Saturday, March 21, 2009

Today at Church

So today at church my buddy John preached on Jonah. Good stuff but didn't really hit home with me personally.

The guys at Sabbath school began talking about things like how all churches should face west, like Daniel prayed to the west, and that a church facing east was somehow related to worshiping the sun. God help our church.

Another thing they were talking about was how vital it was in these days not to eat meat, and that anyone who hadn't cut meat completely out of their diet would not be translated. Apparently there is a passage in SOP that says something along those lines. They went on about this for like 10 minutes.

Come on, we know Daniel was praying toward the west because that was toward where the temple had been in Jerusalem. They knew that too, but still there was this strange emphasis. As for the may well be that those of us still in the remnant after the shaking will all be eating a simple diet without meat...but is that really the point? It's certainly not the vegetarian diet that is going to save anyone, so why give it such undue focus? Where is the focus on Christ and His death on the cross...and His unsearchable love yearning for us to accept His grace?

Our faith in Christ is what will save us. It may indeed be that He will work in us to stop eating meat as we near His coming, but if we haven't placed our true faith and trust in Him in the first place we're going to be lost regardless of what we eat. This is what Christ meant when He said "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." (Matt 15:11) There is no saving power in our diet. God help our church.

I was reading my Bible during Sabbath school and this is the passage that Christ brought me to, and had me stay and focus on:

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy." (James 3:17)

That's a beautiful verse, and the entire passage of James 3:13-18 is so rich with blessings if we meditate on it. Perhaps I'll do a post looking at this passage in the future. We'll see.

My favorite part at church today was singing Hymn #448, "O, When Shall I See Jesus"! That is such an uplifting hymn and it made my spirit soar.

Happy Sabbath :-)


  1. Todd,
    I am heartened by your day at church. I hope that you have some brothers who you can talk to on a spiritual level though. It seems that Adventists are either classified as "conservative" or "liberal," both labels with which I take issue. Perhaps those brothers would be labeled conservative since they "seemed" to be in obedience to something from "Diet and Foods." However, I do like your understanding of the situation and that you remain rooted in the word of God. Can never go wrong there. I am curious as to which church you are a member of and attending there in California. I know when I lived there, that I found such a wide "spectrum" (pun intended) of Adventist Churches, some of which I just did not feel comfortable attending. However, I think that I have grown a little more spiritually mature (I just turned 52) and thus more able to endure like Jesus was able to in the synagogoues of His day. So, I am glad that you are able to listen to your brothers small talk and still remain focused on what is important.

  2. You know, Dean...I have been praying to find a couple people at church with which to have a small-group Bible study. Of course, since I haven't attended very often lately it's been tough. God keeps telling me, you have to be there and interact to find someone that you "click" with and will be able to study with.

    Yes, I think those brothers would definitely be labeled "conservative,"...I had a conversation with one a while back at potluck where he was telling me how wearing a tie has its root in paganism, and how chess has its root in paganism, something about black and white, yin and yang. Anyway...I love the guy, and don't fault him for being super-careful about what things he has in his life. I would never want to argue and cause someone to violate their own conscience. In fact, this is the guy I've been considering asking to join me in a small Bible study fellowship. But when I hear him talk about all churches facing west and ties and stuff, I get a little "standoffish." I don't know.

    Right now I don't really have anyone to talk with about spiritual things, which is probably why I blog so much about all these issues that are on my mind.

    I'm a member of the Red Bluff's between Redding and Chico, if you're familiar with Northern California?

  3. Todd, I have a pastor friend who pastors either in Central or Northern Calif. The same conference where Doug Batchelor pastors. His name is Mike Kontes. Perhaps you can look him up. By the way, you can tell your friend how God has triumphed over pagan symbols and had His people use them. Like when Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, or when Joshua had the people whitewash the "standing stones" with lime and then write on them the words of God's law, or when Jesus died on that most pagan of all symbols, the cross. Sounds like that friend of yours could use a good study on righteousness by faith. Perhaps you could study Desire of Ages with him. It is a real eye and heart opener for legalists. I heve been especially blessed by chapter 15 and pages 151-152--the description of how Jesus worked and taught His disciples to work by interacting with the people in their "daily vocations, and manifested an interest in their secular affairs." My goodness, He even went to a marriage feast that lasted several days and blessed it with His first miracle, water to wine.

    I am preaching on that topic this week, john 2:1-11. Truly the "good wine left until now" represents finally the actual coming of Jesus in the flesh. Can you imagine anyone refusing the best of the best wine. Yet, they did not receive His testimony as John the Baptist testified under inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I will pray for your friend