Călugăraşule, îmi eşti simpatic şi de aceea te-aş sfătui să faci un studiu exhaustiv asupra felului cum aplică Ellen White numele Laodicea. Ca răspuns la comentariul tău din 23 noiembrie 2010, am simţit că este nevoie să-ţi scriu următoarele. Te rog să-mi răsplăteşti efortul citind ce am scris. Am redat citatele din Ellen White în engleză, aşa cum se pot găsi pe saitul de la White Estate. Sper că citeşti engleză. Îmi cer scuze de la cei care nu pot citi, deocamdată nu am timp să traduc (poate se găseşte altcineva, totuşi …).
Aspecte mai puţin cunoscute
1. Ideea aplicării celor şapte scrisori ale Apocalipsei la şapte perioade profetice a precedat pe EGW cu câteva secole. Chiar aplicarea mesajului laodicean la AZS au avut-o alţi fraţi din Biserică mai întâi, aşa cum ea însăşi recunoaşte:
„In the latter part of 1856 attention was called to the “Laodicean” message of Revelation 3. Formerly this counsel was understood to apply to the Advent believers who had not followed in the advancing light of the third angel and who had organized themselves into another church, bitterly opposing the Sabbath truth. Now they saw themselves as “lukewarm” and in need of heeding the counsel of the true witness. ” 1T 6
Nu este nici o dovadă că Ellen White ar fi primit o descoperire specială că Laodicea din Apocalipsă sunt AZS ca Biserică profetică. Ea doar a arătat că mesajul se aplică, din nefericire, şi Adventiştilor de Ziua a Şaptea, şi a accentuat, „în special pentru noi ca Biserică”, dar nu în sensul unei identităţi profetice, ca şi cum AZS ar fi predestinaţi să fie „Laodiceea”. Dacă ea ar fi crezut că AZS sunt o organizaţie damnată, aşa cum interpretează unii, ea ar fi fost prima care să abandoneze vasul.
Ca dovadă că Ellen White a făcut doar aplicaţii spirituale ale epistolei laodiceene, avem multe citate în care ea dovedeşte că aplică mesajul la diferite situaţii şi persoane, sau la starea unei comunităţi ori a unei părţi mari din Biserică. Ea se referă la o clasă de oameni, uneori chiar la reprezentanţii Bisericii, dar nu la instituţia Bisericii ca atare.
„This class is represented by the message to the Laodicean church.” RH February 4, 1890
„Study this message to the Laodicean church, for it applies to many in New York” PH039 9.
În mărturia de la PH123 57, mesajul laodicean este aplicat comunităţii din Battle Creek; în PH138 48 Laodiceea o aplică sorei Palmer de la Institutul de Sănătate; în 11MR 317-318 aplică mesajul la Dr Kellogg. După Minneapolis, aplică lui Uriah Smith:
„The message given us by A. T. Jones, and E. J. Waggoner is the message of God to the Laodicean church, and woe be unto anyone who professes to believe the truth and yet does not reflect to others the God-given rays. Elder Smith, had you been unprejudiced, had not reports affected you and led you to bar your heart against the entrance of what these men presented” 15MR 92),
De asemenea, ea aplică textul Bisericii din Los Angeles („The message to the Laodicean church belongs to the church in Los Angeles, and to our churches generally.” Letter 75, 1905) şi Asociaţei Misionare Medicale („… neither will He [God] accept the Laodicean condition of the Medical Missionary Association.” 15 MR 259). Fără îndoială, ea a aplicat acest mesaj, cu prioritate Bisericii, pentru motivul că ea a fost trimisă să slujească nevoilor spirituale ale Bisericii, nu lumii în general, sau tuturor bisericilor creştine. Dar aceasta privea pe membrii şi pe liderii Bisericii, şi se referea chiar la familiile din Biserică, ceea ce nu este un blam adus asupra familiei ca instituţie:
„Will you remain in the condition of the Laodicean church, or will you change your position? In the name of the Lord I call upon [the members in] every family to show their true colors. Reform the church in your own home.” 16MR 147
„Will the churches heed the Laodicean message? Will they repent, or will they, notwithstanding that the most solemn message of truth—the third angel’s message—is being proclaimed to the world, go on in sin? This is the last message of mercy, the last warning to a fallen world. If the church of God becomes lukewarm, it does not stand in favor with God any more than do the churches that are represented as having fallen and become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and the cage of every unclean and hateful bird. Those who have had opportunities to hear and receive the truth and who have united with the Seventh-day Adventist church, calling themselves the commandment-keeping people of God, and yet possess no more vitality and consecration to God than do the nominal churches, will receive of the plagues of God just as verily as the churches who oppose the law of God. Only those that are sanctified through the truth will compose the royal family in the heavenly mansions Christ has gone to prepare for those that love Him and keep His commandments.” 19MR 176
