Ben Carson’s Political Blunders Expose Adventist Theological Weaknesses

Now that Carson “can’t see a way forward” in his campaign, it is worth reflecting on that which I noted earlier–his incompetence on the Middle-East question. In that regard, look at this news clip, announcing the end of his candidacy: “In mid-November, The New York Times spoke with one foreign-policy adviser, a former intelligence officer implicated in Iran-Contra named Duane Clarridge, who said, “Nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East.” The campaign tried to disavow the comments and attacked the newspaper for speaking to Clarridge. The Times noted that they’d been directed to Clarridge by Armstrong Williams. That moment turned out to crystallize the weaknesses of the Carson campaign. “– http://news.yahoo.com/ben-carson-admits-campaign-over-211747611.html

Carson is best at his neurosurgery medical practice than on national or international policies. In fact, I would say he is better at being a Bible teacher/ expositor than being a politician, and should resolve that we are not all gifted in all areas, but most importantly, Adventist Christians are not called to sit at the head of the power known in prophecy, in these last days, as “the beast with the number 666.” May his engagement with politics be a standing reminder to all that as Christians we must not run outside of our lanes, or break our ranks.

The prophet Joel puts it this way: “Joe 2:7 They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks [take to themselves that which is gifted to others ]: Joe 2:8 Neither shall one thrust another [fighting for office or recognition—jockeying for power, control and influence ]; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.” (Joel. 2: 7,8).

The Adventist's Understanding of Prophecy

Ben Carson's PictureIf you were alive in the mid 1980’s and beyond, you could not resist being impacted by the Ben Carson Story—those “gifted hands,” that were used by divine direction to separate twins; that was as groundbreaking as it was breathtaking, for he then pioneered a new frontier in the world of science and modern medicine.  A neurosurgeon of class, Ben Carson commands the attention of the world’s most brilliant minds, because he possesses an uncanny ability to sort through the details of the motor neurons network, which like telecommunication wires traverse the human body in a multitude of ways, interspersed by gaps known as “synapses.”  From his study of the “synaptic gap” he can determine a tremendous amount of information about a person’s cranial ability!  This is no small feat, and only few people have ventured inside the human brain and make sense of the divine computer stored behind our frontal…

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2 thoughts on “Ben Carson’s Political Blunders Expose Adventist Theological Weaknesses

  1. Hi brethren, I’m a sabbath keeper, seventh day adventist, I’m concerned with the issue of baptism, in Matthew 28 we are told to baptise in the name of the father the son and the holy ghost, but in the book of acts we find the apostles baptising in the name of jesus, can you please say your point of view?

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    1. Question:
      Hi brethren, I’m a Sabbath keeper, seventh day Adventist, I’m concerned with the issue of baptism, in Matthew 28 we are told to baptize in the name of the father the son and the holy ghost, but in the book of acts we find the apostles baptizing in the name of Jesus, can you please say your point of view?

      Answer:
      Hello Reader: Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing your question. Yours is a classic case of apparent contradictions in the Scriptures. First we must respect this one fact that “The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” Joh 13:16.

      In other words, the Servant’s words can at no time countermand his Lord’s, but must always be treated as subordinate. Having said this, it is important to see the circumstance under which this “apparent contradiction” looms. Peter, on the Day of Pentecost, was preaching and in the midst of his sermon, he introduced the newly minted baptismal method that was handed down to them by Jesus in the great commission of Matt. 28: 18-20.

      What is not immediately noticed, because of our having been drawn away from that era and culture by two millennia, was very apparent to each person in that audience. Because, prior to the baptism of Jesus, or the baptism commanded by Jesus, there was the traditional “baptism of John,” Baptist John the Baptist. So when we go back to the first century to discuss baptism, there are only two such baptisms known to the early believers:
      • The baptism of John
      • The baptism of Jesus (Y’shuah)

      This fact must not be overlooked, otherwise we will have the Scriptures warring with themselves, and the apostles setting their doctrines above their master’s!

