Jesus and Laodicea
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Marcie’s husband Jack had become increasingly violent, and when he hit her and knocked her over, she was afraid. She scrambled to her feet and ran out the door. Running, she felt so helpless and confused. What was she to do? Where was she to go?  It was early Saturday morning, and the streets were still. Then she remembered the church a couple of blocks away. She had seen people at the church on Saturdays. Perhaps someone there could help her. She looked over her shoulder, but Jack was not pursuing her. So she slowed down to a walk.

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Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

When she got to the church she read the sign. It identified the church as “Seventh-day Adventist.” But the parking lot was empty. Of course! It was only 8:45 am. She could get some exercise walking and come back later.

When Marcie came back two hours later, there were a number of cars in the lot. She saw people entering and being greeted by a man in a suit. Timidly, she walked up to the man and said, “Hi, I’m Marcie.” The man in the suit looked her up and down, and she looked down self-consciously at her shorts and t-shirt. “You can’t come in here like that,” he said sternly. “This is the house of God!” Crushed, she fled with tears in her eyes … 1

And Jesus wept.

How would you have met Marcie if you were the one at the door?

At 20, Danny had just finished his bachelor’s degree with a major in electronic engineering. He needed a break and a little practical experience before he went on to the tougher courses of graduate school. So he took a low-wage technical support job at one of America’s largest IT companies. He could probably make money on the side by consulting, as he had done for years.

Raised as an Adventist, Danny had taken pains to have Sabbaths off, so he could attend the nearest Seventh-day Adventist church, which was several miles away. He figured he could get there the same way he got to his place of work – on his trusty 10-speed bike.

On that bright Sabbath morning in June, he put on his dress shorts and a dress shirt and pedaled his way to church. When he walked in the foyer after parking his bike, a man walked up to him and chastised him, saying, “Young man, don’t you have any respect for the house of God? Shorts are not appropriate here!” Danny didn’t wait for more, but turned on his heel. “The audacity!” he fumed. “The shallowness!”

And for years after that, Danny did not attend any church, much to the dismay of his family. Eventually, he did go to church in another part of the country. There he started a young adult group composed largely of young doctors and engineers like himself. They did their own church meetings their own way, trying to do things they thought Jesus would do on Sabbaths. They might have benefited from a little support and counsel from more experienced members, but the distrust of the “establishment” in the church never left Danny – to this day.

And I think Jesus still weeps. 2

How would Danny have been received at your church?

Kendra, a teenager in a church composed mainly of seniors, is a vivacious young woman and attracts others to her like bees to honey. She’s not shy about being a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. So it was only natural that she should bring some of her friends to church now and then.

On a hot August Sabbath, she brought two of her best friends who found the environment “different” but intriguing. Then they were approached by a pleasant-seeming elderly lady in the foyer after church. They looked at her expectantly, and she said, “You know, girls, you should dress more appropriately when you come to church.” They looked at their friend, confused, but the woman continued, “Spaghetti straps are not appropriate wear for church. You should wear a dress with sleeves to church.” They stared at her, shocked, “But .. but .. ” They were going to say that they didn’t own any such dresses. They had taken pains to wear dresses, rather than their usual shorts and camis (with spaghetti straps). But they didn’t bother to say more. They didn’t really need to come here anyway.

And I think Jesus wept.

I suspect he’s weeping still, because the girls have never come back.

How do you deal with “inappropriately dressed” teens in your church? Are you happy they’re in church, or do you wish they would dress appropriately?

Elizabeth had grown up keeping the Sabbath due to a radio preacher who was the leader of a Sabbath-keeping church. After he died, his successors decided that the Sabbath was not really necessary to keep after the cross. So she and her husband had gathered together a group of believers who met each Sabbath to worship together.

But then she noticed a Sabbath-keeping church in town, the Seventh-day Adventist church, just outside city limits. She decided to investigate and attended about once a month for several months, beginning with Sabbath School. As she grew more comfortable and had some deep conversations with her Sabbath School teacher, she invited her husband to attend as well. And he did. They thoroughly enjoyed the lively discussion in Sabbath School, and both stopped to talk with the teacher.

