation by his examples of what is life,
love and wisdom.His ressurection proves that He has the power to parent us all
the way to and through eternal life.
Conversations About God

Now in the past I have always pointed out to such people that first the Bible says nothing about Jesus suffering the Second Death and that the Second Death according to the book of Revelation which is the only place Second Death is mentioned says there is no resurrection from the Second Death. So there is pretty much no way Jesus could suffer the Second Death.

But recently I thought of something that is so obvious I don't know why I never used it before. To die the second death one must have lived the second life. Elementary isn't it. So let's review the standard Christ Judgment scenerio. A person lives their life here on earth. They die. According to several Bible verses there is a resurrection of the dead as the book of Daniel says some to everlasting life and some to everlasting destruction. Now if someone is resurrected by God that in itself is a supernatural event. As such it is also a second time of life. Hence the name second death which as Revelation points out is only for the wicked and from which there is no resurrection. So if Jesus died the Second Death...when did he live the second life?

Let's see em squirm out of that one!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Spectrum SS Commentary "Week of Destiny"

Did you ever wonder how myths and traditions get into the church. Here is an example from Spectrum Online Sabbath School Commentary. Week of Destiny By Ron E. M. Clouzet :

“Then came the following morning. With the loss of Jerusalem in mind, Christ mournfully made his way from Bethany to the temple again until he saw fig trees ahead. Hoping to get fed, he aimed for the only tree with leaves—clear evidence among fig trees that fruit must be already be available. To his surprise, there was nothing but leaves. Then, stepping back, he thought about the events that just transpired, looked up to the tree once again, and exclaimed, "May you never bear fruit again!" (Matt. 21:19 NIV). Jerusalem’s leadership provided high expectations but never delivered. And no one would get anything from them again.”

Now first of all most of us have seen fruit trees and we know that fruit does not appear before the leaves, that the fruit will not be ready at the time the leaves appear either. Flowers often appear before the leaves but in no fruit tree does the fruit ripen with the appearance of the first leaves of spring. It is true that Fig trees often produce a Breba crop in the early season as the Purdue Horticulture department fact sheet on figs says:
“Fig trees usually bear 2 crops a year, the early season ("breba") fruits being inferior and frequently too acid, and only those of the second, or main, crop of actual value.” Of course if there was winter damage it would not have a breba crop.

But for some reason this idea that a fig tree that has leaves is a sure sign that it should have fruit however absurd is repeated throughout the SDA church. I have recently heard it several times this year.

But most importantly for the Christian is that in the story which is only mentioned in Matthew and Mark it clearly says that it was not the season for figs!
Mark 11:13 Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. (NIV)

The fig tree cursing is an interesting topic but cannot be really discussed when completely inaccurate observations are inserted into the story. A more reliable discussion of the incident is examined in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary where it says:

“12-13 This is one of the most difficult stories in the Gospels. It is not found in Luke. (Did he too have problems with it and omit it, or was it unknown to him?) Many modern commentators would just as soon it were not here at all. Rawlinson (p. 154) says that it "approximates more closely than any other episode in Mk to the type of `unreasonable' miracle characteristic of the non-canonical Gospel literature." Hunter (p. 110) comments: "With our knowledge of Jesus from other sources, we find it frankly incredible that he could have used his power to wither a fig tree because it did not yield figs two or three months before its natural time of fruitage." While rejecting the historicity of this account, Hunter finds the kernel of history in this story in the parable of the barren fig tree found in Luke 13:6-9. What was originally a parable has been changed into a factual story. Though admittedly difficult, the incident is not impossible. An important consideration is the position it occupies. It is one of Mark's interrupted accounts, in the middle of which stands the record of the cleansing of the temple. This is the clue to its meaning. Like the cleansing of the temple, the story of the unfruitful fig tree has to do with judgment.
The incident occurred on the way to Jerusalem from Bethany (v. 12), where Jesus had spent the night. He was hungry; and, noticing a fig tree, he went to see whether it had any figs on it (v. 13). Fig trees around Jerusalem usually leaf out in March or April, but they do not produce figs till June. This tree was no exception. It was in full leaf; but, as Mark tells his readers, there were no figs on it "because it was not the season for figs." It is this phrase that makes the story such a problem. Grant (p. 828) says Mark's explanation "only increases the problem, as it reflects on the good sense of Jesus." An easy solution is to consider the phrase a scribal gloss. But that will not do, because there is no textual evidence to support it. Also there is the fact that explanatory notes are a feature of Mark's style (cf. 1:16; 5:42; 7:3-4, 19, 13:14). It seems best to consider the phrase Mark's own insertion to explain to people not familiar with the characteristics of a fig tree why one fully leafed out would not have fruit on it.”

