And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. -Acts 16:30-31 (KJV)
This is a departure from the norm for me as far as content of this post. I usually try to avoid any sort of controversy– but enough is enough. I must speak out against this tendency many Christians have to attack each other when their resources would be better spent in service to God by spreading the gospel.
You can look up just about any group of Christians you can think of and come up with someone or some group that will malign them, call them satanic and be quick to condemn them to some damnation they have conceived especially for them.
Recently, I have taken an interest in the teaching of an evangelist named Doug Batchelor– who happens to be a Seventh-Day Adventist that has a ministry called “Amazing Facts.” I’m not a Seventh-Day Adventist, nor have I ever attended a worship service in one of their churches. I do appreciate the fact that they seem to take the Bible very seriously and spend much time studying it. (Of course, the same can probably be said for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, whose teachings I mostly reject and would caution anyone against taking seriously without doing some comprehensive study in the Bible first to validate their claims).
As far as I can tell, much of the Seventh-Day Adventist doctrine is largely in line with my beliefs. In fact, Batchelor’s teaching on the “lake of fire” makes sense to me and seems to have solid biblical ground. I have always had issues with some of the doctrine I have been taught to accept as “fact.” But I won’t get into that right now. My plan is to avoid the “Lake of Fire” –no matter what it turns out to be. Jesus made a way out for me and I am taking it!
I don’t know all of his theology, or that of SDAs in general. I’m happy with my local church and am not “church shopping,” so it is unlikely that I will even attend one of their services anytime soon. I just happen to enjoy and have benefited from what I have heard and checked out in Scripture.
Unfortunately, as is often the case, there are many who attack him with what seem to be baseless accusations and naturally associate him with some sort of satanic mission to undermine the body of Christ– mostly because of his association with the Seventh-Day Adventists. To any “accusers” I would say this: show me in the Bible where he is wrong or where he and/or the SDAs might be wrong. I am sure there are things I will take issue with as we go along.
Once again, I think it is crucial that we all take the attitude of the Berean believers: These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. -Acts 17:11 (NKJV)
I get a great deal from many teachers I have found online and on television that supplement the teaching I get from my local body of believers. They are from diverse backgrounds with differing theological views on some issues, but all agree that there is only one way: that way is Jesus. We must come to terms with that one most important thing.