They looked forward to the church service and were glad to see a pleasant-looking man with a friendly manner get up in the pulpit. Some of what he preached was new to them, but they became disturbed as he continued in a proud tone to enumerate how “we Adventists” know so much more and how the other churches “just don’t care. They just preach the social gospel. They’re part of Babylon, you know, and we need to preach the Three Angels’ Messages.”

My husband and I were in that congregation and were concerned when we saw this particular speaker get up. But when he launched into his usual self-congratulatory mode and put-downs of other churches, we were mortified.

And, yes, you guessed it, neither Elizabeth or her husband ever returned to our church. (My husband is particularly sad because he was the teacher who had befriended Elizabeth, but he had not obtained contact information, so we could not visit.)

I think Jesus is still weeping. What do you think?

How do you demonstrate respect for the beliefs of others?

Jesus says to Laodicea, “I stand at the door and knock.” (Rev 3:2) And He also says, that as we have done it to “one of the least of these,” we have done it to Him. (Matt 25:40)

How many times have we turned Jesus away from our churches?

Someone suggested that my post is “mainly about dress code,” but that is not my intent. We can show our lack of caring for people in many different ways. When we simply ignore a visitor, that demonstrates a lack of caring. Apparently it takes friendly interaction with at least three people besides the greeter to make a person feel welcome. Do we do our part?

How many times have we turned people away from Him because of our lack of caring?

What can we do to change things?

Let’s share some ways we make our churches more inviting for those who need Jesus in their lives.


  1. The stories in this post are true, but have been fictionalized to create emotional empathy. This particular incident was mentioned by Marcos in “How the Church Failed Mo.”
  2. I know some of the people involved in this and the next two stories.
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Comments

Jesus and Laodicea — 51 Comments

  1. that was so touching dear and actually it made me flip bek my lifes pages and see how i addressed some of the issues you've highlighted. It's a pity that i found myself wanting. may God help us to sherpherd His flock not kick out His lambs away from His fold. :'-(

    Like(24)
    • Estelle, I love your succinct prayer:

      May God help us to shepherd His flock, not kick out His lambs away from His fold.

      What a difference we could make if we would all pray that prayer!

      And that makes me think of the significance of the shepherd analogy:
      Shepherds lead their sheep, they don't drive them.
      If we would thing more of leading, we would probably do less "righteous reproving." It seems to me that the reproving would fall in the category of driving, rather than leading. (There are times for reproof, but Jesus did far less reproving than He did healing and leading. We need to follow His example.)

      Like(16)
  2. Not dress alone, but so many other things that we seek so as to feel distinct and superior over others. This so called "religion" and religious that expresses in ourselves so proudly has led many people astray! I have seen it in our church, among my freinds and for sometime, all of us get to be part of it. The struggle to be different as adventists has gone so far beyond the limits of what is appropriate and into what is disgusting to fellow adventists and more so to non-adventists. We need to know our limits and do what is right but not passing judgement. If not, Jesus will be weeping all through, all the time.

    Like(18)
  3. In the church where I grew up, a man and his wife came to our church. The wife was a member but the man was a believer but not a church member because he smoked tobacco. He was always made to feel welcome, even though he had to slip out between Sabbath School and Church for a quick smoke. We all knew that he was struggling with the problem but nobody made a fuss; he was just welcome to come and take part in Sabbath School and Church. Many years after I left home, My parents told me the news that he had overcome the habit and was baptized. There had been no nagging, just welcome and support. He did not need convincing that smoking was not in his best interest. He needed patient understanding from a community that loved him.

    A young couple turned up at a church where nobody knew them for several weeks. Finally a woman spoke to them, found that they had hoped to make this church their home church. The woman and her husband befriended the young couple and invited them home for lunch. During the course of the lunch conversation they told their story. The young lady was from overseas; they had fallen in love and come back home with the intention of getting married. They were living together because that was the cheapest option for them. Their local church had found out about their living arrangements and the local elder made it uncomfortable for them to come to church, so they changed to the church where they met the older couple. They wanted to get engaged but had nobody to organize a celebration for them. The older couple organized the party and invited several young folk from the church to attend. Later they planned their wedding and the older couple helped them out, organizing the food for the wedding breakfast. Now these young folk are married and have been accepted into a circle of friends their own age in the church.

