Jan Paulsen gets it

(system) #1

By Alexander Carpenter

I am heartened.

I just read the following from General Conference president Jan Paulsen's Sabbath sermon for the Annual Council meetings. (Thanks Adventist News Network for the great article.)

Paulsen said that at the top of the concerns of this rising generation, one centers on the vision the church has for the world around us.

"Does leadership nurture a church which is so focused on spirituality and eternity that they have no feelings in their hearts for what is happening to society today, except to condemn decaying morality," he said. "Do they think about the environment; do they care about HIV [and] AIDS; and what about poverty? Do they understand what poverty really is?"

He said particular emphasis is placed on issues of poverty and how the church addresses these.

"They asked me in Africa a few weeks ago: 'Have you ever been to the home of a really poor family?' And they follow it up with a 'Why not,'" he said. "And they ask me: 'Does the message of Matthew 25 about Christ's presence in the poor, making the point that what you do to one of these you do to me, does it say anything to us as a church?'"

These members are also asking the church to recognize and celebrate cultural differences, the world church president reported.

"'Diversity' is a word we often use; it covers many things, and it is more than racial," he said. "The Seventh-day Adventist Church must not only tolerate differences - and what they are talking about are differences which are not hostile to historic Adventism and historic Adventist values - we must also exercise discipline to accommodate them. The church must be good at affirming many kinds of differences."

Paulsen said one duty of Adventists is not to make others into "cultural replicas" of themselves, but to "receive people you meet with kindness."

He added, "It is a fact that while we, as a global and multi-cultural Seventh-day Adventist family, have the same spiritual DNA, we do not have to have the same 'fingerprints.'"

Of course it will take awhile for this to seep down through our "Peter principled" church bureaucracy - but, by faith, it will!

Perhaps we are reaching a tipping point where visionary Adventists realize that salvation is more than mental assent - that faith works, but it never just works for me.

The prophetic vision of a religiously-informed private and public goodness was the motivating spirit of the early Adventist ethos. A prophetic Christianity speaks to the times, reinterpreting and recreating an always, already present truth.

Now it's time for our leaders to put their money where the rest of the world's mouths are. It's time to shift policy and money away from mass evangelism, wasteful, dated literature scattering and improve our health, media, and educational systems in the developing world. It's time to stop growth for growth's sake (isn't that cancer?) and start building a community that works for the common good. Hearing Paulsen preach it! makes me hope: integrity and poverty, ecology and health care - now there's the desire of ages and a faith for today.

What is that faith?

The most powerful idea in earth's history - that Jesus Christ saves the world.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/4459

(Tom Loop) #2

Yes indeed Jan Paulson gets it. I read his book "Where are We Going."
He is the man for the hour in our history. He is probably the one man who could rise in Alamo town next year and beat TW. ( Sorry George, but I’m switching horses here.) He is in his late 70’s, but I hope God leads him to come out of retiremenmt. Don’t forget the man who led Great Britian from the brink of defeat to it’s finest hour was 77 when he led Britian for one last term from 1951-55. Reflecting back in his memoirs, Old Winnie said that what inspired him to press on in spite of what looked like inevitable defeat was a belief, “that all my past life had been a preparation for this hour and for this trial.” I believe God is prompting Jan Paulson to again be the leader of our church at this crucial hour. JAN PAULSON FOR GC PREZ IN 2015.

(George Tichy) #3

Treason!!! :slight_smile:

I agree with you on Paulsen. Though he had his chance and didn’t do it.
I think that Jackson is our guy IF I withdraw my candidacy - which I am not expected to do. The march toward “upstairs” is alive and well!!! GEORGE TICHY FOR PREZ IN 2015!

(Tom Loop) #4

Okay, George. Here’s the deal. You withdraw your candidacy and we will both close ranks around NAD prez Dan Jackson. If he makes it, I think he needs to include Paulsen as an advisor in the capacity of an elder statesman. Maybe Paulson had his chance, but knew at the time it just wouldn’t fly. Now is the time to strike while the iron is hot.

(George Tichy) #5

Well, I may have to reconsider. Your “deal” is appealing. But what to do with all those who are counting on me already? Maybe they will go with Jackson. That could be very good.
Let me think and consult with my psychiatrist, @elmer_cupino

(Elmer Cupino) #6

At best, I would suggest to stay our course. Any negotiations should be done the night before the voting to give our “manifest” leverage and credibility.

Let the chips fall where they may.