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Spectrum "minister arrested for marrying Gays?

I just was looking at back stuff from the spectrum website and read this in an article there:

\blue{ Marriage: A Religious Liberty Issue?

By Lester N. Wright
(September 30, 2003)

In response, many people, including the U.S. president, have called for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would prohibit marriage between two people of the same sex. Government lawyers have ordered solemnizing this type of marriage to stop. In at least one local jurisdiction, the mayor was charged with violating state law by sanctioning marriages inconsistent with current laws. Furthermore, ministers of several religious persuasions have been criminally charged with violating the law by sanctioning and performing such marriages.

The arrest of a minister charged with performing a religious ceremony consistent with his or her religion should have gotten our attention. If a government can determine that one religious practice violates law and can arrest and charge a minister for performing that ceremony, then government can determine that ANY religious practice is illegal. The arrest of a minister for performing a marriage between two people of the same sex can progress to the arrest of a minister for preaching on a Sabbath not sanctioned by law.

Now I have never heard of any minister arrested for performing the religious ceremony of joining two homosexual or Lesbians together. Further I have never heard of the "Government lawyers have ordered solemnizing this type of marriage to stop". They have ordered state officials to cease giving out marriage licenses but that certainly different.

Since the writer did not give any examples I don't think he knows what he is talking about and like many liberals making up something for his own purposes. But if I am wrong will someone please give me an example where a minister was arrested or even charged with criminal violation for performing a ceremony for gay or lesbians.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Tithe Change debate in Minnesota

Adventist Today Special Report

Revolutionary Change Debated in Minnesota

By John Thomas McLarty

Thursday, February 03, 2005. Enumclaw, Washington: In preparation for the April 17, 2005, Minnesota Conference Constituency Meeting, the conference constitution and by-laws committee has received from a congregation a proposal to change the way tithe funds are managed in the Minnesota Conference. The initial decision by the committee was to place the proposal on the agenda and to recommend against its acceptance by the session delegates. At the time of this writing, it is not certain whether the proposal will actually be included on the agenda for the constituency meeting.

The major changes called for in the proposal include: 1.) Qualifying two blanket statements that everything in the Minnesota Conference will be done in agreement with General Conference policies by adding the proviso, "unless otherwise expressly stated in these by-laws." 2.) Recognizing that local churches (instead of, or in addition to, the conference office) are appropriately designated "storehouses" for tithe. 3.) Requiring the conference to return seventy-five percent of tithe received from congregations to the congregations. This seventy-five percent would include the salary and benefits paid to clergy who directly serve the congregation. 4.) Explicitly stating that any use of tithe permitted in the administrative divisions of the church—conferences, unions, divisions, GC—is also a permitted use in the ministry divisions of the church—i.e. congregations. (For instance, since tithe funds are used to pay for secretarial and janitorial services in the administrative divisions of the church, local churches would be allowed to pay their secretaries and janitors with tithe.

Congregations do not often offer substantive input for consideration by conference constituency sessions, however, it is customary for conference administrators to invite input from their congregations in preparation for constituency meetings. Given the revolutionary political and financial implications of these proposed constitutional changes and the history of other congregational initiatives in North America, it is probable that leaders in all the relevant administrative divisions—Minnesota Conference, Mid-America Union and the North American Division—will work to prevent these proposals from being openly discussed on the floor of the session.

The full text of the recommended changes is given below.

Proposed Amendments to the Bylaws of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

and the Addition of a New Article.

Motion #1: To amend ARTICLE II of the Bylaws of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventist, as set forth below.


43 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. All purposes and procedures of this Conference
44 shall be in harmony with the working policies and principles of the General Conference of
45 Seventh-day Adventistsx, the North American Division, and Union Conference unless expressly stated in these Bylaws.

Motion #2: To amend ARTICLE XII of the Bylaws of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventist, as set forth below.


345 Policies. The tithes and all other funds shall be used in harmony with the financial
346 policies of the North American Division of the General Conference of Seventh-day
347 Adventists and the Union Conference except as permitted in these Bylaws and, in the case of
348 donations, its use shall be in harmony with the specifications of the donors and in accordance
349 with applicable state and federal laws governing the use of charitable contributions.

Motion #3: To add the following ARTICLE to the Bylaws of the Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. The new ARTICLE shall be implemented and in full operation by September 1, 2005.


In Malachi 3:8 God directs His people to bring "all the tithes into the storehouse". Notwithstanding any other article or provision in these Bylaws each local church or company is the collection point for tithe and each serves as an individual "storehouse".

Section 1. Handling of Tithe. One hundred percent of collected tithe shall be returned to the Conference Treasurer within 45 days of receipt. The Conference Treasurer shall account for these funds using Generally Accepted Accounting Standards and identify each storehouse from which the funds are received.

