Investiture Achievement/Voyager/Spiritual Discovery
Review the Biblical reasons for the 28 Fundamental Christian Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church's understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God's Holy Word.
The 28 Fundamental Beliefs are presented below.
- 1. Holy Scriptures
The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God's acts in history. (2 Peter 1:20, 21. 2 Tim. 3:16, 17. Psalms 119:105. Proverbs 30:5, 6. Isaiah 8:20. John 17:17. 1 Thess. 2:13. Hebrews 4:12.)
- 2. Trinity
There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three co-eternal Persons. God is immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, above all, and ever present. He is infinite and beyond human comprehension, yet known through His self-revelation. He is forever worthy of worship, adoration, and service by the whole creation. (Deut. 6:4 Matthew 28:19 2 Corinthians 13:14 Ephesians 4:4-6 1 Peter 1:2 1 Timothy 1:17 Revelation 14:7)
- 3. Father
God the eternal Father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. He is just and holy, merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also revelations of the Father. (Genesis. 1:1 Revelation 4:11 1 Corinthians 15:28 John 3:16 1 John 4:8 1 Timothy 1:17 Exodus 34:6, 7 John 14:9)
- 4. Son
God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ. He was conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. He lived and experienced temptation as a human being, but perfectly exemplified the righteousness and love of God. By His miracles He manifested God's power and was attested as God's promised Messiah. He suffered and died voluntarily on the cross for our sins and in our place, was raised from the dead, and ascended to minister in the heavenly sanctuary in our behalf. He will come again in glory for the final deliverance of His people and the restoration of all things. (John 1:1-3 John 1:14 Colossians 1:15-19 John 10:30 John 14:9 Romans 6:23 2 Corinthians 5:17-19 John 5:22 Luke 1:35 Philipians 2:5-11 Hebrews 2:9-18 1 Cor. 15:3, 4 Hebrews 8:1, 2 John 14:1-3)
- 5. Holy Spirit
God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He inspired the writers of Scripture. He filled Christ's life with power. He draws and convicts human beings; and those who respond He renews and transforms into the image of God. Sent by the Father and the Son to be always with His children, He extends spiritual gifts to the church, empowers it to bear witness to Christ, and in harmony with the Scriptures leads it into all truth. (Gen. 1:1-2 Luke 1:35 Luke 4:18 Acts 10:38 2 Peter 1:21 2 Cor. 3:18 Ephesians 4:11, 12 Acts 1:8 John 14:16-18 John 14:26 John 15:26, 27 John 16:7-13)
- 6. Creation
God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. In six days the Lord made "the heaven and the earth" and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was "very good", declaring the glory of God. (Genesis 1-2 Exodus 20:8-11 Psalm 19:1-6 Psalm 33:6 Psalm 33:9 Psalm 104 Hebrews 11:3)
- 7. Nature of Man
Man and woman were made in the image of God with individuality, the power and freedom to think and to do. Though created free beings, each is an indivisible unity of body, mind, and spirit, dependent upon God for life and breath and all else. When our first parents disobeyed God, they denied their dependence upon Him and fell from their high position under God. The image of God in them was marred and they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences. They are born with weaknesses and tendencies to evil. But God in Christ reconciled the world to Himself and by His Spirit restores in penitent mortals the image of their Maker. Created for the glory of God, they are called to love Him and one another, and to care for their environment. Gen. 1:26-28; Gen.2:7; Ps. 8:4-8; Acts 17:24-28; Gen. 3; Ps. 51:5; Rom. 5:12-17; 2 Cor. 5:19, 20; Ps. 51:10; 1 John 4:7, 8, 11, 20; Gen. 2:15.
- 8. Great Controversy
All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe. This conflict originated in heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became Satan, God's adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the angels. He introduced the spirit of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. This human sin resulted in the distortion of the image of God in humanity, the disordering of the created world, and its eventual devastation at the time of the worldwide flood. Observed by the whole creation, this world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be vindicated. To assist His people in this controversy, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and the loyal angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation. Rev. 12:4-9; Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:12-18; Gen. 3; Rom. 1:19-32; Rom.5:12-21; Rom 8:19-22; Gen. 6-8; 2 Peter 3:6; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:14.
- 9. Life, Death, and Resurrection of Christ
In Christ's life of perfect obedience to God's will, His suffering, death, and resurrection, God provided the only means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith accept this atonement may have eternal life, and the whole creation may better understand the infinite and holy love of the Creator. This perfect atonement vindicates the righteousness of God's law and the graciousness of His character; for it both condemns our sin and provides for our forgiveness. The death of Christ is substitutionary and expiatory, reconciling and transforming. The resurrection of Christ proclaims God's triumph over the forces of evil, and for those who accept the atonement assures their final victory over sin and death. It declares the Lordship of Jesus Christ, before whom every knee in heaven and on earth will bow. (John 3:16; Isa. 53; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; 1 Cor. 15:3-4; 1 Cor. 15:20-22 2 Cor. 5:14, 15, 19-21;Rom. 1:4; Rom 3:25; Rom 4:25; Rom 8:3-4; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 4:10; Col. 2:15; Phil. 2:6-11.)
