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Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Manifesto of Progressive Seventh-day Adventists

The Manifesto of Progressive Seventh-day Adventists
[I wrote this a while ago because so many Adventist love to find their reason for existence through the writings of the Adventist churches founder. So I thought I would use her from something that might shake up the church a little more.]

1. We are not the church we are members of a denomination, denominations do not make us the church. Those who believe in and follow Jesus Christ make up His church.

"The church is made up of persons of different temperaments and of various dispositions; they have come from different denominations; for the Cleaver of truth has separated one here and one there from the great quarry of the world, and in the church of Christ all these various members must be cemented together by the Spirit of God. If the love of Christ is in the hearts of the members of the church, through the abundant grace of Christ, there will be oneness, unity, among brethren. We must close the door of the heart to every suggestion that shall have the least tendency toward keeping us from this state of harmony. We must not hamper the soul and cripple its powers by the indulgence of selfishness. Selfishness is sin, and it grieves away the Spirit of Christ. When we cherish unkind thoughts, and harbor suspicions against our brethren, we are cutting ourselves off from the channel of God's light and love. Jealousy is as cruel as the grave, and should never be cherished in the heart, much less expressed in the actions. How cruel it is to cherish evil surmising against those who are members of Christ's body! Accusation, condemnation, and revenge are all of Satanic origin, and evil thoughts of others should be at once rejected from the mind, for these things repulse, and separate the hearts of brethren. Satan rejoices when he can create division in the church of God; for weakness follows, and the things that remain are ready to die." (Signs of the Times April ,1891 p-13)

2. Our goal is to be as the church of Philadelphia.

."..He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. And to the angel of the church of Philadelphia write: These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works; behold, I set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it; for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name."' Rev. 3:2, 5-8. "Those who shall be overcomers are to be highly exalted before God and before his angels. Christ has promised that he will confess their names before his Father and before the holy angels of heaven. He has given us abundant promises to encourage us to be overcomers. The True Witness has given us the assurance that he has set before us an open door, which no man can shut. Those who are seeking to be faithful to God may be denied many of the privileges of the world; their way may be hedged up and their work hindered by the enemies of truth; but there is no power that can close the door of communication between God and their souls. The Christian himself may close this door by indulgence in sin, or by rejection of heaven's light. He may turn away his ears from hearing the message of truth, and in this way sever the connection between God and his soul." (Advent Review  and Sabbath Herald March 1889 p-26)

3. The gospel of Jesus Christ is our goal, our mission and our doctrine.

"The second great commandment, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself," will be the rule of life with all Christians who are truly growing in grace. Our influence, whether for good or evil, will affect others, and will live when we are no more. Then let us so live that our friends and associates may see that we are governed by the divine rule, full of wisdom and love. A pure, unselfish, well-ordered Christian life is the strongest argument that can be presented in favor of the religion we profess. Such a life will prove to all beholders that there is a divine reality in the gospel of Jesus Christ." (Signs of the Times April, 1887 p-21)

4. In all things we shall strive to find the truth.

"How important that we should be rooted and grounded in the truth! No falsehood is of the truth. The Lord Jesus has promised that if we receive Him by faith and believe in Him as our pattern He will give us "power to become the sons of God." The gospel of Jesus Christ contains the grand principles of all truth, expressed in a life of purity. In love and true righteousness these principles are to be proclaimed to the world. In all our dealings with one another we are to obey the precepts of the law of God. "I sanctify Myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word."'  (Notebooks and Leaflets from Elmshaven Library Published 1985 p-45)

"...but this work cannot go on in the heart while the light on any part of the truth is rejected or neglected. The sanctified soul will not be content to remain in ignorance, but will desire to walk in the light and to seek for greater light. As a miner digs for gold and silver, so the follower of Christ will seek for truth as for hidden treasures, and will press from light to a greater light, ever increasing in knowledge. He will continually grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. "(RH.1890-06-17.015 Sabbath Review and Advent Herald June, 1890 p-17)

5. Our aim is to share the love of God with the world.

"God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son." He gave Him not only to live among men, to bear their sins, and die their sacrifice. He gave Him to the fallen race. Christ was to identify Himself with the interests and needs of humanity. He who was one with God has linked Himself with the children of men by ties that are never to be broken. Jesus is "not ashamed to call them brethren" (Hebrews 2:11); He is our Sacrifice, our Advocate, our Brother, bearing our human form before the Father's throne, and through eternal ages one with the race He has redeemed--the Son of man. And all this that man might be uplifted from the ruin and degradation of sin that he might reflect the love of God and share the joy of holiness. " (Steps to Christ 1892 p-15)

6. Our desire is to rightly express the character of God, and as far as possible correct the misunderstandings which some have about God.

"How are the world to know God and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent?-- Through his word and through his human agents; we are to be his representatives. Through us the world will form their opinion of God and of the religion of Christ. Therefore Jesus said, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit." "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." When men see, they glorify God. Great dishonor is brought upon the cause of God because those who profess Christ do not possess his Holy Spirit, but walk in their own ways. What a terrible misrepresentation of God, his ways, his character, are the selfishness of life and hardness of heart of his professed followers. A profession of piety is not enough; if religion is not brought into practical service, and does not produce good works, it is valueless. If we do not live to bless others, we are unfaithful stewards, and we shall never receive the heavenly benediction, "Well done." But God will have a peculiar people, of whom it is written, that Christ is not ashamed to call them brethren. They bear his likeness. They are a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men." (Sabbath Review and Advent Herald June, 1893 p-27)

7. We seek to arouse the world to the love of God.

"Ministers of God, with hearts aglow with love for Christ and your fellow-men, seek to arouse those who are dead in trespasses and sins. Let your earnest entreaties and warnings pierce their consciences. Let your fervent prayers melt their hearts, and lead them in penitence to the Saviour. You are ambassadors for Christ, to proclaim His message of salvation. Remember that a lack of consecration and wisdom in you may turn the balance for a soul, and send it to eternal death. You cannot afford to be careless and indifferent. You need power, and this power God is willing to give you without stint. He asks only a humble, contrite heart, that is willing to believe and receive His promises. You have only to use the means that God has placed within your reach, and you will obtain the blessing." (Gospel Workers 1915 p-36)

8. We teach the love of God demonstrated through Christ, calling all back to a relationship with God.

"But this great sacrifice was not made in order to create in the Father's heart a love for man, not to make Him willing to save. No, no! "God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son." John 3:16. The Father loves us, not because of the great propitiation, but He provided the propitiation because He loves us. Christ was the medium through which He could pour out His infinite love upon a fallen world. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." 2 Corinthians 5:19. God suffered with His Son. In the agony of Gethsemane, the death of Calvary, the heart of Infinite Love paid the price of our redemption." (Steps to Christ 1892 p-14)

[All quotes taken from early Seventh-day Adventist pioneer Ellen G. White]


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