Wednesday, January 17, 2007

(8th-Day) Adventist Futurism: A Manifesto

"... However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8 (NIV)



  1. Adventist Futurism builds on 7th-Day Adventism. In some ways it is a continuation of the original movement. In others it is the next phase or development. All of the richness and history of 7th-Day Adventism is admired, cherished and built upon. Some may see this as a heretical development. Some already think the same of progressive Adventism as well as Postmodern Adventism. Imagine how Methodists and other proto-Adventist influences must have felt when 7th-Day Adventism grew out of those movements.
  2. Christ Jesus, Lord and Savior, is as important as He ever was in Proto-Adventist Futurism (7th-Day Adventism.) Additionally, all the 28 fundamentals are respected and cherished however confining they may appear to some. In some ways, the principles of Adventist Futurism are a virtual 29th fundamental. If a 28th has been added in the recent pass, no doubt one day a 29th and a 30th may also be added.
  3. Emphasis is still on present truth, but as present truth becomes past truth the minute it is conceived, Adventist Futurism focuses on Future Truth which by its nature is forward leaning and always thinking of the changes of the future, both near and far.
  4. It would be inconceivable for 19th Century Adventists to imagine what 21st century Adventism could ever be like. The social, cultural, scientific and technological changes that separate two centuries of Adventism are no doubt as great from those that separate 21st century Adventism (Adventist Futurism) from 22nd century Adventism. It would have been unthinkable to 19th century Adventists that the movement would see the year 2007. It is equally unthinkable to many living today that 22nd century Adventism will one day have its day.
  5. (8th-Day) Adventist Futurism is future- oriented for many reasons. It is said that it is unwise to live in the past or to live only for today. Adventist Futurism lives for today, respects its rich 7th-Day Adventist history as much as possible, but lives with tomorrow's emerging realities ever in mind.
  6. All of Ellen G. White's writings are treasured for any and all spiritual guidance that they can still provide in what today is a world that she never imagined would ever come to pass. While some of her writings have to be understood in their cultural setting, every attempt is made to build on, and not tear down Mrs. White's useful writings.
  7. The Bible in its entirety is treasured. In the same way that the New Testament refined the Old Testament's principles, equally so does (8th-Day) Adventist Futurism refine and build on both the Bible and the writings of Ellen G. White, as well as many of the serious thinkers, pastors and teachers within historical Adventism. Special thanks is given to the following authors though by mentioning them, we in no way ally them with us nor do we ally ourselves with their body of published work or unpublished discourses or sermons. These are the men and women that have influenced in some degree, however transitory, the principles of (8th-Day) Adventist Futurism: Ellen G. White, James Londis, Jack Provonsha, Sakae Kubo, John Wood, Ronald Lawson, Ottilie Stafford, George Rice, Lynn Sauls, Ann Parrish, Margarita Merriman, Jon Robertson, Eli Siegel, Morris Venden and Jack Sequeira.
  8. Adventist Futurism respects the 7th-Day Sabbath, but as the latter is locked in time and is the only commandment that is kept only for one 24-hour period, once a week, Adventist Futurism focuses on the spiritual dimension of the Sabbath day as opposed to its literal 24-hour manifestation. As technology, scientific discoveries and space exploration change our conception of time and space, e.g., the Internet, virtual reality, the decoding of the human genome, space exploration, etc., the Sabbath commandment's importance in 7th-Day Adventism is admired, but it is cautiously considered because of the strong legalistic element it has traditionally brought to Adventism. Additionally, Adventist Futurism believes that the beauty of the 7th-Day Sabbath is enhanced and celebrated by observing the Enhanced Sabbath which includes the 24-hour "Jewish" Sabbath (sundown to sundown), but adds the hours after sundown on Saturday night and ending with daybreak on Sunday morning. We also speak of the post-7th-Day-Sabbath morning to commemorate the ending of Christ's rest in the tomb. Other Adventist Futurists focus on the observance of the Endless Sabbath by virtually carrying the beauty and joy of the 7th-Day Sabbath all through the week, in effect celebrating the Sabbath day, if only virtually, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. The regular Sabbath beginning on Friday at sunset then becomes the actual command performance and not the rehearsal of the previous six days.
  9. If humanity's expansion continues beyond our world, as it seems to be doing, then the spiritual nature of the 7th-Day Sabbath will be more and more important. Celebrating the Sabbath on the Martian colonies in the next century, or in this one, will be 37 minutes longer than it is observed on Earth. If humanity has to find refuge underground because of the instability that terrorism continues to have on our planet, then sundown-to-sundown will have a new meaning and will only be observed by mechanical means of time measurement.
