The Distraction Dilemma – Shepherd’s Call Ministry

Recently I was sent a link from a friend regarding the Shepherds Call Ministry’s fight against music.  Of course the church has dealt with stuff like this for ages and I doubt that any critical critique I can give will bring about the end to these false profits, but nonetheless, this ministry has made an impact in the life and relationships for my friend and thus I feel compelled to respond.  The impact made has not been a good one and in fact the ministry has successfully driven a wedge between leadership of his church and a large number of attendees.  One might immediately question why such a riff occurred if indeed these people at SCM are from God.  In my opinion these are only a few possible answers to this question.  Either SCM are false teachers, wolfs in sheep’s clothing and though they appear to be railing against the devil and his impact they are indeed representing the devil or another possible explanation is that God is separating the wheat from the chaff and the division in the church is actually God judgement upon the church.  I think it’s something altogether different however.  I think the answer is ignorance.  I think that SCM is steeped in ignorance and a very surface level understanding of theology and so too are the leaders and many attendees of the church.  Instead of seeking understanding from within the pages of scripture, they are instead looking for the path of least resistance; a magic pill to Christian living, if you will.  With that said, I wanted to take some time and respond to a video called the Distraction Dilemma, an overview of music by Christian Berdahl.    The video is essentially a sales video to get you to buy his  12 hour video series for $49.99.  Let’s take a trip into the mind of the ignorant and see if we might be able to expose some of the extreme fallacies of this video series.


In this sales video, Christian is attempting the answer two questions regarding music.  These questions are:


Mr Berdhal sights the work of philosopher Marshall Mcluhan and brain specialist Richard Pellegrino and pits their conclusions about music’s ability to cause an emotional response against some contemporary christian artists.  The contemporary artists are quoted as making the point that the type of music is not as important as the lyrics.  Within five minutes of Berdhal’s lecture he has committed a straw-man fallacy.   The contemporary artists are by no means disagreeing with the scholars.  The entire point of music is to incite an emotional response and this of course can be used for both good and bad purposes within society and most specifically within the church.  I have personally experienced, and I would bet so have you, the use of music as a tool for manipulation.  For many churches music is the most effective tool to increase giving or get people to rise their hands in so-called profession of faith.   The question that remains is the morality of music.  Is music to blame for it being used for manipulative actions and immoral activities of the listeners or player?  Berdhal answers this question with a quote, not from the pages of scripture but from a Spirit of Prophecy statement from the Review and Herald – A Seventh Day Adventist Publication:


His conclusion from this extra biblical statement is that if thoughts and feelings are shaped by emotion than music is very moral.   He is of course fighting a battle against an argument he created in his own mind.  No one would ever consider music to play no role in shaping emotion.  Nor would anyone with any moral character justify the use of music to manipulate.  We listen to music because it stirs emotion.  That’s the entire point to music.  Berdhal is however making a major category error that I think is a product of his Adventist background.  The SDA church is steeped in behavior modification and his lack of theology (in fact he never quotes the bible)  has lead him to conclude that objects are moral or immoral, evil or good.  Instead of blaming the individual for immoral, evil activities, he blames the object.  We see this all the time in Christian circles.  “Drugs are evil”.  Really?  Do drugs not cure disease, heal the sick and bring calm to the mind?  Drugs are not evil, it is the intent of the user that is evil.  In the bible, God makes it clear that we are to worship no God other than Him.  I fear that Mr Berdhal has never reflected on why this is the first commandment.  Simply put, after the nature of man changed in the garden the product of our change in nature is the desire of man to worship everything.  We are as Martin Luther stated, “Idol factories” whose goal in life is to replace the true and living God with other gods.  Music can certainly be one of these gods as can football, alcohol, politics, work and even church.  Ironically, Berdhal is attacking the ability for music to raise emotion while doing the exact same thing himself with his words.  Berdhal appears more interested in manipulating his audience by saying that music can move you to satanic influence and this more than anything shows a lack of theology and I will spend the remainder of this critique on that point.  He is effectively manipulating his audience to fear through appealing to the power of the devil.

