When I first encountered the name of Herbert Douglass, I was in derision of the concepts he taught and advanced in his books and talks. I was fresh out of a long run of giving evangelistic seminars home and abroad and in the prime of my life in my mid-twenties. For me, Adventism was about filling the pews and getting people to know the Lord and the means always justified the ends. But this talk about reflecting Jesus and living a life of victory over sin was just plain silly.
Naysayers would condemn such a position as the one taken in this article as one of indifference towards the struggles of the oppressed and ingratitude towards the civil rights movements of the past. However, national reform comes not from meeting hatred with hatred, demanding your rights, whether peacefully or violently, but from righteousness and knowledge of God which leads to sanctification.
In August, 2013, Heather Ruiz traveled through West Africa as a journalist for ADRA. After working in development for nine months, Ruiz moved to a village in the Western Sahara to find answers for her questions about responsible volunteering and empowering communities. The following article is her insight on constructive service.
The earth is many things to each of us. It is a temporary home to humanity—the native venue for our work, our relationships, and our fleeting days. And ultimately earth is the setting of a cosmic combat—its peculiar blend of cold hostility and lingering beauty reminders of what happened after the “apple.” As Isaiah said, it is “growing old like a garment” and requires a complete overhaul before we enter eternity.
Put simply, Ty Gibson's article "The Old Covenant Brood" seeks to view present controversies in the Seventh-day Adventist Church through the lenses of what the author holds to be the 1888 message of righteousness by faith, and considers the rejection of that message over a century ago to be the genesis of the present theological divide in the denomination.
The current tensions and polemics within the Seventh-day Adventist Church are not occurring in a vacuum. We have history behind us that has created the trajectory within which we are now living. To a significant degree the spirit and content of our present dialogues and debates are shaped by a tragic theological turn we took in our journey as a people more than one hundred years ago.
The attackers—“the accusers of the brethren,” if I may call them that—offer criticisms that are low on content and high on innuendo, half-truth, and damnation by association. They offer their accusations from afar without engaging the people they accuse (see Matthew 18:15-17). Those of us who know the people being attacked, who regularly listen to them teach Sabbath School classes and preach and participate in committee meetings, simply do not recognize the extreme caricature the attackers offer.
We Christians are told to honor our bodies as God's temple (1 Cor. 6:19-20), to present our bodies as living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1), and to glorify God in our eating and drinking (1 Cor. 10:31). We are not to make a god of our stomach. (Phil. 3:17-19) God is glorified by temperate eating of moderate amounts of wholesome food. God is dishonored when we indulge appetite, eating foods that we know are not the best.
But wait! Could there be another angle to the age-old works versus grace debate? While the Bible makes it abundantly clear that our good works, or obedience does not save us, (See Eph 2:8-9, Titus 3:5, 2 Tim 1:9, Gal 2:16, and many more) to conclude that no works, or no obedience saves us is to contradict the plainest of scriptures! Allow me to explain.
As much has already been said about the sermon, both pro and con, I would like to focus briefly upon the conclusion of the presentation and the appeal. Henderson’s appeal was that a safe place be established for “Adam and Steve,” at Pacific Union College. But more than that, it should not be a designated area on the campus, but rather that the college itself should be that safe place.
Unfortunately, the atmosphere [at PUC] is such that I feel I cannot, in good conscious, encourage my daughters to attend this school. Should they attend here, my concern would be that they would no longer abide by the guidance and principles I felt convicted to teach them. After listening to Pastor Henderson’s sermon, I felt the time had come to voice my disappointment and concerns and forward them to your office for your records.