Clouded Issues

STANDING on a crowded metropolitan street corner, I watched in amazement as five young men, American college students dressed in Eastern garb, danced to a monotonous chant---the mournful words of an Eastern religion---accompanied by the ringing beat of small bells. Worshiping? Yes, but what?

-Layman, Scappoose, Oregon

STANDING on a crowded metropolitan street corner, I watched in amazement as five young men, American college students dressed in Eastern garb, danced to a monotonous chant---the mournful words of an Eastern religion---accompanied by the ringing beat of small bells. Worshiping? Yes, but what?

On the same day I entered the educational and psychology section of a library. A young man from Saudi Arabia was having trouble finding a certain book he wanted, and when the librarian came to his assistance I overheard this conversation:

"Do you not have any books on this subject?"

"Yes, we do, but they are all out. Do you see this whole section of empty shelves? Well, if the books were all in, it would be filled."

I looked and saw a large number of shelves---virtually empty.

She continued, "Some come back in every day, but they rarely stay on the shelves more than an hour or two. This is a very popular subject." The subject? Astrology.

Popular educators teach that there is no God, religion is a myth, a childish tale. Right and wrong are relevant. There are no absolutes; the world is a world of probabilities. Others view religion as a pacifier of the conscience, a therapeutic agent for sick, weak minds, a crutch necessary for some, but something society as a whole will eventually outgrow.

Men throw out the idea of the Creator and His blueprint, His law. Yet man must worship something, so, strangely, he turns to things much worse than even childish fairy tales to astrology, Eastern religions, and other unworthy areas. What a paradoxical age we live in!

Worldly Concepts as Compared to Adventist Concepts

But what shall we "upon whom the ends of the world are come" do? The fact is inescapable that there is a fundamental difference between the concept of the world at large and the concept of the Advent message. And make no mistake about it, these different concepts are not reconcilable in any degree. The one views man as an organism, true, but also as an accident, the outcome of a probability not unlike any other creature, except for complexity. It views the individual as of minor importance and the species and its survival as of great importance. It holds that right and wrong are not absolutes. In fact, absolutes do not exist, only relevances exist.

The Adventist concept views things in a very different light. It considers man's origin, his purpose, his destiny, in the light of man's creation by an all-powerful Creator. One concept cannot absorb even the slightest trace of the other concept, nor can it accept any of the corollaries or results of it without abrogating our mission. The fruit of the worldly concept is uncertainty, doubt, frustration, anguish, and despair, leading to all failures of life crime, drugs, alcoholism, escapism, insanity, and suicide whereas the Adventist concept, when fully received, leads to peace, serenity, security, family unity, and life eternal.

The Religious, the Philosophical, the Scientific

As Seventh-day Adventists we should awake and see what we have the real answers, the true answers! But of what value are they unless we realize this and appropriate them? If we do not preach Adventism, we might as well join one of the popular movements. Without our complete message we have no mission or purpose. However, some trends seem to indicate that we are uncertain about values that we once assumed were axiomatic. Some changes seem to intimate that our thinking is being affected by the idea that we go through three stages the religious, the philosophical, the scientific. The implication is that each of the latter two steps is an advancement up ward from religion and revelation to the ultimate science.

Perhaps our problem is that we have never stopped to consider what certain current trends seem to say. But are we willing to be really honest with ourselves and consider them? Are we on solid ground?

There are certain vital questions each of us must ask himself: Do I actually believe in an all-powerful God? Do I actually believe Jesus died for me? Do I really believe He is coming back? Do I really believe we have the last message for the world? Do I really believe that it can and will be given that it can and will be given in the near future, and that when it is given, Jesus will come? These are serious questions for which we must have good answers, and if we want solid answers we must not be afraid of the truth.

Who Sees the Fire?

In all honesty I must say I am much puzzled as I look around and see the actions and hear the talk of many of those who take the name Seventh-day Adventist. Let me illustrate it in this manner. Suppose that we were sitting in an auditorium listening to a speaker. Suddenly I notice that the wall over on the left side of the room is on fire! Naturally I become alarmed. No one else seems to notice it. I try to get the attention of others and suggest that we should do something about the fire before it gets out of control. But they say they can see no fire. Others say it is nothing and will be taken care of in due time. The speaker continues. Everything goes on as usual. I am dumfounded! I feel as if there is nothing real, as if I am not seeing what I see.

