Friday, September 29, 2006

Faith in Spite of Disharmony

"I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire and columns of smoke. " Joel 2:30 (New American Standard Bible)

I continue to believe in the Bible not because it can all be explained but because its study has changed and continues to change my life. There were years in my life that I refused to read the Old Testament because its God seemed too harsh. I've learned again to both accept and love that God no matter how harsh he might seem in the Old Testament. I've learned to live with the difficulties in explaining catastrophes that perplex and wound me year after year.

I thank God for the Spirit of Prophecy no matter how it came about, what sources Ellen White used, or whether she gave them credit or not. In spite of the problems one finds with the writings of Mrs. White, I find her messages inspiring and helpful to me in my Christian journey.

I do think we as a church need to focus more and more on the Holy Spirit and His ministry. Even Mrs. White mentions the Spirit in glowing terms, and that is something that needs to be stressed more and more as time goes by with the return of Christ being delayed. I honestly hope that God sends the Latter Rain within our lifetime and revives the Spirit of Prophecy in the 21st century. We certainly need more guidance and new light to make sense of the challenges we face in an ever increasingly violent and incredulous world.

Most of all, we need to stress our differences less and less and have greater love for one another. There is too much disharmony in the Adventist church today, conservative vs. progressive, old vs. young, heterosexual vs. bisexual/homosexual/intersexual, non-academic vs. academic, Third World vs. Super Power.

When will Christ come? He comes daily to each of us, individually. Someday He will return to make our spiritual connection with him a face-to-face reality. God grant us grace and hope and faith and, of course, love to help us in the meantime.

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