      Let’s now look at these two forms of baptism’s in context. The setting is Christ’s departure, after a 40-day post-resurrection field seminar/workshop on the Kingdom with the eleven Apostles. Realizing the imminence of His departure, the Scriptures recount that, “4 being assembled together with them, [Christ] commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence… 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1: 4, 5, 8.

      Clearly, this inspired record bears testimony that the baptism of John, was to give way to the baptism of Jesus Christ (Y’shuah, the Messiah), even the baptism of the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit). To this John also bore witness:

      “John answered all of them: “I baptize you with water, but One more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” Luke 3: 16
      “32And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.” John 1: 32-34

      At this point, we can clearly see that John confessed Jesus Christ, and pointed to His baptism as the one that is preferred, for truly Christ must increase while John’s ministry, including his method of baptism would decrease.

      Apparent Contradiction of John’s Disciples’ eye-witness testimony
      Here, we will see that sometimes reported news cannot be taken at face-value, devoid of context. In the below example, we will see that the Holy Spirit had to take control of this statement and correct it, because it carried a false notion regarding the baptism of Christ. Here is the story:
      “22After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. 23And John also was baptizing in AEnon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. 24For John was not yet cast into prison. 25Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. 26And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.” John 3: 22-26.
      While true, that baptisms were being conducted in the presence of Christ, where John and the disciples were baptizing, it was taken for granted by John’s disciples that Christ himself was also baptizing people, but this was not the case, and indeed it could not be, for Christ’s baptism was exclusively “the baptism of the Spirit,” which was not the case at AEnon. Preventing this error from gaining traction, the Holy Spirit instructed John accordingly, “1When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, 2(Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) 3He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.” John 4: 1, 2.
      Here we have the full picture that Christ was merely overseeing the ministry of the disciples while they baptized the new converts, but he was never actively baptizing anyone.
      The understanding of “the baptism of John,” was very real to the first century Apostles, and so neither they nor their audiences were ever under the fog that baptism ought to be conducted prescriptively “in the name of Jesus only.” What we see it that they were baptizing by the authority of Jesus Christ, and thus in His name, and not that the Father and the Holy Spirit were left out of this sacred ceremony. Indeed, it was commonly, with the exception of one instance, that upon baptism, the early believers would receive the gift of Holy Spirit and speak in unknown tongues: languages they had never before spoken or understood.
      The baptism of John the Baptist
      Regarding the Apostle’s sensitivity to John’s baptism and the need to be baptized after the manner of Jesus Christ, the record is clear:
      “37You yourselves know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee with the baptism that John proclaimed:” Acts 10: 37
      So here we see that they fully understood the difference between the two baptisms: the one John proclaimed and conducted, and the One he also predicted to come after his, which would be done by “the Son of God.”
      It turns out that many early believers who had not a complete understanding of the Apostles’ message, were still under the old form of baptism, the baptism of John, and so their understanding of truth was limited, for before that time, no Jew was baptized in the name of Y’shuah, only in the name of YHWH, and the baptism which our Lord commanded and authorized, was to be done at his behest, and thus in His name. Let’s visit the disciple Apollos:
      “This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.” Acts 18: 25
      It was after sensing his ignorance that the holy couple, Aquilla and Priscilla, invited him to their home and taught him more perfectly into the truth of Messiah, and the baptism that He commanded, whereupon Apollos was edified.
      “1And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.3And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” Acts 19: 1-6.
      There is no conflict here, between what Paul records, and what Jesus commanded! The conflict is immediately dismissed when we see that the Baptism of John was different than the baptism of Jesus Christ—the baptism Jesus mandated—the gift of the Spirt in dynamic power. This baptism of the Spirit was actually prophesied of by Joel centuries earlier:
      “28And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” Joel 2: 28, 29.
      This manifestation of the Spirit on Pentecost (Acts 2: 17-20) was simply the former rain in power, after the revelation of miracle-working truth, which Jesus Christ, the Teacher of Righteousness brought. Similarly, in the latter days, we are to again see this dynamic manifestation of the Spirit, in a much larger measure than on the first Pentecost, in the latter rain of power, after the revelation of miracle-working truth in our days—the truth of the 4th Angel which “lightens the earth with glory.” (Read Rev. 18: 1).