But, you say, "This is preposterous, it is only a supposition." Yes, it is. But let me ask whether it is not also preposterous to look around and see the fire raging in the world, to see its sparks igniting false, soul-consuming, satanic ideologies within the spiritual walls of the church. Would it not be preposterous to say we see nothing or it is nothing or it will be taken care of in due time, and then calmly fold our hands?

Were Our Forefathers Enlightened or Bigoted?

Under the guise of increased knowledge there have recently appeared in some of our periodicals, statements and articles with philosophies not only alien to the faith delivered to us through the Spirit of Prophecy writings but plainly contrary to specific testimonies. Within the walls that others' sacrifice built, there appear voices seemingly bent on compromising Heaven's last message of mercy. What has happened to us? Why do we tolerate incursions that not many years ago would have been emphatically condemned as sin? We might ask several questions. Were our forefathers narrow and bigoted? Were they simply misinformed? Are we today more enlightened and knowledgeable--or is it possible that it is we who are wrong? Is it possible that we are so conditioned by the filth and erosion everywhere that we have become somewhat blind and unshockable? If so, how has this occurred?

Let us take a look at what is happening in this world. What is this corrupt generation really like? Not long ago the news media carried a description of a rock festival known as Vortex I. Elevated on a platform twenty feet above the ground, the band leader stood up, stretched his arms like a priest of ancient Saturnalia, and led the band in a song praising the merits of drugs. He was naked, the band was naked! In fact, nakedness was quite general. Before the bandstand were swarms of youth. Some lay on the grass. Some danced to the wild, savage-like rhythms of the rock cult.

One can imagine that Moses met such a sight as he came down from Mount Sinai. Really, this bears the earmarks of pagan sun worship or the fertility cults. Would we want any part of this---the coloring, the language, the licentiousness, the music?

One young Seventh-day Adventist minister thought perhaps this would be a good place to hand out literature, but after a short trial period gave up, saying that if one wanted to help young people this was no place to do it. To send Adventist youth to any of these "happenings" would be like sending the youth of Israel over to the feast of the Moabites at Baal-peor. Would we want to copy anything that had the connotation of such a "gathering"?

Even though this gross behavior would not be sanctioned by a true Adventist, nevertheless, there are gray areas wherein questions exist concerning what some consider lesser erosions.

Will Adventists Sponsor Dances?

There may be those who doubt that there is any erosion at all in our standards and doctrines. They may say, "Yes, we believe in following the blueprint. But this idea of erosion, that is only your view point." I£ we go back to the time of the apostles we find that they held substantially one viewpoint. But look again three hundred years later and what do we see many divergent viewpoints among those now claiming to be Christians. Yet only one of these was God's viewpoint.

Today you say, There is ample evidence that the seventh day is the Sabbath. But the majority will say, This is only your viewpoint. When Ellen G. White was still living, few could question the intent of her words, for she was the living interpreter. But now, a little over sixty years later, we find many interpretations and divergent views. Incredible! But not so incredible as the fact that even though we still have her writings, such unfamiliarity with this God-given guidance prevails. Isn't it possible for us to find and know the will of God if we really honestly want to find it and follow it with all our hearts?

There are those who see the Spirit of Prophecy writings in the light of, as they say, "our culture." Where can this attitude lead us? If we were to follow it, is there anything that could not become permissible? Card playing, the theater, old-run movies on television, comedy, dance shows, extravaganzas, swing, jazz, rock, jewelry, flesh foods, dancing, premarital love, divorce, promiscuity, fiction, novels, and so on. And what could happen to character, devotion, dedication, firmness, reverence, purity, and principle? What about standing for right? What has happened to the spirit of Daniel, or Peter, or the spirit that made men go to the stake? Were they simply foolish? Where is the line to be drawn? Are basic principles involved or are these "relevant" according to the culture? Would you say that the time may come when Adventists will sponsor dances?

Using the Devil's Tools

Today we fly in jet planes. But what difference does that make? It may be a different world with regard to our physical environment and also a little more like Sodom and Gomorrah, but isn't purity still purity? Isn't loving the things of the world, whatever they may be, a violation of the first commandment? Isn't there such a thing as lust, and doesn't God still condemn it? Doesn't the phrase "By beholding we become changed" still apply? We need to go back to the blueprint and do some earnest study to see what God says. For it is never inappropriate for God's people to have God's viewpoint.

