At the risk of giving you the wrong impression, here's an overview of my beliefs. Just know that while they're important to me, they're not what's most important to me. In fact, without the one thing that is, they'd be pointless and worthless. I'll explain what is most important to me.
I adhere to a worldview that we who put it into practice believe is very relevant today, especially in these troubled times. Because we're committed to overcoming and healing from addictions and past hurts, getting help in dealing with everyday life issues and helping others do the same.
It's one that's about second chances and relationships with my fellow human beings of all classes, ethnicities and backgrounds that are based on active, unconditional love, instead of ones based on traditions, rituals, arbitrary rules, pretension and apathy, or prejudice, a judgmental spirit and hate.
The worldview I adhere to is not one that, unfortunately like most, is merely about being a good person. That's important; that matters. But I believe a life filled with self-sacrificing acts would be worth nothing without a connection to the Source of unconditional love for others.
In a nutshell, I and more and more millions of others around the world believe there is compelling evidence that suggests:
I adhere to a worldview that is centered around a personal, daily, living and dynamic relationship with what compelling evidence suggests is a just, loving and involved Creator God who, wanting our love instead of fear, and our joy instead of suffering, has created a plan to save us from evil and with great care and love has made that plan known to us through morally weak and imperfect, yet inspired, human authors...
...the authors of a book that sadly, when used to justify one's pet theories or prejudice, has indeed had tragic consequences on others...
...but when taken to heart, has transformed some of the most hopelessly addicted derelicts into sober pillars of their communities and some of the most prejudiced, judgmental or apathetic into fearless crusaders against injustice or big-hearted persons committed to a life of selfless, caring, compassionate service to those in need, no matter the cost to themselves: the Bible.
In its pages, the Bible teaches that because God is love, He created all of His angels and all of us humans perfect, with a free will, so that we would love Him because we choose to, not because we're forced to, which would not be love.
It reveals that some of His angels and the first humans rebelled, and that ever since then we've been suffering the consequences of that rebellion, something God did not intend for us to experience.
But there's more to why evil and suffering exist than just free will and rebellion.
Because God is just, wanting rebellion and evil to never rise again, He is, for a little while longer, allowing evil, including disease and natural disaster, to cause people to suffer and die so that unfallen angels, unfallen beings in the universe (as opposed to "visitors"), and we ourselves...
...can see the natural result of rejecting the Source of life, unconditional love and peace and be fully convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how insidious, viral, morally blinding, destructive and evil rebellion is and how dangerous spiritual procrastination and neglect are, to ensure that evil never rises again.
But also so that as many of us as possible can learn of the encouragement, inner peace, freedom and hope God yearns to give us, our loved ones and our communities, even - and especially - in the worst conditions and situations imaginable...
...if only we will fully surrender our unnecessary and destructive self-interests to Him, develop that close, full-time relationship with the Source of those gifts borne of amazing grace and secure an eternal life of ever-increasing appreciation, fascination and bliss spent with Him and our loved ones.
Then, having done everything He could possibly do to save each and every one from such a fate, He will, one day, heart-broken and grief-stricken, yet justly and mercifully, commit what the Bible calls His "strange act":
...destroy those who despised and rejected Him and His rescue plan. Why? Because through their rebellion or spiritual procrastination or neglect, they unfit themselves for eternal life in a universe where its purity, peace and harmony would be to them supreme torture.
So in mercy to them, as much as to those who accepted Him and His rescue plan, they and their rebellion will be no more - as if they had never lived, never even existed... Finally, the universe will once again be a place where "there will be no more death, or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things [will have] passed away."
Yet this teaching, even though the Bible states it over a dozen times, is ignored and very different from the one taught by some, that makes God out to be so sadistic, so evil, He makes the worst tyrants look tame in comparison. It's no wonder countless others have lost faith in a just and loving God and an inspired Bible and abandon its teachings, and some have even gone insane.
What unimaginable heartache and grief that must cause a God who cares so deeply about every one of us, that if there were only one person in the whole world willing to believe and follow Him, He would be willing to do everything possible to try to rescue that one.
Finally, life in the once-peaceful, harmonious universe will resume as it was before rebellion and evil invaded it. Good will go on for the unfallen, and for the founders of our race, who got a taste of it before they squandered it through rebellion. We, on the other hand, will only begin to experience the wonders of that life. And for all, it will only get better and better.
