April 2010 - Vol. 6, No. 4
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.
REVIEWS AND COMMENTS Hans Olson has written a brief history of the events in Rwanda that precipitated the 1994 genocide in which 1,000,000 people lost their lives, and 2,000,000 people lost their homes. INTO RWANDA is informative and worth reading, considering the fact that Rwanda was and is the most Christian nation in Africa. Not included in this piece is a bit of shameful Adventist history.
Pastor and doctor son aided Rwanda genocide, BBC, Feb 19, 2003
A pastor in the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been found guilty of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Seventy-eight-year-old Elizaphan Ntakirutimana is the first church leader to be found guilty of genocide by the tribunal and was sentenced to 10 years in jail. The judges said they took into account his previous good character and also his current frail health. The tribunal based in Arusha, Tanzania, heard that the pastor had personally driven Hutu attackers to places where Tutsis had taken refuge. His son, Doctor Gerard Ntakirutimana was sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment for murdering Tutsi civilians. . .The pastor and his son, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, are the ninth and tenth people to be convicted by the court since its creation in November 1994.
POSTITIONED FOR SUCCESS reported by Bernadine Delafield is not online. The report raises the question, “Was the North American Division’s 2009 Year of Evangelism a success? Here is part of that report.
Participation during the Year of Evangelism is a good indicator of what’s happening in our churches. . .With 6,013 churches and companies and 45,944 baptisms, on average each congregation welcomed 7.6 new members into fellowship. But the increase of 5,328 baptisms over [the number baptized in 2008] represents less than one additional member per congregation.
MIGRAINE HEADACHES by Allan R. Handysides and Peter N. Landless is a MUST READ if you or someone you know suffers from them.
Gerhard Padderatz’ JOHANNA’S LONG JOURNEY was an inspirational piece marred by this scurrilous theological commentary.
[Johanna’s] spiritual pilgrimage took her to some unexpected places. A change of her church affiliation was no issue for Johanna at that time. She was proud to be a Catholic. All Protestants, so she had learned, would go to hell. Therefore, what a shock it was for her when she found out from the Bible that the beast in Revelation 13 could refer only to the papacy.
AMAZING GOD-MAN by Jaryong Lee elucidated Fundamental Adventist Belief Number 9. The following quote raises the following fundamental question for Christians who believe that the Devil and his angels were banished from Heaven to this earth because the “sin problem” couldn’t be solved where it originated. “Why couldn’t Jesus have been tortured to death in Heaven by evil angels to satisfy divine justice? Why get us involved?"
Jesus came to this world not only to live a perfect sinless life as our example, but also to die for sinful human beings as humanity’s substitute. The death of Jesus endured for humankind, for you and me, was God’s design to save humanity from sin. The character of sin is so terrible that the only way to eradicate it for eternity and thereby liberate all under its yoke came through offering Himself as a sacrifice.
WHEN THE NUMBERS AREN’T SO GREAT by Reinder Bruinsma, a retired church president of the Netherlands Union, is a MUST READ if you want to experience the frustrations of mission works in places where converts are hard to come by.
Few things irritated and frustrated me more during my years as the president of a small union than subtle or not-so-subtle suggestions that the mission in my country would succeed much better if we would simply copy the methods that have proven to be so successful in those parts of the world where phenomenal membership growth is experienced. Circumstances differ greatly from country to country, and from culture to culture.
STAND UP FOR LIBERTY, a NAD Feature Article that does not appear online, was written by Lincoln E. Steed, Editor of Liberty, “a magazine of religious freedom”, that really, really, really wants to preserve the liberty to discriminate against homosexuals and other undesirables.
While nondiscrimination sounds great, in reality a church must be allowed to protect its faith identity. . .We see the beginning of a conflict of rights in the workplace. We may soon see churches that took government money for faith programs forced to hire, and unable to fire, individuals whose moral and doctrinal views differ from the body of faith.
CHRIST’S SANCTUARY ACTIVITY is current and ongoing according to Angel Manuel Rodríguez. According to Angel’s interpretation of Revelation 8:2-6, “Jesus is mediating for us in the holy place, but we also see the drama of the book [of Life] moving to His work in the Most Holy Place.” I guess the Lord of the Universe doesn’t even own an iPad!
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/2351