What does it mean to be moved to satanic influence?  Honestly I don’t have a clue what it means nor do I see how it is possible.  I am not suggesting that Satan is not real, but what I am suggesting is that the problem with immoral activity is not a Satan problem but a fleshly one.  Given our sin nature and the fact that we are a work in progress (sanctification) it is not hard to see why we do the things we do.  As before all we need to do is step into the garden to understand the reasons why we do things.  After the fall we were given a sin nature and even though we may, as Christians try not to sin, we must also understand that we will continue to sin until we are glorified in the end.  One must simply look at the Book of Romans to see how the process works.  To summarize the book, Paul states that we are saved by grace through faith in Christ, without the work of Christ in our lives we cannot do what is pleasing to the Lord.  The Lord Jesus does all the work.  He calls us to himself, He justifies the sinner before the father, He changes us through a process of sanctification and eventually He glorifies us in the end.  Jesus is doing the work in us.  It appears that SCM and the Adventist church believe that it is up to us to change ourselves.  We must look and act a certain way in order to find favor with God. If we don’t conform to the extra biblical prophecy of the SDA church we are at risk of being over taken by the devil.  Apparently the SDA and SCM are unaware of the words of Jesus in John chapter 6 where Jesus states that he will lose none of the people whom He draws to Himself.  Apparently salvation is a temporary state of affairs that can be removed based on our behavior and lack of conforming to the doctrine of the church.  This actually sounds logical given that God has given me a will but in reality, the Bible says a vastly different thing regarding our sinful lives.

Another point that must be made is that Berdhal doesn’t seem to have any room in his theology (or lack thereof) for God’s ability to use sin for His good.  Again, all I must do is take a look at the book or Romans to discount this notion.  Romans clearly states that God works all things together for good for those who are called according to His purpose.  God works both the good and bad things together fora holy indented purpose.  Paul goes into more detail when he states that God has the right as God to create some for glory and others for destruction.  The point is, God is in control.  We have plenty of examples of this throughout the bible.  Simply look at Job, David, Noah, Moses, and Jesus himself.  The story of Joseph is yet another good example as Joseph utters to his brothers, “what you intended for evil, God intended for good”.

My point here is not to justify sin, but rather to understand why it exists in the first place.  God uses sin to glorify himself as he eventually beats it when those who are called are glorified upon the second coming.  Berdhal seems to believe that God needs his help, and I think it is accurate to state the the Adventist church in general suffers from a God complex by creating extra biblical rules, legalism and manipulation through so-called prophets.

I would say that Berdal’s god is no god at all.  His god is powerless against using music (other than the music sanctioned by Berdhal) to glorify Himself.  Berdhal’s god is at the mercy of Satan who apparently abilities, that God does not, to manipulate people through music.  God apparently is powerless to counter the words and beat from AC/DC or Metallica.  Berdhal’s god has no power over the listener because the listener is more powerful than god himself.    God is at the mercy of man and his emotions, man is not at the mercy of God.  This of course is the exact opposite of what scripture says.  Simple read Job and the interaction of God and Satan or look at the Israelite’s conquering of the promise land against impossible odds or reflect on Paul’s words in Romans where he states “Who are you oh man to question God”.

