Teaching from Wayne Owen on Saturday, January 17, 2009

Passover to Last Supper: What Does God Want from Me?
Wayne Owen, ministry partner at Canton Adventist, presented a historical perspective on Passover, the meal that Jesus reinterpreted at the Last Supper to represent the salvation he would bring through his death and resurrection.  Here is the link to the audio file and outline of his presentation: http://www.cantonfamilies.org/events.  Your comments are welcome.

16 thoughts on “Teaching from Wayne Owen on Saturday, January 17, 2009

  1. Texts from John Pruett:-Did not know the adventist church evolved from the methodist church.–"The Nile was Egypt\’s idol"–what things as Christians do we make idols? Do these idols keep us from experiencing God fully? I think "always being right" can be an idol. Or always needing to externalize blame.–What are some of the current "plagues" affecting Christians? How about religous exclusiveness? –Question from Helen Lynch: How long did each plague last? –Let\’s have Communion more often. –General observation: Wayne\’s hair though gray, is much more abundant than Todd\’s.

  2. Am I the only one who is confused? What I heard today seemed to be in total opposition to last week\’s message. I\’m all for "fair and balanced" when watching the news, but this left me scratching me head… While I feel that there is undoubtedly a place for EGW\’s writings in our church, I do not agree w/WO that we are damned if we begin questioning those writings. That is what I took away from today\’s message, I don\’t know about anyone else. Wouldn\’t God want us to dig and question? And since when is belief in EGW equivocal to belief in Christ? I was under the impression that we are ONLY saved by grace, not a belief in the works of a prophet? I keep going back to what TL said last week… the "mess" should be able to gather around Christ. Well, today I felt like the message was a little more works-based than grace-based. I have spent my whole life trying to overcome the idea that we "work" our way into heaven. It seems that a belief or following after EGW is a prerequisite at times, that our salvation is conditional upon following after her writings without question. We must get back to a focus on Christ and loving one another, or our differing beliefs will tear us apart as Canton Adventist Church and as the Adventist Church as a whole. If there had been a visitor today, or someone unfamiliar with Adventist teachings, I think they would have been very confused or turned off. Just my opinion…

  3. First off, I thought today provided a great lesson in the history of why and how the Passover came to be. Wayne has always done (for me) a great job in providing valuable insight into why certain things are they way they are. This lesson gave me direct insight into why the “Passover” takes place and what a powerful God we serve. I walked away with a greater appreciation for what God has done and is doing for me. Secondly, Does the Bible teach that there are multiple ways to salvation of which one is the saving power of the Church? NO!!, there is only ONE way to be saved and that is through Christ. As a Seventh-Day Adventists I believe that I am part of God’s remnant church as identified in Rev 12:17 and 19:10. This however does not mean that I have exclusive status with God (oh how I wish), I know that I can be part of the “remnant” and still be lost. Of all the churches “out there” I believe ours is a sacred calling and being part of the remnant means that we have greater light and with that greater responsibility. God’s remnant throughout the Bible have had greater light than others, but that does not mean that I am save by that fact. My belief in Ellen White’s Prophetic gift is my belief that I am part of the remnant church and that I believe what God said in his book (Revelation), and that gift can provide comfort, guidance, instruction and when needed correction, but my belief is that my salvation is not conditional upon following her writings, but that of following and believing in Christ. If during my studies I am looking for additional insight or guidance I then turn to her writings second not first. My focus for me is on Christ first and foremost.

