become a sinner for Jesus!!??

Well, it wasn’t quite in so many words like that, but that was the intent of the advice i received yesterday.

Yesterday, October 16, 2010, was quite an interesting Sabbath, one which makes me seriously wonder if God’s church has much of a future.

Now i stay near what is considered a bastion of conservative Seventh-day Adventism, (at least by North-American standards) Southern Adventist University. After riding my bicycle around 30 minutes in the chilly, pleasant sunshine to the Iles gymnasium, where Samuel Pipim was scheduled to give the main sermon, i sat and listened to a Brother Golden Lapani from Malawi give the Sabbath School lesson talk about some of his life experiences. Supposedly, he has led 32,000 Muslims to Jesus Christ. Being very interested in that, i went up to him after his talk, and asked him personally what he thinks of some pastors using the Qur’an to reach the Muslim people. He said it is a good book, and i said it is a satanic book, and he asked me if i have ever read Romans. When i assured him i have, he said: “Paul says that to reach a drunkard, you must become a drunkard”. I assured him that nothing of the sort was written in the Bible, and asked him if Christ ever used the book of Baal-worshippers to reach the Baal worshippers? He replied that as far as he knows, there was no book of Baal worship in Jesus’ time! This was my first clue that he was not interested in discussing what he was doing, just wanting to tell people what he was doing. Then he said what gave me the title for this blog post: “You must become a sinner to reach sinners.” Well, i could tell that he was not interested in following what the Bible has to say at all, and after listening to him say “How many souls have you brought to Christ? I’ve brought 32,000!” and replying that if we have pride we will not be in heaven at all, i took my leave. What a deception! What a fatal deception! And the seemingly highly-educated lady standing near him would just agree vigorously with anything he had to say. So sad.

So a couple of friends and i walked over to the large Campus Church where they were showing a video on forgiveness. Seems that some young lady had gone to South Africa to help the poor there and gotten murdered, but her parents had been able to forgive the murderers. That part was very well and nice, but then they started talking about the dead girl looking down on them from heaven and approving of what they are doing! I got up and walked out. About a minute later, my friends came out too, saying that after i left, the video had the dead girl being reincarnated into her parents! And nary a peep from all the hundreds of church-goers there?! Lord, wake us up! Send us fire to burn all our stuff down if necessary, just save your people! Don’t let them all be put to sleep by the enemy!

Then we walked down to the Collegedale Academy church, where Clifford Goldstein was going to preach. As we walked in, i heard music coming from the meeting place very similar to what elders in my church where i grew up, told me that i would go to hell for listening to. And here it is inside the church now!! A smiling man at the door erased his smile when we told him that this kind of music is not from God. He assured us that the “words are good”, and that there are drums in the Psalms. (i can’t find that). We told him that this rock music is not what God wants for us, and then he started smiling/(smirking?) again.

We waited in the library for the heavy metal noise to stop, and used the time wisely and studied chapter 36 of the 1858 Great Controversy. After being bounced around from here to there by error during the morning, it felt wonderful to have a quiet, safe, error-free environment. It hit me how if this is what it feels like in a “strong” SDA environment, what it must feel like when all the forces of hell are unleashed on us in the future.

The auditorium was packed, but we could split up and get seats here and there. Of course the clothing of the people made one wonder if we were at the clubhouse, beach, or whorehouse, but the talk itself was riveting. Clifford Goldstein described his life story of how he went from Christian-basher, to, well, becoming a Christian! The short of it is: He was born a Jew, learned to hate Christians, went to University of Florida at Gainesville, bummed around Europe a while, worked at a kibbutz in Israel where he met the first man he could respect who was a Christian, bummed more around Europe and stayed awhile with a guy caught up in the occult, went back to the kibbutz where he was baptized into some sunday-church group, but not really converted yet, went back to America, was given a Great Controversy, started studying the occult, had a supernatural experience where God wanted him to burn the only thing in his life that mattered – the novel he had spent 2 1/2 years writing, and after a couple hours of struggle, he did burn it. Excellent.

After a short lunch of peanut-butter crackers and dried blueberries on the lawn of the Campus church, i joined one of the many seminars going on, and learned from Dave Fieldler how to give The Great Controversy background straight from the Bible. I’ve done it before, but it was great to see it done systematically. Most everything was from Ezekiel 28, so it does take some faith that the king of Tyre is referring to Satan before his fall, but that seems pretty obvious from a careful reading.

The seminar lasted two more hours, but i took off on my bicycle to the Standifer Gap church where Pastor Sylvain Roman, a professor at our “Bogenhofen” Seventh-day Adventist university in Austria, was scheduled to give a talk. I had gone with a friend on Thursday to the Apison church where he gave a talk, so my plan was to go to this church to combat any of the same errors that were raised at the Apison church, some of which were “the Muslims and us worship the same God”, “the Qur’an is holy”, etc. etc. There were many good things he said too, but the core of the message is extremely false.