The fact remains that Berdhal is ignorant of the nature of God and the Nature of man.  He has them mixed up.  His theology appears to have God powerless against sin while man has the ability to conquer it by simply acting or not acting in a certain way.  Ideas have consequences and the idea that God is powerless against music is an infectious principle that will spread into every other aspect of life.  For instance if music is evil based on it’s type, why not words themselves?  What is stopping this man from stating that questioning a prophet is evil?  Why can he not utter the words of the cults and state that anyone who does not believe everything uttered from the pulpit of the SDA church is not saved and will burn in hell?  After all,  words stir emotion and can thus be evil.  Does it not appear that Berdhal is using an argument to persuade yet he leaves no room for God to be able to persuade as well?  Even though Berdhal is using words instead of music he is still preaching false doctrine and false theology.  God is not in control of just Christian things, He is in control of EVERYTHING!  If this is indeed the case, God can redeem the sinner through AC/DC or Metallica just as quickly as through a hymn.  God doses not need my help to do nor does he need Berdahl’s.  The God of the bible is vastly more powerful than the god of Berdhal or SCM.  My God has the power to redeem everything in His own time for his own purpose.  Berdhal’s god is limited by the individuals actions, activities and emotions, and a god who cannot redeem is really no god at all.  My God is soverign over His creation, SCM’s god is powerless to change the heart of man.

One last point to direct to my friend who request I write this post.  Berdhal is not the problem.  The problem is the lack of discernment of the leadership of your church.  If the leadership of the church is so ignorant to the nature of God, I would suggest a departure from the church or the removal of the leadership.  It is the job of the leadership to protect the flock.  They are not living up to the necessary standard for biblical eldership.  Though I am a strong believer in the church and don’t generally give advice to leave the local body or remove leaders, in this circumstance, it appears the best and only alternative.  The Bible says that we can recognize wolfs in the church by their fruit and any leader who reduces God to an inferior position of Satan is either a wolf, deeply ignorant or profoundly arrogant enough to believe the behavior modification is their job.  Guess what?  When a leader uses behavior modification to control church members they are effectively putting themselves in a position god.   God apparently was not so concerned with music for Him to put a prohibition on it, yet these leaders believe it is their job to augment or add to God’s will.  Adding or subtracting to God’s word or second guessing God will is idolatry and this is disqualification for leadership – period!  I would politely depart and find a healthy body to join instead.


NOTE: A link to this article has been sent to Shepherd’s Call Ministries Facebook Page.  Slides and quotes herein are used for news purposes and are protected on fair use laws.  All screen captures are taken from the video “The Distraction Dilemma – A Music Overview – Shot live at ASI”

  1. this provides a brilliant argument for Reformed Theology; esp the “drawing” concept because watching this video would, otherwise, make me *not* want to be a Christian.
    seriously, though, this is some very unclear, chaotic thinking. he should do a Distraction Dilemma video on how we shouldn’t listen to words. Because, you know, they might make you feel a certain way, or make you want to buy a over-hyped, unreasonable video series.

  2. I do think it is ironic that he is concerned about music because it can control the mind yet he uses irrational, extra biblical arguments to give the church the power to control the mind through fear. There is no room for this in the church.

    • Pringle
    • September 23rd, 2013

    well for me the doccy was a word in season since ive been questioning some of these lyrics myself and in particular the Jamie Grace Toby Mac callaboration hold me. There is some truth to his doccy just look at good fight ministries dvd series “sold their souls for rock n roll” – at the end of the day each believer should discern the music and be led by the Holy Spirit. and these doccys a confirmation either way.
    Cioa from South Africa

    • I question lyrics all the time, but blaming music for demon possession is simply not biblical. Music was created on the 6th day of when God gave man and woman an “essence” or soul. This essence gives us the ability to recognize aesthetics as well as our desire to create things. These are attributes that God has that he gave to us when He stated “Let Us make man in Our image”. These attributes were called “very good” by God and we must trust that they are indeed very good. Of course we fell, so though our ability to create is still very good, we now have the capacity to create things that are not good. However, unlike God’s creation that has the capacity to do bad things, our creations are just objects and objects are neither good nor bad because man has no ability to create anything that can recognize morality. Only God holds the power to do this and it is not part of Man’s essence. So music is not the problem, the problem is the evil intent of the creator. If we create for evil purposes, we are the evil ones, not the music. What Shepherd’s Call ministries is doing is essentially saying that a bi-product of God’s creation (music) is in and of itself bad if it moves you in anyway. This is absurd because this is the only purpose of music since it is not the notes in the music that makes the music it is our ability to recognize its beauty. When we recognize beauty we are necessarily moved by it.

