NPUC Gleaner: Learning From History?

By Engel Yoder


The March 2017 NPUC Gleaner editorial titled “Protest” likens the NAD union presidents who are opposing the authority of the General Conference (GC) to the German princes who opposed the authority of the papal church at the Diet of Spires in 1529 (1). By making this analogy, the editorial further insinuates that our GC leaders can be likened to the papal leaders whose authority the princes protested against. The editor then asks, “What could the princes of long ago teach us by example?”

It is difficult to put into words just how offensive such an editorial is. And that it has been printed in an official church publication shows just how incredibly disjointed church leadership is in the NAD. But not only does this reveal how disconnected NAD leadership is from the rest of the world church, the history the Gleaner editor suggests that we learn from has nothing to do with our current church crisis.

When we consider what the princes of long ago can truly teach us, we find they held to two principal points. Regarding the Diet of Spires we have this historical summary:

“The principles contained in this celebrated Protest . . . constitute the very essence of Protestantism. Now this Protest opposes two abuses of man in matters of faith: the first is the intrusion of the civil magistrate, and the second the arbitrary authority of the church. D’Aubigne, b. 13, ch. 6” (2).

Obviously, the intrusion of civil authorities is not an issue in our current situation, but neither is the arbitrary authority of the church. Can any thinking Adventist actually contend that the source of the current controversy—the 2015 GC Session vote regarding women’s ordination—was an exercise of arbitrary church authority? Never in our church history has there been so much time and study invested in a single question as this one. Every world division fully participated and expressed itself. And once the ultimate body of church authority, consisting of over 2300 duly appointed representatives from around the world, made its decision, can anyone seriously say that this decision was an arbitrary one? Or that this decision was made by the exercise of so-called “kingly” or “popish” power?

But the historian continues by going beyond identifying what the Protest at Spires opposed and identifies what it affirmed:

“. . .Protestantism sets the power of conscience above the magistrate, and the authority of the word of God above the visible church. In the first place, it rejects the civil power in divine things, and says with the prophets and apostles, ‘We must obey God rather than man. . . .’ But it goes farther: it lays down the principle that all human teaching should be subordinate to the oracles of God” (3).

As the Gleaner editorial correctly points out, the papal church claimed to have authority above that of Scripture, and this claim the princes at Spires vehemently denied. But never has Protestantism claimed that all believers would interpret Scripture in precisely the same way. The myriad of Protestant denominations attests to this fact. Actually, the principles of Protestantism purposefully grant anyone who in good conscience cannot accept the teachings and practices of a particular denomination to be entirely at liberty to go to, or even to start, another church or denomination that is more to his liking. But to expect that one can abide within a faith community while openly defying the authority of that community is to embrace the principles of the papists at Spires, not the German princes. Indeed, this expectation reflects the spirit of the one who caused war in heaven when he desired to retain his place there while defying the authority of heaven’s Sovereign.

If the editor of the Gleaner wants us to learn something from history, I suggest we begin with the editor’s own history as a four-year old and learn that a duly authorized “No” means “No.” If someone cannot accept and respect that answer, then that person, like a mature adult, should pack his soap and toothbrush and go. I sincerely hope, however, that he would choose to stay, and that he would reconsider the moral principles upon which he stands. They just may not be as solid as he thinks. He may then be reassured that the General Conference in Session remains God’s ordained authority on earth (4), that this authority is to be respected even if its judgments are not entirely understood at the moment, and that our Father’s house is truly the safest and most secure place to be in all the world.


Notes

1. http://GleanerNow.com/news/2017/03/protest, accessed March 20, 2017).
2. The Great Controversy, p. 203).
3. Ibid.
4. Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, pp. 260, 261.


Biographical Note: Engel Yoder has recently retired after 33 years of denominational service with Christian Record Services for the Blind. He lives in Kansas and serves as an elder in his local church.

50 thoughts on “NPUC Gleaner: Learning from History?

  1. Is there a list of the NAD union presidents who have signed on to this “protest” document?

    I would like to see which Unions are part of this.

    Reply
    • Something big from the pro-WO faction is coming in less than three months. It will cross Division lines. It may be a remarkable test for some.

      Reply
      • Dear Sir, I do not doubt what you say in regards to the big pro-WO…thing (for lack of a better word) that is coming in less than three months, but not being in step with what is presently going on, or being informed for that matter, I was wondering if you could tell me more? I am curious and would like be stay informed if possible. Blessings and thank you:)

        Reply
  2. They see themselves as a “Protestant” movement against a bogus authority that is beyond its properly ordained agenda.

    We see them as a “Korah rebellion” against a God ordained church authority.

    So it depends on how you view the bible and what it teaches. The “Principle based” interpretation of scripture, allows for anyone to place their “private opinion” on what they think is applicable in any given situation and still be loyal to scripture.