- 10. Experience of Salvation
In infinite love and mercy God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God. Led by the Holy Spirit we sense our need, acknowledge our sinfulness, repent of our transgressions, and exercise faith in Jesus as Lord and Christ, as Substitute and Example. This faith which receives salvation comes through the divine power of the Word and is the gift of God's grace. Through Christ we are justified, adopted as God's sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship of sin. Through the Spirit we are born again and sanctified; the Spirit renews our minds, writes God's law of love in our hearts, and we are given the power to live a holy life. Abiding in Him we become partakers of the divine nature and have the assurance of salvation now and in the judgment. (2 Cor. 5:17-21; John 3:16; Gal.1:4; Gal.4:4-7; Titus 3:3-7; John 16:8; Gal. 3:13, 14; 1 Peter 2:21, 22; Rom. 10:17; Luke 17:5; Mark 9:23, 24; Eph. 2:5-10; Rom. 3:21-26; Col. 1:13, 14; Rom. 8:14-17; Gal. 3:26; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:23; Rom. 12:2; Heb. 8:7-12; Eze. 36:25-27; 2 Peter 1:3, 4; Rom. 8:1-4; Rom.5:6-10.)
- 11. Growing in Christ
By His death on the cross Jesus triumphed over the forces of evil. He who subjugated the demonic spirits during His earthly ministry has broken their power and made certain their ultimate doom. Jesus' victory gives us victory over the evil forces that still seek to control us, as we walk with Him in peace, joy, and assurance of His love. Now the Holy Spirit dwells within us and empowers us. Continually committed to Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we are set free from the burden of our past deeds. No longer do we live in the darkness, fear of evil powers, ignorance, and meaninglessness of our former way of life. In this new freedom in Jesus, we are called to grow into the likeness of His character, communing with Him daily in prayer, feeding on His Word, meditating on it and on His providence, singing His praises, gathering together for worship, and participating in the mission of the Church. As we give ourselves in loving service to those around us and in witnessing to His salvation, His constant presence with us through the Spirit transforms every moment and every task into a spiritual experience. (Ps 1:1-2; Ps.23:4; Ps. 77:11-12; Col 1:13, 14; Col. 2:6; Col.2:14-15; Luke 10:17-20; Eph 5:19, 20; Eph. 6:12-18; 1 Thess 5:23; 2 Peter 2:9; 2 Peter 3:18; 2 Cor. 3:17, 18; Phil 3:7-14; 1 Thess 5:16-18; Matt 20:25-28; John 20:21; Gal 5:22-25; Rom 8:38-39; 1 John 4:4; Heb 10:25.)
- 12. Church
The church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. In continuity with the people of God in Old Testament times, we are called out from the world; and we join together for worship, for fellowship, for instruction in the Word, for the celebration of the Lord's Supper, for service to all mankind, and for the worldwide proclamation of the gospel. The church derives its authority from Christ, who is the incarnate Word, and from the Scriptures, which are the written Word. The church is God's family; adopted by Him as children, its members live on the basis of the new covenant. The church is the body of Christ, a community of faith of which Christ Himself is the Head. The church is the bride for whom Christ died that He might sanctify and cleanse her. At His return in triumph, He will present her to Himself a glorious church, the faithful of all the ages, the purchase of His blood, not having spot or wrinkle, but holy and without blemish. (Gen. 12:3; Acts 7:38; Eph. 4:11-15; Eph. 3:8-11; Matt. 28:19, 20; Matt. 16:13-20; Matt. 18:18; Eph. 2:19-22; Eph. 1:22, 23; Eph. 5:23-27; Col. 1:17, 18.)
- 13. Remnant and Its Mission
The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. This remnant announces the arrival of the judgment hour, proclaims salvation through Christ, and heralds the approach of His second advent. This proclamation is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; it coincides with the work of judgment in heaven and results in a work of repentance and reform on earth. Every believer is called to have a personal part in this worldwide witness. (Rev. 12:17; Rev.14:6-12; Rev.18:1-4; 2 Cor. 5:10; Jude 3 Jude 14; 1 Peter 1:16-19; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Rev. 21:1-14.)
- 14. Unity in the Body of Christ
The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation. Through the revelation of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures we share the same faith and hope, and reach out in one witness to all. This unity has its source in the oneness of the triune God, who has adopted us as His children. (Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12-14; Matt. 28:19-20; Ps. 133:1; 2 Cor. 5:16-17; Acts 17:26-27; Gal. 3:27-29; Col. 3:10-15; Eph. 4:14-16; Eph.4:1-6; John 17:20-23.)
- 15. Baptism
By baptism we confess our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and testify of our death to sin and of our purpose to walk in newness of life. Thus we acknowledge Christ as Lord and Saviour, become His people, and are received as members by His church. Baptism is a symbol of our union with Christ, the forgiveness of our sins, and our reception of the Holy Spirit. It is by immersion in water and is contingent on an affirmation of faith in Jesus and evidence of repentance of sin. It follows instruction in the Holy Scriptures and acceptance of their teachings. (Rom. 6:1-6; Col. 2:12-13; Acts 16:30-33; Acts 22:16; Acts 2:38; Matt. 28:19-20.)
