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Author Topic: Strange and Unheard of Supposed Comments By Seventh-day Adventists  (Read 1938 times)

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Azenilto Brito

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Strange and Unheard of  Supposed Comments By Seventh-day Adventists

       In the May/June edition of Proclamation! Magazine (2009) Mr. Ratzlaff just confirms the unethical feature of his methodology as he once again proposes to assesses Seventh-day Adventism. He begins an article he wrote (“Does Paul Conflict With Jesus?”, p. 14) alleging that he was “sitting in an audience where I heard an Adventist pastor say something to the effect that Paul had his disagreements with Jesus”. Then he proceeds to say that he was “deeply disturbed” with such opinion, going on in his misrepresentation of what SDA’s teach adding his opinion that this wouldn’t be an “isolated opinion” and that “many Adventists say that Paul misunderstood Jesus”. Worse, he declares in a nonchalant way that “Some Adventists indicate that one cannot trust what Paul wrote  because he disagrees with Jesus and undermines the law". Some who? How many? What is the proportion of these? Where do they live and teach these strange and unheard of things? By the way, the Apostle Paul is my favorite Bible author, and to many SDA’s too.
       Now I would urge Mr. Ratzlaff to tell clearly WHO this pastor mentioned by him was that we can check with him what he really meant, for I never, in over 40 years of being a Seventh-day Adventist, heard any pastor, or even lay person, saying anything similar to that. There are two possibilities: a) he misunderstood what this pastor said; b) he distorts dishonestly something that this pastor said.
       This dishonesty is confirmed later on in his innuendos that we think that salvation is by keeping the commandments (at least in part), which is not true, absolutely. Referring to the episode of the rich young man (Matt. 19:17ff), he says: “Here we see that keeping the commandments does not bring true assurance and peace with God. He, the obedient commandment keeper, recognize his continuing lack. One never knows if this law keeping is 'good enough’”. That is the kind of discourse that we can do without. It doesn’t affect us at all, as anyone can see just checking the 28 topics of our confessional document.
       Besides, as I said, in over 40 years of reading so many pieces of SDA literature, listening to lectures, sermons, Sabbath School lessons expositions, Bible studies by both pastors and lay people, NEVER EVER I heard such a statement. So, I am inclined to think that what happened is letter b), since Mr. Ratzlaff has already revealed that he is not trustworthy in so many of his comments on our teachings and sentiments.
       Further down, he continues: “Jesus’ telling him to keep the commandments was not giving him a method for getting to heaven; rather, the commandment were given to point out sin”. And: “. . .  keeping the moral commandments of the law is good but not sufficient to save, and that the commandments are designed to cause us to realize that we still lack the goodness for eternal life. To be saved, one must trust Christ alone for salvation”.
      Now, that, in a way, is surprising for he finally recognizes that the commandments “were given to point out sin”. That is correct and according to Rom. 3:20, where Paul confirms that the role of the law IS (using the present tense) to reveal sin, which he confirms in Rom. 7:7, 8. So, aren’t we still sinners? Don’t we need the law to show us were we fail, so that we resort to the solution--Christ’s shed blood and forgiveness? So, the law works as a mirror that points us our sins, and we resolve that, not breaking the mirror (as those who teach the abolition of the law theory), but looking for the forgiveness promised to those who look for the assistance of the Advocate (1 John 2:1).
       Who came up with this law/mirror illustration? John Calvin did, in his Institutes. Other Christian authors say the same thing.
       By the way, I have been stressing how Evangelical/Protestant Churches historically teach that the 10 Commandments represent God’s Moral law, in contrast to the Ceremonial and Civil laws, these last ones not applicable to the Church. Now, I have researched some more and came to a very “surprising” conclusion: ALL OF THE MOTHER-CHURCHES OF PROTESTANT CHRISTENDOM TEACH THAT! Yes, that is true--Lutherans, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Congregational, Anglicans consensually teach that the 10 Commandments law continues being the rule of life for Christians in ALL their precepts. These are those churches from which all the other derived, including offshoots like this New Alliance movement of Ratzlaff.
       Speaking of New Alliance, it would be good to remember the question we submitted to both him and his editor, which puts things in due perspective regarding this theme of the transfer from Old to New Alliance. They NEVER EVER gave us any answer. It seems impossible to these “New Alliancers” to give any response to this question. It paralyzes them totally and shows the error of their interpretation. I applied a slight change to the “famous” question. Let’s see it again:

       Where is it written that in the change from the Old to the New Covenant, when God writes what is called “My laws” in the hearts and minds of those who accept the terms of the New Covenant [New Testament] (Heb. 8:6-10), transferring the contents of the cold tables of stone to the hearts warmed by the divine grace (2 Cor. 3:2-7), God in the process,

       a) leaves out the 4th commandment of the moral law;
    b) includes the 4th commandment, but changing the sanctity of the 7th to the 1st day of the week?


    c) leaves the question of the day of rest as a vague, voluntary and variable practice that can be reinterpreted as any day which is most convenient to the believer (or his employer)?


      d) leaves out the dietary rules regarding unclean/clean meats?

      Basic texts: Hebrews 8:6-10; Jeremiah 31:31-33; Ezekiel 11:19, 20 and 36:26, 27; Isaiah 66:15-18.

As to the HARMONY between Law and Grace, Faith and Works, Justification and Sanctification, the study that is found in another topic, which could be accessed through the link below suffices to resolve of this supposed conflict that Ratzlaff tries to convince his readers that occurs in 7th-day Adventism, to the point of “many” believing that Paul was is disagreement with Jesus in our midst, which is totally untrue.




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Re: Strange and Unheard of Supposed Comments By Seventh-day Adventists
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2009, 02:56:33 AM »

Thank you for this study, Azenilto.
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