Read Ministerial Association of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, chapters 22, 23, in Seventh-day Adventists Believe; Miroslav M. Kis, “Christian Lifestyle and Behavior,” pp. 675-723, in Raoul Dederen (ed.) Handbook of Seventh-day Adventist Theology.
“Acts of generosity and benevolence were designed by God to keep the hearts of the children of men tender and sympathetic, and to encourage in them an interest and affection for one another in imitation of the Master, who for our sakes became poor, that we through His poverty might be made rich. The law of tithing was founded upon an enduring principle and was designed to be a blessing to man. “The system of benevolence was arranged to prevent that great evil, covetousness. Christ saw that in the prosecution of business the love of riches would be the greatest cause of rooting true godliness out of the heart. He saw that the love of money would freeze deep and hard into men’s souls, stopping the flow of generous impulses and closing their senses to the wants of the suffering and the afflicted.” – Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 3, p. 547.
“If one has health and strength, that is his capital, and he must make a right use of it. If he spends hours in idleness and needless visiting and talking, he is slothful in business, which God’s word forbids. Such have a work to do to provide for their own families, and then lay by them in store for charitable purposes as God has prospered them. “We are not placed in this world merely to care for ourselves, but we are required to aid in the great work of salvation, thus imitating the self-denying, self-sacrificing, useful life of Christ.” – Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 325.
- The issue of marriage and divorce is of great concern, as it ought to be in view that divorce is so rampant in certain countries. How do we apply the clear teaching of the Bible when addressing this topic? If we applied the teachings of Jesus more strictly, would people be less inclined to divorce? Discuss this difficult issue.
- Dwell more on the whole question of tithing. Some argue that they should be able to give tithe to whom they choose, instead of through the channels of the organized church body of which they are members. What’s the great danger of that attitude?
- As a church, we cannot ignore all the biblical admonitions regarding the caretaking of the poor and the needy among us. No one who calls themselves Christian can ignore this mandate. At the same time, what are the pitfalls of our calling if caretaking becomes our primary focus, or the end point as opposed to the means to a greater end? Discuss.