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Good day fellow respondents, I trust all is well? One, reviewing the direction that the thread have taken, have decided to re-edit and add some direction to it.
First, the thread's main focus is on what would Adventist adherents, and by extension, Christians do when they are faced with an economic embargo and that they are the target of persecution. The thread begun last year December, 2016, and as such, one used the festive period of that month as the focal point. If the Christian community is divided on whether or not to observe a pagan festivity garbed in Christian wear, how far fetch is the reality that some Christians would go to varying lengths to preserve their life?
Second, the thread open the door to allow varying questions, and debates on the questions posed. Several of the questions, and debates centred around, the "inspiration of the bible"; the author(s) of Genesis record on disobedience of Adam and Eve; whether or not female Adventist pastors should be conferred the title of "ordained" so as to administer the church ordinances et cetera. The key point coming from the plethora of arguments, is the gullibility to accept dogmas. Do you believe that the derogatory remarks is an indication that some Christians are going to attempt to suppress other Christians who don't hold their view? What is your outlook on the future prospects for your local chapter or your local chapter's head quarters?

Well, given that some persons desire an Adventist element permit me to submit for discussion, one, is it necessary to baptize an individual who is coming from another religion? Is it an act simply to be a church member? Second, if one accept the investigative judgement, he or she nullifies Jesus significant death, how do you respond?
Look forward to hearing you. Take cad bless

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Hello Garth we are coming near the midwinter pagan feast as the sun turns around and days become longer. The festival of Tamus now converted by some catholic compromisers to the festival of Christs Birth. Although you are not right in that this event was totally disregarded by SDA's in the pioneering days. EG White had this to say about Christmas.

Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.... This do, and thou shalt live.” The words spoken to the lawyer are applicable to every soul inquiring, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

If we do love God with all the heart, we shall remember his claims upon us. He requires that we shall be like him, that we shall imitate the self-sacrificing life of Christ. Jesus said of himself, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” The joy ever before him was the blessing and uplifting of fallen humanity. Everything else was secondary and subordinate. From the manger to Calvary his life was one scene of loving effort and sacrifice for the good of men. If Christ is dwelling in our hearts, we shall have the same spirit, and shall do the same work. Our thoughts, our interests, our sympathies, as well as our words and money and effort, will be given to the up-building of the Redeemer’s kingdom. And this not merely as a duty; it will be our life, our joy. As the living water bursts from the mountain spring, so will our life flow out in words and deeds of love.

This spirit of self-sacrifice has become feeble in the hearts of Christ’s professed followers. Instead of gratefully inquiring, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?” how many of those who claim to have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, seem bent on self-pleasing. Even Christmas, the day observed professedly in honor of the birthday of Christ, has been made a most effective means of turning the mind away from Christ, away from his glory. If Christmas is kept at all, it should be kept in a way that will be in harmony with its significance. Christ should be remembered, his name honored; the old, old story of his love should be recounted. Instead of saying by our actions that we are putting Christ out of our minds and hearts, we should testify to men, to angels, and to God, that we remember our Redeemer, by following his example of self-sacrifice for others’ good. But the day chosen to honor Christ is devoted by the many to honoring and pleasing themselves. Appointed to keep the Saviour in remembrance, it is spent in causing him to be forgotten.

How stinted are the offerings that on this day go into the Lord’s treasury! how large the sums that are spent in presents to one another! Yearly those who have means, have put God from their remembrance, and bestowed their gifts upon those who have no need of them, and who could repay them again. How many of you have thus needlessly expended time and money, while close under the shadow of your own homes the poor and needy have been neglected, and while the message of truth has been restricted in its work. The means that was devoted to gratify pride and foster vanity would have been a great blessing to the needy, and would have carried the gospel light to those who sit in darkness.

God is the giver of every gift, and he has honored men by making them his stewards, that they should prove themselves faithful in disbursing their means in gifts and offerings to sustain his cause. The Lord has not withheld his blessing from man; he has given his only begotten Son to come into this world to suffer and die, that by believing in him we should have eternal life. He that withheld not his own Son, but gave him as an offering to save us from hopeless misery, how much more will he not with him freely give us all things! What offering will we individually present to Jesus our Saviour for this priceless treasure? Will it not be the very best plan to celebrate the coming Christmas by bringing God to our remembrance, and showing our love to him by putting our gifts into his treasury? These gifts are needed, that the gospel may be sustained, and the truth may reach all parts of the world.

