Fourteen Million and Counting

Believe it or not…there are churches that don’t bear false witness against people who have moved their membership to a different congregation/denomination, or against people who resigned their membership for whatever reason. They just don’t.

But you are correct about the bearing of false witness. This happens a lot in Adventism in several different situations (people who leave, or people who have a critique, or disagree with their doctrines). It’s strange that they don’t get that they are breaking this commandment, especially because they are so dogmatic about keeping the commandments, and claim that they are the only group that keeps them all. But, they don’t.

I encourage every Adventist - well everyone - to actually read the three versions of the 10 Commandments and then ask yourselves if you were taught to follow them - even to try to follow them.

Remember that the SDA church teaches they are to be taken literally and not figuratively.

Look out for phrases like:

  • “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.” [So no images of anything that exists - anywhere.]
  • “Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you.”
  • “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread. For seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv,…”
  • “Celebrate the Festival of Weeks with the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, and the Festival of Ingathering at the turn of the year.”
  • “Three times a year all your men are to appear before the Sovereign Lord, the God of Israel.”
  • “…do not let any of the sacrifice from the Passover Festival remain until morning.”
  • “Bring the best of the firstfruits of your soil to the house of the Lord your God.”
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If a family member were alienated for some reason, would you, if you loved them, not seek to get them back into the family for fellowship and to be able to show your love to them? Issues can keep such individuals apart, but certainly efforts to resolve the differences would be steps in the right direction. I think real love seeks the other. Jesus invited the rich your ruler into fellowship because he loved him. He struck at the idol of his soul, and offered heaven and a place at his side. It was a fantastic offer, but the ruler refused. He would not leave his idol. A tremendous loss.

There is truth in this sentiment, but if I saw someone headed for a cliff, and I loved them, I might intervene even in a rude fashion to save them from loss. Loss of heaven is an eternal thing. Membership does not mean heaven, but “just enjoying their company” does not seem to measure the sense of the danger that earthly existence entails. Warning folk of their danger is an act of love, even if rejected. And even if done clumsily.

just saw this, carol’s son is still alive. there was a book and movie called prayers for bobby who committed suicide (such ugly words) I found this book a good read http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/walking-bridgeless-canyon-ready-pre-orders/
we like making everything hard for the sake of being hard.

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Interesting article just published today: U.S. Church Membership Down Sharply in Past Two Decades

“U.S. church membership was 70% or higher from 1937 through 1976, falling modestly to an average of 68% in the 1970s through the 1990s. The past 20 years have seen an acceleration in the drop-off, with a 20-percentage-point decline since 1999 and more than half of that change occurring since the start of the current decade.”

"The decline in church membership is consistent with larger societal trends in declining church attendance and an increasing proportion of Americans with no religious preference.

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The “correct” measure is not how many people the curch idetifies as SDA members but how many people identify themselves as SDA. In some countries the best way to determine “membership” (self-identification) is through the 5 yearly census. Many will include a question on religion. In the anonimity of the census people will identify with the religion/denomination they feel closest too, even if they do not regularly (if ever) attend a church.

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Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus should all be “fertile” ground for Christianity, if not the SDA church.

Buddhists: Buddha, a contemporary of Daniel, foretold of one who would come after him who was Love. The name Buddha gave him was Maitreya. (God is Love 1 John 4:8)

Hindus: Actually believe in one all powerful god but worship the many incarnations of the one god. (The Trinity)

Muslims: True muslims are adventists. They believe and are waiting for the 2nd coming of Jesus.

There are many touch points that Christianity and Adventists have in common with other world religions but we focus on the differences to shun them, rather than what we have in common to dialogue with them.

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This may be true about the “self-identification” but if they cannot keep the church books straight…I doubt that they would take on such a revealing longitudinal study.

These are responses from the last two censuses taken in Australia. Using the population figures from the same censuses the approximate number of self identifying SDA in Australia in 2011 67,500 and in 2016 it was 70,200. The official report listed members at 59,112. Allowing for a +/- on the percentage below it places self identifying SDA’s at between 81,900 and 58,500.

The other thing to note is the company we keep, the other “religions” of a similar size.

