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Friday: Further Thought – Creation and Fall — 11 Comments

  1. Saturday: tragic - tragedy is when we turn our back on God and continue to be disobedient.
    Sunday: Foundation - The mistakes you make at the foundation only compounds your problem as you continue to build the building.
    Monday: Consequences - Every action apart from God have devastating consequences.
    Tuesday: Disunity - Fragmentation is usually the sign of Satan at work.
    Wednesday: Faith - The birth of Isaac from such a pair was nothing less
    than the bringing of life from the dead. It was a symbol of God's power to quicken to
    spiritual life those who are dead in trespasses and sins. Abraham hoped against hope.
    There was no human possibility of the fulfillment of the promise. Lessons on Faith – A.T. Jones & E.J. Waggoner
    Thursday: Chosen - We are chosen to be blessing for others. Agape love seeketh not her own.
    Friday: Creation and Fall - The bible is the story of creation, fall and restoration. The story is not complete without restoration.

  2. We often raise the issue of the two edenic institutions; the Sabbath, and the Family, and then spend a lot of effort defending them. An alternative strategy could be to spend our effort into making these institutions more effective in a modern world. That is much better than cerebral apologetics.

    As has been suggested in another thread, we do need to revisit our attitude to the Sabbath to ensure that it retains its meaning in today’s environment. For a long time, I have been making the point that others perceive us as have merely time shifted our religious services from Sunday to Saturday. Sabbath has to be more meaningful than that. We could do with some creative thought here.

    Much of our rhetoric regarding the family institution has been directed against the alternatives we see now. While I am not defending the alternatives, to be effective we must demonstrate that the original family idea is fully functional and demonstrably viable. When families fail, how supportive are we? Finger pointing and blame-laying is easy. Healing and supporting is hard and not the work of a moment. This is where unity should become deep and meaningful.

    This quarter’s lessons are about unity. We share these beliefs about the Sabbath and the family. How can we bring about contstructive renewal of these two institutions in a way that unifies us.

    • "How can we bring about constructive renewal of these two institutions in a way that unifies us".


      In God's revelation of His nature and character to Moses in Ex 34:6-7, many commentators agree that it is no coincidence that the first attribute God presents is Compassion. It is proposed that this attribute is the overarching attribute that gives rise to all subsequent attributes that are also presented.

      I would propose starting there - being intentional about responding first and foremost with compassion. What does compassion involve? Two things: understanding and empathy - with the first giving rise to the second. The first one essential refers to taking the time to walk in the other's shoes - to understand their experience from their perspective (see Heb 4:15,16 for an awareness that this is what God does with us). When taking the time to walk in another's shoes is done properly, genuine empathy is awakened. Where such is not done sufficiently, judgmentalism easily tends to creep in.

      • This week, while out of range of the Internet for much of the time, I have been reading a book about how we believe and what contributes to our sense of moral values. The author stated that one of the biggest contributors is our interaction with others. We sometimes ignore the social aspects of belief in our effort to “spiritualise” belief, yet when we think about it, the reason many people have contempt for Christianity today is tha all too often Christian institutions have showed a lack of compassion for others. Christian belief and compassionate social interaction must work together.

    • "How can we bring about constructive renewal of these two institutions in a way that unifies us?"

      From Jeremiah 13:23, ""Can the Ethiopian change his skin Or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil?"

      From Matt 11:28-30, John 15:5, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

      It appears there is only one solution to the problem.

  3. As the summary for this week's lesson states: "God’s original plan at Creation intended for humanity to live harmoniously and in unity as one family".

    In considering the topic of unity, I would invite consideration of a well established 'framework' that may benefit both leaders and participants of Sabbath School discussions this week. This framework is likely to be familiar to those working within health and/or educational fields - and perhaps others.

    To illustrate this framework, I will use the analogy of a forest/jungle that is viewed from flying overhead - but you could adapt a locally relevant analogy according to the experiences of your class.

    From your vantage point of flying overhead, you see a canopy of vegetation and perhaps creatures living within that vegetation. What we see at this level of observation could be considered as 'symptoms'. Depending on what symptoms we see, we get an indication as to whether things are healthy and as they should be - or not.

    What you are less likely to see as easily from overhead are the supporting structures that give rise to the canopy of vegetation and the place where the creatures can live. We could consider this level of observation to be 'contributing factors'. These contributing factors can either be acting as 'enabling factors' (meaning those things that support the development of good outcomes/symptoms) or 'barriers' (meaning those things that support the development of unhealthy outcomes/symptoms).

