Spiritual Formation infiltrates Adventist Church

While most Adventists have heard about the One Project initiative to promote spiritual formation in the Seventh-day Adventist church, not everyone understands just what the various codewords mean.  Since "The words themselves are neutral.  The content given the words is what matters." (Henning Guldhammer, On The Phrase “Spiritual Formation”, http://www.wwuchurch.org/article/92/ministries/spiritual-development-ministry/information-on-spiritual-formation/on-the-phrase-spiritual-formation), we examine both the theory and practice of Spiritual Formation in God's One True Church for the End Time.

SPIRITUAL FORMATION IN THEORY

"The phrase “spiritual formation” is a perfectly proper descriptor of the process of maturing in Christ". (Henning Guldhammer, On The Phrase “Spiritual Formation”, http://www.wwuchurch.org/article/92/ministries/spiritual-development-ministry/information-on-spiritual-formation/on-the-phrase-spiritual-formation)

AND IN PRACTICE

"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.  Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works" (James 2:17,18, Holy Bible):  "My brother, I've been to your house.  I've had the dirty bird."  (One Project 6 - Tim Gillespie - The Heresy Response, http://vimeo.com/71480214, minute 14)

I've heard about a lot of deviant practices, but when I heard Pastor Tim preach, I didn't know exactly what he was talking about. (see graphic at left, click to enlarge)

"LEARNING TO LOVE WELL"

So I found the top definition in the internet -- a group sex act. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dirty+bird 

In addition to pastoring CrossWalk SDA in Redlands http://www. crosswalkvillage.com/pages/staff, Brother Gillespie leads out at the One Project.  (see at right)

CLAIMS THESE PECCADILLOES ARE PERFECTLY NORMAL

According to Dr. Gillespie, this sort of thing is now mainstream:  "we belong to the great tradition and greater trajectory of orthodox Christian thought. We're not something different." (One Project 6 - Tim Gillespie - The Heresy Response, http://vimeo.com/71480214, minute 14)  "A few months ago Kink.com CEO Peter Acworth reported on his blog that IP addresses that traced back to the Vatican had been identified as having illegally downloaded bondage porn from Kink.com. He responded to the incident by stating “In many ways, the Church isn’t so different from Kink. The peculiar vestments, the intricate rituals, the absolute surrender to authority — these are all things we practice in the consensual BDSM.”" http://sexindustrymafia.blogspot.com/2014_07_01_archive.html

BUT ALL THIS SPIRITUAL FORMATION WAS NOT ENOUGH

"I think there's more work to do on the love portion"  (One Project 6 - Tim Gillespie - The Heresy Response, http://vimeo.com/71480214, minute 35):  "The priests, it seems, are allegedly being blackmailed by a network of male prostitutes who worked at a sauna in Rome’s Quarto Miglio district, a health spa in the city center, and a private residence once entrusted to a prominent archbishop. The evidence reportedly includes compromising photos and videos of the prelates—sometimes caught on film in drag, and, in some cases, caught “in the act.”" (Barbie Nadeau, Did a Cross-Dressing Priest Sex Ring Bring Down Benedict XVI?, The Daily Beast, 22 Feb 2013)

Who knows?  Maybe they were even doing "the dirty bird".

"Those who have recently redefined “spiritual formation” as something dark, demonic, and dangerous are simply mistaken." (Henning Guldhammer, On The Phrase “Spiritual Formation”, http://www.wwuchurch.org/article/92/ministries/spiritual-development-ministry/information-on-spiritual-formation/on-the-phrase-spiritual-formationUnless, of course, they're blackmailing you!

SPIRITUAL FORMATION PRACTICED AT THE GENERAL CONFERENCE

"Question: Does the Adventist Church condemn those who practice homosexuality or any other type of sin? No." (Randy Folkenberg, Love and the Church, Walla Walla University newspaper The Collegian, 23 Oct 2014, p 8)

"“Church membership runs the gamut between actively gay people and those who deny that reality,” said Willie Oliver, co-director of the Adventist world church’s Family Ministries department. “We’ve encountered [these realities] everywhere for years.""(Preserve Identity of Church, But Minister to Gay and Lesbian Community, Panelists at Adventist Sexuality Summit say, Adventist Review, 18 Mar 2014)

CHURCH JOURNAL ALSO TEACHES SPIRITUAL FORMATION

The Adventist Review has pitched in with a glowing recommendation of Leaves of Grass, which tells the story of gay poet Walt Whitman seducing a young man while lying among leaves of grass in a field:    "I loved Leaves of Grass". (Clifford Goldstein, It is so, Adventist Review, 16 Jan 2014) 

"Spiritual Formation is not a new idea or concept, and “a lot of Protestants are in the same boat—we are rediscovering it,” says Dr. Jon Dybdahl, president of Walla Walla College, an Adventist institution”. (Wendi Rogers, ANN Feature: Church, Congregations Increase Focus on "Spiritual Formation", Adventist News Network, 3 Feb 2004)

In ways that traditional Adventists never even dreamed of.



RELATED READING:

One Project Spiritual Formation Theology infiltrates Walla Walla University: Girl dies

Nicholas Miller: How the SDA Theological Seminary restricts Adventist Religious Liberty / Double standards

Spiritual Formation taught in Sabbath School Quarterly

Missions Expert Dave Fiedler details One Project Errors in "Tremble" 

Spiritual Formation penetrates Adventist Church: Alex Bryan (One Project), Walter Veith

Leonor: One Project Spiritual Formation Gone Bad

Spiritual Formation Drinking Party leads to Group Sex

Emergent Church Movement and Spiritual Formation

Alex Bryan:  Dangers of Spiritual Formation

General Conference Promotion of Spiritual Formation

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