Fulfilled in Jesus

Our pilgrimage with our Beloved in Japan -- Yoko & Ramone on the journey with Jesus!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Response to Adventist Today (short)

In spring 2007, I wrote an article about the Adventist "family altar" which I posted here and which also was put into Proclamation! Magazine (in shortened form) in the May/June issue. Dennis Hokama of "Adventist Today" magazine referenced much of the article and attempted to refute what I had asserted. The following letter is what I sent to Adventist Today in response to Hokama. The editor printed only the first paragraph due to space constraints. This is the complete letter:

I want to thank Dennis Hokama for his sincere, lengthy attempt to faithfully reproduce the argument of my "family altar" article in Proclamation! magazine. However, I wish Hokama and Pastor Newman would have extended the same courteous effort to the scholarly writings of Dale Raztlaff. Newman accused Proclamation! of taking quotes out of context, but did not give Ratzlaff or his Biblical studies so much as one quote or any representation before brushing them off. Was I an easier target, I wonder?

Nonetheless, in response to Hokama's rebuttal, I searched the Ellen White database online for "justification by faith" and could not find it in her writings until 1883 at the earliest. More disturbing than the lack of this fundamental Biblical truth, however, are the many words and beliefs of the early Adventists which clearly subvert it. Indeed, from the very outset after 1844, the pioneers sought more that justification by faith because they believed churches who did not teach the Adventist distinctives were lost. Thus Christianity's gospel was insufficient to save, so they sought a different gospel. What kind of opportunity could this give deceiving spirits to answer with another gospel, even spoken by "angels"? (See Galatians 1). Is it then no wonder that beliefs which completely subverted justification by faith (such as the Investigative Judgment) were arrived at?

Although Hokama's asserted that evangelical Christianity is just as diverse as Adventism, is there anything like the Investigative Judgment to be found in evangelical Christianity which so completely undermines justification by faith? To suggest that this and other anti-gospel doctrines of the pioneers were somehow what God intended makes God sound like the author of confusion and the creator of heresy. Once again an Adventist apologist unintentionally diminishes God in order to avoid admitting Adventism's mistake from the beginning. I wish Hokama had noticed that the two most obvious fruits of the "family altar" are the inability to throw it away and the inability to declare it as being false.

Our forefathers dug their pit deeper and deeper to cover up and avoid admitting their mistake, and our apologists today still keep digging and diminishing God and His Word in order to preserve the "heritage". Is this not an unnecessary burden? Is not God's Word alone freedom for our souls? Is not God crying out, "Let go and be free!" and longing for us to let go of our pride so that we may come to rest in His righteousness alone?

Ramone Romero
Osaka, Japan
January 29, 2008

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