Friday, September 28, 2007
In sending Jesus Christ to our world with the possibility of failure, could God have endangered his own being in the process?
Since God is all-powerful, could He also, if he chose to, cease to be? Since the universe has self-actualizing laws that He set in motion, does He have to continue existing for the laws He set in motion to continue functioning?
Once He ceased to be, could He recreate Himself again, and again? Out of nothing? Might eternity itself be an endless cycle of creation and recreation out of nothing? Might it be just that instead of it being one long, ceaseless reality without any beginning or any end?
If you accept this premise, then, conceivably, when Jesus Christ died and rose after three days as He said he would, in a sense, God ceased to be and recreated Himself by His own ability. Jesus said, "I have the power to lay down my life and to take it up again."
If He was able to live again by his own power, did he cease to be in the traditional sense of ceasing to be. Is death, or cessation of life, for an all-powerful being, drastically different from mortal and limited beings such as ourselves who were created?
Is heaven outside of the time-space continuum? If that were the case then normal entropy would cease to operate, as well as the carbon cycle. There would be no problem for beings to be eternal if time and cause and effect were suspended in a timeless reality.
While they should be respected for their choice, as those who remain Adventist should be respected for theirs, I feel that while these folks are more honest by leaving instead of fighting what they see as the imperfections of Adventism, they are quitters in a sense.
Yes Martin Luther and his followers left the Catholic hegemony and what a wise move that was. However, Luther's followers did not think of themselves as ex-Catholics, but rather as newfangled Protestants or Christians.
On the other hand, it is my belief that at least some, and hopefully most, of these ex-Adventist should come back to us and war inside the church regarding what seems wrong and worth changing, instead of devoting their energies to combating Adventism from the outside.
Please see the following site for the Proclamation Magazine.
I just chanced upon the following site: Non-Sda. It's good to be aware of what is being said by those whom oppose one's religion. Hopefully, no one reading this blog will take this site too seriously, but if you do, then, be my guest. Your life is what you make it. God bless.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Or is it more important to be fixated on a 24-hour period when we have to refrain from secular activities, have to or should worship with others, pay your tithes and offerings, visit people in hospitals or prisons--well maybe that's not so bad--attend choir practice, young people's meetings, special hour of prayer during mid-afternoon, and all the other trappings of rigid Sabbath keeping?
Do people who need to work on Sabbath every other Saturday or every 4th or 6th Saturday to support their families or themselves, are they breaking the Sabbath commandment? Are those who routinely show up in church on Sabbath morning and pat themselves on the back that they are upstanding Sabbath-keeping Adventists necessarily more heaven-bound than those unfortunate souls who have to punch the clock during some Saturday mornings to not be a burden on society, their families or their God?
Or maybe all these activities are not that bad provided you really want to or need to. But to feel you have to, now that's not living life to the fullest. Perhaps if we asked God to really enable us to keep the Sabbath holy, not as a means to salvation, but as a means to spending quality time with him, that would not be so bad after all.
Why just consider one 24-hour period holy to the Lord? Why not observe and enjoy the perpetual Sabbath that has no end and no beginning. I'm speaking of a conceptual day of rest and ceaseless worship of God in all you do and say.
When the sun sets on Sabbath evening, I thank God for the blessings of the traditional Adventist-Jewish Sabbath and thank him for the beginning of the ongoing reality of his Perpetual Sabbath rest.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
". . . no good thing does he [the Lord God] withhold from those whose walk is blameless." Psalms 84:11 (NIV)
Currently there is much talk and many books written about focusing only on the positive. One of the main tenets of this positive thinking system is that if you focus on not committing some unwanted behavior, by focusing on what you don't want, you eventually get just that, what you don't want.
The above text promises blessings and encourages moral living, but it does so by dealing in negatives. Note especially the double negative of "no good thing" and "withhold," as well as appeal to a state that is free from blame, which in itself is a negative concept.
The purely positive version of this excellent promise might be something like "the Lord will bless you beyond your wildest imagination if you live a moral life." The important thing to keep in mind is that without the forgiving love (grace) of God, no one can live a moral life.
The full prayer might be "Lord, enable me to live a moral life by your transforming grace and continue to bless me greatly in my life."
30 years ago a high school buddy visited me during my senior year in college. He told me with such intensity that he believed that Jesus was coming back soon and in his lifetime. I told him that I believed that Jesus was coming back but that it would be in the distant future. The look of disappointment because of my words affects me to this day.
Now this is the peculiar thing. As much as I've tried to locate this friend, it's as if he never existed although he's in my high school yearbook and there are people who remember him. He believed that Jesus was coming back soon and, I believe Jesus did come back soon.
This is how it happened. Quantum mechanics, as well as String/M Theory, postulate that there are an infinite amount of realities coexisting side by side. For those who believe that Jesus will come back some day in the distant future, they will continue living in a reality that is in agreement with their belief. For those who believe, as my friend did, that Jesus was coming soon, in that reality, Jesus did come soon. I am not talking about my friend dying.
Now this is the real conundrum. Even though my friend has experienced Christ's second coming in his reality, in my reality, I'm still waiting for Jesus' Second Coming. Additionally, my friend my well exist somewhere in this same reality I live in, but completely oblivious of my existence or I of his. Yes, in each of these infinite variations--or parallel universes--each of us has an identical twin, with slight variations depending on the choices we made in those distinct realities.
This can account for the seemingly mysterious disappearances of people that should continue to exist in my reality, but that have apparently disappeared.
Now more than ever, believing that Jesus is coming soon is crucial. Only those that really believe and internalize that belief will diverge from this reality in which Jesus delays into another reality where he, in fact, will come soon.
