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Last post, we talked about how trepidatious Christians not in the Westboro Baptist Church can be when designating place settings in Hell, even for people like Hitler (Godwin!) They will say what type of people are going there, but they don’t assume the final responsibility of saying, for sure, who gets a seat. This, I think, is a representation of the combat between the progressive values of our current place in history and certain regressive values of the Bible that many would like to pull us back to.

But equally interesting as why people won’t say others are going to Hell, I’ve noticed that it is quite difficult for people to say that they’re going to Heaven. Now, in many evangelical churches, this is not true. Standard rhetoric over there would be “I’m saved”, thereby denoting an understanding that you are part of God’s crew, his gang, his posse.

And yet, though they believe in my former faith that it is God’s Remnant church, a people “set apart”, there is not so much of this certainty, and I have a few suggestions as to why.

They believe in predestination. 

Now, don’t misunderstand me. An Adventist will rarely, if ever, actually tell you that that’s what they believe in, and it’s not one of their fundamental beliefs (they have 28). But there is a fair degree of similarity between predestination and beliefs within the Adventist church.

Check out this Wikipedia explanation of predestination as it relates to Calvinism:

Reformed theologians teach that sin so affects human nature that they are unable even to exercise faith in Christ by their own will. While people are said to retain will, in that they willfully sin, they are unable to not sin because of the corruption of their nature due to original sin. To remedy this, Reformed Christians believe that God predestined some people to be saved. This choice by God to save some is held to be unconditional and not based on any characteristic or action on the part of the person chosen.

That sounds as eerily similar to Adventism as you can get. Adventist people do happen to believe that we do not have the power, in our natural and corrupt sinful selves, to come to God alone, but that it is only through his magnanimity that we are able to even approach him and take advantage of the grace that He has provided.

And as Adventist people will tell you, they believe that our righteousness is as filthy rags before God (Isaiah 64:6) So they believe that nothing you do will actually gain you merit with the big man upstairs, and that it’s all God’s decision anyway. The only thing necessary for you to do is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

So here’s my suggestion: I think that the lack of agency provided in these ideas can be connected to a hypothesis that Adventists do not believe in free will in the way that they say they do, and this lack of agency could be one of the many reasons that they do not feel qualified to tell who is going to heaven or hell.

But here’s the rub. I know that I’m just a godless heathen rebelling against God because I want to keep on sinning, but you might want to rethink following an Almighty God so temperamental that even when you’re on his side, you’re not sure if you’ll win the game.

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Twitter: @Ame0baRepublic 

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