    No viable Protestant scholar would accept this false idea of how to interpret the bible. It clearly falls in line with the view that the church has the authority to change the day of worship. Thus, the principle of resting in Christ is the only valid point, and the day aspect is negotiable to fit the culture of any society.

    The objective givens are not negotiable, nor subject to any “principle based theology” that the liberals use to negate the bible and its authority to define and determine truth and how it is applied in the Christian community. It is Satan’s delusion that many are deceived by and prepares for the abandonment of the 7th day Sabbath.

    Reply
    • What I see in the “Protest” editorial is a comparing of apples to oranges. The Diet of Spires was a showdown between church powers(papists) united with the state power (Charles V) to deny citizens the right to conscientiously worship God. This is not the situation we face today in the SDA Church. Without bringing up the defiance of leadership at different levels to established policy, we have church entities disagreeing (to put it mildly) on theology. Wouldn’t it be more suitable to use the model of Acts 15 to instruct us on dealing with church differences? “delegates from the different churches” and “apostles and elders” met to discuss and decide the matter. (Commendably, this has been done with TOSC.) “This decision was then to be universally accepted by the different churches throughout the country.” AA, p.190. (We are still working on this part.)

      Reply
      • ” Wouldn’t it be more suitable to use the model of Acts 15 to instruct us on dealing with church differences? “delegates from the different churches” and “apostles and elders” met to discuss and decide the matter. (Commendably, this has been done with TOSC.)”

        This is kind of like the “apples to oranges” comparison you mention elsewhere. The issue in Acts 15 is ceremonial law vs. moral law. But this not our situation in the SDA church. We are confronted with a moral law issue that each side claims they have the correct position.

        Interestingly, the liberal faction seems to have run out of scripture to defend their view. Every appeal they claim supports their view is so far from the scriptures they have to try to make up a new system of interpretation. Namely, “The Principle Based Theology” that simply ignores the obvious meaning and opts for cultural ideas that allow for any given interpretation that might seem handy for their agenda. So they have “wrested scripture to their own destruction” and ignore the obvious objective non-negotiable given that God has stated from the beginning.

        The Acts 15 model doesn’t fit the present circumstances. The Sabbath/Sunday issue in the early church does. This is solely a moral issue outside the ceremonial law. But we might note that now the RCC claims the “day” aspect of the Sabbath law is ceremonial. But then, they use any and every “straw” they can grasp to claim credibility for their false authority. The liberals who support WO do the same.

        Reply
        • The way in which I suggested Acts 15 is a better comparison than the Diet of Spires is that the entities are different (church vs church/state and church union vs civilians). These factions require a different model for resolving issues. Your point about what was being discussed is well taken, but that is not what I was referring to.

          Reply
    • “The split is coming…….”

      The split is here. But unless we understand the basic problem, we will not understand why it seems beyond “fixing”.

      The first problem is the vast majority in the church just plain don’t care one way or the other. They are in their “comfort zone” and don’t want to be challenged otherwise. And since the liberal element controls the “bully pulpit” they have the vast majority on their side.

      Every reform movement has this same problem. Namely, the majority don’t care. So, Noah, Elijah, all the prophets all the way to Jesus had this same unsolvable problem. It is reflected in the new testament as well. The Reformation could not change the statis quo. Even when Luther challenged Staupitz his final response was, “I can’t choose to destroy my church”, even when he knew Luther was right.

      Comfort zone is a strong motive to keep people unmovable. Miller could not change the main line churches, and Adventism could only persuade a small group of the MIllerites. Obviously, people are inclined to believe a lie if it leaves them in their comfort zone. This is the major problem in any and all “reformation” challenges.

      There is a distinct possibility the liberal apostates will eventually give up the name “Seventh-day Adventist” and opt for the simpler name of “Adventist” that supports a more generic type of Adventism that fits better with the world. They are in such a negative position contrary to EGW it may be expedient for them to do this to avoid the stigma of her ministry. And even though it would be helpful for those of us who want to have a clear definition of the SDA faith, it is a sad reality that the majority would probably follow the generic agenda. We already do it in many cases like our local school is “Midland Adventist Academy.” And this is the norm more and more. But for now, all we can do is wait and see. But we can still the problem and why it is what it is.

      Reply
      • We can pray that God’s last day church, which he characterized as Laodicea (your description of “don’t care” is fitting), will accept the rebuke he gives and the remedy He offers. There will be a church that does. I want to be a part of it.

