Should Christians go to war?

Christians believe that the bible is God’s word and that sin is a transgression of God’s law. God’s law is the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20). The 6th Commandment tells us that as Christians we will not kill, and thus the challenge for Christians during war time is born. Historically SDAs have been known as “conscientious objectors”, opposed to killing, war and violence. Some members take this stance further to include not “bearing arms” (not carrying a gun or other weapon of war), to avoid the possible temptation of killing. Others go further still to say that being in the war effort at all (even without a weapon, keeping all of the Commandments) is supporting wrong and is a sin. Debate has arisen over the past 150 years and still continues today, as to whether or not a Christian can choose to join the army, navy or air force, either of his / her own free will or if forced with conscription. Is it biblical to choose prison or death over compliance if conscripted? These moral dilemmas have been faced by many faithful Christians, and it is my prayer that this article may lead you to more prayerful study about this heavily debated topic. The following is an historical account of the German SDA church’s response to World War 1 and the split that followed.

I will start by saying, if you are not an Adventist, the church politics on this matter are basically irrelevant to you, which is why I will only very briefly cover this (feel free to skip down to the Testimony 1 and 2 links).  I believe the links I give after will help both Adventists and non-Adventists alike to understand the dilemmas brought about in war time, also to show some amazing testimonies of faithful individuals who were helped by God during World War 2.

For Adventists who wish to have a clear understanding of this issue, I recommend continuing through the resources posted after.
worldwar1somme-tl

To begin, it is important to understand my reasons for posting this article.  I personally believe that the SDA church badly needs help, and I believe that help can come from members of the SDARM / IMSSDARM rejoining the fight for truth in the church.  I don’t necessarily agree with all the doctrines of either the SDARM or IMSSDARM, however I believe they and the SDA church are in unity on vital doctrines. In my opinion the SDA church needs more conscientious individuals to help spread the message of truth across the world.  I believe many have been discouraged and driven into the Reform or Independent movements. My hope is that this division will end, so we can all get back to work spreading the 3 angels’ messages to the world.  It seems an impossible dream to fulfil, however Christ prayed a similar prayer. I believe His power to bring unity and reform will prevail.

I am not in favour of ecumenism, however I believe there are insignificant differences between the SDA, SDARM, IMSSDARM and Independent SDA groups to justify separation.   One of these differences (sometimes the only difference some people see) is the matter of whether Christians should go to war.

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Ellen White vs the Internet

hqdefaultYou only have to briefly read the books of Samuel and the Kings to understand that being a prophet has always been a perilous job.  Not only were most of them rejected and turned against, but many were put to death.  We are smarter than than now though aren’t we?  We would never have rejected a prophet of God right?

Sadly like most things, “there is nothing knew under the sun”, just as God is the same yesterday today and forever, we are also the same as ancient Israel, preferring our own opinions over that of God’s.

Anyone who has done a quick internet search on Ellen White’s writings has likely come across articles attacking her, sometimes vehemently and calling her a false prophet.  The attacks come from the mundane to the outright tirades against her character.  This isn’t new for any of the prophets, or for her. In her day she was constantly attacked by people within the church, especially when she encouraged people to follow what the bible says.  Nothing has changed.  What we need to do as people living 100 years after her death, is to analyze, “was she a prophet” or “are the critics actually correct”.  We are called never to dismiss prophets, but rather to test the spirit.  So if you have read a lot of the negative articles against Ellen White, it is probably a good idea to hear the other side of the story.  Why?  It is clear that the people in the time of the prophets of ancient Israel also had good arguments against their prophets, as most people (including the wisest man on earth, King Solomon) justified ignoring the prophets and worshiping idols.

