Saturday, March 15, 2008



By Ramone - March 13, 2008
Summary and Note:

The message of this picture is primarily for "former Adventists" who have been discussing Adventists and praying for their loved ones in Adventism. Often difficulties in ministering in this area are kind of incompletely summed up as "the veil" (from 2 Corinthians 3), however there are deeper "heart hooks" which are not always "doctrines", but deeper often unconscious reasons we fear to let go of things. It's important to recognize these things and at least recognize that they exist, lest we bombard someone and bang our heads against the wall -- or theirs! -- by focusing on doctrines alone, in which case it's all head-knowledge, and heads butting heads because they don't realize that the heart holds the strings most of the time.

My apologies to anyone who may not understand the message of this picture because of not having been through the things described in it! As I was talking to Yoko tonight [3/17] and describing the meaning to the picture, she mentioned and I agreed that it applies to a heckuva lot more things than the "veil" of Adventism, but that there are many "veils" these things are applicable to! I pray that in talking about this case it will somehow speak of something more widely applicable to you.

In His heart,
I drew this picture with ink after a discussion (or three!) with brothers & sisters in Christ on the former Adventist online forum. When we were in Seventh-day Adventism, we believed a lot of things that were clearly unbiblical and at odds with Christianity. Having now left, we understand that our eyes were covered by a spiritual "veil", much like what Paul spoke of in 2nd Corinthians 3.

Sometimes, however, I think that the "veil" analogy doesn't go deep enough. It sometimes becomes a kind of shortcut explanation when in fact there are deeper things that need to be understood: "It's just the veil... We were just under a veil." Often when we're trying to share the good news with our loved ones in Adventism and they don't "hear", we frustratedly, sadly or angrily shrug, "They're just under the veil."

Yes. And yet No, that's not all. It's not the whole picture because there are deeper things I think the Lord wants us to look at so that the veil may come down. I call them "hooks".

It's easy to say, "I was blinded by Satan", but by saying that it's easy to forget how we were blinded. And the "how" is actually just as --if not more-- important than the net effect. The "veil" is the net effect; the "hooks" are how the net effect is held up, maintained and accomplished.

So remember what you were when you were called. Look back at how and why you believed such & such. Don't get stuck on how far out, heretical and wrong it was. Merely categorizing something does not mean that we've fully understood it. Often people feel like as soon as they've labeled something, they've thus refuted or transcended it. No, applying the name to something ("That's blah-blah-ism!") does not end the argument in your listener. And if you remember, when you were under the veil, neither did it end the argument for you. The why is always more important than the name. And the roots (hooks) of the "why" in our hearts are what we need to look at.

When we were Adventists, we held onto the State of the Dead belief primarily because of fear. We held onto "Sabbath" not because of the logic of it or the refreshing of it, but because deep down inside we were afraid of displeasing God. The logic of the State of the Dead, the Refreshing of Sabbath, etc., these came as supports, "after-proofs", so to speak, additional proofs after the beliefs had already been accepted. When we were Adventists, we held onto 1844 & Sanctuary (etc.) not because they made sense and not merely because we read Ellen White, but we held onto them because if we didn't, then...

That "if we didn't, then..." is very important here. Most of the "hooks" are in this kind of arena. As Adventists, most of our deep idea of "truth" was intellectual, as if we could formulate truth, or rather as if whatever we declared doctrinally would be the determiner of what was and was not possible. "Well, if we say such and such, then someone else could say such & such."

Actually, this practice is in many more head-oriented Christian groups as well, particularly in those nervous about the Spirit (cessationism, etc.). It is a fear of acknowledging the truth based on the fear of what might result from taking Scripture too literally and completely at some point. So the Scripture is bent, muted, re-interpreted, twisted and sometimes re-written in order for us to keep from "allowing" something else to pop up. We are deathly afraid of that "something else"!

So when we talk about the "veil", when we talk with loved ones who still have a veil, we must as the Spirit to intercede, to speak to us in our hearts, and to show us the other person's heart. First off, the other person's heart is far more valuable than the person's doctrinal statement. And 99.9% of the time you're not going to convince the person if you argue doctrine, because such arguments essentially put doctrine up as the end-goal instead of that person's heart as the end goal. We need to be concerned with the person more than with the person's theology. Our own proper beliefs will reflect this kind of love for others, because God is love and His desire is for them. So must ours be.

A good question to ask the Spirit is why someone doesn't believe something. And don't stop short when you figure out the logic of their doctrine, etc. That is the surface, not the root. The root (the "hook") is in the heart. There are deep reasons someone doesn't want to let go of a particular doctrine. These "hooks" to the veil are not primarily doctrine!! They are deeper. They are the deeper attachments we have to the teachings we were raised with or presented. Sometimes they are things like pride, but pride is anchored in fear and in low self-worth. Sometimes they are closely related to "doctrine", but often the doctrinal verbage (or doctrinal/verbal spaghetti) masks the deeper fear.

In order to understand this about others, first we must pray for deeper discernment of the heart. And we must pray for deeper submission to the Lord in our own hearts, so that our motive in whatever we are doing is not just converting doctrines, but that someone's heart may be healed, loved, and that they may know Jesus' love and our love, too. One good thing to do is also to ask the Lord to show you how He brought you out, what the deeper "hooks" were in your own heart that held the "veil" up. And as you look back, you will see His grace at every step. Make sure you ask for Him to help you give that same grace to whomever you're talking to!

Lord, I don't know how to pray, but I've begun to understand these "hooks", and I ask that You show them to me more and more. Show me how I became free, show me the deeper things of the heart, in Jesus' name. Of my heart, and of theirs. Give me grace for them, Lord, and help me not be distracted by doctrinal spaghetti, but see to their hearts' longings and fears. And help me not seek to organize their doctrine, but to love them, to love their hearts, and to speak Your heart for them, and to desire their greatest happiness and joy in You, Jesus. Give me love for them above all! In Jesus' name who did all this and more for me, AMEN!

Oh, Ramone, this is sooooo needed! The idea of the "hooks" holding up the "veil" is so profound and far-reaching... It is at the very heart of the issue...

The Lord has been stirring in me a similar thing about soul healing prayer that will release us from the very roots that reach down so deeply within us and keep us bound in bondage...

For instance... it's easier to rebuke the spirit of fear or pride or whatever that loves to hide in these "veils", but harder to deal with the roots of those strongholds that sometimes refuse to release their grip on us because we have to choose to have
our legitimate needs met by God instead of by our fleshly desires!

In other words... wanting to feel safe is a legitinate need... God put it there for our well-being. But trying to maintain a feeling of safety outside of God's way of protecting us by His Spirit is opening the door to the enemy to come in and bring an arsenal of fears that continue to keep us bound and from reaching out for God's way of healing us from our fears!

Does that make sense? I have to pray about this and think about this some more and write it out later more clearly in a post I think...
PS. What I failed to clearly say in the post I just wrote was that the healing of our hearts is at the very heart of the issue... Our heart issues have legitimate needs that only God can meet and fulfill!

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