        Reply
  3. Thank you for your response to the Gleaner editorial, “Protest”. I think it is time we did more than share with one another here. There are many in NAD that would be refreshed and strengthened to read articles such as this. While we may not have a platform for an article in our Union papers or the Review, would you please consider sending a concise response to the editor on this point: “to expect that one can abide within a faith community while openly defying the authority of that community is to embrace the principles of the papists at Spires, not the German princes. Indeed, this expectation reflects the spirit of the one who caused war in heaven when he desired to retain his place there while defying the authority of heaven’s Sovereign.” Whether it gets published or not, a courteous response will be read and considered by someone. Let’s be faithful with what we can do to speak God’s truth. Thank you for the excellent article, Brother Engle. (Attach your response to: talk@gleanernow.com)

    Reply
    • Thank you for the suggestion. I think, however, that such a response would be more effectively made by someone in the Gleaner’s target audience – namely, someone who lives in the NPUC – as the NPUC leadership is only accountable to its own constituents. And any thoughts I have expressed in the article belong to anyone and everyone who concurs with them.

      Reply
      • I understand. Ater reading the Gleaner editorial and before reading your article, I did write a letter to the editor and received a personal, courteous reply. I just think God will work with our courteous, respectful interaction with those who see things differently. That is how they approached the disputings at the Jerusalem Council.

        Reply
        • I commend you for taking the initiative to contact the editor; there should be a hundred others who follow your example. But after the NPUC Digital Media Coordinator twice ignored my question in my response to his posts under CAP’s original article on this, I don’t think it would be useful for me to press the issue with your union leadership further, especially as an outsider. Your emphasis on being courteous and respectful is very important. Thanks for your comments.

          Reply
    • As Cathy suggested I am posting my two responses sent to the Gleaner, with the intention that others may right to the Gleaner too, since our responses perhaps will not be published.

      Subject: Editorial Protest
      talk@gleanernow.com

      It is clear that Mr. Vistaumet has a problem with authority and history.
      Authority coming from her mother or the church leadership. He considers both totalitarian.
      History coming from reading The Great Controversy, or the decision made by the whole church in san Antonio, TX in 2015. He considers both a violation of his conscience.
      To answer both Mr Vistaumet needs to remember that this is a voluntary organization. As such If he does not believe with the decision made by the world church, with the principles, policies, or course taken I don’t expect him to keep collecting a paycheck from an employer that violates his conscience. He is more than welcome to join another church denomination that suits his views when it comes to our Father’s business.
      Best wishes finding another church.
      Carlos Antuna

      Subject: John Freedman interview.
      talk@gleanernow.com
      Question: How have you addressed the concerns of your northwest constituents about these issues?

      Let us remember that this is the same leader that 3 months after the World Church made the decision not to ordain women, instituted the position of commissioned pastors, in his Oregon conference, in order to side step the issue and continue to address only the few constituents that think like him. And now gathering strength from Dan Jackson and others, is challenging the General Conference, to do what he wants instead of complying and humbly accepting the decision made in san Antonio, TX not by a few people at the top, as Mr Freedman mentioned, but by more than 2000 constituents at different levels of the church.
      So by his own statements Mr. Freedman does not believe in the current Seventh-day Adventist church organization. He is therefore not equally representing the NW constituents. 
      God helps us all.

      Carlos Antuna

      Reply
      • Thank you for posting your responses for us to read. I think it is important for us to consider that though a leader opposes the vote of the world church at San Antonio, it doesn’t mean that the church members share this view. That is why I believe it is critical for us to respectfully share our support for the world-wide church vote as publicly as we can. It is a valid position.

        Reply
  4. When it comes to “GOD’S” word, Mans intelligence, without the guidance of the “HOLY SPIRIT” can be extremely dangerous.  Satan loves to connect and engage with those, that come with new, and innovative ideas, built around worldly intelligence, when it comes to maintaining and preaching the “Gospel of “JESUS CHRIST”!   

    Lucifer knows, that such an opportunity, will always lead to “Spiritual Confusion and Spiritual Corruption”!   For without “CHRIST” who can defeat Satan?  John 15:5 

    WILL WOMEN’S ORDINATION, SPLIT THE CHURCH?  Well, and carefully; let’s all of us take a look at the reality, and ask the question!   Is your Pastor a part of the hidden Conspiracy against the General Conference, that may eventually cause a “Split” in the World Church?    

    If Your Pastor, have Ordained Females or have assigned Females, as Elders, in your church; or even Commissioned Women, giving them Pastoral duties and Responsibilities.   Then that Pastor is a part of the North American Division Conspiracy, and the Apostasy sweeping the “World Church”!  

    You would think that the Brethren, ( First Elder, and Elders, and the Head Deacon, and Deacons in these churches where this Treason, is taking place, would take a stand and rebuke these pastors from Apostatizing against the General Conference; where-in a fair and impartial vote of Two Thousand Five Hundred Delegates came from around the world and voted to Up hold the word of “GOD”. ….and not by some kind of special interpretation, but what is written: John 17:6

    Especially, If “GOD” did not give us an example; and “JESUS CHRIST” did not leave us one. Then why is Daniel Jackson, President of the NAD trying to create a Headship, of Women as Overseer’s, in the “World Church” and Headship in the family? Reversing “GOD’S’ Divine order!

