'Mission to the Cities' Abridged


(system) #1

Given that it looks like this is going to be a significant undertaking by the General Conferenence, and we'll be discussing it, here are a few key paragraphs from the "Mission to the Cities" sermon by Ted Wilson.

This is a comprehensive call for Mission to the Cities! The Spirit of Prophecy, God’s practical counsel for His remnant people, indicates a wide variety of outreach activities under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. These approaches and programs will involve the use of centers of influence, local churches, church members, teams of young people involved in a variety of outreach initiatives, literature evangelism, small group outreach, medical missionary work, health lectures, door-to-door missionary work, community services and social work that follow Christ’s methods, cooperating with Adventist Community Services and ADRA; integrated media evangelism, counseling centers, reading rooms or Adventist Book Centers, Bible studies by members, young people and Bible workers, child evangelism, personal evangelism and witnessing, public evangelism, and many more methods yet to be initiated by the Holy Spirit. We need pastors and lay people working together. Pastors and health professionals are to work, as indicated by the Spirit of Prophecy, in a “blended ministry.” We need denominational organizations and supporting ministries working together in soul winning for the great cities of this world. We need thousands of church members distributing Christian literature like “The Great Controversy” in the project to distribute that marvelous book to neighbors and friends during 2012 and 2013 that will alert millions of people to the times in which we live. It is the book Ellen White indicated she wished circulated more than any other she had written. It appears at this point, brothers and sisters, that over 150 million copies of the classic, abridged, revised, or children’s versions will be distributed worldwide and for this we praise the Lord! All of us are to be reading The Great Controversy this year in anticipation of sharing it next year. Nancy and I are reading it and are thrilled! I read from it this morning.

We need everyone dedicated to a comprehensive and sustained evangelistic outreach that will replicate the urban evangelistic work being done in the city of San Francisco in the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, which Ellen White called, interestingly, a “beehive” of activity. In the Review and Herald of July 5, 1906, she wrote, “During the past few years the ‘beehive’ in San Francisco has been indeed a busy one. Many lines of Christian effort have been carried forward by our brethren and sisters there. These included visiting the sick and destitute, finding homes for orphans and work for the unemployed, nursing the sick, and teaching the truth from house to house, distributing literature, and conducting classes on healthful living and the care of the sick. A school for the children has been conducted in the basement of the Laguna Street meetinghouse. For a time a workingmen's home and medical mission was maintained. On Market Street, near the city hall, there were treatment rooms, operated as a branch of the St. Helena Sanitarium. In the same locality was a health-food store. Nearer the center of the city, not far from the Call building, was conducted a vegetarian cafe, which was open six days in the week and entirely closed on the Sabbath. Along the water front, ship mission work was carried on. At various times our ministers conducted meetings in large halls in the city. Thus the warning message was given by many.” We need a strategic plan, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, for every city in every country in every division around the world that will produce this “beehive.”

[snip]

Our “Mission to the Cities” must be based on Biblical principles and Spirit of Prophecy counsel. This approach includes the profound and heavenly-inspired plan outlined by Ellen White which shows an “in-out” approach to the cities. Let me explain: Inside the cities we are to have “centers of influence” which can include churches, health clinics and centers, reading rooms, vegetarian restaurants, community centers, etc. Outside of the cities we are to have “outpost centers” which include training centers for evangelistic workers, lifestyle health centers, and places for urban evangelistic workers to live or at least to visit to be refreshed in a country setting close to God’s second book of nature.

[snip]

The truth, presented to the cities, will portray Christ and His eternal, saving love and the plan of salvation. It will show that an all-knowing God, the Father, God, the Son and God, the Holy Spirit have existed from eternity and into all eternity. It will lift up Christ’s righteousness, His three angels’ messages of Revelation 14, and His soon second coming. It will point people to the true worship of God and the keeping of His commandments including the precious fourth commandment as an eternal sign of loyalty-----the seventh-day Sabbath, the capstone of His creative power on this earth in six, literal days. Recently, the small 60-member, rural Andrews, North Carolina, Seventh-day Adventist church decided to organize a “Sabbath Celebration.” They invited community people and Seventh-day Adventists. About 1400 people showed up, including some community guests (1). The sacredness and rest of the Sabbath is vitally important to the people of the cities. Our Advent message will point to the mortality of our lives and warn people about mystical beliefs and spiritualism. It will bring new life through an emphasis on healthful principles and health reform. It will share the magnificent sanctuary message pointing to the Lamb of Calvary and our High Priest who is interceding for us during the investigative judgment in the most holy place in the heavenly sanctuary.

It will portray the unique calling of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as God’s humble, remnant people who proclaim with love a prophetic warning message as we unselfishly serve others. It will shield us from ecumenism and give us the power to proclaim the distinctive, historicist, prophetic messages of Daniel and Revelation.

The sermon can be read in toto here. Pastor John McLarty worked with Ted Wilson's "beehive model" in New York City during the early 1980s. Read his account of that here.

1. I looked into Wilson's example of the "Sabbath Celebration" at the Andrews Church in North Carolina. It's not exactly as miraculous or as evangelistic as Wilson makes it sound. First, it was an ASI-produced event. Second, it was fed to 3AngelsTube and Ted Wilson was the main speaker, although some 3ABN favorites like David Gates, Kenneth Cox, and Mr. "Sunday's Coming before 1999" Ed Reid also participated. According to this story promoting the event in the local paper (the organizers expected 2000), "About 11 churches from Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee will be represented, and about 100 pastors from churches in Cherokee, Clay and Graham counties have been invited to bring their parishioners." So, about 14 Adventists per pastor showed up. Here's the website for the event. It has one blog post about its success dated Aug. 14. Here's video of David Gates and Ted Wilson's sermon that day. Despite their actual self-congratulatory statements in that video of this event "going viral," it has currently been viewed 323 times since it was posted about two months ago.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/3480