I was about to continue my review of the book It is "Okay not to be a Seventh-day Adventist" when I read this part from the book where the authors talk about the Pillars of Adventist beliefs. I was not originally going to say much about this section of the book because it is just one interpretation over another interpretation. Not much point in that unless they provide something new and startling that we have never heard before. In the section on the Investigative Judgment the authors write:
Seventh-day Adventists Believe… records that obedience to the law is vital to our salvation, sets the standard for righteousness and that we will be judged by them. The footnote is to page 237 of Seventh–day Adventists believe.
Here is what the book Seventh–day Adventists believe…says writing about the 10 commandments in the chapter on the Law of God:
It Functions as the Standard of Judgement. Like God, His "commandments are righteousness" (Ps. 119-172). The law, therefore, sets the standard of righteousness. Each of us will be judged by these righteous principles, not by our consciences. "Fear God and keep His commandments," Scripture says, ". . . for God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil" (Eccl. , 14; cf. James ).
Human consciences vary. Some consciences are "weak," while others are "defiled," "evil," or "seared with a hot iron" (1 Cor. 8:7, 12; Titus ; Heb. ; 1 Tim. 4:2). Like a watch, however well they may work, they must be "set" by some accurate standard to be of value. Our consciences tell us that we must do right, but they do not tell us what is right. Only consciences set by God's great standard—His law—can keep us from straying into sin.9 http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/books/27/27-18.htm
There are so many things wrong with this quote, more then just the absurdity of saying “Commandments are righteousness” and references a bit more then 50 Psalms chapters. But if you are judged by the 10 commandments than you are not saved by faith. The law points out your sin but if it is to be used to judge you then you will fail, we all fail. Now the book acknowledges the idea that it leads us to see our sinful condition by saying:
It Points Out Sin. Without the Ten Commandments people cannot see clearly God's holiness, their own guilt, or their need to repent. When they do not know that they are in violation of God's law, they do not sense their lostness or their need of the atoning blood of Christ.
To help people see their true condition, the law functions like a mirror (see James -25). Those who "look" into it see their own character defects in contrast to God's righteous character. Thus the moral law demonstrates that all the world is guilty before God (Rom. ), making everyone fully accountable to Him.
"Through the law we become conscious of sin" (Rom. , NIV) because "sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4, KJV). Indeed, Paul said, "I would not have known sin except through the law" (Rom. 7:7).
Convicting sinners of their sin, it helps them realize that they are condemned under the judgment of God's wrath and that they are facing the penalty of eternal death. It brings them to a sense of their utter helplessness.
Pretty depressing isn’t it they tell you that you are judged by the 10 commandments and that all the world is guilty and under the wrath of God facing the penalty of eternal death. Did you notice that they did not put any text in there to support the idea that we are under the wrath of God facing the penalty of eternal death. Obviously the Bible never says that but it is a common Christian belief. At least the wrath of God part, not the idea that we are judged by the 10 commandments.
I would guess they are not referring to God’s judgment of salvation, I am sure somewhere in the book they will acknowledge we are saved by grace through faith and not by works. So putting the best spin on the above quote we would have to say that they mean we are all judged to be sinners by the law of God. Of course then we would have to ignore the part of the quote that says: Scripture says, ". . . for God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether it is good or whether it is evil" (Eccl. , 14; cf. James ).
Interestingly they use Ecclesiastes which has no concept of a judgment after life, no concept of life after death though it appears to open inquiry in that regard. Then they cross reference James and misapply the royal law with the 10 commandments.
James 2:12-13 NIV Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!
That royal law being:
James 2:8 NIV If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.
James is saying that God judges using the royal law, thus mercy triumphs over judgment.
I actually doubt there are very many Adventists who think they are to be judged by the 10 commandments. But I may be wrong that book was written in 1980 or ‘81 and I don’t recall any articles about this section of the book or any discussions on the idea of being judged by the 10 commandments. Well aside from the Last Generation theology perfect generation folks. But their theology is so weird it makes no sense anyway.