    It’s not like the World Church, didn’t see this Lamb Like “Fake” Spirit coming; called “Women’s Ordination! It was brought to three; General Conference Session’s!
    1990, and came back again in 1995, and again for the third time, in 2015! ….and it was Harmoniously, defeated Thee Times, and at the third time, the margin was 1,381 Against, Women’s Ordination to 977 “For”! …and word has it…. they are looking forward to 2020! …… When will the real “MEN” in this church come together and STOP IT? It’s not like you don’t have the power! Luke 10:19

    Satan is the only one that I know of that will try, and put a woman in a position that she was not created for, overlooking the Government of “GOD” written in 1 Corinthians 11:3

    Well since most of you appear, like you’re afraid to say it……
    I will! This is all about the reelection of Ted N.C. Wilson, as President of the General Conference, and Daniel Jackson, President of the North American Division, failing in his attempt to become the next General Conference president!
    Since leaving the San Antonio Texas, Daniel Jackson, has been relentless in his pursuit in his mission of bringing Women’s Ordination, into the Seventh-Day Adventist church!

    Reply
    • Your post is wrong at several levels. Women elders and commissioned women pastors are currently considered valid in the policies and practices of the Church. We are a world church. We work together with our brethren. If a local church has women elders that is only because the nominating committee has made such nomination and the congregation has voted to support the nomination. While many of us believe the practice is in error, the church should process this and make a consensus decision. We are not independent atoms; we are a global people, and we seek God working through our brethren. many leaders in the NAD are working in opposition to the world church, which is in mid-process of a gracious attempt to guide non-compliant sections of the Church back into unity. Let us support the General Conference and pray for conviction and repentance among those who are presently acting in opposition to God’s Church.

      Reply
      • Then do me a favor! Name the “Woman” that GOD” raised up to “HIM” to be a Preist? …and by all means name the Woman, That “JESUS CHRIST” picked to be one of “HIS” Apostles?

        Then also tell us how do we overlook what is written: where-in iwhere it says; But I would have you know, that the head of every man is CHRIST; and the head of the woman is the Man; and the head of CHRIST is “GOD”. 1Corinthians 11:3.
        ( Should We Scrap This?)

        …and further more, the WORD OF “GOD” also states For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of “GOD”: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the “Man”.
        Neither was the Man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
        1 Corinthians 11:3 – 9. I guess that’s a lot of nothing

        The people, that are all in favor of this wicked Spirit of using a Woman” in a position that she was never created for, is not maintaining the Commission and the Example “JESUS CHRIST” gave Us when “HE” (JESUS) said unto “HIS” Father;
        And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. John 17:5,6

        While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. John 17: 12

        As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
        And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. John 17:18,19

        There is no such thing as Civil Rights, in the Kingdom of “GOD”, the Seventh-Day Adventist has been hit, and is being challenged with Babylonian teachings that is coming from the Prince of this world…. Satan!

        Reply
        • All women are priests in the priesthood of all believers (PAB), as all women where part of the Hebrew nation (Exodus 19). You may be confusing an office with a function. All believers function as priests, but not all believers properly fill the office of elder. As you point out, there is an operational headship principle. God’s purposes make every believer a priest but includes a variety of limitations in His ordered plan. He designed women to be mothers and men to be fathers, and for spiritual leadership, He limits the office of elder to spiritually qualified males. There is no real conflict between PAB and biologically-specified offices.

          Reply
          • ….to admin, you still didn’t answer the question, and while you’re still trying to find a way to answer 1 Corinthians 11:3,
            1 Corinthians 11:7-9

            Explain to the rest of us, what’s the Difference Between, ”
            A “MALE and Female?

            Daniel Jackson, President of the North America Division, said: “With “GOD” there is no difference!

            In the meantime I’m still waiting on some one to give me the name of the “Famale” that “JESUS CHRIST” made an Apostle, that went out with the other “MEN” to preach the Gospel of “JESUS CHRIST”!

            Admin!

  5. Will someone explain for me Joel 2:28 – 29 which seems to place men and women as equals at the end of time. One woman (Lily?) said that we are not there yet. But, the next three verses (Joel 2:30 – 32) explain when that end started. So, those verses seem to imply that there is a paradigm shift at the end of time. I may be wrong, but it seems that EGW was the beginning of that prophetic paradigm shift. “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines brighter and brighter unto the perfect day” (NKJV).

