A Perspective for Seventh Day Adventists (and other "soul sleep-churches")

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01 Mar 2019 16:36 #335030 by Kraz
I believe that The Holy Spirit is not a person, but the force of God. In other words, the living force, aka. The (Living?) Force is Gods "breath"/power that sustains all life. Christian jedis therefore doesnt worship The Force of God, but God himself in which The Force come from and are sustained by.

This is a more or less known panentheistic christian viewpoint in general, and is actually like what the Orthodox Church gets accused to be (panentheistic) from the Catholic Church. Fun fact!

But a little more specific about the perspective on The Force in a christian denomination which believes in "soul sleep" - how to explain force ghosts? I think we have to think that the persons life-breath (the force that makes our bodies alive and sustains our life necessary functions) are, by Gods mercy, being made alive as an individual "soul-being" being apart from The Gods Force-stream. This may happen because God allow the individual persons force to do so for an amount of time when its beneficial to split from The Force-stream. Because of this theres a need to be split apart from The Force-stream as an individual part of The Force, which for us seems as a "soul", or "Force Ghost" from the perspective of living beings.

What do you guys think? Does this make sense? Other thoughts about this, or other moments Ive forgot to take into notice?

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25 Mar 2019 20:14 #336228 by Alethea Thompson
I'm interested to hear how you can use the Bible to support this theory. But before we get into that- What do you believe the Force does? What's it's function? Is it something only Christians can use? Or can anyone use it?

Once you have a coherent definition of what the Force would be, then we can move forward and establish if the Holy Ghost fits into the description. Otherwise, we are simply trying to fit a term into our own views. A dangerous thing to get into ;)

Gather at the River,
Setanaoko Oceana
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26 Mar 2019 05:55 #336297 by Tannis Yarl
It sounds like Kraz is trying to relate to The Force from his own personal experience as a SDA Christian. He stated his hypothesis and asked for other's thoughts on it. I think we can engage in an open exchange of ideas and see where it leads us.

The Breath of Life, I'm thinking Kraz, you are referring to the investment of Spirit (Spiritus/Latin for Breath) into the clay form that became the living Soul known to us as Adam, the first man. By Force Ghosts I'm presuming you are referring to the post death manifestations of Jedi Obi Wan, Anakin, and Yoda seen in the movies. The prequels tell us that Qui Gon Jinn was the 1st Jedi master to retain his individuality from the Force after death and try to continue to guide his padawans. Yoda gives Obi Wan this knowledge and tasks him with mastering the technique during his exile on Tatooine. In a New Hope we see him successfully use it to guide Luke after his own death. This is one of those times where the Movies and our own living practice of Jediism may part ways.

I'll punt this question up to one of our own Clergy and ask: "do we believe in the ability of Jedi to communicate with the living after physical death through the Force?"

I studied with the SDA for several years, was baptized one, and lived the faith for some time. I remember a Bible study about the state of the Dead, and the SDA belief is that the dead are unconscious until the day of judgement. They actually cease to exist until recreated at the rapture, so "ghosts" don't exist outside of stories or Demonic manifestation to mislead, as in the case of Saul's summoning of his advisor from the grave.

I understand interpreting The Force as equilivent to The Holy Spirit, and Force manifestations would hence be creations of God's will and serve his purposes.

Tannis Yarl

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26 Mar 2019 18:03 #336328 by Alethea Thompson
I can appreciate that this may be what he’s trying to do- but it starts from the wrong place.

There are Christians who reject the Jedi Path based solely on “the Force”. To them it has a basis in New Age or Pagan phenomena- and is a real concept believed upon by those not Christian. Until you can relate, and explain, how “the Force” of the fiction translates into the Jediist model, then putting it directly in comparison to something explained in the Bible is nothing more than trying to fit two seemingly incompatible systems into what you want.