    There is a time to speak out against some issues but sometimes a little bit of understanding and tolerance goes a long way in helping people grow in their Christian experience. Love and support is often more effective than condemnation.

    Like(52)
    • I wish I could report so positively. You attend a church truly modelled on Christian character. Sadly, I had exactlyt eh opposite experience when my youngest sister who had just returned from abroad after a doivorce agreed to accompany me and my young daughters to church. She too smoked and after Sabbath school found a secruded place behind the church where she felt she could quickly indulge in her habit out of sight. However, a young girl had seen her, reported this to her mother, who confronted her harshly just before we entered church for divine service and chastised her inappropriately in front of the young people. My sister apologized profusely, sat ehr way through the rest of the day most uncomfortably and never returned to church because she felt too embarrased to.

      SO much has happened in the 30 years that followed, that I cannot help but wonder what the scenario would've been had she been received kindly and caringly and treated with compassion and love. Instead she seeked understanding and support from a (non-Christain) psychologist with far-reaching results, most of which was very negative. Today this amazingly gifted woman is a shell of the person she used to be due to an orthopaedic operation that precipitated PTS and needs major prayer. Please pray for my precious sister, Sally. Only teh Lord can heal her heart, mind, body and save her soul. Thank you!

      Like(2)
  4. What you put here is quite sad and disappointing to read. But why do we have to only put negative lessons in our publications? Are there no good ones to put? Are you not also of the same mind-set of those negative people that you wrote about in your stories? I read the stories in the Guide and it is always about those children who disobeyed their parents and get into trouble. What about those who obeyed. We continue to perpetuate the negatives growing our children up or failure instead of success.

    Like(5)
  5. Bad things happen. May God forgive us and give us insight and foresight not to repeat them. Good things have happened too. I have 4 contrasting stories that would make Jesus smile. :)

    Like(8)
  6. I'm thankful that the people I first met in the SDA church were much more gentle. Like "Danny", the first couple times I went, I got there by bicycle. One of the members offered to give me a ride to church. It was a little out of her way, but I appreciated the lift and it gave me a gentle introduction to both better Sabbath-keeping and doing acts of kindness. May the Lord of the Sabbath help us to both honor Him and love those for whom He lived and died and now intercedes.

    Like(13)
  7. There is good and bad in the world and good and bad in the church. We need to celebrate the good and change the bad. However, the bad that happens is not an excuse to beat up on God and give thee devil what he wants and that is for us to leave the Lord's side and join his ranks.

    Like(7)
  8. It really made me sad to read these stories,,,,,,, it gives the church a bad reputation. Whatever happened to, ,,, don't judge a book by its cover, ,,,,,, in these troubled times,,,, we need all the help we can get. The SDA church that I attend is not like the ones described above. I am no longer an Adventist, ,,, however I believe the SDA doctrine 100%. So thankful for GRACE and glad that Jesus loves me,,,,, no matter what !!

    Like(5)
    • Dear Sherrie, I am glad to read that your church did not treat you as badly as some others treated those who came to them. And I'm glad you realize that Jesus loves you.

      But, if you believe all of the Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, please do come back! Jesus wants you to be part of His endtime people who are entrusted with spreading His truth to the world. Don't wait to "improve" yourself. Come just as you are and allow Him to give you the strength to make any changes you feel you need to make. And I'm praying that the Seventh-day Adventist church nearest to you will demonstrate the love of Jesus to you.

      Like(11)
  9. I wanted to make a point about how we make assumptions before we ever approach people that we perceive are going against what is deemed 'right' or 'correct'.
    If we assume they are deliberately doing something wrong - then we approach with an attitude of reproach and condemnation. As in the girls and spaghetti straps - it was assumed they deliberately chose to wear them to be bad or different and that they knew better.
    But what if we decide to presume the best of others and approach out of a different frame of mind - such as - the girls wore the very best that they had and they were innocently 'transgressing'.
    Then wouldn't we be more loving and go out of our way to be kind and friendly in the hopes that they would keep coming back and learn more so they would grow and learn in their choice-making process? Wouldn't we do all that we could so that we'd have more time with the girls and become positive influences on them? Wouldn't we find ways to gain their trust and be there for them as they needed guidance in bigger and more important choices in their lives than just dresses?
    We need to deliberately decide to presume the best of others and then proceed in that frame of mind, because it makes all the difference in how we approach and treat people. Indeed, isn't that how Christ thought of us when He came to die for us? He presumed that all of us would want His gift before he even gave it. And once we do accept Him and His gift, He is patient with us as we grow and learn and are influenced by His companionship and presence.