    Reply
    • Bob, Joel 2.28-29 is not talking about placing men and women as equals at the end of time. It’s talking about men and women prophesying and receiving prophetic dreams. This is not a change in terms of which genders receive the gift of prophecy, as we can clearly see that God has chosen at times throughout history to make a woman His prophet. What Joel is speaking about is a change in numbers, not a change in gender related authority.

      Reply
      • Thanks Kenneth, that somewhats defines the reality, that with “GOD” there roles for Male and Females is not the same! However, it looks like Satan; Has done it again! Making a woman feel left out! …and it looks like women are hearing the same thing Eve heard! Hath “GOD” said. Making the women of today feel like that they are not good for anything in the Ministry, when nothing can be further from the truth!
        I know of some pastors, that would probably have a “stroke” if his bible worker walks into his study, and says to him, that she will not be able,to work with him in his Evangelistic effort this year!

        However, Satan knows that the only way that he’s going to split the Seventh-Day Adventist Church….is to Devide it!!!

        Reply
        • Female Bible workers are absolutely necessary. But many of them, along with the pastors they work for, don’t understand that they should not be giving Bible studies to men nor to husbands and wives together. The Word and the SoP are clear on this. Female Bible workers should be working exclusively with women and their children.

          Reply
          • I think you have gone a little beyond the reality of the situation, Kenneth. Are you suggesting that if a woman is visiting a home and giving the woman of the house a bible study and her husband comes in to listen and then ask a question, she is to say, “I can’t tell you.”?

            I think you “push the envelope” outside the biblical norm. Just so, a woman can teach a SS class but no man has to attend it if he chooses not to. But he can attend if he wishes and participate as well. SS teachers are not required to be ordained nor do they need to be elders or pastors.

            If we try to “over defend” a point, we weaken our position. If a man asks a woman some biblical question, she is free to answer what she believes is the bible truth on the matter.

  6. Bill, though you may not realize it, you are actually treating the Bible in the very same way that you condemn liberals for. You are taking a “principle based” approach to understanding the Word, instead of taking the Word as it reads. While it is true that when we cannot find specific instruction in God’s Word, we should look for principle to apply as best as we can in a given situation, it is even more true that when specific instruction is given we should follow it without looking for excuses behind supposed underlying principles. The Bible plainly states that a woman should not teach a man. You are free to disregard that clear command if you like, but the command will still be there. And no amount of silly scenarios will change that. A woman should not be visiting a house alone, she should be accompanied by her husband. Even if she makes the mistake of visiting alone, she need not add to that mistake by taking upon herself a task the Bible has forbidden to her. The Bible plainly states that a woman is not to teach a man. But you boldly state that a woman can teach a man in a SS class, and anywhere else she happens to be teaching or asked to teach. I wonder where you have obtain the necessary authority to override the Word.

    Reply
    • Kenneth, don’t confuse teaching from then with leading out in a Sabbath school class/preaching, or even a bible study. What Paul is referring to here is more in line with Titus 2:4, where older women are to teach and have authority over the younger women by example (ie the younger women are disciples of the older). Be careful about going to extremes lest you set the bible against itself and the Spirit of Prophecy when in fact they are all in harmony.

      Reply
      • Let me see if I have this straight. You are saying that when the Bible says that women should not teach men, what it really means is that they can actually teach men, so long as they teach younger women too. Hmm. That’s pretty creative. It appears to me that you are comfortable making the Bible say whatever you want it to say.

        Reply
        • Sadly, many who consider themselves conservative SDAs are just as creative with the Word as are the liberals.

          Reply
          • I don’t know if Mr. Bleeker considers himself to be conservative or not. But to claim that when Paul prohibits women from teaching men he really doesn’t mean what he is saying, is definitely a liberal approach to “understanding ” the Bible. Where are men who are willing o take the Bible as it reads?

  7. ” You are taking a “principle based” approach to understanding the Word, instead of taking the Word as it reads.”

    Kenneth, I appreciate your concern and we agree that objective givens are not subject to negotiation. In spite of that truth, we still live in a world of sin, where the ideal is not always possible. Thus, it is necessary to “interpret” the application of the non-negotiable given with the awareness that an exception to the rule may be applicable even though the rule can not be changed.

    Even in the context of WO, those who support this agenda do not agree that it is an “exception to the rule” but simply deny the rule and claim they must “liberate” the women from male headship as male headship is not biblical. If they wanted to place some woman in a headship role as an elder, on the basis it was not the norm, but an exception to the rule, we could consider the circumstances to agree or disagree. But this is not their agenda. they simply deny there is any headship rule to consider as having any validity in any situation.

    So “interpreting the law” in a sinful world is a necessity but changing the law itself is not acceptable. And this is what they want to do.

