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Exposing Adventism - Corporate Honesty and Self-Preservation

I always look forward to the weekly updates at Adventist Today. This week’s online edition had an excellent quote from Daniel Taylor’s book, The Myth of Certainty.

“The primary goal of all institutions and subcultures is self-preservation. Preserving the faith is central to God’s plan for human history: preserving particular religious institutions is not. Do not expect those who run the institutions to be sensitive to the difference. God needs no particular person, church, denomination, creed or organization to accomplish his purpose.

He will make use of those, in all their diversity, who are ready to be used, but will leave to themselves those who labor for their own ends.

Nonetheless, questioning the institutions is synonymous, for many, with attacking God—something not long to be tolerated…

Actually they are protecting themselves, their views of the world, and their sense of security. The religious institution has given them meaning, a sense of purpose, and, in some cases, careers. Anyone perceived as a threat to these things is a threat indeed.

This threat is often met, or suppressed even before it arises, with power…Institutions express their power most clearly by enunciating, interpreting and enforcing the rules of the subculture. Every institution has the rules and ways of enforcing them, some clearly stated, others unstated but no less real.”

I especially like the statement, “The religious institution has given them meaning…”

How true! How many of us remember the frequent emphasis on getting an “Adventist education”, and marrying an “Adventist spouse”. Somehow the emphasis on “Christian” seems to usually have been given a back seat. How often would you hear the phrase “Christian education” or “Christian spouse”? Even if a boyfriend or girlfriend was a Christian, they might as well have been a heathen if they were not an “Adventist”.

A really unique term is “Adventist Christian”. Usually it is said in such a way as to leave the listener remembering that “Adventist” and “Christian” go together. The reality is that Adventism and Christianity are mutually exclusive. The heart of Christianity is the Gospel of Christ. The heart of Adventism is the 1844 Message — which states that Christ’s ministry really was not completed on the cross!

I have observed that most Adventists find their identity in the Adventist organization. Take that away and they have lost their compass. A true Christian does not need an organization as their “security blanket”. The center of their life is Christ, and their message is the Gospel of Christ.

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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.