Embracing the Total Package
Embracing the Total Package
Is it Possible?
Is it possible to be a Seventh-day Adventist and not accept the Sabbath? Is it possible to be a Seventh-day Adventist and not accept the Second Coming doctrine? It would seem preposterous to ask such questions of a Seventh-day Adventist, as both the Sabbath and Second Coming doctrines are embedded and entrenched in the name Seventh-day Adventist.
Okay, is it possible to be a Seventh-day Adventist and not accept the State of the Dead or the Sanctuary doctrines? Unequivocally no! These are core doctrines. Well, what about Righteousness by Faith or the Spirit of Prophecy writings? Is it possible to be a Seventh-day Adventist and not embrace these? Again the answer should be “No”. However, it may surprise you that there are persons who consider themselves Seventh-day Adventists in good standing but do not embrace all of the above, especially the inspired writings bequeathed to the church. Now, I can only imagine that you are tired of the questions and are wondering, “Where is he going with these?” Nevertheless, I crave your patience as I ask just one more.
What about Adventist Education?
Is it possible to be a Seventh-day Adventist and not accept Adventist Education, especially when one considers the true purpose of Adventist Education? I would have to admit that, when one understands the reason for the existence of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, it is difficult and, in some ways, inconceivable to belong to the Adventist Church and not believe in and support Adventist Education. Succinctly put, the church’s main business is salvation; for Jesus says, “I am come to seek and save that which was lost.” So all our programs and initiatives must be informed by that purpose -be they Education, Health, Youth or Family Life. It must be clear to you that I carry a burden for Adventist Education, as I see an attempt by the enemy to cloud and mislead us into thinking that it does not matter. Ellen White reminds us that, “In the highest sense the work of education and the work of redemption are one” (Education, p.30). Additionally, she says that “Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children. Godliness--godlikeness--is the goal to be reached” (ibid, p.18).
What does it mean to be a Seventh-day Adventist?
So, as a Seventh-day Adventist, do I accept all that my church stands for? Postmodernism teaches me that I can be a good follower and still not accept everything. Of course to be a good Seventh-day Adventist does not mean that I am perfect or that I understand everything. What it does mean is that I have accepted Jesus Christ, and I am willing to be led by Him totally and unreservedly as he chooses to lead. And since He will be my Guide, the issue would not be on what I accept or not accept. The Bible says in Proverbs 4:18: "But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day" (NKJV). Yes, it means that I am willing to be led “all the way my Savior leads me.” Shouldn’t that be the goal of all?