January, 2011 - Vol. 7, No. 1
GENERAL COMMENTS If you are caught up in the Ted Wilson inspired, “revival and reformation” prescription for the Laodicean ills of the Adventist Church, this issue is designed to increase your fervor. If you are convinced that the Latter Rain and the Second Coming are imminent, this issue will get you ready. If you are tired of the hype and fear mongering and pious posturing, give this review a miss and write out a generous check to ADRA or a local charity.
If you find yourself somehow compelled to keep reading, I couldn’t help making a comment or two. They follow the reviews.
WORLD REPORT INTER-AMERICA: CHURCH GRANTS COMMISSIONED MINISTER CREDENTIALS TO EIGHT EMPLOYEES See Inter-American Division There are now 15 men and women commissioned as ministers in active service in the IAD and its publishing association. This is the highest recognition the church can give to nonministerial workers.
According to the church’s working policy, whenever an employing organization considers it prudent to offer commissioned minister credentials to any of its workers, a ceremony is held to officially confer upon such a worker this high honor of the organization’s approval of the service of the worker…In order to be considered for the commissioned minister credential, the employee must be in regular standing in the Seventh-day Adventist Church with more than five years of service, and be able to demonstrate proficiency in the assigned responsibilities.
REVIEWS PRAYING FOR THE RAINY SEASON by Bill Knott outlines the content of this edition.
This special edition of Adventist World is focused on a call to Seventh-day Adventists around the globe to open their lives to a new experience of revival and reformation. Unlike any other edition in the five-year history of this journal, this issue clusters readings and resources designed to call your attention to God’s desire to renew His people.
‘God’s Promised Gift’ (page 8) is a compelling call to personal and corporate revival unanimously voted by the delegates at October’s Annual Council meeting of the General Conference Executive Committee. Read it carefully—and prayerfully.
Gerald Klingbeil’s devotional, ‘The Nehemiah Story,’ traces the narrative of one of the most important revivals in the history of Israel—with lessons for today.
‘Why Not Now? Reflections on Revival’ underscores the practical experiences and new attentiveness that will characterize any group of believers opening their lives to God’s latter rain power.
This month’s Spirit of Prophecy selection, ‘True Revival,’ reminds us that the Word of God must be central to every genuine experience of renewal.
‘Revival and Reformation Resources’ offers readers a sampler of biblical material, devotional books, media materials, and Web sites that will call you and your congregation to prepare for the outpouring of Holy Spirit.
‘Already Under Way,’ an interview with a pastor whose church is currently experiencing revival, underlines the simple steps that draw congregations into a new awareness of God’s power.
‘And this month’s Fundamental Belief article, ‘Our Most Urgent Need,’ reminds us that revival and reformation have one world-changing event in focus—the Second Coming of Christ.
SPIRITUAL HEALTH Allan R. Handysides and Peter N. Landless provide a sensible answer to the following question:
I’m worried about my spiritual health. Our pastor is doing revival meetings, but having folk confessing sins and giving testimonies arouses a sense of suspicion in me that’s disturbing. I feel guilty that I feel this way. What’s wrong with me? Can you give me a spiritual prescription? I do want to be a good Christian.
Don’t worry about the methodology someone else uses; become content with seeking God in the way you feel most comfortable. A revival of true godliness finds expression in gentleness, humility, compassion, and caring—a willingness to suffer rather than to hurt another. These are the fruits of sanctification, which is a lifetime of revival.
COMMENTS HOLY TO THE LORD by Angel Manuel Rodríguez provides an answer to the following question regarding tithe.
Question: “Is it correct to return tithe to any organization or individual who claims to be doing the work of the Lord?”
Angel’s Answer: “In the church tithe is to be used only by those recognized by the church to be God’s appointed instruments in the proclamation of the gospel (1 Cor. 9:13, 14).”
Here’s the text: “Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.”
Andy’s Answer: 1 Cor. 9:13, 14 is Paul’s appeal for support of his mission, not the support of GC Headquarters in Jerusalem. If you believe that the official Adventist Church alone proclaims “the gospel”, then put your tithe in the official envelope. If you believe that other institutions or programs or people are preaching “the gospel”, you have every right to direct tithe money to them.
Ellen White believed that TRUE REVIVAL would stand the test of time. I would be happy to be wrong, but I don’t believe this one will, and the darkness that follows will be “more dense than before”.
Many of the revivals of modern times have presented a marked contrast to those manifestations of divine grace which in earlier days followed the labors of God’s servants. It is true that a widespread interest is kindled, many profess conversion, and there are large accessions to the churches; nevertheless the results are not such as to warrant the belief that there has been a corresponding increase of real spiritual life. The light which flames up for a time soon dies out, leaving the darkness more dense than before.
Chapter 27, The Great Controversy
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/2875