01 December 2016

Sabbath Lawsuits: Glorying in their Shame

http://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/story4356-us-cement-maker-pays-42500-in-sabbath-lawsuit

These stories are far too common. Celebrated by the political activists who dominate Evangelicalism, they are in all actuality a mark of shame.

Rather than suffering oneself to be defrauded as the Apostle commands in 1 Corinthians, rather than turning the other cheek, rejoicing to suffer in Christ's name, false Christians like the cultist in the story turn to the state to use its threats of violence as a source of vengeance.

Whether the employer did right or not, isn't the point. This Adventist like many Evangelicals went to the courts and demanded the judge issue a sentence that compels the employer to pay. If the employer refuses there will be more days in court, further edicts and ultimately men with badges and guns will show up and either forcibly take the man into custody and put him in a cage or they will come and take at gunpoint (whether drawn or not) his possessions in order to give the money to the person who received the judgment.

If we as Christians are commanded to turn the other cheek and suffer ourselves to be defrauded, the courts are not for us. They serve a larger Providential purpose in society and yet they are not a means which we can or ought to utilise.

The Adventist like many Evangelicals demonstrates a rejection of Scripture's teachings. When Paul in Romans 12 says we are not to take vengeance and juxtaposes our conduct vs. that of the state in the following well known and oft quoted passage in chapter 13, these Judaizers have instead chosen to go with the state and rely upon it as a Pseudo-Zion, a Pseudo-Joshua/Saviour to accomplish their goals and bring about vengeance.

Christ said in John 12 that he did not come to judge but to save. Of course he will come and Judge when the time is right. This is the age in which He is longsuffering, not willing that any should perish. This is the age in which we are called to make disciples, not just among the Jews but among all nations. We cannot bring them to Christ if we are dragging them into the courts and using state violence to compel them to do what we want. We are called to follow Christ's example and take up the cross. If we understand grace which Adventists surely do not, we grasp that we are all children of wrath that have been delivered. We have no right to judge in the sense of bringing down a sentence on someone. We judge in the sense of discernment and truth-telling, not in vengeance.

We must happily embrace whatever Providence deals us and like Christ also says in John, we must be willing to be 'pruned' that we might bear fruit.

The idea of taking people to court is completely foreign to the New Testament. Many would argue that Paul only prohibits taking other believers to court. He most certainly does that but there's a larger teaching in the same passage as well as Christ's words in the gospels. If someone sues us we are told to give more.

These Culture War 'victories' are in all actuality spiritual defeats and setting the stage for further apostasy. This same body of doctrine ultimately will lead the 'Church' to embrace overt violence of the paramilitary variety in the form of revolution. Christians will murder for lies regarding 'rights' and heritage. That time is getting very close in the United States.

We can be thankful for a society with supposed civil rules and guarantees. We can be thankful that we aren't forced to live in total chaos. Nevertheless these so-called rights and even the concept of democracy, that authority is derived from the people and that they can determine (absolutely) what is right and wrong is completely foreign to Christian doctrine and ethics. It's a better system than some of the alternatives but we must always be careful we don't weave these ideas in with Christian theology. The result is pure confusion.

Bad is made into good and disobedience is proclaimed victory.

2 comments:

  1. I attended an Adventist church service many years ago and while the people were (for the most part) friendly, the issue of keeping the Sabbath on Saturday was a major focal point for them. It was practically all they ever talked about and even went so far as to say that churches that met on Sunday were basically apostate. "Sunday keepers", as they called them, bore the mark of the beast. Their words, not mine.

    Needless to say, I had no interest in returning.

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  2. The Sabbath is THE issue with them. If you go to church on Sunday, you are going to hell. It's interesting how they also attempt to utilise the Constantinian narrative. He formalised and codified Sunday worship and so they identify this as 'The Shift' the Great Apostasy.

    EG White and others of their camp then pick up in the Middle Ages and insist the Waldensians and other proto groups were Seventh Day Sabbath keepers etc...

    All the Restorationist groups (cult or not) want to claim the Waldensians as a counter-narrative to established Church history. And yet I find so very few people have actually taken the trouble to learn about them. They are truly neither Roman Catholic or Protestant...which is why they continue to fascinate.

    The SDA's also obsess over diet and nutrition. There's a lot of Judaizing at work in their thought. Strangely the SDA men I encountered in the military were all rather effeminate and some openly admitted to wrestling with homosexuality. There's something amiss there but I'm not sure what it is.

    Usually they're identified as the least heretical of the main cults... Mormons, JW's, SDA, Christian Science etc...

    In terms of Christology they're usually identified as Adoptionist but I think they would counter that.

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