Everywhere you look in the Adventist church you will find new ideas and theories springing up like weeds in the garden. Our sinful human nature has a craving to discover or be a part of some startling new truth, to be "in the know" and to feel somehow superior to those who have not yet received this "new light."
If you have been following any sort of Seventh-day Adventist blogs or FaceBook friends you will undoubtedly know the type of doctrines of which I am speaking. Most of them have a distinctly conspiratorial flavor to them, dealing with such issues as "the truth about the Godhead and the Omega apostasy," or "the hidden 2,520-day prophecy," or "Secret Societies controlling the world," or "the observance of the Feast Days," or "forensic justification."
Recently a comment was made by a man who stated that after coming out of the Catholic church for a time, he went to an Adventist church for a period of about 9 weeks, during which time he saw the sharp schisms which are dividing the church and concluded succinctly, "This isn't the right church." And upon leaving our church he went to study with the Jehovah's Witnesses for a short time and realized that they were completely unbiblical in their beliefs and so eventually went right back to where he started: the Catholic church.
It may be said that if that man is lost, his blood could conceivably be on the heads of those in the church which drove him away by their dissensions. It has been said by one I trust that "a premium is to be placed on the unity of believers." How very true.
"I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. ... that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— " - Ephesians 4:1-3, 14, 15
It is absolutely astonishing to the utmost degree that we would die on these hills of disagreement while there are mountains to be stood upon as brothers and sisters united in Christ. But I digress.
There is a possibility that may prove true if we could see the hearts of men as God can. It is the possibility that those who claim to discover or follow or promote "new light" are not in reality following the light that has already been given, which is tantamount to building your house on the sand. As was pointed out by Pastor Stanton in a previous post: even if we are right about our theology, we become wrong if we are in the flesh. Please don't misunderstand, I am not saying that displaying the works of the flesh is merely a problem that we Christians ought to deal with, especially when presenting truth...I'm saying that if you are displaying the works of the flesh you are NOT a Christian.
Yet, it's not my thoughts but God's word, because the Bible says, "Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. ... And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." - Galatians 5:19-21, 24.
If you are taking hold of some new doctrine and running with it while practicing the works of the flesh such as hatred, contentions, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions or dissensions...then, my friend, you are not only wrong, but have not crucified the flesh and thus are not Christ's.
"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." - Romans 8:1
"If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." - Galatians 5:25
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." - Galatians 5:22, 23
"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." - 1 John 1:7
"He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." - 1 John 2:6
"I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." - Galatians 5:16
How simple is this light? How pure? How true? Immeasurably so. Why then, if we have not first built such a basic foundation, would we endeavor to build some grand tower of doctrine? Isn't it obvious that any such tower will fall because it is not built on a firm foundation? And how great will be its fall!
"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." - Matthew 7:24-27
This is so fundamental, I cannot stress it enough. If we are not following the plain words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ - God with us - then how great is our folly if we then attempt to weave some complex tapestry of doctrine?
Who is the Rock on which we're to build? Jesus Christ. (Gen. 49:24, Psalm 18:2, Psalm 118:22, 1 Cor. 10:4, and many other Scriptures)
Can you honestly say that you are walking in the Spirit, displaying the fruit of the Spirit faithfully and consistently? If you cannot, then please set aside any "wisdom" that you thought you had, because God tells us that "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
Is that a good description of your "wisdom?" Is it peaceable, gentle and willing to yield? If not, then God says it is not from above.
"If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless. Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." - James 1:26, 27
Can we still not see the foundation on which we are to build everything else? Love. Love comes first. "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13:13
and, "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." - 1 John 4:8
For studies on fanaticism, I suggest the following:
"Walking in the Light: Rejecting Antichrists" by David Asscherick
"Stopping the Tidal Waves of Fanaticism, part 1 & 2" by Eugene Prewitt
"Legal Justification" by Eugene Prewitt (article)
"The 2520 Year Prophecy" by Eugene Prewitt (article)
"Commentary on the Methods of Pippenger" by Eugene Prewitt (article)
"2009 Evaluation of Jeff Pippenger" by Eugene Prewitt (article)
"An Evaluation of Tim Jennings" by Eugene Prewitt (article)
"Feasts for the 21st Century" by Eugene Prewitt (article)
...or go to AudioVerse for a number of sermons or BibleDoc for a number of articles.