This, in and of itself, is a massive problem Christians are facing. It’s not just something like “the Force”; it’s the reality of trying to get the scripture to say something that may or may not be there. Thus we have denominations which are at each other’s proverbial throats because “the Bible doesn’t say that! It says this! You’re speaking heresy!”

Thus, before we can do anything, we must start from the first point (fiction) and translate it out- then determine if the Bible has an equivalent.

Gather at the River,
Setanaoko Oceana

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31 Mar 2019 18:53 #336692 by Kraz
Very interesting replies!

Yes, Tannis, it seems like you got me about correct. And yes, it would be interesting to know if the thing about Force Ghosts is a thing in jediism.

To clarify some things in order to make my thoughts (hopefully) a little more understandable:

- If we make som similarities between Gods breath (which made Adam alive) and the Force, we see that both Gods breath and the Force is something that all humans are a part of/have in them. Its this Force, or breath, that makes our bodies alive, and were totally dependent on it to live. In other words, the force that we all live by, doesnt neccessarily need to be other than Gods force. In other words; the Force could be the same as Gods life-giving breath.

This is a classical panentheistic view; God, which exists outside of time and space, at the same time wants to interract with his creation by taking part of what he has created, for example in the form of the life-giving breath. In this way, God could literally be everywhere.

And yes, Alethea, you have right. This is just some kind of free-thinking which have more in common with comparable religion as a subject than anything else. But it is an interesting topic in its own right, anyyway. The reason why it seems like I formulate my sentences in a way that I try "to make it blend into each other" has something to do with my limited knowledge in english formulation.

The point in this thread is therefore to look for similarities and philosophize about it. "Comparative religion" is the keyword(s) here.

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31 Mar 2019 19:01 #336695 by Kraz
About the thing regarding the Holy Spirit:
- It really depends upon if you believe in the trinity or not. Because if you believe in the trinity, this is in clear conflict. That because the Holy Spirit is seen as a person. But if you have a non-trinitarian view, this is no problem. Thats because the Holy Spirit is seen as Gods power (Im really unclear if that is the exactly same thing as the Gods breath, which Ive mentioned in my last comment or something else). The Holy Spirit is, in an non-trinitarian view, seen as a force instead of a concrete person. Thats something to think about in this context.

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12 Dec 2019 20:28 #347215 by ZealotX
I was raised SDA and the main reason I left the church was because of the trinity. I also found out that the early SDA church (pre-EGW) had rejected the Trinity doctrine.

The orthodox SDA view is that the soul does sleep in awaiting for resurrection. This is mostly based on:

Ecclesiastes 9:5 - For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

However, a spirit can still be conjured, as in the witch of Endor.

1 Samuel 28

8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.

9 And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?

10 And Saul sware to her by the Lord, saying, As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.

11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.

12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.

13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.

14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.

15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.

16 Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the Lord is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy?

17 And the Lord hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the Lord hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David:

18 Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the Lord, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the Lord done this thing unto thee this day.

19 Moreover the Lord will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the Lord also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

Now this is a curious story for several reasons. If you're dead you shouldn't have any new memories and you shouldn't (according to the scripture) know anything. And yet Saul asks a witch to summon a prophet who doesn't chastise him or refuse to cooperate based on the fact that it wasn't lawful to commune with spirits. I mean... if she's a witch this really shouldn't work in the first place. The idea that it works is already interesting. The fact that there isn't some immediate lightning strike from heaven is even more interesting. Isn't God watching? And if he's not watching everyone simultaneously, wouldn't he at least be watching the king of Israel? So, yeah. This is quite curious.

Now we could argue that this is a special case and that the reason Samuel knows "anything" is because he was a prophet. Of course, it's still curious because prophecy is information coming from God, not the prophet's own ability. But if that's the case, why would God give this info or vision to a prophet who is deceased and participating in an unlawful summon? Samuel, clearly doesn't need to wait for Saul to tell him what's going on. And he's able to tell Saul the future. Of course, we should leave room for the idea that Samuel isn't really prophesying, just giving advice. As such he could simply be warning Saul based on his opinion. Or... I guess you could argue that Saul was tapped into the Force.