      The problem I have with Christian music is that most of the singers have no clue about their faith and create lyrics that steer believers astray (i.e. no theology behind it) and most the songs are just not that original. I personally can’t stand Christian music. Give me some AC/DC or Metallica any day over Toby Mac! Of course many would immediately consider me sinning because I listen to secular music, but in reality I understand that there is really no such thing as secular at all. God is sovereign over everything, not just Christian things, so AC/DC points us to the existence of a creator as much as any so-called Christian singers. AC/DC would in fact be unable to create music at all without God giving them this ability. I am not suggesting that AC/DC is without sin, nor do I believe that are Christians, but I do say that AC/DC glorifies God as much as any other singer! When we listen to music we should recognize that its creation and our ability to recognize it and be moved by it is the Holy Spirit moving inside of us.

  3. The Holy Spirit inspires us to the seek the things of God, not the Devil! And AC/DC are about as close as you can get to the Devil!

    • Interesting. How did you come to the conclusion that AC/DC is as close as you can get to the devil?

    • Pringle
    • October 2nd, 2013

    I agree on both counts and may be going on a tangent – i think we are missing the point? its got to do with leading people away from ABA FATHER. of course there are more variables but on the face of it, if it walks like a duck qucks like and swims like a duck – its a duck.
    Also you have to understand the lyrics and thier inspiration to lyrics.
    Case n point song like im on a highway to hell – how is that glorifying HIM? That right there is exactly prov18v21. also the so a man thinkith in his heart so is he – coupled together you are further from the truth than had you not sold you listening haits over to the dark side. serioulsy ive seen it and im involved in deliverence regulaly and this is a principle recruitement tool of the enemy. watch the full 7 hours of “sold thier soul for rockn roll” and the satan plan is clearly exposed. all recorded inteerviews cnn/ time/ rollingstoines magazines and others. Remember Lucifer was the angel of music before he was cast out like lighnting bolts from the sky.what better way to deceive and leade people away from the truth than the chief whose role was music.

    • This is where theology matters. Even though Lucifer is cunning, he is powerless without God. God is the one in charge of whom He saves and whom He hardens (Romans 9). Music has no magic power in and of itself to send people to hell. That definition is witchcraft not Christianity. Music does however stir the emotions of people, and depending on the character of the person this can be good or bad and in fact lends itself to the proper reading of Proverbs 23:7. The Proverb is not talking about external factors affecting the internal man but internal factors affecting the external man. It is saying that the true man is on the inside and eventually the inside -secret- man will show it’s ugly face. The Proverb is saying that God knows the true man even though we keep him hidden from the world. So hows does one’s inside man change? The Holy Spirit’s process of sanctification. This passage is in no way discussing music and in fact it is saying the exact opposite of your application of it.

      Furthermore, we don’t have any clue if Lucifer was the angel of music. The bible never says that. It does say that Lucifer played music and did it well, but the rest is simply tradition, and not biblical. In addition why do you not also warn against other things that seem to be attributes tied to Lucifer? The bible says Lucifer is:

      Full of Wisdom – Do we then say that wisdom is from the devil?
      Perfect in Beauty – Should we rail against beautiful things?
      Covered in Precious Stones – Do we ban diamonds and gold rings?
      Great at Politics – Do we warn against voting?

      Of course the direct context of this passage is the King of Tyre but it is evident that Ezekiel is comparing the attributes of Lucifer with the attributes of the king.The point is not that the attributes matter, because these attributes are good things. It is the misuse of these attributes that God – through Ezekiel – is condemning. So music is good but people can worship it and that is wrong no matter the type of music. People can worship wisdom, beauty, gems and politics too. Misguided worship is wrong and sinful.

      Lastly, you ask the question as to if the song Highway to Hell glorifies God. The answer is Yes! God is glorified in all things. both good and bad. Evil has a purpose in God’s economy, it is not just some random thing that God has no control over!

