The Future of Adventism in Africa

Been there, done that, like, 45 years ago….


ultimately, i think you’ll need to find your own solutions, Gerhard…this is the essence of adventism in my view…that is, being an adventist means finding effective ways of living a Christ-centred life in a Christless world, on your own terms…of course it starts with establishing an effective, working relationship with Christ, and knowing and feeling that he is truly with you…but there are a lot of things you discover about actually being an effective adventist, many times through trial and error…i don’t think there’s such a thing as a one-size-fits-all approach…

of course living a Christ-centred life in a Christless world isn’t a new problem…i’m reading Great Controversy again (i’m now on p.409)…clearly many others, from the OT patriarchs and prophets, to Paul, to the Waldensians, Wycliffe, Huss, Jerome, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Miller, etc., etc., have all found a way to be effective adventists…these people were all vastly disparate, and living under very varied circumstances, yet they did it…they were successful…this doesn’t mean they had an easy life, far from it…many were actually tortured and killed for their faith…but it does mean they had continual inner assurance and evidence that God was with them, no matter what others thought…

as a practical matter, have you considered leaving your church…sometimes this can be a good move…in my case, leaving the church as a young person was definitely the right decision…it enabled me to put together what i was reading in the bible and egw without the distraction of the discouraging spirituality i was feeling all around me, and that i sensed was a suffocating and needless weight…of course now i see things completely differently…i see problems in the church as opportunities for me to grow, to draw warmth from the coldness of others, as egw puts it…but at the time, i wasn’t equipped to consider this possibility…

i do think church involvement can become toxic, and it does sound to me like your church involvement isn’t helping you…but perhaps you aren’t helping your church…remember, the entire point of church involvement is to contribute your gifts in a way that can benefit others, and in turn benefit from others whose gifts you don’t have…it’s always the case that in a group of people, you will have gifts that others don’t have, and others will have gifts that you don’t have…it’s just the way genetics and many other considerations work…

one obvious gift i believe you definitely have is experience…if i were you, i’d insist on being given an opportunity to publicly rehearse parts of your experience so that all the postmoderns around you can benefit, whether they want to or not…why let them call all the shots…why allow them to define the church you’re spending time in…i think you should take charge of your situation and use the authority of your experience to tell everybody what’s what…

i’m noticing you’re framing what you’re perceiving as problems in your church as Ncube problems…this is a famous Zulu last name, common in s. africa…is this a typo…understand that the Zulu mindset is a warrior mindset…it doesn’t recognize problems that cannot be conquered…i don’t think what you’re intending in your comment can be thought of as Ncube problems, which are essentially problems that aren’t conceded to exist…

@vandieman jeremy, that is what I do - sharing my experience - as long as it is valid and they can understand it ! - - For example in SS teachers preparation and in SS class. I also learn quite a lot there - new questions requiring new answers, new insights - - But I have no access to the style they are raising their children and to the problems and fears they have about the now toddlers fo their future and in their family / job / leisure time life- - - - only being flooded by concepts of “family values” of yesteryear and also a far off environment - - it seems to be just is like warning those in Uganda about the moral dangers of skiing.

The postmoderns speak another language, they think in new patterns, they - - well, just could not underestand for example the editorial of a highly scaled newspaper of nineteenfityfive (for instance) - - and they are no more trained in “learning by heart” (for instance) - - so what about my appeal to learn the Psalms as a guide and support for daily life ?

No, I do not intend to just ask Ncube about his answers to the problems he sees - - he just speaks of women - - well, those single or divorced or left alone mothers in my church just need the care for their problems here - - - and educational support better fit for here and now than displayed in “Mind, Charakter and Personality”.

She was a fourth generation STA. Toddler group, preschool group, MV, kids camps, youth camps (and of course, her family, the grandmother,the parents - - !) - - drifting a little off as a mid - teen, then coming back to STA. Asking for baptism. The minister : "Are you still a virgin ? Nooo ? - Well , no baptism !!! " Then she finally left -

See, this case displays our situation - - - in a number of aspects - - -

Others leave when they are twelve - -

To my mind, postmodernism has become a catch-all pejorative used by religious people to describe and decry everything that’s wrong with the world, as well as the reason for all those ills.

Unfortunately for them, the philosophy-whatever it may mean to any individual-cannot be refuted given the impossibility of proving a negative.

So until Christianity, in general, and Adventism more specifically, comes up with a way to tweak postmodern’s first principles and make those ideals work for rather than against them, their task of preparing the way for the second coming will be as futile as was the Polish Army’s attempt to turn back the tanks of the blitzkrieg while riding on horseback.

