Thursday, March 06, 2008

Reasons For Which [Seventh-day Adventist] Members Shall be Disciplined

Church Manual Amendment Actions of the General Conference
Adventist Review
July 14-28, 2005, page 83.

Among the grievous sins for which members shall be subject to church discipline are the following:

1. Denial of faith in the fundamentals of the gospel and in the cardinal doctrines of the church or teaching doctrines contrary to the same.

2. Violation of the law of God, such as worship of idols, murder, stealing, profanity, gambling, Sabbathbreaking, and willful and habitual falsehood.

3. Violation of the seventh commandment of the law of God as it relates to the marriage institution, the Christian home, and biblical standards of moral conduct.

4. Such violations as fornication, promiscuity, incest, homosexual practice, sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults, and other sexual perversions, and the remarriage of a divorced person, except of the spouse who has remained faithful to the marriage vow in a divorce for adultery or for sexual perversions.

5. Physical violence, including violence within the family.

6. Fraud or willful misrepresentation in business.

7. Disorderly conduct which brings reproach upon the church.

8. Adhering to or taking part in a divisive or disloyal movement or organization.

9. Persistent refusal to recognize properly constituted church authority or to submit to the order and discipline of the church.

10.The use, manufacture, or sale of alcoholic beverages.

11.The use, manufacture, or sale of tobacco in any of its forms for human consumption.

12.The misuse of, or trafficking in, narcotics or other drugs.

The church cannot afford to deal lightly with such sins or permit personal considerations to affect its actions. It must register its decisive and an emphatic disapproval of the sins of fornication, adultery, all acts of moral indiscretion, and other grievous sins.

13 comments:

  1. Hmm . . .

    Well, I guess in the case of No. 4this is definitely not the voice of the Anglican/Episcopalian church.

    Denial of the faith? I would hope this does not mean a closure on honest questions which need to be asked in this age of modernism/post-modernism?

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  2. As long as the policy seeks to create specific instances of and enumerate violations of the law of God, how about violations such as: hating, failure to show mercy and compassion, pride, materialism, failure to show hospitality, favoritism and partiality?

    It seems these are, in general, more serious violations that the ones listed in the policy. Of course it is much more difficult to identify these violations, in particular because most of us practice all of these to some degree...

    Call me cynical, but the church policy appears primarily designed to protect the Adventist denomination, its organizations, its structures, and its officers. It seems that the church is violating their own policy #2 by creating and worshiping an idol of policy and organization.

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  3. Let all understand that the SDA Church Manual has no doctrinal authority whatsoever. Neither Jesus nor the Apostles would pay any attention to this Laodicean nonsense that is full of false doctrine and great error.

    Consequently this list of "grievous sins" is way off base and does not reflect New Covenant theology. In fact, the very first point is wrong because the present SDA version of the "fundamentals" does not reflect how either the apostles, reformers, or Adventist Pioneers viewed prophecy or doctrine.

    So no one should think that anything being promoted by the SDA church today is legitimate or credible. Especially something as self-serving and cultic as the Church Manual.

    The SDA church promotes legions of error --including legalism, the IJ, and Old Covenant Sabbath Keeping. They also promote the fraud of NT tithing to go along with their dishonest hermeneutic and Roman Catholic Church structure. There is a long list of errors that need to be corrected, and the place to start is to throw the Church Manual into the TRASH. It is a worthless and heretical document that must be repudiated and re-written.

    Today, the SDA church is so full of incorrect theology that no one should embrace this confusion. Furthermore, this cultic and totalitarian idea that the members must submit to their earthly "authority, order, and discipline" is blasphemy.

    Jesus is the head of the church and it is only the written teachings of his Apostles that all must obey. No one is to give any allegiance or loyalty to the SDA leaders as they demand. They do not have any such authority, nor do they have any right to pretend otherwise.

    All should repudiate the SDA hierarchy, which is an organizational model that is prohibited by the NT. The GC promotes error, fraud, and false doctrine 24/ 7 and thus they do not deserve the support of anyone that is trying to follow the Word.

    When the SDA church separates itself from the fundamentals of the Protestant Faith, they should be condemned.

    When the SDA church repudiates the Pioneers and then tries to pretend otherwise; they should be condemned.

