SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Adventist Church has lengthened its list of requirements for candidates wishing to get baptized.
In addition to the traditional course of Bible studies, candidates will now need to demonstrate at least intermediate fluency in Biblical Greek.
“The new Biblical Greek requirement may add a little more time to baptismal prep but we are convinced it is worth the trouble,” said GC Director of Needless Obstacles, Rhode Blauch.
“We can think of nothing quite as vital to salvation as the ability to effectively argue the minutia of which Bible translation best reflects the original Greek of some of the Bible’s most confusing passages.”
Blauch added that in addition to baptismal vows, candidates will be interviewed in Greek in front of the congregation before they are baptized.
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Given that the Sabbath Commandment (the Most Important Commandment of All*) is to be found in the HEBREW Old Testament, I’ll be impressed when THAT requirement is added to this one!!
[* WAY more important than the silly “love your neighbor”!! ]
With the Susan Rice fiasco, we are now finding out how corrupt Obama and his administration were, how close we came to losing our country had Hillary won the presidency.
Obama is being exposed for using “Police State Tactics” and targeted our citizens for political gain and influence, disregarding our Constitutional rights.
We now know that the CIA was able to use a “Russian footprint” in their hacking; and then Obama and Clinton blamed Russia.
The Democrats, in their quest undermine our rights and freedoms, are going to pay dearly. If they are liberal they are liable. The original Watergate will pale in comparison to Obamagate.
All kidding aside, I once saw a very obese man fall out with a heart attack while standing in line at McDonald’s. I felt sorry for him, but there’s a reason they call that stuff “killer junk food.”
Warren Buffett said it takes 20 years to build a reputation, and 5 minutes to ruin it. That is what happened to me recently. One of my closest friends spread gossip of falsehood and innuendo to leaders of the ministry that I was dedicated to serving for 20 years. By the end of that 5-minute conversation, my friend had destroyed the reputation that I had worked 20 years to establish. I instantly went from respected to rejected and disgraced.
Now the leaders that I used to work with, stare at me with disdain and shun me. Not a single one of them has ever bothered to ask for my side of the story. They just assumed that the unfounded rumors were true. Now I understand how critical the Commandment against bearing false witness is. People need to think about the consequences before spreading gossip, because you “can’t un-ring the bell.” (Even some things that are true should not be passed on; some things are personal and ought to remain private. Before passing on gossip, our first question should be “Is it true?” Our next question should be “Is it kind?”)
My experience reminds me of Joseph in the Bible, who was falsely accused of trying to have an affair with Potiphar’s wife and had to suffer in a dungeon without a chance to defend himself. It hurts.
I have previously experienced tragedies such as the deaths of close family members, but nothing has ever hurt the way this hurts. Knowing that everything I’ve worked for for 20 years has been destroyed unjustly, I am devastated. It is hard not to be depressed and bitter. It is hard to forgive. But I need to, and I want to forgive. I’ve been praying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Please pray for me. Thanks.
Joseph, I feel for you, for the pain you’re going through. I will sincerely lift up your name in prayer, asking the Lord to give you the power to forgive, and also praying that the person who did this will retract the falsehood and set the record straight. God bless you, brother.
“A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much” (Proverbs 20:19). “… a gossip separates close friends” (Proverbs 16:28). Your first mistake was to confide in one of your “closest friends.” Gotta be careful whom you trust nowadays–especially in the church. Many church folks are “gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to” (1 Timothy 5:12-13). Gossips and slanderers will receive the wrath of God (Romans 1:29-32). “A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor, but a man of wisdom holds his tongue. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret” (Proverbs 11:12-13). Hang in there, Joseph, I’ll be praying for you.
Jesus said love your enemies, and pray for those who spitefully use you. That is not easy. I think it’s a gift of the Holy Spirit. You may go through a grieving process, and life may never be the same again; but eventually God can even bring something good out of what you’re going through now. You mentioned Joseph in the Bible. Yes, he suffered in prison; but he didn’t stay there. He moved to the palace and made a great contribution in guiding the land of Egypt through tough times. And all along the way, even in prison, God was with him. This song may be a blessing to you at this time:
“You were my shelter from the storm
When all my friends were gone
You were right there all along.
I never knew a love like this before, Oh
I just want to say that I love You more than anything.”
( YouTu.be/gIPMllUV12o )
In some ways, murdering one’s reputation may be more hurtful that murdering one’s body. A dead person is not aware of anything; but a living person with an unjustly-murdered reputation has to suffer the painful consequences every day.
It’s nice that you want to forgive them. It might be helpful to read about Corrie ten Boom and how she struggled to forgive the enemies who held her in a Nazi concentration camp where her sister died. Years later she came face to face with one of her former captors. She wrote:
“Even as the angry vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him…. Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give me your forgiveness…. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives along with the command, the love itself.” https://goo.gl/kMyDI6 (Guideposts)
Joseph, I can identify with how you feel. When I was in my late teens, I went through a similar horrible experience where my own sister unfairly slandered me to the church music team leaders, making me sound like a slut and making it seem like I had impure motives for singing in the praise teams. None of them called me or talked to me about it; they just stopped asking me to sing.
Although I knew that what my sister said was not true, I was too embarrassed to approach the leaders to even try to explain the situation. I did not want to step my foot inside that church again. To make matters worse, my parents forced me to keep coming to church there. I could feel the praise team’s eyes boring into me as I sat in the pew. I hung my head in shame and pretended to be looking down reading the Bible throughout the 1st half of the service (I couldn’t actually read it, because my vision was blurred by tears). After that first week, I started sneaking out to the restroom; I would hide in a bathroom stall for the 1st half of the service, and then slink back in only for the sermon after the praise team had left the platform.
After a few weeks of that, my parents gave in and let me go to another church where hardly anybody knew me–and they hadn’t heard about what my sister had said. I have thrived at the new church. I’m a lot happier there.
I don’t know if this was the best approach, but it worked for me. A counselor had advised me to go defend myself to the leaders in the original church (or otherwise he said they would just assume that my sister was right if I said nothing), but I was too embarrassed to approach them and I felt like it just wasn’t worthwhile to try to defend myself there because they might just assume that I was not being forthright.
So I think maybe sometimes it can be best to simply move on to greener pastures for a couple of years and rebuild your reputation in a new place. Others may disagree, but that is how I feel. I hope things work out for you. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.
In addition to the other suggestions, you might want to try bereavement therapy or grief counseling. In terms of the emotional suffering, what you have gone through with the destruction of your reputation is a lot like the grief that people suffer when a loved one dies. Grief counselors can compassionately help people work through the stages of grief. Praying for you, Joseph.
By the way, there’s one difference: a loved one who passed away cannot be restored to life; but a reputation might be possible to rebuild after several years. I’m reminded of the story of the young sheep thief whose punishment was to be branded on the forehead with the letters “ST.” He spent the next decades showing kindness to the villagers and helping people any way he could. After several decades, the existing villagers had forgotten the past, and some villagers had passed away and some new people had moved in to the area. When a tourist asked the villagers about the meaning of the “ST” on the kind old man’s forehead, the villagers did not know; but they said, “It must mean ‘Saint.'”
Joseph-Welcome to the real world and the good old boys network of the SDA Church. If you don’t go with the flow, you’re history. In the end, the good guys always win. See Rev. 22.