    Like(18)
    • Yes, yes, Chris! I think we sometimes forget that "love thinketh no evil" (1 Cor 13:5). I've always interpreted that to mean that love thinks the best of people, not the worst.

      Thanks so much for the reminder!

      Like(9)
      • Thank you, Sister Inge. Thought provoking, as usual, should be required reading for all "Seventh-day" Adventist. Especially those of us who have grown up in the church, and remember when females did not wear pants in church i.e,. Some of our oldest members would appear to be less tolerant of change than younger generations, however, if their hearts are right with God, He will help them see that all change is not bad, and it's all about getting home to the Kingdom. We need to be vigilant and keep watch for those lambs and sheep that have wandered astray, and love them back home.

        Like(6)
      • I like to think of meeting Jesus in people I meet. In every person Jesus has tried to work and is working wherever He is allowed. I like to meet that person there where Jesus is working if I possibly can. This saves me from beholding evil and it gives me a place that I can work with Jesus for the salvation of that person.

        I do not believe, however, that the dress issue and other issues are not important, but if Jesus is not working in this area in the person's life I wait until He is and then I can work in love to help with whatever is needed from me in the situation.

        We have heard it said that the church is a hospital for sinners. I believe this is true. If the hospital is working patients will get well. If patients don't get well then we are failing, but let's not kill the patients when they come just because they are sick!

        Like(6)
  10. My general view of the SDA church was always one of 'self righteousness' for the very reasons you've mentioned and since attending the SDA church in Fiji in 2010, I have not been baptized due to the fact that I refuse to have that 'self righteous' attitude brush off onto me. However, the SDA church I recently have been attending here in Sydney is so welcoming and with the warm atmosphere I now feel comfortable to be baptized. Actions definitely speak louder than words!

    Like(14)
  11. Jesus once told the Pharisees, “For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone” (Mat 23:23 NKJV). He wasn’t trashing law or standards but rather put them in their proper place. When we apply standards without consideration of circumstances and without love then it becomes like tongues often did during the first century, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1 NKJV).

    We need to apply standards and laws but in doing so those things need to be applied very judiciously. Love is what is needed at the top of the list, not at the bottom. I could also recommend reading Jesus’ argument against the charges of Sabbath breaking in Mat 12:1-7. Notice how the good of man outweighs the demands of law.

    Like(8)
    • We all aught to memorize 1 Cor 13 and practice its teachings each day!! My present SDA church is very loving and welcoming and when my family and I many years ago first entered an SDA church while still Catholics, we were treated the same, though we looked and maybe acted different!! We were LOVED into the Advent message!!

      Like(5)
  12. Well written and its sad that we will all not agree. In the short space of time that I have attend church I realise that we all sick people one way or the other. We need Jesus as our antibiotic. God have mercy on me.

    Like(3)
  13. Totally agree with this message. Have been at receiving end so often, that when I sent my Pastor a sms text yesterday it was only after a lot of self talk. If he doesn't help me soon, not to be over dramatic, I really don't know what I shall do. Am sure Jesus is weeping just as I am in years reading about these people and their experience with so-called Christians who happen to identify as Seventh Day Adventists. Social expectations are more important to be met in my opinion. .... doctrine, beliefs, dress codes and other standards can be addressed after the immediate needs are met. Please my fellow believers, you who would be my sisters, my brothers , my parents in Israel, please perceive through the senses of Jesus - His eyes, ears, heart to do His bidding. Please pray that God will send His Holy Spirit to soften your human attitude. May Jesus smile on appreciation, rather than weep, at our ambassadorship.

    Like(5)
    • Wilma, I think you make a good point in that, as Seventh-day Adventist Christians, we need to do our best to meet people's felt needs before trying to indoctrinate them. That's what Jesus did in His life here on this planet, and only His methods will meet with success in winning souls.

      May God help us see with His eyes so we may be prepared to meet the needs of those around us.

