The Authority of God's Word
Heresy is not the most serious threat facing Adventists and the world, but subtle subversion of the authority of God's Word. From man's fall in Eden the supreme issue has always been the substitution of human for divine authority. The tree of knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden along with the tree of life required a choice to depend on God for life and wisdom or upon human reason and experience based on ever-partial knowledge.
Eve chose to deny divine authority, putting her trust in a reason based on deceptive experience and stimulated by emotions of curiosity that soon led to independence and pride. Adam acted in fear of being left alone. Both failed to trust God's Word and acted in unbelief based on partial knowledge. All who act on the basis of reason or experience unwittingly act upon human emotions of pride and/or fear and come under bondage to instincts and feelings that can be resisted only as we trust in God's Word and respond to the Holy Spirit Who empowers obedience.
The final conflict will be determined by whether we now learn to consistently trust and act upon the authority of God's whole Word. Otherwise pride or fear will drive us to act upon our own reason and/or experience. Conservatives have long warned of this danger to Liberals who, depending on the authority of reason, scholarship, and experience undermine the right hemisphere of truth (law and obedience). But few recognize their own failure to focus upon a balance of truth. Unless we recognize the two poles of truth and learn to think paradoxically, so that each pole is viewed in the light of its balancing principle (see The Issue), we ourselves will be deceived by eating of the tree of partial knowledge, which we take for the whole and thus unwittingly subvert the very authority we seek to defend.