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HERE ARE SOME INTERESTING STATEMENTS
FROM THE SDA CHURCH
Recently, a leaflet circulating amongst the churches came into our possession. It contained the five items listed below. We have reproduced them here (without permission) because of their importance in today's situation. We understand that they have only been printed recently (in 1997? - there is no date on them) and we intend, God willing, to make comments on them from time to time. Remember our commitment? We do NOT intend to criticize another's character or motive, but we do intend to compare public statements with Scripture.
The first of these comparisons is listed below as "A personal comment".
(Click on the title to get to each one).
1."The Church Under Attack" by Eric Winter
2. "My Allegiance to My God and His Church" by Barry Oliver
3. "What is New in the New Theology?" by Gerhard Pfandl
4. "Pattern of Dissidence" by S. R. Goldstone
5. "General Conference President speaks about Independent Ministries" by Robert S. Folkenburg
See also the book "A Short History of the Third Angel's Message" for a background on these articles.
"A personal comment" on "What is New in the New Theology?" by Ron Parsons.
As you read the original item you will find bookmarks inserted each of which will take you to a specific comment made on that point.
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Page 2 in the original (The first page is a title page)
THE CHURCH UNDER ATTACK
Satan hates Christ. The cancerous seeds of jealousy, spiritual pride and self-righteousness. as first manifested in heaven, ultimately matured into the head-on confrontation at Golgotha and the Cross. 'The dragon stood before the woman.... to devour her child as soon as it was born" (Rev 12:4).
Satan failed. Praise God for the victory and resurrection of Christ. A victory and resurrection which can be yours and mine.
But Satan did not give up. He next directed his venomous attacks against the Church. History is replete with the scars of warfare as the great controversy marched through time. God's people should not be caught uninformed or unprepared of the fact that Satan's death knell aggravated energies are now being hurled against God's remnant Church with intensity. Attacks from within and without the Church are prophecies being fulfilled in our midst. Satan's methods are many. From the quiet word dropped imperceptibly to the roar of racing presses. From the little cottage meeting to public hall gatherings.
The following articles are deliberately focussed on addressing critical issues facing the Church today, Barry Oliver in his scholarly and pastoral style, presents the biblical and God-given New Testament Church model with its attending authority. Attitude toward authority is a significant issue in today's world - no less the Church.
We see the Church under attack from non-supporting, independent ministries. People who are defiant of Church authority, rejecting and belittling for example, the Church Manual - that which in reality often condemns their actions. "He who despises the authority of the Church, despises the authority of Christ Himself' (DA 806).
Gerhard Pfandl considers what is "new" in the "new theology" charge as laid against the Church and her pastors by independent ministries. In fact the question must be asked - is the theology new? The Church is accused of being "apostate Israel". Pastors are accused of preaching rank heresy. By implication our pastors are condemned as being a corrupt priesthood.
Theology is important. Truth is unchangeable. We now witness that any teaching not agreeing with the position as taken by those who attack the Church is considered to be erroneous and thus the Church apostate. Yet strangely, many of these independent groups with all their varying interpretations of Scripture, have formed a confederacy on apparently one thing - to attack the Church.
Satan's methods do not change. They have only improved with use over thousands of years. Ross Goldstone looks at the strategies used by Satan in Heaven and compares them with the methods and outcomes of the dissidence of Korah, Dathan and Abiram. The same ongoing pattern of dissidence can be seen in many of the activities of the non-supporting, independent ministries.
The unrelenting, barbed criticism of the Church leaders. The setting-up of a new system wherein ordination, baptism, marriage ceremonies and independent financial practices are carried out without any accountability to or respect for the Church, the body of Christ. These must surely cause concern - not only for the Church, but for those who are actively working against the Church. "We cannot now step off the foundation that God has established. We cannot now enter into any new organisation; for this would mean apostasy from the truth" (MS 129, 1905).
With one voice the actions of the Church are regularly misinterpreted, criticised and maligned. At the same time with another voice from the same mouth, the name of the Church is claimed. Members are accused as being in apostasy and yet independent groups choose to stay close to the membership for obvious reasons.
The final article is by our General Conference President. Elder Folkenberg "Speaks About Independent Ministries" with a deep pastoral concern for the Church. The Church is not without fault. We are all concerned at times for the things that happen in our personal lives, our families and our Church. Now is the time to repent and weep between the porch and the altar for what is happening to the Church. It is not a time to attack, cause division and set ourselves apart from and above that which God has called. "I have been instructed that it is Satan's special effort to lead men to feel that God is pleased to have them choose their own course independent of the counsel of their brethren" (9T, 257). Regrettably, there is apostasy in the Church - but the Church is not in apostasy.
The Church is under attack. The efforts of Satan will only escalate as the Church militant marches through these last days to become the Church triumphant. Christ said "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18).
My earnest hope is that you and I will continue to be vigilant, committed and obedient to the Christ we serve. You and I must daily make an individual choice. If you and I are not for Christ then we are against Him.
To the next part of the tour ..... "The New Theology"
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