The Future of Adventism


#41

With 7000 waking minutes each week and 70-140 are spent at church…the focus is usually off of Christ / Christianity…


#42

I disagree. I think the focus is predominantly on “Academic Christianity” with people perpetually stuck in the “classroom”.

Many churches could learn a whole a lot more about Christ and Christianity by pastors getting up one Saturday morning and saying “Hey guys, today I’ll be preaching a sermon about Christian charity… but it won’t be a typical one. We’ve rented a bus, and we are going to local Walmart, yes on Saturday (gasp), and we are going to buy bunch of food and basic necessities, and then we are going on a trip to the local shelter, or wherever such help is needed and that’s how we spend the next couple hours learning about compassion. We’ll do a song service when we drive.”.

If every Adventist church in the US done that at least once a month, I think we’d much less about WO and quibbles at GC.


(Alice C ) #43

Quite a few years ago, I solved the problem of the 144,000 being arranged in a perfect square. If you take out a square in the middle the square works. There are several solutions with the center square in different sizes. If you think of Christ standing in the center of the adoring throng, it works.

Of course, others might point out that we humans are not square (although some come closer than others), so it might not be a square in terms of numbers of people in each row or column, but in terms of space occupied.

Not that it’s of saving importance in the grand scheme of things, but i like to solve some types of mathematical problems.


#44

Arkdrey,

Did you speed read my post?

How can most churchgoers be focused on Jesus, Christianity, religion when only 1-2% of their time is spent at a church?

With all of the competing interests like a job, hobbies, news, sports, shopping, TV & movie entertainment…eating you got to be kidding!
Try conducting a survey at any church to see what their minds are on.


#45

Perhaps… I apologise if I misunderstood.


(Ray Smith) #46

Is this the message we need to hear? Just asking.


(Cfowler) #47

I will definitely give this a listen. I just recently listened to a couple of his sermons, and I really enjoyed them.


(Angus McPhee) #48

Well. Well. Well. We are always being told that we are “Laodicea.” You’ll hear that preached and published. And all because of a most unusual interpretation of the Letters of the Lord to the Seven Churches which focusses on chronology rather than on the communication. So, here we are: “remnant” and “Laodicea” all at the same time. The rest? “Babylon!” Oh. At the same time we are waiting for, praying for, pleading for “the latter rain,” a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit like we’ve never had before. And all the time readers of Scripture who are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are blessed with His presence and growing in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.


#49

This has nothing to do with being a “progressive” denomination. Both liberals, moderates, and conservatives support women in ministry and spiritual leadership.

This is already a focus with male organization. How would ordaining make this so much worse?

This seems to be a thing of the past–celebrity evangelists who go from city to city holding “efforts” or Revelation Seminars or whatever.

I hope you are focused locally on being inclusive of women, young and old, in the church leadership. At least half are leaving. Why not involve them in decision making at the local level? This IS a problem in some local churches that want to control and keep women out of leadership.


#50

And what are your findings from your survey?


(milton hook) #51

You are so right Phil. Post-1980 I lived through the compliance monitoring in Australia under the two Union Conference presidents. We lost a lot of Christ-centered ministers and teachers. Neither of the presidents showed any sign of contrition for their decimation of the work force.


(milton hook) #52

Angus, I notice the writer of this article assumes the SDA church is the remnant. It’s an assumption worth testing. I personally find there is no truth in it. In fact, I think it’s religious arrogance. I have discovered many genuine Christians outside the SDA church.
And the longing for the latter rain I believe is based on pie in the sky. Much of the so-called end-time scenario, such as time of Jacob’s trouble, sifting time, latter rain, sealing time, etc, is merely a human construct stitched together from unrelated metaphors taken out of context. Nowhere in Scripture is it outlined as a sequence. Not one element has shown any sign of fulfillment as yet. It is sad that so many pray long and repeatedly for fictitious events to take place. It only takes one government to start talking about Sunday observance and the SDA poultry farm is thrown into pandemonium, squawking and flapping their wings in panic as if the Second Coming, which they profess to yearn for, is about to burst in on them. Why do they oppose any Sunday law so vehemently? Why don’t they rejoice because their end-time scenario seems about to be fulfilled?