- 16. Lord's Supper
The Lord's Supper is a participation in the emblems of the body and blood of Jesus as an expression of faith in Him, our Lord and Saviour. In this experience of communion Christ is present to meet and strengthen His people. As we partake, we joyfully proclaim the Lord's death until He comes again. Preparation for the Supper includes self-examination, repentance, and confession. The Master ordained the service of foot washing to signify renewed cleansing, to express a willingness to serve one another in Christlike humility, and to unite our hearts in love. The communion service is open to all believing Christians. (1 Cor. 10:16-17; 1 Cor 11:23-30; Matt. 26:17-30; Rev. 3:20; John 6:48-63; John 13:1-17.)
- 17. Spiritual Gifts and Ministries
God bestows upon all members of His church in every age spiritual gifts which each member is to employ in loving ministry for the common good of the church and of humanity. Given by the agency of the Holy Spirit, who apportions to each member as He wills, the gifts provide all abilities and ministries needed by the church to fulfill its divinely ordained functions. According to the Scriptures, these gifts include such ministries as faith, healing, prophecy, proclamation, teaching, administration, reconciliation, compassion, and self-sacrificing service and charity for the help and encouragement of people. Some members are called of God and endowed by the Spirit for functions recognized by the church in pastoral, evangelistic, apostolic, and teaching ministries particularly needed to equip the members for service, to build up the church to spiritual maturity, and to foster unity of the faith and knowledge of God. When members employ these spiritual gifts as faithful stewards of God's varied grace, the church is protected from the destructive influence of false doctrine, grows with a growth that is from God, and is built up in faith and love. (Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12:9-11, 1 Cor. 12:27-28; Eph. 4:8, Eph.11-16; Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Peter 4:10-11.)
- 18. The Gift of Prophecy
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen. G. White . As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; Rev.19:10.)
- 19. Law of God
The great principles of God's law are embodied in the Ten Commandments and exemplified in the life of Christ. They express God's love, will, and purposes concerning human conduct and relationships and are binding upon all people in every age. These precepts are the basis of God's covenant with His people and the standard in God's judgment. Through the agency of the Holy Spirit they point out sin and awaken a sense of need for a Saviour. Salvation is all of grace and not of works, but its fruitage is obedience to the Commandments. This obedience develops Christian character and results in a sense of well-being. It is an evidence of our love for the Lord and our concern for our fellow men. The obedience of faith demonstrates the power of Christ to transform lives, and therefore strengthens Christian witness. (Ex. 20:1-17; Ps. 40:7, 8; Matt. 22:36-40; Deut. 28:1-14; Matt. 5:17-20; Heb. 8:8-10; John 15:7-10; Eph. 2:8-10; 1 John 5:3; Rom. 8:3, 4; Ps. 19:7-14.)
- 20. Sabbath
The beneficent Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation. The fourth commandment of God's unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh-day Sabbath as the day of rest, worship, and ministry in harmony with the teaching and practice of Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day of delightful communion with God and one another. It is a symbol of our redemption in Christ, a sign of our sanctification, a token of our allegiance, and a foretaste of our eternal future in God's kingdom. The Sabbath is God's perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people. Joyful observance of this holy time from evening to evening, sunset to sunset, is a celebration of God's creative and redemptive acts. (Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; Luke 4:16; Isa. 56:5, 6; Isa.58:13, 14; Matt. 12:1-12; Ex. 31:13-17; Eze. 20:12, Eze 20:20; Deut. 5:12-15; Heb. 4:1-11; Lev. 23:32; Mark 1:32.)
- 21. Stewardship
We are God's stewards, entrusted by Him with time and opportunities, abilities and possessions, and the blessings of the earth and its resources. We are responsible to Him for their proper use. We acknowledge God's ownership by faithful service to Him and our fellow men, and by returning tithes and giving offerings for the proclamation of His gospel and the support and growth of His church. Stewardship is a privilege given to us by God for nurture in love and the victory over selfishness and covetousness. The steward rejoices in the blessings that come to others as a result of his faithfulness. (Gen. 1:26-28; Gen.2:15; 1 Chron. 29:14; Haggai 1:3-11; Mal. 3:8-12; 1 Cor. 9:9-14; Matt. 23:23; 2 Cor. 8:1-15; Rom. 15:26, 27.)
- 22. Christian Behavior
We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heaven. For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things which will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty. While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit. It also means that because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we are to care for them intelligently. Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well. Instead, we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness. (Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 John 2:6; Eph. 5:1-21; Phil. 4:8; 2 Cor. 10:5; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1; 1 Peter 3:1-4; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; 1 Cor 10:31; Lev. 11:1-47; 3 John 2.)
