Adventism at the Crossroads — Part 2

In my previous article entitled “Adventism at the Crossroads" (Part 1), in a provocative way I argued for the need for fundamental changes in the way church is done. This argument was informed by and in response to the disruption that COVID-19 has brought about in every aspect of our lives. Of course, most of Adventism is still in denial, such that whatever arrangements we have put in place, there is a sense that these are temporary, for a day is coming when COVID-19 shall be no more and church will return to what it was.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Moving forward - to the beginning; or “back to the future”, like the marquee advertised.

Finally the church invisible is making itself felt. Like the first Christians knew, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands. AND, The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. (Acts.)

There’s a sign in front of a church since the pandemic hit - “Church is open - the building is closed”.


Excellent ideas, now to go forward with them!!


I find it ironic that our local, rural congregation, having been very much nurtured and mission driven, with women providing much of the impetus, is finding itself even more so being guided, nurtured, and shepherded by the women of the church as it reshapes its programs and mission to the new reality of Covid-19.

Yes, the male pastor, is still active with the congregation but on an even more limited basis than he had been, what with his responsibilities for more than one congregation, but other than that, the church hierarchy; the conference, union conference, the NAD, and the GC are becoming increasingly redundant in their importance to the local membership and mission. This seems to be a very good development in my opinion. Maybe the sinkhole congregations have been pouring their money into for generations can finally be paved over and forgotten.


The function of Church is to be a “shule”, a school, where Pastors, using the Harkness method, are facilitators of learning, practical Christian living skills, and theology.


First, these two articles by Admiral Ncube are brilliant and right on the money. I suspect that we laypersons who feel this way will have to drag the bureaucracy kicking and screaming in the directions suggested in the articles.

Admiral is exactly right: “Of course, most of Adventism is still in denial, such that whatever arrangements we have put in place, there is a sense that these are temporary, for a day is coming when COVID-19 shall be no more and church will return to what it was”
Ncube said, “Our world now requires us to shift from being doctrine-centered, proving the correctness of our position, to being more practical, relevant, and relationship-orientated.” If we could make that one paradigm shift, it would transform out fellowship.


Thank you Admiral Ncube. You have articulated what many of us have felt. Now, what’s next?


This has been my church experience for years.
Ie in particular a supportive SS class where the official lesson is sometimes utilised but mostly not and anything is up for discussion.


Does that not paint Adventism with too broad a brush?

“It is a solemn statement that I make to the church, that not one in twenty whose names are registered upon the church books are prepared to close their earthly history, and would be as verily without God and without hope in the world as the common sinner…” {GCB, July 1, 1900 par. 7}

We have little enough of Christ’s character. We need it all through our ranks, We must reveal that love which dwelt in Jesus. Then we shall keep the commandment [that we love one another], which not one in a hundred of those who claim to believe the truth for this time are keeping. . . . {7MR 389.3}


At times, when a small group of men entrusted with the general management of the work have, in the name of the General Conference, sought to carry out unwise plans and to restrict God’s work, I have said that I could no longer regard the voice of the General Conference, represented by these few men, as the voice of God. {GW 490.1}

Thus, comes the danger of forming friendships that are too social and not heavenly good.
We can fall out of either side of the boat if not cautious and prayerful in our efforts.

we are held accountable by the Lord for making the most of our opportunities to enlighten those in need of present truth. And one of the principal agencies He has ordained for our use is the printed page. In our schools and sanitariums, in our home churches…–Testimonies, vol. 9, pp. 86, 87.

I must admit that I had to look that up. I agree that it looks like a great teaching method. We use it in our Sabbath School class–without knowing the name.
If people are sitting in church, we have a lecture environment.
If the same people sit around a table (round if possible), we have a conference environment where there is a lot more interchange of ideas.
If the table is removed, with people in a circle with no barrier between, we can get down to the emotional level.

I am more familiar with the 5Es method of teaching.

