If there is a diagnosis for the church it is lukewarm on the gospel of Jesus Christ. They put rules before relationships and commands before compassion. It is high time for our leaders to cast aside the confusion they have allowed to fester in the ranks and take a stand for Christ and Him Crucified.
This does not mean we lower our standards of lifestyle or behavior. It does however mean that we set aside our individual differences to lift up the merits of Christ alone.
Let the people know that their salvation depends on the life and death of Christ their substitute who paid the penalty for their sins. Only the heart that has cast aside self-righteousness will receive the Holy Spirit who will make us Holy.
The more I know Christ as my Lord and Savior, I hear him tell me that holiness is about living a balanced life centered on biblical principles. Stay away from extremes. This means we will have to become stricter in some areas of life while becoming less strict in other areas. Stop straining out gnats while swallowing camels (Matthew 23:24).
Ellen White the founder of our Church warned against fanaticism and going to extremes: “As the end draws near, the enemy will work with all his power to bring in fanaticism among us. He would rejoice to see Seventh-day Adventists going to such extremes that they would be branded by the world as a body of fanatics. Against this danger I am bidden to warn ministers and lay members. Our work is to teach men and women to build on a true foundation, to plant their feet on a plain “Thus saith the Lord.”—Gospel Workers, 316 (1915).
We must be Holy as Christ was Holy. Remember, He was accused of breaking His own laws concerning the Sabbath. It was diligent Sabbath Keepers who demanded the death of Christ. Christ was perfectly balanced in His attitude towards the letter of the law and the Spirit of the law while rejecting the unhealthy fanaticism of the leaders of Israel.
Let us renew the urgency of the gospel of Jesus while guarding against the fanaticism of the evil one. Lift up Jesus and His death on the cross. Allow Him to draw all men unto Himself.
Stephen Beagles (2020)