Section 2. Use of Tithe. A permitted use of tithe at the administrative level is a permitted use of tithe at the storehouse. As codified in the Working Policies of the North American Division (NAD) tithe may be used to sustain personnel who are directly engaged in soul-winning work and/or by people who serve in a supporting role. In addition, according to NAD Policy tithe "may be used for operating expenses" used by these personnel. In practice tithe is used and may be used for: salaries (pastoral, teaching, secretarial, janitorial); expenses associated with soul-winning and disciple making; operating expenses related to these activities.

Section 3. Distribution of Tithe. As a trustee and fiduciary of remitted tithe, and other assets belonging to storehouses, this Conference shall annually return to each storehouse a minimum of 75 percent of all tithe collected at that storehouse. Salaries and employee benefits paid to personnel hired by this Conference directly for each storehouse is included in this 75 percent. This Conference may retain a maximum of 25 percent of each storehouse’s tithe to cover expenses they incur in administering human resource functions and benefits for the sisterhood of churches, accounting, other administrative costs. The portion of the tithe this Conference retains may also be used to provide additional staff and resources for new missions or to provide additional support to churches and companies.

Section 4. Timing of Distribution. The portion of each storehouse’s tithe not expended for salaries and benefits paid to personnel hired by this Conference directly for each storehouse shall be returned to the storehouse within 60 days of receipt and an annual accounting of received and dispersed funds shall be provided to each storehouse by March 31st each year.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Post-Modern Acts of God
Presidential Address— Adventist Society for Religious Study
November 18, 2004

By: Jon Paulien

PostModernism: Reality or Label

In an article at , The Post-Modern Acts of God, Jon Paulien, gets into the subject rather deeply as it relates to the outreach to this group by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, moving from a feeling of "self-evident truth" that "Only an egotist would claim to have a handle on all truth," to a warning to the Adventist Church that "The Seventh-day Adventist Chruch, with its rigid structures and traditional approach to outreach, will certainly not be able to continue with business as usual in a post-modern world."

His use of the fortress and salt parable contrasts relative to a suggested paradymn shift in evangelizing was refreshing, relaying how salt mingles in food to the point that it is imperceptably except that it makes the meal taste better.

The challenge addressed in the article is in an era where absolute truth may be an oxymoron, he recommends I Cor 9:19-23 to "Become all things to all people in order that you might save some."

The challenge for the SDA church as he presents it is to become more relational in its evangelism so "Traditional Adventist evangelism" no longer "invests in public meetings, tries to move people to baptism in 3-5 weeks, and then breathes a sigh of relief for the next year or two."
From Bob Sands

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Judgment Day - Adventist Review

Judgment Day by Clifford Goldstein, is a psuedo intellectual treatise on Reality which culminates with this message: "The question I ponder, though, is this: on judgment day, how will I--with all my selfishness, errors, and unrighteousness--fare before the Absolute standard of selflessness, truth, and righteousness? To stand before the Absolute is a thought that makes me cringe with fear! The only hope I harbor, the only one, is that Jesus--"the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6), the "express image" of the Father (Heb. 1:3)--will take my place. How could anyone, with all our contingency and compromise, stand before the Absolute unless we have Someone in whom that Absolute has been met, in whom that Absolute has been fulfilled?

If I have no Substitute, one who embodies the Absolute, then on judgment day I will be condemned, and if condemned, lost. If so, though not in the sense she meant it, my mother would be right: my life's a waste."

Is this what Christianity has become? The God of the Universe, the God of love, the friend of sinners on Judgment day becomes the terror that we must hide from. What kind of Judgment is made if someone takes your place in that judgment? Is there some place in the Bible that tells us Jesus Christ stands in our place in the Judgment. Who are we trying to fool here? Does he really think that God does not see who we are?

And this is one of the leaders of the SDA church. Did he ever read where Jesus the one who is God calls us his friends. It is honestly hard to critique this article since it is so pathetic. There is no substance here just his certainty that he must have a substitute before God.

Of Beatitudes and Commandments - Review Article

Here is the response to Nathan Browns Article Of Beatitudes and Commandments
The Review did not publish this letter. In fact they have only printed letters who approve of their chosen boy.

Maybe it is my age or Nathan Brown's (Of Beatitudes and Commandments) Australian culture but I find his latest article to be a backhanded slap at political conservative Americans. As we have seen lately there are strong feelings in parts of the world that they know so much more then those here in America, except for those Liberals here in America who are certainly held to be worldly wise.