  4. I am editing my earlier blog:I am very proud to be a part of Canton Adventist Church, which is obviously very different than the other churches in the area. I am so proud of the direction that my husband is leading our church. I respectfully disagree with "no name"–I have also had many conversations this week with church members and feel our church is actually more united as a whole than ever before and that we ALL are "convicted greatly by our values and beliefs" no matter if you liked Todd\’s sermon last week or not. Our church is different than other Adventist churches and how wonderful that is–we are able reach people that other churches aren\’t able to. Obviously, our church is not for everyone, and that certainly doesn\’t hurt my feelings (or Todd\’s), we all have the same goal of strengthening our relationships with Christ and with each other. We want everyone to be growing spiritually whether that is at Canton Adventist or somewhere else.I am determined that my children will be brought up in a different Adventist church environment than I was, they will be confident in their salvation, I will not allow them to be around negativity, legalism or very conservative Adventism—I view all of these aspects to be harmful in Halle, Abby and Emma\’s development into the women God intends them to be. (I can personally love, tolerate and be respectful of legalistic and conservative Adventists, just do not want my children influenced or molded by them in anyway…) I totally identify with Brinne, I have always struggled with feeling "good enough" to go to heaven. I feel Adventism has really failed in this area. I have talked to my siblings and parents (I am the only member of my family that is still in the church) a lot about this topic, the "law" has been so ingrained in them (me too) their whole lives, there was no grace, instead lots of FEAR tactics, and constant guilt. They have never felt good enough and have given up trying to live up to standards (perfection) that is impossible to achieve on this earth. They have been GREATLY harmed by the Adventist teachers and leaders they (we) had growing up, it makes me very sad, angry and determined to stop the cycle. It is interesting to me that we are supposedly the "remnant" church when we have so much growing and changing to do—just basic love and acceptance of one another, is that so much to ask?. (I will save the remnant topic for another day…..)I think Todd\’s sermon was a huge blessing in many ways (although I didn\’t feel this way a week ago). You now have a little more insight to who we are. Take us or leave us, we hope you can love and accept who we are and know our intentions are good, even if you disagree. I do not want to write on the blog in anger, and I am not angry about what is going on in our church now. I think this the best thing that could have happened. I had a very difficult week for many reasons, one of which was dealing with all the criticism this week, we have received ALOT from a VERY FEW people. I think it is harder on me, the mama bear comes out of me, (if you mess with my husband or my children the mama bear comes out of me, and it is a grizzly bear:) (Just as I am sure the same would be true for you if you your spouse was being attacked).Thankfully the support was way more than the criticism. I am great now, I am very proud of my husband and where we are as a church today and will not allow the devil to discourage me!

  5. As someone who grew up with very little spiritual or religous exposure. I would just like to say that i am thankful to have a relationship wit God because there was a time in my life that i did not have a relationship with God at all. but looking back on it God was there with me whether i knew it or not. i am also thanful for the faith communities i have been a part of over the years especially this one! I am specifically thankful for Todd and his courage.Thanks be to God. JP

  6. Today I removed three comments from this blog site. The comments were helpful to the process, but because the person commenting would not disclose who they were, I had to remove them. It is not fair to others who are willing to take the risk of revealing who they are. This blog is governed by two unassailable laws: 1) Be respectful in your comments and, 2) Own your comments. Thanks to everyone who is following and engaging in the dialogue.

  7. I just want to say that I 100% agree with Robin, and I greatly appreciate her candor. It was as if she had read my mind! I have said to my husband many times that I would never want Delaney to feel the way I have felt about spirituality and salvation.I will also say that I have never in my adult life been excited about church, or felt like I belonged, until now. It is incredible to me how like-minded many of Canton Adventist\’s members are to my mindset. It truly feels like coming home.An acquaintance of ours who was raised SDA but is no longer in the church describes the Adventist church as a "fundamentalist Christian subculture." That rings true in a lot of ways, so when I heard Todd speak last week it was just so refreshing. I liked how he discussed our faith and behavior as being constantly in flux. It made it seem okay to question, which is important in a faith community and in our individual spiritual lives.I am also not angry, and this whole experience of the last two sermons as well as the blog, has blessed me. I feel like I am actually growing spiritually for the first time in a long time. This discussion has also been very therapeutic for me; I almost feel as if a weight has been lifted knowing others feel the way I do and have experienced the same things. It is my hope that we can love each other as Christ loves us and come away stronger and even more grounded in our faith.

