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Ministry is the international journal of the
Seventti-day Adventist Ministerial Association and has been
published since 1928.

Association Secretary Pastoral Assistant Editors

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Indicators of ministerial resilience Editor
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The first part of a long-term study of trends Wiilmore D. Eva International Advisors
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4 Editorial

2 Ministry/August 2000
Dynamics of inspiration all were considered "heretics" staunch The clearest voice, however, is
Pastor Coffen, referring to the dissidents of the Roman Catholic "Among the leading causes that had
Waldenses states, "They flourished hierarchy, advocates of the "faith once led to the separation of the true
from 1170 and ceased to exist in 1532, delivered to the saints," before 1170. church from Rome was the hatred of
when they merged with another When Ellen White stated that these the latter toward the Bible Sabbath...
Christian group" (" 'Thy Word is a witnesses for the truth maintained the Through ages of darkness and
Light Unto My Feet,' " February ancient faith (called Waldenses after apostasy there were Waldenses who
2000). I visit the Waldensian Valleys perhaps the 11th century), we find denied the supremacy of Rome, who
often and my Waldensian friends abundant historical support. rejected image worship as idiolatry,
would be amazed to learn they are not Again, author Coffen states,"... and who kept the true Sabbath (The
supposed to exist. A large Waldensian there is no historical record of Great Controversy, 65).
Church in Rome hosted the Seventh- Waldensian Sabbath keeping; in their It is apparent that faithful wit
day Adventist Net 2000 broadcast by own documents they clearly refer to nesses found a haven in northern Italy
ACN satellite from February 4-20, worshiping on Sunday." It is true that and southeastern France from the 4th or
2000. Waldenses certainly exist today! by 1532, the subject of Sabbath 5th centuries. By the 14th century, some
In 1989 the Waldensian Church, keeping was not an issue; Sunday is were beginning to compromise because
now affiliated with Methodists had the only day mentioned. It is essen of relentless persecution; some were
13,000 members in the historic tially true that we have no official seventh-day Sabbath keepers, but not
Waldensian Valleys and about 17,000 records of their seventh-day all. So, from perhaps the 4th or 5th until
members in the rest of Italy and Sabbathkeeping. However, that is the 15th century, the light of apostolic
Switzerland, and another 15,000 in understandable, considering that truth shone from that "Church in the
Uruguay. virtually every document was de Wilderness" for a thousand years.
In 1532, the Waldensians joined stroyed by their persecutors. Bill Sherman, Wildwood Lifestyle
the Protestant Reformation. They later B.C.Wilkinson,Ph.D.,in Truth Center, Wildwood, Georgia.
sent young men to Geneva for pastoral Triumphant draws from many sources
training, but never then aligned for his support of their keeping of the + While I was challenged by some
themselves with any religious group. Sabbath. "Abundance of evidence can of the logical arguments Richard W.
Brother Coffen also states, "That be produced to show that these Coffen uses, I find his documentation
the Waldenses did not exist for a Sabbath keepers (A.D. 1194) were threadbare and his attention biased
thousand years as Ellen White interchangeably called Waldenses and when arguing for historical errors in
asserted." A close review of her insabbatati" (Truth Triumphant, 261). Ellen G. White's writings ("A Fresh
wording is necessary. In the context of Then quoting Goldast, Wilkinson Look at the Dynamics of Inspiration"
the Waldenses, in the bulwarks of the states, "They were called Insabbatti, not [December 1999] and " 'Thy Word is a
mountains, she states, "Here, for a because they were circumcised, but Light Unto My Feet' " [February
thousand years, witnesses for the truth because they kept the Sabbath accord 2000]).
maintained the ancient faith" (Great ing to the Jewish law" (ibid., 262). Upon Coffen's assertion that the
Controversy, 66). Long before they "While, under the pressure of Waldenses were not Sabbath keepers,
were referred to as Waldenses, the long-continued persecution, some there is testimony to the contrary.
followers of Ambrose and Vigilantius compromised their faith, little by little Christian Edwardson in Facts of Faith,
(A.D. 400), Claudius (early 9th yielding its distinctive principles, others 125, quotes David Benedict's General
century) Peter de Bruys (early 12th held fast the truth" ( The Great Contro History of the Baptist Denomination,
century), Henry of Lausanne and versy, 65). Regular Sabbath observance vol. 2,413, "Robinson gives an
Arnold of Brescia (12th) resisted Papal with absence from Sunday mass would account of some of the Waldenses of
authority and doctrine in northern be most obvious grounds for heresy, an the Alps, who were called Sabbati,
Italy and southeastern France. They easy target for Inquisitors. continued on p. 31

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Ministry/August 2000 3
I lien White even truth if the Truth Himself is not
1 a way of
"The truth present in the proclamation. Truth lies
much more in the Heavenly Presence
profound realities
with such a quality
of simplicity that
about truth that is behind or within the thought
and word, than in the word or
thought itself. Truth is at its heart a
her insights tend to particular Person He who called
be concealed from But three things convict me in Himself "the truth"(see John 14:6).
over-intellectualized minds. The well- this sentence: This, of course, has huge implica
educated reader, committed to 1. The disciples are not only tions for our witness. We are not
estimating the worthiness of theologi pictured as speaking, but they are merely asked to impart information,
cal writing by whether or not it is doing it "fluently." to educate or instruct. Our communi
sufficiently loaded with the prevailing 2. As they speak, they might even cation does not merely involve telling
currents of sophisticated expression, be "repeat [ing] the words of Christ people how to get from point A to
tends to bypass what is concealed Himself." point B. We are instead summoned to
beneath Mrs. White's unaffected 3. But all this impressive commu be mediums of conviction and of the
language. nication may well in fact "deny Him" healing grace of God. Such a role
The insights shrouded in Mrs. if certain elements are absent from resoundingly transcends the necessity
White's simple literary style shine only their speech or witness. of mere theological and homiletical
on those who are actually humbly training, professional skill, and even
searching for truth. Truth, as expressed charisma (which easily masquerades
in these writings, presents itself in as the voice of God). If we want to be
much the way it did in the case of the
"stone that the builders rejected" (see
Acts 4:11, NIV). Perhaps this character
istic is in fact a worthy test of whether
or not a body of writing is "inspired."
As you might already suspect, I
am saying this because recently I was
T Mrutl
ruth lies
much more in the Heavenly
authentic Christian ministers, there is
nothing for it but to possess the
genuine article.
Along this line, I once heard the
story of two businessmen who were
visiting a certain city. One night they
went together to a nearby church to
struck squarely between my spiritual Presence that is behind or hear the preaching of a renowned
eyes by something that tackled not minister. After the meeting they
only my mind, but my heart as well. It within the thought and returned to their hotel in awe of the
pressed its way through the well- preaching and unable to stop savoring
guarded doors of conscious thought
word, than in the word or the impressiveness of the sermon.
and broke in on the private world of thought itself. The next night the two men went
my well-barricaded conscience! Here's their separate ways. One went back to
the sentence that especially struck me: hear the same minister while the other
"The disciples might speak went to hear a second, less renowned
fluently on doctrines, they might preacher. When they met later, the
repeat the words of Christ Himself; first man could again hardly contain
but unless they possessed Christlike When we look at this sentence his enthusiasm, saying that he wished
meekness and love, they would deny carefully, it seems that truth in fact is his friend had come with him to once
Him, whatever the profession." 1 As not even being communicated in the more hear the minister they had heard
you can see by the way I have intro first place if crucial, supernatural, and the first night. If anything, his second
duced this sentence, I am keenly aware experiential realities are absent. In sermon had been even greater than his
that in and of itself there appears to be other words, as we proclaim truth it first.
nothing new in it. In fact, it is a may be that no viable witness is The man then asked his colleague
thought we often repeat, especially at actually taking place, even though how it had gone with the sermon
ministers' meetings. After all, this deft, elegant expressions of theologi preached by the second minister. His
particular statement was written in cally pristine proclamation are friend, unable to express what had
the context of the full-time evangelis flowing from our lips. There is a actually happened to him, could only
tic work of Jesus' disciples. striking sense in which truth is not continued onp. 19

4 Ministry/August 2000
m n 1987 several Seventh-day Adventist academicians and the Southwestern
Mi Union Conference launched a longitudinal research investigation on Seventh-
day Adventist clergy residing and working in the United States of America.

lack E. Bynum, Ph.D., Stage I of Project SDA Clergy was opinions as they evaluate their past and
is professor emeritus designed to survey 82 senior ministe face their future as ministers.
of sociology at rial students enrolled that year at At the same time, we realized that
Southern Oregon Adventist colleges and universities in the 34 percent of 1987 senior ministerial stu
University. United States and Canada. The highly dents did not climax their college train
detailed questionnaire resulted in an ing with a ministerial appointment. What
extensive database of demographic, at- became of them? To our knowledge,
titudinal, and experiential information there has been no previous systematic
Douglas R. Clark, from the study group. Extremely in inquiry into the possible stress, malad
Ph.D., is professor of sightful and useful reports on patterns justment, and sense of failure and rejec
Biblical Studies and of origin, background, recruitment, and tion that may afflict many of those whose
Archaelogy at Walla placement of young Adventist ministers "call to ministry" and years of hope and
Walla College, College were subsequently published in two is preparation did not bear fruit. Thus, this
Place, Washington. sues of Ministry in 1993. l large group became a secondary target
In 1997, in keeping with the ongo of the 1997, Stage II investigation.
ing longitudinal commitment of the As our research strategy crystallized,
research team, Walla Walla College spon another troubling and understudied sub
sored Project SDA Clergy: Stage II. This group emerged. Not all of the 53 mem
second phase was initially designed to bers of our 1987 cohort who entered the
focus solely on the 66 percent of the 1987 ministry of the church remained in that
ministerial student graduates who actu capacity; 34 percent had dropped out of
ally entered the professional ministerial church employment between 1987 and
ranks of the church. We wanted to find 1997 for one reason or another. This
out how they had progressed in their unexpected and alarming finding alerted
ministerial careers during the interven us to the need for different forms of the
ing ten years their fulfillments and 1997 survey instrument to address the
frustrations, pleasures and problems, sig three current subgroupings of the 1987
nificant experiences and aspirations, cohort of SDA ministerial students,
along with their attitudes, values, and which in this study are called: 1) Minis-