„Those who live for self are ranged under the head of the Laodicean church who are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. ” OHC 348
„To a large number, the Sabbath is merely a cessation of physical labor, not a sweet foretaste of the Sabbath above. Religion has degenerated into a form. The Lord is dishonored. The spiritual temperature runs very low. Many have a name to live, and are dead. The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to all the church members today who are in a lukewarm condition spiritually.” 19MR 255
„You have been going on and on for years against light, against knowledge, until the Laodicean message applies to your case”. SpTB07 13
„The message to the Laodicean church is applicable to all who have had great light and many opportunities, and yet have not appreciated them” RH, March 11, 1902
„To the idlers in the Lord’s vineyard the Laodicean message is sent” (MS 26, 1905).
„The message to the Laodicean church applies most decidedly to those whose religious experience is insipid, who do not bear decided witness in favor of the truth (Letter 98, 1901).
2. Ellen White a aplicat mesajul laodicean la AZS la fel cum orice altă epistolă din Biblie sau din Apocalipsă trebuie luată la inimă. Ea a aplicat la unele momente din istoria Bisericii AZS şi mesajele către „îngerii” din Efes şi din Sardes. (Voi veni mai târziu cu dovezile. Acum am afirmat din memorie).
3. De asemenea, ea a spus că mesajul laodicean trebuie prezentat şi celorlalte biserici, pentru că se aplică tuturor celor care se cred creştini.
„The warning for the last church also must be proclaimed to all who claim to be Christians. The Laodicean message, like a sharp, two-edged sword, must go to all the churches: [cit. Ap 3:15-19]. It is our work to proclaim this message. Are we putting forth every effort that the churches may be warned?” 6 T 77 (sublinierea mea)
„The Laodicean message has been sounding. Take this message in all its phases and sound it forth to the people wherever Providence opens the way. Justificatio
n by faith and the righteousness of Christ are the themes to be presented to a perishing world. Oh, that you may open the door of your heart to Jesus! The voice of Jesus, the great vendor of heavenly treasures, is calling to you, “I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed.” But I will write no more. My heart is drawn out in love toward you, and my desire is that you shall triumph with the third angel’s message.” —Letter 24, 1892. (sublinierile mele)
„Will you not seek God most humbly, that you may give the Laodicean message with clear, distinct utterance? TM 296 (sublinierea mea)
Ticuri şi avertizare
Credinţa populară printre adventiştii ultraconservatori, că Laodicea este o profeţie despre Biserica AZS a creat o psihoză ultrasectară, întorcând împotriva noastră această minune de interpretare. Am văzut chiar comunităţi care şi-au luat numele de Laodicea (Doamne fereşte! Ce-or fi găsit de admirat, sau de imitat?). Mai degrabă s-ar fi numit Sinagoga Bereeană, Biserica din Antiochia, sau „Aleasa din Babilon” (1Petru 5:13). Ca reacţie la o astfel de interpretare, o serie de feţi-logoprofeţi s-au apucat să sublinieze această interpretare, de-a lungul timpului, arătând că pentru a te mântui, trebuie să ieşi din Laodicea cea damnată şi să te muţi în Filadelfia, sau să te duci pe pustii, în peştera sfântului Ilie de pe Carmel. Pentru asemenea reformatori, Ellen White a scris următoarele cuvinte:
„The message to the Laodicean church comes home to those who do not apply it to themselves.” CW 99
„I tell you, my brethren, the Lord has an organized body through whom he will work. There may be more than a score of Judases among them, there may be a rash Peter who will under circumstances of trial deny his Lord. There may be persons represented by John whom Jesus loved, but he may have a zeal that would destroy men’s lives by calling down fire from heaven upon them to revenge an insult to Christ and the truth. But the great Teacher seeks to give lessons of instruction to correct these existing evils. He is doing the same today with his church. He is pointing out their dangers. He is presenting before them the Laodicean message.” 3SM 17
” As these words come to you, you will say, “Are there no others who need the same reproof?” There are many who need to see that the Laodicean message applies to them, who do not see it. I write out your case definitely, not merely that you may be benefited, but that many others may see [that] they are in the same condition, and that they, with you, may make decided changes in their attitude before God and before His people….” 11MR 289