  8. I can say that if it was not for the relationships that I have had in the past, my church "life" would be different. I to have many friends and family leave the church as well. I am glad to be in Canton becuase of the relationships I do have.

  9. Brinne, I got confused too. But then realized, that is what makes Canton Adventist standout from the rest. We are different, we are free to discuss all these points of views and learn from them. In what other Adventist church can you do that?No offense Wayne, but his lesson was a perfect example of what a traditional Adventist church is like. It remind me why I had left the Adventist church in the first place. Wayne said our church needs a revival. A revival of what kind? Of going back to basics? His idea of revival is what I consider the primary reason the Adventist church is dying. But again, that’s my point of view and I am free to express it only at Canton Adventist. I still enjoyed Wayne’s lesson especially the historical part.Robbin wrote: “…their whole lives, there was no grace, instead lots of FEAR tactics, and constant guilt”. A lot of EGW writings used these tactics and church leaders too. The sad part is that they don’t realize it. They think we are being rebellious, parting away from the scriptures… the words of a prophet. I feel that Canton Adventist is already in a revival. This blog is part of that revival. Being able to share ideas and disagree on many of them is a new way to restore faith.

  10. Elvis Santana, via email wrote: THAT\’S the word… "fear". We can go into complex detail about the doctrine and how it alienates people. But let\’s keep it simple. There is obviously something wrong about a church that believes the Pope is going to order their persecution, incarceration and execution.My childhood was so affected by this. I was so afraid of this "persecution" that I was terrified of the future. Terrified. I can\’t even describe how terrified I was. For YEARS I had this shadow of fear with me and is one of the things that I most of all regret from my childhood and adolescence.The one moment when I really started to question the church was when my friend was going to be "excommunicated" – erased from the member\’s list. She had sex with another friend of mine. This was obviously wrong but the church\’s course of action was not to reach out to her and give her spiritual guidance and help her. Instead, they publicized her misdeed to the entire church and made her a non-member. Because of the shame, she never returned. The rest of her teenage years and early adulhood was not good.From that moment on, I never attended these rituals of excommunication. Till this day I have a strong opinion against knowing things about people that they do not intend for me to know. That\’s where my "rage against the machine" began.That\’s when I started to open my eyes to other things. Like beliefs and practices with no base or definition. Like music. Which instruments are bad? why? Which instruments are ok? how come? I took exception to music because it has been the one thing that has kept my faith alive – uplifting music. Few of which would be considered "appropriate" by the Adventist church.

  11. For what it\’s worth, I feel like Wayne had good intentions in his sermon but perhaps didn\’t state things in a way that was easily digested by the "progressive" thinkers in our church. We have been exchanging emails because I was curious about his sermon (I missed it Saturday but heard about it second-hand). I have since listened to his sermon on the Canton website and thought he had some really good insights into what God wants from us. Wayne gave me permission to post our emails on here. My initial email stated:"I\’m sorry I missed your sermon today. I am not feeling well and stayed home sick. Drew told me about your sermon and it sounds like it was pretty interesting. He mentioned a quote from Ellen White that you used but couldn\’t remember the whole thing or where it was from. Could you send me the reference?"