Ministry/August 2000 5
nization and committee structure."
Table 1 : Evaluation of pre-ministerial components of college curriculum Another summarized a point made
by many respondents: "I highly valued
Good Mediocre Poor my biblical studies, and critical think
Courses in Homiletics 69% 21% 0% ing classes; however I was left helpless
Courses in Bible 72% 18% 9%
Courses in How to Give Bible Studies 33% 30% 24% and hopeless when it came to adminis
Courses in Church Administration 24% 42% 21% tration and leadership."
Courses in Pastoral Counseling 21% 33% 33% 2. Recollections of unrealistic college
Courses in Biblical Languages 78% 6% 6% expectations of ministry. The 1997 sur
Responses in course categories may not total WO percent b cause a few subjects dm not respond fully or clearly. vey inquired of cohort members
whether any expectations they may have
had in college concerning their future
terial Persisters; 2) Ministerial Dropouts; marks to ministerial education courses ministry proved to be unrealistic and
and 3) Ministerial Rejects. The nomen they had received in homiletics, Bible, disappointing, and whether such expec
clature of "Dropouts" and "Rejects" and biblical languages. On the other tations required later revision. The close
troubled us as unhappy and stigmatiz hand, the respondents were less enthu correspondence of answers to this ques
ing labels regardless of the validity of siastic about the usefulness of course tion from both Ministerial Persister and
those terms in describing the experience work in how to give Bible studies, Dropout groups allowed us to combine
and identifying the members of those church administration, and pastoral their responses in Table 2. The table
two groups. Later it was found that those counseling. organizes the subjects' responses in a
subjects often referred to themselves as Nearly 75 percent of respondents typology of three clusters of unrealistic
"Dropouts" and "Rejects" in their com suggested that their college preparation expectations: The Role of the Minister,
pleted questionnaires. for ministry would have been greatly im The Role of Church Members, and The
proved with additional instruction in Role of Conference Leadership.
The data how to handle church finances and ad One pastor verbalized some expec
During the summer of 1997 we ministration, leadership skills, ethics, tations that proved unreal: "My
began our search for the current ad conflict resolution, fund raising, how to education would be valued by my con
dresses of our original 82 subjects. Our give Bible studies and officiate at wed gregation. My personal devotion and
intensive data gathering efforts were dings and funerals, and course work in ministry would be appreciated by my
well rewarded: we received the com business, sociology, and psychology. One conference. I would be master of my
pleted questionnaires from 33 of the 35 pastor complained: "Upon graduating, I time and to some extent my ministerial
Ministerial Persisters (94 percent); from received my own church. While I could agenda. It doesn't matter who I knew
9 of the 18 Ministerial Dropouts (50 parse a Greek text, or discuss theology for I was following God's leading."
percent); and from 14 of the 29 of the from a philosophical standpoint, I lacked Another pastor contrasted the situ
Ministerial Rejects (48 percent). practice in daily application. I completely ation: "Expectation: ministry is about
In the 1997 Stage II report that fol lacked in understanding of church orga winning souls. Reality: Ministry is
lows, readers may see a few things in the
minds and experiences of the ministers
that may be surprising. We asked for Table 2. Unrealistic expectations of respondents when commencing their
candid responses and we got them. Our professional ministry
job is to report faithfully the facts and
findings. We trust that colleagues will Unrealistic Expectations Regarding Minister's Role ............................... 29%
rejoice with us with what seems good (e.g., the time and latitude to set personal goals and agenda with focus on soul winning;
time for personal devotion and family; leadership opportunities; spouse involvement; etc.)
news. When the news is unsettling, we
trust there will be empathy and com Unrealistic Expectations Regarding Church Members ...............................
passion for the occasionally beleaguered (e.g., cooperation, respect, and encouragement ofpastor; democracy and fair play in church
young ministers. and school board meetings; support for church standards and doctrines; brotherly love, etc.)

Unrealistic Expectations Regarding Conference Administrative and

The research findings Departmental Leadership ....................................................... 42%
1.1997 evaluation of 1987pre-min (e.g., cooperation and support of local pastor; absence of prejudice and politics; flexible,
isterial college curriculum (See Table 1). spiritual, and zealous conference leadership; etc.)
In general, our Ministerial Persister and No Unrealistic Expectations..................................................... 14%
Dropout groups ten years after gradu
ating from college and based upon their Total responses exceed 100% because some respondents cited multiple disillusionments.

ministerial experience gave high

6 Ministry/August 2000
tified with a highly regarded "Occupation
Table 3. 1997 lifestyle comparison of three groups from the 1987 cohort of senior, Ranking System." The Persisters have, on
Seventh-day Adventist ministerial students the average, significantly higher social
class status than members of the other
Lifestyle Indicators Persisters 1 Dropouts2 Rejects3 two subgroups (based on occupation).
a. Attending SDA Church 100% 63% 63% 4- Economic indicators. The social
b. Sending Children to SDA Schools 95% 62% 50% class standing and status of the three
c. Life Satisfactions4 groups are reinforced by the economic
Completely Satisfying 39% 37% 0% indicators targeted in f and g. In spite
Partly Satisfying 61% 37% 100% of numerous moves, nearly two-thirds
Unsatisfying 0% 26% 0% of our young ministers have acquired
d. Residence Moves During Last Ten Years5 4.5 their own home mortgages. Several an
e. Social Class6 3.2 2.6 2.4 nounced that their homes are "almost
f. Buying Home (or paid for) 64% 50% 36%
paid for! "Members of the Dropout and
Reject groups, because of their gener
g- Number of Automobiles 2.0 2.3 1.5
ally lower incomes, lag behind.
Age of Newest Auto S.lYrs 5.7 Yrs 6.3 Yrs
Similarly, the Persisters drive newer au
h. Enthusiasm for Work 75% 69% 63% tomobiles. It is interesting to note that
i. Voted in Most Recent National Election 48% 65% 54% the economic fortunes of the three sub
j- Spouse Employed Outside Home 66% 70% 74% groups of subjects (as indicated by
home ownership and vehicle quality)
'Those subjects who entered and "persisted" in ministry. consistently decline as ministerial in
2Those subjects who entered ministry and later "dropped out." volvement declines.
3Those subjects who never entered ministry. 4. Comparative findings on selected
4A well-known scale measuring fulfillment and purpose in life. attitudes and values.
'Young ministers are often transferred; not applicable to other groups. Table 4 provides a set of continuum-
6Social class determined by widely-used "Occupation Status Rankings."
type scales developed by researchers in
the social and behavioral sciences to mea
sure such variables as authoritarianism,
about keeping the saints from killing Dropout and Reject groups continue to marginality, liberalism/conservatism,
each other." attend SDA churches and send their chil idealism/realism, tolerance/prejudice,
3. Persisters, Dropouts, and Rejects: dren to church schools. and alienation.2
lifestyle comparisons. Table 3 presents 4- Life satisfaction. Results on this Responses to the first scale indicate
several concrete indicators that identify, scale were not unexpected. Although that Persisters are more likely to have
measure, and compare the current the Persisters are often troubled by se authoritarian inclinations. This means
"lifestyles" of the 1987 cohort subgroups. rious misgivings regarding their that a majority tends to perceive issues
Table 3 provides data to compare congregations and conferences, they as "right" or "wrong," and to have un
the three subgroupings on family life, demonstrate a stronger sense of pur swerving loyalty to focal institutions
work and community involvement, pose and fulfillment than Dropout and (e.g., government or church). Ministe
socio-economic status, and religious Reject groups. Even after ten years, rial Dropouts are more likely to take a
commitment. Note the following: many of the Rejects are still haunted by less rigid position and to be more inde
+ Church attendance. While the their lost hopes and dreams. One re pendent from centralized authority.
Ministerial Persisters all reported regu spondent lamented: "I still feel pain over Data from the second scale reveal
lar attendance at an Adventist Church, my rejection because I know I was called that a large majority of minister respon
over a third of the Reject and the Drop to the ministry." dents reinforced their earlier lack of
out groups no longer attend church. A 4- Residence moves. Young minis confidence in conference administrators.
few of them reported joining other ters moved on an average of 4.5 times One anonymously observed: "I simply
churches. between 1987 and 1997. This familiar cannot trust the conference with my own
4- Support to church schools. A pattern seems to be accepted as a stan weakness or vulnerability." This survey
third to one-half of the Dropouts and Re- dard inconvenience and "part of the item uncovers a serious concern. Minis
jects send their children to public job." This variable is not applicable to ters are human, too, and therefore can
schools. However, it must be noted that the lifestyles of other groups. experience spiritual crises. But in whom
despite disappointment and stress asso 4- Social class. In this study, the so might the minister confide without fear
ciated with their unfulfilled ministerial cial class of every subject in each of the of judgment or career endangerment?
careers, one-half to nearly two-thirds of three subgroups was identified and quan The third scale illuminates a para-

8 Ministry/August 2000
dox. Ministerial Persisters even with isterial Persisters are deeply hurt by their of our Persisters "sometimes feel very
their common complaint about admin critics. Dropouts apparently are less thin- lonely or remote from other people."
istrative leadership do not feel skinned. At the same time, the majority Clearly, this is part of a larger pattern
over-regimented or over-regulated. of Persisters and Dropouts feel "used" or of occupational isolation from full as
Thus, it appears that subjects are able to manipulated by other people. sociation with their congregations and
separate what they perceive as unfavor Scale g focuses on the dimension their conference leadership. Ministers
able administrative style from favorable of pessimism/optimism by probing have been "set apart" somewhat both
administrative substance. The result is subjects' attitudes toward the world at symbolically and literally. Many respon
that most ministers in this study willingly large. The majority of Persisters disagree dents recognize formidable barriers to
conform to tasks and expectations de with the statement that "the world is ba candid communication and to anything
fined by conference leadership. sically a friendly place." This perspective more than superficial relationships with
Scale d reveals a measure of cynicism may be more common among those most parishioners and colleagues.
and fatalism regarding job promotions who strongly anticipate future plagues Sadly, Ministerial Dropouts re
among a majority of subjects in all three and persecutions. On the other hand, ported an even higher incidence of
subgroups. And one respondent noted: the Dropouts have evidently found liv loneliness and remoteness. Social scien
"A few pastors have made apple-polish ing in the secular world less threatening. tists have developed some theoretical
ing an art form!" Perhaps merit criteria Scale b produces the most confirm constructs that can help explain this
for advancement to larger responsibility ing occupational data. Ministers are phenomenon. For example, Stonequist3
should be defined and emphasized. considered models of faith and spokes and Wittermans4 describe the plight of
Scales e and f touch on a perceived persons of truth regarding God's plan individuals who experience marginal,
vulnerability and helplessness among for humanity and the ultimate destiny incomplete, and unsatisfying social as
many of our respondents. Ministers of this world. Consequently, the vast similation. The construct of the "Mar
sometimes feel that they are subjected to majority of Persisters is confident about ginal Man" suggests that persons are
unrelenting criticism, yet are required to "the meaning of life." Dropouts and painfully caught between two divergent
maintain a pious and stoic compliance Rejects are less sure. cultures, groups, or perspectives. The
and congeniality. Over half of our Min The last scale finds that over half individual's involvement and commit-

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Ministry/August 2000 9
Table 4. 1997 attitudes and values of three subgroups from 1987 cohort of senior ministerial students: Likert scales
Persisters Dropouts Rejects
a) Obedience and respect for authority are the most important virtues children can have.
Agree 54 12 46
Uncertain 18 25 36
Disagree 28 63 18

b) It would be difficult for ministers to tell conference leaders that they

have a personal spiritual problem.
Agree 67 N/A N/A
Uncertain 12 N/A N/A
Disagree 21 N/A N/A

c) We're so regimented today that there's not much room for choice even in personal matters.
Agree 15 37 9
Uncertain 9 0 0
Disagree 76 63 91

d) In getting a job promotion, some degree of "apple polishing" is required.

Agree 66 62 54
Uncertain 6 0 28
Disagree 28 38 28

e) I often feel upset when someone criticizes me.

Agree 55 13 54
Uncertain 15 37 18
Disagree 30 50 64

0 Sometimes I have the feeling that other people are using me.
Agree 52 63 27
Uncertain 9 0 9
Disagree 39 37 64

g) The world in which we live is basically a friendly place.

Agree 33 50 27
Uncertain 15 12 9
Disagree 52 38 64

h) I often wonder what the meaning of life really is.

Agree 16 50 37
Uncertain 3 12 0
Disagree 81 38 63

i) I sometimes feel very lonely or remote from other people.

