Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Faith and Mystery vs. Certainity

I came upon the following quote from the speaker Brene Brown on her lecture “The power of vulnerability” at the TED website :

“The other thing we do is we make everything uncertain certain religion has gone from
faith and mystery to certainty, I'm right your wrong shut up that's it just certain...”

This is such an amazingly true statement yet so simply put that it becomes striking. This is so true of Fundamentalism and now becoming undeniable in Adventism. In a previous post I mentioned an Andrews Seminary student who I think is the perfect example of this. In Ervin Taylor's Blog entitled “Forward into the Past” we read this statement directed toward me:

“..It is also just funny how you and some others speak against the doctrines of the church and at the same time don't leave the church . People like you should be disfellowshiped , and given them a restraning order from our churches”... [please not I don't correct spelling or grammar when quoting blog comments]

I put that quote in because most who read the quote by Brene Brown will see the truth of the first part of the sentence but think that we don't actually have people saying shut up if you are not certain like them. Later on this seminary student who apparently is also already a Pastor from what he says, was more magnanimous, saying:

...”Ervin , Ron and Elaine , your problem is that you don't believe in the inspiration of scripture .As a Pastor , I wouldn't mind having you visit my church . I would just not baptize you or give you any privileges ( like preaching , or teaching a Sababth school class or leading in small groups ) So I believe there is place for everybody in the church , and I think that is what the church does to you , I don't think any of you teach or preach in the churches you attend but I am sure that people smile at you and invite you to stay after potluck . ELder Wilson say we should read more Ellen white , I thik she will answer your questions . read the chapter on creation and you will change your view .I am glad that God the remnant church the gift of prophecy and we have Ellen white who has been right on final events and every single area she wrote . Ellen is our modern day "Moses " who is going to take us to the promised land . If you don't want to be deceived by the Satan ,read her writings .”

Church is to be a place to be smiled at and maybe invited to a potluck just as long as you don't talk about what you think and are given no opportunity to express your beliefs or opinions or uncertainty. Shut up unless you believe like me seems to be the new Adventist Fundamentalism. Did you also notice that he would not even baptize those who don't believe like him. My statements here are not simply representative of this seminary student but upon the actual experiences I have in my local church and many churches I have visited. This seminary student is just a recent example who I have in writing so I don't have to rely on my memory of personal experiences.

Certainly about faith and ancient stories and ancient history is really not that wise. It leads to false acceptance of non facts to be facts. I have reason to believe the stories about Jesus Christ but that is based upon certain evidence but evidence is not completely solid which is why it has from the New Testament times been termed faith. But faith that becomes certainty is no longer faith and if that certainty is based upon the misuse of facts or the absence of facts then that certainty is hubris.

Religion as hubris is not attractive! Certainty becomes exclusiveness and rather then spreading the idea of love and acceptance with the humility to learn more, the “certain” church becomes accepting of those who believe like them, love is lost unless you believe as they do or at best a pipe dream talked about but not practices. Humility and learning become the qualities on the outside, they out there, study the natural world and they study mankind with it's many attributes, inside we have our beliefs and we are certain of them because Scriptures can only be interpreted as we on the inside interpret them. Those who are certain don't need to learn anything because it might go against their certainty, and humility becomes humility based upon the assumption that they have the truth, the certainty of their own view of the truth. As we look at history it is often those who are the most certain who are the most dangerous, you only have to look at certain segments of Islam to see that certainty in action and it deadly consequences.

A religion that has lost it's faith and mystery has lost it reason to exist.


Anonymous said...

The escape clause given for EG White's plagiarism and false teachings is that she had a fall and hit her head. Nonetheless, she knew exactly what she was doing, day after day. There is no excuse. She causes many to sin and blasphemy the Father, the Son and the Holy Spiirit.

It's all very sad.

Anonymous said...

Ron, your argument, as I see it is that there should not be any absolutes, especially if you disagree with them.

Any denomination is going to have a core group of beliefs that it believes has value. When someone within that group (such as you) consistently says "I think that OUR core group of beliefs is wrong"... well, you believe you should not be dismissed but that there should follow discussion and dialogue.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, you doth protest your own actions. You are offended that you are dismissed out of hand for disagreeing with core Adventist orthodoxy or are not even allowed to have an audience to discuss or dialogue with those you disagree with.

However, I have seen you over and over again do the same to those who disagree with you. Because they believe strongly in EG White, or the Creation of Genesis etc. I have seen you dismiss them, mock them, or try to see their side or what they were trying to get across. You fail to dialogue with them or often simply tell them to refer to one of your earlier blogs.

Are you not doing the same to them that you abhor being done to you?


Ron Corson said...

Ok Bruce please give me an example, because you say: "Are you not doing the same to them that you abhor being done to you?"

That would mean that I am saying to people shut up, I have the absolute certain answer.

If I refer someone to something I wrote is not that what most every author does...after all that is why we write so we have our thoughts down and we don't have to keep rewriting them if we have them posted someplace.

The biggest problem with your take on this is that you don't see the problem with those holding to certainty in things that there is no certainty. To you the problem is me. And you create all kinds of accusations none with anything to point out the reality of the accusations as an attempt to deflect attention away from the subject of the post.

So to you my article against certainty is answered by your certainty that I am a hypocrite.

And yet somehow I am guessing you thing you are helping the cause of Christ. That is an excellent example of the error of certainty.