The Ten Commandments Twice Removed, Review Part 1
What becomes readily apparent after a quick perusal of this book is that the subject is not really the Ten Commandments, not about whether they should be allowed or disallowed in public places and not about the historic importance of the Ten commandments to Western law. The intent of this book is to show that one is not keeping the Ten Commandments unless the denomination is holding to the Seventh day Sabbath. In other words the Jewish Sabbath is an eternal covenant with all Christians, it was giving before sin entered the world and it will remain after sin is removed from this world and we are in the world made new.
While this book has a price of $9.95 most who come into possession of this book will get it free. It's use is that of being an evangelistic tool to lead people into the Seventh-day Adventist church. This is in keeping with many of the historic patterns of evangelism used within the SDA church. That is mainly to point that the beliefs of the SDA's are the correct beliefs and showing that the SDA church meets the book of Revelation's words about the being the remnant who keep the commandments of God.
The assertion in the book from which the title 'Twice Removed" comes from is the idea that some Christians hold to the view that it is the Ten Commandments which were "nailed to the cross" which apparently led to the institution of Sunday gatherings for Christians. With time the Sabbath was transferred to Sunday, the book will quote Sabbatarians of the 1800's to show the Sabbath still stands however. The second removal is based upon the current move to remove plaques and monuments and the removal of the Ten Commandments from public schools. I personally don't know of any public schools that had the Ten Commandments let alone had them removed but there are certain states which have authorized their posting and others which considered posting them but due to threatened lawsuits withdraw the idea. The book does not cover this but you can read about it at the Anti-Defamation League website.
The book is very scarce with facts for its assertions and gives little evidence about how they arrive at their positions. The book works upon the assumption that no one will question their assertions and interpretations thus the book is poorly footnoted or referenced. And as can be seen in the link below many of their interpretations are very questionable.
While in the critique which is linked here I have real problems with many of the interpretation the book gives. This does not mean I do not value the Sabbath or gathering on the seventh day of the week. I hold to the postition that each should be convinced in their own mind. I do not condemn Sunday keepers for their attendance on Sunday nor do I condemn those who promote the idea of Seventh day Sabbath keepers. I don't think these are issues that should divide Christians and that is why I have taken the time to present the problems with the book mentioned. I have placed my critique on a seperate page because I use a lot of quotes from the book and at the time of this writing there are seven pages and it is not complete yet. I am trying to catch the main issues raised yet not get to carried away.
To view the link click here.
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Sunday, May 28, 2006
As way of introduction to the book The Ten Commandments Twice Removed by Danny Shelton and Shelley Quinn I am posting some links to other's view about this book and the campaign. I will later post several quotes from the book and my responses to some of the books content. First this from the Washingon Post By Michelle Boorstein
Are you one of the 135,000-plus people who were handed a free book about the Ten Commandments this week at a Washington Metro stop or street corner?
If so, you were part of a $3.2 million campaign by an Illinois-based radio and television ministry that calls itself a "mending broken people network." You also got a glimpse into what religious people across the spectrum are calling the Ten Commandments movement, a patchwork of groups who agree that
The movement is a response to recent legislation and court rulings across the country relating to the display of the Ten Commandments, which appear in the Books of Exodus and Deuteronomy and are considered by some to be inappropriate for display on public property. The loose coalition includes evangelical Christian, Baptist and Pentecostal leaders, as well as Seventh-day Adventists and Jews, all of whom would like to see the Decalogue get a little more respect.
It also includes the Three Angels Broadcasting Network, the organization that started giving away 270,000 copies of the book "Ten Commandments Twice Removed" on Thursday. The ministry, a growing offshoot of the Adventist church, said it hoped to draw 10,000 people last night and today to "Ten Commandments Weekend," an event at the D.C. Armory featuring music and sermons about the commandments.
I hear a knock on the door last Saturday, and standing before me on my front step are two gentlemen carrying paperback books about the Ten Commandments.
The younger of the two men did all the talking while his buddy, an older man who was obviously nervous about this door-to-door thing, stood smiling throughout his partner's narrative. I was treated to a well-rehearsed story that began . . .
"Of course, you know that the ten commandments have been removed from the schools and that the pledge of allegiance is no longer recited in the classroom. There has been a concerted effort to remove prayer and God from the schools . . . "
It was somewhere about here when I interrupted the young man to tell him that I was a public school teacher…
And Sellers S. Crain, Jr. of Rivergate church writes the following:
Interestingly, I received a copy of a new book last week, The Ten Commandments Twice Removed, written by Danny Shelton and Shelley Quinn which takes advantage of the recent publicity afforded the ten commandment controversy. While on the surface it pretends to be defending the right of the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public places, it appears that its real main purpose is to promote the observance of the Sabbath Day. The authors claim that the Ten Commandments were not part of the "ordinances" that were nailed to the cross (Colossians ), and therefore the fourth commandment "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy" is still bound on Christians today.
