Strange Abandonment of Principle

 

I really love the Church but if Jared Wright speaks in behalf of the Church with regard to this issue, surely we have an east to west distance of disagreement. Christ said,

And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
 (Matthew 19:4-5)

 

Today is a historic day in the history of the State of California and in the history of the United States as a whole. Today is the day when a ban on homosexual marriage will be lifted in accordance with a decision of the California Supreme Court. Homosexual couples from across the United States will descend on California in the coming days and weeks, and will receive the legal rights and responsibilities that accompany marriage.

Today’s removal of the ban on same-sex marriage is part of a larger debate in America over the definition of marriage. Because at stake in the discussion are issues of morality, justice, ethics, and separation of church and state, Adventists cannot and must not remain silent on the issue. Adventists have always insisted on speaking the truth, demonstrating God’s love, and working for justice. For those reasons, I suggest several reasons below that voters in California and elsewhere should stand in firm opposition to any constitutional amendments that would ban same-sex marriage. Below, I enumerate my reasons and provide a starting place for further conversation on the topic.


Seven reasons to oppose a ban on same-sex marriage

1. Adventists affirm separation of church and state. Advocating a ban on same-sex marriage on moral grounds is tantamount to coercive mandating of a religious viewpoint. We cannot spread morality by force through law! We should oppose all efforts to do so.

2. Protecting marriage: Supporters of a ban on same-sex marriage define the issue as protection of marriage. We must note that same-sex marriage is still marriage. Marriage as an institution is not under attack. Rather, it is being affirmed.

3. Promoting fidelity and monogamy: If we, as Christians, support and uphold fidelity and monogamy as better than cohabitation, then we should be consistent. The purpose of marriage is to promote monogamy and fidelity. Get it?

4. Marriage is beneficial for society both structurally and fiscally. Marriage promotes stable, lasting relationships over transient ones. Further, marriage is related to greater financial security and mental and physical health. Married people provide societal benefits for those reasons.

5. We cannot defer to the “will of the people” or “deeply rooted tradition,” as attempts by some organizations have done, to ban same-sex marriage. The will of the people and tradition consented to slavery in America. America’s elected officials outlawed slavery as a violation of human freedoms and dignity. America enacted laws banning interracial marriage by the will of the people and tradition. Appointed judges rescinded the laws as violations of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th amendment. Majority does not equal right. The court-ordered desegregation of schools in the 1950’s also went against the will of the people.

6. Same-sex marriage is NOT a slippery slope to the permitting of polygamy in America.

7. Same-sex marriage does not threat pose a threat to me, my choices, or my way of life. The practice of marital fidelity by homosexual couples does not impinge upon any of my liberties, it does not harm me or my religious practice, and it does not threaten God or God’s sovereignty.

Discussion – an opening for polygamists?

Some have argued that allowing same-sex marriage will open the door to a broad definition of marriage that will inevitably come to include polygamy. That slippery slope argument is demonstrably false. The following discussion comes courtesy of the article Gay Marriage and Polygamy, and is reprinted here for your convenience.

Any proposal for the expansion of marriage must be good both (1) for the individuals involved and (2) for the society in which they live. Gay marriage meets both of these criteria. The case for polygamous marriage is distinguishable (and weaker) on both counts, especially the second.
On the first issue — the effect of allowing gay marriage on homosexuals themselves — the deprivation for gays if gay marriage is banned is greater than the deprivation to polygamists if polygamy is banned. A polygamist may still marry someone if we ban polygamy; he simply may not marry many someones.

The deprivation to the polygamist is large, especially if polygamy involves the exercise of his religious faith, but not total. The gay person, however, has no realistic choice of a mate available under a gay-marriage ban. The deprivation is total.

Further, there is no “polygamous orientation” causing a person to need the close companionship of multiple partners (though some people may prefer it). There is, however, a homosexual orientation, causing a person to need the close companionship of a same-sex partner. The ban on polygamous marriage is the denial of a preference, perhaps a strong one; the ban on gay marriage is the denial of personhood itself.

On the second issue — the effect of recognition on society — the differences between gay marriage and polygamous marriage are more pronounced. There is ample evidence that people who live in stable, committed couples are healthier, happier, and wealthier than those who are single. Gay marriage is a good idea because it will benefit not only the gay couple but their families, friends, neighbors, and taxpayers whose burdens to care for unmarried gay partners is greater.”

