Presenting a Biblical response by concerned former Seventh-day Adventists to the Sabbath School Bible Study Guide.

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Commentary on "Mission"



Day 7: Friday, June 26, 2009



“How do we as a church protect ourselves from many of the dangerous theological trends that constantly are seeking to infiltrate and pollute our teachings? At the same time, how do we remain open to growing and advancing in new light that can help us better understand our Lord and our mission?”



The author thought the topic started in Thursday’s lesson was worth further discussion. I agree. Let’s take the questions apart to see if we can figure out what is really being asked.

“How do we as a church protect ourselves?” In the context of this entire quarter’s lessons, “we as a church” can mean only one thing – the Seventh-day Adventist church – and “we as a church” must be protected. This idea is so ingrained into Adventist thinking that they cannot conceive of any other possibility. The Biblical answer is, “…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:2-3, NASB).

“Dangerous theological trends that constantly are seeking to infiltrate and pollute our teachings” – There indeed are many dangerous theological trends. One has to look no further than the average religious TV channel or radio station for examples of such things. All of us must deal with these attacks every day of our lives. I disagree that these trends themselves are “seeking to infiltrate” the body of Christ. It is people, ravenous wolves (John 10:11-12 and elsewhere), who are trying to foist these lies on us. Our only safety is Jesus.

“How do we remain open to growing and advancing in new light?” Here is the problem with Adventism. From its beginning, this denomination has consistently defined every whim of doctrine it embraced as “new light”. The Bible has defined all the light we need to understand. There is no new revelation necessary. There may be new application (slavery, for example), but there is no new revelation.

“Better understand our Lord and our mission” – Do you want to better understand Jesus? First, read about Him in his context as the One born under law that He might redeem those under law. Then, read what John, Paul, James, Peter and Luke have to say about Him in the context of the New Covenant He ushered in. There will be nothing more radically life-changing than this study, and nothing better suited to mission.



Contrary to the EGW quote from The Acts of the Apostles, the “church” is not the appointed agency for the salvation of men. Jesus is the appointed agency for the salvation of men.

Jesus works through each member of the body of Christ, via the Holy Spirit, to reveal His love and grace to those who were born in hell, offering them the first real choice they’ve ever had for a better life, eternal life. Sometimes, Jesus bands groups of believers together into small or large collections so that the gifts being ministered to them by the Holy Spirit can be brought to bear in a more widespread, but focused, way. However He chooses to work, it is His initiative and our response by faith that yields results.

We are never to rely on “the church” to do the work Jesus has called and equipped us to do. “The church” is never to usurp His authority in deciding to whom to witness and what to tell them. The appeal to doctrinal purity is a poor excuse for continued reliance upon the traditions of men.

In conclusion, I offer this quotation from the May/June 2009 issue of Outreach magazine. When asked, “Who is Jesus?” this young man responded:

Who is Jesus? That’s the question that governs everything I do. That’s the question that governs my marriage. That’s the question that governs who I am. It guides my career, it guides my social life, and it guides my financial decisions. And I don’t know how to answer any of it. I can’t believe the Bible, and I can’t not believe the Bible, and so I don’t know what to do about any of it. And it just makes me really tired.

I don’t know who Jesus is anymore. I can’t put Him in a box and tell you He is what my youth group leader told me He was, and I can’t put Him in a box and tell you that He was just a person, which is what Asheville [, NC] would tell me to say.

I left a community of faith and came to a community of unfaith, and I’m stuck in between. I haven’t got the strength to say that I’m thankful for the place I’m at because it’s really awful to be confused. But I think I’m thankful for being able to be confused. The tension drives me toward resolving it.

There were several responses just like this. Do we need a denomination-driven reason to reach out to people like this? I hope not. These are the people, just like you and me, for whom Jesus died and rose again. Don’t try to convert them to Adventism, or any other “ism”. If your very soul doesn’t ache for them, ask Jesus to take away your heart of stone and give you His heart. Attempting to give them what you don’t already have will confuse them more and drive them further away. On the other hand, you never know when the Holy Spirit will lead you, a saved, secure child of the Living God, into a conversation that turns into another person’s Today, when they give up on their bankrupt philosophies and accept Jesus.

I pray that each of us will continually look away from ourselves, focusing instead on Jesus, the only One who can and will draw all men unto Himself.




Copyright 2009 All rights reserved. Revised June 1, 2009. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Glendale, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email:

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