  10. Just as Protestantism didn't cease to be Christianity when it broke away from Catholicism, and just as 7th-Day Adventism didn't cease to be Christianity when it grew out of the Methodist church and other groups, in like manner, (8th-Day) Adventist Futurism does not cease to be a continuation of both Christianity or 7th-Day Adventism.
  11. Even though some members of society may not be welcomed in 7th-Day Adventism, or in other Christian or Jewish congregations, (8th-Day) Adventism welcomes all without condoning every aspect of certain member's life practices. Additionally, some may want to attend and feel welcomed, but not join Adventist Futurism formally. We welcome traditional, modern, liberal, mainstream, postmodern Adventists, as well as others who find something of worth in (8th-Day) Adventist Futurism. These include, but are not limited to the following groups: divorcees, cultural Adventists, intersexuals, transgender individuals, monogamous homosexualists (gays & lesbians and their children), bisexuals, common-law couples, domestic partners, persons struggling with controlled substances or other addictions (sexual, alcohol, gambling, etc.). Again, in order to not cause traditional 7th-Day Adventists to feel disrespected, we offer non-traditional inclusiveness for these groups mentioned. (8th-Day) Adventist Futurism becomes a safe haven for sinners and imperfect people, and not just a colony of morally upright and semi-perfect people.
  12. Regarding life's origins, we welcome both literal creationists, as well as intelligent design believers, and, of course, Darwinian Adventists or Christians. We all believe in one God, however He created us.
  13. Unlike some traditional 7th-Day Adventists, and this is said with the utmost respect and appreciation, we do not discourage the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We do not intentionally seek to speak in tongues, but if this wonderful gift returns in a valid and useful manifestation, we would not discourage its return. We foster more and more study, focus, and anticipation of the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit, Love and it's manifestations: joy, peace, self control, etc.
  14. We worship the ineffable Father God who in His wisdom sent both Jesus Christ, His son, and his Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit. For all his countless blessings and gifts we are thankful.
  15. We seek to understand and promote the beauty and importance of the Crucified, Risen and Glorified Christ. We seek His return, but if He delays 25, 50 or 100 years, as well as 250, 500 or 1000 years, we continue seeking Him and his daily return into our soul temple through His Holy Spirit.
  16. We seek to honor proto-Adventist Futurism's past (traditional 7th-Day Adventism), but we also wish to change its future because of the danger within two or three generations of Adventism disappearing for the most part in the affluent and developed world. As the third world slowly catches up with the developed world, this danger will also become apparent in time to most of the 7th-Day Adventist body.
  17. We welcome the real possibility of the prophetic gift reappearing in our midst and guiding us through the unforeseen challenges and dangers of the ever-changing future society that is already upon us because of terrorism, advancing scientific developments (cloning, virtual reality, cybernetics, etc.) and space exploration.
  18. We realize that because of modern society's challenges, increasing terrorism, global warming, and other complex factors, worship may soon be only in private, local safe havens, and via the World Wide Web or it's replacement in the years to come.
  19. We encourage a more democratic and less centralized church structure with adequate racial, ethnic, non-male and cultural representation of the church's worldwide membership, as well as, to a partial degree, it's informal membership (the marginalized groups previously mentioned.)
  20. We extend an open door to former Adventists, as well as other spurned groups, that have grown out of traditional 7th-Day Adventism (Adventist Kinship, Branch Davidians, Shepherd's Rod, etc.). We only ask that you treat us with the same respect and consideration that we are offering you.
  21. We welcome the future: all its mysteries, all its challenges, all its discoveries, all its blessings. We don't want to be locked in history, we want to make history, to change it, to improve it, to actively and creatively influence our future.
Other relevant posts:

Creating an Ideal World: Adventist Futurism
Mars Sabbath
Fear of the Holy Spirit

1 comment:

Harold Cunningham said...

Raul,

A few questions per the Manifesto simply and purely for the sake of clarification....not arguement or dissent:

1. Who composed the manifesto?
2. What is your purpose for publishing the Manifesto?
3. Who is the "we" at the beginning of each Manifesto statement intended to rpresent?
4. The meaning of the designation "(8th-Day) Adventist Futurism" could be ambiguous to readers. Could you explain the meaning/significance of "8th Day"?
5. Per the addition to the 24hour Jewish Sabbath, noted as, "the hours after sundown on Saturday night and ending with daybreak on Sunday morning":
Is the added observance period based on a personal preference or a extra-Biblical revelations, neo socio-techno-cultural traditions, or other?

Thank you!