(Angus McPhee) #53

Milton, In the early '80s I knew a pastor who questioned the status of SDAism as a “remnant.” At the time, I was confused. It was a new thought to me. [A ranger in Yosemite NP said in a TV program I saw the other night that when there is a new idea people don’t know what to do with it.] I wanted to discuss it with him. He never responded to me. He left.

Since then I read for myself Revelation 12:17 in the context of the woman having many offspring including the child that is caught up to heaven. I have been compelled to concede that the “rest of her seed” is correct. One has been snatched away; the rest (obviously his siblings) are still on earth and are the dragon’s new target. That’s all; that’s it. The Scriptures no nothing of denominationalism.

I’ve said what I have, in response to your comment, and earlier, because I believe that disillusionment with, and departure from, the denomination sets in when the denomination[al leadership] is distracted from Christ and, in our case, is more attracted to, and insistent on, questionable interpretations of apocalyptic. In the last few days I have read St. Paul to the Colossians, the Ephesians and the Galatians. I wonder why I said that!!


(Phil van der Klift) #54

Milton, your choice of the word decimated is so apt. A very sad chapter in Adventist history in Australia for sure - a chapter whose impacts and implications continue to today…


(Phil van der Klift) #55

I was raised a denominational ‘christian’.

I am now a trans-denominational Christian. No turning back, no turning back…


(Steve Mga) #56

Phil –
Are you able to give further light on defining – Trans-denominational Christian?
How do Trans-denominational Christians SOCIALIZE together?
Is there a sense of cohesiveness there somewhere?
Just never heard the TERM “trans-denominational Christian” before
Thanks.


(Phil van der Klift) #57

Absolutely agree with your statement.


(Ray Smith) #58

My guess is you said that because therein is a revelation of Jesus Christ that is priceless, a revelation of God’s grace and the preciousness of Christ’s shed blood and death and resurrection that changed our lives completely and for eternity. I could be wrong, but I doubt it.


(Joselito Coo) #59

I made a Google search of these churches and they all seemed to be either Southern Baptist, Assemblies or have a Pentecostal background. By and large, they are either conservative or fundamentalist. As well as congregational. Their lead pastors are autonomous entrepreneurs answerable only to their local congregational board of elders. Briefly, they are not saddled by layer upon layer of church organization with policy manuals that dictate which entity has authority over 1) church membership, 2) tithe, property, hiring pastors, 3) tithe, ordination, institutions 4) tithe, orthodoxy.

One thing I learned early on: Church growth happens at the local congregational level. With laypeople. It has little or almost nothing to do with Office Space.


#60

Sure. What I was pointing to was issue of “suppressive patriarchy” wasn’t an issue that we find until it coincided with deconstructionism and post-modernism, which resulted in a shift of our collective cultural perception of these issues. It was less of an issue in the past.

Sure, but keep in mind that the mindset of much of the modern church leadership is still stuck in “what worked in 80s should work now”. I’m sure that you would not be surprised by general lack of creative approach to reaching people in a setting of present-day culture.

That’s the thing, I don’t really see the lack of woman’s involvement in our church. I certainly would love to have more women with a different perspective behind the podium, we have less of that than what we’ve had in the past, but it’s largely due to “transitional nature” of modern communities. We’ve had a strong church when the younger generation was growing up, and a pastor that involved that younger generation in church activities. We subsequently got a new pastor that shifted the focus away from “inner growth” to “radical evangelism” (that was pushed from the top with requirements for prophesy seminars, etc), and that coincided with many young people going away to college, and in our culture it means that they are unlikely coming back to work home.

So, there’s a vast challenges of that nature to overcome for the church in the future, since younger generation in many conservative churches tend not to stay due to the lack of recognition of their efforts or rejection of “fringe culture” that they bring into the church. So, talented women are far from being alone in their frustration in that regard, since there are plenty of talented young men who are in the same boat.