The prophetic voice spoke in 1861. Organization was the issue. Warning was delivered via the pen of Ellen White: “And now unless the churches are so organized that they can carry out and enforce order, they have nothing to hope for in the future. They must scatter into fragments” (Review and Herald, Aug. 27, 1861). The churches subsequently organized. The Seventh-day Adventist Church was born! But now, after a century and a half, the church faces this question again.
Ellen G. White, in her counsel to writers and editors wrote “ . . . we are now altogether too near the close of this earth's history to keep before the attention of the people a class of books which do not contain the message which our people need. Draw their attention to books treating on practical faith and godliness” (Counsels to Writers and Editors, p.147). Author, counselor, and lay pastor, Omar Miranda has written such a book for people of all ages. The book is titled: Picking the King's Brain: Learning Life Hacks from the Wisest Man on Earth.
The author went on to observe that many times people make the decision to have plastic surgery without fully considering the outcome. The results, however, are permanent. The author feels that this is a result of a culture that is accustomed to having everything instantly and without much work or sacrifice on their part.
The book The Reformation and the Remnant: The Reformers Speak to Today’s Church, penned by a lawyer-turned-theologian currently serving as a professor of church history at the SDA Theological Seminary at Andrews University, seeks to address a cluster of contemporary Adventist issues both from the perspective of Protestant Reformation history and a focus on ideological positioning so far as various convictions in the contemporary church are concerned. References to “liberals,” “fundamentalists,” and “centrists” abound throughout the book with regard to different ideas and their alleged place on contemporary Adventism’s spectrum of thought.
Matthew’s description of John has great significance for the Seventh-day Adventist movement today. We too should be voices in the desert crying “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” Matthew's description of John gives us some clue as to how we, as modern-day John the Baptists, aught to conduct ourselves. I’m going to mention 5 of these descriptions and then draw parallels between John the Baptist and God’s end-time church.
God alone can be the source of ultimate goodness and love. God is not an arbitrary being, making laws one day and casually violating them another. God created laws that everything, both spiritual and natural must adhere to or face dire consequences. It is only in the fact that there is an objective Source of moral values do we understand that there is such a thing as love.
At the General Conference Session last summer, a decisive majority of delegates from all over the world voted against women’s ordination—a decision which, I believe, was based on God’s Word. Certain segments of the world field have responded by presuming, against a world church policy that has now been voted three times, that they will presume to ordain women to the gospel ministry anyway.
I love my house. It was built in 1900 and has a wonderful wall of windows and an incredibly large front porch with outdoor furniture, reading materials, and a porch swing. My wonderful wife has worked very hard to make it a place that’s relaxing and inviting—not only to myself, but to others as well. Many days I sit on my front porch and watch the interesting cast of characters ride, run, walk, and drive by. Trust me, here in small town Plainville, Georgia, the people are anything but…plain.
Abraham’s life consisted of many episodes of faith (Gen 11:29-25:8), with each episode serving an example to Christians (1Cor 10:11). Among these episodes is one that seems to give him a unique identity perhaps among other Patriarchs. This particular episode has to do with his very name “Abraham.”
The Holy Spirit had shown Ellen White the Most Holy Place of the Heavenly Sanctuary. As she looked into the Ark of the Covenant, Jesus opened the tablets of stone that contain the Ten Commandments... the fourth (the Sabbath commandment,) shone above them all; for the Sabbath was set apart to be kept in honor of God's holy name... The holy Sabbath looked glorious—a halo of glory was all around it.”
Jesus loved (and loves) people, and He served them sacrificially. He gave His life for them so they could spend eternity with Him. People and relationships are important to God. If you and I want to be more like Jesus, then we need to want to care about others!
Over the last two articles in my series on Religious Liberty I emphasized the separation of the spheres of Caesar and God. In this last article of my series of Religious Liberty themed essays, we will explore the importance of freewill.