Stories of Nazareth and San Gabriel: Annual Council Diary, Oct 9

In Nazareth today, there is a new Seventh-day Adventist pastor—Wisam Ali. A native of Nazareth, he got a call in 2015 from the Israel Field to work in his hometown. He and his family decided to begin their witnessing activities by offering English-as-second-language classes. They wondered if the students at daughter Rahel’s school would be interested. Rahel is the only Christian in a student body of 800. Parents were invited to the first session held at the Seventh-day Adventist New Hope Center where they learned that their children would be taught English with the Bible as the textbook, and they were invited to sign a paper in agreement. Forty students are now participating in these classes. Next a computer class was added, and the instructors found ways for the homework to involve using the Bible. 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Amazing! Are we teaching that obediance to all the commandments of God taught the children in their very first lesson!! I HOPE IN THE NAME OF GOD IT IS NOT!!! How about in their first lesson they learn about the lovely and loving Jesus Christ. If not then we make them much more the children of hell than we are.–john


With recent events of the GC considering taking over unions that ordain women, then proposing a year of grace for the unions, I truly wonder whether Pastor Wilson understands the full implications of what he preaches. That “the door swings both ways.”


In 1895 WW Prescott preached an evangelistic series in Melbourne, Australia, that was uniquely Christ centred and not the standard prophetic approach. Ellen White was thrilled by the new approach that exalted Christ. And yet, in writing about one of Prescott’s meetings she wrote:

“Truth was separated from error, and made, by the divine Spirit, to shine like precious jewels. It was shown that perfect obedience to all the commandments of God is essential for the salvation of souls. Obedience to the laws of God’s kingdom reveal the divine in the human, sanctifying the character.”

A few paragraphs further on she wrote:

“Even the children ask why they should ‘keep the Pope’s Sunday when they know it is not the true Sabbath.’”

It seems that the ten commandment law is still the central core of Seventh-day Adventism as it was in 1895, despite the discovery of righteousness by faith in 1888 and following.

It seems that the new covenant gospel of grace through faith in Jesus Christ and Him crucified and risen still struggles to find its rightful place in the lives of many sincere seekers for truth.


Human Perfection through the 10 Commandments? Works Oriented Perfection?
Just wondering.
Is there RELATIONSHIP anywhere in there?


It seems to who? In over 3 dozen SDA churches that I have attended or visited…this is not the case.

From my perspective many members don’t even know what righteousness by faith is. Ask a few pastors and see if they are on the same page.

I am in the South. I just watched The Birth of a Nation.

I was the only white person in the theater. There was an informal meeting by the blacks in the theater after the movie.

Afterward, I asked a woman, “Why am I the only white personal in this theater?”

I was in tears, and she hugged me and said, “Why you even bring up color?”

I said, “What’s wrong with them?”

She said, “I guess they don’t know, or they don’t want to know.” She gave a little laugh, like I was so naive.

So, watch the movie and talk to me about the Bible.

The same mentality that enslaved the Africans silenced the women.

Reactionary forces are driving us in that direction again.

Is force the answer?

Sister Rosetta Thorpe: Study War No More

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At best, what Wilson is asking for is incredibly opaque. How does one “lift up the Bible” in a history class unless one is teaching the philosophy or meaning of history? How does one do the same in a science class which must confine its scientific material to that which has been discovered by the scientific method? Are the teachers to constantly remind their students that they must not forget God created the frogs being dissected, or the cells being studied, or the laws of chemistry and physics that they are mastering? Are all classes to be equally informative and devotional at the same time?

It is well known that when Ellen White urged that the Bible be the “center” of the curriculum, what few Adventist schools we had did not teach one Bible class! I’ve looked at their academic bulletins, filled with moral philosophy, classics, and so on, but no Bible. She was looking for balance in learning, for a center that would inform the spokes, but not for something that dominated all instruction (math: five angels plus five angels equals?).


So, if in one context a “thriving” school equates to success, does in another where the Arab Muslim’s dominate the population mean that also is a thriving success. If not, does this discount the success of a “thriving” school.

It may simply mean that the parents buy into the philosophy of the church that is running the school. Rightly or wrongly. In the same sort of way that some uneducated white males buy into the misogynist nominee of certain political party for president.

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Is Michael Hasel correct? I thought Jehovah’s Witnesses also held a historicist view of prophecy. They developed out of Millerism too.