There are many who honestly think they have a better way. They point to a changing culture. They point to a new situation. I am a graduate of a worldly university, and I am quite stunned when I see the same false philosophies taught there permeating our church. When we use the thinking, style, or phraseology of this corrupt generation we are using the tools of Satan. But the tools of Satan are not fitted to do the work of God. "God does nothing in partnership with Satan." --Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 230.

The sociologists say that religion is a function of culture, but true religion is not. Some say that the writings of Mrs. White were affected by her culture and her "Victorian" ideas. Some go even further and virtually relegate all her instruction to the past; thus it is not for us in our culture. But what did she herself say? "There is no halfway work in the matter. The Testimonies are of the Spirit of God, or of the devil." --Ibid. "I do not write one article . . . expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision." --Ibid., vol. 5, p. 67. Would we charge the Lord with being affected by a culture?

Not One, But Two Tracks

To question some things is not a mark of intellectual capacity, but the beginning of doubt.

After Infinite Wisdom has spoken, there can be no doubtful questions for man to settle, no wavering possibilities for him to adjust. All that is required of him is a frank, earnest concurrence in the expressed will of God. --The Acts of the Apostles, p. 506.

If we could have asked the youth before the Flood, What do you like? the reply would have been obvious. If man is to be the criterion, then why a blueprint? why a Bible? why a God? The Scriptures foretell a class "with itching ears," people demanding, "Tell us what we want to hear."

We cannot go our own way. We cannot choose that which is pleasant to the natural man and prepare for a better world at the same time. The two ways are not compatible. The world is on one track, and the church is on another. They are going in opposite directions. The two paths do not blend imperceptibly into each other. We are not citizens of this world, only pilgrims.

Throwing Out the Guidelines

Suppose that you were going to the air port to board an airliner. As you boarded the plane something strange caught your attention. The pilot was cutting wires and throwing out what looked like electronic gear. Startled, you ask him, "What are you doing?"

"Oh, I'm throwing out the radio navigational gear. It's out of date. We don't need it anymore."

I doubt very much, if you know anything at all about the physics and electronics of jet air travel, that you would board that plane, for it would be certain to crash. No one in his right mind would. Nor would any pilot in his right mind do this. It would be suicide.

Yet this is exactly what society and the educators have done. Man has thrown out the chart, compass, guidelines, and all the navigational equipment. He is flying blind; a crash is inevitable. The current popular instruction to youth is to do the same "fly your life blind." The educators may not admit this, but this is the substance of it. They say that the Bible may have been a force in the past, a molder of culture, but for today they deny its validity and refuse to give it status above a myth. This teaching has caused a changed outlook. I heard one young woman make this statement: "Sex is no longer a moral issue---what we are doing to society is."

Let Our Youth Know

But we should surely see through this. We have the true Source of knowledge, the true guidance system. We need not fly the course of life blind. This is what we should emphatically tell our youth, as well as everyone else. Why should we take navigational advice from pilots who have thrown out the whole guidance system?

Some confuse the issue. Either God is God or He is not. Either He is leading us or He is not. His leading has not changed. Principles do not change. Also the nature of man has not changed, and this new attitude that we see among us is not new at all. It is as old as Satan himself. "He mingles the precious with the vile, and this is what gives him power to deceive." --The Ministry of Healing, p. 440. (See also Testimonies, vol. 8, pp. 293, 294.)

History is strewn with the wrecks caused by this deception. Each generation has sup posed that it was different. The history of Israel is one continuous example of this. It was no different in Isaiah's day or in Jeremiah's day, or for that matter, in the days after the apostles. So we see that claiming to be God's people does not guarantee against delusion. We may read in Testimonies, volume 8, pages 293 and 294, about the delusion prepared for us. This new philosophy is not in harmony with the whole of what is revealed. It is a delusion. It is not a matter of viewpoint. It is only a question of which set of instructions we will choose--God's or Satan's. Which do we want?

One of the saddest facts we as a church must face is the high rate of loss among our young people. Something must be dread fully wrong. How long would we patronize an airline that lost more than 50 per cent of its flights--an airline where more than half its planes crashed with no survivors? Still, that is what is happening in our church. This failure must be traced first of all to home training and influences, for the early years are the most important. There are other factors, as well, but part of the failure must be shared by our educational system. Is it always pure education and Christian education?