Agree 55 75 36
Uncertain 15 0 18
Disagree 30 25 46

ment are fragmented between the of other. Similarly, many Persisters may a demographic profile of those subjects
ten contrary demands of the two. Con also experience a kind of lonely mar- with the greatest probability of becom
sequently, there is a failure to identify ginality as they negotiate their minis ing Ministerial Dropouts. H
fully or bond with either of the conflict try between the expectations of
ing groups or orientations. The "Mar congregation, conference, and their ' Jack Bynum, Douglas Clark, and George Hilton.
ginal Man" concept is helpful in own special calling. "Project SDA Clergy: Part 1," Ministry, April 1993, 16-21;
Part 2 in June 1993, 9-13.
describing and understanding the situ Editorial note: The concluding part 2 Delbert C. Miller, Handbook ofResearch Design and
ation of many Dropouts as they are torn of this report will appear in October. It Social Measurement (New York: David McKay Co., 1970).
3 Everett V. Stonequist, The Marginal Man: A Study
between their previous occupation and will examine the reasons why individu in Personality and Culture Conflict (New York: Scribner's,
religious subculture on the one hand, als leave the ministry and suggest a 1937).
4 Tamme Wittermans, "Structural Marginality and
and their new occupations and orien prevention and treatment strategy for this Social Worth," Sociology and Social Research 48 (April
tations in the secular world, on the critical loss of clergy. It will also develop 1964), 348-360.

10 Ministry/August 2000
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A Leader's Point of View
D o you want to see tangible evidence of God's power in your life? Pray.
Do you want to see resolutions of knotty problems in the churches?
Get down on your knees."
George Rice, Ph.D., is So says Neville Harcombe, presi spiritually strong, we will have congre
pastor of the dent of the Chesapeake Conference. gations that are committed to the third
Tridelphia Seventh- Because Elder Harcombe is a conference angel's message. So the Chesapeake Con
day Adventist president who has enthusiastically sup- ference immediately bought enough
Church, Tridelphia, ported and promoted the North books to give to the pastors and to their
Maryland. American Division's (NAD) call to members who regularly attend church.
prayer and revival in his conference, the At the pastors' meeting in January
Spiritual Emphasis Committee of NAD 1999, the book and the covenant were
Neville Harcombe is asked him to share with the readers of introduced. We spent time talking about
president of the Ministry what he has experienced. the responsibility of church leaders to
Chesapeake guide the people into a deeper relation
Conference in George Rice: Please share with us ship with Jesus. We spent time in prayer
Columbia, Maryland. how you introduced the book, Getting over this covenant and what God expects
Ready to Meet Jesus, the covenant card, us to do. When it came time to call for a
and NAD's call to prayer and revival. commitment, and the pastors were asked
to sign the covenant and to move to the
Neville Harcombe: When I looked front of the room where we were meet
through the little book, Getting Ready to ing to acknowledge their commitment,
Meet Jesus, I saw something that could not one stayed in their seats. It was a
be used by the Holy Spirit to direct the moving thing to witness.
minds of our pastors and church mem
bers to the important work of preparing GR: You and Rob Vandeman, secre
our hearts for the latter rain. I was ex tary of the conference, set the example
cited by the vision of leading our pastors for the pastors by signing your covenant
into a commitment to the covenant cards first. As you have followed through
found at the front of the book, and then on your commitment over the past eigh
by the idea of them, in turn, leading their teen months, have you noticed or felt any
members into accepting and signing the difference in your spiritual life?
covenant. I realize, of course, that the
conference leadership must set the pace NH: Definitely. I blocked off time
in spiritual renewal. But our pastors are in the mornings for private study and
the key to the spiritual condition of the prayer. I began rereading Acts of the
churches. If we have pastors who are Apostlesby Ellen White, and, believe me,


12 Ministry/August 2000
it was moving. There are two powerful NH: Within a number of congrega up many doors of opportunity. The vari
chapters at the beginning of the book tions, there is a growing interest in de ous conferences are being encouraged to
dealing with the Day of Pentecost and veloping prayer groups that meet on select a prayer coordinator for the entire
the work of the Holy Spirit. I realized various days of the week. And where conference. In Chesapeake, we have
as never before how dependent we are there is an emphasis on prayer, there is asked Rick Remmers, pastor of our
on the power and efficiency of the Spirit spiritual growth, and conflict is mini Atholton Church, to assume this respon
and what God wants to do with and mized. As with my responsibilities in the sibility. The prayer coordinator of the
through His people. And you know, I office, it seems that solutions to knotty conference will facilitate and help orga
experienced some unusual things. First problems within church families are re nize the program of the prayer coordi
of all, I felt a spiritual renewal within solved much more easily. Another thing nators of individual churches.
myself. Then I began to realize that I was that I have noticed and find quite inter I see the focus of my responsibili
being helped with administrative re esting, prayer helps people correct dis ties as Union Prayer Coordinator to be
sponsibilities. It seemed to me that my torted pictures of God. There is no on the administration of the Columbia
leadership style was being strengthened question in my mind that prayer helps Union conferences. As conference lead
and solutions to problems were com the saints to be saints, and a strong em ers throughout the union gather for vari
ing more easily. The whole experience phasis on prayer in churches helps ous meetings, opportunities can be given
is exciting. churches to be a loving family. for special times of prayer. This is where
I can give some guidance and make a
GR: Since Getting Ready to Meet GR: I understand that you have contribution. Between meetings, I will
Jesus and the covenant card were intro been asked to be the prayer coordina have opportunities by letters and by
duced to the pastors in January 1999 and tor for the Columbia Union. What will phone to encourage our leaders to make
then introduced to the churches of the that responsibility involve? prayer and revival a top priority. I am sure
Chesapeake Conference in March of that that a strong emphasis on prayer, revival,
year, what has your administration done NH: This is something new for me and reformation will continue to grow
to help keep the focus on the renewal and for the Union, so I am entering un in the Columbia Union as we prepare our
experience? charted waters. This responsibility opens hearts to receive the latter rain.

NH: Several things. The emphasis

of our 1999 camp meeting was on get
ting ready to meet Jesus. Peoples'
attention was directed to the book re
peatedly, and the importance of
by Dayid A. Farmer
entering into the covenant was empha
sized over and over again. The pastors
are encouraged at workers' meetings to A refreshing change from
be loyal to the covenant that they have one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter
signed, to keep praying and studying. witnessing, Power Witnessing
Letters have been sent to the pas helps tailor your individual
tors and church elders stressing the need witness to reach different
for revival and encouraging all to stay personality types for Christ.
focused. There is a strong emphasis on
prayer ministry, seminars for prayer co 0-8280-1403-5
ordinators are being conducted, and a US$9.99, Can$14.99
strong emphasis on daily prayer sessions
is a part of our camp meeting. Rob
Vandeman is preparing a daily Bible
reading schedule for our conference Review and Herald Publishing
members, and Rick Remmers, our con Helping Others Prepare for Eternity
ference prayer coordinator, is preparing
a Spirit of Prophecy reading plan that
will be used in 2001.

GR: Have you detected any changes

in the congregations that make up the
conference constituency?

Ministry/August 2000 13
^^ elf-supporting," "supporting," and "independent" ministries are terms that
^^J have created considerable discomfort and confusion in the minds of many
Adventists in recent years.
Woodrow W. These expressions encompass in doctrinal purity and ethical accom
Whidden, Ph.D., is Adventist para-church groups and or plishment.
professor of religion at ganizations that normally have some What is to be made of these para-
Andrews University, missionary, evangelistic, revival, or re church groups and their various
Berrien Springs, form (theological or lifestyle) goal as theological and ethical concerns? How
Michigan. their reason for existence. "Self-sup should the leadership of the denomi
porting" and "supporting" groups have nation relate to these groups and yet still
generally been positively viewed by de maintain a sense of unity and common
nominational administrators. It is the effort in the fulfillment of the church's
"independent" ministries that have stated mission and goals?
raised the most concern. This article looks at the history of
While these varied "independent" the Wesleyan revival in 18th century Brit
ministry groups are not monolithic in ain to see if there are any lessons that can
their theological emphases and their be learned from the way the Wesleyans
relationship to the church, they all seem and the established Anglicans related to
to have two things in common: one another.
1. The vast majority of these groups
proclaim their loyalty to the formal de The Wesleyan/Anglican struggle
nominational organization. This, Any effort to draw parallels from
however, is usually followed with a care one historical setting to another is always
ful listing of the church's numerous faults a delicate pursuit since the parallels of
and theological defects. history are often elusive and inexact. The
2. While affirming loyalty to the Wesleyan Revival, 1 however, presents
church, such organizations deliberately numerous striking similarities to many
claim that the church is deficient both Adventist para-church movements. The


14 Ministry/August 2000
parallels and concerns are so striking that the Wesley brothers: justification by faith, pendents largely supported Wesley in
I find them quite irresistible as a labora Christian perfection, and the "witness of this emphasis.
tory to explore the dynamic ways reli the Spirit." Christian perfection. When it came
gious minorities and establishment Justification by faith. John Wesley's to Wesley's emphasis on Christian per
majorities relate to one another. advocacy of justification by faith largely fection, the partisanship was somewhat
John Wesley never intended to be a stems from the influence of the Pietis- reversed: the Calvinistic evangelicals
divisive schismatic in any of the innova tic Lutheranism of the Moravians, suspected Anglican moralism, even Pa
tions that he introduced in his 18th-cen- especially that of Peter Bohler. The dis pal, Tridentine influences. The estab
tury evangelical revival. He died an covery that divine forgiveness is the lishment vicars and prelates were more
ordained Anglican priest and proclaimed basis of holy living, rather than the re indifferent.
his loyal intentions to the very end. How verse, was the key to John's evangelical The issue was to remain controver
ever, Wesley never shied away from do awakening. He stoutly proclaimed the sial, especially with evangelicalsboth
ing what he thought necessary to doctrine and experience of justification in the church and among independents
advance his Methodist outreach, espe by faith alone to all who would listen. and dissenters. Most of the opposition
cially to the "poor" who were caught in This brought considerable discom came from the Calvinistic wing of the
the social and spiritual crossfire of the fort to Anglican divines of the day who evangelical revival led by the redoubt
early Industrial Revolution. It is in this had been nurtured in the moralism of able itinerant and sometime ally of the
context that we will seek to identify the Enlightenment rationalism. Many An WesleysGeorge Whitefield.
major factors that contributed to the glican clergy considered justification by The heart of the Wesleyan under
unwanted schism that the Methodist re faith alone a serious threat to moral for standing of perfection could be expressed
vival ultimately experienced. mation. Wesley's response to such this way: just as there was an identifiable
Two main sets of factors brought criticisms was to refer his critics to the moment of grace called conversion and
about the schism: doctrinal and orga articles on justification in the Thirty- justification, so there was also a second
nizational. nine Articles and especially to the or subsequent work of grace variously
Edwardian Homilies (1547),2 which ad referred to as perfection, perfect love,
Doctrinal contention dressed the subject. The evangelical fullness of faith, or simply the blessing
Three main doctrinal issues gripped (mostly Calvinist) Anglicans and Inde of holiness.

