Thursday, September 1, 2011

Reviewing Adventist World, NAD Edition

August, 2011
Vol. 7, No. 8

Adventist World is free online. For that reason, I only review or comment on articles and editorials that I believe to be of special interest. Usually, this disclaimer introduces my review of Adventist World. However, the most important article in this issue, WHY THE CHURCH NEEDS AN ABUSE PREVENTION EMPHASIS DAY is only available in the print edition. Consequently, I’ve provided some quotations from the article up front. It’s definitely a MUST READ.

WHY THE CHURCH NEEDS AN ABUSE PREVENTION EMPHASIS DAY by Carla Baker is a chilling reminder that abuse happens in the Adventist Church.

“Abuse is defined as intentionally or unconsciously injuring or damaging someone physically, psychologically/emotionally, or sexually for the purpose of intimidating, dominating, or controlling that person. Abuse is wrong for the following reasons: abuse can damage or destroy the body, abuse deprives children of their innocence, abuse robs individuals of their self-esteem, which is essential for correctly relating to God and to others, abuse is not part of God's plan for families,

“Perhaps the most compelling reason that we should be concerned about abuse is that it distorts the victim's perception of God…Victims often find it virtually impossible to conceive of a loving God, one who loves them unconditionally. They reasoned that if He loved them, he would have protected them from the abuse. They leave the church when their cries for help are ignored and when they are abused by members. The reality is that the way we as a corporate body respond to abuse in the church can have eternal consequences.”

HIROSHIMA by Ryoko Suzuki; PARTNERS IN SERVICE: Reflections on the Marriage of James & Ellen White; LIGHT-HEADEDNESS by Alan R Handysides and Peter landless; THE HUMAN MIND by Floyd A. Sayler.

In REDISCOVERING A TRUE WORSHIP, Ted Wilson tells Bill Knott that “the Lord has laid a burden on my heart about reviving biblical worship among his people, and I won’t lay it down until He tells me to”. Ted now speaks for God when it comes to righteous prayer and music! Why am I not surprised?

“Do you believe that worldly culture has been making inroads into Seventh-day Adventist worship in recent years?”
“It pains me to say so, Bill, but yes, I do. In my travels around the world, through conversations with many church leaders, and through the letters and notes I receive from faithful Seventh-day Adventists, I’ve grown concerned that we are in urgent need of a “renewing of our minds” about public worship.

“Many practices that have seemed innocent on the surface have crept into Seventh-day Adventist worship, especially in the areas of prayer and music. As Paul warned us 2,000 years ago, we have to be especially vigilant to “not be conformed to this world.” Prayer practices, including what are sometimes known as “centering prayer” and “labyrinths,” and “contemplative prayer,” frequently draw on non-Christian philosophies that encourage the emptying of the mind. Biblical prayer, instead, draws us into a quiet and focused rational contemplation of God’s Word and His faithfulness that yields in “the mind of Christ.”

“Music, certainly one of God’s greatest gifts to human beings, has similarly become a vehicle for incorporating styles and performances that too frequently forget that the great God of the universe, our Savior Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are the real audience. Simple questions will help all of us underline the true and biblical principles of both prayer and music in worship: “ ‘Would I pray this way in the very presence of Jesus?’ ‘Would I sing this song—this way—in the presence of the Holy One?’ ”

“Are you planning to keep talking and preaching about these themes in the months ahead?”
“You and the millions of readers of Adventist World can count on that! The Lord has laid a burden on my heart about reviving biblical worship among us as His people, and I won’t lay it down until He tells me to.”

In RAINY-DAY REFLECTIONS, “God does it!” is the conclusion reached at the end of Angel Manual Rodriguez’ 800-word attempt to answer a question that only he would consider significant: “According to the Bible, what is the origin of rain?”

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