One Person’s Take on Attending a Revelation Seminar

Biblical Prophecy Seminar: A Field Trip
by Andrew Jenner,, January 13, 2009
The following article was written by a small town news reporter–not of an Adventist background–after attending one presentation in a series by Shane Anderson, pastor of the New Market Seventh-day Adventist Church, New Market, Virginia.  The purpose of my posting the link to this article is for discussion purposes; it is not to draw undue attention to the pastor, the church or the reporter.  I believe the Revelation seminar was presented in a relatively standard, orthodox fashion–common in Adventism.  My purpose in sharing this is to provide an opportunity for dialogue on why we as Adventists and Christians do what we do; what the lasting impact of our evangelism is on our communities; what our objectives should be as a church/denomination in relation to our communities; and what evangelism should look like in 2010 and beyond.  I look forward to your thoughts.  My thanks to Spectrum for drawing attention to this article.  –Todd
The announcement came by mail, a glossy tri-fold pamphlet entitled “Discover Prophecy,” in a vaguely menacing font with some flames roasting part of the headline. This is emblazoned across the bottom of a nightmarish painting in which a four-winged, four-headed leopard, a Godzilla-type reptile, a winged lion and a grizzly bear roam… continue article here

4 thoughts on “One Person’s Take on Attending a Revelation Seminar

  1. I can relate to the feelings of this reporter and find his closing paragraph especially poignant. I have chosen personally to leave the scary details of how and when things are going to happen to God and instead accept the fact that I don\’t have all the answers. I\’m happier trusting that God knows best instead of feeling I need to build a wall of certainty to lean on when it comes to prophecy. Who knows if Adventists are right about the Antichrist and the end of the world. If God wanted us to be as certain as some people seem to be about all of those details, I think he would have made it a little clearer. I think there are more important messages we could be sharing with the world…

  2. I can also relate to both Sarah and the reporter, I grew up SDA and I have also been to those types of presentations. It’s sad that as a Church we continue to try to get individuals in by scaring them and telling them that this is how it’s all going to come down in the end and let’s hope you can make it. I think it’s important that we study the Bible and its different themes and that we that we build relationships and we support each other. As Sarah points out who knows if what SDA’s believe about the end of times is completely accurate or not and I guess time will tell (HA), but I believe that God’s return should be something that we as Christians should look forward to not fear! If we focus on what important and that is our relationship with our Heavenly Farther and spending time with Him, we will have nothing to fear. There are examples in the Bible where individuals were focused on Jesus and they did incredible things, but as soon as they took they eyes off of Him they saw what was going on around them and became scared! Matthew 14:30 is an example of where Peter was focused on Jesus nothing else mattered, but as soon as he took his eyes off of Jesus He saw the wind and what was happening around him, he was afraid and started to sink. Yes we might go through many trials who knows, but in the end if we focus our eyes on Jesus what does it matter. We have imporant messages that we can be sharing, but one of fear should not be one of them.

  3. To state that Adventist eschatology is a contribution to Christian theological dialogue rather than the true, inerrant interpretation of Daniel, Revelation and other end-time biblical passages would be considered heresy by many within the denomination. But I think that there are many mature, devoted Adventists who would be honest enough with themselves and others to admit that our denomination\’s traditional interpretation is just that: an interpretation. It is not the bible; it is an interpretation of the bible. And, thus, by definition, an interpretation is open to the same level of thoughtful critique as any other person\’s/denomination\’s interpretation of scripture. But the problem that arises with this honesty is: how then, do we evangelize? If we cannot preach a Revelation seminar with the conviction that the views expressed therein are entirely true, without error, what do we preach? And how do we preach in an environment when it\’s not just eschatology that is questioned, but the traditional Protestant understandings of scriptural inspiration and substitutionary atonement? To people of my generation and younger, the more certain someone sounds, the less they are willing to trust them. The more flexible and open person has greater credibility with them. So if we believe there are still truths that we, as a church, stand firm on, how do we do that in a way that also shows humility that we don\’t know everything? Or, if everything, even the most cherished truths of the Christian faith are open to interpretation, what then is the purpose of the church? If we do not exist to communicate objective truth, what then, are we here for?Oh–did you think I had the answer? I just like asking questions. I\’ll take a stab at it in a little while…

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