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Ministry/August 2000 15
Very few Anglicans denied that to be Methodism's central reason for ex peared to many to be a species of spiri
there was, subsequent to conversion and istence. tual elitism.
justification, the experience of sanctifi- Witness of the Spirit. Drawing on
cation and growth in grace. However, Paul's concepts found in Romans 8:14- Organizational issues
the Wesleyan understanding became 17, Wesley held that Christians should I am using the expression "organi
controversial in its insistence that this experience the direct witness of the zational" in a rather broad way to
second work of grace was instantaneous Spirit to their minds and hearts that describe a wide range of issues having
and essential for salvation. The recipi they had come into a saving, forgiven to do with parish boundaries, evange
ent of this second blessing was supposed relationship with God through Christ. listic techniques (such as field preaching
to receive the direct witness of the Spirit The Spirit that witnessed to their and the use of lay preachers), para-
that full deliverance from the power of initial salvation was also deemed to be church structures of nurture (the
sin had taken place; and while remis the Spirit who would witness to their societies with their bands, classes, and
sible, it was taught that the perfect had experience of fullness of faiththe sec various ministries to the poor), public
all original or birth-sin purged away in ond work of perfect love. This concept criticisms of the clergy, ordination, and
an instant. seemed to stir up the most reaction and the administration of the sacraments.3
This vision of "Scriptural holiness," opposition. Wesley's opponents were It is in these more practical issues that
proclaimed and wrought out in the nur not slow to suggest that this version of we find the most dynamic elements ac
turing setting of the Methodist United the personal witness by the Spirit was tuating the schism that finally erupted.
Societies (with their bands, classes, and the source of revivalistic "enthusiasm" "The world is my parish" As the
emphasis on devotional piety, Christian (the 18th-century derisive term for re Wesleyan wing of the evangelical revival
service, and sacramental observance), ligious fanaticism). Especially troubling rapidly unfolded in the late 1730s and
was deemed by Wesley to be the distinc to many of the rationalistic Anglicans early 1740s, it did so in the setting of
tive contribution of the Wesleyan revival was the evident emotionalism, which "field preaching" (open air proclama
to Christian thought and experience. had been manifested in the early stages tion) by Whitefield and the Wesleys. The
Furthermore, the spread of "Scriptural of the revival. Such a direct link to the established church did not appear to
holiness over the land" was understood Spirit also seemed to inspire what ap have any burden to reach out to the

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18-2 if' 2000


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Director of the Adventist Church Planting Center

Senior Pastor, Kelso-Longview SDA Church

get Senior Pastor, Walla Walla College Church and

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alienated masses and thus the Method ministry (such as the Society for the annoyance. Thus, many Methodists did
ists (both Calvinistic and Wesleyan) felt Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign not feel welcome at the church's sacra
led to take the revival to the people Parts and the Society for the Promotion mental seasons and viewed the clerical
where they were. of Christian Knowledge). The difference officiants as critical and corrupt.
Such an outreach seemed inevita between these groups and what would This tense state of affairs contrib
bly to incite the parochial instincts of develop under Wesley's organizing ge uted significantly to a growing undercur
the established clergy who accused nius is that the former groups were al rent among the Methodists agitating for
Wesley and company of not respecting ways under the sponsorship of the the ordination of Wesley's "assistants."
their parish boundaries and prerogatives. Anglican ministry, while Wesley's groups Wesley, to his credit, had strenuously
When Wesley was challenged about his were under his direction. sought to unite his efforts with the pa
obvious disregard of such established So while Wesley urged his people to rochial clergy (especially those with more
boundaries, he replied that his ordina attend services at the local parish church evangelical leanings), but his efforts were
tion to the Anglican priesthood gave him only slightly successful.
universal access to the people of the In fact, the lack of sacramental op
church. In fact, he would proclaim that portunity for Methodists in North
not only his ordination, but also the great America, during and after the Revolu
needs of the masses and the evidences tion, was one of the main factors that
of the abundant harvest in such non-pa forced Wesley's hand when he ordained
rochial ministry justified him to conceive . t should come Thomas Coke, who would in turn go to
of the whole "world" as his "parish." North America and ordain Frances
Things were simply moving beyond the as no surprise that the Asbury, leading to still further schism.
most ambitious dreams of the Method
ist revivalists, and there was no time to Wesleyan Methodists found Was schism preventable?
pander to the insecurities and propri The question is hard to answer; yet
etary claims of the settled vicars. their main church identity there seems to be, from the easy chair of
Lay preachers. The problem, how historical retrospect, a number of steps
ever, became even more acute when more and more in their local that both Wesley and Anglican leaders
Wesley felt the need to use the services could or should have taken to prevent it.
societies and the various
of itinerant laymen to serve as his First, the doctrinal issues. Wesley
"preaching assistants" or "sons in the ministries of outreach and and his wing of the evangelical revival
Gospel." Their work was not only to win were quite orthodox by any of the ac
new believers, but also to minister to the nurture, and not in the knowledged canonical standards of the
growing multitudes of awakened and Anglican establishment. In fact, Wesley
converted sinners who were being gath Anglican church. was probably correct in his oft-repeated
ered into the burgeoning United claim that he was more orthodox than
Societies of the Wesleyan wing of the were many of his most critical oppo
Methodist revival. Ordained itinerants nents. The main bones of contention
such as Whitefield and John and Charles centered around Wesley's teaching on
Wesley were one thing, but to have to (especially the sacramental occasions), it justification and perfection.
contend with an invasion of fervent and should come as no surprise that the On the first issue, Wesley certainly
mostly uneducated lay insurgents was Wesleyan Methodists found their main had the better part of the argument.
more than many vicars could bear. church identity more and more in their Wesley and the Calvinistic evangelicals
It was the role of these "sons in the local societies and the various ministries were quite "justified" in being critical
Gospel" that would eventually prompt of outreach and nurture, and not in the of the pervasive moralism (and its de
many questions about ordination and Anglican church. This was all exacer facto legalism) prevalent among many
the lay preachers' right to administer the bated by the often hostile attitudes of the of the establishment clergy.
sacraments. These questions of ordina local parish priests and some bishops. The issue of perfection and the wit
tion and administration of the Alienation in the church. In addition ness of the Spirit, however, is consider
sacraments and the Wesleyan religious to these tensions, when the scores of ably more problematic. It is quite ironic
societies would be the main issues that Wesleyan converts arrived at their local that the establishment clergy would be
would eventually precipitate schism. parish church for communion, the re all that critical of Wesley's perfectionism:
Religious societies. Religious societ sources of the vicars and the parish were on the face of it, it would seem that their
ies were nothing novel in early 18th-cen overwhelmed with the large groups seek moralism would be quite comfortable
tury Britain. Numerous small groups had ing sacramental fulfillment. On many with Wesley's emphasis on sanctification.
gathered for nurture or some specific occasions officiants did little to hide their It appears, however, that what sparked

Ministry/August 2000 17
their criticism was Wesley's move to base that the Wesleyans were among the per ity and prefix their teaching with the
his perfectionism solidly in the setting of fected, and the charge of fanaticism was caveat"this is just one person's dearly
the evangelical emphasis on human de bound to erupt. The result was growing held conviction." The establishment
pravity and total corruptiona perspec suspicion and a deepening divide. needs to exercise patience, giving much
tive not very popular among many clergy Could anything have been done? sensitive pastoral attention to the doc
heavily influenced by the Enlightenment Ironically, today there are very few Wes trinal insurgents and pray that time will
optimism regarding human nature. leyans that hold to the perfectionism of reveal whether there is precious new
So even though Wesley's perfec Wesley. A bit of patience on the part of light or only a dead-end street.
tionism was not really all that radical in the Anglicans would have probably per The organizational issues. It is prob
comparison with the Puritan heritage mitted the Wesleyans, over time, to work ably asking too much of the 18th-cen
of sanctification (making a clear differ through their issues. tury establishment Anglicans, but they
entiation between willful sin and unwit Wesley, for his part, would have been appear to have been the main offenders
ting mistakes), it did cause considerable wise to proclaim his doctrine with a bit when it came to most of ecclesiological
opposition from both the establishment more tentativeness. Not only is one hard issues. Some theological patience and
clergy and the Calvinistic evangelicals. put to be able to cite such a perfectionistic positive tolerance and support for many
Furthermore, anytime there is a precedent in church history, but also the of Wesley's para-church outreach and
strong emphasis on "holy living" in the witness of the Scripture, while it speaks nurturing innovations could have greatly
setting of revivalistic fervor, it seems to of the witness of the Spirit, is absolutely augmented the numbers and ministries
generate a body of rebuke aimed at the quiet about anything like an instanta of the church. In retrospect, much of the
unsanctifiedespecially the clerical op neous work of perfecting grace that opposition to Wesley and his "sons in the
ponents who can very easily be perceived burns away all propensities and tenden Gospel" was the fruit of cultural elitism
to be resisting the power of the Spirit. cies to sin. and parochial jealousy.
Such an atmosphere is simply fraught When the main body cannot reach As we view the Wesleyans and their
with great schismatic potential. Add to consensus on a doctrinal issue, it is best work among the masses in hindsight,
this the evident emotionalism of the for all concerned, especially the pro we wonder at the lack of compassion
early revival and the rather arrogant moters of that which is new and novel, and adaptability shown by the estab
claims of the clear"witness of the Spirit" to hold their positions with some char- lished leaders. Many more of the
bishops and the local vicars could have
simply given basic support and affirma
tion to the abundant fruits of both
spiritual and social uplift that were so
evidently manifest amongst the efforts
of the Wesleyans.

Considerations for preventing schism

All across Protestantism, including

STOP Adventism, and in a number of sectors

in the Roman Catholic community, there
is a growing appreciation for small group
ministries and lay leadership in all as
pects of church outreach and nurture. In
the face of these trends, denominational
ministers and administrators need to
adopt wise and restrained practical and/
or theological caution. At bare minimum,
in many cases, church leaders need to get
Do you believe in mission? out of the way if there is an abundantly
evident manifestation of positive spiri
Connect your congregation to the tual fruitage. If the teaching and action
blessings & challenges of the mission field. of a particular para-church movement
shows little or no positive fruitage, there
Read the Mission Quarterly. may well be need for church administra
tions to take necessary action.
A message from the Office of Mission, Sabbath School-Personal Ministries Department Second, the Seventh-day Adventist
12501 Old Columbia Pike Silver Spring ill) 20904 USA (301) 680-6676
Church has long recognized many para-