Interesting…now to conduct the same for the rest of Adventism to see if the same phenomena applies.

Percentages of Adventists here are fairly consistent with what I have seen reported in other places. SDAs are a small fraction of the Christian world. What is a little surprising to me is that I have heard through the years that there were reportedly more SDAs in Australia…perhaps their reputation there is greater than their actual numbers.

Salvation Army is a religion? Huh.

But hey, at least we’re bigger than the Oriental Orthodox. Close race.

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A phenomenon that the SDA church leadership do not investigate is,
WHY are so many people NOT interesting in honoring, or worshiping
God?
WHY do they have a Negative understanding, dislike for God.
IS there something that can change their minds??

Perhaps they have received false ideas of what the messages of Jesus
are that He preached for 3 years. Perhaps they need to hear His TRUE
messages. Jesus is reported by John to have said My teachings are
the way, the truth, and they give life.
Perhaps we need to CHANGE OUR TOTAL WAY of evangelizing The
Good News, the announcement of The Kingdom of Heaven.

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Yes!

Let’s have a major 5-6 days of GC devoted to the progressive propagation of the Gospel with creatives, filmmakers, communication professionals, artists, futurists, thinkers, Gen Z, new converts, researchers, marketers…

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And then go right back to the way we have been doing things all along.

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This organization will limp on unless it listens to the creative voices gifted by the Holy Spirit, people blessed with talent, skills, dreams, new ideas. Something like H.M.S. Richards who had the outlandish idea to use radio. The health care arm seems to practice forward thinking and paying competitive wages. Perhaps it’s why they are financially healthy, creative, growing, and so professional.

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Yes, spend a lot of money! Leger sheets SHOW we Did SOMETHING!
But most of the time wasted energy, effort in actually CHANGING THE WORLD.
During the 50’s and 60’s we were NOT friends of Martin Luther King, jr. or any
of his friends.
Do we attempt to change behaviors in Africa, India, Central/South America?
Last night I met a person who just returned from a 2 year in a French speaking
African country. Things in the village she worked were not any better than they
were BEFORE THE WHITE MAN CAME. That was a long time ago, and this is
2019. NO CHANGE. Still the village is a dangerous place to live – barely food,
no medical opportunities, poor water. She was attempting to encourage the
ability for more food by improved gardening practices.
She, herself, said she lost over 20 pounds while there due to the food sources
during her time in the Peace Corps.
I had to go by what she said, She said the government has money, just doesn’t
want to spend it on those things.

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These numbers were for Australia only. If you include NZ, PNG and the Pacific, the official count goes out to well over 400,000. The ratio of Adventists in the community in PNG is said to be about 1:8. Australia had about 23.5M in 2016 but only 70k are Adventists, while the whole division only has about 40M but there are about 450k Adventists. Australia is the mission field, not the Pacific Islands.

The influence of Adventists is quite strong in Australia due to the Sydney Adventist Hospital, which is patronised by the rich and powerful, and the Sanitarium Health Food Company, which is a major food manufacturer in both Australia and NZ. The prominence of these two make Adventists look “bigger” than what they are. Add to that schools and the real estate of the church headquarters.

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Very interesting stats and info! Thank-you.

The good news of the kingdom as propagated by Adventism would first need to be straightened out. The emphasis on apocalyptic adversaries, time of trouble in which Adventists are hunted by those adversaries, the centrality of the Sabbath, etc., needs to be totally rethought. This is not the gospel. Nor is a sole emphasis on individual salvation and a ticket out of this world, because it’s gonna burn up anyway.

Adventism, because of its emphasis on holistic health, and less prominently on our relationship to the earth and environment, can do well in reaching out to people concerned about such, in the context that the kingdom of God, as embodied in Jesus, is his project to restore and heal his creation. Reaching people with the idea that all of us can have a place and role in his project would go hand and hand with this…what is traditionally called repent and believe the good news. Add to this that through Christ and his Spirit God is seeking to bridge the gaps between people groups of this world, that in his eyes all are equally one in Christ Jesus, and we may have another contact point to a relevant concern of people of today.

I think that real creativity can flow from this.

Thanks…

Frank

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Nor will it ever happen.

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