- 23. Marriage and the Family
Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship. For the Christian a marriage commitment is to God as well as to the spouse, and should be entered into only between partners who share a common faith. Mutual love, honor, respect, and responsibility are the fabric of this relationship, which is to reflect the love, sanctity, closeness, and permanence of the relationship between Christ and His church. Regarding divorce, Jesus taught that the person who divorces a spouse, except for fornication, and marries another, commits adultery. Although some family relationships may fall short of the ideal, marriage partners who fully commit themselves to each other in Christ may achieve loving unity through the guidance of the Spirit and the nurture of the church. God blesses the family and intends that its members shall assist each other toward complete maturity. Parents are to bring up their children to love and obey the Lord. By their example and their words they are to teach them that Christ is a loving disciplinarian, ever tender and caring, who wants them to become members of His body, the family of God. Increasing family closeness is one of the earmarks of the final gospel message. (Gen. 2:18-25; Matt. 19:3-9; John 2:1-11; 2 Cor. 6:14; Eph. 5:21-33; Matt. 5:31, 32; Mark 10:11, 12; Luke 16:18; 1 Cor. 7:10, 11; Ex. 20:12; Eph. 6:1-4; Deut. 6:5-9; Prov. 22:6; Mal. 4:5, 6.)
- 24. Christ's Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary
There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle which the Lord set up and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent. (Heb. 8:1-5; Heb. 4:14-16; Heb. 9:11-28; Heb. 10:19-22; Heb. 1:3; Heb.2:16, 17; Dan. 7:9-27; Dan. 8:13, 14; Dan. 9:24-27; Num. 14:34; Eze. 4:6; Lev. 16; Rev. 14:6, 7; Rev.20:12; ; Rev.22:12.)
- 25. Second Coming of Christ
The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel. The Saviour's coming will be literal, personal, visible, and worldwide. When He returns, the righteous dead will be resurrected, and together with the righteous living will be glorified and taken to heaven, but the unrighteous will die. The almost complete fulfillment of most lines of prophecy, together with the present condition of the world, indicates that Christ's coming is imminent. The time of that event has not been revealed, and we are therefore exhorted to be ready at all times. (Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Matt. 24:14; Rev. 1:7; Matt. 24:43, 44; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; 2 Thess.2:8; Rev. 14:14-20; Rev.19:11-21; Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 1 Thess. 5:1-6.)
- 26. Death and Resurrection
The wages of sin is death. But God, who alone is immortal, will grant eternal life to His redeemed. Until that day death is an unconscious state for all people. When Christ, who is our life, appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord. The second resurrection, the resurrection of the unrighteous, will take place a thousand years later. (Rom. 6:23; 1 Tim. 6:15, 16; Eccl. 9:5, 6; Ps. 146:3, 4; John 11:11-14; Col. 3:4; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-17; John 5:28, 29; Rev. 20:1-10.)
- 27. Millennium and the End of Sin
The millennium is the thousand-year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections. During this time the wicked dead will be judged; the earth will be utterly desolate, without living human inhabitants, but occupied by Satan and his angels. At its close Christ with His saints and the Holy City will descend from heaven to earth. The unrighteous dead will then be resurrected, and with Satan and his angels will surround the city; but fire from God will consume them and cleanse the earth. The universe will thus be freed of sin and sinners forever. (Rev. 20; 1 Cor. 6:2, 3; Jer. 4:23-26; Rev. 21:1-5; Mal. 4:1; Eze. 28:18, 19.)
- 28. New Earth
On the new earth, in which righteousness dwells, God will provide an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in His presence. For here God Himself will dwell with His people, and suffering and death will have passed away. The great controversy will be ended, and sin will be no more. All things, animate and inanimate, will declare that God is love; and He shall reign forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:13; Isa. 35; Isa. 65:17-25; Matt. 5:5; Rev. 21:1-7; Rev.22:1-5; Rev.11:15.)
Memorize five Bible texts that support one of the 28 Fundamental Beliefs.
Scriptures supporting each of the Fundamental Beliefs can be found in the descriptions above.
Scripture Memorization Techniques
There are several approaches to memorizing scripture.
- Erase the words
- Write the Bible verse on a white board and have everyone read it aloud together. Then erase a word and have them read it again, supplying the erased word. Continue erasing words and reading the verse aloud until all the words are gone. At this point, the entire class should know the verse.
- Hand write the verse
- Write the verses down several times by hand until you can do it from memory.
- In song
- Many passages of scripture have been set to music. Memorizing the lyrics to a song is a lot easier than memorizing raw text, and the memory will last for years. If the verse you are trying to memorize has already been set to music, switch to the version of the text that matches the song. If it has not been set to music, make up your own tune. Explore different translations of the text to see which one lends itself best to your song.
- Say it aloud
- Hearing it and saying it will reinforce it much better than just "thinking" it will.
- Say it with rhythm
- This is similar to the "in song" approach from above, but it is often easier to make up a rhythm than it is to make up a whole tune. Clap your hands and stomp your feet at various places in the verse if that helps. Turn it into a clapping game like "pat-a-cake" and learn it with a friend.
- Add action
- How many songs do you know that have motions associated with them? If you're making up hand claps and foot stomps, it will help even more if you add other actions such as casting a fishing line, or tracing the outline of a heart in the air.
- Make a rebus
- A rebus uses pictures to represent words or parts of words. For instance, the word "I" is represented with a graphic depiction of an eye. If you spend enough time coming up with a clever rebus for your verse, you will likely have memorized it by the time you are finished.
