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Safe Church

Creating an Introvert-friendly Church

Finding New Paths in Mission

November 2019 The Church I Want to Belong to Is...


Finding My Safe Place BY BILL KNOTT

T About the Cover Karen Carballo lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is part of the South American Division. She worships at the Belgrano church and enjoys working as a teacher for the primary children’s Sabbath School class and also serves as a greeter in her home church. The picture is taken in front of the Guatraché church, in the La Pampa province, one of the oldest Adventist churches in southern Argentina. “I enjoyed meeting my brothers and sisters in the Guatraché church. They were very kind and welcoming. I liked their attention to small details and their care for visitors.” Photo credit: Migue Roth

The Church I Want to Belong to Is...


10 Safe Church The Word 22 Savoring Saving Grace 26 Bible Questions Answered My Church 18 Global View 20 Millennial Voices 24 Finding New Paths in Mission Living Faith 21 A More Special Sabbath 27 Supplements 28 May I Tell You a Story? 30 Growing Faith

here is an old and unshakable connection between what is “holy” and what is “safe.” From the biblical era to the modern age, human beings have identified those spaces they deem charged with the presence of God as places where persons in distress or danger could seek protection or even prosecution from the law. The assumption, rightly enough, is that God is on the side of thoughtful, careful justice when vengeance is in hot pursuit; that those targeted or marginalized by the powerful might find in His presence a “shelter in the time of storm.” Even though the laws of “sanctuary” have been dismantled in most societies, there is an abiding belief that a church ought to be an unusually safe place in a world racked with violence, predation, and abuse. With the rending of the Temple veil at the death of Jesus, the biblical understanding of the location of the “church” moved from the physical structure in which worship occurred to a community of believers who carry what is holy with them—and in them. The Holy Spirit, residing in the lives of those who follow Jesus, sanctifies the places and the relationships in which believers dwell, work, and witness. The sanctuary on earth is no longer a building made of stone or wood, or even a tent of meeting, but a community of caring and protection in which the weak and the marginalized find safety and a home. And so it must continue to be. We may pray—and we must work—to ensure that abuse no longer invades any community, especially including church communities. We must commit ourselves to protecting those victimized because of their gender, their age—children or the elderly; their physical condition, their national origin, or the color of their skin. This is biblical religion—“to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27, NIV)—that enduring connection between what is “safe” and what is “holy.” The most-sought-after people in any region ought to be those who “keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus” because they love God supremely and deeply love their neighbors. Seventh-day Adventists ought to be the “safest” people on the planet—safe to talk to when discouraged; safe to worship with when broken; safe to live among while learning. As you read this month’s focus on “The Church I Want to Belong To,” commit yourself to making your church community just such a place of safety and welcome.

We believe in the power of prayer, and we welcome prayer requests that can be shared at our weekly staff worship every Wednesday morning. Send your requests to, and pray for us as we work together to advance God’s kingdom.


November 2019

News Moment

A small building known as the “Xilude� church is located on the border of Brazil and Peru. It was constructed by missionaries to serve families living in the interior of the Amazon, where access is only by foot, or with the help of animals. Some members walk four hours every week to attend church at Xilude. Photo: Ivo Mazzo November 2019


News in Brief

“The carpet can represent a place of prayer to ask God to help you to walk humbly with Him.” —Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the Adventist Church, who recently prayed and shared biblical advice with an influential Pakistani leader. Wilson and an accompanying delegation were welcomed by the leader of Pakistan’s Sindh province in Karachi, the country’s largest city and commercial hub. Wilson thanked Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah for the religious freedom that the authorities grant people of all faiths, and he highlighted the Adventist Church’s humanitarian, health, and educational work in the country. Wilson and the chief minister exchanged several gifts, including the rug, a gift from Wilson and the Adventist Church for the Pakistani leader.

“The Seventh-day Adventist Church calls on Congress to pass legislation that guards the civil rights of all Americans while unequivocally protecting the right of faith communities to live, worship, and witness according to their convictions.” —A portion of a statement released jointly by leadership of the General Conference and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America regarding the Equality Act. The proposed legislation in the United States Congress would have extended protection to gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals across a broad spectrum of civil rights laws in the United States. But the bill made no allowance for communities or individuals of faith who hold traditional views of marriage and gender.

200 The number of humanitarian construction projects initiated by Vasyl Stoyka, a Ukrainian businessman in the country of Madagascar. Stoyka became an Adventist 10 years ago following an illness. From that point he committed to doing ministry on the African continent. Since 2012 Stoyka and his assistants have organized approximately 100 evangelistic meetings in Madagascar, and have been instrumental in the construction of churches, schools, and other buildings.

Photo: 4

November 2019

News in Brief


The number of years that Adventist Review magazine has been in print. Adventist Review, sister magazine of Adventist World, was launched by James White in 1849, 14 years before the organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Adventist Review recently received the coveted Best in Class award for a denominational magazine from the Associated Church Press. The award is conferred on the faith-based publication that best exemplifies the high standards of excellence in writing, design, and service to its denomination.