    When the SDA church tries to force false doctrine on the church, like tithe and the IJ, their leaders should be removed and replaced with those who understand the Gospel and have the fruits of the Spirit.

    The fact of the matter is that the SDA leaders don’t understand the Gospel or the Three Angels Messages correctly. They don't even know how to observe the Lord's Supper properly and correctly. So why should anyone pledge to be loyal to them? They are blind men walking as if they can see, when in fact, they are so disoriented that they don't even know how to observe the Lord's Supper correctly, an ancient Gospel ceremony founded by Jesus and given to the church.

    This idea, #6, that it is a sin to use or sell alcohol is absurd. If that were really true, then the apostolic church would have been guilty of sin every time they celebrated the Lord's Supper. Because they only used real fermented wine, and so too did the church for hundreds of years, and most still do to this very day.

    But the SDA position makes Jesus out to be a sinner because he is guilty of drinking the fermented Passover wine that became the basis for the Lord's Supper. But Jesus was not a sinner because it is no sin to drink wine. More than that, it forces all SDA's to follow an incorrect and fraudulent version of the Lord's Supper.

    This idea that wine in the Bible grape juice is an SDA myth that has zero truth to it. It needs to be repudiated and confessed as silly and legalistic error that underscores how far away from the Gospel the SDA's have wandered.

    The doctrine of alcoholic abstinence is not found in either the Old or New Testaments and thus the SDA's are making fools of themselves about a very important Gospel point. It is a sin for the SDA's to teach that grape juice is the proper way to observe the Lord's Supper. Only real naturally fermented red wine can be used for the Lords Supper. Anything else is a fraud.

    In fact, the SDA position about Alcohol comes from the Koran, not the OT or the NT. So why should any Protestant want to follow the Koran? How can the Koran define sin for any Christian? And what are the SDA's doing following the Koran?

    Only real wine can be used in the Lord's Supper and the sooner the SDA's understand this fact, the sooner they will be able to repudiate many other myths as well. So what they call sin is not. And what they think is proper behavior and Gospel ceremony is not. No one should listen to these wretched and confused souls that have most everything wrong. The SDA Church Manual belongs in the garbage.

    No wonder the Laodicean Message does not exclude the SDA's. They are full of great error and much false tradition. They must repent, reform, and re-write the church manual.

    Tom Norris for Adventist Reform

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  4. "But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.
    For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside?  But those who are outside God judges. Therefore put away from yourselves the evil person.” NKJV 1 Corinthians 5:9-13

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  5. Wow! Interesting comments.

    The SDA church structure is indeed very Catholic and leader-centric, and totally against the early church model of small communities meeting in houses, or what-have-you. Even then, how many here would be willing to live in a sort of communism? For that is what the early church adhered to, and even then, it did not last long.

    Regardless, raging against the SDA machine, as has Mr. Norris with his comments, doesn't do any good either. As the saying goes, "you win more flies with honey than vinegar". Your tone, Mr. Norris, seems much different than in your earlier Rap Session. And focusing on the Red Wine vs. grape juice debate for 7 paragraphs will doubtless do little to direct people to Jesus and the abundant love He has for each of us. Saying you can only use red wine is as limiting as saying you can only use unfermented grape juice. But that, I believe is non-salvational (Colossians 2:16-17) and is not the issue here.

    In closing, I feel it is important to remember that God is a God of structure and order, not of chaos and "whatever goes". The disciples and apostles were leaders, and were given authority over followers, just as they were followers of Jesus, and took direction from Him. Structure is needed, but the whole concept of our version of excommunication is, in my opinion, Pharisaical and steeped in legalism.

    Thank God for His Grace and Mercy!

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  6. My Tom, you feel pretty strongly about this.

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  7. I am amazed that the 21st century Adventists have become so complacent about doctrine and eschatology. Instead of seeking "truth" and speaking more about the nearness of the Second Coming, the SDA's have become experts at double-talk, diversion, and censorship.

    The modern SDA's don't seem to care that they have embraced one false doctrine after another, including the teaching of pluralism, an unbiblical concept that is the opposite of truth and monotheism. They don't seem to care that they have no credible theology or contemporary eschatology. How strange?