      “What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills” (Romans 9:14-18).

      God’s glory is depicted here through a man (Pharaoh) who is in rebellion and God shows His power to redeem through an evil situation. Consider the affect on the Jews when they were exiled in Babylon. They lived in hell but the result was Nehemiah, the rebuilding the temple and the restoration of the Bible. So bad things to us are still good things to God. Of course only things with souls commit evil and since music has no soul, music cannot be blamed for evil. This is just deflecting responsibility away from ourselves and putting it on an object. It’s easier to blame some “demon” of music and solve that then to pray to God for freedom from our sin! I see no biblical proof that we are to blame anyone but ourselves for our sin, but that appears to be the direction of the video series! Do you honestly think that if people stopped listening to certain music that they would stop being so depraved? Depravity disappears when ones heart of stone is replaced with a heart of flesh in a process called sanctification! God delivers us from evil, we do not deliver ourselves. The bible says we cannot deliver ourselves!

      Without being dependent on witchcraft, there is simply no way to determine that songs have special power. Our words do not affect God’s ability to redeem nor do they foil His plan. Again theology matters and my God has the ability to redeem everything, not just those things that man has determined to be good. God see no difference between sacred and secular. God is the God of all.

      As a Christian, I have more interest in preaching the gospel – A gospel of freedom – instead of railing against secular music. Where anywhere in the bible does it tell us to attack something? I see lots of passages where it gives us direction but fire and brimstone preaching against music doesn’t seem to come up. Preach the Gospel and let God do the rest! Instead we spend out time preaching external things like don’t drink and don’t listen to AC/DC and don’t smoke cigarettes. It is silly and shows a very low view of scripture and of God’s ability.


  4. Thank you for your spot on critique!

    • Erik
    • December 14th, 2013

    Christian is right on the money. The Devil is working hard in every area to deceive. There are different kinds of music. Some music uplifts one to God, another degrades and appeals to our human nature. We are influence through our five senses. Satan is seeking to ensnare us through the music we listen to. We are to put on the full armor of God. And putting ourselves in Satan’s ground by listening to his music is no place for the true Christian. Choose this day whom you will serve. The choice is ours.

    • First of all, Christian is far from on the money. Churches have split or shut down because of his ministry and I can’t imagine how God could play a roll in that given the Christian’s ministry is clearly extra-biblical (i.e the bible is completely silent on music as good or bad) and his ministry seems to violate Romans 14. The reason for the splits are simple – ignorance and lack of room for grace. When the message of the gospel goes from the grace of God who calls, justifies, sanctifies and glorifies to behavior modification we are no longer allowing God, through the pages of scripture, to guide us and are thus ignorant to its meaning. When we ignore God’s sovereignty and replace it with freewill as the ultimate authority, we are degrading God’s power to “work all things together for good for those who are called according to His purpose”. We cheapen His grace and strip God of His power to perfectly save and glorify Himself in all things. The fact remains, that I have yet to see anyone prove from the pages of scripture that music of any kind is bad! Every single time I ask I get extra biblical philosophy, tradition or down right falsehoods (including Christian’s so-called medical evidence of music on the brain which has been debunked by medical professionals and scientists time and time again). Theology matters, and if you believe you are the central focus of the scriptures you will likely move to behavior modification as your method of salvation. If you believe God is the central focus of the scriptures than you will realize that your place is one of submission to Him and that He is ultimately in control of his vessels; EVEN IF THOSE VESSELS HAVE DIFFERENT OPINIONS ON MUSIC!