    And then still deeper, there is the level of foundational structures and processes below the soil that make everything above the soil possible. We could consider this level of observations to be 'root causes' of either health or disease.

    What is the relevance of this?

    When discussing aspects of unity, it is necessary to consider and identify which level is being talked about. Without doing this, symptoms can be mistakenly presented as thought they are the root causes. And if action is taken to merely address the symptoms while the underlying contributing and causative factors are left unacknowledged and untouched, the symptoms will only break out again in either the same way or in other ways, sometimes more strongly each time around.

    Conversely, when symptoms are correctly recognised as symptoms, the search for relevant contributing factors (both enablers and barriers) can be undertaken along with identification of foundational root causes. The more accurately this is assessed, the more accurate can be the development and implementation of appropriate measures to actually address underlying and foundational factors. Then the symptoms take care of themselves - over time.

    I hope your Sabbath School class can be a time of constructive exploration and consideration this Sabbath in regard to the topic of unity...

  4. This study has by far evoked a lot of spiritual disability in my life it has reminded me about the Love of God that we sometimes shun away from, it also reminded me that even though we might run away from God's love God always has a plan to draw us nearer to him for our salvation's sake.

    I want to conclude by "God's Love Outweighs our sinful nature, always"
    May we continue praying for unity and Oneness, so God's original plan can be puzzled together.

  5. I’m not sure I agree with Disussion Question #2 that ethnic and linguistic diversity were not a part of God’s original plan, and that the Tower of Babel story bears that out.

  6. 1. In creating man, God made them in “our” image. God is “one”(echad), a united, equal and alike set of individuals, and thus was the intent for man as a couple united to God. There are many possible relations among humans (husband and wife, parents and children, neighbor and neighbor, employer and employee, etc) which can be benefited through being in agreement with all others by an equal regard toward all others as with one's self. With a supreme regard/preference toward God as the foundation of all other relations, such a society would prosper and enjoy perennial peace, being free of all contentions that self-exaltation always brings.

    2. Ethnic difference with all that comes with that can be diffused by the attitude mentioned in the paragraph above. Equal regard/preference(agape) toward all others is the only method that will provide harmony with all others.

    3. The calling of Israel resulted from the calling of an individual, who in response to this calling raised up a family that followed the same course. This was the call of Abraham and the result of his offspring as they adopted the same faithfulness toward God. A community of faith is the uniting of individuals who accept God's call through faith. Any of this community who fail of exercising faith will eventually fall away in the wake of adversity and yielding to temptation. Satan is ever vigilant in tempting all to unbelief through indulgence in pride, selfishness, and love of this world through it's many interests.

    Any individual departure from God's approval will destroy the unity of the church. It is vital for every member to know and accept the will of God.

  7. indeed, what need less pain we bear for not taking it all to Jesus. we forfeit the love freely extended to us unconditionally. love one another as I have loved you is one of the profound statements made by christ in his ministry, it would be wise to heed this advice, that we we can achieve harmony

  8. Maurice Ashton, et al, Every false religion is about what people do to please or appease a god or gods. By contrast, Christianity is about what God (the creator) does--what he has done, what he is doing now and what he has promised to do but hasn’t done yet.

    The sabbath is the rest we enter as we learn to trust the Lord. The sabbath DAY is a God-given symbol of that relationship of trust. Resting on any day of the week can symbolize entering into rest but resting on the day the Lord rested best symbolizes entering into HIS rest. And, by the way, he not only rested on the seventh day after he created life on our planet, he rested again--this time in a borrowed tomb--when he redeemed Adam’s rebellious race.

    When I was a boy in the ‘40s and ‘50s, adventist pastors and evangelists often spoke about sabbath rest. (OK. Well, that phrase really is redundant. The word, “sabbath”, means rest.)

    In recent decades, I have hardly ever heard any emphasis on the sabbath as rest. Instead, the emphasis is on worship.

    Worship is anything that demonstrates who (or what) has our highest allegiance so resting on the day the Lord rested seems appropriate. It is a form of worship, whether we attend formal or semi-formal sabbath services or not.

    On the other hand, arguing about whether people should worship the Lord on one day of the week or another is silly because Christians worship the Lord every day of the week.

    I sometimes hear people phrase the issue as a question of which day of the week is “the proper day to worship”. Is there anyone who can’t understand how easily that is construed to mean you are worshipping the day?

    If a higher percentage of adventists would focus on what the Lord does to provide justification, sanctification and glorification, how much easier would it be to encourage people to also adopt the SYMBOL of entering into the Lord’s rest?


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