      The Baptism of Jesus
      So now we come to the great commission, in which discourse, after a full 40-day hands-n workshop with the future Apostles, Jesus (Y’shuah) gave them his final charge, accordingly: “18 All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matt. 28: 18-20
      This we may call a prescription of what names to appeal to during the baptismal ceremony. I emphasize “names,” because today we typically baptize in the “title of” three personages—“the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Again, mark this point with care: The Saviour of glory taught that baptism should be conducted in the “name” of the Godhead, and not in the title thereof. Not that the current process is in and of itself false, but to be consistent with the letter of the command, baptisms ought to be conducted in the name of Deity. It is also important to observe that the command did not say, in the names (plural) of the “father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost,” but in the name (singular) of all three. Finally, this passage also makes clear that each member of the Godhead has a name. The Father had a name (YHWH), the Son has a name (Y’shuah), and the Holy Spirit has a name (Ruach HaKodesh).
      Were The Apostles Teaching Another Gospel?
      Lacking historical and cultural context to their arguments, some Christians today hold that baptism ought always to be conducted in the name of Jesus only! This group hold tenaciously to Acts 2: 38 and related passages, as their mandate. But should we set the Disciples/Apostles words above those of their Master’s? Scripture forbids! “The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” Joh 13:16.

      Baptize In The Name of Jesus Christ
      Now that we have surveyed the distinct baptisms, John’s and Jesus’, we can better appreciate the Scriptural passages in which we see the name of Jesus alone mentioned. As already stated, the “name” means the authority of, the power of, and the auspices of. When, for example, an ambassador of one country goes to another, s/he goes in the name of the President, Prime Minister, or King, which means by the authority of head of the civil government whose jurisdiction the ambassador represents. Similarly, when the Apostles baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, it was simply to perform this ceremony in honor of his authority and command, but not that the prescription commanded in Matt. 28: 18-20 was abrogated. I cite a number of Scriptures below, which declared the name of Jesus only, and the context can now be immediately seen, as well as the harmony they hold with the great commission.
      • “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name [power or authority of] of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2: 38, [added].
      • “And he commanded them to be baptized in the name [power or authority] of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for a few days.” Acts 10: 48, [added].
      • “44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard his message. 45All the circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit [baptism of Jesus] had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46For they heard them speaking in tongues and exalting God. Then Peter said, 47“Can anyone withhold the water to baptize these people? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have!” 48So he ordered that they be baptized in the name [power and authority] of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay for a few days.” Acts 10: 44-48, [added].
      • “For the Holy Spirit had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 8: 16
      • “On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 19: 5
      • “ For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Galatians 3:27
      • “But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8: 12

      They Preached, Taught, and Baptized In the Name of Jesus
      It is remarkable to note that it was not baptism that was featured with Jesus’ name, but everything the Apostles did, He was the center of their teaching and their praise. This is very reasonable: why, prior to this the name of Jesu (Y’shuah) was unknown to human tongue, and now He was seen for who he really is—the savior of mankind.
      “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” Acts 3: 6
      “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.” Acts 4: 10

      “And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.” Acts 5: 40
      “But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.” Acts 4: 17, 18.
      “But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.” Acts 9: 27

      “And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.” Acts 16: 18
      “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth.” Acts 19: 13
      Being the fullness of “the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2: 9), and “all power is given unto” to Son, from the Father, until the Son has cast down all powers and principalities under His feet, then “when all things shall be subdued unto Him [Jesus Christ, Y’shuah], then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him [the Father] that put all things under Him [the Son], that God may be all in all.” 1 Cor. 15: 28, [added].
      In other words, the order of governance which existed in the universe before sin entered, will again be restored when the power of sin has been removed and eliminated. The roles of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, will not be as they are now, but all power will again be restored to the father. At the moment, and while sin lasts, Christ had declared, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Matt. 28: 18. Yet, even in this acknowledgement, the Son has mandated, and forever settled the records, that baptisms ought always to be performed, prescriptively, “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Matt. 28: 19.
      Finally, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4: 11.

      Shalom in Messiah.

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