…This is a subject Adventists are not immune from and most especially in the US.
I’m talking about Denominational Exceptionalism.
In Islam, there are the Sunni and Shi’ite factions. In Judaism there’s Orthodox and Unorthodox. Both are still considered to be Muslim or Jewish though. Christianity has almost 35 recognized denominations–22 based in the U.S.–and all of them believe they are “The One”. Obviously, each denomination has their own set of unique beliefs. I won’t go into the specifics of what everyone believes but like I said, members of all believe they are “The One”.
…Adventists are no different.
I have been seeing Doug Batchelor of Amazing Facts and John Bradshaw of It Is Written as well as Dwight Nelson, Carton Byrd and other Adventist pastors whose programming is on Hope TV/Hope Channel, 3ABN, Amazing Facts TV and It Is Written TV pushing back hard against Denomination Exceptionalism from within the church.
The reason is simple: It’s short-sighted to think that way.
I mentioned at the top Adventists are not immune to the practice of Denominational Exceptionalism. The other Christian Denominations consider Adventists to be “Legalists” for using nothing but the Bible as the basis for all of its tenets. Not just one but all including The Sabbath, which is a big aspect that separates Adventists from the other Denominations.
The Bible makes it clear that there will be two groups of people at The Second Coming: Those who will be Saved and Those who will be Lost. There is no third group. Just one or the other. Not all who will be Saved will be Christian either. God loves using loopholes to Save people. Christ’s First Advent foretold in Eden is one such example. Contrary to what the Devil wants the world to believe, God is Love. God wants everyone to live and everyone to be Saved.
God can also use anyone to do his will even if they don’t know him. King Cyrus of Medo-Persia was named in scripture 150 years before his time as the one who would overthrow the Babylonian Empire in a single night. Studies conducted on past civilizations have revealed that there were people who worshipped a single Creator God despite neighboring people worshipping multiple Gods.
Anyways my point is once you get into the whole “My beliefs are the only ones that matter” mindset as a Christian, you’re only fooling yourself. Jesus himself there are many who think they will be saved and they won’t be. Many will also be very surprised to see who will be Saved as well. God forgave King David, who was an Adulterer. Jesus forgave a Thief crucified next to him. As long as you focus on just what’s in front of you, you will never be able to understand the larger picture.
Adventist Pastor Carton Byrd often said in his early Breath of Life sermons “It’s not important to believe what you believe but why you believe what you believe.” There are too many Christians across all denominations worldwide who can’t even explain what their beliefs are or what even about what their Denomination is about. If you can’t explain it to someone clearly and simply. you probably don’t know much about it yourself.
Here’s the 3 points I share with folks when explaining what Adventists Believe.
- We believe the world was made in 6 literal days and God rested from his work on the 7th Day.
- We believe in the Second Coming of Jesus and the state of the world are signs of his soon coming.
- We believe the Bible alone is the sole authority for all things and not any man or tradition.
If you want a more detailed explaination, go here: https://www.adventist.org/en/beliefs/
Now here are the 3 points I share with folks when I explain why I am an Adventist:
- I believe in the Adventist Message regarding the Second Coming, The Sabbath and other things.
- I believe the Bible alone should be the only standard for my faith as does the SDA Church.
- I believe that over time, these beliefs will be adopted and practiced by Christians who will adopt in 1 and 2.
I don’t force my beliefs on others. That’s not what anyone considers themselves a Follower of Christ or one who Believes in God should be promoting or endorsing either. God’s a big believer in choice and respects free will weather it’s to His benefit or not at the end of the day.
The Bible outlines when Lucifer Rebelled, God could’ve wiped him out with just a thought. Instead, he gave space for the angels to decide who they want to side with–God or Lucifer. Two thirds chose God, a third chose Lucifer. In Eden, God gave Adam and Eve a single Commandment: Don’t eat from a specific tree because in doing so, you’re sure to die. When they did, God could have and would have been within His right to immediately end the Human Race and start over but He didn’t.
Cold Logic dicates God made the wrong choice not only sparing their lives but allowing Human History to play out. God is clearly Logical though. I said earlier God loves using Loopholes to Save people. After all God is Love ^_^
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