Anyone who has been following this blog could probably sense that I have been on a path that takes me away from the the feelings of certainty and truth that are claimed for Adventism. The last couple of weeks I have seen 3 different mailing for Adventist programs that set forth to explain the truth of the book of Revelation. It seems that this is a push of either the Washington Conference or perhaps the North Pacific Union. Whatever it is I received these 3 mailing with none identified as Adventist or Seventh-day Adventist or even the Seminary denomination training of the speaker. Who I was assured in all 3 mailings that the speaker was seminary trained. Truth is really important to Adventists, well normally, apparently not when they send out fliers but the pictures of the beasts were there and the provocative titles. Unlocking Revelation's Mysteries, Greatest End Time Signs, Revelation's Star Wars Battle!
I have been to many Revelation Seminars in my lifetime. None were convincing and most all were historically flawed. Flawed history used to explain future prophecy. It never seemed to work out and the concept of guessing the correct method of fulfillment of prophecy seemed to always elude us humans. Just think about it, have we ever once done it. Throughout all Christian denominations have we ever once made and accurate prediction? Even the Left Behind books had the thoughtfulness not to make their predictions, instead hiding the predictions inside of a fictional story. No one does well at predicting the future based upon ancient prophecy.
When we think about this wholly inadequate experience with predictions how do we reconcile it with truth. Adventists have the Sanctuary Truth, the Present Truth, the truth for these last days, the truth about the Bible, the truth about the Sabbath and of course the truth of Revelation. The funny thing about truth is that it should be objective and clear as reality, as indisputable as any fact. But our truth is never like that.In SDA President Ted Wilson's Inaugural GC address he says:
“Look WITHIN the Seventh-day Adventist Church to humble pastors, evangelists, Biblical scholars, leaders, and departmental directors who can provide evangelistic methods and programs that are based on solid Biblical principles and “The Great Controversy Theme.”'
He prefixes this by saying not to reach out to other Christian groups or thinkers because they have faulty theology. Stay within the Adventist truth is his message. By this technique he claims only the “Historical-Critical method of explaining the Bible” should be used and decries all higher Criticism. Naturally along with this we must literally interpret the Bible and ignore science. What you ask has this to do with truth? The answer is nothing. What it does do is inform the membership to not question the truth as found in Adventism. To leave behind all questions and all knowledge from those not in Adventism. In simple terms it suggest our truth cannot stand unless we have a very narrow fundamentalist Adventist religion. We maintain this by only looking at and studying those who carry the fundamentalist Adventist message.
The other day I received an email to this blog's address which said: “Your website is absolutely devilish.” I certainly don't say all the things that I may believe on this website but it is hardly devilish. Possibly if I was a little more radical in my statements it could be viewed that way and perhaps someday may, but still as of today it is not. What it is however is not safe Adventist fundamentalist viewing and as such it is devilish to a large segment of Adventism.
I however am not content with my version of truth over your version of truth. Mainly because I don't see the truth in the factual non disputable formulation of Adventist truth. It is so much easier to say what is not true than to say what is true. But of course even history is often the record of the winners so maybe we should not even be so certain of that. But what I do know is that knowledge is so much more available today then any other time in history and so are other peoples views and interpretations and ideas. Often just a few clicks away on the Internet. What I therefore know is that we cannot find our surety of truth in comfortable exclusion of everyone else. That is what the leadership of the Adventist church has chosen as their course. It will not work. The questions of truth are far too big and our explanations far to small. The Adventist church has left the building, perhaps they went to the bunker to wait it out. But I don't think I can wait there with them any longer.