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Sabbath: Facing Opposition — 5 Comments

  1. Opposition comes in many forms. Sometimes it is overt while at other times it is subtle. I attended a public primary school in my childhood and being the only Seventh-day Adventist at the school, the other kids would sometimes poke fun at our religious differences. We were called Seventh-day bike-riders, a reference to the fact that there were a couple of pretty weird Seventh-day Adventists in the district who rode bikes. I don't think the kids were being intentionally nasty and in the grand scheme of things it was probably useful in that I learned, by experience, that name-calling wasn't worth fighting over.

    It probably needs to be understood as a precursor to a lesson that is essentially about opposition, that not everything we label as opposition is really opposition. Nathan Brown, the original author of last quarter's lessons, made the comment in a Sabbath School class I attended, "Loss of privilege is not persecution!" That is something to think about as we apply this week's lesson to our modern secularly-minded world.

    Maybe we should learn to choose whether our response to opposition is to stand and fight, or get on with the task of rebuilding.

    Amen!(33)
    • I may use your last sentence tomorrow, as I am teaching the Sabbath School class. If so, I will make sure I give you the credit. Very good introduction to this week's lesson. Great Job!

      God's blessings to All!

      Amen!(1)
  2. Our spiritual enemy will vigorously oppose every attempt at spiritual advance.
    It is crucial to remember this! What often happens is, a person makes a new beginning with God, either at conversion or after a time of captivity in Babylon (the world). He naively assumes that since he has now turned to the Lord, everything will go well from here on out. Finally, God is now on his side. His hopes have never been higher. Just then—wham! The enemy hits, he goes down, and he feels lower than he did before he turned back to the Lord.

    Satan has a number of tricks or tools in his bag:

    THE ENEMY’S MOST DANGEROUS TRICK IS TO LURE US INTO COMPROMISE UNDER THE GUISE OF COOPERATION.
    Their first ploy was, “Let us build with you, for we, like you, seek your God; and we have been sacrificing to Him since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria” (Ezra 4:2). If that day was like our day, Zerubbabel and Jeshua probably didn’t have a waiting list of those who wanted to help, but couldn’t because there were so many workers. Along come some locals who offer to work with them. It could have been a bridge of outreach, to build relationships while they worked together. It was an opportunity to befriend their neighbors.

    In light of that, their answer hits us in the face like a wet dishrag: “You have nothing in common with us in building a house to our God; but we ourselves will together build to the Lord God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia has commanded us” ( Ezra4:3). How rude can you get! That’s no way to win friends!

    Amen!(15)
  3. Holy Spirit open my eyes so I can see.
    Rev 3: 14-19.

    We are no match for the evil one. He has many ways to deceive us but keep using the same ones in changed up ways. Although we know this, we are still been deceived time and time again. But the question is asked, what should we/ the church join together with the world or other Christians faith group to do for our community? Supposed they offered to do a favor for us similar to that in the Bible, should we refuse?
    What about joining with them to go and visit the prison? What about our on line giving of tithes, offerings and gifts, do we know all who contributed to that weekly giving?
    There are so many ways we joined with the world so it’s hard to separate from them. Some conferences have become corporations........

    Are we detecting the evil in people who are and will be a destroyer of the faith?
    Dear Jesus, anoint our eyes with eye salve so we can see.

    Amen!(10)
    • Lyn Lew, you raise a number of issues in your comment and I do not propose to answer all of them, but here are a couple of things to think about.

      We have to remember that we do not hold the mortgage on goodness and community work. Our willingness to help cooperatively in the community speaks volumes of our love towards one another. I know of several cooperative efforts between Adventists and others in the realm of community welfare. We don't need to fight with our Christian friends about who we can help.

      Regarding the corporatization of church entities. Do you see that as a spiritual issue? The church is a very large organisation now and the legal advice has been to break it up financially and legally to reduce risk and make it more manageable. Remember Moses was advised by a non-Israelite to break up the administration of the Exodus Israelites. I do not see corporatization as necessarily impacting on our spiritual life. Just because secular organisations do it, does not necessarily mean that it is bad for the church to do it. Like all structures there is always the possibility of being subverted by evil, but that is just as true of the hierarchical church structure as a corporatised one.

      Amen!(19)

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