      I pray that you will find your answers in Jesus - whether directly or through His local ambassadors.

      Like(4)
  14. Sure standards are important...as long as they are biblical and not making our particular dress culture a religious issue....and also, if we care more for the standards of our group or organization than the salvation of the individual soul, then our own salvation and relationship with Christ needs to be questioned...we need to examine ourselves, and we need to always have that attitude that God's salvation and message is for me, and His grace has been extended to me, and I am nothing without Him...because I-I-I NEED Him DESPERATELY and am nothing without Him....then it's not about me and my little club anymore...and this will radically change the way I approach people, because I am redically changed by the way Jesus approached me.

    Like(3)
    • Enrico - Thank you for your words: "…and this will radically change the way I approach people, because I am radically changed by the way Jesus approached me." I love how you stated it! I will remember this and pass it on for sure. God bless!

      Like(1)
  15. If the God we worship is exacting and demanding then how we treat others becomes a secondary concern for us.
    Because who can do us more harm?

    Also a small subset of people think that the more offended the hearer is the more truthful the words that are spoken. So they treat others any old how and say things without consideration.

    I think this type of thinking is the general culprit.

    Like(2)
  16. The message to Laodicea is for ME...the 3 angel's message is for ME, the Good News of salvation is for ME, to make ME a disciple...and I need to BE a discple, before I can make disciples...once I AM a disciple, and the transformation in ME is radical and OBVIOUS, then I can be an instrument in the hand of Jesus for the salvation of others

    Like(8)
  17. Thank you for your wonderful insights. Its more about building relationships rather than getting conformity. I became an SDA some 21 years ago with all the examples thrown in my face for that long in many different branches of the church in Nigeria. To love people as they are is seen as compromise or even signs of apostasy. There have been good examples though but that should not be celebrated because it should be our norm. In my country, many other believers in Christ always say that "adventists would rather win an argument than save a soul". This must change if we will survive this generation where critical thinking prevails.

    Like(4)
  18. Inge, those accounts of the unloving treatment of others that need love and understanding, are touching and a cause for soul searching. We have a problem sometimes in keeping our priorities in order. We make assumptions based on what we see. When we see actions that we consider inappropriate, and if we are very long time members, it becomes our duty as we see it, to correct those that need correcting. There are situations when this is in order, but distinguishing the difference is not easily done. In our society today we see selfishness, indifference, pride, and a general disrespect of authority. As a result, if someone looks the part they are categorized as being part of that culture. Jesus is our teacher, leader, pattern, that we are to emulate. He loved those from all walks of life. So must we.

    Like(4)
  19. I have come to realize that far too often we hold ourselves and our standards up as the ideal when we must be holding up Jesus and his way. Love is often absent in our greeting ministry. Jesus chased away no one who came to Him, instead he ministered to their needs and left them wanting more of Him . We too need to do the same, introduce them to Jesus and create a desire for more. God's heart yearns to reclaim his children.

    Like(3)
  20. Kathy came to our church one sabbath after her friend wwho was not a member at the time ivited her,she was greeted warmly at the door,after she was seatd a brother approached her in greeting and invited both her and her friend to Sabbath lunch at his home soon after that invitation his wife who did not know whar her husband had done greeted Kathy and also invited her to come and eat lunch with her and their family today she is our treasurer all praises be to our loving heavenly Farther

    Like(3)
  21. All the stories demostrate that we disregard the gospel commission at our own peril. You see, if the church does not go to the world, the world will come to church. Unfortunately they will come the best way they know how. My advise is, "Go ye therefore and teach all nations..." Finally, let us remember that the church is not a community of perfect people but a people striving for perfection. In all the stories above, there is a "Christ's love" need on both sides of the equation. There will always be. God bless.

    Like(1)
  22. Have you ever seen someone rejoice in finding truth regardless of the many misrepresentations they encounter? Those searching for the truth will be led to see and accept it. The Holy Spirit can do wonderful things for the sincere seeker of God. (Jer 29:13) Those not really seeking will be offended easily and turn away quickly.

    I will also say that there are congregations that God will keep the sincere seeker away from. Sad but true.

