Protestant Presence: Seventh-day Adventists, the promise of Christ's return


Every month, on the 3rd Sunday, the documentaries of Présence Protestante make us discover the Protestant world: testimonies of the grace of God, portraits of those who share it, who live it, who give birth to it.

[…] I will come back and I will take you to my side, so that you too may be where I am. - Gospel of John, chapter 14 - Word of Jesus

At some point, when we call ourselves a Christian, we are forced to reflect on a certain type of question, on supernatural questions which, let's face it, sometimes bother us and are beyond us: creation, prophecies, crossing the sea , Jonah in the belly of the fish, the virginity of Mary, miracles, the resurrection, the return of Christ, the Apocalypse, etc. 

And " think about ", this does not mean " believe "," join " Where " have faith ". Replacing reflection with faith is an easy way out. Contrary to a widely shared idea – including, and especially by non-believers – faith does not prevent reflection, on the contrary, reflection should be for everyone, a requirement of faith.

Because, believing and avoiding the questions that go with it is nothing other, ultimately, than a form of superstition. If, to the question " Why are you a believer? someone replies: because I have faith... ". This is an excellent start, but it is largely insufficient.

To each, God has given a personal trinity. It is delivered as a kit and without instructions, of course, but all the parts are there: we are all body, soul and spirit.

Faith is like the soul, the soul that loves, the soul that ignites us, that teleports us, that moves mountains and wins hearts.

But we are not beings made of faith alone. We have been endowed with a body. And this relationship to the body, to two kinds of body in fact – the body of the community, and the body of each individual – this relationship is fundamental in the fact of being a Christian. Otherwise, what good is bread and wine, this body of christ » which is also the Church? What good is death and resurrection? If the body did not matter, Jesus would have been only spirit. If, then, the body of Christ is the Church, each of our bodies is also, individually the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6.19:XNUMX).

Finally, there is another element than faith and the carnal body in our life, there is the one who inhabits it: the spirit, and for Christians, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one who guides us, who puts our steps in the footsteps of God, who makes us servants, conquerors, humble but always victorious.

Thus, when William Miller, one of the fathers of Adventism, announced to the community of Christians who listened to him the return of Christ to earth for October 22, 1844, of course he was wrong! He may not have been wrong in his calculations, which he has certainly checked many times; but perhaps he trusted too much in a mathematical, literal, calendrical interpretation of the Bible. Because the Bible is not a manual.

Nevertheless, unlike many of our contemporaries who read the Bible without trying to understand and interpret it in all its dimensions, William Miller had the ardent desire to carry the shock " Bible vs Material World ". And in that, he was right. " Being a Christian is to reflect on what the Bible brings us, including in what is most carnal and material in our lives. Because yes, if I believe, am I coherent if, from a reverse of interpretation, I evade miracles and prophecies, hell and paradise?

This is a very strong lesson that the Adventists, following Miller's error, bring today to our society and to Protestantism in particular: if we believe that the Bible speaks true, totally true, it also speaks true for our body and our spirit. We do not have the right to read it disconnected from the material and scientific world. It remains to think about which…

Jesus warned his disciples I'll be back ". If one makes the choice of faith, the choice to believe in Christ, then one must accept what ensues: the prophecies, the miracles, the resurrection, the return of Christ, the Apocalypse, etc.

He who has never believed has never been wrong. William Miller may have been wrong one day. But isn't it better to learn from mistakes and seek again? Let's dare, let's dare to believe in miracles, in prophecies, in the return of Christ, let's dare to recognize our mistakes, make amends and believe again.

"If you tell someone your dream and they don't laugh in your face, you're not dreaming big enough" Tony Parker, Konbini, 16/12/2021


Living History of Protestantism
"The 7th day Adventists, the promise of the return of Christ", a documentary by Jean-Yves Fischbach, produced by Cerigo productions and studio


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Christophe Zimmerlin, for Protestant Presence

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