  12. Wayne\’s response to my email (below):Sorry you weren’t feeling well. I actually used 3 quotes that are especially pointed for us living in the last days. It was in regard to how some have misused it. Some have abused it. Some have ignored it. Some have deplored it. Because of incorrect use of her writings that is not a reason to discard or diminish her writings. But we need to use them correctly and for the purpose God gave them to us.. The references are below. I want so much to see a revival in our church. And always with a revival comes reformation in peoples personal lives. I have so many young people that talk to me that they want to believe in something that matters. They want to know why they are a seventh-day Adventist? What is special about being an Adventist? Hopefully, I was complementing what Pastor Todd was presenting: mainly that we are made up of people in all stages of growth. And we can accept people where they are but we need to be challenged to dig and discover what the Bible teaches.I was responding to the question of should the role of Ellen White be diminished?It is Satan\’s plan to weaken the faith of God\’s people in the Testimonies. Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march to perdition. When the Testimonies, which were once believed, are doubted and given up, Satan knows the deceived ones will not stop at this; and he redoubles his efforts till he launches them into open rebellion, which becomes incurable and ends in destruction.–4T 211Time of ShakingI asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this will cause a shaking among God\’s people.–1T 181 (1857).Call for RevivalThe Lord calls for a renewal of the straight testimony borne in years past. He calls for a renewal of spiritual life. The spiritual energies of His people have long been torpid, but there is to be a resurrection from apparent death. By prayer and confession of sin we must clear the King\’s highway.–8T 297May God richly Bless you and help you to feel better.

  13. My response to Wayne\’s email (below):I appreciate your timely response. I am planning to prayerfully study the quotes you shared with me. It is refreshing to hear you have a spirit of acceptance and love towards those of us who are searching. If you have any Bible texts or other references you would recommend I study in conjunction with the quotes you included in your email, please send them my way. I agree that we all need to find balance in our search for truth. I agree EGW\’s writings have been abused and misused but that doesn\’t mean we need to "throw the baby out with the bath water." However, I feel very strongly that the focus on EGW sometimes overshadows the salvation we have through grace and mercy in Jesus Christ, that He Himself came to spread. I can respect her writings being used to build people up and make our church community more earnest in their spiritual walk. However, I have witnessed EGW\’s message replacing the message of salvation through grace, and it both saddens and alarms me that so many of my generation have been pushed away by well-meaning individuals that try to save with doctrine and not love.

  14. Wayne\’s response to my second email (below):You are so correct. It is so unfortunate that she spent so much of her life preaching, teaching and encouraging people in the message of righteousness by faith, She continually lifted and proclaimed that our salvation is only in the grace of Christ, the belief of the all sufficient work of Jesus. and yet some misguided people use her to their legalistic ends. I have been deeply impressed with a book on the 1888 message by Robert Wieland lately. The church rejected the message of Righteousness by faith for the most part. In my life time I have seen a shift from the legalism of old to the thrilling message of grace. Unfortunately, and untruthfully people have attributed the legalism to EGW. Nothing could be further from the truth.My recommendation is to read her writings along with the bible. I prefer the books she put together rather than compilations. The compilations tend to reflect the views of the compliers rather than those of EGW. I have issues with “Messages to Young People.” Having been a pastor at an academy church that book has done a lot of damage. Desire of Ages, Great Controversy, Life Sketches and the Testimonies for the church, Steps to Christ, on the other had have led people into a deeper relationship with Christ.I appreciate your searching spirit. If I overstated anything in the sermon Sabbath please forgive me. I sometimes get very passionate in my defense of the Bible and EGW against the misuse of her writings and the reaction of many to the abuse and not realizing she teaches just the opposite of what they are reacting to. It often comes as the result of people not reading and studying for themselves. It is not only your generation that have been pushed away by these well-meaning people or “Concerned Brethren”. We call them “CB’s “ for short. Very few of my Academy Friends and College friends are in the church today because of the same thing. I will put together some things for you, but continue your study guided by scriptures and the Holy Spirit. If we are fast approaching the second coming then these issues become even more important for each of us as well as the church. I am witnessing a renewed fervor in many people to become personally involved in evangelism. I know of people that are selling everything they have to devote themselves to full time evangelism. I, also on the other hand, see people that want nothing to do with evangelism and revival. I do not know if we are entering into a great dividing time or not. I do not know if we are on the verge of the fulfillment of the prophecies of the last days. But I want to be ready every day by being covered by the grace, love, & acceptance of Jesus Christ. Thanks so much for searching, it is so refreshing and God will richly bless you.

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