Hooray! In the publishing world I know there is a lot of editing and cutting that is done, so one shouldn’t be surprised if something they’ve written has been deleted when it hits the presses. But I’m happy to report to you that I just survived a close call.
A little while back, I was asked if I would write an article for a special issue of the Adventist Review that focused on the Beatitudes (the Review, for the few of you who are not Seventh-day Adventists, is our church’s official weekly publication). All the articles would be written by people in their 20s and 30s, so it would be looking at the Beatitudes from “our” perspective (although, curiously, one of my friends who is nowhere near that age range snuck in there and has an article in the issue. I won’t tell you who it is so as not to “out” him or her).
I chose to write on the Beatitude “Blessed are the pure in heart.” Thing is, towards the end of the article I also “snuck” in something of my own – a quote from a book by one of my former Seminary professors (to be completely honest, I didn’t try to “sneak” it in at all). Someone contacted me from the magazine and asked me if I could “finesse” the quote a little more to make it jive with “Adventist theology” better. Problem is, how can you finesse someone else’s quote?
At the same time, I am not sure how much more “Adventist” this quote could be. This is nothing against the magazine at all, or the individual who contacted me about it, but this plain idea has been at the heart of Adventist theology for over 100 years. Sadly, most of the Church has forgotten this truth, while many others have abused it (hence, the reaction).
So when I looked at the finished product today, I was thrilled to see that they left the quote in (I assumed that they would, since they told me that they would not change anything without informing me). Not a huge deal, but a moral victory, indeed. I do believe that the quote brings home the point I was trying to make in the article. To leave it out would deprive the readers of an important element of my message.
And what was the quote that was a bit troubling?
By His Spirit, God can speed up the spiritual growth of His people so that they outgrow sin. By cleansing His people and presenting them to Himself without blemish, Christ works Himself out of the job of forgiving sins. He does not walk off the job. We could say that He is “laid off” from this work because there are no more forgivable sins to forgive.
What do you think about it? The quote is taken, by the way, from Roy Gane’s book, Altar Call.