18 Ministry/August 2000
church organizations as "self-support
ing" movements. These include varied
ministriesfrom medical, publishing,
missionary, and training institutions to
independent business persons who have An opportunity to revoke Social Security exemption
special burdens to be entrepreneurial
about specific ministries. The denomi
nation, from its highest levels down to Many years ago, some NAD ministers opted not to enter the Social
its local churches, has now developed Security system. As they approach retirement, these pastors may find
quite a lengthy and successful history of themselves at a disadvantage.
engaging such para-church ministries in
mutually affirming ways that have pro On December 17, 1999, the United States Congress opened a win
duced surprisingly little schism. dow for clergy to apply for and enter the Social Security system. This
This does leave the question of how
window opened on January 1,2000, and will close on April 15,2002
the "independent" reform movements
(the 2001 tax deadline). To revoke their exemption, pastors need to
and the established denominational
leaders can most harmoniously relate to apply using the Government form 2031.
one another.
For more information, pastors in the North American Division
In the Adventist situation, the cen
should contact their local conference treasurer.
tral issues that appear to be unresolved
between the main body and some of the
so-called "independent" or "self-sup
porting" ministries does not seem to pri dent" ministry leaders would do well to
marily concern theology per se. Like with renounce any intention to knowingly re "The truth about
the Wesleyans and the Anglicans, the is ceive tithes. They need to ask themselves:
sues mostly have to do with matters of How far are we actually willing to go truth" continued from p. 4
organization and lifestyle. The main when it comes to our separate publica
matters crying out for resolution are tions, institutional development, camp whisper, "I could hardly wait to get
these: How should the organized body meetings, conventions, and other inde back to my room, fall on my knees,
relate to groups that continue to criticize pendent teachings and activities? Are we and cry out, 'God be merciful to me a
it regarding real or imagined compro reaching the point where the finer points sinner!'" That's real preaching.
mise on moral and lifestyle issues? Fur of our own prescribed behavior and What is it we are trying to achieve
ther, how does the church relate to a teaching are becoming the primary in our witness, either in the pulpit
manifest claim of entitlement, by the "in points of ecclesiastical identity and Sabbath by Sabbath, in our evangelistic
dependent" ministries, to receive "tithes." meaning for our followers? And, at what preaching or elsewhere? This question
The solutions don't reveal them point do our criticisms of the church and badly needs to be regularly assessed
selves easily, but some potential schisms its leadership become destructive or ir before God by every Christian minister.
do appear to be amenable to solution if reparably damaging and divisive to the I think that to quite some extent, we
enough mutual patience and dialogue body of Christ? achieve what we aim for. I find myself
can be brought to bear on the situation. With the loudest protestations of increasingly uneasy with the desire to
Much of the stress could be alleviated if loyalty and all the best motives for re be seen merely as "a good speaker."
the establishment administrators would form and renewal, the Wesleyans even So, in clear, deductive language
take more time to reassure the "indepen tually found their primary ecclesiastical what are the elements so crucial to
dent" ministries that they affirm their identity with the United Societies rather proclaiming a living witness? Here
doctrinal orthodoxy, loyalty and sincere than established Anglicanism. Do Ad again are the simple, convicting,
zeal to protect, for example, the delicate ventist "independents" really want now inspiring words of Ellen White:
balance between justification and sanc- to go this route when it comes to estab 1. "He who would confess Christ
tification. Denominational leadership lished, denominational Adventism? must have Christ abiding in him."
needs to be prepared to humbly and pa 2."... Unless they possessed
tiently dialogue with the independents 1 The best introduction and overview of the Christlike meekness and love ..."
Wesleyan Revival of the eighteenth century is Richard P.
and seek every possible area of agree Heitzenrater's Wesley and the People Called Methodists 3. And "He cannot communicate
ment. They should be prepared to be (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1995). that which he has not received."2
2 See John H. Leith, ed., Creeds of the Churches, Third
vulnerable to the questions and concerns Edition (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1982), 230, 239-66.
1 Ellen G. White, The Desire ofAges (Nampa,
put to them. 3 The classic study of the Wesleyan's relationship
to the Church of England is Frank Baker's John Wesley and Idaho: Pacific Press Pub.Assn., 1898),357.
On the other hand, the "indepen- the Church of England (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1970). 2 Ibid.

Ministry/August 2000 19
1 T

1)i J. *t

m j
he Adventist Church sees itself fulfilling a unique role, that of proclaiming
the imminence of Christ's return in the context of the Three Angels' Messages.
Zebron Masukume We are a waiting and working reason, any form of neglect, negation,
Ncube, D.Min., is people, confident that we have a message or territorial restriction to the mission
associate professor of to proclaim and a method with which to of the Christian church contradicts the
religion, Andrews proclaim it. marching orders of Jesus. Note that the
University, Berrien Nevertheless, in a radically chang commission is preceded by the enun
Springs, Michigan. ing world, we must keep pace with the ciation and establishment of universal
trends unfolding around us. We must authority by Jesus. After all, "mission is
constantly fine tune our self-understand the summons of the Lordship of Jesus."2
ing. Yet no matter what our updating and Scholars agree that the Greek word
methodology becomes, we must never matheteusate, "make disciples," is the
lose sight of what our mission is. Differ principal verb in the Great Commis
ent places and different circumstances sion. The other accompanying words,
require different approaches and meth "having gone,"3 "baptizing," and "teach
ods, but we must keep vividly in mind ing"4 are modal participles subordi
just who we are and why we are here. In nated to "make disciples." They describe
short, mission is foundational. We lose the making of disciples through teach
everything when we lose a clear sense of ing (a process) and baptizing (a one
identity and mission. time event). The difficulty here is to
have a single verb that makes a better
Mission is imperative translation of matheteusate.
The verity that underlies Jesus' According to Broadus, the verb
words to His disciples in Matthew "disciple" was used in classical literature.
28:18-20 is that mission is essential. 1 While it has not found its way into
Jesus mandated a clear mission on the popular versions, "it may be used in re
basis of His universal authority. For that ligious discourse with great advantage."5


20 Ministry/August 2000
Thus the mission of the church is to issues. We are all finite beings trying to thus of mission. Tooke is on target when
disciple people. understand God's ways in every part of he suggests a paradigm for evangelism12
Matthew 28:18-20 offers the only our human societies. that emphasizes the transcendence, the
instance the term "make disciples" is used The quality of the presence of the immanence, and the deliverance of Jesus.
in the imperative mood. Its basic intent church in every part of the world is cru The mere mention of the name of
is to signify a permanent relationship cial. The church should take the attitude Jesus is neither the message nor the
with Jesus. The mission of the disciples of humility, courage, and servanthood. mission of the church. Christ must be
was to enlist people into a relationship It should be a wounded healer. 10 In hu presented as key in answering the ques
with Jesus. The bottom line is that the mility and transparency it must experi tions people ask. He who is "the way,
disciple bears the yoke, submits to the ence the hurts of the world around it and the truth, and the life" meets the essence
teachings and requirements of the Mas bring healing through the gospel. Jesus of hum an need.
ter, and simply follows Him. provided an incarnational model for Yet we must acknowledge that part
According to Gerald West, the cen mission (seeHeb. 13:12,13). He became of our problem in Christian communi
tral axis of the New Testament is cation is the tendency to thrive on
discipleship. He states that "the theme of slogans. We invite people to "look to
'discipleship' provides us with an inter Jesus" when neither the eye of the
pretive key for our reading of the various preacher nor that of the listener can see
texts in the New Testament. Even texts Him. We tell people to "walk with Jesus"
which appear to have no direct discus without defining what this means. This
sion of discipleship can be read in the visual and symbolic language needs to be
light of this theme."6 translated into concrete terms that
Jesus does not demand the impos . . n many people can relate to. Theology and
sible; thus discipleship is both a necessity7 preaching go hand in glove. In mission,
and a possibility. Anything short of this cultures of the world, the abstract language of theology must
is a negation of the gospel itself. be transformed to suit the worldview of
Jesus' imperative to His disciples, Christians resort to religions the people. Johnsson underscores the in
and thus the disciples' imperative mis separable link between theology and
sion is simply to make disciples. To have
of culture just because exhortation as the main characteristic of
clarity of mission and to carry out that Christ is presented only as the Epistle to the Hebrews.13 In the same
mission is imperative. way theological pillars must become the
an abstract concept. basis for the imperatives of evangelism
Mission is contextual and mission.
But as an imperative, mission must Pickard suggests that the schism be
be relevant to situation. For Adventists, tween evangelists and theologians is
three key biblical passages supply a point unnecessary because they both fall un
of departure for the contextual under der the discipline of communication.
standing of our mission: Matthew 28:16- our Brother; He suffered and died for the Evangelism is "not a full stop, but a
20, Acts 1:4-8, and Revelation 14:6-12. world outside the gate. He did not recoil comma" 14 in the process of communica
These passages assert that the gospel from the hurts of society. The church too tion. Theology is the extension of it. Hall
must go to all nations. "Every nation" must go outside the gate and face the also decries the lack of interaction be
(Rev. 14:6,7) underscores the universal threats of a complex world with a mes tween theological scholarship and the
ity and importance of the message.8 Any sage of healing. The church is the salt of churches. There are thousands of theo
form of exclusive regionalism, sectarian the earth and the light to the world (Matt. logians, he observes, yet churches are not
ism, and racial or tribal exclusion is a 5:13-16). This implies being involved affected. Scholars seem to write only for
contradiction to the essence of Christian with God's creation. one another and for the students to
mission. whom they assign their books. 15
The task of the church is to take the Mission is Christ-centered In many cultures of the world,
gospel to all cultures, which means there Jesus Himself is the gospel we Christians resort to religions of culture
is no such thing as a prefabricated ap preach. Ellen G. White spoke about just because Christ is presented only as
proach that will work everywhere. Christ-centered preaching.'' The "I Am" an abstract concept. These Christians be
Bruce Moyer once remarked that "the sayings of Jesus (John 6:35,48; 10:9,14; lieve in Jesus but in hard times He is one
McDonald approach to evangelism no 11:25; 14:6; 15:1) provide us with a door among many options. I suggest that the
longer works."9 There is no such thing of hope for this Christ-centered, Christ- task of theology and of homiletics is to
as one mode for everyone. The church sourced mission. These sayings endorse communicate the supremacy, the suffi
must cultivate tolerance as we debate Jesus as the content of the gospel and ciency, and the servanthood of Jesus. The

Ministry/August 2000 21
"greater than" and "better than" sayings at our disposal, not to be used but to use church must seek to become what Jesus
about Jesus are a rich source for this ap us. He promotes the mission of the intended it to be, in terms of its being
proach. The symbols used to define Jesus church. As the "supreme resource for the and function.
should be translated into the thought church's life and mission," He "gives The founders of the Advent move
forms of society without changing the power in evangelism as he glorifies ment struggled with the concept of the
meaning or substance of the Christian Christ." 18 According to Froom, the Holy church and its mission in the context of
faith. 16 Spirit makes God's truth a reality in our Christ's soon coming. They formulated
inmost being. 19 a tripartite construct that highlighted
Mission is Spirit-directed The church will do well to solicit, by organizational order, doctrinal purity,
In the book of Acts, the birth of the prayer, His supremacy over its decision- and effective witness as inseparable ele
apostolic church, its work, and its lead making processes. We need to constantly ments of the church.20 This has kept the
ership were the work of the Holy Spirit. be on guard against the Holy Spirit be Seventh-day Adventist Church together
The missionary journeys of the apostles coming a mere slogan of the church at despite its geographical and numerical
were spearheaded by the Holy Spirit. In the beginning and conclusion of its de expansion. Uncertainty about any of the
the Gospels, the Holy Spirit was at work liberations. He energizes and guides the above elements destabilizes the whole.
in the life of Christ. As the Holy Spirit church all the way from the planning to We may disagree on some details but the
was in Christ, He was also involved in the implementation of decisions. There basic principles must remain founda-
the life of the church. As Wells shows, fore, no individual or level of the church tional.
"this intimate association is indispens can claim a monopoly of the Holy Spirit. In all its challenges the church
able to our presentation of Christ in the His presence in the church leads to unity should take comfort in the words of
world today." 17 of purpose, selfless motivation, and the Jesus:" 'The gates of Hades will not over
It is therefore important that any vibrant evangelistic life in the church. come it'" (Matt. 16:18, NIV). This verse
understanding and pursuit of mission by underscores the stability of the church
the church should recognize the central - Mission is ecclesiastical even when it appears to be ungovernable
ity of the Holy Spirit. The whole church Mission is the function of the or divided over some issue. We all must
must always be at the disposal of the Holy church on behalf of Jesus Christ. To carry move to the center and maintain the
Spirit. Similarly, the Holy Spirit is always out its mission more effectively, the unity of the church. This promise of Jesus