- Find structure in the verse
- Write the verse out so that it highlights the structure. Recall that Hebrew poetry works by repeating an idea using different words. Line them up! We also find structure in New Testament verses. For instance, 1 John 2:3 could be written like this:
Now by this
we know that
we know Him,
if we keep His commandments.
- This approach lines up the common words "we know" and helps the brain to organize the verse more effectively. It also lines up the third "we" with the first two, so that it's possible to memorize a shorthand for this verse - "we know, we know, we keep". This forms a skeleton upon which we can hang the rest of the words. Look for other structure as well, such as that the word following "we" always starts with a 'k' and has four letters.
- Use a Puzzlemaker Online
- to create written activities for scripture such as:
- Fill in the blanks/Missing letters
- Blank out (Similar to Hangman)
- Scripture Scrambles
- Step On It
- Print out each word of a passage on paper, one word per page in large print. Lay the paper on the floor and step down on each page as you say the text. Remove words from time to time.
- Writers Block
- Write each word of a passage on blocks of wood, one word per block. Mix up the blocks and put the text back together. Two block sets of the same verse makes for an exciting game!
Do you know some approaches? Click here to add them!
Prepare and present a Bible study on one of the 28 Fundamental Beliefs
Start with the verses listed under the chosen Fundamental Belief, plus any others you can find, and organize these into a logical topic study. The Bible Marking Honor has some good tips, and you will be well on your way to earning the Honor once you have organized your Bible study. Have fun!
Read The AY Story.
The AY Story can be purchased at AdventSource.
It is best to get a copy in the hands of the Pathfinders early in the year so they have plenty of time to read it. If you have trouble motivating your class to read it, you can offer a reward for those who complete it (such as a special field trip or fun event). You can also make it part of your merit point system (if your club uses one).
Complete Voyager requirements.
You must complete the requirements listed above this one on the current page.
Read/listen to Thoughts from Mount of Blessings or Christ's Object Lessons.
You can read or listen to both of these works online, or you can obtain a print copy from your church library or from the Adventist Book Center.
|Read Online||Listen Online||Print Version|
|Thoughts from the Mount of Blessings||here||here||here|
|Christ's Object Lessons||here||here||here|
Study and discuss two of the following life issues with your Voyager group and an adult:
Don't forget each Pathfinder needs to study the topic before your discussion, so assign your Pathfinders this task to do before the meeting. You might require that they bring at least three printed articles to the discussion to ensure they studied and to help move the discussion along.
This topic list is repeated in both Voyager-Spiritual Discovery and Guide-Spiritual Discovery so consider combining your Guides and Voyagers for these discussions, and discussing different topics than last year. Note there are five topics and that two different topics need to be covered in each of the two classes, so by time they complete Guide the Pathfinder will have discussed at least four of the five topics.
Nearly 3 in 10 teen girls in the US will get pregnant at least once before age 20? The statistics are just as bad in the UK, Canada and other countries, if not worse. There are more than 700,000 teen pregnancies each year just in the United States!
As a Pathfinder, what does this mean? Teens hear about the dangers of teen pregnancy but it remains a problem. Why are so many teens still getting pregnant every year and what can we do about it?
At the right time babies are fantastic. We all love their cute and cuddly ways. But babies are so much nicer when you can hand them back to the responsible adult parent. Babies are expensive and demanding.
Pathfinders and supposed to be true and pure which means not having sex outside marriage, but what if you do have sex? What are the consequences of getting pregnant or causing a pregnancy? According to research almost 50% of teens have never thought about how a pregnancy would affect their lives, yet a baby will be one of the most life-changing things to happen to a person.
Consider these consequences:
1. You will drop out of school.
Having a baby is the Number One reason teen girls leave school without finishing. It is very hard to juggle homework and a baby's needs. Less than 50% of teen mothers EVER graduate from high school and fewer than 2% earn a college degree by age 30. Teen pregnancy kills education for the mother and a lack of education kills opportunities and earnings for life.
2. Your kids will do poorly in school.
For a variety of reasons kids of teen mothers do worse in school than those born to older parents. Poverty and lack of education in the home causes this. Kids with teen mothers are 50% more likely to repeat a grade. The are less likely to complete high school (even years after their moms are no longer teens), and perform lower on standardized tests. They are also more likely to become teen parents themselves and live in poverty.
3. One baby leads to another.
Teen pregnancy factors, like low self esteem, lead to about 25% of teen moms becoming pregnant again with a second child within 24 months of the first child. It seems that some girls can't learn from their first mistake. The second child makes it even harder to stay in school or stay out of poverty.
4. Babies don't keep boys around.
Babies make boys run, period. They don't make relationships stronger, because they introduce more stress. It does not matter what he promises you or how much he says he loves you. Chances are you are going to raise the baby on your own. 8 out of 10 fathers don't marry the teen mother of their child. In the USA, absent fathers pay less than $800 annually for child support, often because they are also poor and can’t afford legitimate support payments or they choose other priorities.
5. It’s hard in the parents, and the kids.
More than half of all mothers on welfare today had their first child as a teenager and two-thirds of families begun by a young, unmarried mother are poor today. Teen pregnancy breeds poverty and trouble. Kids living without the father at home are 5 times more likely to be in poverty.