    Laodicea affects all levels of our community, and those involved were only following what they had been taught to focus on. Yes, we often misrepresent the Lord Jesus, because we do not know Him and He does not dwell in our hearts by faith.

    Many times we are made to cringe at the witness often given of our "faith" to others, many times from high places, but what about ourselves? God can do nothing until He has faithful witnesses for whom He will clear the way and hold them up as lights in a world covered in darkness, for the last time.

    Like(0)
  23. I, myself have experienced both part of coins of "care". Sometime I had to go down and cry because I was mistreated. When I was treated lovingly, I deliberately changed or be inspired.
    In all circumstances,I have not turned myself away from God. It give me strength to move on because I know I'm not righteous. I've learnt to treat anybody well.
    Honestly speaking, the smile you will get after caring somebody who think she/he doesn't deserve that is soul refresher.

    Like(1)
  24. What can we do to change things? Read on...

    As I review the lesson for the coming week, I wonder about the message we are giving with our study guides (SS Quarterlies) with all the EGW references given to "teach" Bible truths. Is it any different than scolding a visitor for their spaghetti straps or shorts? We appear to others as holding Ellen in the place of scripture, while her testimonies counsel us to teach from scripture only. Also, our Sabbath Schools are our "most effective evangelism", but most we would share these study guides with would reject them as trusting in a (wo)man rather than God. Can we blame them for their objections? Too often her quotes are used as the convincing argument, and for too many among us, that is what is desired.

    This must change or we will continue to lose the wonderful opportunity this could be if scripture only was the source of this public effort. SDA's know of these books and don't need someone telling them which parts to read each week. Our Quarterlies should be "safe" for any soul searching for Truth. This week's lesson is another example of how our influence with others is limited and would be rejected by so many who might otherwise give an honest look. To quote Ellen: "don't quote Sister White" when teaching truth.

    I'm afraid this isn't going to change. Yes, I've written to the appropriate individuals, but they say many are asking for even more quotes from Ellen in these study guides. Ellen's own admonitions are ignored, but they are not from her, so Who is actually being ignored?

    Like(1)
    • Hello Robert, You got me curious so I counted the Ellen White quotes in this week’s lessons. There are exactly six of them and four of those six are in Friday’s lesson which has been the normal format for a very long time. As a comparison I counted 40 Bible references during the week leaving out the usual list at the beginning of Sabbath’s lesson. That’s a ratio of less than one Ellen White quote to six Bible references. Except for Friday’s lesson the author uses her writings as supporting evidence instead of the primary source so to me this is not overusing her writings and certainly not abusing them. If we can’t use her writings like that then neither can we use quotes and opinions from any other source and that to me makes for a rather dry lesson.

      Like(2)
      • Tyler, it is not the number of quotes, but how they are used that offends honest students of God's word who have not yet accepted this heavenly gift.

        We also reject the counsel of this gift by doing so. The purpose of Sabbath School is evangelism and by this practice we close the door to many who would otherwise examine our study guides with genuine interest. We should seek to disarm prejudice wherever we can. If we cannot establish our teachings with scripture alone, who would want to join us? Our public outreach, which Sabbath School is supposed to be, is to be from scripture alone. (Rom 10:17, 2 Tim 2:15; 3:16, Heb 4:12)

        Like(0)
      • Robert I understand what you are saying and I agree to an extent. I think the question concerning the use of Ellen White materials is not the easiest to answer. To put things in perspective I would like to ask what I think is an important question to consider. What would you have done with Paul’s or John’s or Peter’s writings if you were alive toward the end of the first century after they were dead but before those writing were canonized? Would you have considered them on the same level as the Old Testament or would you have said the same about their writings that you now say about Ellen White’s. Would you have told everyone to resort solely to the Old Testament? The question you are raising is not trivial and has to do with the authority of a prophet so I think it is important to consider.

        Like(1)
        • Tyler, I might have misunderstood your comment. I think we are in agreement as far as this matter showing our true belief in Ellen's inspiration. Not following the counsel is actually saying we don't believe it is from Christ Himself.

          As for the New and Old testaments, it is the Old that proves the New to be true. Every writer in the new quotes the Old as their evidence. Does Jesus quote the New Testament? Does John? Does Paul? We quote them today because all Christianity approves the New with the Old, but this is not the case with Ellen's messages with many who might study our presentations if they did not contain quotes from an authority they do not yet accept.