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22 Ministry/August 2000
also carries the assurance of victory over The method in mission is the mes lism, an H. M. S. Richards on radio, or a
the enemy. Through its mission, the sage and how it is defined. The doctrines John Wesley in small groups. Situations
church is on the offensive while Satan is we believe, preach, and teach are not an differ and we need a multiplicity of ap
on the defensive. end in themselves. They are human proaches.
The church should always reflect statements of faith about God. Charles
simplicity, community, and evangelistic Kraft rightly argues that the ultimate Mission is conclusive
zealthe hallmarks of apostolic Chris Christian message is a person, Christ, Mission culminates at the second
tianity. With resilient faith it must and not what is said about Him.21 Thus, coming of Jesus. Until then we must toil
withstand threats to its existence. It must the achievement of mission presup on. A going church for a coming Lord is
adjust to changing historical and cultural poses the message. both looking and working. It is expect
situations while preserving the essentials Scripture also strongly suggests that ant but also is missioned. While we wait
of the message. It is the depository of the a Christian is a crucial part of the mes for the return of our Lord, we must work
message of truth and as such the deposi sage. Life is an act of worship (Rom. urgently, for the night comes when we
tory of God's mission on earth. 12:1). Life is a stewardship (Rom. 14:7, shall work no more.
8). The treasure is in earthen vessels A going church goes by mission.
The evidence of mission (2 Cor. 4:1, 7). Christians are a letter of Our mission is to make disciples. We
The evidence of mission is disciples Christ which people read (2 Cor. 3:2,3). can do this if our mission is imperative,
who worship, fellowship, and witness. The idea of spiritual gifts (Rom. 12:6-8; contextual, incarnational, Christ-cen
Worship (upreach) is the point of de 1 Cor. 12:1-11; 14:lff;Eph. 4:8-16) finds tered, Spirit-directed, ecclesiastical,
parture for the inreach and outreach life its context here. God equips every be productive, methodic, and if it has a
of the church. Anything short of this is liever with a particular spiritual tool for clear sense of destiny.
legalism, humanism, and secularism. achieving His mission. We are the
1 Richard R. DeRidder, Discipling the Nations (Grand
When personal and corporate worship method for mission. Rapids, Midi.: Baker, 1977), 185.
1 Ibid.
of God dominates the life of the church, Communication or language forms 3 Ibid., 184.
the rest of what is done falls into place. the other method in mission. James * See David Bosch in Wilbert R. Shenk, ed. Exploring
Church Growth (Grand Rapids, Midi.: Eerdmans, 1983), 230.
Worship of God must express itself Engel underscores what he calls "audi 5 John A. Broadus, Commentary on Matthew (Grand
in fellowship and community (Heb. ence sovereignty."22 According to Kraft, Rapids, Midi.: Kregel, 1990), 593.
6 Gerald O. West, Contextual Bible Study
10:24,25). The idea that one can belong strangely, we take communication too (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa: Cluster Publications, 1993),
to Jesus and not to the church negates much fpr granted.23 It is virtually a uni 7 Broadus, 593.
the principle of discipleship. Another versally believed myth that hearing the 8 Francis D. Nichol, ed., Seventh-day Adventist Bible
Commentary 7 (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald,
misconception is that one can belong to gospel with one's ears is tantamount to 1980), 827.
the church without participating in its being reached with the gospel. A per 9 Bruce C. Moyer, interview coverage by Three An
gels Broadcasting Network at the General Conference
witness to the world. Discipleship also son can hear and not understand. It is Session, Utrecht, Netherlands, July 3,1995.
10 Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer (Garden City,
extends to the matter of stewardship, also a myth that mere preaching NY: Doubleday, 1972), passim.
which includes responsible living and (monologue) is God's exclusive means " Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles (Nampa,
Idaho: Pacific Press" Pub. Assn., 1911), 157.
making the earth habitable. All this is of communicating the gospel. Ellen 12 J. V. Tooke, "Toward Contextual Evangelism,"
evidence that the mission of the church White said: "My ministering brethren, Missionalia2l (August 1993), 135.
13 William G. Johnsson, In Absolute Confidence (Nash
is alive and well. do not think that the only work you can ville, Tenn.: Southern Pub. Assn., 1979), 136.
14 Stephen K. Pickard, "Evangelism and the Charac
do, the only way you can labor for souls, ter Of Christian Theology," Missionalia 21 (August 1993),
Mission and method is to give discourses. The best work you 169.
15 Douglas John Hall, "The Changing North Ameri
The methods for accomplishing the can do is to teach, to educate. Wherever can Context of the Church's Ministry," Currents in Theology
mission hinge on three key words: min you can find an opportunity to do so, and Mission 22 (December, 1995), 413.
16 Frank A. Salomone and Michael Mbabuike, "The
istry, message, and language. Without the sit down with some family, and let them Ancient Mind: Inculturation and Resistance," Missionalia 23
function of these, mission cannot be ef ask questions."24 (November 1995), 262.
17 David F. Wells, Cod the Evangelist. How the Holy
fected. These are the means to the end in It is a myth that the sermon itself is Spirit Works to BringMen and Women to Faith (Grand Rap
ids, Midi.: Eerdmans, 1987), 28.
mission. an effective vehicle for bringing about life 18 Ibid., 45.
To achieve its mission, the church or behavior change.25 Monologue is lim 19 LeRoy Edwin Froom, The Coming of the Comforter
(Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1956), 59.
must construct a ministry that is shared. ited because it lacks personal interaction. 20 Andrew G. Mustard, "James White and the Devel
opment of Seventh-day Adventist Organization, 1844-1881,"
Unfortunately ministry tends to be It is also a myth that there is one best way Ph.D. dissertation, Andrews University, Berrien Springs,
come too sacerdotal. Reliance on those to communicate the gospel. The theol 1987,195.
21 Charles H. Kraft, Communication Theory for Chris
who are on the payroll of the church ogy of spiritual gifts proves this point. Yet tian Witness (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1991), 41.
and the rift between "pastors" and "la we want to duplicate the preaching styles 22 James F. Engel, Contemporary Christian Communi
cations: Its Theory and Practice (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas
ity" is unscriptural. Ministry as a of those who appear to be successful. We Nelson, 1979), 57.
23 Kraft, 25-31.
method for mission is the function of can't all be a D. James Kennedy on tele " White, Gospel Workers, 193.
the whole community of believers. vision, a Billy Graham in public evange 25 Kraft, op. cit.

Ministry/August 2000 23
he Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it,' says one Christian. History may
A have been wrong. What I think the Bible says is ..." states another. The first
is introjecting. The second is projecting.
Linwood They both feel they have a special arrow points from us to them. They fur
Chamberlain, D.Min., knowledge of the Bible. They both may ther respond to us by expanding the
is co-pastor of the aggressively, even arrogantly accuse the areas of interest that we have identified,
First Lutheran other of intellectual or spiritual negli and a third arrow points back in our
Church in Lorain, gence. But it is impossible for them to direction. We say how we feel about this
Ohio. let the truth of Scripture into their lives new exchange, and once again an arrow
until they challenge their dysfunctional points to them. And so on.
approach to Bible reading. When we recognize only our own
thoughts and do not take time to under
Projection and intrejection stand the thoughts of another, we create
How we read the Bible matters. a relationship in which the arrows go
However, how we read the Bible does only from us. If everything comes from
not of itself promote or prevent our sal us, we do not know others because we are
vation. Salvation is still by grace alone only encountering our own ideas.
and not by the works of "reading cor Similarly, If we are so impressed
rectly." But the way we read the Bible with others that we neglect to develop
does shape the way we respond to Jesus' our own thoughts, then we have a rela
salvation. Our psychological tendencies tionship where all the arrows come from
can open our minds and hearts to outside ourselves. When everything
knowing the will of our Lord, or they comes from others, we still do not know
can cause us to hide and resist His de them because we do not know how they
sire to change and direct our lives. A will react to our ideas. We only know
psychologically healthy relationship to them partially. We do not know if they
the Bible is necessary for a transform would accept or reject us if we are hon
ing relationship with Jesus. est and let them see our questions. We
Healthy relationships between do not know if struggling with us would
people can be visualized as we see com drive them away or lead them to love
munication as arrows pointing in two us more. We have only a sanitized, par
directions. As our friends share with us tial image of them and do not know
their opinions, an arrow points from them fully.
them toward us. We react to their opin Gestalt psychology calls a relation
ion and share with them our own ship with all the arrows going from us
understanding and a second, returning projection. A relationship with all the


24 Ministry/August 2000
arrows coming from others is called in- also ignore other biblical evidence that then I have introjected his perceptions'.
trojection. is contrary to our own limited projec Teenagers introject nonsense phrases
Describing situations of projection tions. When we project, we are loathe ("That's fresh!" or "Cool!") and busi
is fairly easy. If we put a slide into a pro to ask the question "What if I'm wrong? nessmen introject blue, pin-striped suits.
jector and show the image on a screen, What if others' views about the Bible are Mothers know what introjections are
we do not look at the screen but at the right?" When we project, we end up try when they ask,"If everybody else jumped
projection on the screen. Likewise, if we ing to prove we are right, and thus we off the bridge, would you jump too?"
are proud of our preaching skills and cannot really know the Bible, at least not We can certainly apply the principles
we see every comment of "good sermon all that it has to say. of introjection to reading the Bible. To
today" as resounding support for all our do so, we must look at the complex in
ideas but do not see the glazed eyeballs Introjection and reading the Bible terplay between words and the person
and rushed handshakes for what they Describing situations of introjection receiving the words. As an illustration we
are, we are not really seeing the people is more complex. Introjection is accept can use the sentence, "The man in charge
in front of us. We are merely seeing what ing, at face value and without question, walked onto the field, picked up an ob
we want to see in their comments. This something that another person says or ject, and shouted 'Play ball!'"
again is a form of projection. believes. Suppose a person comes to me The words in this sentence could
and says "Others have talked to me, and imply to some that the man in charge
Projection and reading the Bible we believe that your hair is too long." If I has made a discovery; that the ball on
Let's now apply this to reading the rush out to get a haircut, forgetting that the field is a "play ball." This is an ap
Bible. When we live from a posture of this person always criticizes people propriate and true rendition of what the
projection, we read the Bible as if only whenever he disagrees with them, then I words mean. Americans, however,
our ideas about it matter. We read to am introjecting. If the weather forecaster would probably never notice that inter
interpret the Bible; we do not read to says "It's going to be a beautiful sunny pretation as a possibility. They are so
be interpreted by the Bible. We do not day today with zero percent chance of influenced by their time and place that
struggle to separate the Bible from our precipitation" but the sky outside my their first perception of the sentence
hopes, dreams, or fears. We assume that window is dark and cloudy, lightning is would be to interpret "Play ball" as the
the Bible mirrors our beliefs and then streaking overhead, thunder is echoing command to those on the field, "You
we go about proving that it does. Our off the surrounding buildings, and the are at this moment to begin play."
projections blur awareness of the Bible cars on the highway are using their wind Teenagers today might assign dif
by making it a proof text for our own shield wipers, and I still leave my house ferent images to the word ball Some
way of thinking or behaving. Thus we without an umbrella because the weather might picture a basketball, others a
tend to create the Bible in our image. forecaster said there would be no rain, football or soccer ball. If, however, the
When we project, we do Bible study
by saying, "What the Bible means to me
is..." We tend to ignore what others say
the Bible means to them. When we
project, we see Scripture as flexible to our
favor. Parts of the Bible that are not con
sistent with our thoughts or that cannot ADVERTISING HELP!
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Ministry/August 2000 25
sentence was being read by somebody the false prophets in verse 13? Are we our relationship to the Bible could not
influenced by the well-established supposed to steal from our church to stand up to the reality of our doubts and
idiom of America in the late 1950s, the make friends with the sons of darkness disagreements. Somewhere within our
sentence could have no other meaning as the dishonest steward did in Luke 16? selves we wonder if the Bible or our faith
than "Start the baseball game." Should we nag Jesus the way the woman in it is actually able to measure with the
Thus it is true that words have did who wanted the scraps tossed to the questions or challenges which have
meanings in themselves, but the speaker dogs in Matthew 15? Did Judas com come to the Bible or to our faith. We
and the receiver of words also apply mit suicide by hanging himself or keep secret our inner feelings (perhaps
meanings to the words. To say "The throwing himself off a large cliff? even from ourselves) for fear that if we
Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it" When we introject, we do not allow really admitted how we feel and our first
could well be to swallow a limited, cur the Bible to touch us, because we keep understanding of the Bible was thus
rent, tradition-bound interpretation of changed, we would abandon the whole
what God's unlimited Word has to of Bible or the Bible would prove us to be
fer. This could be described as a kind of unworthy of our faith.

