Yesterday, I wrote and posted, “Adventism Under Attack!” and received quite a bit of response. I found it interesting how some groups hardly a negative word was mentioned regarding the issue of Christmas while other groups people took it personal regarding their desire to observe Christmas and yet remain faithful to Truth—so there is a diversity, not so much between people and their beliefs but within people themselves! And THIS is what my purpose was in writing this piece and this following piece today.
I, too, was raised in what could be considered “all things Christmassy”. In fact, I wrote an article which was published in The Cleveland Press in 1973 which began my public writing career for Op Ed columns in several newspapers. It, too, was about the diversity regarding the holiday. In 1978 there was something which bothered me about the day because I couldn’t see how it could relate to my growing desire to follow God. So, I studied. I read everything I could find and I believe, with the help of the Holy Spirit, made a decision which would change my life. In fact, I contacted my mother and asked her this one question: “Mother, if you having grown up an Adventist, knowing the truth, how could you teach your children a lie?” She was silent. She also knew whatever reason, excuse, she could offer would never be adequate. Our relationship since has never been the same, but that’s okay because I’m “passionate for truth”.
I have a brother, a faithful religious man, who, too, on his own understanding and research decided to stop celebrating the pagan holiday. When I visited with him his home showed trappings of the holiday, now having remarried with small children. He shrugged his shoulders and said, “She wanted it.” She, his wife’s background is one of Catholicism. Thankfully, she’s now an Adventist, but he bore with her.
What I will say now will probably cause great consternation but I cannot believe it is not the truth and it needs to be said using a lyric from one of my favorite songs, “…And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” I believe when we have a “passionate desire for truth” no matter how difficult our former beliefs, desires and wants will be, we will learn how to put them down in order to take ahold of that which is not tainted.
Our great church has had divisiveness all throughout its history. Consider where we, Protestants, have come from, it is no doubt many of the ideologies we hold close is still touched by that which is not pure. This is why we were called out from being “among them”. God is purifying a people so they’re able to stand in the coming Tribulation which will touch them as no other time of trouble past has done. When the question is asked, “Why won’t you observe Sunday as according to the law?” will be answered passionately, “Because the Bible states the Seventh day is the Sabbath”, and they will be willing to die for this belief. Yet, if the prosecutor continues their line of questioning and this question is next to be asked, “Fine. However, it is on the record you observed Christmas, which is based upon the same tradition as Sunday keeping, and there is no Scriptural reference, why then are you not able to observe Sunday, since they both came from the same source?” There can be no answer, just as my mother fell silent, because it is recognized ANY answer given justifies the sin and there is no justification for sin.
Just as those who observe Sunday are passionate about their belief and worship, the same is found in Sabbath-keepers about their belief and worship; however, when our beliefs goes against the grain of what we stand for, truth, let’s be “passionate for truth” WITHOUT the error.
December 5, 2014