“The Adventist Church in Bulgaria has a brilliant future.” —Pedro Torres, Franco-Belgian church region communication director, who was a presenter at a Media Academy organized by the Adventist Church in Bulgaria. The purpose of the event was to improve the use of communication skills to reach people with the good news of salvation found in the Bible, according to organizers. More than 80 participants attended the meeting, hosted in Golden Sands, Varna, on the coast of the Black Sea.

How Often Adventists Meet the Needs of Community Members Who Are Not Adventist per Year 10%







More than once a week Every week Almost every week Once a month

At least once a quarter Only once or twice Never

Source: General Conference 2018 Global Membership Survey

“This state“Few spiritual leaders are ment is not a as gifted as rigid position Chaplain Black binding church in providing members, but it caring, couragives guidance geous ministry in a pluralleaving individistic religious ual members environment.” free to assess the situation for themselves.” —Mario Ceballos, director of Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries, commenting on the church’s statement and position in favor of military noncombatancy. The Adventist world headquarters hosted a summit in spring 2019, during which the church’s historical position and current implications were discussed.

—Mark Rienzi, president of the Becket Fund organization, referring to Barry C. Black, sixty-second chaplain of the United States Senate and an Adventist pastor. Black has been named Becket’s 2019 Canterbury Medalist for his defense of religious liberty for people of all faiths. The Canterbury medal, Becket’s highest honor, recognizes individuals who have demonstrated courage and commitment to defending religious liberty in the United States and around the world. November 2019


News in Depth

Are You a Cold Parent?

New research suggests that warm parenting can benefit your offspring’s health.

By Loma Linda University Health News

New research from Loma Linda University, a Seventh-day Adventist school in California, United States, suggests that unsupportive parenting styles may have several negative health implications for children, even into their adult years. The study found that the telomeres—protective caps on the ends of the strands of DNA—of subjects who considered their mother’s parenting style as “cold” were on average 25 percent smaller compared to those who reported having a mother whose parenting style they considered “warm.” Research has found that early-life stress is associated with shorter telomeres, a measurable biomarker of accelerated cellular aging and increased disease risk later in life. “Telomeres have been called a genetic clock, but we now know that as early life stress increases,

telomeres shorten, and the risk of a host of diseases increases, as well as premature death,” said Raymond Knutsen, lead author of the study and associate professor at Loma Linda University School of Public Health. “We know that each time a cell divides, the telomeres shorten, which shortens its lifespan.” Interestingly, mutations in genes maintaining telomeres cause a group of rare diseases resembling premature aging. “However,” Knutsen said, “we know that some cells in the body produce an enzyme called telomerase, which can rebuild these telomeres.” The study, “Cold Parenting Is Associated With Cellular Aging in Offspring: A Retrospective Study,” uses data from 200 subjects who participated in two prospective cohort studies of Seventh-day Adventist men and women (the Adventist

Health Study 1 [AHS-1], with 34,000 Californians in 1976, and AHS-2, with 96,000 subjects from the United States and Canada in 2002 to 2007. The research takes a closer look at the impact parenting style has on telomere succession. “The way someone is raised seems to tell a story that is intertwined with their genetics,” Knutsen said. The study also examined the impact that education and body mass index (BMI) may have on the association between cold parenting and telomere length. “The association with parenting style was greatest among those with less education, and those who stayed overweight/obese or put on weight during follow-up, suggesting that both higher education and normal BMI may provide some resilience against cold parenting and cellular aging,” the study stated.

Photo: Kelly Sikkema 6

November 2019

News in Depth

African Church Officials and U.S. African American Leaders Meet

Inaugural summit in Kenya highlights a greater desire for networking, collaboration.

By R. Clifford Jones, Lake Union Herald, and Adventist World

Group of Seventh-day Adventist African and African American leaders who met for the first “Transatlantic Family Reunion Summit,” at the headquarters of the East-Central Africa Division (ECD) headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, in April 2019. Photo: Lake Union Conference News

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” —African proverb A historic meeting took place in April 2019 as a delegation of presidents of regional conferences in the United States (historically African American Adventist Church administrative regions) traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, for a summit with Adventist church leaders of the East-Central Africa (ECD) and West-Central Africa (WAD) divisions, and the Adventist University of Africa (AUA). The “Transatlantic Family Reunion Summit” convened on the sprawling compound that is home to the headquarters of the ECD, AUA, and Maxwell Adventist Academy. REALIZATION OF A DREAM