social or cultural introjection. When We, therefore, compartmentalize
ever we stop short of examining root the Bible into a "religious" realm and
meanings, variations of understandings, keep our daily lives away from it. We
and possible corruption of interpreta never know the Bible in the inner life
tions, we force all the arrows in the of our existence. Scripture becomes an
relationship to come from human
. o keep
ke> our external set of controls that we must
sources outside of us. To swallow words relationship to the Bible follow but which we never fully under
at their face value or with only the ob stand or appreciate. When we introject,
vious constructions that the traditions from becoming a series of we do not allow ourselves to ask the
of our denomination places on them, questions, "What if my doubts and dif
without questioning or verifying them introjections, thereby ferences are correct? What if other views
for ourselves (Acts 17:11). This is in about the Bible are wrong? What if my
trojection. When we swallow anything reducing ourselves to questions change the understanding of
whole, without digesting or applying it, the text?" These were the very questions
we gain no value from it. We do not nonentities in the the religious establishment of Jesus' day
"know" it. failed to ask and which they prevented
relationship, we must chew others from asking. In doing this they
Avoiding introjection in Bible reading and digest what we rejected and opposed the most stupen
To keep our relationship to the dously important truth that ever came
Bible from becoming a series of are receiving and not onto the human scene. Their inability
introjections, thereby reducing our to open their own minds to truth, lis
selves to nonentities in the relationship, merely swallow it. tening only to one another, caught them
we must chew and digest what we are in a maelstrom of introjection and
receiving and not merely swallow it. dead-end traditionalism.
Although this seems contradictory to
the process of being an earthen vessel A two-way relationship with the Bible
for Christ (cf. 2 Cor. 4:7), even Paul To know the Bible we must learn
chewed on Scripture. He approached our own questions suppressed or hidden. healthy habits that lead us into a two-way
Scripture and showed a broader truth We grant the Bible the authority to an relationship with the Word of God and
beyond the literal language, as when he swer questions, as long as they are not not a one-sided relationship that yields
quotes 2 Samuel 7:14 in 2 Corinthians the questions that bother us. In this way much empty information but no deep,
6:18 to include "and daughters," which we become receptacles for whatever is inner knowledge. To know the Bible, we
is not in the original text. poured out, even if what is poured out must choose methods of study that let
Did Paul really "steal" from other does not speak to the issues our minds Scripture question our way of thinking
churches as he says in 2 Corinthians are exploring at the time. We only know and that also let us question Scripture.
11:8, or did he merely accept help from the Bible partially because we do not al Reading the Bible may very well be
them in order not to have to seek help low the Bible to speak to something new the most important activity we will ever
from the Corinthians? Are the super- and real that concerns us. undertake in our lives. Hence it is too
apostles in 2 Corinthians 11:5 really that When we introject, we are afraid to important to do without carefully in
good, or are they being mocked by Paul? think or say "That doesn't fit my expe formed thought, prayer, and divine
Are the super-apostles the same men as rience." We hide our reactions for fear guidance.

26 Ministry/August 2000

inter Seven good information about francophone
institutions, publications, and
act with
pastoral colleagues,
I learn much more
ideas geographical concentrations.
Aaron and Hur Club. Lay
evangelist, Willard D. Regester,
than I teach. In initiated an emphasis on supporting
fact, I discover JAMES A. CRESS pastoral leadership based on the
fresh approaches Committee is to watch the congrega Exodus 17:12 story of Moses receiving
to ministry wherever I find pastors. I tion closely, trying to catch people in support which led to victory. He
hope these good, practical ideas will the act of doing something good. combines the Biblical principle of
awaken excellence in pastoral ministry When a "detective" snoops out good joint effort to win the battle with the
for you. deeds, he or she sends a note or following quotations which form a
Come Home for Christmas. Lay cardoften homemade, one-of-a- covenant card where members can
leader Norma Beier and Pastor Dan kind creationsto celebrate the pledge their personal commitment to
Knapp, of Pendleton, Oregon (USA), contribution to the church family. support their pastoral leadership.
encouraged all churches in their city Women ministering. Female "Happy the minister who has a
to invite missing members "home for members in Yorkton, Saskatchawan faithful Aaron and Hur to strengthen
the holidays." Norma and Doris (Canada), established five specific his hands when they become weary
Olson prepared a special banner and objectives for their emphasis on and to hold them up by faith and
shared it with pastors of all denomi ministering to their families, their prayer. Such a support is a powerful
nations at a monthly meeting of the church, and their community. aid to the servant of Christ in his
local ministerial association. Follow 1. Encourage daily devotion to work, and will often make the cause of
ing their presentation, 22 of the 26 learn to know Christ as best Friend truth to triumph." 1 "How .. . pleasing
area churches posted banners which and example. to God it would be for [members of
invited their missing members to 2. Pray, "We are willing Lord, to the church] to act the part of Aaron
become reinvolved in church life. love others as You loved us." and Hur and help hold up the hands
Providing a suitable house of 3. Encourage unity among the of those who are bearing the great and
worship draws people. Lay members women in our church. heavy burdens of the work."2
in Windhoek, Namibia (Southern 4. Encourage each woman to Family-friendly services.
Africa Union), wanted to invite their develop her own personal outreach. Youngsters are eager for worship
colleagues to worship services but 5. Initiate short-term and services to begin at the Sandy, Oregon
lacked a suitable location to invite ongoing outreach projects sponsored (USA), church because they get to
their professional friends for worship. by the women of the congregation. visit their "pocket pals." The brightly-
They began holding services in a Getting out the good news. colored fabric "pockets" are decorated
university classroom but soon French-speaking pastors and mem with a Noah's ark theme and are filled
outgrew that limited space. Un bers now have a four-color booklet to their tops with materials for quiet,
daunted by financial reality, they available to share with those who seek creative, and spiritual activities. Each
moved forward in faith and secured information about Adventists. This child chooses one of the "pockets" as
one of the city's largest church attractive booklet, introduced by they enter the church sanctuary.
facilities. Today, they fill the entire Bernard Sauvagnat of the Franco- You are encouraged to share your
complex with worship, evangelistic, Belgium Union (France), arrests own good ideas and to adapt any of
educational, and training activities attention and provides a quick these for your ministry. None of these
and multiply their impact on govern overview of life and ministry provided ideas will work in every situation. All
ment, academic, and business leaders through the church. Major themes of them combine elements of faith -
in the capital city of their country. include present activities through visioning plus a determination to
Encouragement Committee. A ADRA, education, health ministry, share God's good news. One of them
creative layperson at First Christian religious freedom, a brief history of may just be the spark your congrega
Reform Church, Lynden, Washington our denomination, a statement of tion needs.
(USA), became tired of people seeing beliefs emphasizing life in Jesus, an
only the negative in situations and overview of the great controversy 1 Ellen G. White, Testimonies to the Church
(Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1885), 4:531.
decided to emphasize the positive. theme, and current statistics about the 2 Ellen G. White, Testimonies to the Church
The ministry of the Encouragement church worldwide with special (Naropa, Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1885), 1:526.

Ministry/August 2000 27
Decision on Hope International
and associated groups by a
General Conference-appointed committee
Introduction White wrote, "Nothing else in this of Christ, the Remnant Church. The
As a result of concerns raised by world is so dear to God as His church. effect of this methodology is the
then General Conference President, Nothing is guarded by Him with such discouraging portrayal of the Church
Robert S Folkenberg and several world jealous care" (Testimonies for the as steeped in a state of apostasy. After
division presidents, the General Church, Volume 6, page 42). But the studying their materials and meeting
Conference Administrative Committee Church is made up of mortals in with their leaders, we have some
(ADCOM), in early 1998, established constant need of His presence and serious concerns with respect to the
an ad hoc committee to interview the guidance. nature and purpose of Hope Interna
leadership of Hope International, For these reasons there is great tional and associates.
publishers of "Our Firm Foundation," need for revival and reformation in
and two other private groups, Hartland the Seventh-day Adventist Church as Areas of Serious Concern
Institute, headquartered in the United it faces the final chapter in the great 1. Charge ofApostasy Against the
States, and Remnant Ministries, based controversy. No one will question the Seventh-day Adventist Church
in Australia. importance for church administra According to Hope International
The committee, comprised of tors, pastors, teachers, and laypersons and associates, it is an understatement
General Conference Biblical Research to be personally involved in the task to say that there is apostasy in the
Institute scholars, current and former of calling the whole Church back to Seventh-day Adventist Church. The
General Conference administrators and the purity of faith and Christian living Church itselfis in apostasy! Therefore
Andrews University Seminary and as found in the Scriptures. Such the condition of the Church is worse
Oakwood College instructors, developed revival is simply indispensable for the than that of any other Christian
a 20-question instrument that was the effective fulfillment of the mission of religious body that forms the end-time
basis of their inquiry and appraisal. the Church. Our message and mission Babylon. They are not willing to refer
The leaders of Hope International and should be constantly reaffirmed openly to the Seventh-day Adventist
its associated groups accepted the through voice and action until the Church as Babylon because of the
committee's invitation to answer the glory of the Lord is revealed through occasions in which Ellen G. White
questions. They met with the General out the world by a people who are opposed those who made such
Conference appointed group on two totally committed to Jesus Christ as accusations. Yet they have found a way
occasions for a total of three and one- Saviour and Lord. to bypass her counsel by accusing the
half days. The following report Therefore the emphasis on revival Church of being in apostasy. We have
constitutes the committee's assessment and reformation we found in the not found a single case where Ellen G.
of their responses, both written and message of Hope International, White or the book of Revelation
verbal, and its evaluation of results of Hartland Institute, and Remnant accuses God's remnant people of being
research done by individuals contracted Ministries (hereafter referred to as in apostasy. It is this charge of apostasy
specifically to study the theology and Hope International and associates) is against the Church that keeps Hope
methodology of Hope International and welcomed. Further, we observed in International and associates alive.
associates. conversations with Hope Interna If the Church is in apostasy, it has
ADCOM received the ad hoc tional and associates that they no reason to exist and the Lord must
committee's conclusions on April 25, affirmed agreement on many of the raise up a new church as His instru
2000 and, in light of the questions major elements of the Seventh-day ment for these last days. Hope
raised by church membership in general Adventist faith. International and associates see
over the years, voted to share this However, the method they have themselves as spokespersons for those
information with the world Church. used to express their concern has who perceive that the Church is in
resulted in what is perceived by many apostasy, and they believe that they
Report to be a spirit of constant criticism have a divine mandate to catalogue
All of us would agree that Christ directed against the Seventh-day and publicize this apostasy and to call
is the Head of the Church. As Ellen G. Adventist Church, which is the body the Church to repentance. Although