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All things change naturally, opposing change is unhealthy, unnatural, like binding the feet.
Leaders of our denomination are there to lead forward, not to keep us in the same place, where there is no longer any pasture, we need to move forward.
Possibilities are exciting, Adventism is a prophetic movement announcing the restoration of the Biblical Ten Commandments, so that reconciliation with our twin brother becomes possible, before the imminent return of the Messiah King Jesus.

Absolutely agree with John. Our little Calif. church was abandoned three years ago when our pastor was forced to retire. Nothing from the local Conf. we still exist to them, ONLY through the tithes that we still continue to send. Bet we would hear though, if our monthly check didn’t reach them. Actually we are very happy with who we are and are left to be the kind of Church that we want to be and meets OUR standards (along with God’s of course).

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Yes, this is a problem. Basically taxation without representation! LOL

The wife and I withdrew our tithing support when Ted Wilson instituted the Compliance Commities. We now give our tithes partially to the local church budget and the rest to the local Moose Lodge. They have a project of raising funds that go for support, education, and emergency shelter for homeless LGBT+ youth.

Scandalous, I know, but then Jesus taught us to love and care for “the least of these” so we are operating with a clear conscience. If these kids don’t qualify as being “the least of these” then no one does.


Johnny, My husband and I did the same. Bible says give your tithe, doesn’t specify to a certain Church. Since we are Leaders in our church we give the tiniest tithe we can to still qualify us for our positions. LOL The main amount goes to our own church. The rest is determined by who is the neediest for that month. But it STILL all belongs to the Lord.!


I looked it up. Here’s what it says in Deuteronomy 14, which different than what the church teaches…

Regulations concerning Tithes

Set apart a tithe of all the yield of your seed that is brought in yearly from the field. In the presence of the Lord your God, in the place that he will choose as a dwelling for his name, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, your wine, and your oil, as well as the firstlings of your herd and flock, so that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. But if, when the Lord your God has blessed you, the distance is so great that you are unable to transport it, because the place where the Lord your God will choose to set his name is too far away from you, then you may turn it into money. With the money secure in hand, go to the place that the Lord your God will choose; spend the money for whatever you wish—oxen, sheep, wine, strong drink, or whatever you desire. And you shall eat there in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your household rejoicing together. As for the Levites resident in your towns, do not neglect them, because they have no allotment or inheritance with you.

Every third year you shall bring out the full tithe of your produce for that year, and store it within your towns; the Levites, because they have no allotment or inheritance with you, as well as the resident aliens, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, may come and eat their fill so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work that you undertake.

For some reason, I have never heard a sermon on this from the pulpit! Not sure why. :slight_smile:


Good, great results from your research Tim. That was what the Jews and nobody else was supposed to to in those days.
Now, why don’t you go ahead and also do a little “look up” again, but this time in the New Testament and then you come back and report the results of your research? This way we will learn exactly what the NT teaches about our obligations as Christians. This could be extremely helpful.

I am trying to keep you busy so that you won’t be too bored at home during the pandemic.


It has occurred to me that the peculiar doctrines mentioned are Bible words (well, some of them) but they aren’t actually Bible teachings.

I used to give a lot of Bible studies, and I remember well people’s responses such as,“You say the spirit of prophecy in Revelation is messages God gave only to your church and only through one person? Why didn’t you tell me you’ were a Mormon?” :smile:


It is in this context that in my adult life I began to realize that church was missing the mark. It was more of an opportunity to see, on weekly basis, who was loyal to the church.

Their were no deep connections or support between members nor did anyone connect / engage in more than a superficial manner. Looking back it has always been, as the author so poignantly states, an event.

Instead of the experience that the early church members enjoyed as a result of fellowship it is a weekly regurgitation of fundamental doctrine and orthodoxy enforcement with no real connection or relevance to the lives of those attendance.

The truth is venerated but in a manner of trophies in a glass case for excellence in sports long since abandoned and the athletes long since dead. The races are run the records set with everyone satisfied that no athletic meets or changes in games are desirable or needed to challenge the past.

God is using circumstances to challenge and awaken His people to move forward and climb to higher heights of knowledge and spiritual growth. The question is who will answer the call, who will wake from the slumber, who will have oil for their lamps and who will see the hand of God urging His people move forward?


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