The Scriptures say, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Is God's promise valid? Then why are we losing so many of our youth? I do not think that we are willing to accuse God of promising some thing He cannot fulfill. There is only one alternative: In some way we have not met the conditions that He has made essential to the fulfillment. --Counsels to Parents and Teachers, pages 108 and 143, amplifies and fully corroborates Proverbs 22:6. This unimpeachable source declares that our reference is stated in positive language and that "impressions" good or bad "stamped on the mind of a child . . . are well-nigh ineffaceable." So, the "destiny will be shaped." Yet we know for a fact that the same unrest that plagues the youth of the world also plagues the youth of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Why?

This is not an easy question to answer clearly. There is a spirit today contending that we need no guidelines, no blueprint. So we might ask ourselves the question, Why follow the blueprint?

Deviations From the Blueprint

It is doubtful that any engineer or designer would ever sanction a deviation from his blueprint. And we must ask our selves, Would the Master Designer, who designed the universe, sanction a deviation from His blueprint? Would not such a course taken by any individual result in not only disapproval but also serious consequences? Sometimes we are not realistic.

Today many of the youth leave the church. So how do we react? We become panicky, desperate, grasp at straws. Many causes are suggested. The real cause remains unsuspected. We do not go back and examine minutely the original blueprint. Instead, we unknowingly seek the counsel of another engineer, one who is notorious for the failures of the structures he designs. His patterns and designs have caused the death of millions. In view of this, is it not disastrous to copy any part of his designs, regardless of how plausible any of his blue prints may look? Again, the point is obvious.

It is right that we should make efforts to hold and interest our youth. We all want to save them. We are desperate. But any efforts to save them must begin with the acknowledgment that we have no wisdom of ourselves. Without the specifications of the Master Designer we are in complete and absolute darkness. We have sought wisdom from poor sources. Few seem to be aware that the real trouble is that we are, and always have been, loathe to take the principles laid down in the blueprint and apply them honestly to our lives and to the church. The youth just do not see that we regard God's principles highly enough to live them. They see us claiming one thing and doing another, so of course we have trouble with them. And the rebellion that finds its trigger in our duplicity often irrationally expresses itself, not in correction of our errors, but in renunciation of principles we have failed to support!

When the Wind Changes

On some issues we have previously planted our feet and said, This is our stand. We have gone on record with our reasons, stating almost vehemently, This is right! Then suddenly the wind changes and we see it quite differently, and we accept that which we formerly opposed. Probably we think it is to our advantage. Not only do we accept compromise but we laud it to the skies as being the only thing to do. We may even write about it and promote it.

Putting all rationalization aside, and not even considering the question of whether we were justified in taking such a position in the first place, we still must acknowledge that we have done this more than once. The youth do not see this as being consistent. It is not something that can be lightly brushed aside. It raises a question as to what are really policies and what are principles. In fact, the question is asked, Are there such things as unchangeable principles? This is what has led to the charge of "hypocrisy" and intellectual dishonesty.

I repeat, there is only one remedy---return to the blueprint, consult the design of the Master Engineer. When we mix some of the faulty design of the other engineer with that of the Master Designer we should instantly see trouble. Do we? There is too much evidence that we do not. We do not recognize the aberration for what it is. It appears to me that good, well-intentioned men do not recognize what is happening in the remnant church. But let us leave the analogy and say it plainly, "Shall we seek counsel from the 'god of Ekron'?" Are principles really any different? Have times really changed? Oh, yes, the characters, the scenery, the script are different. But really, are not the issues the same--shall we obey the voice of God or follow Baal? This always has been and always will be the only question. With the answer to this question our course becomes exceedingly clear.

There Is a Distinct Line

The point is that we do not take all of the Word of God. We may think we do, but we actually try to take God's Word in one hand and the wisdom and learning of the world in the other. Patriarchs and Prophets points out the folly of "conforming" to or securing "the friendship of the ungodly" (page 559). The two concepts that is, God's concept and the world's concept--are not compatible in any degree. They do not blend imperceptibly into one another. There is a distinct line.

Having very recently attended a large university, I find it quite obvious what is occurring. Now, I realize we think we are escaping the influences that are there. But the facts are, we are not. We may strain out the "devil" but we drink his "broth." Many of our ideals and philosophies have become the same covered, to be sure, with a Christian cloak, but still the same. We believe we have to be worldly wise to be effective. But very frankly, this wisdom looks like ignorance compared to the instruction in the book Education, for example.

