Commentary on "Keeping the Church Faithful (2 Thess. 2:133:18)"
Day 1: Sabbath Afternoon, September 22, 2012 - Introduction
The key thought for this week’s lesson is accurate, that today’s churches, just like churches in apostolic times, struggle with challenges. Certainly there has never been a perfect church as all churches are made up of imperfect people who struggle daily with sin.
The lesson is riddled with insertions that reinforce the false teachings that the SDA church is God-ordained special (“this present-truth message is being proclaimed by no one but us!”) and that knowing and standing firm on correct doctrine (i.e. SDA understanding of doctrine) is what saves us.
In an effort to understand exactly what the Thessalonians received from Paul in the way of written doctrines and instructions, here is a list found reading through 1 Thessalonians:
1 Thessalonians 1:
1 Thessalonians 2:
1 Thessalonians 3:
1 Thessalonians 4:
1 Thessalonians 5:
Missing from these passages is anything about Sabbath-keeping, dietary reform, an investigative judgment, or any other SDA distinctive teaching, yet when SDA’s talk about “the truth” as in this lesson, it is generally understood to mean the “new light truths” that are unique to SDA teaching. The teaching found in 1 Thessalonians is as important and applicable today as it was when Paul wrote it, and no “new light” is needed.
The first paragraph in Sabbath afternoon’s lesson states that churches like plants, will die if they do not grow, emphasizing our responsibility to see that we grow in proper ways. That is backwards from the biblical understanding that a believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and will therefore grow/produce good fruit simply because he is alive in Christ, and that it is God’s work in us.
The lesson further asserts that God has led the church to even more light and that Paul’s word to the Thessalonians gives guidance to navigate through these changes. However, Paul’s words don’t cover “new light” from any future prophets or leaders; they only state to hold firm to what the apostles have already told them by word of mouth or letter. Clearly, the Adventist church is placing Ellen White with her statements on the same level as the Bible writers.
Copyright 2012 BibleStudiesForAdventists.com. All rights reserved. Revised September 20, 2012. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Camp Verde, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email: BibleStudiesForAdventists@gmail.com.
The Sabbath School Bible Study Guide and the corresponding E.G. White Notes are published by Pacific Press Publishing Association, which is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist church. The current quarter's editions are pictured above.
Official Adventist Resources
Please Support This Project