Adventism’s concept of pushing forward the idea of going back to EGW for the answer to everything is like me looking to solve today’s NYT crossword puzzle by staring at 1970’s microfiche…

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perfect…continue doing what you’re doing…and don’t underestimate your impact…i suspect you’re dearly loved, even if people don’t constantly express that…

i wouldn’t worry too much about postmoderns…i see streaks of that here, as well, and i have no intention of hopping on board…you have to be your authentic self, in my view, and everyone’s authentic self is equally legitimate, even if it isn’t a majority way…as a double minority all my life, i can tell you there’s a lot of value in being unique and different, because you can more easily make people think you’re special, and even indispensable :slightly_smiling_face:

as for Ncube’s fine analysis and solution sets offered in this article, you can see that he’s being true to his roots…i think the Zulu motto that there’s no such thing as a problem that cannot be conquered is exactly right…as adventists, we have everything to live for…

A peiorative ? Well, I cannot support that - no, they are just different , a new approach to almost evrything. - -

See for example and illustration on the old paragraph on murder : (my translation)

The one in his attempt to kill a human being acting so that this mans or another mans death occurs commits murder.

New text since about 1980 :

The one who kills a human being commits murder.

So, and now - jsut as our elder - the next generation to me - also has his troubles in giving Bible studies ( - for baptism) : The younger ones do not understand longer texts or even longer sentences - - and the their transfer of short texts meaning into reality or everyday life is poor - -

And for new text on new laws in the last centuries I had to advise my attornesy to ask the legislative how this could maybe understood - - The textbooks of schooltime and University time are replaced by picture books - -
(so to say - )

During the last decades I repeatedly had to advise my attorney to ask the legislative how the new law should / could be understood (“Suchtmittelgesetz”, “Fuehreschein- gesetz -Gesundheitsverordnung” , “Methadonerlass” - -)

And how will hey get the text of the “Great Controversy” - cruisade ?

Now we here are flooded with good advices from a far away country with quite different culture and traditions and values in everyday life and another system of justice and administration and another economy and and and - - -.

(And another system of healthcare and health - consciousness : But now they had presented two new and different concepts of “Our Health Message” within two years, the one - not successful - by the other - - )

I’m not asking you to support my definition, I’m only saying that in my experience-and even as I’ve seen the word used in this forum-postmodernism is shorthand for “wrong” or “evil”.

I happen to agree with your more nuanced opinion, given that while an exact definition is hard to pin down, it’s definitely different from what I was taught.

I remember the tizzy of early sixties when existentialism-aka, situational ethics-first became “a thing”…and for Adventism, another ominous omen about how The Time of Jacob’s Trouble was just around the corner!

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Thanknk you for your commentary on "postmoderns " - -

let me give another example :slight_smile:
Johannes Kovar, head of the local EGW - research - institute at Seminar SChloss Bogenhofen - on “plagiarism” - (no, here I do not evaluate the three authors, I just compare the style)

  • he publishes the comparison of the incidents description in Acts and of a contemporary historian and EGW.

The hsitorians report has almost the double lenght of the report in Acts - and EGW the threefold lenght.

I question the ability of the gereations of today to be in mood- yes, even be able to - simply follow the EGW text through the lines and paragraphs.

Nearly a year ago I was in the library of Antomisches Institut der Med. Universitaet Wien . seeking some quotations out of a textbook of Anatomy , published 1919. The libraian, an elderly lady and one of the Professor wife, told me about the students of today : with their deficiency to understand questions in an oral exam, not able to answer properly - -

One of my sons (Doctorate of TU WIen and doctorate of Universitate WIen ) has read Sir Popper. The grandsons do not read - -

This as i see ist spread worldwide : See the PISA - tests, the educational strategies preparing you for these,the reduction of the concepts for school education continuusly since 1945 ( ! ) here - - -

I’m not sure how or why this devolved in an exploration of the benefits and/or ills of postmodernism but I would like to make this comment on Africa.

Since Europeans first braved the wilds of its vast and varied terrain and ecosystems, Africa has been pillaged and plundered by those who see themselves as being superior in intellect and income to the indigenous people there.

And I admit that I was guilty of this myself when I spent a year working in a sawmill in the Ivory Coast.

Perhaps one day this will stop and the original home of The Garden of Eden will be restored to original pristine-if not precisely perfect-state

But as of right now, I see Adventism’s efforts to harvest souls from The Dark Continent’s abundance as being just more of the “same old same old” exploitation of humanity’s Motherland.

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