      If you want some biblical evidence (remember that book we as Christians are supposed to read) here you go:

      As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. (ROM 14)

      Without any direct biblical evidence to support Christian’s opinions, they are in fact opinions, and he is to remain silent and protect unity. He has done exactly the opposite. Christian has a conviction regarding music and I can appreciate that and wouldn’t say a word about it for the sake of unity. When he makes it a necessary act of salvation, he has gone from an opinion to a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”, leading the flock astray and that is worth judgement. He should obediently follow his conscience and I should allow him to do so without attack. Let me make this clear however, his conscience should be HIS guide, it should not be MY guide. If his faith is weaker in this regard, he should not make it a point of contention but instead default to unity. When he makes an opinion a universal he is doing exactly the opposite of what Paul is saying to do! He should remain quite, but I suspect that fame and money supersede obedience to Christ. Furthermore, he has not a shred of biblical training in exegesis or theology and until he knows what he is talking about, he has no business teaching anyone. What he has is a philosophy steeped in tradition that has helped to provide him with a nice income from the SDA church which is grossly ignorant of the scriptures and very much desirous of behavior modification. He is sacrificing unity and thus sacrificing Christ’s work and that can not be ignored.

      If he would like to publicly debate his opinions, I will be glad to send him a plane ticket to Colorado and we can debate this issue in the public square. I’m not going to hold be breath however.

    • Pringle
    • December 17th, 2013

    I agree whole heartedly that there is way too much cheapening of Grace.

    I think the real issue is A – non citizen of the kingdom of God and B – citizen of the kingdom (B1- spiritually mature born again spirit filled child of God and B2 -name only believers). B1wcould be more secure in his faith than B2 listening to the same music of contention.

    Gods word is mightier than a 2 edged sword to separate spirit and soul and yes you have all have valid points but can an individual feed both, one cant have dual passports being in the kingdom of God and being of the world. Paul tells us to renew our minds – I doubt one cant do that in the Word and in prayer and after a night out at the local death metal/rave / reggae club.
    If our Saturday pursuits are far from Gods presence then were not in great shape for worshipping him on Sunday.

    As leaders we need to teach and guide which road is best avoided. The horse of experience counts here as teachers and a new convert may be easier lead off track and more prone to backsliding then otherwise would be if carried on listening to the marylon mansons and eminems of this word . Do we discount opinions from experience?

    Yours in Christ Jesus
    #Matt28V19 #1Thes5V28

    • I would be in total agreement with just about everything you said. Consider the context of this post, however. Christian is alleging that music is bad because it was an affect on the mind. Not to sound like a broken record but theology matters. Where is the Holy Spirit in his theology? Where is the scriptural proof that an object is “bad”. My theology blames the person, not the thing, for sin. The entire content of his message is a humancentric mind set influenced not by the church but by worldly culture. He uses “proofs” from the medical community (all thoroughly debunked theories mind you), personal experience, and tradition to reach a set of religious people who are steeped in legalism – The Seventh Day Adventist Church. He is, in fact, not a Christian speaker but another Tony Robins with a pithy message that he has layered Jesus over the top so he can get paid by good but ignorant people.

      I believe that culture is not neutral. It is create by God for a purpose. Just because we have abused a good thing does not mean that the thing (culture) is magically bad. We simply don’t have the power to foil God’s sovereign plan. We just miss the intent of the culture because we are cursed, depraved individuals.

      One word of warning, about the responsibility of leaders. Leaders are responsible for guiding people to the truth and reprove people who are on the wrong path. It is not the responsible of a leader to be the Holy Spirit for the followers. We are not in the changing business, we are in the truth business, and we should remain silent on culture issues that fall outside of our charter. In many cases, issues outside of the leader’s charter are what destroy the church. For instance, I doubt a single Sunday goes by where a sermon on the evils of drink is not preached. I have heard many of them but have yet to hear a biblical one. Now drinking can certainly lead to evil but the bible speaks of drinking in a positive context. When a pastor decides to “save” his church by preaching on drinking, he is doing so because he believes that it is his church and his responsible to save the people in the church from themselves. It is, in fact, not his church, it’s Christs, and as an ambassador for Christ, I choose to stick to His message even though I might have practical experience regarding drinking (as an Ex-Cop, I have plenty of practical experience with the evils of drink). With drinking we have at least some biblical evidence to support a sermon on responsible drinking, with music we have nothing to fall back on but personal experience and I firmly believe we should remain silent on those issues because obviously Jesus didn’t feel He needed our help in that regard.