    So truth no longer matters, and it has not mattered for many years. That's why the leaders were dishonestly manipulating history and misrepresenting Ellen White in the White Estate, and why they are still doing it today. The pursuit of doctrinal truth is no longer a goal or feature of the SDA church. And this obvious fact should embarrass and shame the entire Adventist Community. No doubt the Pioneers are rolling in their graves over such a sad situation.

    While this state of Laodicean wretchedness is very observable in the SDA church, most refuse to confront this apostasy, choosing instead to leave rather than demanding Reform. This is why 5 MILLION members have left the NAD since Glacier View in 1980.

    Just think what could have happened if only 20% had stayed to fight for Gospel Reform? A million members, organized and focused, could demand great change and get it done. And so too could a much smaller group. But that did not happen and consequently, today there are only 500,000 active members in NAD, and the church is dying…

    The SDA church today is corrupt and full of false doctrine. So too is the Church Manual and every Sabbath Sermon and every SS Lesson. The 28 Fundamentals cannot be supported or defended because they are not credible or true.

    How could the Advent Movement allow itself to become so doctrinally confused? How could the SDA's have come to the place where they are not even allowed to study or question church doctrine and history? To censure the discussion of controversial points is the height of wickedness in the church. This is what caused the Protestant Reformation and it is time that the SDA's wake up and also act accordingly.

    It is going to take blunt and strong action to save the Advent Movement. The leaders must be held responsible for what they have done and the record corrected. There must be repentance for all this false doctrine and fabricated history. Then real doctrinal reform must take place or the Advent Movement is doomed.

    I feel very strongly that this is the only way to save the divided, confused, and self-destructing SDA church. But it is not original with me. This is what the LM is saying. Thus Jesus is the one who is strongly demanding that the Remnant Church, (which includes the SDA's), repent and reform or else.

    Tom Norris for Adventist Reform

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  8. Well, I was talking just about this statements to my father this sabbath. Because I am beeing part of a band in a pentecostal church.
    that's interesting.

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  9. Tom, you really lost me in paragraph 6 with the implication that this past Sabbath's sermon at my home church was corrupt and full of false doctrine. It was one of the most moving Bible-based sermons and discussions that I have ever encountered on the LOVE of CHRIST, delivered by a fellow believer who is crazy about Jesus, and has devoted the majority of his life, including almost a decade in a remote jungle, ministering to other's needs and sharing the Good News that we are saved by Grace through Faith, and not by works, and that God is crazy about His kids - all of 'em.

    Aren't you presuming too much? You mean to tell me this message straight from the Epistle of Ephesians was corrupt and doctrinally false? (See Matthew 7:1-3) And concerning censorship, questioning and disagreeing is not censorship. It's called dialog. Is it OK to question the SDA church, but not your views?

    Lastly, doctrine "ain't" gonna save anyone - not the 28 fundamentals or whatever belief system Mr. Norris is referring to. One could know doctrine until eschatology runs out their eyes, but that will never ever save, and goodness, it will never define who we are - adopted, chosen and loved (Ephesians 1:3-14) by a God that humbled Himself and loved us to death (Philippians 2:8)!

    Jesus Himself stated the following in John 13:35,

    "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

    Note what is not there:

    ~Seventh-Day Sabbath keeping
    ~Not by adhering to a certain beverage for the Lord's Supper
    ~Not belief in or against the IJ
    ~Not a belief in EGW

    I could go on, but I think the point has been made, and I am perhaps moving beyond the intent of the original post and discussion. I guess I would like to leave with a word of scripture:

    "Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends." ~Revelation 3:20 NLT

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  10. I hope it's not my job to monitor this list for every member. Who wants to police this & authoritatively monitor & correct offenders? Oh my.
    Accountability is essential - but is is really the corporate/hierarchial/organizational structure who is responsible for it?
    How does this fit with Romans 7?
    How does it fit with the reinstating (in 2 Corinthians) of the man Paul told the corinthian church to shun (in 1st Corinthians)?

    It's funny because the first phrase given after this list in the manual is:
    "The Seventh-day Adventist Church recognizes the need of exercising
    great care to protect the highest spiritual interests of its members, to ensure fair treatment, and to safeguard the name of the church."

    It seems to me from further explanation given that 'the church cannot afford' to not respond 'decisively' regarding these sins, that the church's primary concern is supporting the beaurocracy - and is not very concerned at all in exercising great care with the spiritual needs of members.

