Tuesday, December 30, 2014

How Education Affects Adventist Ecclesiology (and reaction).

How Education Affects Adventist Ecclesiology


by Richard Winn  from the  Senior College and University Commission. 

Please read the pdf as linked above direct from source. (8 pages, brimming with insight).The article is by Richard Winn referring to "tectonic shifts" in the context of seventh day adventist educational institutions in north america.

A personification as it were of tectonic shifts is perhaps embodied by Ryan Bell, he was an academic at an SDA educational institution and - has shifted from current SDA views, from pastor to now "weak atheist".  Consider reading his blog yearwithoutgod.

Adventism is being put under the spotlight especially now that Ryan Bell's  "Year without God" concludes.  Ryan was a seventh day adventist pastor who left the church, he has been getting international attention and perhaps by proxy the SDA church is being spotlighted? Can the church hold onto outdated ways of thinking? Has it already moved on, at least in part in sda academia? What follows is a guest post another ex sda pastor, my friend, clever guy and all round good human being. please enjoy.

Guest post follows, with thanks by Glenn Weare.

This is a very interesting article. He is basically saying that many thinking Adventists no longer believe in the flood story as told in Genesis. They no longer believe in creationism, and hence, presumably, the importance of the 7th day Sabbath. They no longer see the Bible as some kind of guide book. But because SDAism is their comfortable social context they remain in the church and downplay the need for these old SDA doctrines. I am very happy for SDA's to do this. These are the 'liberals'.

The problems arise when traditional SDA's don't like what they are seeing in SDA institutions of higher learning and in the products of these institutions who are teaching their children or preaching in their pulpits. These traditionalists rightly perceive a threat to their God given church and launch attacks on the people and institutions they see as creating this threat. Thing is, these people, though in my view dead wrong, are consistent in saying that the liberals are 'of the devil' and should be opposed, sacked or whatever. They see themselves fighting on the side of God against Satan. Perfectly understandable from their frame of reference!!

But when these traditionalists take up their cudgels against the liberals, the latter complain and denigrate the former. There has been and will continue to be much blood letting and pain and hurt for people on both sides of this battle. Liberals say they are staying in the church to reform it from within. That sounds very noble. Good luck with that. I know some who have become very pessimistic about that prospect after some very painful experiences.

A further problem is that liberals have to go around being very careful as to what they say and to whom they say it, because they do not know who they can trust not to ‘dob them in’. I have tried to get a straight answer on some of the contentious issues from SDA academics - resulting in lots of fancy footwork and dissembling. There is a real problem with integrity here, when people cannot be open and honest about what they really believe.

And then, what is the point of trying to make the SDA church just like other liberal churches, which would appear to be the object of the exercise. Other churches already exist with their extensive real estate and extensive administrative structures. Why duplicate these things when the world is in so much need of resources to help the poor and needy.

My answer is to let the traditionalists have the SDA church. After all they would seem to have the most legitimate claim to it. If you don’t like it, get out and join forces with an existing group to achieve the ends you believe in. Why can’t people, or why don’t people just leave when they find they don’t accept traditional SDA beliefs? I have my thoughts on that and you may have some too!!

Just expect a lot of pain and hurt to continue!!


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