Friday, October 17, 2008

Reviewing Adventist Review

September 25, 2008
Vol. 185, No. 7

This is a special issue of the Review comprised of a Signs of Hope introduction from Jan Paulsen and eight devotional messages beginning on Saturday and ending on Saturday for both adults and children. The central theme of these messages is Signs of the Second Coming.

There is no one who desires Christ’s return more than I. However, the “Loud Cry” has lost its ability to increase the membership roles of the Adventist Church in North America or motivate young people to remain active in the Church. The countdown to Christ’s return has become an almost endless repetition of “1’s” and has been since the turn of the twentieth century when my five-year-old mother hid under her bed after hearing about end-time events.

The Gospel message is put on the backburner when our Church emphasizes the Second Coming. Members become more concerned with being in “the remnant” and guarding the edges of the Sabbath than being neighborly. Not a single writer in this issue mentions ADRA or local efforts to make their communities better, kinder, safer places to live. It’s unfortunate that these week-of-prayer devotionals are so narrowly “advent oriented”. In Mathew 25:34-36, Christ described those who will inherit His kingdom upon His return, and he didn’t mention those who correctly interpreted “the signs”.

“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

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