While most of the attacks against EGW would be obviously silly to anyone who had even a small understanding of SDA history, there are a few that certainly need to be addressed.  One was brought out by an ex-adventist:  “she plagiarized most of her works”, and sadly, with very little testing, many in the church accepted this claim.  What people may not know is this claim was put to test by a catholic copyright lawyer.   His conclusion will likely shock many adventist who still hold this claim to be true. This an a number of other claims is covered in this great sermon: Ellen White vs the World Wide Web.  I can’t recommend this enough for any SDA or for any non-SDA who has been looking into the church and been bombarded by the many misunderstandings, twistings or outright lies leveled against EGW.

If you have the audioverse app, search “ellen white vs the world wide web”.

Remember, minds are like parachutes, they only work if they are open.  The best defense of her, I believe, is to read her writings.  I personally discovered hundreds of lies I had been told as a youth in the SDA church, by simply reading 1st Testimonies and the Great Controversy.

For further study there is a very good book called “response to a video” by pickle publishing.  This book exhaustively goes through the claims of the docco “the spirit behind the church” that mocks the SDA church, using amazingly blatant lies.  You can get the book herek

Great Series from Herb Larsen 2014

For those of you who can’t make it to Big Camp in Brisbane Australia (probably a lot!), this is a very interesting sermon series from Herb Larsen on the practical application of faith.  Herb’s main focus in ministry is to get people to read their bibles for 1h a day, and he gives many testimonies on how this has changed peoples lives.  This series has many amazing stories of how God has used the worst possible circumstances to His glory.

Another interesting sermon of Herb’s shot by Amazing Discoveries (ADTV), defining faith.. not in theological mumbo jumbo, but in solid practical terminology:

Audioverse.org – Great Resource for Spiritual Growth

Capture

 

If you have been craving sermons and are unsure where to go to find them, I can recommend audioverse.org.  This is a great site where you can type in any topic and there are sermons on them.  Obviously I can’t be certain all will be perfect as far as doctrine is concerned, however, there is a lot of Gold hidden there…

A few good sermons to get you started:
Dennis Priebe – The Real Gospel – An expose on the differences between the two gospels that are being preached in our churches.  Very important sermon.

Gabriel Arruda – testimony about how Gabriel was protected from the entertainment industry and came to work for God.  He does have things I don’t quite agree with relating to prophecy (nothing too crazy though!), however the testimony is very interesting.

Paul Volk – What the Experts Are Telling Us – Very interesting testimony about health.  Very practical message.

Also Dwayne Lemon, Eugine Prewitt have some interesting stuff (leave a comment if you can recommend any preachers or specific sermons on audioverse).

Also, if you have an iPhone or Android device, there is a great app that makes listening and downloading easier. (sadly no windows phone … hint, hint if you are reading this audible crew).

Women’s Ordination – is it biblical and what will it lead to?

This is a very tough topic to cover, as generally it is received with a fairly emotional reaction.  The bible tends to be pushed aside for feelings or cultural norms.   But what does the bible actually say?  And importantly what are the implications of it?  Will women’s ordination actually help the churches to grow, or will it simply cause people to go to other churches who uphold the bible and the bible alone?  It is interesting how clear the evidence is for this.  Here are a few videos that cover this topic:

Daniel Unsealed DVDs Available Now

Feel free to copy them and distribute them as much as possible!

Click here to buy now!  Prices in US dollars (before you buy, read the version information below)


Important Version Information

The PAL version of the DVD is set up very well now, so you can select chapters, and watch the trailer, plus has menu music (this is very difficult to set up, so if you want to make copies for people in Australia, I suggest you get at least a copy of this to save yourself the hassle of set up)

Due to technical difficulties, the NTSC version doesn’t have menus. The movie is still high quality though, and all works well.

There is also a bulk version (DVD in plastic sleeve), and or a version with a Standard DVD case (the same as any DVD movie).  The disc is identical in both versions.

What is NTSC / PAL

NTSC is the US format for DVDs
PAL is the UK / Australia / Japan format for DVDs

If you have a DVD player less than 5 years old, you can likely play either PAL or NTSC DVDs without any problem no matter where you are.

NTSC-PAL-SECAM-World_Map

Also, remember you can always just give your friends the link to watch the video on youtube for free!