The authors of this volume cite many New Testament references, quotes from Jesus Himself, in their attempt to prove their thesis (Matthew 5:18; 21-23; 27-28; 24:15-24). In doing so these authors fail to understand that while Jesus lived and died under the old law, He fulfilled that law upon His death and ushered in a new covenant. Jesus said that "For assuredly, I say unto you, till heaven and earth shall pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law until all is fulfilled (Matthew ). This means that the law, which included the Ten Commandments, would stand only so long as it remained unfulfilled. After His resurrection Jesus said, "These are the words (those in the text just cited; emphasis added) which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me" (Luke 24:44). The three divisions of the Old Testament mentioned are inclusive of the entire Old Testament and were those recognized by the Jews. Jesus said all of the law would remain in effect until it was fulfilled in its entirety, and upon His resurrection He said that had been accomplished.
Quoting from the prophet Jeremiah, the author of the book of Hebrews made it clear that the Old Testament covenant in its entirety had been abolished, and it had been replaced by a more comprehensive covenant which included all people (8:6-13). Other New Testament passages can be cited to prove the cessation of the old covenant (Ephesians 2:12-16; Colossians 2:14; Hebrews 9:15-17; 10:1-4). These passages are proof positive that the entire old covenant was nailed to the cross when Christ died, therefore we are no longer under the Ten Commandments.
This being said, I must add that I am not opposed to the Ten Commandments being displayed in public places. They have long been a symbol of this nation's legal heritage and of its desire to be a nation founded upon the principle of law. With many others in our nation, I do fear the erosion of our constitutional rights as Christians, and I am concerned that there is an all out assault upon Christianity alone today. No other religion today in this nation is confronted with the constant bombardment of negative publicity that is being directed at our founder, Jesus Christ, and at the religion He founded (Matthew 16:13-19). "And do this; knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed" (Romans 13:11).
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Mark Bishop at The Adventist Help Blog Has an article on the Ten commandments. As is often the case with the more reactionary elements in the Adventist church he fears that those trying to retain the 10 commandment plaques and monuments which have stood for decades in this country are trying to enforce Sunday keeping laws upon American society.
While celebration and public reminders to keep all of God’s Ten Commandments can be good, there’s a very serious undertone taking place that’s associated with this movement that is troubling to many other God fearing and Commandment keeping folks.
And that reason is the Ten Commandment Day Commission has also introduced legislation into Congress to supposedly protect our religious freedom by legally forcing you to acknowledge, or remember, that God is in
. Those bills already introduced are The Constitution Restoration Act of 2005, S520 in the Senate and HR1070 in the House of Representives. America
The Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 (H.R. 1070, S. 520) has been introduced to use the constitutional power of Congress to limit the jurisdiction of federal courts to protect the right of government agencies and officials to acknowledge God. In short, this commission and others want the government to be able to legally enforce you to keep the Commandments of God.
Folks, there are many in our country who strongly believe that the disasters of Katrina and other events could be warnings from God that our country is possibily being punished, or ignored, by God due to our immorality and the turning away from God’s principles, His Commandments. But is it necessary to pass laws to force you and I to obey God?
How would you feel if the government told you that Sunday is the chosen legal day for everyone to attend church and those who disagreed with “that” law would be fined or worse? Would not God be more pleased to see us love and obey him by our faith as --evidence of our love for the Lord and concern to our fellow men?
If Mr. Bishop bothered to read the legislation he would find his concerns to be without merit. Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 (Introduced in Senate) S 520 is actually very important because it attempts to restrain Judicial activists from basing law interpretation upon other then
SEC. 201. INTERPRETATION OF THE CONSTITUTION.
In interpreting and applying the Constitution of the United States, a court of the United States may not rely upon any constitution, law, administrative rule, Executive order, directive, policy, judicial decision, or any other action of any foreign state or international organization or agency, other than English constitutional and common law up to the time of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.
The only mention of God in the legislation is designed to protect government agents from being penalized for having a belief in a sovereign God.
Sec. 1260. Matters not reviewable
`Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.'.
That such legislation has become needed is a sad commentary on the state of our society but there has clearly been an assault upon religious freedom by Secular Progressives. There are a few examples of this in an article I wrote several years ago dealing with some loss of rights in Canada, but it is not restricted to the Canadian issues.
Free Speech Canada, Intolerant for the sake of Tolerance
Friday, May 19, 2006
From the Blog Just Pastors last article on their Da Vinci Code series:
This is a troubling perspective because neither view is right and both views are wrong. Constantine brought Christian leaders together but he did nothing to cause the outcome of the counsels other then after them reinstate some of the Arians. Further Sunday had for many years been the day for gathering of Christians, Saturday was also held but due to the Jewish nature of it there was a somewhat natural feeling that the Christians did not want to be seen as Jews who rejected Christ or even as the Jews who accepted Christ yet demanded that people had to obey all the Jewish laws (the Ebionites). Constantine did not give the idea of Priesthood in place of a relationship with God it was an out growth of Roman Catholic teachings based upon the idea of the sacrament of Holy Orders and the mass.