          Yes, once they give Ellen an honest study, they see her many quotes from scripture and conclusions in harmony with them. But this takes time with some, and they shy away from our teachings when we hold her up as an equal or even with some, above scripture itself. We need to remove all opportunity for prejudice towards our teachings from scripture.

          Like(0)
    • Robert, I actually came to Jesus by reading Ellen White's books. I had no idea who she was to anyone, but she sure did point me to Jesus in every word that I read!
      I would have had a tough time in my desperate search for a better life had I stuck to just reading through the bible - which I also started doing after reading one of her books first.
      There is nothing wrong with using an author that consistently points us back to the bible and to Jesus. In my case, she acted as a bible worker would - explaining biblical truths and pointing me to the different scriptures that would explain each other.
      After a few months of reading, I did decide to go to a church and eventually joined the SDA church. I have seen those that do what you are describing, but the Sabbath School quarterly is not one of them.

      Like(2)
      • I can't argue with your experience Chris, and you are one of many who have had such an experience. This is the purpose of these messages, but in our teaching truth, she states clearly how we are to present our truths from scripture, because so many reject her writings that would otherwise accept the Bible evidence. We don't need to convince everyone of Ellen's validity, but we need to lift up Jesus in a way that will not discourage any from searching the scriptures. Anyone who is led to follow Jesus will be led to see the gift of the inspired pen for this age in due time.

        I'm not saying we can't share her writings with any who will accept them, but our public efforts are to be from the scriptures. There is a reason for this counsel, and God will bless when we trust His leading. If this pen is truly inspired, shouldn't we follow it's counsel?

        Like(0)
  25. I'm deeply disturbed when I come across pharisaical perspectives like this. This is something that a sweaty and dusty Jesus would never do. In fact given that description he probably would find it difficult to enter many churches himself or to gain a warm welcome. We must remember his admonition to take the plank out of our own eye beforemoving the spec from our neighbour. I feel even though the adventist church maybe Laodicean, that Laodicean refers to the worldwide Christian
    church in general

    Like(2)
    • I agree with the position that Laodicea is all denominations that claim to be Christian, with the Bible as their rule of faith(more or less). Perhaps this "more or less" is the problem, even among SDA's?!

      I would suggest though, that Jesus bathed, and was always appropriate in His appearance in God's house, but was mostly rejected for His righteousness and right understanding of God's grace for sinners, accepting all who would come in faith for healing, forgiveness and comfort, no matter their appearance, their past, or reputation. However once being with Him they were changed. The "naked" became clothed, the blind could now see, the lame walk....etc (Mark 5:15, Luke 15:2, Matt 11:5). But He received them as they came to Him, for there is no transformation apart from Him(Jer 13:23).

      The True Gospel will receive all, while leaving none without transformation, for it is "the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes..." (Rom 1:16)

      Remember also, the remnant who will finally receive the Seal of God will "sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land". (Eze 9:4) So we must expect to see such things today in Laodicea, praying they will not be seen in our lives. Perplexity and great agonizing will mark their path to holiness through God's grace. (too many "quotes" to list!)But in all this we have peace given us of Christ(John 14:27).

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  26. Somehow I get the impression that we still believe that love will always make a person "feel" welcome, that everyone recognizes love, and that "I" am loving, but others are not. When we say the "church", we are saying "me". If I am loving, that spreads to others. The effectual fervent prayer of A righteous man availeth much. A healthy start is deciding what "love" looks like- it doesn't look the same to everybody. May our prayer be, Jesus help me to love like you love and may those I interact with see Your love in me.

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  27. Good day,

    I was particularly sad to read of the anguish individuals suffered from words that were spoken without apparent compassion or kindness.
    Yet, my concern is the following:
    Too often we hear of the negative within our church. Let us hear an encouraging word. I believe in my heart that much more of us do try very hard to do and say the right things. When we falter, it is because we are still human and sinners in need of a Savior.
    I pray that the individuals in the situations you posed will soon allow the love of God to penetrate their hurts so that they can receive the light of God's word.
    But, let me end with this: Angels veil their faces before the awesome majesty and presence of our omnipotent God. I am troubled when we read these kind of sad situations gone awry with no followup or mention of a positive outcome or favorable ending. Do these poorly handled situations mean we are to nullify respect and reverence in the house of God?

