Our lesson study begins this week with the following:
The sacrifice of Christ provides all that we need for salvation. This includes the possibility of union and permanent attachment to Him as Savior and Lord. This incorporation into Christ, through the ritual of baptism, is our participation in His death and resurrection; it’s our recognition that His death is our death because He died as our substitute. Thus, we become united to Him. In this unity, we not only appropriate all the infinite benefits of His sacrifice but also become members of the new humanity instituted by Him in His own person. This union with Christ is, through the work of the Spirit, embodied in our incorporation into the church as the body of Christ. Thus, to be incorporated into Christ is to have a personal communion with Him and to be united to one another in the mystery of His church.
Do you believe that? The sacrifice of Christ provides all that we need for salvation.
Apparently we don’t even have to believe in God, Christ or even differentiate between good and evil. Apparently our church has joined the Universalists. After all The sacrifice of Christ provides all that we need for salvation. What else could it be, the sacrifice was nearly 2000 years ago and it is all that provides our salvation? As it happened so long ago there is really nothing we can do about it anyway and there appears to be nothing we need to do about it anyway. The lesson continues:
. This includes the possibility of union and permanent attachment to Him as Savior and Lord. Uh oh are they backing away from what they already said; now it includes the possibility of union and permanent attachment to God. Should not they be saying that this includes union and permanent attachment to God? Isn’t that what salvation is, attachment/ union with God?
Oh wait it appears with each sentence they back away further. This incorporation into Christ, through the ritual of baptism, is our participation in His death and resurrection; it’s our recognition that His death is our death because He died as our substitute. So now not only is there a possibility for union with God but we arrive at this union through the ritual of baptism. Which somehow is our participation with Christ’s death and resurrection and we have to recognize that His death is our death because He died as our substitute. Pretty clearly the authors of the lesson did not mean their first sentence at all: The sacrifice of Christ provides all that we need for salvation. One has to wonder just how much is true in their first paragraph.
Are we really united to Christ because He is our substitute? If I don’t believe in Penal/Substitutionary Atonement does that mean I can have no unity with Christ until I believe that He is my substitute? Or is this just a statement like the first line of the paragraph, not at all what they believe but something that they pretend they believe when convenient for their purposes. How could it be that this unity based upon substitution is not found anywhere in the Bible, at least you would think something that important would be clearly laid out. After all as the old saying goes the plain things are the main things. So far the lesson certainly has not laid out any plain things from the Bible.
Perhaps I am being too hard on the lesson study guide; let’s look at the next day’s lesson first paragraph:
The fall of Adam resulted in his spiritual death and separation from God. All of his descendants found themselves in the same situation as Adam, unable to overcome sin and death. Humans are, by natural birth, part of the humanity that belongs to Adam, a sinful humanity separated from God.
Where do we find that Adam or anyone else has already experience “spiritual death”? Where do we find that all Adam’s descendants are born spiritually dead? Do they even define spiritual death? If mankind’s spirit was dead how is it that God could ever communicate with them? God would have to resurrect your Spirit before He could communicate with you. Do they even know what they mean, many of you have probably used the idea that Adam and Eve died spiritually on the day the sinned, ask yourself where do you get that from the Bible story and how would you define “spiritual death” and what are the logical implication of such a belief.
The fact is many of you will hear this type of traditionalism as your Sabbath school teachers regurgitate traditions which they hold as true but don’t even know what they mean. Yes they are following the lesson study guide, but afraid to think about what those people are saying. They just assume that because they work for the SDA church they must be right. The sad fact is they are not right, they are not Biblical, they are not logical. Their claims are based upon the traditions they hold and if you don’t accept their traditions you are not following the Bible or you don’t believe the Bible, never mind that what they claim is not even found in the Bible. Please don’t bow down to their idol of tradition.
And I only barely covered the first two paragraphs of the lesson.