Jared Wright is pursuing a M.Div at La Sierra University. He blogs at Adventist Environmental Advocacy.

Source: SPECTRUM

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The Stone Where Sabbath-Keepers Stumbled

Sabbath-keeping denominations are boastful about their claim of being the true church prophesied in the Holy Scriptures. Since the Bible often speak about the sanctity of the Sabbath and its significance as the sign of God to His people, these sabbath-keeping denominations are very much confident to defend their doctrines against their critics and even against those non-sabbath keeping churches who claim to be the true Church of God.

Foremost among these sabbath-keeping denominations is the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, the largest sabbath-keeping organization based in the United States.

The Logo of the Seventh Day Adventist Church

Seventh-Day Adventists believed that the Sabbath is the binding sign between God and His people, the Church who keeps the commandments of God written upon tables of stones.  It is the sign that the power of God moves upon them and sanctifies them.

However, if we will try to review some of the statements given by their own leaders and Church writers describing the current spiritual status of the Church in its entirety, we will wonder why;

“An inspired pen sums up the Adventist problem today very succinctly and accurately: ‘The line of demarcation between wordlings and many professed Christians is almost indistinguishable. Many who once were earnest Adventist are conforming to the world – to its practices, its customs, its selfishness. Instead of leading the world to render obedience to God’s law, the church is uniting more and more closely with the world in transgression. Daily the church is becoming converted to the world.’ (Testimonies, vol. 8, pp.118,119)

Do these words apply to God’s people today? Look carefully and prayerfully at some problems that exist in the church today. Adventist have a sin problem. Adventists have a drug problem. Adventist have an apostasy problem.” (Adventist Review, January 21,1988, p.181)

What happened to the sabbath-keeping Church? What then is the significance of a sabbath, the sign of God’s sanctification, if the Church itself admits their spiritual failure? This is because they neglected to remember the  most important sabbath given by God to His Church. They did not follow the commandments of God perfectly. The Scriptures declared; “Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths“, but the Church focused her obedience only to one sabbath, the 7th day of week. The word “sabbaths” is in the plural term, saying the Church must observe not only a single sabbath, but all the sabbaths given by God to the Church. Is there any other sabbath given to the Church? In the Book of Hebrews, it says;

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. (Hebrews 4:9)

This is not saying that the seventh-day sabbath written in the tables of stone was already done away or become obsolete, what we are trying to emphasize is that God added another sabbath for the Church. The verse says, “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God“. It didn’t say, “There remaineth therefore ONLY ONE rest to the people of God. ” So what is this another sabbath as the Hebrew writer mentioned in his letter? In verse 8 it says;

For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

Yes, this sabbath pertains to another day – a day different from what was given at Sinai.  In verse 7, it explains;

Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

The new sabbath for the Church was the one referred in the songs of David, so opening the psalms of David, we will  discover a verse that mentions the day which the Lord God had made for His people. And it says;

I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.

The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalms 118:21-24)

What is the day that the Lord hath made? That another day and another sabbath given to be observed by the Church? It’s Christ – Head Stone of the corner.

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; (Ephesians 2:19,20)

Jesus is the Head Stone of the corner, the day that the Lord hath made, the remaining sabbath for the House of God. Now, someone might ask me, “Is Jesus a twenty-four hour period that we may say He is a sabbath?” Of course not! There was a sabbath that doesn’t only last for 24 hours, but even endure unto everlasting. And that sabbath is Christ Himself, according to the Bible.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 13:8)

Going back to our sabbath-keeping friends. The reason why they failed from

Ellen G. White

having a sanctified life in spite of their high esteem to the Sabbath of the 4th Command is because they failed to remember the most important Sabbath of the Bible – our Lord Jesus Christ.  Although they displayed an outstanding defense for their doctrine, and proven to be a well-informed people about the details of the laws, sabbath observance will never be a sign of sanctification unless they will observe first and foremose the most important part of the Sabbath Doctrine which is Christ. Hence, Adventist Church fell badly. Their own prophetess, Ellen White, said;

The church is in the Laodicean state. The presence of God is not in her midst… Abridge the work, limit your labors, and you remove your Helper… What a terrible thing it is to exclude Christ from His own temple! What a loss to the church!” (Notebook Leaflets, vol 1, p 99.)