The rich can bring to God a liberal offering, saying, “All things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.” Thus they acknowledge the claims of God upon them, and show honor to Christ. In this work the poor also may act a part. God does not estimate the value of our gifts to his cause by their amount in money; he looks upon our motives. It is the heart service that makes the gift valuable. When the Majesty of heaven became a babe, and was intrusted to Mary, she did not have much to offer for the precious gift. She brought to the altar only two turtle doves, the offering appointed for the poor; but they were an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord. She could not present rare treasures such as the wise men of the East came to Bethlehem to lay before the Son of God; yet the mother of Jesus was not rejected because of the smallness of her gift. It was the willingness of her heart that the Lord looked upon, and her love made the offering sweet. So God will accept our gift, however small, if it is the best we have, and is offered from love to him.

Will you not acknowledge Jesus as the chief object of your affections, by your free-will offerings to him? Will not parents educate their children to appreciate the great love of Christ, and his wonderful gift? Will they not teach them for his sake to practice self-denial, that they may bring their grateful offerings to Him who for our sake became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich? Instead of sending gifts to one another, let your offerings, large and small, flow into the treasury of God, as the many rivulets flow toward the mighty ocean. The lessons thus taught to your children will be such as God can approve.

Under the Jewish economy, on the birth of children an offering was made to God, by his own appointment. Now we see parents taking special pains to present gifts to their children upon their birthdays; they make this an occasion of honoring the child, as though honor were due to the human being. Satan has had his own way in these things; he has diverted the minds and the gifts to human beings; thus the thoughts of the children are turned to themselves, as if they were to be made the objects of special favor. That which should flow back to God in offerings to bless the needy and carry the light of truth to the world, is turned from the right channel, and frequently does more harm than good, encouraging vanity, pride, and self-importance. On birthday occasions the children should be taught that they have reason for gratitude to God for his loving-kindness in preserving their lives for another year. Precious lessons might thus be given. For life, health, food, and clothing, no less than for the hope of eternal life, we are indebted to the Giver of all mercies; and it is due to God to recognize his gifts, and to present our offerings of gratitude to our greatest benefactor. These birthday gifts are recognized of Heaven.

If Christian parents had accustomed their children to present offerings to God in acknowledgment of his great gift of salvation to men, how different would be the character of the young. Their minds would have been called away from themselves to the blessed Saviour. They would have been taught to feel that he loved them, and that he is the source of all blessing; that he is their hope of happiness and eternal life. If this kind of education had been given to our children, we should today see far less selfishness, far less envy and jealousy; we should have more manly young men and womanly young women. We should see the youth coming up with moral strength, with pure principles, with well-balanced minds and lovely characters, because the Model would be ever before them; they would be impressed with the importance of copying the excellence of Jesus, the pattern. The world will follow its own customs, its maxims and practices; but the children of God will seek to reach the elevated standard of purity and holiness.

God wants the youth and those of mature age to look to him, to believe in Jesus Christ whom he has sent, and to have him abiding in the heart; then a new life will quicken every faculty of the being. The divine Comforter will be with them, to strengthen them in their weakness, and guide them in their perplexity. It will make the mind clearer, the heart purer; it sanctifies the will, and makes it strong for the service of God. It will make plain to them the path of life.

By Mrs. E. G. White on Christmas Review and Herald December 9, 1890

 

Good morning Elijah thank you for bringing this excerpt to the discussion; and, although Mrs. White has some salient points in her piece of work, this excerpt treats with the need of giving financially to the advancement of God's kingdom. Her  Christmas interjection is one of transition or and example and her subsequent statement is one of rhetoric- an attempt to appeal to the emotions & reasoning of the reader. It should not be an impetus for the Adventist community to argue his or her reason for celebrating/partaking in this festive holiday. According to her, she said, "If Christmas is kept at all..." infer that there are varying fragment of adherents who are on either sides of the fence in relation to the event; and, it infers that it's not significant. As such, one can observe how misunderstanding and misinterpreting can be deadly. However, going back to the discussion, and using this excerpt as a launching platform, let for argument say you or anyone joining the discourse were under the tyranny of the ruler as described in revelation, would you find an excuse to survive, just as you found an excuse to partake in a celebration that has no association to God? Or would you withstand the onslaught even if it results death?

Hi Garth I am not to sure what you understand as the mark of the beast, let me assure you it is not Christmas. As it says you can not buy or sell lest you have the mark of the beast. 

Rev 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

Clearly we see that you need to ascent to certain things, Clearly a festival once a year would not fit this bill. So it will most be likely something that happens once a week. As we know the Bible points us to the true and warns against the counterfeit.