    God tolerated the early church for centuries after they interpreted the law to patronize the Gentile community with the argument they could more easily bring the Gentiles to accept Christ by this action. It wasn’t until the Reformation that they were forced to confess they had the authority to not on interpret the law, but to change it. Martin Luther understood this principle on various issues and when he was told “The Pope interprets scripture” he replied, “He may interpret it, but he is not above it (to change it).

    We are seeing this played out in our civil government where the Constitution is being challenged and certain judges on the Supreme Court not only want the authority to interpret the law, but change it. So this is no small issue either in religious matters or secular matters. To defend the principle of male headship as we both do is what we agree on. But in this world of sin, I allow there may be exceptions to the rule because of certain circumstances that would never be a factor in a perfect world.

    Reply
    • Bill, your “rationale” here is wholly without merit. It is truly twisted to claim the the presence of sin necessitates the breaking of commandments. The truth of the matter is that because we live in a world of sin, we all the more should be pleading with God for help to, and striving ourselves to keep the commands of God, so that evil y be overcome by good. Even if we allowed for the backwards reasoning you put forth here, your argument still fails utterly for the simple fact that even in this sinful world, there is no circumstance that necessitates that a woman must teach a man, no circumstance that would require her to break God’s clear command to her. God never requires His children to break His commandments, never.

      Reply
  8. OK, Kenneth, is king David lost because he had multiple wives? or are you suggesting this was not against the law of God?

    Was Naman the leper from a heathen land who was healed by dipping in the Jordam lost and cursed of God when he asked Elisha about the matter of bowing to an idol for the sake of his master who was a cripple and Elisha said, “Go in peace”?

    Was Rahab cursed of God and lost when she lied to protect the spies who were sent out to spy out the land?

    And how about David who ate the shewbread that was unlawful to eat except by the priests?

    Did the fact that God “allowed” this to take place mean there was no law that was broken?

    Hear the words of the apostle John, “There is a sin unto death and a sin not unto death.” At what point God tolerates some sins is not always known. But it is a truth that some sins that were tolerated in the past, were tolerated no more as time went on.

    After the restoration from Babylon, there were no multiple wives that was tolerated. And some Sabbath issues were more carefully observed after the restoration. God Himself altered some issues by way of circumstances because of sin. If your marriage partner died, you could remarry. Had there been no sin, this option would never have been considered. The same with meat eating.

    Sin alters the application of the law, but never changes the law itself. While the Sabbath day is not negotiable and it is always the 7th day of the week, how a person “keeps” the Sabbath must be interpreted based on any given situation in this world of sin.

    So we are constantly warned, “beware of presumption”. Grace and forgiveness may be applied if a special situation is encountered. But don’t presume on the mercy of God and forgiveness for willful rebellion and a false application of some exception to the rule.

    And because of this situation in the world of sin, we see why man has often presumed on the mercy of God outside any viable exception to the rule. This is demonstrated in both old and new testament eras. And the final test over the Sabbath is the issue of religious liberty and every human being, being solely accountable to God in religious matters. The Sabbath day is not negotiable. How to keep it holy is. Male headship is not negotiable. But an exception to the rule could apply in this world of sin. But as we see, those who defend WO are not pleading any “exception to the rule” but simply deny there is any rule for there to be an except to.

    Idealism is commendable, but will not work in this sinful world that is anything but ideal. And by the way, the abortion debate is typical of this same situation. Abortion is evil. But in this world of sin, there may be circumstances where people have to choose the “lesser of two evils”. You can deny this all you want, but it is a fact that is obvious to any careful observer of circumstances in this world of sin.

    Reply
  9. Bill, King David sinned by having multiple wives. He should not have done it. Whether he will be saved or lost is a matter upon which God will decide, not I. Naaman did not ask for permission to bow to an idol, he asked for understanding so that when he stooped to help his aging king, God would know that he was not bowing to an idol. Rahab was not a perfect woman. No doubt she was guilty of many sins. Again, her salvation is for God to decide. The shewbread was a ceremonial matter, not a moral law matter. The moral law superseded the ceremonial. The apostles John is not saying anything remotely like what you think he is saying. God never tolerates sin. Such an idea is wholly unbiblical. God does not hold people accountable for what they are ignorant about. This does not mean that He tolerates sin. Even sins committed in ignorance require a sacrifice, as clearly seen in the Sanctuary service. Sin never alters the application of the Law of God. That such an idea is supremely illogical is self-evident. More importantly, however, you cannot prove it using Bible support in even one instance. It is purely an invention of your own mind. How the Sabbath is to be kept holy is absolutely not negotiable. It is very clearly spelled out in the Word, and under no circumstances is there any room for any exception to be applied in this sinful world.

    You continue to claim that because of sin, we must sometimes allow for the breaking of the law. This is not a teaching that has any place among Bible believers. In fact, it sounds very much like what the Enemy has always said, “the Law is too demanding, it can’t be kept, we must be allowed to do as we please, at least some of the time!” Your ideas are not only entirely unbiblical, they are altogether un-Christian.