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  28. I have read that every person born has the right to be a child of God. If God is Love, then every child born has the right to be a child of Love. If we are children of Love, then we are to be the best lovers of human kind that we can be.....experts on loving....If we are experts on loving, then our time would be filled with loving and receiving love from others...

    So, how are we doing on that behavioral practice called "Love".....?

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    • Inge, thank you sincerely for reminding us. Like the spaghetti straps, the trigger(dress)for rejection is narrow; but like the unmovable blockade to The Way/Truth/Life, our condemners are as broad as the first stern wall "suit" that covers everything except the head with a wagging tongue, conveniently keeping the heart and brain out of sight; or the sweet tweet well-meaning lady who talks so nice, but suddenly the butterfly uncloaks a nasty stinger; and the very proud Pastor of the gospel of judgment boldly proclaims our better than them message of the "miserable, blind and naked" last stand church.

      You also identified turning away the abused and downtrodden seeking a refuge for their souls, the sacrificing efforts of our young adults to fellowship with believers, and the dismantling of the efforts of our youth to bring their friends and admirers to meet the accepting love of Jesus. Do we have a lot of churches like that? Most members?

      You noted the varied possibilities of the "trigger" but left it open for others to develop that thought. Similarly, I kept waiting for you to change the story line of perpetual rejection, and especially to bring some comforting hope to the unceasing ever escalating weeping of Jesus; but you must have left that to someone else also.

      May I press the "trigger" to see whether our guns carry other bullets: Racist bullets, saying no nonwhites here; or alternatively the "white flight" if the ability to reject fails; too young to matter>>> So many possibilities to "blind and naked"

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  29. When someone dresses immodestly or does anything contrary to the will of God , the reason they do it is because they have either not been convicted to do otherwise, or because they refuse to listen to the voice of The Holy Spirit who leads us to dress and act according to God's Word. What that means is that the person simply needs a heart transplant. A closer walk with Jesus., Not our judgement or our tongue lashing. Instead of critisizing and judging, lift up Jesus and HE will draw all men (and women) close to him.

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  30. my husband and I were vacationing and decided to visit the local Adventist church, which was our practice when traveling. Upon entering this church several members came up to greet us, but said, where are you visiting us from? Your not planning to move here or become members we hope... We were shocked and saddened, but stayed for the church service. My husband bumped my elbow as the service began as we noticed a young man walk in, with Jewish head dress on, and we looked about expecting that someone would greet and welcome him. No one did. At the close of the service, we got up and quickly followed the young man as he was making his way out of the church, and we welcomed in, asked where he was from and invited him to return to fellowship with the church again. He thanked us, and went on his way. No other church members came near and we watched as he left and no one said anything to him. We went in search of the pastor and shared our experience with him, and he did not seem the least concerned, just mentioned that's how things were at that church. He too asked if we planned to move there, or were we just visiting.. Yes, I think Jesus cried that day.

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  31. There are to many Seventh day Adventists and not enough CHRISTIANS in the SDA church. There is a clear distinction between the two. Jesus said in John 13vs35; BY THIS WILL THE WORLD KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES, IF YOU HAVE LOVE ONE FOR ANOTHER. Simple not rocket science. The church has to many man made rules and standards that cause more damage than good and in some cases even overrule or supersede Bible teachings and principles. It is time for us to wake up and get our act together lest we disqualify ourselves as the apostle Paul warns. TIME FOR POSITIVE CHANGE. JESUS IS COMING SOON.

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    • Floyd, perhaps we cannot think of "us", but must focus on "me". If I am right with God, there is greater chance for another to find the Way to Life, and over time many will be transformed into the likeness of Christ. We cannot change what others think and do, but our lives can be a living witness that will allow the Holy Spirit to work through us effectively. Notice I didn't say "successfully"? Success depends on the faith of others, while effectiveness depends on my faith alone. We must be effective witnesses and God will bring the increase. Abel was an effective witness to Cain, but without "success". Yet his influence lives on and perhaps Abel's success will be seen in the kingdom of God one day.

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