    And as Mark said: I find hatred, lack of compassion, arrogance, judgment, self-righteousness, unforgiveness, materialism, etc..., etc..., etc...
    to be of far greater concern than this list of exterior checklisted bullets...

    I think Jesus was more concerned with the heart too. That's why, according to Jesus, I have committed adultery hundreds of times, and yet have only slept with my wife.

    It seems to me - we need an overhaul of how we look at expectations and behavior - and how we hold ourselves accountable for growth.

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  11. Now Tom you have so moved me to action with your speech that I must speak out against a false doctrine that has even permeated your statements.

    "No doubt the Pioneers are rolling in their graves..." This has to be seen as a doctrine straight from Hell. Satan must laugh when he sees such a thought propagated. I want it to be recognized here and now that true doctrine dictates that dead do not roll in their graves (or anywhere for that matter).

    Mortified by heresy,

    Dick Larsen

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  12. Today, the SDA church is no longer focused on prophetic truth or the Protestant Gospel. Their mission to prepare the last church for the Second Coming has become a debacle and Millions have walked out the door to underscore this fact.

    Shame on those that refuse to admit the facts and speak out. Such cowardly silence does not impress heaven or earth. It is time to for all Adventists to demand repentance, doctrinal reform, and re-organization from their leaders. In other words, it is time for another Protestant Reformation, but this time it must start within the Advent Movement. If they can't reform themselves, how can they possibly complete their mission to complete the Protestant Reformation and lead all others into truth?

    Moreover, there is no nice way to reform a corrupt religious hierarchy. History leaves no doubt that such organizations must be bluntly confronted and loudly condemned for their false doctrines and many sins. This is the method of both the Apostles and the Reformers. Thus Gospel Reform is not for the timid, or the uninformed.

    While some may think that the wholesale condemnation of the SDA church is an overreaction, Jesus, in the Laodicean Message, would not agree. Why? Because heaven cannot be fooled. The vast majority of all SDA doctrine is against the Gospel and the Word of God. This is a fact that the SDA apologists cannot refute. Thus, neither Jesus or his apostles, nor the Reformers, would support Adventism today. And neither would Ellen White or the Pioneers. THEY WOULD ALL DEMAND DOCTRINAL REFORM.

    Consequently, no matter how orthodox the sermon sounds, or how many times the Bible is read to prove a point, it is all based on false doctrine.

    So it does not matter how many times the name of Jesus and God are invoked in prayer, or how many times the doctrine of tithe is proclaimed as the will of God, blah, blah, blah, it is all part of a wretched religious sham that must be exposed and condemned.

    The entire context of what is presented every Sabbath in any SDA church is false and misleading; starting with the Gospel and the Judgment and then on to the Old Covenant tithing and food laws, and even how the Lord's Supper is observed. There is far more falsehood than truth in the SDA church, and that is tragic, if not fatal.

    It is time for all SDA Laodiceans to WAKE UP! No SDA, at this time, should be so arrogant or presumptuous to think that they have cornered the market on truth. Hardly. The SDA's are the most confused, wrong, and divided of any Protestant church in the land. While they do have the correct view of the State of the Dead, as Dick Larsen was so quick to point out, they have little else correct.

    However, the object of the Advent Movement is to only embrace correct and true doctrine. No Adventist should be content with having an incomplete view of theology or prophecy. We want 100% Gospel truth, with no additives or false preservatives.

    But the Adventists don't even know the difference between the Old and New Covenants, much less between the definitions of a Protestant versus a Roman Catholic. They have fallen so far from the Gospel that they have embraced one false doctrine and myth after another, even as they refuse to publicly discuss their teachings and censor those that try. This is madness from the dark ages. How can anyone support such behavior? Much less in the name of Jesus!

    While there are many within Adventism that are genuine Christians, including those that sacrifice to become missionaries, sincerity is not to be confused with doctrinal truth. Unless the SDA's can come to the place where they can repent for rejecting the Gospel, (in both 1888 and 1980), and move forward to develop a credible, 21st century version of eschatology, there is no reason for them to exist.

    Which is why they are self destructing for all to see. They are slowly but surely dying, and unless they repent and embrace Gospel Reform, they are doomed.

    Tom Norris for Adventist Reform

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