Progressive Adventism And Its Strange Attraction To Catholic Ritual

Ever since Eve and her desire to sample what God had forbidden, a unique hallmark of progressives is their desire to go beyond God’s boundaries. God’s Word calls that sin.

“Stay away from that.” “Ok, I want it.”
“That will kill you.” “I’ll be just fine!”
”Thou shalt not…” “I’ll decide what’s right for me..”
”Those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of heaven.” “God loves me just the way I am!”

In His goodness, God gives humanity a 6,000 year panoramic view of the struggle between righteousness and evil. We call it the Great Controversy. And within that six thousand year period, He gives us a long look at the mystery of iniquity—a 1200+ year example of the fatal compromise between paganism and Christianity. It’s something we can point to, and learn from. Bottom line. Don’t do that!

Babylon. The Roman Catholic system. “Come out of her, my people” God says.. He raises up a Remnant of genuine believers whose duty it is to warn the world of apostasy, truth and impending judgment. Satan infiltrates that Remnant with the idea that we should learn the ways of Romanism. They—progressives and liberals—throw up their hands and say “Look at what we have discovered!”

SPD Record

On April 17, the Adventist Record in Australia published an article by Emanuel Millen, titled Is Easter Pagan? The article was an attempt to invest the pagan accoutrements of Easter with Christian approval. Some quotes:

As everything is based on this event, our entire lives can express our appreciation of it. We can mark it with the Eucharist. Eucharist comes from the Greek word for “thanks”1. The Gospels use this word when Jesus gave thanks for the bread and wine at the Last Supper and He told us to do the same in remembrance of Him. This is why the first Christians used this term for the Lord’s Supper, because it was an expression of thanks—their thanks to God for His amazing love and self-sacrifice.

The origins of the word Easter are debatable. Some say that due to its similar sound to “Ishtar” it must have been derived from the ancient Babylonian goddess of fertility. Historical records, however, fail to prove a clear link between Ishtar and Anglo-Saxon celebrations.

Bunnies & Eggs? No problem.

The symbolism of bunnies and eggs stretches far and wide. The earliest records show a cosmic egg as part of an ancient Egyptian creation story, which was adopted by other ancient cultures. Eggs have also been used to celebrate spring since ancient times. In some Christian traditions, the observance of Lent involves abstinence from meat and eggs. This period of fasting ends on Easter, which follows on with an eager consumption of eggs. Eggs are also associated with the resurrection. From the outside, an egg appears as a lifeless stone, yet inside it nurtures life. Just as the grave keeps life locked in, eggs became a symbol for the tomb from which Christ rose from death.

"IT IS NOT THE SYMBOL EMPLOYED BUT ITS MEANING AND TREATMENT THAT DETERMINES WHETHER IT IS PAGAN OR A FORM OF RELIGIOUS SYNCRETISM."

Hares have been a symbol of death and rebirth ever since ancient times in the Levant. They are also found inscribed on ancient Greek gravestones. This symbolism was adopted by ancient Rome, which spread it all the way up to England. In areas where rabbits were more common than hares the symbolism shifted to them. Coptic and Byzantine finds reveal that Christians have used the hare as a symbol of life at least since the 4th century.

There is no doubt that hares and eggs have also been used by pagans. This does not make them inherently evil because symbols adapt a meaning that is attached to them. Even in the Bible a symbol can represent more than one thing. A goat can represent Jesus, Greece, an unrighteous person or even Satan.

I know. That was a painful article to read. Watching intelligent people articulate a dumb idea is hard to watch. As Dr. Isaac Menge wrote in 2017, most of the accoutrements of Easter are steeped in overt paganism.

Loma Linda University Church

This past Friday night, LLUC held a service involving “Mother Mary”, stations of the cross and confessions. (We believe in biblical confession; we do not believe that Roman Catholic ritual is needed for confession.)

According to eyewitness reports (from attendees) here is part of what happened.

“From an individual in Loma Linda...

We just attended a “Good Friday” service at the University Church, and was treated to a dramatization with the last scene presented by “Mother Mary.” Then before the Ordinance of Foot washing, we were given an opportunity to go outside the church and stop by the “Stations of the Cross.” We were then given the option of walking barefoot to the different stations.

To those of us with a Catholic background, the symbolism and vernacular isn’t lost on us.”

Another eyewitness:

My Aunt says she attended parts of it last night. They did have a stages of the cross but she did not perform it. They invited people to approach the cross barefoot (or not barefoot if you choose) and put your sins/thing you want to lay up to the Lord on red paper. The red paper pieces were put on the cross. And the next day the same pieces of paper were shown to have turned white.

There was a woman impersonating Mary the mother of Jesus holding white flowers, telling remembrances of her Son and saying that no mother should have to go through the loss of a child.

Our friend attended. She says they started with music, plays with Peter, Barababas etc. At foot washing you could go straight to washing or go barefoot or not to cross. Red paper was given and people were told to write sins or confession (according to her they did use the word confession) on paper, pray and put on cross. Next day paper had turned white.

A third witness:

“This was the title of the Sabbath sermon; during which, it was stated that the answer to some of the problems we face in this world is “EASTER!”

This word was chanted about 3 times.

The sermon ended with a quote from Rick Warren and a ritual that the pastor says he appreciates from “Liturgical Churches,” where someone announces, “He is risen!” Then the congregation responds with, “He is risen indeed!”

This is the Friday night service. The explanation of the red papers begins at 9:10. The explanation of the cross experience with foot washing and walking barefoot starts at 42.07.

Walla Walla University Church

Not to be outdone, on Sunday April 21, Walla Walla University Church held an Easter Sunrise Service at Mount Hope Cemetary.

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Lent & Ashes

Ryan Bell, the hyper-liberal-social-justice-warrior-pastor-turned-atheist from the Hollywood SDA church in California, began observing Lent in 2009. They also did the ashes on the forehead thing. This practice was followed by a series of departures from biblical orthodoxy, culminating in Bell’s eventual firing. He went on to celebrate a year of atheism, and is now advocating morality without God as the national organizing manager for the Secular Student Alliance (a social justice group) and is the Humanist Chaplain at the University of Southern California. The Kettering Church in Dayton, Ohio celebrated lent this year as well.

Warning

Notice that it is the liberals (or progressives) that are falling for this Roman Catholic ritual stuff. Many of them are into spiritual formation, progressive spirituality, and interfaith mysticism. Committed (or conservative) Adventists aren’t really interested in it. But liberals just keep pushing, because it is the nature of progressivism to demand change. And change, they do.

Bell pushed on the liberal membrane so hard that he broke through into a Godless vacuum. The same thing could happen to progressive (liberal) Adventists who adopt Roman Catholic rituals, because they think it’s cool.

There’s nothing cool about seeing how close you can get to the Little Horn. And there’s nothing cool about getting intoxicated on the wine of Babylon. There is no joy in the morning for those who do, just an apocalyptic headache (Psalm 30:5; Revelation 22:12,16).

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“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth),  finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them” (Ephesians 5:8-11).