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Exposing Adventism - Death: Physical-Mental-Spiritual

Somehow Adventists can live with the cognitive dissonance of agreeing that there is physical - mental - spiritual while at the same time denying that these terms have any relationship whatsoever to body - soul -spirit.

If we read the Bible without Ellen White, what is it obvious that man lost when he sinned? The spiritual component! What is it that God wants to restore in man? The spiritual!

The three areas of the earthly sanctuary were God's object lesson of this. God came to take away the veil between the Holy and Most Holy Place, and restore the connection between the mental and the spiritual. And yet Adventists will take a run around the back of the outhouse to avoid making the connection.

Light, for example, relates to these three levels:

1. Physical - we see physical light with our eyes.
2. Mental - when someone explains something to us we say, "I see!"
3. Spiritual - the Bible tells us that Jesus is the light of the world.

And yet Adventist will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid making the same obvious Biblical application to body - soul - spirit! And it is not because the Bible doesn't teach this. It is because Ellen White doesn't teach it!

Once again we see that:

"It is from the standpoint of the light that has come through the Spirit of Prophecy (Mrs. White’s writings) that the question will be considered, believing as we do that the Spirit of Prophecy is the only infallible interpreter of Bible principles, since it is that Christ, through this agency, giving real meaning of his own words." (from the tract The Mark of the Beast, p. 1, G. A. Irwin, General Conference President)

 
Our Observation

The Adventist fabric is rich with references to this physical - mental - spiritual relationship:

==== Ellen White ====
"True education means more than the pursual of a certain course of study. It means more than a preparation for the life that now is. It has to do with the whole being, and the whole period of existence possible to man. It is the harmonious development of the physical, mental, and spiritual powers. It prepares the student for the joy of service in this world and the higher joy of wider service in the world to come." (Ellen G. White, Education, p. 13)

The physical, mental, and spiritual capabilities should be developed in order to form a properly balanced character. Children should be watched, guarded, and disciplined in order to successfully accomplish this. (Child Guidance, p. 186)

==== Seventh-day Adventist Organizations ====
Adventist Healthcare, Rockville, Maryland
The mission of Adventist HealthCare is to demonstrate God’s care by improving the health of people and communities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing.

Adventist World Aviation
A non profit organisation that "provides aviation and communications support to those serving the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of the forgotten peoples of the earth."

Boise Valley Adventist School, Boise, Idaho
We believe that true education has to do with the complete development of the physical, mental and spiritual powers of each student.

Highland Adventist School, Elkins, West Virginia
We believe that true education develops the spiritual, mental, and physical powers of each student

Porter Adventist Hospital, Denver, Colorado
Known for its compassion, Porter Adventist Hospital was founded in 1930 on a promise that it would nourish the physical, mental and spiritual health of the community.

Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International,
Is Celibacy Viable For Most Homosexuals - Christian communities that continue to denigrate intimate homosexual relationships do little for the mental, spiritual, and physical health of the gay/lesbian community or the Christian community at large. Gay/lesbian love is real and is sacred in its own right.

==== Seventh-day Adventist Articles ====
Lawrence T Geraty, Journal of Adventist Education, The Essential Characteristics of Adventist Higher Education, 1994,
This article discusses the following essential characteristics of Adventist Higher Education: identity, mission, and the physical, mental, spiritual realms, as well as developing the intellect.

Richard Rice, Reign of God, An Introduction to Christian Theology from a Seventh-day Adventist perspective. 2nd Edition, Study Notes For Chapter 1, The Task of Christian Theology, p. 16
Adventist doctrine of the person being a unity of physical, mental and the spiritual.

 

 
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Public Comments

Patria - Posted on Saturday, May 31, 2008:

Gilbert,

Sadly, that is so true. Your analogies are terrific. Isn't it amazing how ALIVE the Bible really is when the Holy Spirit is actually illuminating it through our spirits? It's just incredible.

When you take the equation body + breath = living soul and remove the body through death, then the breath cannot equal a living soul...it needs the body. In other words, the soul is not asleep, it is annihilated. So, in Adventist doctrine, there is no resurrection, but rather, a re-creation hence the teaching about God keeping our 'blueprints' in His mind.

Probably my first BIG cognitive dissonance with soul sleep was several years ago when I was studying John in an inductive study (and it was my first study out of Adventistm, too) and I ran across 5:24 when Jesus said that all who believe in Him HAVE eternal life. (I had memorized John 3:16 so completely I was innoculated to it...) I couldn't figure out WHAT had eternal life... He wasn't saying that the person would eventually have eternal life, but rather that the person who believed in Him, had eternal life right then. That stumped me.

 
 
Unless otherwise noted, all original material on this ExposingAdventism.com website is 2007-2008 by Gilbert Jorgensen. Careful effort has been made to give credit as clearly as possible to any specific material quoted or ideas extensively adapted from any one resource. Corrections and clarifications regarding citations for any source material are welcome, and will be promptly added to any sections which are found to be inadequately documented as to source.