March 2010 - Vol. 6, No. 3
LOOKING FORWARD to the General Conference is a short, informative piece by Kimberly Luste Maran.
More than 2,400 delegates are selected from all the church’s thirteen world divisions as representatives of the local conferences and churches. They review important plans and policies of the church and change, remove from, and/or add to the church’s manual (a document containing information and instructions about the operation of the Adventist Church). They also elect leaders to serve in key church governance roles.
This year the session will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, from June 24 to July 3. About 50,000 people are expected to travel from all parts of the world to the session to worship on Sabbath and fellowship with brothers and sisters from around the globe.
In IS THE FACE OF ADVENTISM CHANGING? by Jan Paulsen is an attempt to apply eternal values to our changing cultures. The following is his statement of belief about Scripture.
Scripture. . .is the voice of God giving values and direction to humankind. Scripture tells us about the second coming of Christ, about His ongoing ministry of reconciliation and judgment, about how He made us and life on this planet, about His prophetic gift to the church—it’s a list we could expand to embrace each of our 28 Fundamental Beliefs. (1)
SLEEP APNEA by Allan R. Handysides and Peter N. Landless is a really, really important medical wake-up for people who have a peculiar sleep pattern in which they snore and/or breath deeper and deeper, then stop breathing, only to start breathing again with a kind of snort. That pattern is repeated, sometimes hundreds of times during the night.
Millions of people worldwide have sleep apnea. It’s more common as the population ages, and more frequently found in men—especially those who are overweight, smoke, have thicker necks, and possibly have more soft tissue in their nasopharyngeal area.
Sleep apnea is a factor in high blood pressure. The rise in blood carbon dioxide and the fall in blood oxygen tension may be involved in triggering vascular changes.
It’s well recognized that as a group, people with sleep apnea are more likely to have ischemic heart disease, cardiac rhythm irregularities, and heart failure in their ranks than a control population.
Some people have had relief from what has been called 'somnoplasty.' This is a surgery in which soft tissue at the back of the throat is removed. The procedure involves the uvula and the soft palate. It can bring benefits, but by far the most useful treatment is something called CPAP. The letters stand for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. A device that increases the pressure in the airway is used to hold the airway tissue open during sleep. This takes a little getting used to, but the patients readily adjust to the apparatus and soon learn to appreciate the benefits enormously. By reducing the fluctuations in oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, CPAP removes some of the underlying mechanisms that may predispose to hypertension and heart risk.
Visit your doctor if that sounds like you. I did, and after a sleep study, I was diagnosed with sleep apnea. I don my CPAP mask nightly. It’s a matter of life and breath.
CASTING A UNITED VISION is Sandra Blackmer’s interview of Daniel R. Jackson, President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada. What I found interesting was the following response to Blackmer’s questions concerning same-sex marriage.
Jackson: “In a free and open society you can have a law that provides for same-sex marriage [which doesn’t] penalize the person who does not choose either to practice it or promote it.”
Blackmer: “So Adventists in Canada still have the right to choose not to perform same-sex marriages and the right not to hire a person who practices a gay lifestyle as a teacher or a pastor?”
Jackson: “Right, absolutely.”
Clinton Wahlen reveals seven must-know facts about last-day events in TIME TO GO. Wahlen serves as an Associate Director of the Biblical Research Institute at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. (2)
TOUCHING THE UNTOUCHABLES: Sung-Hun Choi, A Korean Adventist Pioneer by Kuk-Heon Lee, is a MUST READ.
Choi. . .was passionate for God’s work. When he got an invitation from the lepers to come and preach God’s message, he made a decision to work for them. ‘I couldn’t refuse their invitation because I saw their looks of appeal. I found that they really longed for God’s message and heavenly hope,’ he confessed. This meeting was to be a providential encounter for Choi, as he decided to focus his ministry on people suffering from leprosy for the rest of his life.
Choi ministered for 40 years as a pastor. Most of the time he worked to take care of the lepers at Youngshinwon in Hadong, Aejowon in Chungmu, Sosaengwon in Iksan, and in other places. He built many churches, training centers for the children of lepers, and old age homes for the aged lepers. After retiring officially from the ministry, he continued with the same passion until the end of his life. God surely used Pastor Choi to open a window of mission to his fellow Adventists in Korea and beyond. He was a wonderful man of God and is remembered by Korean Adventists as the saint of the lepers. He truly touched the untouchables.
CREATION AND END-TIME TRUTHS is a Bible study by Mark A. Finley. As a summary statement, he offers the following: “The last battle in the long-standing controversy between good and evil is over the commandments of God. The Sabbath, the symbol of Creation, is at the center of the conflict.” Finley, you’re just plain wrong about the “center of the conflict”. (3)
(1) Dr. Paulsen, just because “we could expand [that statement] to embrace each of our 28 Fundamental Beliefs”, why must we? Why should we? What about sola scriptura? This creed is now set in concrete and defended officially and irrationally as God ordained, in spite of the fact that a preface to SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS BELIEVE states that “understanding is ever progressive” and Adventist doctrines are “the product of Adventist growth ‘in grace and knowledge’”.
(2) What I found interesting was the 27-footnote bibliography supplied by a Director of the Biblical Institute. Every footnote referenced the writings of Ellen G. White.
(3) Matthew 25:31-46"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'” ***** Adventist World is free online. For that reason, I only review or comment on articles and editorials that I believe to be of special interest.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/2249