Clear Word vs Bible: Predestination

creatoin-of-man

 

When I was growing up Seventh Day Adventist the word ‘Predestination’ was out of bounds theologically, and was generally scoffed at as a pagan concept.  It was basically a four letter word that you are supposed to despise as something only an unloving God would do.  Keep in mind, I do not mean Calvinism, I simply mean the Biblical teaching of predestination and the sovereign free will of God.  SDA are simply against the concept of God predestining anything.  The reason is because this takes all of the meaning out of the investigative judgement.

It is fair to ask, do SDA actually believe that rejecting Predestination is Biblical?  Or did they feel the need to alter their special Bible, the Clear Word, to help bolster their position?

To find out I am going to bring up a sample passages in the Bible speaking on the topic and compare.

 

The Holy Bible

The Clear Word

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:44 ESV  I’m not here to force you to follow me.  No one can really follow me unless he first responds to my Father who is drawing him to me.  And I will resurrect him at the end of time.”

 

In the verse on the left you see a good prooftext for Biblical Monergism.  That is, God calling and saving you by his power and Grace.  On the right you have synergism, that is, one has to participate in their own salvation.  They have to help God out, otherwise his Grace is not sufficient to save.

Look closely though, notice that the synergistic teaching is added by the Clear Word.  We have this language speaking to not being forced, and having to first respond before being drawn.  These concepts are added lock stock and barrel into the text by the Clear Word.  Even a Classical Arminian Theologian would scoff at this addition to the text.  The language the SDA have added here is closer to Open Theism than it is Arminianism.

The Holy Bible

The Clear Word

“as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. ;  In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his willEph 1:10-11 ESV “When the right time came, He carried out His plan, the goal of which is to bring together all things in heaven and earth under the headship of Christ.  It is through Christ that we are included in God’s plan and are destined for heaven, which is His purpose and will for all who accept His Son.”

 

Notice that on the left The Holy Bible speaks to an individual predestination and on the right in the Clear Word we have a general one in the Body of Christ.  On the left it is God who “works all things” and in the SDA Bible is its just a “goal” he is trying to work out.  The God being taught in the Holy Bible has power over his creation and the one in the Clear Word is playing a game of chess or something.

If the SDA really believe that God isn’t free or powerful enough to work his creation to his will then why did they feel the need to alter the text of their Clear Word Bible to accommodate this view?  Why couldn’t they leave the Biblical text as it?

 

The Holy Bible

The Clear Word

to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” Acts 4:28 ESV  “You knew ahead of time that this would happen just as you had said.”

 

Notice in the Holy Bible we see God working his own will out in human history.  Where as in the Clear Word we see the theological equivalent of betting on a rigged horse race.

 

The Holy Bible

The Clear Word

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. ; And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Rom 8:29-30 ESV  “God knows everyone born into this world.  His plan is that all of us should be like His Son.  This makes His Son the firstborn in God’s family, making us all brother and sisters in Christ.  God has predestined those who believe in Him to be like His Son, so He gives us all the help we need.  Therefor, whoever responds to God’s call and believes in His Son, He justifies; and those who He justifies, He intends to glorify.”

 

The passage I have presented above is called the Golden Chain.  It is a very famous passage in scripture and it is worth your own personal devotional study and reflection separate from this blog post.

Notice in the Holy Bible that individuals are singled out as foreknown and then predestined in a past tense perspective to the first coming of Christ.  Since this statement was written after the ascension it follows logically that the referent is believers who lived before and after the cross.  Thus the predestination occurred before anyone was created.  Then the Holy Bible specifically names and singles out each one as “called”, “justified”, and “glorified”.  There is zero implication that any names are ever removed from the Elect.

In the Clear Word though we find the teaching has been completely flipped around and new concepts have been added into the passage.  Notice first that God has only predestined those who currently believe in him and adds a synergistic process of God helping those predestined become like him rather than an act strictly performed by God almighty.

Worse still a “response” clause is added as a contingent upon potentially receiving justification.  And then to top it all off he only “intends” to “glorify”!

The God in the Holy Bible and the one in the Clear Word are not the same.  The God taught in the Holy Bible is free and sovereign over his creation.  The pagan deity in the Clear Word just doesn’t seem to be able to pull anything off without the help of his creation.

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About ACTheologian

I am a layman who blogs my Biblical studies. Enjoy, please read with an open Bible and do double check with your pastor.
This entry was posted in Leaving Adventism, The Clear Word and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Clear Word vs Bible: Predestination

  1. Sabbatismos says:

    I know nothing about you. But when you speak thus of Seventh-day Adventists, “their special Bible, the Clear Word”, you are trampling all over God’s Ninth Commandment with muddy jackboots. The ABC does carry it. But it is an entirely PRIVATE venture, WITHOUT the Church’s imprimatur.

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    • ACTheologian says:

      That’s not true, the SDA Church not only publishes it but they sell it as a Bible. They also use it to teach scripture from the pulpit and in Sabbath school.

      I’ve seen it done, I was one.

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      • Sabbatismos says:

        Is everything that a Christian does LEGITIMATE Christianity?
        What counts is OFFICIAL Seventh-day Adventist POLICY and NOTHING more.
        In this regard, please observe that the Australasian Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is just that, PART OF THE GENERAL CONFERENCE, and publishing NO policy without its full knowledge and imprimatur. This I know from a good friend who used to work on the Division Ofice in Sydney, Australia, fascinated as the communication channels were constantly occupied with “President … doesn’t like this”, “President … requests that you change that”. etc., etc.
        So check this out by all means, noting that the Australasian Division identifies itself by its LEGAL identity:
        The Clear Word Bible is not produced, nor endorsed by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but is the private enterprise of an individual. The Adventist Church does not use the Clear Word edition, which includes passages from Ellen G. White’s writings, for its worship services and Bible studies around the world, but quotes from well known and well accepted Bible translations in the various languages. In the English language for example, the church uses the King James Version, the Revised Standard Version, the New American Bible, [sic] [recte New American Standard Bible] the New International Version, and others
        — Australasian Conference Association Limited, 2007-03-30.

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      • ACTheologian says:

        Well I disagree, a church body is responsible for what they teach. If the GC fails to endorse it officially but still publishes, and allows it to be taught from it as a Bible that only makes them twice a liar.

        Every church publishing house has a doctrinal review phase. The fact is SDA reviewed the clear word and approved it and put it for sale as a Bible in their publishing house. It doesn’t get more official than that as far as I am concerned.

        Show me where they have formally rebuked the clear word and have ceased to sell it as a Bible in the ABC and I will retract my statements.

        Also, your statement is untrue. Many SDA pastors claim to use the clear word to teach and preach from. And they have not been fired or rebuked for this.

        Here is a video of Jack Blanco being interviewed by a pastor who both thanks him for changing verses he doesn’t like and brags about using it to teach and preach in the church.

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