A daughter born to a teenage mother is 3 times more likely to become a teen mother herself compared to girls born to mature parents. A son born to a teenage mother is twice as likely to end up in prison as a son born to a stable family.
6. It is not fun for the boys either.
Getting a girl pregnant will destroy your life. You will be tied to that girl for at least the next 18 years whether you want to be in her life or not. Being a dad will damage your opportunity to date good girls - the good ones don't want a loser who can't control himself and they don't want to end up like the girl you got pregnant. You get to pay child support, and if you can't afford it, you will feel like a loser. Child support tends to cut your opportunity to go to college. And when you find a girl to marry how is she going to feel about part of your paycheck going off to another woman?
How can you prevent teen pregnancy?
- Avoid getting heavily involved emotionally until you are at least out of high school. False feelings of love by those who are not mature enough to love like an adult leads to baby making.
- Guard yourself. Don't get physically involved. If you abstain, there will be no pregnancy 100% guaranteed.
- Avoid situations where you can get into trouble. If you are not alone you can't mess up.
- If you insist on sex, use birth control (but abstaining is better)
- Avoid all drugs and alcohol. Many a baby is conceived while judgement is impaired
- Follow God always. If you think about the consequences of having a baby before you are ready, and ask for God's help in following his will, you do not need to be worried about teen pregnancy.
- Communicate with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Clear conversations about expectations undertaken outside the heat of the moment help avoid problems when passions are high.
- Talk to trusted adults. Your parents, pastor, teachers or Pathfinder staff are there to help you work through the process of growing up. Talking through the issues around sex and pregnancy avoidance with an adult first will help immensely when you need to discuss it with your girlfriend or boyfriend later.
Now that you have decided not to become a teen parent - what can you do to help other teens avoid it?
- Educate: Spread the word, distribute material from groups that want to educate teens about the dangers of teen pregnancy.
- Advocate: tell your friends what you learned. Share stuff on social media. Speak up in health class. Make it cool to NOT be having sex and having babies.
- Be a friend: watch your friends relationships and state of mind. Is your friend thinking about sex? Are they feeling lonely and needy and that a baby could fill a void in their life? Are they undertaking risky activities like spending time one on one in private with their boyfriend or girlfriend? Be willing to step in and talk to them if they seem at risk. If that does not work, talk to a responsible adult about what you see and encourage them to get involved.
This remains a contentious topic that Christians, including Seventh-day Adventists, often disagree about. For the Pathfinder, the first thing to consider is avoidance of ever being forced to make a personal choice over abortion by abstaining from sex outside of marriage. Beyond that, we should consider the ethics of abortion. There is a mountain of material on abortion to research, so encourage Pathfinders to get on the Internet and start reading. This is an ideal age to form personal moral standards on topics like abortion.
We present the official Adventist Church statement on Abortion as an aid to discussion and because it is important for young people to understand the official position, even if they chose to hold different beliefs. We emphasize that this statement is not considered a doctrine or a test of membership but more of a guideline for actions of the church.
Many contemporary societies have faced conflict over the morality of abortion.* Such conflict also has affected large numbers within Christianity who want to accept responsibility for the protection of prenatal human life while also preserving the personal liberty of women. The need for guidelines has become evident, as the Church attempts to follow scripture, and to provide moral guidance while respecting individual conscience. Seventh-day Adventists want to relate to the question of abortion in ways that reveal faith in God as the Creator and Sustainer of all life and in ways that reflect Christian responsibility and freedom. Though honest differences on the question of abortion exist among Seventh-day Adventists, the following represents an attempt to provide guidelines on a number of principles and issues. The guidelines are based on broad biblical principles that are presented for study at the end of the document.**
1) Prenatal human life is a magnificent gift of God. God's ideal for human beings affirms the sanctity of human life, in God's image, and requires respect for prenatal life. However, decisions about life must be made in the context of a fallen world. Abortion is never an action of little moral consequence. Thus prenatal life must not be thoughtlessly destroyed. Abortion should be performed only for the most serious reasons.
2) Abortion is one of the tragic dilemmas of human fallenness. The Church should offer gracious support to those who personally face the decision concerning an abortion. Attitudes of condemnation are inappropriate in those who have accepted the gospel. Christians are commissioned to become a loving, caring community of faith that assists those in crisis as alternatives are considered.
3) In practical, tangible ways the Church as a supportive community should express its commitment to the value of human life. These ways should include:
a. strengthening family relationships
b. educating both genders concerning Christian principles of human sexuality
c. emphasizing responsibility of both male and female for family planning
d. calling both to be responsible for the consequences of behaviors that are inconsistent with Christian principles
e. creating a safe climate for ongoing discussion of the moral questions associated with abortion
f. offering support and assistance to women who choose to complete crisis pregnancies
g. encouraging and assisting fathers to participate responsibly in the parenting of their children.
The Church also should commit itself to assist in alleviating the unfortunate social, economic, and psychological factors that add to abortion and to care redemptively for those suffering the consequences of individual decisions on this issue.
