It’s not often I am awake at 4:00 in the morning, which in this case, may be due to having gone to bed a little earlier with a mind filled with thoughts, dreams carrying the burden, to awaken with the thoughts still. So, here I sit, in front of my laptop, continuing to do research on a new topic the “2520 Prophecy” as well as another concern, of late, for my fellow Adventists.
Haven’t you when reading the Bible ever wondered to yourself, “Why is this so complicated? If it is for my benefit then why isn’t it written plainly?” The Disciples had the same concern. At one point they confessed,
“His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.” John 16:29 (KJV)
They had trouble “getting it”, too. So, it makes me wonder is it because of our hard-headedness or is it God requires of us to search into Him, revealing only as we are willing to pursue knowledge. I cannot see God speaking to those He wants to save, speaking in ways only to confuse us. “Lord, make it plain!”
As we (Adventists) are preparing for our General Conference dealing with divisive topics, there has already been a divisiveness which has taken place in our lives. How many of us can truly say we are living in the way in which we know to be truth—today, as opposed to having growing up under the guidance of parents and guardians—yesterday? Let me make it plain.
When I see some of you in your posted photos, except for the obvious signs of age, you don’t look the same as before. The “plainness” has left you! Now, many will say the issues I bring up are not salvific, but are they? If what you heard, believed was once truth and you choose to walk away, is it not salvific for you? Those of us who were raised in this great “remnant” church of God are going to be held to a higher standard because we know the truth, or at least, were exposed to it. What has happened regarding dress reform which includes the wearing of jewelry? What has happened to health reform as I’ve seen some photos of what is now gracing your tables, and in one believer’s photo showed liquor and other forms of alcoholic beverages? What about music reform which would also include entertainment: theater, whether live or recorded. Are these not important today as much as they were yesterday or is it because we were children and had no choice? Was our parental guidance worthwhile or is it you felt deprived, couldn’t wait until you were grown, so you could appear as your friends who didn’t attend the same church as you did?
I went through the same, for lack of better word, “rebellion” as you may be going through. I, too, put on my ring finger a wedding band, never feeling comfortable about it until the time I needed to make a decision regarding it. Sure, I could justify my wearing it claiming it not an issue of salvation, but the truth of the matter is,
“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17 (KJV)
So, do we chalk it up to saying, “It is my life and it doesn’t affect my relationship with God”? It doesn’t? Then why the need to do opposite than what we were taught? Was what were taught by caring parents worthwhile or was it too extreme a view? Was what we had then good enough or what we are able to do today better? Do we appear as those who are outside the church or is it only our beliefs which separate us? And if it is only beliefs which separate us, then we’ve failed because we were taught it was how we dressed, appeared, ate, socialized, all these went into making us “peculiar”. I have to admit, now, when I wore my wedding band, I felt peculiar. When I am still tempted to put my lips around a chicken wing, I feel peculiar. When I sit in a theater, I feel peculiar. I feel peculiar because this was not the life I was brought up believing and from the outside I appear as those who were once considered: “outside”! So, where is my witness?
“Lord, make it plain.”
Perhaps, I have no witness at all!
Perhaps things are complicated now because I’m the one who is having a difficult time in understanding what the Lord has made plain. Maybe it is my conflicted, convoluted and controversial lifestyle which prevents me from understanding the pure, undefiled and plain, “Thus saith the Lord”.
We are so quick to use the defensive, “Don’t judge me. You don’t know me. Only God has the right to judge” so taken out of context because according to my Bible I DO and WILL have the right to “judge you” because it will be your record I will be going over during the one thousand years wondering why my brother, my sister, of the faith hadn’t made it. To think some of us will be lost because we failed at maintaining the diet we knew which was best. Because we failed at our lifestyle, with those shiny dangling things which hang from earlobes, and off fingers. Because we failed at having a taste for that which affected our thinking…no wonder it all seems complicated today. We’re the ones who can no longer hear the “plain word of God”, and yet we will fill into the pews, on Sabbath, boldly wearing our mess as evidence of our rebellion, not only against God but our grandparents and parents who faithfully got us past the battles they fought in their lives, willing that we didn’t have to go through the same struggle and yet, we are worse than them because we’ve reverted from where they’ve gotten the victory! And what is worse is now our ministers will ascend the pulpit, stand behind the Sacred Desk, waving their ring-wearing hand as they preach the Word, yet the Word and the Spirit of Prophecy has failed to be preached to their lives as those now coming in as visitors can attest, “You all are no different than us!”
I think the Lord has made it quite plain, but we reject that message, too. The one about being lost. Why? Because we don’t like it, either. It just doesn’t suit our desired style of living.
“Lord, thank You, for making it plain.”
June 27, 2015