   

Good evening Elijah and fellow readers,

With respect to what the beast's or the entity to rule's mark is, and by extension its name or  its number, I await to see who that entity/prospect is that would be acting on behalf of his/its master, and who would apply and how they would apply this economic pressure in question to global audience. So for me I don't want to put no spin on it, just awaiting  to see how event would play out.

Hi Garth 

To me that point of view is not satisfactory to our Lord. God tells us to be ready and watching, have oil in your lamp. And if you have wisdom you can know what it is.

Rev 13:18  Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. 

This text says to me you can understand what it is. The die is cast all the pieces is there no need to wait for more information. Get on your knees and pray for wisdom and insight.

  

Peace,


Brother Ian, how have you been, hope all is good. As EGW explains, Christmas time that is observed by the masses should be used to bring others to Christ, however it isn't a holy day the Bible instructs us to observe, I think we can agree on that.
So it must have come from somewhere, and from my understanding the day Dec.25 was/is a pagen day and Christianity was infused with the day, just like Sunday.

Even though Sunday was the first, there are other days the falls in line behind 1st day of the week.

This is a history lesson from A.T Jones, and noticed he says "... there came now another addition to sun worshipping apostasy."... Sunday being the first, now there are more days that are pagan that has a Christian cover.




"From Rome there came now another addition to the sunworshipping apostasy. The first Christians being mostly Jews, continued to celebrate, in remembrance of the death of Christ, the true Passover; and this was continued among those who from among the Gentles had turned to Christ. Accordingly, the celebration was always on the Passover day, the fourteenth of the first month.Rome, however, and from her all the West, adopted the day of the sun as the day of this coloration. According to the Eastern custom, the celebration, being on the fourteenth day of the month, would of course fall on different days of the week as the years resolved. The rule of Rome was that the celebration must always be on a Sunday." (Great Empires of Prophecy, 1898, p. 389 by A.T. Jones)



Although he doesn't mention Dec.25, you must ask yourself, who is behind observing Dec.25 as a holy day, because surly GOD is the only ONE to decide what's holy and not.



As we see Rome doesn't deny having other days than Sunday to observe



This is from the Catechism of Pope Pius X:

2 Q. What are festivals?

A. In the Old Law they were Saturdays and certain other days regarded as specially solemn by the Jews; in the New Law they are Sundays and other festivals instituted by the Church.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Rome says other days apart from Sunday was instituted by them, The Bible said Rome would try this




Daniel 7:25 (Amplified Bible)
"And he shall speak words against the Most High [God] and shall wear out the saints of the Most High and think to change the time [of sacred feasts and holy days] and the law; and the saints shall be given into his hand for a time, two times, and half a time [three and one-half years].


Daniel 7:25 (New Living Translation)
"He will defy the Most High and oppress the holy people of the Most High. He will try to change their sacred festivals and laws, and they will be placed under his control for a time, times, and half a time.


Dan. 7:25 (New American Bible)
"He shall speak against the Most High and oppress the holy ones of the Most High, thinking to change the feast days and the law. They shall be handed over to him for a year, two years, and a half-year.



Its not just about Sunday, it extends to other days as well... So it's a burry & fine line between taking advantage of the days surrounding Dec.25 to preach the true gospel, and understanding it's not a day sanction by GOD to be holy, and also understanding it's a day Rome, the Catholic church says they brought forth. Surly no SDA believes and has compromise Dec.25 actually being a holy day, or has it?

I don't know the percentage of people in the SDA Church that believes Dec.25 being a holy day given by GOD to be observed. Maybe a poll can be taken to see.
But again, there is nothing wrong with having worship on the day of Dec.25 just like it's nothing wrong with having worship on Sunday.



Blessings!

Reasoning 

Thank you for that comprehensive discourse on what the catholic church has done. I have no disagreement with you on any of those points. Let us hope our resident JW Garth reads what you have said 

The other thing with Dec 25 is that as a pagan midwinter festival for the return of the sun is that it conveniently comes close to the Jewish festival of Hanuka witch Jesus did keep. 

Joh 10:22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

So I guess to institute Christmas would not have been a hard thing to do.

 

Good morning Reasoning, I trust all is well. thank you for your presentaton. It underscores the reality of how some persons can, in their decision making,  choose consciously or unconsciously choose to associate with an entity and not Jehovah, to whom all respect and devotion should be for.

