Adventism has always taught a different gospel.
The 10/40 window in the Middle East/Asia with a dismal demographic of Christians, is one of the most discouraging, daunting districts where decades of diligent effort have made hardly a dent.
Adventism’s anti-Catholic rhetoric is legendary. But denouncing the Pope does not result in a “fatwa” for blasphemy. Converting a Catholic does not consummate in the killing of an “infidel”.
Will I be indicted an “Islamophobe” if I pronounce Islam the greatest current threat to Christianity?
ISLAM’S barriers to evangelism are baffling, Byzantine and formidably IMPENETRABLE.
Hinduism, is the third largest global belief system. It’s polytheism, including worship of the “elephant god” Ganesha and many other fanciful figures, should make it an easy target for demolition. But replacing Hindu fanciful figures with Adventism"s fanciful figures from Revelation has not proved fruitful!
Meanwhile Europe becomes increasingly Islamic, atheistic, secular and non church attending.
The soon coming of the Saviour recedes into a distant mirage if “preaching the gospel to all the world” necessitates “then shall the end come”
We exult in our eighteen million membership. The dismaying, dismal DIRE demographics, reveal a birth rate of one million babies a week, most born to “heathen” mothers in African shanty towns and Asian slums.
Our entire Adventist population, replicated in a third of a year!
ARE WE PLAYING “CATCH UP”?
Eyethink2, I find your description of the frustrations in your church sadly familiar.
This is quite similar to what is happening in my church. We had a very successful church. It was so full every week that people had to stand in the back. However, we have had a couple of difficult years. A plan was presented to turn our very pretty church into a television studio with about a million dollars worth of equipment on the walls and ceilings and the congregation would need to pay for about half of it. This plan wasn’t well presented, was never understood by most (including me) and it didn’t go through. We lost a well-liked pastor and then an associate pastor. We now have one youth pastor and two interim pastors while we look for a permanent head pastor. That search has taken over a year. In addition, a very poor choice in personnel in the attached school led to about 30% of the families leaving the school and feeling sort of unwelcome at church. We now have a broken church and the pews are only about half full.
A friend and I were talking about the hard feelings many people still have over various issues that happened during these difficult years. I said to her that I wished that we could train a new kind of SDA pastor. The kind of pastor who would sit and listen and…minister. In fact, I believe we need a “church healer” for a couple years at our church. However, as this friend is on the search committee and didn’t know what this was, maybe the SDA denomination does not have that kind of pastor. In other denominations this kind of pastor definitely exists. I have a Church of God friend who has one in her church right now. Unfortunately, we have a culture where our pastors don’t feel any need to do exactly what you suggested. I have no idea why. It makes no sense and it is not the least bit helpful to growing a church.
I believe this attitude from pastors is the result of a heavy bureaucracy which pressures them to maximize their church’s tithe giving and baptize and little more. Additionally, something about our church does not foster a deeply spiritual or reflective type of personality in the pastorate. There does not seem to be any idea of pastors who are highly responsible individuals who are capable of shepherding a flock. (My apologies to the pastors who are the exception to this generalization–certainly there are many and I’ve been fortunate to know a few who have made a real difference in my life.)