W I N T E R • 2 0 1 2
VOLUME 13, ISSUE 4
D E P A R T M E N T S
The life EXAMINED with Carolyn Macomber
“You should keep your cell phone in one hand and your keys in the other. And park your car facing the nearest outlet to a main street,” my colleague warned me as she repeated the instructions from a safety officer. Two weeks later the elementary school that was part of my work assignment was in lockdown; a murderer was being apprehended two blocks away, and the police didn’t want him slipping into an elementary school.
This danger was not what I expected when I chose to follow Jesus. My plans had been to teach in a university setting discussing intellectual concepts. Now I was discussing temper tantrums and potty training with at-risk parents and children. I had left everything for this!
I needed an attitude adjustment, and it came through writing this column. As I have compared what I have left to what Jesus left, I have been brought to my knees.
As an Adventist I learned that Jesus put on human flesh with all its propensities to sin (a sinful nature) and left His omnipotence behind. I had believed He came to earth and put on a body with several thousand years of sin ingrained in its DNA. It had been drilled into me that Jesus had no advantage over us in regards to resisting sin. Therefore, I, too, could live a perfect life by following Jesus’ example.
Jesus, however, was born alive to God, while I had been born dead to God and in transgressions (Eph. 2:1-8). Jesus did have a body that felt pain, hunger, and thirst, but His nature was completely divine and alive to His Father. Our nature is not. Jesus had every advantage over us; He was born in human flesh alive to God, and while He walked among us He was fully God, Immanuel (God with us). He was the perfect sacrifice which was required for sin.
In the twisted teachings of Adventism, Jesus, an angel,1 came in sinful flesh2 (i.e. sinful nature), lived a perfect life, developed a perfect character,3 and so can we.4 We can help to save ourselves just like Jesus saved Himself by living a sinless life.
In contrast, Scripture teaches that Jesus had every advantage over us to live without sin. We are born in sin (Rom. 3). Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit minus sin (Mt. 1:20). That is why He, not Enoch, Moses, or Elijah, is our Savior.
Here is the crux. Even though Jesus had every advantage over us, His advantages made it worse for Him. He Who knew no sin became sin so that we could have His righteousness (Is. 53:4-10; 1 Cor. 5:21). Look at the verbs of Scripture: He was pierced, stricken, crushed, oppressed. We hold only our own sin until our rebirth in Christ (Jn. 3); He has born the griefs, sorrows, and sins of the world (1 Jn. 2:2).
The Adventist teaching that because Jesus lived a perfect life on earth, so can we is heresy. This teaching demolishes the sacredness of the cross and destroys the gospel because it means we really have no need for Jesus’ death.
It is heartbreaking that some Christians are deceived into believing Adventism is within the bounds of orthodox Christianity. Meanwhile, Adventists continue to die in false teaching and a different gospel. Will you take the risk of offending and minister to an Adventist? Will you leave your life for His? †
Copyright 2012 Life Assurance Ministries, Inc., Casa Grande, Arizona, USA. All rights reserved. Revised December 17, 2012. Contact email: email@example.com
Carolyn Macomber was a doctoral student at Andrews University when she discovered inconsistencies between Adventism and the Bible. She withdrew her membership from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2009. She is a member of The Chapel Evangelical Free Church in St. Joseph, Michigan, where she is the leader of a Former Adventist Fellowship. She works helping families prepare their children for school readiness, and she is a small group leader for Bible Study Fellowship in Granger, Indiana.