    God’s Law is Holy, Righteous, True, more to be desired than fine gold, sweeter than honey! In keeping them there is great reward!

    Reply
    • >>>Sin never alters the application of the Law of God. That such an idea is supremely illogical is self-evident. More importantly, however, you cannot prove it using Bible support in even one instance

      Here is one example to falsify your claim. According to Matthew 19:3-9, Jesus says the law allows for divorce for any reason due to the state of man, even though this contradicts God’s intention for the institution of marriage. Jesus also says that divorce for any reason, which is allowed by the law, breaks the commandment against adultery.

      Reply
      • There are zero examples in all of Scripture that would falsify the truth I have affirmed. Mathew 19 does not falsify my “claim,” which is not simply a claim, it is a matter of fact, that is, God’s Law is immutable (Psalm 111.8, Psalm 89.34, James 1.17). You and Bill are fighting against Christ’s own Words: “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

        You and Bill are teaching that, because of sin being in the world, some of the commandments can be broken in some situations. The idea that the presence of sin makes it OK to sin is so exceedingly preposterous that it’s falseness should be readily evident. Not only is it preposterous, its devilishness should also be immediately evident.

        There was never a law against divorce. So Moses allowing for it was not a breaking of any law, and therefore not an alteration/change in the application of any law. The people continued to know that divorce was not God’s will for them. Moses’ command simply introduced some order into a process against which there was no law. This is similar to the commands God gave regarding flesh food. It was not God’s plan from the beginning that man should eat the flesh of animals as his food. But there was never any law against it. After the flood, He gave instruction on how to do it. It was still not what was best for man, just as divorce is still not what’s best. But there never has been any law against either of these things. And you need to read the text you cite more carefully. Jesus most certainly did not say that divorce breaks the commandment against adultery. He said that if you divorce someone for any reason other than fornication, and then marry another person, you will be committing adultery with the second person because you are still married to the first person in God’s eyes.

        This passage does nothing to falsify the immutability of God’s Law.

        Reply
        • You are starting a new argument. Your original statement was, “Sin never alters the application of the Law of God.” Your new argument addresses the “immutability of God’s Law.” I do not disagree with the new argument. You have not addressed the point I raised against your first argument.

          1) God’s immutable law forbids adultery.
          2) Jesus, the Law Giver, states:
          Matthew 5:32
          But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
          3) God’s Law through Moses allows for divorce in circumstances not involving sexual immorality.
          4) Jesus, the Law Giver, acknowledges the law of divorce was due to sin:
          Matthew 19:8
          He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
          5)Ttherefore, sin appears to alter the application of God’s Law.

          Reply
          • No, Mr. Kim, I am not starting a new argument. The immutability of the law is what results in the fact that its application can never be altered. I am glad that we agree regarding the immutability of God’s law. Now let’s consider what this means. Since the law never changes, its requirements never change. If its requirements never change, then how it is applied cannot change, because if one changes how the law is applied, then the same requirements will not be met. God’s law does not allow for varied application. It demands perfect obedience in all circumstances.

            Yes, Mr. Kim, I did address your point and showed its error. Did you read what I wrote? Perhaps you did not understand it. I will restate in an effort to clarify. 1) God’s law forbids adultery. 2) God’s law does not forbid divorce. 3) God’s law has never forbidden divorce. 4) Since God’s law has never forbidden divorce, when God pointed out that it was allowable, this did not constitute a change in how His law is applied. It was always allowable (though in the beginning it was not sought after), and it’s still allowable. No change in application. Choosing to seek after something that is allowed by the law does not constitute a change in how the law is applied. There has never been a law against divorce. So the verses you are pointing out are not, and cannot be, talking about any change in the application of the law since there is no law about divorce.

  10. >>>How the Sabbath is to be kept holy is absolutely not negotiable. It is very clearly spelled out in the Word, and under no circumstances is there any room for any exception to be applied in this sinful world.

    The only rule is not to labor on Sabbath. Does this mean we can watch tv or go to a sporting event on Sabbath, as long as, we are not the ones who are laboring? In regards to exceptions, does Jesus’ exception for doing good works apply only to healing and ministration of religious service? What about keeping the power and gas utilities on? What about the person who helps the health care provides administrative support? What about emergency services? What about military protection? Would your answer to the above examples be different in a society that was 100% Sabbatarian?