As far as the ruach ha kodesh (the holy spirit) being the Force...

From my studies there is no difference between God and the holy spirit. This is a Superman vs Clark Kent scenario. You can use Gensis 1 as an example. Because YHWH isn't human, but rather a spirit, (John 4:24
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.) when speaking of his presence bible writers spoke of it like a ghost. This is why in Genesis 1 you are given a location for "God's spirit", moving upon the face of the waters, but the voice is that of YHWH. The holy spirit is like an actor who doesn't have lines and you can't tell me anything the holy spirit has ever said in the bible. Is it because he doesn't speak? No. It's because its not a different person. God doesn't have a physical body so his location is "fuzzy" because God's spirit is everywhere.

Hebrews used certain words to distinguish between God and other gods. By the same token, they used the same logic in separating God's spirit from other spirits. So in the case of God's spirit they called it "the holy spirit". Think about it this way.

1. Is God a spirit? Yes. John 4:24
2. Is God holy? Yes.
A + B = God is the Holy Spirit.

See? It's very simple. God and the holy spirit are never in two different places. They never talk to each other as Jesus prayed to YHWH or as YHWH said "this is my beloved son". The holy spirit is never acknowledged by YHWH as a separate entity.

If I'm wrong, and YHWH is a spirit (because he is God and John 4:24 says God is a spirit) then how on earth would you distinguish YHWH from the holy spirit if YHWH is both holy and spirit? You couldn't. And this would render such a title as moot and meaningless. Because if the title cannot separate 1 God from another... "person who is also weirdly God" they would have simply used a different title that could provide that distinction.

Instead, because Christians (not Jews) debated this as if their new ideas and interpretation referred to facts that were thousands of years old but had somehow escaped the ability of the authors of the bible to report on as there is no such explanation for the Trinity in the Hebrew bible... they just assumed that the holy spirit was a 3rd entity in order to fit their ideas about Jesus being God too. This idea that more than one person could be a singular God was a nonsensical idea that was forced upon people.

Many Jews in the dark ages lost their lives because they would not accept the Trinity. And Christianity used this doctrine in order to make itself appear to be the true church and mark the power of the institution of catholic supremacy. If you didn't believe it you were a heretic, similar to when Moses punished people for not believing and worshiping, instead, the golden calf.

The holy spirit isn't a thing that comes from God. It is God. We can personify God but that doesn't make God a human. What we have come to know and love as human features, are in reality extremely limited and adapted to our environment. So if God was born into or originally existed in a similar Earth-like environment then this could make sense. But if you're talking about a being that can traverse space and time, then no... it becomes more and more absurd. So Christians simply got it wrong. Judaism had it right. And if you study the Old Testament and especially the book of Isaiah (like chapters 44 and 45) it is painfully obvious that the Trinity was a bad idea because YHWH himself spoke in the singular "I,ME" and said there was no God beside him.

Again, this is the main reason why I left the SDA church. If they were wrong about that they could be wrong about a lot of things. The Trinity is a violation of the first commandment. SDA's were hung up on the 4th as if that distinguished them from everyone else as having the truth. However, there are groups that keep both the first and 4th commandments. SDAs just don't talk about them and don't talk about the Trinity as if its a theory that can be debated.

A spirit is energy. The Force is Energy. All matter is Energy. Therefore God is Energy. Ancient peoples were using different language to describe this same concept and they put their own personal (personification) face on it. And that's how YHWH was born. They simply knew no better way to describe and express it because they didn't have a scientific understanding of energy. To them, a disembodied person was a spirit. The fact they couldn't see YHWH automatically put him in the realm of spirits. And again... the way they distinguished him from the rest was to say "God's spirit, Spirit of God, or Holy Spirit".
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14 Dec 2019 16:30 #347259 by Kraz
Thank you very much ZealotX! This was just the kind of stuff I were after! :) Awesome answer/reply! ^^

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