Nature of Christ: Fight over Nothing
The Reformists of the SDARM generally BELIEVE and TEACH:
- The ‘mainstream’ Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) Church is supposedly apostate for teaching Christ had an Unfallen nature of Adam.
- The ‘mainstream’ SDA Church is supposedly apostate for rejecting the 1888 message of Waggoner and Jones, which supposedly involved an emphasis on the human nature of Christ.
- The ‘mainstream’ SDA Church is supposedly apostate for abandoning its traditional teaching, which is that Jesus had the Fallen nature of Adam with the 1957 publication of Questions on Doctrine.
- The International Missionary Society (IMS) condemns their rivals Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement (SDARM) for declaring Christ had ‘no evil propensity of sin’.
The Reformists are WRONG because:
- The ‘mainstream’ SDA Church has no official position on the nature of Christ.
- This whole dispute is largely a re-run of a dispute centuries ago at the Council of Chalcedon, and then largely repeated during the Protestant Reformation. Within Adventism, this dispute is largely expressed in terms of whether Christ had the Fallen or Unfallen nature of Adam.
- The ‘mainstream’ SDA Church accepts a wide divergence of views, including both the Fallen and Unfallen nature of Adam definitions.
- Contrary to popular myth, the 1888 message of Waggoner and Jones did not concern the nature of Christ.
- Contrary to popular myth, the ‘mainstream’ did not abandon its official position (because it has none) by the 1957 publication of Questions on Doctrine.
- Both the SDARM and IMS essentially adopt the same view on the nature of Christ – the Antiochene-Zwingli-Fallen nature of Adam, in contrast to the Alexandrian-Luther-Unfallen view. This Fallen view is also shared and supported within a large section of the ‘mainstream’ SDA Church, including by some of its official scholars, and such views are still actively published by the official SDA Church.
- In defence of the SDARM position, Ellen White herself said Christ had ‘no evil propensity of sin’.
- The whole dispute demonstrates how ridiculous Reformists can be. In particular, until very recently, the Reformists have had inconsistent and very heretical views on the nature of Christ, including embracing Arianism (Jesus as a mere created being), Bitheism (denying the Spirit is a personal being) and Hindu Tritheism (rejection of the Trinty but worship of Father, Son and Spirit as three separate gods).
- The nature of Christ should not be a cause of division between the two factions of the Reform, nor between the Reform factions and the ‘mainstream’ SDA Church.
- Anyone who cites it as a point of difference, such as ex-SDARM and ex-IMS minister John Thiel, seems to be largely looking for an excuse to argue.
“The obedience of Christ to His Father was the same obedience that is required of man. Man cannot overcome Satan’s temptations without divine power to combine with his instrumentality. So with Jesus Christ; He could lay hold of divine power. He came not to our world to give the obedience of a lesser God to a greater, but as a man to obey God’s holy law, and in this way He is our example.” –(MS 1, 1892) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 7, p. 929.’