He had said: “Gaddafi (head of Libya) had asked the pope to become the head of Islam in 1991 or so, Paul explains ‘surrender’ in Islam in Romans 12:1, We see a line from Abraham to Muhammad and Muhammad was keeping the traditions of Abraham, The Evangelicals are our ‘Brothers and Sisters’, I find the Trinity as much in the Qur’an as in the Bible, Qur’an says that their god and our God is the same (thus implying it is true!!), We are Brothers (said about a Muslim man), Muslims have Jesus but they don’t know him, Jesus as the Son of God is advanced doctrine and not basic to Christian thinking, Never criticize Islam, Allah, the Qur’an, or Muhammad (sounds like a true Muslim!!), We learn from them etc. etc.

So after 30 more minutes of bicycle riding, i got there, and there were about 60-70 people listening to this pastor speak. Again, he had many good things to say, and again, sadly, he had the same egregious errors as before, along with a few new ones, but the overall tone seemed better. Perhaps i’m getting used to this? ouch!

This time, the man who arranged the meetings used the term: “The beauty of Islam”, then the presenter, Pastor Romain, said: “Islam is not something dangerous, 99.9% of Muslims don’t endorse 9/11 (actually, the figure from a world-wide survey is 13.5% – over 150,000,000 people!), No one is trying to make America an Islamic state, Abraham was a Muslim, Maybe the Trinity is not so important, When people say ‘It’s OK’ you know it’s not OK, I baptized people who smoke, etc.

Admittedly, he did say many good things, like the 3 things that only Seventh-day Adventists can answer (where does suffering come from, what is hell, ……Daniel forgot the 3rd – sorry), how he would not baptize people who had no plan to keep the Sabbath etc. The purpose of this post is to show the larger errors in his teaching, so that others, especially SDA Brethren, are not sucked into believing a lie.

One man in the audience asked about showing Muslims the divinity of Christ, and the Trinity, and he answered that the Trinity wasn’t so important, and he basically said the divinity of Christ issue is not something you come at a Muslim with right up front – it is something that can be addressed after you get to know them well, thus deflecting this man’s question by not explaining what to do when you DO come to the point when you must show them that Jesus is God. Of course, that is because it is directly contrary to the teaching of the Qur’an.

At the Thursday meeting, he had gotten quite agitated when i had raised questions about the Qur’an saying that God does not beget nor is begotten, and that the Qur’an never says Jesus is the Son of God. This time, i read a couple of passages from the Qur’an like where it says not to take Jews or Christians as your friends (5:51), that Jesus wasn’t really crucified on the cross (4:157), and that God neither begets nor is begotten, and then i asked: “While it is true that there are many things in the Qur’an agreeing with the Bible, there are also many thing contradicting it, and things that are self-contradictory too. How do you account for these things?” He didn’t seem quite as flustered as on Thursday, and actually, i’m surprised he didn’t try to have me thrown out from the beginning like Jerald Whitehouse said he would do to me in 2007 in Bangkok – ha! He replied: “Well, yes, um, that is, haha, yes, but we need to um understand what is actually meant by the word ‘begotten’. Actually, it was a word coined by Jerome in the 13th century”.

Well, it is true that this word seems to have been first used in the 13th century, but Jerome died in the 5th century ,,,, hmmmm. Perhaps the word “begotten” may be better translated “unique and only one”, but that just begs the question – the Qur’an, in 112:2 says about their god: “He begets not, nor was begotten.” So to make some argument that somehow the word “begotten” in the Bible has a different meaning than to beget a child is a totally off-the-mark, non-sequitur argument. He didn’t even bother trying to answer the thing about not taking Christians for your friends. Can you really imagine any book from God saying such a ludicrous thing? And we are basically being told to accept this crazy book as being on par with the Bible?!?!

I did find out that the man who arranged these meetings – Ira Farley – is the man i met in Japan over 6 years ago who is the first Seventh-day Adventist to tell me that God raised up the Muslims, and that the Qur’an was a good book etc. etc. I thot he was a wild-eyed anti-Seventh-day-Adventist then, but am very sad to see now that his ideas are being taught near the top in our church now, and are trickling down faster and faster among the laity.

At least the hour-long bicycle ride back to the house helped clear my head 🙂

Lord Jesus, the eternal Son of God, please have mercy on your people. Please wake them up out of their “We are all one” stupor before it is too late. May we do everything we can to lift you up Jesus, you are everything – the alpha and omega. Lord, the church called by your name looks to be almost wholly apostatized, and yet i know there are many who are striving to serve you with all their hearts, souls, and might. Please dear Jesus, save these precious souls from the hungry wolves who have come in among your flock, and lift up the leaders like Ted Wilson who are trying to stem the tide of evil that has entered the church, and purify us, make us clean and holy, acceptable in your sight i pray. Amen

1 thought on “become a sinner for Jesus!!??”

  1. If they don’t have Jesus they will never have eternal life.

    You have experienced what I have been hearing across N. Am. and how our higher ups are accepting parts of the Muslim faith in order to welcome them in. This is way different from what Paul was teaching.

    Germany has taken a very different stand and I wonder how our people there view what has happened?

    I have met some very nice Muslims but deep down they believe their book is the original and ours is a forged copy filled with error.

    After much study, I do believe that the Islam faith represents the king of the south referred to in Daniel 11.

    God Bless

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