I note my age in the equation because Nathan mention "Commentator Kurt Vonnegut" who is one of the most famous living American authors, maybe over in Australia he is a commentator who knows, certainly an author and social commentator would be accurate. But maybe in Nathan's generation Vonnegut's books are unknown. Certainly he has a way with words yet I would not go to him for moral or religious instruction. When was the last time anyone demanded the posting of the 10 commandments in a public place? Most likely the tear in their eye was because the previously erected monument of the 10 Commandments is about to be removed. Vonnegut’s words here are as deceptive as Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 911 propaganda.

There has been little attempt made recently in America to place the 10 Commandment in any public places. Often times the plaques have been in place for many decades. What is new is the recent removal of such plaques. The attempts by certain secularists to remove from America its Judeo-Christian heritage. Both Jew and Christian readily accept the moral clarity of the 10 Commandments as a foundation upon which Western Law has been based. Which is why the 10 commandments displays were placed in Public buildings.

The Sermon on the Mount is a brilliant theological and philosophical treatise yet it would be totally useless as a basis for a legal system. Our courts are already filled and do not need to be further burdened with treating those who hate to a trial as if they had killed people. To God our thoughts are important; to a legal system our actions are important.

So I would say that before Mr. Brown declares, "much of what is offered publicly as Christian religion is conservative political activism", he should expand his own perspective. He should pay some attention to the actual history of this country as well as the anti-Christian activities in this country before he writes his material. As every year Christmas comes under more attack in America it becomes easier to see the anti-Christian bias in the media and segments of society. When Jewish and Islamic symbols can be displayed in New York public schools but not Christian symbols, it is time to wake up to some realities. I would suggest that Nathan begin his education by reading David Limbaugh's book "Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity"

As to why the beatitudes are not posted in public buildings it is most likely because they all have to do with human conditions which can only be rectified or rewarded by God. For the final line of the Beatitudes says:

"Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Mat 5:12 NIV)

Whereas the 10 commandments give clear instructions as to specific things to do and not do. A good moral code for society verses the beatitudes blessings for perseverance in following God.

It is sad to see our Christian heritage, the very name of Jesus Christ be so systematically removed from our nation as members of our Church Administration and even our own Religious Liberty Magazine cheer on the deconstruction. It will not be long until America has joined the European nations as they seek to abandon Christianity. And it appears the Editor of South Pacific edition of Signs of the Times and the South Pacific Division Record has made his choice.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Liberal tendancies of the Religious Liberties dept.

Many probably have not noticed just how Liberal our SDA Religious Liberties department has become. They stand against Christianity in most cases. Here is a letter sent out before the election that shows their perspective and you can read between the lines to see who they want the members to vote for.

Religious Liberties Newsflash

The newsflash lists serveral Religious liberities points among them:
3. Faith-based funding. The expansion of federal funding for churches and their ministries is a bad idea that violates the constitution and distorts the mission of churches.

If the Republicans gain control of the Senate and the White House, the path will be clear for easy confirmation of the most extreme judicial nominees. Bush has already declared that Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are his model for future Supreme Court appointments. This is downright scary, as these are the two justices most hostile to religious freedom.

The "faith-based initiative" was started under the Clinton administration. Bush has taken it to new levels, and has expanded funding opportunities to local churches, something that is clearly unconstitutional.

Much has been made, in this election, of the candidates' religion. The Bush campaign has appealed to evangelicals in a blatantly unconstitutional effort to encourage making his religious faith a test for the presidency.

Now However even noted Liberal Hillary Clinton acknowledges that Faith Based initiatives do not conflict with the Constitution.

Sen. Clinton urges use of faith-based initiatives

By Michael Jonas, Globe Correspondent | January 20, 2005

On the eve of the presidential inauguration, US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton last night embraced an issue some pundits say helped seal a second term for George W. Bush: acceptance of the role of faith in addressing social ills.
In a speech at a fund-raising dinner for a Boston-based organization that promotes faith-based solutions to social problems, Clinton said there has been a "false division" between faith-based approaches to social problems and respect for the separation of church of state.

"There is no contradiction between support for faith-based initiatives and upholding our constitutional principles," said Clinton, a New York Democrat who often is mentioned as a possible presidential candidate in 2008.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

To Add New Topic

If you have a new topic or article to comment on place your comment here and we will later make your comment into the beginning of the new topic.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Storm clouds on the horizon Review Article

New Review Editorial

The New issue of the Adventist Review is out
Storm Clouds on the Horizon

What do you think?


Often we read articles in SDA publications that we would all like to make some type of comment about. Sometimes letters to the Editor will serve but that often takes up to a month or more before the next issue of the magazine even comes out. And then there is no way of knowing if your letter to the Editor will even be included. This site is meant to be a place where immediate feedback can be submitted and read.

Welcome to the world where media has joined the 21st century.