The basic challenge The DaVinci Code presents to Adventists is an alternate, yet very similar, conspiracy theory. The Adventist version is that the Emperor Constantine mixed paganism with Christianity, replacing the Sabbath with Sunday observance and a personal relationship with God with the priesthood, the end result being the Roman Catholic Church. Dan Browns version is the Emperor Constantine removed paganism from Christianity by having the Church proclaim Christ as fully divine and fully human while excluding all others as heratics. (There’s the whole Mary Magdaline thing too, but that won’t be an issue for most Adventists.)
So who’s right? The problem is that they both are. If Constantine was bent of paganism, why did he get the church together at Nicea and have them proclaim that Jesus was God; and if he was trying to exclude paganism, why did he incorporate so many pagan traditions into Christianity?
Which confers special spiritual powers to the Priest. The canon law established nothing at these councils about the sacrament of the Priest or the mass but dealt with limiting where bishops could be:
The bishops are not to go beyond their dioceses to churches lying outside of their bounds, nor bring confusion on the churches; but let the Bishop of Alexandria, according to the canons, alone administer the affairs of Egypt; and let the bishops of the East manage the East alone, the privileges of the Church in Antioch, which are mentioned in the canons of Nice, being preserved; and let the bishops of the Asian Diocese administer the Asian affairs only; and the Pontic bishops only Pontic matters; and the Thracian bishops only Thracian affairs. And let not bishops go beyond their dioceses for ordination or any other ecclesiastical ministrations, unless they be invited. And the aforesaid canon concerning dioceses being observed, it is evident that the synod of every province will administer the affairs of that particular province as was decreed at Nice. But the Churches of God in heathen nations must be governed according to the custom which has prevailed from the times of the Fathers.
I won't go into the problem with Dan Brown's view as it is pretty well documented today just how historically wrong it is. Certainly Constantine did not get the leaders together to declare that Jesus was God, even the Arian's believed that Jesus was divine though they asserted He was not of the same substance as God since He was begotten of God at some point in ancient times. I am not certain that David Hamstra the auther of the above article really ever read Dan Browns book.
Traditions whether Pagan or otherwise are not inserted by some act of conspiracy they are incorporated through time based upon peoples beliefs. After Luther told the people of his church that it was ok to take both the bread and the wine rather then just one which the church had previously allowed many were afraid to take it. Many were afraid to touch the bread even after they were convinced, the old ways held a powerful influence upon them. So it was with Paganism human beings rarely completely change it is a process.
Just Pastor's continues:
So does this mean that Adventists should give up on protestantism and restorationism? I don’t think so; in fact I don’t think we should give up on conspiracy theory either. But we do need to stop thinking of the conspiracy in terms of the human players involved.
The Bible tells us the real conspirator is Satan, who works through many different human agencies, even people who think they are doing the right thing. If fact, it’s just as possible for him to use a good person to bring about evil (e.g. King David) as it is for God to use an evil person to bring about good (e.g. Joseph’s brothers). This realization frees us to evaluate history by the Bible and within its moral/truth framework to protest the workings of Satan and accept the workings of God within the same person or organization.
There is really no conspiracy against God there are choices people make, believe or unbelief, trust or rejection. All human consequences come from the choices that we make. We can create our own religion or distort a religion we are not pawns moved by the great Demon Satan. We are quite capable of doing evil apart from the manipulation of Satan. As long as we are not held under some kind of conspiracy theory we will be able to evaluate history without the need to see angels and demons in everything.
Dan Brown and most Adventists do indeed both have conspiracy theories and both are based upon false information that is accepted uncritically because it pleases the holder. Both are demonstrably false yet often held on to just as tightly because it is their belief and that belief is sacrosanct. The scholarship of the 1800's, the theology of the 1800's is not anymore authoratative then that of the 1100's. For many Adventists their religious progress ended at the turn of the century.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
You will notice something new on this blog. On the right hand side you will find a list of links to Adventist Blogs. This is the most complete list of Adventist blogs I have seen on the Internet. Of course it does not have every Adventist blog nor even every Adventist blog I have found. The list is made by my personal choice as to the significance of the blogs. Blogs, which offer personal diaries type information, did not make it to my list nor do blogs that have no activity in the year 2006. Believe me I understand the bloggers frustration and why someone may feel that no one reads their blog what is the point of continuing if no one reads. So Congratulations to all you bloggers who have stuck with it. If you have a blog you would like listed please let me know with a comment or an e-mail to NewProtestants@yahoo.com
The list of Adventist blogs is provided for you to visit those blogs as I will also do. I intend to offer my perspective on the articles on their blogs here as well as in the comments on their blogs on interesting subjects. As Blogging is a rather cooperative effort hopefully we can build a creative and substantive network of blogs.