As such,it underscores my point in that if some persons are willing to compromise or they can argue for any particular catholic event on the calendar, and with regard to their reason for doing so, it is possible that they can give in times of trouble. 

For me, I am resolute in my mind that for My Lords who rules in Heaven and dwells in the affairs of men,  to die for my belief in Him. I am not  ashame to let the populace at large know of a loving God and the demonstration of His love. However, we have to help those who are not so resolute to be resolute . Thus discussion like these need to be had toget folks thinking and looking at where they are spiritually.

Peace

Thank you brother Garth, yes I'm well, how about yourself? Hope your good.


Garth wrote: "It underscores the reality of how some persons can, in their decision making, choose consciously or unconsciously choose to associate with an entity and not Jehovah, to whom all respect and devotion should be for."



I understand, and I agree GOD deserves all of our devotion... Like I said there is a fine line between using these times (though it's not sanction by GOD) to spread the gospel and thinking it's an actual holy day. But there must be a clear line as well.

For me personally, I don't say merry Christ-mass to people when they say it to me, I just say happy joy in Christ to you or peace and blessings to you.. I may be over analyzing it, however I know there is no reference to Christmas in the Bible, so for me to say it when I know Rome instituted it doesn't sit well for me. But hey that's me.



Garth wrote: "As such,it underscores my point in that if some persons are willing to compromise or they can argue for any particular catholic event on the calendar, and with regard to their reason for doing so, it is possible that they can give in times of trouble."



Again, I don't see anyone arguing for a particular catholic event, perhaps you can give some examples of what your talking about.
But I'm not blind that many people in the SDA Church has come from churches that observed Christmas faithfully and a full coming out hasn't taken place. So I believe the SDA Church needs to define the clear fine line... Although I believe EGW has done that in her writings. We just need to be absolutely clear to the people on what we teach so there is no blurry lines.


Quick question, I see Bro. Ian(Elijah) is saying your a JW, is that true? For me it's ok, even though it's a site for SDA, I like discussing with people of different faiths. Especially the JW... I wasn't a member but they was a big part of my development as a Christian. If you don't want to answer that's fine as well, just wondering if what Bro. Ian is saying is true or not.


Blessings to you Bro. Garth

hi good morning my brother, 

great to know all is well, and all is well on my end. well in relation to my statement wherein I state some persons can argue for any catholic day on the calendar and for which they partake in, I am attempting to broaden the scope beyond Christmas. For there are adherents who venerate Easter, for example. But a study inclusive of survey must be had to determine the number of Adventist adherents who are engage in any catholic event, how many are aware of any event not being associated with God, and incorporating your point whether or not the Adventist Conference should post clear guidelines to be guided by.

On the other hand, I am not a Jehovah Witness. I am a Zionist, a protestant, a bible researcher and of the order of Melchizedek  of which Jesus the son of God is chief. To be apart of the aforementioned assembly I wouldn't last a month there, & it is similar with this Adventist or any other assembly. This is due in part to variance in biblical interpretation,  and for Adventist my view on Mrs. White, and other Adventist views.

Well God watch over your family and you, till I hear from you again

Hi Garth,

Perhaps it is true in your part of the world that 'a vast majority' don't celebrate Christmas but it is certainly not true in the USA. I grew up celebrating Christmas in a very standard manner (trees, lights, holly, mistletoe, SC and all the rest). It wasn't until I had my own family that my wife and I tried to cleanse all of that stuff out and only have Jesus in a manger. We tried to keep the emphasis on giving and not getting. Most Adventists that knew what we did thought we were nuts. And not in a good way.

So far as a sign of willingness to compromise, that boat sailed long ago.

Good morning Mike

Thank you for your response, and I am aware that in varying spheres and the prevailing culture Christmas celebration is an experience for some from their toddler or baby stage to present whilst for others it is not. In addition, there are opposition on both sides for partakers and non partakers of this festive event. However, when you said the festive event as a sign of willingness to compromise sailed a long time ago, can you elaborate as to what you mean.

On the other hand,  given the evidence that this event has nothing to do with God or His Son, and let's take into consideration  that most people learn of this when they are adults, can it be argued that persons are continuing to celebrate because of what was wired in them from young?Or is it a case where some  people know the facts, but they are not ready to let go just yet?

Moreover  let for argument sake say that  the Christian community is under an economic embargo by whatever system God has in mind for a stipulated time, and you are in dire need of food, medical supplies et cetera  , how would you or any responder treat with that situation? 

I look forward to your responses. God bless

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