      Just last week there was a controversy on Reformed Rap music and Christianity and the responses from a panel of white guys was damnable at best. They called Christian rappers things like “disobedient cowards”.or “Rap is the death letters of a culture of death”. Though I am not a fan of Rap, to make the claim that a particular type of music that is, in fact, very edifying and theologically sound, is being bad is a horrendous misuse of pastoral powers and the outcry and eventual repentance of the men on the panel was paramount. PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE MEN REPENTED, CHRISTIAN HAS NOT.

      When it comes to music, I do think we do have a conscious prohibition and I think that some music is not appropriate for corporate worship. Rap for instance is not usually something the people will enter into corporate worship with because it is difficult to sing to. The goal of a corporate worship environment is not to create an entertaining show but to enter into a state of mind that appreciates Jesus. However, when not in a corporate worship environment if I get closer to Jesus through rap or secular music (as if Jesus can’t redeem a secular singer) then go for it. Like with everything, our Christianity does’t end on Sunday, so we must and should be reflecting Christ in everything we do.

  5. Thank you for sharing the video, I learned a lot to be honest, and want my choices to be made for music to have a Holy sound. God has a way of reaching those who will search for Him with all their heart.

  6. Berdahl is an SDA and so am I – and he doesn’t speak for all of us! I think he is personally rubbish. We certainly have our share of crack-pot extremists, but please don’t tar us all with the same brush please.

    You will note his ministry is an ‘independent’ ministry, which has nothing to do with the official SDA Church. You will also note he is actually a new Christian – only having converted in 1995. You will also see he has no professional qualifications in the subject he talks about – he is not one of the many SDA theologians who have decades of experience and PhDs to boot in discussing theology.

    In my own local SDA Church, we use contemporary Hillsong music. However, a couple of members have now come across Berdahl and it is causing the very sorts of divisions in our local Church you were talking about.

    I may not be an expert in music, but I am an expert in the SDA Church. And I again say – Berdahl doesn’t speak for all 22 million of us! Contrary to popular opinion, we actually are a relatively broad Church, with loose central control (hence Berdahl running around as an independent ministry).

    This means the SDA Church has everything from liberals who believe in evolution, women’s ordination, gay rights, don’t believe Ellen White had the spiritual gift of prophecy and embrace the critical historical method of reading the Bible. By contrast, we have conservatives like Berdahl who embrace young earth creationism, literal-verbal-inspiration of the Bible, quote Ellen White as some sort of Talmud and yes – embrace such ultra-conservative views on music.

    So please be careful in judging all SDAs but the craziness of one man, who is not even an official leader of our Church!

    • Just is in the mainstream church, there are many leaders and followers who do not practice descernment or have any idea what theology is. These people need to be held accountable for leading the people astray and as much as I’m sure there are plenty of SDA out there with good descernment, I certianly don’t hear the church as a whole jumpping up and down to try to get rid of this wolf amoung your midst. Where are these official leaders and why are they not speaking out?

    • Andy
    • November 13th, 2014

    Elijah was the “troubler of israel”. “34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother…36And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” Matthew 10. According to the spirit of prophecy the straight testimony will cause the shaking.

    • It might be better to give some context to your post. I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. A few points of clarification. Elijah is not the “troubler of Israel”. He was accused for that by Ahab but Ahab is the “Troubler”. In the next sentence it clarifies this…

      “When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals.” (1 Kings 18:17-18 ESV)

      Furthermore, your email address is “readyourbiblefirst” so I am hoping that your quoting of Ellen G. White is tongue and cheek, since Ellen G. White knew nothing of the bible and presented herself as a profit and then proved herself to be a false one on numerous occasion.

      I assume you are quoting EW 270.2

      “I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the True Witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people.”

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