28 Ministry/August 2000
we acknowledge that there is apostasy their understanding of its nature and nity break the common bond that
in the ChurchJesus Himself authority does not seem to reflect the unites it, by developing a judgmental
acknowledged the co-existence of doctrine of ecclesiology as held by the attitude against the authority of the
wheat and tares in the Churchwe Church (see below). The same applies community, the result is confusion and
reject the blatant and irresponsible to the statement on "Stewardship" insubordination. Hope International
accusation that God's Remnant (#20). and associates appear to have taken the
Church is in apostasy. Their definition position that their interpretation of the
of apostasy as "any deviation from b. Reluctance to Accept the Authority of Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy is the
God's truth or mandated Christian the Church final arbiter over the Church, to
practice" is not found in the Bible or Although acknowledging that the determine whether its decisions are
in the writings of Ellen G. White. Church has a God-given authority, correct or not. If, in their judgment, a
Hope International and associates do decision is not correct, they reject it
2. Distorted View of the Nature of the not consider the authority of the and proceed to believe and act as they
Church Church to be final in the community of think best, while at the same time
It is our clear impression that believers. It is the Seventh-day claiming to be loyal members of the
Hope International and associates Adventist position that the Church was Church. That attitude is consistent with
believe that the Church is composed formed when a group of believers the spirit of schism and, at the present
of both an organized system of voluntarily, and under the conviction time, contributes to undermining the
administration and a parallel self- of the Holy Spirit, accepted a common authority of the Church.
supporting ministry independent of gospel, a common lifestyle, and a Self-supporting ministries are to
the organized system. We understand common mission, understood to be work harmoniously with the Church.
their position to be that, as divinely- based on the authority of the Scrip Paul, who is often referred to as a self-
appointed self-supporting ministries, tures. This community was vested with supporting worker was, after his
they are not ultimately bound by the authority by Christ (Matt 18:15-18). conversion, brought by the Lord into
decisions of the world Church. This Decisions made by the properly a permanent connection with the
model of church organization is used appointed representatives of the Church. In that context we are told:
by them to justify their activities. Such Church community are binding on all "God has made His church on
understanding of the Church lacks members who, in order to preserve the the earth a channel of light, and
any biblical support and is not found unity of the Church and to facilitate the through it He communicates His
in the writings of Ellen G. White. fulfillment of its mission, are willing to purposes and His will. He does not
Although we acknowledge the need set aside personal opinions and/or give to one of His servants an experi
for supportive ministries within the practices to follow the decisions of the ence independent of and contrary to
Church, we perceive Hope Interna body. But if elements of that commu- the experience of the church itself.
tional and associates as having parallel
organizational structures separate to,
and critical of, the official Church
organization. Support for this
perception is found in the following 'ass i on
characteristics of their organizations:

a. Diverse Understanding of Doctrinal

for living
Though strongly affirming their God's
support for the Seventh-day Adventist
Statement of Fundamental Beliefs,
Hope International and associates
seem to have some reservations with never losing
respect to several of them. One such
reservation concerns "The Son" (#4).
In this particular case they have taken fOCUS of NISTRIES
a position different from that of the
Church by making their particular the cross. NORTH AMERICAN DIVISION
understanding of the human nature
of Christ part of the doctrine. On the 12501 Old Columbia Pike Silver Spring MD 20904
topic of the Church (#11 and #13) 301,680.6427 301,680.6464 fax

Ministry/August 2000 29
Neither does He give one man a 3) In the rewritten Baptismal against the organized Church and its
knowledge of His will for the entire Vow, the Seventh-day Adventist leaders and, from time to time,
church while the churchChrist's Church does not receive a mention. assertions that the Church is in
bodyis left in darkness.... The Remnant Church is mentioned, apostasy. Whatever truths these
"There have ever been in the but it is never identified with the periodicals contain are more than
church those who are constantly Seventh-day Adventist Church. The discounted by a recurring critical
inclined toward individual indepen fundamental question here is one of refrain.
dence. They seem unable to realize that the nature and authority of the
independence of spirit is liable to lead Church and where that authority 3. Supporting Dissident Movements
the human agent to have too much resides. Those who promote the use of Hope International and associates
confidence in himself and to trust in this reworded Baptismal Vow demon have supported, and continue to
his own judgment rather than to strate that they do not recognize the support, dissident movements who
respect the counsel and highly esteem authority of the organized Seventh- turn against the Seventh-day Adventist
the judgment of his brethren, especially day Adventist Church. Church and its organization. They have
of those in the offices that God has been supporting Norberto Restrepo in
appointed for the leadership of His d. Redefinition of the Tithe Colombia and Venezuela, a former
people. God has invested His church "Storehouse" Seventh-day Adventist minister who is
with special authority and power which The financial support of their no longer an Adventist, and is rather
no one can be justified in disregarding organizations comes, not only from one of the most severe enemies of the
and despising, for he who does this their own earnings, nor only from the Church in the Inter-American Division.
despises the voice of God. offerings of church members, but also In 1997 they supported a group of
"Those who are inclined to from tithes. Some of their publica church elders in Guatemala who
regard their individual judgment as tions redefine the "storehouse" to be rebelled against the Seventh-day
supreme are in grave peril."Acts of any instrument of God that is Adventist Church, and they sent one of
the Apostles, 163,164. proclaiming "unadulterated present their representatives to Guatemala to
truth." Whether intended or not, the support them. Recently they supported,
c. Rewriting of the Baptismal Vow influence of such literature is to in a court of law, a non-Adventist who
A Baptismal Vow was put together encourage members to redirect their was attempting to use the name of the
by Colin Standish using the 1932 tithe away from the Church "store Church for his own organization. Their
Church Manual and other sources. An house," and to invest it instead with encouragement of breakaway activities
examination of this baptismal vow these independent ministries. in the following countries, and others
reveals that it is significantly different besides, is well documented: Australia,
from what is found in the current e. Conducting Their Own Camp Bolivia, England, Fiji, France, Germany,
Church Manual as approved by the Meetings Holland, Hungary, New Zealand,
world Church. Among the differences Every year they conduct their own Macedonia, Malaysia, Papua New
are the following: camp meetings, usually without the Guinea, Singapore, Solomon Islands,
concurrence of the conference admin Sweden, United States of America,
1) A new fundamental belief istration. They express that the need Vanuatu, Zimbabwe. These associations
added as a requirement for joining the for such camp meetings arises from do nothing to build confidence in the
Church: that "Jesus took upon their perception that the Seventh-day professed loyalty of Hope International
Himself our fallen nature." Such a Adventist Church is in apostasy, and is and associates to the Church. Rather,
statement has never been part of the therefore incapable of meeting the they are a powerful evidence of their
Seventh-day Adventist Baptismal Vow spiritual needs of its members through disregard for the carefully considered
or of official statements of fundamen the regular conference camp meetings. decisions of the Church, and it
tal beliefs. Such change illustrates an amounts to disloyalty to the Church
independence from the Church in f. Operating Their Own Publishing itself. Their misdirected support
doctrinal matters as they constitute Enterprises interferes with the regular
their own particular views into tests Hope International and associates organization's attempts to deal with,
of faith, independent from the have their own publishing program and hopefully redeem, such dissident
remainder of the Church. for the production of materials individuals, and makes the task of the
promoting their views on different Church more difficult.
2) The vow dealing with tithing doctrines and lifestyle issues. While
does not identify the Church as the much of this material is Adventist in 4. Selectively Using Ellen G. White
repository of tithe, as does the official character, there are numerous Writings
Baptismal Vow. examples of a judgmental attitude Hope International and associates

30 Ministry/August 2000
pride themselves in their profuse use will. However, by rejecting the nance instead of reform. When
of the writings of Ellen G. White to authority of the world Church in assessed by their fruits, it is seen that
support their teachings. But they session when their interpretation of the movement of reform promoted by
select statements that seem to support Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy Hope International and associates has
themselves, while disregarding other differs from that of the Church, they failed to bring about either reforma
statements in which activities such as have set their authority above that of tion or increased unity. The Church is
theirs are clearly condemned by Ellen the world Church and operate in a not perfect, but there is wisdom in
G. White. Her overriding support of manner that is consistent with listening to its advice. We appeal, in
the organized Seventh-day Adventist offshoot movements. Christian love, for a turn of heart and
Church is intentionally minimized or purpose that will bring Hope Interna
ignored by Hope International and An Appeal tional and associates into full unity
associates, or explained away as We appeal, in all sincerity and with the body of Christ, the Remnant
irrelevant for us today. Christian love, to Hope International Church.
and associates to hear the counsel of If Hope International and
Conclusion the Church they claim to love. It is associates cannot bring themselves into
The accumulative effect of the time for the spirit of condemnation harmony with the body of the world
above information results in the and rebellion to be set aside, allowing Church, clearly evidenced within twelve
perception of many Church members the reconciling blood of Christ to months, the Seventh-day Adventist
that Hope International and associ bring unity among His people. Church may need to consider whether
ates are offshoot organizations. They All agree that there is serious there exists a "persistent refusal to
have not taken the decisive step of need for revival and reformation in recognize properly constituted church
officially separating themselves from God's Remnant Church, but the authority or to submit to the order and
the Seventh-day Adventist organiza methods used by Hope International discipline of the church" ( Church
tion, and they claim that they never and associates have produced disso Manual, 169).

taming the seven-headed hydra he has Ted Toms, Pastor, Paw Paw and

Letters continued from p. 3

confronted. In it, at times I feel asked
to grant him credibility at the expense
of Ellen White. While I wish him well,
Hartford Seventh-day Adventist
Churches, Michigan.

Sabbatati, Insabbatati, but more I am not willing to do so without Editorial note: Thank you for
frequently Inzabbatati. One says they sufficient cause. I hope I am not thoughtful and challenging replies to a
were so named from the Hebrew word alone. If the purpose of "Viewpoint" Richard Coffen s Viewpoint article. It
Sabbath, because they kept the is to elicit thought, perhaps this should be said that it was definitely not
Saturday for the Lord's day. Another installment was successful, for I am Richard Coffen's objective to "argue for
says they were so called because they left with a rumination of my own: historical errors in Ellen G. White's
rejected all festivals." ... Isn't the whole issue of faith based writings." Had that been his objective,
If these historical "errors" to upon one's resolution of the often the article would not have appeared in
which Coffen alludes are subject to apparent conflict between the evidence Ministry. Coffen's objective was simply
dispute, the argument of Ellen G. from logic, and that which is from to look honestly at the way inspiration
White and her supposed historical intuition (or revelation)? The former worked in the life of Ellen White and in
errors cannot be settled from his choice certainty rests on the evidence of the the lives ofBible writers and thus to
of exhibits of proof. It the author is mind, the latter within the heart. To bring about a just strengthening offaith
ignorant of, or biased against, the accept the product of inspiration as and understanding of the authoritative
evidence in history that would concord authoritative is to give credence to the gifts of God given us in such writings
with her accuracy, what effect does that working of the supernatural, without (particularly the Bible). To those who
have upon the effectiveness of his attempting to create an exact schematic tend toward a belief in some genre of
apparent resolution to the issues of of how it works. Once that is done, verbal inspiration (something Seventh-
understanding prophetic inspiration? inspiration can be cloned, (as some day Adventists and Ellen White herself
While credit is due Coffen for false prophets appear to have done) have constantly resisted), a quest such as
addressing certain thorny issues and it no longer would be a human Coffen's will always seem questionable.
surrounding the distinctly Adventist experience of Divine origin. And We hope our readers have read the
acceptance of prophetic ministry, as further, once such precision becomes a response article to Richard Coffen's
opposed to Roman Catholic or prerequisite to accepting the voice of thoughts, which was authored by
Charismatic viewpoints, his February the messenger as authoritative, one no Ekkehardt Mueller and appeared in our
article only partially succeeds in longer walks by faith, but by sight. April 2000 issue.

Ministry/August 2000 31

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