Adventist Online

Brethren,
I grieve inside me, and I am wondering why these things occur in the church.

  • Why is it we have no free Schools of Evangelism or Bible Schools? One is required to pay for everything, no free online courses!
  • Pastors preach and produce sermons, presentations on CDs and DVDs, all of them are on SALE.
  • SDA Schools are expensive benefiting very few SDAs save those kids from well to do families, why is this so?
  • Books are written in high quantities and yet a lot of them are on SALE. Spirit of Prophesy is on SALE, Bible on SALE, Sermons on SALE...


NB: The matter regarding EGW Software was settled and a free online database with Bible Commentaries can be easily accessed here

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Well, someone has to say on this especially from the General Conference point of view...",
why is that seventh day adventist always complain about the cost of our own stuff. But readily pay for the Philistine's things.
Could it be .... the Philistines are more fun to play with?

And their toys more interesting?
hahahah wow JOSEPH u have apoint here everything is for sale toda except a mothers love ..
Ever wondered why Jesus drove out traders from the house of prayer?

Freely given, freely give! No business but ministry.

Bro. Vicenzo, I have nothing more to tell you apart from what I have said before, If you feel you want more answers may be re-read my posts.
Hi Joseph,

Maybe someone already mentioned this, but you can read all of Ellen White's Books online for free. You can even search by a word, or page number and book at http://www.whiteestate.org/ It is an excellent resource! I have used it many times. Happy Reading!
Are these Seventh-day Adventists? YES! There has been NO light shed here in this discussion that shows that people who charge for goods and services are not good Christians, much less Adventist. Although that is the position of the Original Poster and he said "I grieve inside me", that is nonetheless only his opinion. That opinion does not appear to have been borne out by giving supporting texts or SOP. Others may agree with him. That is fine. That is their opinion as well. It is an opinion unsupported by the Bible, SOP, or our church leadership.

First of all, as this discussion shows, there are many free online courses. More than one person could ever take. Will you end up with a college degree because you took these free courses? No, I you want a degree, it will have to be paid for -- No matter what school you go to. So people are not "required to pay for everything", there is an constantly growing abundance of free online material.

There is a extremely large amount of free audio and video sermons available online. You could start listening/watching right now, listen 24 hours a day, and never run out of good free sermons to listen to. And the amount for free sermons available is growing every minute.

SDA schools ARE expensive. But not because of greed or love of money. It is to pay for the excellent education provided there. Ellen G. White gave counsel to us (quoted in this thread) to make sure we didn't charge too little so that the excellent experience would not be compromised. That is exactly opposite of the opinion of the OP.

Books are written and are on sale. How does this show a lack of Christianity as the OP implies? Ellen G. White was supported by the sale of her books. Don't you think she might have been counseled to do otherwise if she was doing something wrong? I find no evidence of divine inspiration telling her to give away all her books. I don't even find counsel from other humans of her time for her to give away her books. So why should we feel compelled to give away all our labor? We shouldn't unless God compels us to do that. Otherwise, a workman is worth of his wage and should use it to glory God. And to say it again... EVERY word that EGW ever wrote, in it's original format, is available freely, without copyright or restriction of any kind. Use it!

That leads into the other issue brought up in this thread: copyright infringement and copyrights in general. Copyrights give ownership to the creators of work. Just as the builder owns the stone house that he labored to build on his plot, the writer owns the words that they labored to write, the musical notes that they composed, etc. They labored to create this work and it belongs to them to do with as they see fit. They are the only person who can decide what to do with it. Ellen G. White valued copyrights. She depended on the income from the labor she put into her life's work. She did not counsel against copyrights anywhere.

Copyright infringement (copying someone else's material for any reason) is a crime. I have not found a country in the world where copyright infringement is not a crime. I agree with that position. Just because it is 'easier' to steal does not make it less of a transgression of God and country's law. Just because one might get away with stealing does not make it not a crime and a sin. God has strongly condemned stealing in all it's forms. Stealing of copyrighted material is still stealing, no matter what good we may wish to use it for. Accepting knowingly stolen goods is a crime and sin as well. We must guard against it always.

The OP suggests that because information/training/etc is beneficial, it should be free. But this leaves out us having any faith in God. Never has anything worthwhile been achieved with struggle. Never has a missionary not had to step out in faith and move forward. Never has a student from a poor or middle class background not had to depend on God to work out their finances for attending Adventist schools. But have you not heard of the elation in their voice as they tell the story of God blessing them? The testimonies are inspirational for everyone.

The OP also suggests that since something is beneficial, it's OK to steal it. I could not disagree more. God will provide us with EVERY thing we need. Not what we think we need, but what He knows we actually need. He will provide. Always. We must trust Him and Have faith in His promises... not break the law and run ahead of God because we think we need something. That is not a witness for Him at all.

So are these Seventh-day Adventists? YES! Are they also sinful humans? YES! But charging for their goods or services is NOT one of their sins. God calls us to be generous with all our gifts. We can surely do that and not be chastised for feeding our family. I call on all my brothers and sisters to give freely of their wealth, abilities, and time. But I won't put myself in the position of judge to determine if they are doing it according to my opinion of what is right. I'll be too busy giving to worry about if others are doing it how I prefer. :-)
I was disappointed that these quotes from EGW weren't discussed more as well! I had never read them before and I was very enlightened by them. Thanks again for posting them for us. I learned from. Perhaps they will be picked up in discussion later.
It is perhaps rather telling that the OP did not attempt to refute or gainsay any of the relevant SoP passages or the quotations from EGW's biography that clearly showed that she was not an SDA if one adopts the OP's definition of the term.

Too many times we prefer to hold our own opinions when faced with a contrary word from God.
"Too many times we prefer to hold our own opinions when faced with a contrary word from God."

Well we ALL do that. ;-) I am convinced that there is nothing harder than changing ones behavior and/or mind. My wife is a dietitian and has found that even faced with the gravest medical consequences, the vast majority of people do not change their diet in any meaningful way. They would rather die than change what they eat. Baffling but true.
Do you not expect to be paid when you work? Do you give away everything you have for free?
Is it not better to ask God for the opportunity, ability and capacity to work for enough so you can buy the things you need and help those who can’t?

Has not history taught us that human beings tend to not appreciate what is given for free. (Check the spoilt children of rich people and lottery winners)

It is GOOD that you must pay for all these things. If you did not, you would not appreciate the value.

They cost money to produce and discourage lazy people from getting the benefits of those who work hard and sacrifice in order to achieve and receive.

God’s way is work for the things you need. It builds character - the only thing you could take to heaven.
Man's way is freeness which encourages sloth and laziness.
Dear readers and discussants, I wanted to make it clear that the Lord led to me a free searchable database of EGW writings and Bible Commentaries and can be freely accessed here

So I kindly ask you to not only discuss one point because the matter regarding EGW software was settled!

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