„The ministers should not feel that they have some wonderful advanced ideas, and unless all receive these, they will be shaken out, and a people will arise to go forward and upward to the victory. Satan’s object is accomplished just as surely when men run ahead of Christ and do the work He has never entrusted to their hands, as when they remain in the Laodicean state, lukewarm, feeling rich and increased with goods, and in need of nothing. The two classes are equally stumbling-blocks.” 3MR 34
„These brethren who claimed to have this wonderful light had the very same work of repentance and confession to do, thus clearing the rubbish from the door of their own hearts, and opening the door of their hearts to welcome the heavenly guest. Had they placed themselves in the channel of light, they would have received the most precious blessings from heaven. They would have seen that the Lord was indeed gracious, manifesting Himself to His people, and that the Sun of Righteousness had risen upon them. This was precious merchandizing actively carried on. The counsel of Christ to the Laodicean Church was being acted upon, and all who were feeling their poverty were buying gold (faith and love), white raiment (the righteousness of Christ), and eye salve (true spiritual discernment).” 1MR 350
„The counsel of the true Witness does not represent those who are lukewarm as in a hopeless case. There is yet a chance to remedy their state, and the Laodicean message is full of encouragement…” RH August 28, 1894
„Soon after we had embraced the view that the testimony of the Revelation to the Laodicean church applies to our time, we visited Round Grove, Illinois. Here we labored some weeks, and the Lord blessed our efforts. In a vision given me there, I was shown the state of some brethren who had moved to Waukon, Iowa. Nearly all of them were in darkness, opposed to the work of God. Their sympathy had been withdrawn from the Review Office, and from the church of God generally. Satan had planted the seeds of dissatisfaction, and the fruit was ripening.” LS 1888: 329
„This was a discouraging tour. The testimony to the Laodicean church had been generally received, but some in the East were making bad use of it. Instead of applying it to their own hearts, so as to be benefited by it themselves, they were using the testimony to oppress others. A few taught that the brethren must sell all before they could be free, while some others dwelt much upon dress, carrying the subject to an extreme. With a few others there was a narrowing up of the work of the third message, and following of impressions, and casting fear upon the conscientious. These things had a blighting influence, and caused us to lay down our testimony on the subject almost entirely.” LS 1888:333
„Is Bro. B. preaching the Laodicean message? That is well; but let it be borne in mind that the person who has become so sanctified that he cannot sin is the veriest Laodicean. The true Witness appeals to such in these words [cit. Ap 3:15-19]” RH June 6, 1878
„When men arise, claiming to have a message from God, but instead of warring against principalities and powers, and the rulers of the darkness of this world, they form a hollow square, and turn the weapons of warfare against the church militant, be afraid of them. They do not bear the divine credentials. God has not given them any such burden of labor. They would tear down that which God would restore by the Laodicean message. He wounds only that he may heal, not cause to perish. The Lord lays upon no man a message that will discourage and dishearten the church. He reproves, he rebukes, he chastens; but it is only that he may restore and approve at last. How glad my heart was made by the report from the General Conference that many hearts were softened and subdued, that many made humble confessions, and cleared away from the door of the heart the rubbish that was keeping the Saviour out. How glad I was to know that many welcomed Jesus in as an abiding guest. How is it that these pamphlets denouncing the Seventh-day Adventist Church as Babylon were scattered abroad everywhere, at the very time when that church was receiving the outpouring of the Spirit of God? How is it that men can be so deceived as to imagine that the loud cry consists in calling the people of God out from the fellowship of a church that is enjoying a season of refreshing? O, may these dec
eived souls come into the current, and receive the blessing, and be endued with power from on high.” RH Oct 17, 1893