Seventh-day Adventists’ New Interfaith Outreach - The Third Way
Advent Messenger | Editorial
“If every soldier of Christ had done his duty, if every watchman on the walls of Zion had given the trumpet a certain sound, the world might ere this have heard the message of warning. But the work is years behind. While men have slept, Satan has stolen a march upon us.” Testimonies, Vol. 9, p. 29.
Take for example the recent publication of the American Diversity Report. Dr. Lisa Diller is chair of the history department at Southern Adventist University. She recently published a paper on July 17, 2014 in the American Diversity Report [AmericanDiversityReport.com] entitled “Interfaith Dialog: Adventist Style.” In her report she sings the praises of the “Third Way” Conference recently held in Chattanooga, TN.
Dr. Lisa Diller claims that the old ways of ecumenical dialog are flawed and that a “Third Way” is needed. She defines this “Third Way” in her own words:
“So many times ‘tolerance’ goes along with a weak identity, weak loyalty to a tradition. On the other hand, people who are really strong in their beliefs can sometimes behave in hostile ways or perceived hostile ways to outsiders. The idea for the conference was that there was a ‘third way’—a way to have a strong identity that is generous and benevolent to outsiders.”
This conference was put on by Adventist Forum Conferences and invited other panelists besides Dr. Lisa Diller such as Brian McLaren, a popular Evangelical from the emerging church movement who is against proselytizing and who believes that are religious traditions are equal. Deborah Levine, a Jewish woman and Amin Issa a Muslim were also present and spoke at the event. Another panelist was Samir Selmanovic, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor and the founder of "Faith House Manhattan", an interfaith house of worship for Christians, Muslims, Jews and humanists/atheists.
The purpose of these Adventist-sponsored conferences is an attempt to create a global multicultural community that is not “hostile” to all the many diverse religious traditions. This is an attempt to develop an open path of unity through religious dialog. It is a call to come together and to address all the social problems of the world. It is a “new” work of hospitable appreciation to all the other faiths as they work together towards communal understanding and common works of social justice. The end result is that we all become allies, working side by side with the different religions to change the world and make it a better place. The only thing is that we must abandon all hostilities or “perceived” hostilities against others.
This is the very unbiblical and prevalent attitude among the pastors and churches of our time. The objective is not to offend anyone in this religious new world order. Such an attitude is an attack against God’s inspired word and against His everlasting gospel.
Jesus said to the Jews of His day: “The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.” John 7:7. The Apostle Paul also had to face this same situation when he said: “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” Galatians 4:16.
“Every new truth has made its way against hatred and opposition; those who were blessed with its light were tempted and tried. The Lord gives a special truth for the people in an emergency. Who dare refuse to publish it? He commands his servants to present the last invitation of mercy to the world. They cannot remain silent, except at the peril of their souls. Christ’s ambassadors have nothing to do with consequences. They must perform their duty, and leave results with God.” Great Controversy, p. 609.
The world is in a complete spiritual disarray because of the this fictional presentation of the gospel that is empty of prophetic truth! We must preach the truth even when we are tempted to hold back because of the consequences that may come. Our feelings should have nothing to do with our convictions to preach the word. Sometimes we err when we think that we can distort, adjust, or accommodate the message so as to be sensitive to our hearers. However, we must understand that whenever we hold back vital truths because we think it may be difficult for people to hear, we run the risk deceiving and misinforming people. That is not being loving—it is being selfish and unloving.
“It is not from love for their neighbor that they smooth down the message entrusted to them, but because they are self-indulgent and ease-loving. True love seeks first the honor of God and the salvation of souls. Those who have this love will not evade the truth to save themselves from the unpleasant results of plain speaking. When souls are in peril, God’s ministers will not consider self, but will speak the word given them to speak, refusing to excuse or palliate evil.” Prophets and Kings pp. 141, 142.
This ecumenical new world order that is being developed before our very eyes is a fulfillment of what we find in the book The Great Controversy:
“Papists, Protestants, and worldlings will alike accept the form of godliness without the power, and they will see in this union a grand movement for the conversion of the world, and the ushering in of the long-expected millennium.” Great Controversy, pp. 588, 589.
Does it matter to you that souls are enslaved and ensnared by the enemies of present truth? Christians are being deceived. Antichrist is sweeping the world with his seducing, ecumenical doctrines. We have a warning message to give and we must sound the alarm today.
“Are we to wait until the fulfillment of the prophecies of the end before we say anything concerning them? Of what value will our words be then? Shall we wait until God's judgments fall upon the transgressor before we tell him how to avoid them?” Testimonies, Vol. 9, p. 20.