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Friday: Further Study – The Second Missionary Journey — 5 Comments

  1. The three quotes from Ellen White in todays lesson are pertinent when we are presenting to those who know the Christian language. In her time, most people in western cultures would have had some knowledge of the Bible and a discussion with non-Adventists was more or less a case of arguing that our interpretation had a firm biblical basis. Today the horizon has shifted. Most westerners have discarded religion as part of our evolutionary development and have little knowledge of fundamental Bible stories, let along "truth". They regard it as irrelevant to modern society.

    Further, they have been conditioned to thinking that institutional Christianity has lost its moral compass and is largely run as neo-colonial organisations of self interest. (unfortunately, all too true in too many cases) I have grave doubts that many of my unchurched friends would ever be interested in what my church teaches, let alone joining it. The bright light among the unchurched is that there are those who have a deep sense of the spiritual. Maybe they do not use the language that I would use but that sense of altruistic values common to our own spirituality is still there. They are interested in sharing in the values of our common spirituality provided I do not sound like I am on the high moral ground and preaching to them. We must learn how to connect to that spirituality.

    Our lives should speak volumes about Christianity, not in the institutional sense, but indicating the strong roots of our personal connection with Christ. I am not promoting anti-church-organization here, but if we want to make our church meaningful to a cynical society, our Christianity has to be personal. I believe that this is the meaning of Phil 2:12:

    Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    • Hi Maurice. Be sure that just as you are aware of the spirituality and altuism of your unchurched friends, they are acutely aware of yours as well... and the Source for it. Take heart and keep planting seeds, remembering that the Spirit of God will grow those seeds and reap a great harvest from among those who are not presently in His flock. We plant, Jesus saves.

      I too have many unchurched friends and clients who do not believe as I do. But they do know in Whom I believe and do not ridicule me for my faith. They have never refused my offer to thank God for a meal we share. I believe that God is yet working on their hearts and that He will reach many of them before Jesus comes (or their probations end).

      In the meanwhile, I pray for them all. I pray that the Lord of all creation will gently bend their hearts so that they will recognize their great need of Him. Our fight is not against these people but against the enemy of God who, despite his cunning and powerful deceptions, is helpless against our prayers.

    • Brother Maurice, the quotations from EGW, and your comments that connect to them, dominantly focus on those who have a certain knowledge of "truth", and not those who are dead in sin, enveloped in darkness. Probably the most telling is: "The bright light among the unchurched is that there are those who have a deep sense of the spiritual". You described seeing "bright light", and "a deep sense of the spiritual", which both indicate a knowledge of God and the working of the Holy Spirit in these persons, circa Cornelius of Acts 10 who already knew God, but needed Peter's Old Gold, presented in the fresh apparel of a no boundaries JC Gospel. Do you concur that these persons already have been convicted by the Holy Spirit?

      Those who we engage in "arguing" (as much today as during EGW's time) are already Bible students who take God seriously, but have issues with SDA's interpretation of Sabbath and obedience to the Law, which was "nailed to the cross." Would you agree that our lack of knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures is our worst obstacle? (just monitor our internal debates). It seems that we need persons with another level of understanding of science, society and Biblical wisdom (of God) to meet especially the young educated minds of our times. It is possible for the Word of God to reach their hearts, in view of the human need for Light, and in view of the willingness of man to examine issues to discover truth.

      I think you have a unique perspective that can provide some guidance.

  2. Word contribution Sunday taken from Daily Discussion Posting - by Maruice Ashton
    Saturday: Disagreement - They found a solution for their disagreement, which, although it involved separation in ministry, did not mean break down of respect or love for one another.
    Sunday circumcision - Paul did not want circumcision overshadowing his preaching of the Gospel.
    Monday: Journey - Salvation begins in Jesus Christ, Sanctification is I no longer live but Christ lives in me, Glorification - we all shall be changed in a twinkling of an eye the mortal with immortality
    Tuesday: Truth - Truth can never be confined to time and culture; in history it is known, but it also reaches beyond history. Pope John Paul II, in Encyclical Fides et Ratio, 14 September 1998
    Wednesday: Bridge - Talking in their language, understanding the culture, and knowing their religion helps build the bridge to effectively spread the gospel.
    Thursday: I am with you - Spurgeon thought it emphasized three things: The presence of Jesus, the sympathy of Jesus, and the cooperation of Jesus.
    Friday: Financial Support - It is imperative our ministers are supported FAITHFULLY with our financial support.

    This gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

  3. 4. Paul shows we are not to criticize our current day pastors who use a quote, by other than the Bible or Spirit of Prophecy, along with the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy in our their sermons. These quotes are synergetic with the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. When HMS Richards said preach the Bible and the Bible only, he did not mean don't ever use EGW quotes or non-SDA quotes, he meant, if they speak according to the Bible and the Bible only you can use them to illuminate and give synergism. This goes right along with how Paul preached. Acts 17:28.


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