Extending the Rules

Extending the Rules

By Georead

God commanded the Israelites to tithe the main produce of the land such as the corn, wine, oil and flocks (see Deuteronomy 14:22,23). However seeking to show themselves holier than everyone else the Pharisees abused the sacred obligation of tithing (see DA 616.3). The Pharisees extended the obligation to include the tithing of small herbs (see Matthew 23:23). This God did not require of them (see 3SP 63.1).

The Pharisees, likewise, abused other laws. In Leviticus chapter 11 they were commanded to abstain from eating unclean flesh. The Pharisees extended the obligation requiring the people to strain all water, lest it should contain an unclean insect that might be swallowed accidentally (see DA 617.2). Jesus condemned this foolish rule (see Matthew 23:24). 

 Exodus 23:19 “Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk” (also see Exodus 34:26, Deuteronomy 14:21). The result of this prohibition: in orthodox Jewish homes there are two entirely separate kitchens built into the one house. This is done in order to prevent mixing meat and dairy products.

Exodus 35:3 “Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.” The result of this prohibition: orthodox Jews today won’t even turn on a light on the Sabbath day. Of course this prohibition was not to be extended as a universal rule for all times and places (see PP 408.4).

There are people today that read the writings of E. G. White the same way as the Jews read the writings of Moses. They read the statements of E. G. White seeking to extend her writings to other small things.

The Jews have the Mishnah and Torah with all the extended rules written out by the Rabbi’s. There is nothing equivalent among Seventh Day Adventists. However some groups attempt to extend the writings of E. G. White. They attempt establish their own unwritten conventions. The rules they make are upheld by group pressure to conform and with strong preaching from the pulpit.

There are many examples of unwritten conventions that could be given. One example is given here is from John Thiel’s group. More may be added later. The example is the grandparent rule that John Thiel and his group attempted to establish. In about 2006 John Thiel chaired a business meeting in which the subject of grandparents was raised. John Thiel mentioned the following E. G. White quote.

“Though the mother may have received the very best training at the hands of her mother, yet, in nine cases out of ten, as a grandmother she would spoil her daughter’s children, by indulgence and injudicious praise. All the patient effort of the mother may be undone by this course of treatment. It is proverbial that grandparents, as a rule, are unfit to bring up their grandchildren. Men and women should pay all the respect and deference due to their parents; but in the matter of the management of their own children, they should allow no interference, but hold the reins of government in their own hands.”  {CG 288.1}

In the business meeting a new requirement was promoted within John Thiel’s group. It was said that grandparents should not physically hold their grandchildren in their arms nor should anyone unrelated to the child except for the parents. In the meeting several of the mothers and fathers with little children expressed that they wished for no one in the church to touch their children, not even the grandparents. A few people opposed this new rule. After the meeting one distressed grandparent read to John Thiel the Bible verse:  Ruth 4:16 “And Naomi [grandmother] took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it.” John Thiel coldly said nothing.

After the meeting it became an unwritten convention that no one was to touch or befriend another person’s child. This caused a lot of people extreme mental and emotional anguish, especially the older ladies, single unmarried women and the grandmothers.

The hypocrisy of this rule can be understood by the following incidents. In 2006 John Thiel’s group hired a camp ground with an old hall for a conference. The old hall had some steep dangerous steps. During the conference a toddler was left unattended. She wandered near the dangerous steps of the old hall. An unrelated grandmother, afraid for her safety, said to the child “come away from there”, picked her up and sat her on her knee. When the mother arrived, without a word, she rudely snatched away the child turned her back on the old woman, demonstrating her displeasure. The grandmother was left distressed and in tears.

When others visit John Thiel’s group they are not aware of the grand-parent rule. When they try to engage the children the parents withdraw their children or make verbal attacks. The following two incidents show this. 1) When a visitor smiled at a child during a meeting a mother (not related to the child) walked up to the visitor and verbally assaulted him. The mother of the child was also verbally reprimanded for failing to uphold the rule. 2) When a visitor suddenly picked up an unrelated child and lifted her in the air to give the child some joy. It was so shocking that a few laughed while others serious about the grandparent rule gave black looks.

Where do all of these rules and this meanness come from? The answer might be found in the following statement:

“The effort to earn salvation by one’s own works inevitably leads men to pile up human exactions as a barrier against sin. For, seeing that they fail to keep the law, they will devise rules and regulations of their own to force themselves to obey. All this turns the mind away from God to self. His love dies out of the heart, and with it perishes love for his fellow men. A system of human invention, with its multitudinous exactions, will lead its advocates to judge all who come short of the prescribed human standard. The atmosphere of selfish and narrow criticism stifles the noble and generous emotions, and causes men to become self-centered judges and petty spies.”  {MB 123.1}

In John Thiel’s group there are many other unwritten rules that the casual visitor will not be aware of. These visitors are said to be in need of “education.” If they stay long enough the group pressure to conform to the many unwritten rules will be applied.

Inevitably some rules become defunct for various reasons. Even so the same wrong idea about extending unwritten rules in every area of life perpetuates. There are other extended rules concerning food, music, family relationships, floral arrangements, style of worship, interpersonal relationships, Sabbath keeping, child raising, country living, employment, computer technology, education and social activities.

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6 Responses to Extending the Rules

  1. wildport says:

    I cannot see the Spirit of Christ in this group it is all man made and it is becoming more and more revolting as the true character and operation of this group is exposed..This group have no time and place in God’s plan, This group is not a movement,they have no prophetic background,they fall and fill out the space of a man made cult fully.Jesus said suffer little children to come unto Me and forbid them not for of such is the kingdom of heaven.How sad they forbid even these little ones to come unto Jesus

    • the typist says:

      Prophetic fullfilment shows that the remnant will be the outcasts in Israel. Every faithful soul will eventually find themselves outside the synagogue as Jesus did.

      http://sabbathsermons.com/category/prophetic-sketches-of-the-remnant-church/

      http://sabbathsermons.com/2011/01/06/7-binding-the-broken-hearted/

      Jesus was cast out of the synagogue on that day. He was no longer considered part of that church as it was in his local church in Nazareth. That was his local church and he was put out of his local church. But he came for a purpose. His work was to bind up those broken hearted people. We see that the stone was rejected. As the stone was rejected what identified it? The head of the corner of another building. He said destroy this temple and he said in three days I will raise it up.

      • Simon O'Rourke says:

        Dear Typist, the reform were cast out of the SDA for standing on biblical principals. John Thiels group removed themselves from the Reform, and then the IMS simply because they wanted John Thiel as their King, which the IMS forbade as he is a divorcee. There was no biblical reasoning behind the move, just pure and simple rebellion. The man who demands ‘unquestioning obedience’ from others is not prepared to subject himself to the council of his senior brethren simply because he wishes to draw all power unto himself, this is the spirit of Lucifer. I reject your analogy of the outcasts of Israel applying to the Thielites, they have cast themselves out under the spirit of rebellion.

      • The members of JWT were also disfellowshipped. They never left the IMS. They were disfellowshipped. They had not reorganised themselves as a separate organisation as is claimed, but merely re-formed to fill vacant positions by the split. A new name was formed for church lease rental reasons because it was known the other group may try to take over the lease.

    • the typist says:

      If you want to stamp out error, promote it with the truth not criticism. Georead has preached some great sermons in the past and is very gifted and talented because of Gods love. I personally have enjoyed a lot of his sermons in the past and would love to see him start a blog dedicated to the precious word of God he has discovered. Use the word to do the cutting to stamp out error. Promote truth I say.

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