"There, immortal minds will contemplate with never-failing delight the wonders of creative power, the mysteries of redeeming love. There will be no cruel, deceiving foe to tempt to forgetfulness of God. Every faculty will be developed, every capacity increased. The acquirement of knowledge will not weary the mind or exhaust the energies."
"There the grandest enterprises may be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations reached, the highest ambitions realized; and still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of mind and body. All the treasures of the universe will be open to the study of God's redeemed."
With inexpressible relief, they will contemplate in awe and wonder that...
"The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love." - The Great Hope
Just a bunch of pie-in-the-sky? I don't think so. I believe there's enough compelling evidence to trust the Bible's claim that instead of it just being a collection of myths, legends and fairy tales, all of it is inspired by God, like the astounding odds of detailed, precise Bible prophecies being fulfilled as they were, exactly as predicted centuries before.
And the marvelous uniformity in the accounts of the rescue plan and its related teachings, even though they were written by multiple authors with widely-varied ages, backgrounds, occupations, social status and experiences, over several thousand years.
It helps that contrary to what some believe, after multiple translations over the last three thousand years, there are still no significant contradictions in the Bible and that it's supported by far more manuscripts and archeology than any other ancient document or book.
The Bible claims: to be the word of God, to require us to let God help us understand it, and to inspire us, if we let it, to learn from others' mistakes and live life with integrity.
The Bible's authors stated:
That's why there's only one way to heaven. Because there's only one cure.
Does that mean I believe God won't let into heaven those who die without learning about and following Him and His teachings?
No. I believe God will only take to heaven those who knowingly or unknowingly have allowed Him to influence their thoughts, motives and deeds and would be truly happy in an environment where everyone keeps God's ten laws perfectly.
Does it mean I'm involved in an organized religion as opposed to a spirituality that connects me in a personal way with God? That they're diametrically opposed to each other? No. For me it means I'm involved in both.
How is that possible? Because I believe true religion and spirituality are one and the same because my first priority every day is voluntarily connecting with God through prayer and Bible study.
And my second priority is connecting with other people who the Bible claims are, to God, no matter what they've done, of infinite value and significance, and sharing with them God's love* and His promises for them in the Bible of hope of a better life now for each one, which I and others can confirm from experience, and for the rest of eternity.
(* by supporting our communities and helping the needy through fostering inter-agency and inter-religious work dealing with social inequalities and promoting social justice)
I'm a Seventh-day Adventist. But don't get me wrong. I pledge allegiance to no particular denomination, religion or spirituality. If there were another that were more reliable, more compelling, based on the evidence, I would adhere to that one instead, but I truly believe there isn't one.
If Adventism's offensive to you because of the hypocrisy and misdeeds of some professed Adventists, I don't blame you. I'm sorry they've made you feel that way. If it's offensive because of our observance of the Sabbath of the 4th commandment, I believe it's due to fundamental misconceptions about the old and new covenants.
Whether it's because of misdeeds or misconceptions, I hope you'll take time to learn what we really believe and the compelling reasons why.
''Seventh-day'' refers to the 24-hour, sundown-to-sundown sanctuary of rest from work and school, from the stresses of daily life, and the worship and fellowship on Saturday, the Sabbath of the 4th Commandment (the compelling reasons why) which, we can testify from personal experience, is really the 4th Blessing.
And which along with the rescue plan, only makes sense in light of direct creation of human life on Earth by God's own hands, as the Bible states.
''Adventist'' refers to Jesus' second advent, or coming, which we believe the signs of these increasingly troubling, sobering times indicate will be very soon.
As a global movement:
Even with the beliefs, about the following doctrines, that distinguish us as Adventists...
The Sabbath, the State of the Dead, Jesus' 2nd Coming, Hell, the Gift of Prophecy and the Investigative Judgment
...we have much in common with other Evangelical, Protestant Christians, including our beliefs' roots in the Protestant Reformation.
Sola Scriptura (The Bible Only)
In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love.
Question: Why are there so many Christian denominations and views?
Answer: 1) Because we all interpret the Bible's doctrines differently; sometimes because of our preconceived notions and prejudices; other times because we don't clearly or fully understand doctrines that would clarify other doctrines.
And 2) because we emphasize different doctrines and beliefs about them. (There are probably other reasons.) To learn more, get the book ''Why So Many Denominations?''
Get notified when this page changes.
Please read my disclaimer before visiting the following top sites.
Brent's Place at brentsplace.info
©2000-2006 All rights reserved.