Just the other day a link to an Adventist Review article appeared in the timeline ticker of updates in the upper right
corner of my facebook page. From it one of my friends had commented on a quotation which was very much a disingenuous statement especially looking back on what I was taught growing up in Adventism. So in this article we are going to look at that quote and discuss how the behavior of an individual within Adventism is in fact used as a factor in determination of not only their walk, but in relationship to Salvation.
An Interesting Quotation
So let’s take a look at the quotation taken from this article: Adventist Review Article
“Our standards should be higher than those of any legalists because we understand that our behavior doesn’t determine our salvation, so why not aim high?”
The first thing that should be noted is that apparently the author of the article really thinks that the Adventists must be the most in tune, best, finest, legalists with the highest standards possible. That smacks of pride and reminds me of how Paul viewed himself looking back on who he once was:
3 For we are the circumcision, the ones who serve by the Spirit of God, boast in Christ Jesus, and do not put confidence in the flesh— 4 although I once also had confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he has grounds for confidence in the flesh, I have more:5 circumcised the eighth day; of the nation of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; regarding the law, a Pharisee; 6 regarding zeal, persecuting the church; regarding the righteousness that is in the law, blameless.
Remember that Paul was once Saul, and he was a member of the Pharisees, the adamant Legalists of the day. He attempted to bring the Christian Church to ruin before God caused him to be Born Again on the road to Damascus. This transformation can be seen in the next few verses of Philippians 3:
7 But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ.8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them filth, so that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness from God based on faith.
Yet Saul, renamed on rebirth to Paul considered all the legalistic perfectionism of his past to be filth, useless, now that he has gained Christ and been found in Him.
If this is the case with Paul, what of the author of the article. It seems to me that he clings to the pride of legalism over anything else. Let’s break down the next portion of the quotation after the break.