4) The Church does not serve as conscience for individuals; however, it should provide moral guidance. Abortions for reasons of birth control, gender selection, or convenience are not condoned by the Church. Women, at times however, may face exceptional circumstances that present serious moral or medical dilemmas, such as significant threats to the pregnant woman's life, serious jeopardy to her health, severe congenital defects carefully diagnosed in the fetus, and pregnancy resulting from rape or incest. The final decision whether to terminate the pregnancy or not should be made by the pregnant woman after appropriate consultation. She should be aided in her decision by accurate information, biblical principles, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Moreover, these decisions are best made within the context of healthy family relationships.
5) Christians acknowledge as first and foremost their accountability to God. They seek balance between the exercise of individual liberty and their accountability to the faith community and the larger society and its laws. They make their choices according to scripture and the laws of God rather than the norms of society. Therefore, any attempts to coerce women either to remain pregnant or to terminate pregnancy should be rejected as infringements of personal freedom.
6) Church institutions should be provided with guidelines for developing their own institutional policies in harmony with this statement. Persons having a religious or ethical objection to abortion should not be required to participate in the performance of abortions.
7) Church members should be encouraged to participate in the ongoing consideration of their moral responsibilities with regard to abortion in light of the teaching of scripture.
Principles for a Christian View of Life
"Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (John 17:3, NIV). In Christ is the promise of eternal life; but since human life is mortal, humans are confronted with difficult issues regarding life and death. The following principles refer to the whole person (body, soul, and spirit), an indivisible whole (Genesis 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Life: Our valuable gift from God
1) God is the Source, Giver, and Sustainer of all life (Acts 17:25,28; Job 33:4; Genesis 1:30, 2:7; Psalm 36:9; John 1:3,4).
2) Human life has unique value because human beings, though fallen, are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27; Romans 3:23; 1 John 2:2; 1 John 3:2; John 1:29; 1 Peter 1:18,19).
3) God values human life not on the basis of human accomplishments or contributions but because we are God's creation and the object of His redeeming love (Romans 5:6,8; Ephesians 2:2-6; 1 Timothy 1:15; Titus 3:4,5; Matthew 5:43-48; Ephesians 2:4-9; John 1:3, 10:10).
Life: Our response to God's gift
4) Valuable as it is, human life is not the only or ultimate concern. Self-sacrifice in devotion to God and His principles may take precedence over life itself (Revelation 12:11; 1 Corinthians 13).
5) God calls for the protection of human life and holds humanity accountable for its destruction (Exodus 20:13; Revelation 21:8; Exodus 23:7; Deuteronomy 24:16; Proverbs 6:16,17; Jeremiah 7:3-34; Micah 6:7; Genesis 9:5,6).
6) God is especially concerned for the protection of the weak, the defenseless, and the oppressed (Psalm 82:3,4; James 1:27; Micah 6:8; Acts 20:35; Proverbs 24:11,12; Luke 1:52-54).
7) Christian love (agape) is the costly dedication of our lives to enhancing the lives of others. Love also respects personal dignity and does not condone the oppression of one person to support the abusive behavior of another (Matthew 16:21; Philippians 2:1-11; 1 John 3:16; 1 John 4:8-11; Matthew 22:39; John 18:22,23; John 13:34).
8) The believing community is called to demonstrate Christian love in tangible, practical, and substantive ways. God calls us to restore gently the broken (Galatians 6:1,2; 1 John 3:17,18; Matthew 1:23; Philippians 2:1-11; John 8:2-11; Romans 8:1-14; Matthew 7:1,2, 12:20; Isaiah 40:42, 62:2-4).
Life: Our right and responsibility to decide
9) God gives humanity the freedom of choice, even if it leads to abuse and tragic consequences. His unwillingness to coerce human obedience necessitated the sacrifice of His Son. He requires us to use His gifts in accordance with His will and ultimately will judge their misuse (Deuteronomy 30:19,20; Genesis 3; 1 Peter 2:24; Romans 3:5,6, 6:1,2; Galatians 5:13).
10) God calls each of us individually to moral decision making and to search the scriptures for the biblical principles underlying such choices (John 5:39; Acts 17:11; 1 Peter 2:9; Romans 7:13-25).
11) Decisions about human life from its beginning to its end are best made within the context of healthy family relationships with the support of the faith community (Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 5,6).
12) Human decisions should always be centered in seeking the will of God (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 6:6; Luke 22:42).
- Abortion, as understood in these guidelines, is defined as any action aimed at the termination of a pregnancy already established. This is distinguished from contraception, which is intended to prevent a pregnancy. The focus of the document is on abortion.
- The fundamental perspective of these guidelines is taken from a broad study of scripture as shown in the "Principles for a Christian View of Human Life" included at the end of this document.
These guidelines were approved and voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee at the Annual Council session in Silver Spring, Maryland, October 12, 1992.
AIDS was first recognized by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1981. Since its discovery, AIDS has caused an estimated 36 million deaths worldwide and approximately 35.3 million people are living with HIV globally (as of 2012).
