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Thursday: A Mission Movement — 11 Comments

  1. There is no doubt that the church is very mission-minded. This was drilled into us at an early age. I remember the Mission Story segment in Sabbath School from when I was a little kid. We still have it and we publish a link to the current Adventist Mission video every week:

    Mission Spotlight for April 15

    Our success in mission illustrates that we can achieve much when we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and work collectively towards the goal of spreading the Gospel. Such expansion is not without its issues and I would be remiss if I did not mention those because we need to address them.

    The most significant issue is that the church demographic has changed. There are more Seventh-day Adventists in the "Mission Fields" than there are in the homelands and that challenges the status quo as far as church administration is concerned. Much of our mission work was done during a period that I call religious colonisation. This is not just a Seventh-day Adventist phenomenon. We are now in a post-colonisation period and are having to hand over the reins of administration to local people. And sometimes that handover is not as smooth as we would like.

    I do not have time and space to document all the issues but it is probably worth reminding ourselves that for a long time, the Sabbath School was a major source of membership finance for mission work. It is in essence "our baby" and it is our responsibility to understand and address these issues.

    (37)
  2. God's love and salvation is available to all people, regardless of their status or culture. Could we better play it by accepting that all people can practice their faith in a culturally appropriate way? The gospel is open to everyone, but often the church appears closed to many who fall outside of a very narrow cultural spectrum. We should avoid the mindset that we are always right, or that our beliefs make us an exclusive club.

    (33)
    • Please can you expatiate on that?

      Could we better play it by accepting that all people can practice their faith in a culturally appropriate way?
      The gospel is open to everyone, but often the church appears closed to many who fall outside of a very narrow cultural spectrum. We should avoid the mindset that we are always right, or that our beliefs make us an exclusive club.

      (6)
      • Hello, Sarah. I’m a third-generation Seventh-day Adventist who grew up in three different countries: New Zealand, Australia, and Africa. Based on my experiences, I've noticed that many of us view the world through a specific cultural and historical background. Sometimes we can become too focused on the writings of Sr. White and can miss out on the richness of the stories and teachings, as read directly from the Bible. While her writings contain good insights about the Christian faith, they were written primarily in the context of her own cultural and historical background. The Bible contains so many stories and teachings that were passed down through different generations and cultures from the ancient Middle East. e.g. Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks... In other words, in order to maintain the status quo, we can miss out on what the Bible is trying to tell us.

        (3)
      • Speaking of the Bible, as per my previous reply, one of my siblings had a strange dream a few years ago -

        “I dreamt I was to give a sermon. I had prepared to go over a chapter of the Bible and give some thoughts relative to that, however my device with an electronic Bible on it would not turn on.

        "The congregation was waiting for me to stand up and speak, but I had no Bible and the device would not turn on. Frantically I searched for a paper Bible, and finally found one but the pages were scrunched up and falling apart from misuse and there was rubbish (such as lolly wrappings, etc.) through it. I looked up the Chapter (which I believe was John Chapter 3) and all the letters and words peeled off the page so that I was unable to read it.

        "In a frantic panic I kept looking for a Bible out the back, while the congregation waited for me to stand up and speak. But no usable Bible could be found. I was about to become a “no show”, and without a Bible had nothing to say. Then I awoke with the relieved thought that this was only a dream and to consider its meaning.“

        (2)
        • It is true, most of the time, we rely on Ellen g.white.
          For sure, am reluctant to read God's word(Bible).Am so much on social media.so we better wake up and start making the Bible as our mobile phones.

          (1)
  3. When I have a goal, I have a reason to live! Not only a destination for material things or titles but a plan for eternity. What is this finite life compared to an unending one?

    We all need broader goals than we can see because sometimes, we face frustration, disease, and pain in this life, blurring our vision. But united with the Force, One Who can create and undo anything, we go further! Let's go further and spread the message about a God Who is love and who will take all of those willing so with Him.

    (9)
  4. Our mission is to love everyone, with the kind of love that Jesus had and has, no matter their race, belief, color, or kind.

    (5)
  5. What I have taken away from the lesson this week so far is that we are to spread the Good News to the entire world. The first thing that I have thought of is do I, personally, understand what that Good News is? Yes, it’s VERY good news that Jesus will come again to put an end to sin. For me, the equally good news is that with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can begin that transformation right now. There are so many texts in scripture that tell us how. Job 1:1 is one of the first I think of. It describes Job as “blameless”, then follows that statement with how he was blameless. That is really good news. As Maurice has mentioned several times this week, if we aren’t living the good news, how will people believe we have The Good News?

    (11)
  6. Could I be brought to light on the issue of contextualization as far as the mission movement is concerned?

    Thanks.

    (1)
    • Hi, Simeon. Others may know a lot more about this, but my understanding is that a person, a group, or even a whole nation must be given new truth in a way that builds upon what they already comprehend about life, God, and the universe, insofar as their current understanding is correct. Only the Holy Spirit knows how to do this perfectly, but we can at least try not to get in His way by needlessly imposing our own cultural perspectives on other, very different, people groups. Humility and wisdom from above would be key, as I see it.

      (3)

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