Since the word of God is one, all the different realities or parallel universes share the same Sacred text. This is as good an explanation, as any, as to why the New Testament states over and over again that Jesus is coming soon. He comes soon to those who want him to. To those who don't want him to come soon, he simply does not.
I am not talking about a secret rapture. Christ comes back only once within each separate reality.
Envision Christ returning soon and in your lifetime. Hope and wait for it with something greater than faith. Hope for it with absolute certainty not just a half-hearted wish. Pray without ceasing that Christ returns in your lifetime. He will return soon if you want it badly enough.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
If these good folk really converted to heterosexuality, then we should hug them and accept them with open arms. If they didn't really change and will one day revert back to homosexuality, then we should hug them and accept them with open arms whenever they come back to us hurting and confused and maybe a little bit angry.
Please see the following link for further information:http://www.baptistpress.com/BPnews.asp?ID=26429
For an Adventist approach to living as gay Adventists, or gay Christians for that matter, please see the following links:
http://www.glow.cc/ (For friends and family support also)
I've witnessed so-called Charismatic Christians in action. Some have been obviously feigned experiences which speak ill of the people in question. Others, however, were more loving and life-affirming than any Adventist congregation I've ever experienced, and I've experienced the full gamut of Adventist congregations: Conservative Spanish, Mainstream black Adventists, Ultra-Progressive Adventists, Collegiate Adventists, Ultra-Conservative "Yuchi Pines" types, and conceptual Adventists. None of them had the vitality, except for an occasional fluke, that I've experienced in Pentecostal church gatherings.
We worry about the dwindling numbers of young people in the North American and European churches. If an Adventist Cult of the Holy Spirit genuinely manifested itself in our churches, think of the joy and transformation we'd see among our young people, as well as in other age groups of the Adventist church. We’d see this first here and in Europe and eventually everywhere.
For the original context of this comment, please see the following link:
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
What if you lived by these verses and no others? You could then go about your life, enjoying it and resting in the assurance that you were in right relation to your God and to your fellow man. Notice this text says nothing about confessing your sins, of being forgiven or being purified as 1 John 1:9 does.
If you must have more then, how about 1 John in its entirety?
Monday, September 17, 2007
Here's someone who really had a larger-than-life reaction. Jonathan Paulien was my senior year history teacher at Greater New York Academy during the early 1970s.
Please read the full article The Day the Sky Fell
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
George E. Vandeman's Planet in Rebellion appears in his bibliography.
Page 107 of this dissertation:
Seventh-Day Adventist evangelist George E. Vandeman saw the Earth itself as threatened by mankind’s technology and believed the Day of Judgment, along with mankind’s extraterrestrial rendezvous with Christ, were not far off. However Vandeman's Adventism championed the Earth even as fundamentalists championed the above. After Sputnik, Vandeman wrote, America "was a nation in shock… We realized that we were actors in a technological revolution that would dwarf every other revolution into insignificance." Vandeman noted that only fourteen years separated the destruction of Hiroshima from the crash landing of the Soviet Lunik II spacecraft on the surface of the moon. "We had touched the universe," he wrote, "and its broken secrets had plunged us into nuclear and moral fear."
Vandeman believed that the immense technological advancements of the past few decades were a sure sign of the approaching "end to this world as we know it." Echoing the apocalyptic beliefs of other end times preachers, Vandeman asked, citing the Book of Revelation, "Could it be that we are approaching the time when God must intervene to ‘destroy them that destroy the earth’?" Space colonization would be a reality, for Jesus was the first to prove it could be done. "It was Jesus Himself, you remember, who demonstrated the possibility of space travel and promised it to His followers," Vandeman wrote. "The laws of gravitation were circumvented as the Lord of glory was swept heavenward." When Jesus returned to the Earth, "past vast constellations, bursting into view with a brilliance of display…" he would whisk his believers into heaven, where they would wait out the purification of the Earth by fire. Vandeman noted that none of this miracle would require space suits or oxygen tanks. 154
154 George E. Vandeman. Planet in Rebellion. Nashville: Southern Publishing Association, 1960. pp. 137-49.
To read the entire dissertation click on the title of this post or please click on the link below:
Monday, September 10, 2007
I'm in the process of being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.
I'm in the process of overcoming the world through Christ who strengthens me.
I'm in the process of receiving eternal life through Christ who saves me.
I'm in the process of attracting health and joy so I can share them with others.
I'm in the process of attracting abundance and love so I can share them with others.
I'm in the process of attracting my ideal mate so we can share each other's lives.
I'm in the process of becoming my ideal self so I can enjoy who I am more and more.
I'm in the process of enjoying my life more and more and being a blessing to others.
These are daily rituals that I've been practicing for a few months. They are based in part on bible texts that I've been attracted to through the years. I also have to give credit to the following books as they have provided the framework into which I've been able to integrate a lifetime of bible texts and hopes.
Byrne, Rhonda. The Secret
Losier, Michael. Law of Attraction
Peale, Norman Vincent. The Power of Positive Thinking
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Most of the heroes of the Bible had regular sexual relations, e.g., Jacob, David, Moses, Joseph. Others did not, e.g., Daniel, Paul, Jeremiah. The New Testament is strangely silent on the sexual lives of its protagonists.
Every human male needs some sexual outlet. He is designed for sex. For the fortunate Christian or monogamous male, a wife provides the necessary outlet--within reason--for that natural sex drive.
True, some monastic types have, with some success, lived a sexless life, by choice or circumstances. Most men, however, suffer psychological damage from depriving themselves from a normal sexual outlet.
Not too long ago I had different views regarding the sexuality of our savior. To read those views, as well as other bloggers' reactions to the views earlier expressed, please click on God the Son: Truly Human by Trudy Morgan Cole as well as The Spectrum Blog: Bloggin' the 28 which contains one really angry blogger's reaction to my views.