In the university I saw no wisdom equal to the wisdom we have available. What I saw there was filled with doubt and uncertainty, nothing like the positive, firm statements of the Spirit of Prophecy. While there I heard the echo of heathen philosophies of the past. I saw cynical skepticism. I saw doubt and uncertainty, pride, sophistication, reckless abandonment, and subversive political philosophy. I saw a denial of anything holy or sacred. I saw a complete ignorance of the past, the causes, the reasons. I saw the fruit of the seed of evolution planted a few generations ago. I saw confused educators teaching a confused younger generation.

It is so subtle, so overpowering, that few escape its molding influence. Our educators, large numbers of them, attend these universities and colleges for their degrees and advanced degrees. Even though they may deny it, they are molded to a degree at least, and unconsciously imbibe some of this false philosophy. I know this is true, for I see our own echoing fragments of it, and strangely enough, sometimes and in some aspects, stating it even more dogmatically than doctors of the universities. The seed of doubt is planted; faith is destroyed. Thus our own institutions are corrupted by false reasoning.

The Danger of Being Half Converted

Another source of this false ideology is this: Men who have been steeped in such teaching come in contact with this message the Advent message and accept it, but do not repudiate and sever themselves from all of their former concepts. Examples of this are plentiful as we study the history of the early Christian church. Pagan philosophers and others accepted Christianity, held positions of influence, worked in the church, but brought along many of their pagan ideas and thus corrupted the Christian faith. This is a fact of history (Origen and Clement are notable examples).

I have observed two flaws in the world's educational development. One is that man builds upon man. That is, man forms a concept; he errs in this concept, and another man follows him and builds upon the first man's work and compounds the error. Another man follows him and further compounds the error. Such has been the development, for example, in the field of evolution. Lamarck, Lyell, Darwin, and others conceived certain propositions. Others followed and built further propositions upon these and drew conclusions that have influenced almost every aspect of society.

This is the pit man falls into when he rejects the wisdom that comes from God. Building upon another man's error has resulted in all that we see today. This one basic error has directly and indirectly warped geology, sociology, anthropology, economics, cybernetics, psychology, and even the field of education. Sciences such as electronics, engineering, and even the more inclusive sciences of physics and chemistry are little affected, because their propositions are generally of a nature that can be checked in the laboratory, and wrong propositions are eventually noted and dismissed. But in other fields this is not so. Certain facts are observed, true, but only sketchy information is available. The rest is filled in with assumption after assumption, and thus man has built up one great fabric of truth and error interwoven.

Evolution—a Master Error

Even history is not understandable or interpretable without the benefit of revelation from God. So man, in the more speculative and philosophical fields, is completely at sea. Not only have the areas of morals and social conduct been affected but these concepts have also indirectly affected the whole fabric of science, education, business, and even society as a whole in a way that is not so apparent. That is, secondary concepts are formed that are not consciously related to their source. These are taught and accepted as "gospel truths" even by those who hold to fundamental Bible concepts. Students naively accept them at face value. Having accepted these values, they become teachers and teach them to their students. But false concepts held always bring forth false fruit.

The master mind ... of evil is ever working to keep out of sight the words of God, and to bring into view the opinions of men. . . . Whatever weak ens faith in God robs the soul of power to resist temptation. It removes the only real safeguard against sin. --Counsels to Parents and Teachers, pp. 377, 378.

The second observation is this: The erosion that we see in the world today, as well as the erosion that we see within the church, is largely traceable, directly and in directly, to the original concept launched by Darwin. No wonder God gave as an integral part of the last message of warning, "Worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters"!

Today we see the direct result of the acceptance of evolution in the world. But it did not occur overnight. The foundations were destroyed a generation or two ago, but the patterns of restraint remained. Now we see a generation without these patterns of restraint, and the results are self-evident.

Much that we see among the youth in the church is (and this may be unbelievable to some) the indirect result of the subtle permeation of our educational system with these same insidious errors.

A Disturbingly Clear Picture

Alarm at the spread of erosive concepts and their results is not based on speculation or imagination. I have observed first hand the teachings of the doctors of the universities. I have talked with them. I have observed the students and talked with them. I have observed and talked with the products of our own educational institutions. Further, I have researched some of the current and older works of men in the various sciences and other fields of study. This was done in order to see the nature of current thinking and how it developed. I have compared all of these with the blue print. Finally, the concepts held by our own educators and the concepts held by the educators of the world were compared with what has been revealed to us as a people in the writings of Ellen G. White.

