I very much appreciate your imagery of “refurbishing the church” and a “sympathetic conversion” that retains the original character of the dwelling while making it a comfortable and efficient place in the contemporary world. So true!!
In such a scenario, the original pillars of salvation, second coming, sabbath, sanctuary, and thestate of the dead would remain in place.Though the way we express those truths is sure to change with the passage of time.
Some years ago I became chairperson of a Conference Heritage Committee. And I wrestled with the question of why we indulge ourselves in interacting with our heritage. I concluded that the Spirit of God leads individuals, congregations and the sisterhood of same on the battlefield for him. He leads us thru the valleys and again on the mountain-tops of victory. We should look to trace his guidance from the beginning till now. God has not stopped guiding his people.
The LEAD presentations on Thursday evening and Friday of Annual Council certainly provided an excellent glimpse into the beginning decades of Adventism. You can find the powerpoint presentations on the Adventist Review website.
Yet God is still at work for his people! He will yet work with us as we create a “sympathetic conversion” of our spitual home.
In many ways Battle Creek is the place where God’s guidance can be most clearly discerned. In other ways, it is where God’s guidance was spurned to the greatest degree.
And I wonder whether the symbolism of meeting in the Kellogg Arena was lost on our GC leadership. John Harvey and his cohorts actually were in a duel with the GC leadership in the first decade of the twentieth century.
The GC could not have chosen a place symbolizing church conflict better than Battle Creek and the Kellogg Arena within Battle Creek.
In Australia at least the name Kellogg has so many negative connotations to this day as the Adventist Sanitarium cereal brands duel together with Kellogg’s cereals brands. This has been the case for seventy or more years and counting. I once heard a Conference President all but equating the purchase of Kellogg’s breakfast cereals with heresy.