AIDS was tagged as a homosexual disease and called God's punishment on the gays by some Christians. Jerry Falwell regularly linked the AIDS pandemic to LGBT issues and stated, "AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals, it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals." Adventists do not generally support this idea, seeing AIDS as just another disease that hurts people.
Most HIV infections occur between heterosexual couples today, although in some areas homosexual contact is the primary mode of transmission. Blood transfusions, shared needles and mother to child transmission are also causes. Casual non-sexual contact is not a way to get AIDS.
In many countries HIV infection remains a reason to refuse travel visas. However, attitudes are changing. At the beginning of 2010 the United States dropped all immigration restrictions on people with AIDS, that were first imposed in 1987.
Many people are deathly afraid of catching AIDS. The rise of AIDS has altered the whole free love culture causing people to be far more careful about casual sex.
The Catholic church objects to the use of condoms because they also prevent conception. This position has softened a little by Benedict who suggested in 2010 that condoms are a lesser evil in preventing HIV than unprotected sex.
For more information Pathfinders are encourage to read up on the issues, starting with these Wikipedia articles:
An appropriate Christian response to AIDS includes:
- Compassion for the suffers - no different than a person with cancer
- Not discriminating against those with HIV/AIDS
- Avoidance of activities that spread HIV/AIDS (no sex outside of marriage, only accepting screened blood, and avoiding drugs and shared needles)
Homosexuality is a very difficult subject in the Seventh-day Adventist Church today. Historically, like most Christians, Adventists considered homosexuality a sin, and generally homosexual individuals hid their feelings and activities from the public and their families. Most Pathfinders are not old enough to remember those days though. Pathfinders live in a world where homosexuality is often not a big deal at all and it seems antiquated to even discuss it as a bad thing.
Within the lifetime of our Pathfinders the whole context of the discussion has all changed. Movie stars, politicians, professional athletes and people in all areas of life have come out at gay or lesbian. The week this guide was written (October 2014) Apple CEO Tim Cook publically announced he was gay and, while it made news because he is such an important business leader, the world shrugged it off as no big deal.
Many countries and states now allow same sex marriage and many church denominations perform these weddings. Gay bishops and pastors are being accepted in some denominations. No longer is it cool to joke about gays, and discrimination based on sexual orientation is outlawed in many parts of the world.
On the flip side, countries like Russian and Uganda have passed laws that severely restrict or ban homosexuallity and impose penalties for practicing it.
So what does all this mean for the teenage Pathfinder?
- You probably have gay or lesbian or transgendered friends. If you don't, surely you will know someone in your wider circle.
- Respect is the only acceptable way to treat homosexuals, just like you should respect your elders, those from other cultures etc.
- Recognize that regardless of your personal feelings about homosexuality, or what you interpret the Bible as saying, that most homsexuals and many other people in society believe homosexuality comes from the womb and is a normal variation in humans. You are not going to win friends or influence people toward truth by arguing against this belief.
- Homosexuals, like all people, need to be welcomed into our churches. Even if you believe that homosexual behaviour is a sin, we are all sinners.
- Many draw a distinction between the desire to sin by acting on homosexual (or any sexual) desires, and the actual acting out of these desires. This position states it is not a sin to be a homosexual any more than it is a sin to have any sinful desire, but that it is the acting out that creates the problem.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church has an official statement on homosexuality that is worth discussing in your group, as follows:
The Seventh-day Adventist Church recognizes that every human being is valuable in the sight of God, and we seek to minister to all men and women in the spirit of Jesus. We also believe that by God's grace and through the encouragement of the community of faith, an individual may live in harmony with the principles of God's Word.
Seventh-day Adventists believe that sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman. This was the design established by God at creation. The Scriptures declare: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Gen 2:24, NIV). Throughout Scripture this heterosexual pattern is affirmed. The Bible makes no accommodation for homosexual activity or relationships. Sexual acts outside the circle of a heterosexual marriage are forbidden (Lev 18:5-23, 26; Lev 20:7; Rom 1:24-27; 1 Cor 6:9-11). Jesus Christ reaffirmed the divine creation intent: "'Haven't you read,' he replied, 'that at the beginning the Creator "made them male and female," and said, "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?" So they are no longer two, but one'" (Matt 19:4-6, NIV). For these reasons Seventh-day Adventists are opposed to homosexual practices and relationships.
Jesus affirmed the dignity of all human beings and reached out compassionately to persons and families suffering the consequences of sin. He offered caring ministry and words of solace to struggling people, while differentiating His love for sinners from His clear teaching about sinful practices. As His disciples, Seventh-day Adventists endeavor to follow the Lord's instruction and example, living a life of Christ-like compassion and faithfulness.
This statement was voted during the Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee on Sunday, October 3, 1999 in Silver Spring, Maryland. Revised by the General Conference Executive Committee, October 17, 2012.
The Bible offers guidance on what we should be viewing:
|“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable——if anything is excellent or praiseworthy——think about such things.”|
The Internet is the most easily accessed source of pornography. The Internet honor suggests that you develop a covenant governing your use of the Internet, which excludes pornography and other harmful activities, and sign it along with the rest of your family.
The Pathfinder Pledge says that you will be pure and kind. This prohibits the use of pornography.