    Reply
    • No, not to labor is not the only rule. The first rule is to remember the Sabbath. The second is to keep it holy. The third is to do no labor. You really should read more carefully. Of course, my answers to your questions would not be different for any kind of society. God’s law is not culturally dependent, not applied based on culture. All things which are holy and good are lawful on the Sabbath. There is absolutely no room for any sort of allowances reguarding this law. The fact that you ask about utilities on the Sabbath, as if this might somewhow represent an allowable breaking of the commandment, suggests that you have not thought about any of this very much. Study the commandments prayerfully, and things of this nature will not appear as contradictions or exceptions to the rule. Does leaving the power on during the Sabbath assist people in making the day holy? Yes it does. Does it involve anyone needing to do any work on the Sabbath? No it does not. Then it’s not breaking the commandment/it’s ont an allowable exception. All your other questions are equally easily answered. So I’ll leave them with you to prayerfully consider.

      Again, there are absolutely no negotiables concerning the keeping of the Sabbath. We must remember it, keep it holy, and do no work on it. No exceptions whatsoever.

      Reply
      • “Again, there are absolutely no negotiables concerning the keeping of the Sabbath. We must remember it, keep it holy, and do no work on it. No exceptions whatsoever.”

        You are living in a delusional bubble, Kenneth. You ignore we are living in a world of sin and this means we must interpret the law in this context. While the law itself is not negotiable, meaning, no one can change it from the 7th day to the 1st day, none the less, sin demands we apply it in a sinful world. And this means we must “choose the lesser of two evils” in some situations.

        That God allowed multiple wives in the old testament age is beyond challenge. It was sin, but God allowed it without condemnation. And how we “keep the Sabbath holy” is also subject to evaluation and interpretation.

        You sound like the pharisees who were going to dictate every aspect of the law and define every situation of just “how” to keep it in harmony with the command to keep the Sabbath holy. So while the law itself is not subject to change, it is subject to interpretation as to how to “keep it holy” in various circumstances in this sinful world.

        And this is precisely why it is called “the moral law”. It requires sanctified “moral judgment” in determining the best decision in any and every given situation. Your theory is blatant legalism compared to the Jews that Jesus condemned for their failure to understand that justice and mercy are both components of the moral law. How to apply justice and mercy requires spiritual sanctified discernment that even the best of us fail to do in a perfect way that does not “come short” of the glory of God.

        So, we not only sin at times for a failure to consider all the implications of the law, even when we do carefully consider all the issues, we still “come short” in our decisions.

        Jesus is our “safety net” and “when we do our best, Jesus makes up the difference.” EGW

        You state, “No exceptions whatsoever.” This is simply false and no viable Christian would ever accept such an idea of statement.

        Reply
        • Choosing evil is what the Devil does and teaches. I never thought I would see the day when a self-styled conservative Christian would also publicly teach that we must sometimes choose evil because sin is abounding in this world. May God have mercy on His people!

          Reply
      • Where I live, nuclear power for hospitals and churches requires workers to be working 24 hours a day. Using power on the Sabbath requires someone to work at the nuclear power plant. Is it wrong to work at the nuclear power plant on Sabbath?

        By the way, I have not resorted to ad hominem attacks to your posts. With what spirit are you attacking me?

        Reply
        • Yes, it is wrong to work at a power plant on Sabbath. Churches and hospitals can obtain their needed electricity without you working at a power plant on the Sabbath.

          Mr. Kim, I am not attacking you. I am attacking the error you are promoting. I am sure that you are a better man than I. But what you are teaching here is deadly error. Therefore, I will oppose it strongly. Such oppostion is not directed at your person, but at what you are teaching. I pray God’s grace and peace within your soul. But as long as you say that the requirements of God’s law can be adjusted because we are sinful, I will adamantly oppose such a teaching. Our sinfulness does not create occasion for altering how we keep God’s law. Our sinfulness is why we must turn to Christ! For He will work in us to will and to do His good pleasure! Then we will keep His law perfectly, yet not we, but He in us!

          Reply
      • From The Great Controversy, page 449:
        But Christians of past generations observed the Sunday, supposing that in so doing they were keeping the Bible Sabbath, and there are now true Christians in every church, not excepting the Roman Catholic communion, who honestly believe that Sunday is the Sabbath of divine appointment. God accepts their sincerity of purpose and their integrity before him. Emphasis mine.

        Reply
        • Indeed, God is gracious towards His ignorant children! Nevertheless, sins committed in ignorance are still sins. Sins committed in ignorance are not counted against the ignorant sinner. But this is only possible because of Christ’s sacrifice for such poor souls. That the graciousness of God towards ignorant sinners does not mean that they have not sinned, is evident in the OT Sanctuary service which included the bringing of a sacrifice for sins committed in ignorance. That people commit sins ignorantly does not represent any alteration in the application of the law. A ignorant sin is still a breaking of the law which therefore requires a sacrifice for atonement. So this quote from GC does not show any alteration in the application of God’s law. It does however, show the great mercy of the God we serve!

          Reply

Leave a reply

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

required

*