The findings have been very shocking and revealing. The picture is disturbingly clear. I could not begin to bring to you a fraction of the evidence; but it is there, plain and clear, for anyone who cares to look. The facts compel us to draw this one conclusion: Unless those who hold the course of this movement in their hands lay the ax at the root of the tree, effectively and promptly, the next few years will bring forth a monster in our midst that will dominate this denomination on the basis of philosophy and false concepts, and will regard neither revelation nor principle. Such is hard for me to visualize, believing in the integrity of the bulk of those who hold the destiny of this movement in their hands and believing that this is the last true church on earth. I can see only the present, not the future; but the present does lay a difficult and fearful obligation upon those who see.

Can We Learn From Israel?

Another alarming observation borne out by history is that each generation assumes that its present-day knowledge is the epitomy of learning, that they are truly educated and wise, that all others before were somewhat inferior and ignorant. But the strange thing is that always, within a generation or two, much of that wisdom is found to be in error and has to be dis carded. Man is not as wise as he pretends. Man knows nothing. Only the wisdom of God endures and is changeless. We should beware when anyone comes to us and tells us that the principles the prophets have revealed do not apply any longer. One may say this by advocating another source of wisdom, by imitating the customs and practices of the world. We may choose to be like the people around us talk like them, look like them, think like them, act like them, become like them become just like the Israelites who went down to Egypt. (See Jer. 44:16-19.) They were so deceived that they actually thought they were in danger unless they worshiped the "queen of heaven." They actually said that calamities were coming upon them because they had not poured out drink offerings and made cakes to her. These were not heathen, but Israelites whose forefathers crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. We are the remnant church; what does the prophet say to us?

When God says that He will have a pure people, He is not talking about some in tangible ritual. He means getting rid of the dirt of this world. When He says, "Come out of the world completely," He means what Paul meant and what John meant. Dirt is not what you call it, it is what it is. Putting dirt into the church, no matter what the pretense, does not make it holy, just disgusting.

Israel's Wrong Solution for Holding Their Youth

I suppose that in Israel the young people sometimes thought that life was "kind of dull." No doubt in their youthful discussions they would say, "Look over there. Now, those Midianitish young people, they are really doing things, things that have meaning. They are really living! Let us go over and watch them." And they did. Naturally they got acquainted, and were invited to join in the fun. It looked interesting and not really harmful, so they accepted the invitation. In fact, they spent a lot of time over there. And before too long the older Israelites looked around and said, "Say! we are losing some of our young people. We have got to do something about this. Let us get some of those activities they are so interested in over here. It will not do any harm. Then maybe we can keep them here at home, among the chosen people." So they imitated the festivities of the Midianites, and everyone thought it was just great.

Let us skip over the next few years. What kind of picture do we see? Horrors! Israel bowing down to the east! And what is that? Images to Ashtaroth and Baal and sacrifices to Molech and making cakes to the queen of heaven.

I wonder whether we realize what actually is happening? Have we forgotten that all these things that happened to Israel are "for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition"? Have we taken an over all look, considered the writings of the prophet, and actually seen what is pictured here. Brethren, it is time to awaken out of sleep and listen to the true wisdom before it is too late.

There used to be a motto: "The gospel to all the world in this generation." Was it just a motto? My great, great-grandmother accepted this message some twenty years after the church was organized. That makes me a fifth-generation Adventist. This is a very, very long time. What about a sixth generation, a seventh, and eighth? What are we thinking about? Do principles mean anything? Do God's promises mean anything? Then why the weak voices? Why the reluctance to call sin by its right name? A little more, and soon we will not be recognizable as Seventh-day Adventists or the people with a God-given message.

I have no desire to criticize anyone. But look at what the apostles did in a few decades with no printing presses, no radio, no television, no jet planes, no wealth, nothing at all, except faith. They went everywhere. To a smaller world, yes, but no smaller compared to their resources. It was a gigantic task. But look at us. We have everything. Pardon me for saying it--everything, except faith. Things just could not be the way they are if we had faith, faith in God's promises, faith in His blueprint.

There is only one chart and one road to travel that leads to our destination. In other words, we are building characters for heaven; and our only hope is to build according to the blueprint, examine it minutely, follow it completely.

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-Layman, Scappoose, Oregon

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