For those who may want to also put the blogs on their website here is the list:
http://www.adventistpulpit.com/ Adventist Pulpit
http://abundantrest.org/ Abundant Rest
http://oregonadventistpastor.blogspot.com/ Oregon Adventist Pastor (Greg Brothers)
http://adultsabbathschool.blogspot.com/ The Adult Sabbath School Class (Greg Brothers)
http://apokalupto.blogspot.com// Apokalupto (David Hamstra)
http://www.jjblogs.com/justpastors// Just Pastors
http://ryanbell.typepad.com// Intersections - (Hollywood Pastor)
http://paulwhiting.blogspot.com/ Paul Whiting
http://charleeb.blogspot.com/ Adventist Thoughts
http://www.adventisthelp.com/blogger_7/ Adventist Help
http://collegian.wwc.edu/blogs/ WWC Collegian Blogs/a
http://charleeb.blogspot.com/ Adventist Thoughts/a
http://melodytan.blogspot.com/ Aussie Adventures/a
http://tribeoflevi.blogspot.com// Tribe of Levi/a
http://advennturer.blogspot.com/ Doug's Advenntures
http://www.deebarizo.blogspot.com/ Adventures in Campus Ministry
http://arnoldgamboa.com/ Better Than Life
Barna has an interesting poll out recently
Perceived Value of the Content
Among the adults who have read the entire book, one out of every four (24%) said the book was either “extremely,” “very,” or “somewhat” helpful in relation to their “personal spiritual growth or understanding.” That translates to about 11 million adults who consider The Da Vinci Code to have been a helpful spiritual document.
Changing People’s Beliefs
The study also explored whether or not the book caused people to change some of their religious beliefs. Among the 45 million who have read The Da Vinci Code , only 5% - which represents about two million adults – said that they changed any of the beliefs or religious perspectives because of the book’s content. …
“On the other hand,” the researcher continued, “any book that alters one or more theological views among two million people is not to be dismissed lightly. That’s more people than will change any of their beliefs as a result of exposure to the teaching offered at all of the nation’s Christian churches combined during a typical week.”
While 5% is a relatively small percentage when you deal with 5% of 45 million it adds up and it becomes significant that the ideas in this book changed their beliefs or religious perspectives based upon very faulty information presented in the book. Probably the biggest problem is Dan Brown’s assertion in introduction of the book that the book is based upon facts apart from the mystery crime elements of the story.
Right after the Acknowledgement the book says:
It is also peculiar that 24% said the book was at least somewhat helpful in their spiritual growth or understanding. Mainly because the book offers no Christian perspective of spirituality. Dan Brown's pagan [site loads slowly] views are offered and a distorted Catholic view through the Opus Dei characters
The Priory of Sion-a European secret society founded in 1099-is a real organization. In 1975 Paris's Bibliothèque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci.
The Vatican prelature known as Opus Dei is a deeply devout Catholic sect that has been the topic of recent controversy due to reports of brainwashing, coercion, and a dangerous practice known as "corporal mortification." Opus Dei has just completed construction of a $47 million World Headquarters at 243 Lexington Avenue in New York City.
All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate.
To end on a good note the Book and movie seems to lead Catholics back to the Bible according to the latest Zogby poll
The survey of Catholics nationwide also found that the movie The Da Vinci Code will drive more Catholics than not to the scriptures. A plurality – 42% – said that after hearing about the book and movie, they intend to seek truth by studying the Bible more closely.A couple of my articles on the Da Vinci code can be found at:
A Christian Aspect Review of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code
Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code -If it’s Tuesday this must be a conspiracy- humor
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Contemporary Christian Music Artist Shaun Groves writes on his blog about Adventist youth
My thinking about this kind of church peaked this past weekend when I spent time with a small denomination Seventh Day Adventists. It was a youth event. Something I rarely do, especially alone with my acoustic guitar. But these kids were so different from other kids I've spent time with. They listened. And afterwards they talked with me for over an hour - about Napoleon Dynamite, Mormonism, favorite classes etc. But they also asked great questions and, without being show offs at all, could incorporate scripture and and life experience into the conversations about their beliefs and how they differ from other denominations. They spoke naturally about community service and volunteering at church. I can't describe it well; they were just mature, more mature than most youth I meet and definitely more mature than I was at their age - maybe even at my age today.
He continues with some interesting thoughts take a moment to read them.
One things Adventist have done well is to instill Biblical knowledge, this is especially noticeable when one visits other Christian discussion forums. The problem which all Christians have in common is finding meaning for their lives through application of scriptural knowledge.