ECD president Blasious M. Ruguri characterized the summit as the “realization of a dream.” He welcomed the North American delegation with a charge that included a confession that misconceptions had kept both groups apart. “We must do the hard work of destroying the strongholds that still

enslave so many millions of those whom we serve,” Ruguri said. He then challenged the gathering to remain faithful to the vision and committed to the mission, as well as to serve “in a manner worthy of the sacrifice of our ancestors, especially of our Saviour.” WAD president Elie Weick-Dido delivered a closing charge that called on the groups to embrace their shared heritage and values, as well as to pursue common goals and ventures. Hosts of the next summit, scheduled to be held at the WAD, includes 12 of the poorest countries in the world. Weick-Dido, who pastored in the Lake Region Conference in the United States before returning to Africa, is uniquely qualified to bridge the two continents. The summit included sessions to examine missional growth, including an emphasis on the concept of Total Member Involvement (TMI), an initiative of the Seventh-day Adventist world church to get every church member involved in sharing Jesus with their neighbors and friends. African leaders were eager to share how God is blessing the work in Africa, where approx-

imately 9 million Seventh-day Adventists live. BIGGER THAN THE TWO GROUPS

AUA vice chancellor Delbert Baker lauded the summit as being historic and helpful. “It represents something bigger than the two groups combined,” he said. Many in the North American delegation had never visited the African continent, and the trip evoked a spectrum of emotions, according to participants. Safaris to wildlife in their natural habitats sparked exclamations of awe and wonder. Visitors said they found particularly moving a Sabbath visit to a Maasai village that included worship and a baptismal service in a nearby river. At the close of the summit, participants agreed that the event should become a regular venture, and a follow-up is already in the works. Additionally, each African division was aligned or matched with three regional conferences, whose administrators committed to inviting and hosting the African church leaders in the United States regularly, organizers said. November 2019


News Focus South American Division (SAD)

2,541,903 SAD membership as of June 30, 2019

100,000 The number of Pathfinders and staff that attended the largest Pathfinder camporee in the world. Organized by the South American Division, more than 3,300 clubs from across the continent traveled to São Paulo State, Brazil, for the six-day event. Because of the large number of registrations, the event was split into two parts, each drawing approximately 50,000 attendees. Activities available to Pathfinders included several outreach efforts in the city of Barretos, such as offering free health-care services. (^-)

“Until Jesus comes, literature evangelists are needed to raise hope.” —Erton Köhler, SAD president, addressing 2,400 literature evangelists, whose work has served as an introduction for the gospel throughout the division. SAD produced 23 million copies of the 2019 missionary book of the year, Hope for Today’s Families, for distributing across South America.


The depth in meters (545 feet) at which water was found in the village of Campestre, Brazil. Rain is rare in that area, and the only way to get water is to have it delivered, which is too expensive for most people. The well was Maranatha International’s first in Brazil.

“As soon as the conflict started, we received a request for help and began to assist people arriving.” —Aldino Alves, a local Adventist leader among the indigenous communities in the San Marcos, Roraima, area of Brazil. Alves and others have been assisting refugees fleeing unrest and dire conditions in neighboring Venezuela. Alves’ community of 260 quickly swelled to more than 1,000. In response, the Roraima branch of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), in partnership with the Brazilian Army and humanitarian organizations, collected hundreds of mattresses, blankets, and food.

74,000 The number of YouTube subscribers following “El Escarabajo Binario” [Binary Beetle]—a Seventh-day Adventist YouTuber making waves in Argentina. Murilo Ribeiro, 26, considers this his outreach ministry.

“I know how to repair freezers. I could help you.” —What Benjamin, a member of the Adventist church in Guayaquil, Ecuador, told Johnny Cabezas, a resident who continually rejected offers from others to attend church. Conversations while repairing freezers eventually led to Cabezas’ baptism.

Photo: South American Division 8

November 2019


By Sabine Eisenmann, ADRA in Germany, and Adventist World

Photo: ADRA in Germany/Adventist World

ADRA Germany Strives to Help Children Worldwide campaign draws attention to at-risk children and their plight.

The movie gets under your skin. It shows children living in war zone areas and in poverty. Boys who handle weapons and haul rocks they can barely carry. Girls who are not even 10 led into forced marriages. Wherever poverty and misery are present, the children suffer most. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Germany with headquarters in Weiterstadt wants to counteract these issues through various projects and campaigns. Among other things, ADRA will highlight a recently announced worldwide campaign locally by circulating posters in Weiterstadt and the surrounding area. The film, with its depressing scenes about children’s circumstances, is part of the campaign. ADRA sees this as key to a better world.

The importance of education cannot be overestimated. Education remains an important tool in raising people out of poverty. “This is a human right and thus a children’s right,” said Christian Molke, managing director and press spokesperson of ADRA Germany. “If all girls graduated from high school, there would be less early pregnancies, lower infant mortality, fewer child marriages, and higher incomes for women without education,” Molke explained. To provide access to education for every child in the world, it is necessary to build schools in disaster areas and in developing countries. “Every Child. Everywhere. In School” is the name of the current campaign that the worldwide ADRA organization has already launched in many countries in its global network to bring attention to this need. ADRA is also concerned about vocational training and care after a disaster. The organization is building 12 educational institutions in Somalia alone as part of an ongoing project. ADRA, which has presence

in 140 countries around the world, is also engaged in educational projects in Albania, Thailand, Serbia, and Ethiopia. No donation link is displayed on any of the campaign posters. “But isn’t the campaign supposed to help build schools?” Molke asked. “Our projects are also funded with donations. But first we want to create an awareness of the problems. Only when people realize how well off they are and what real misery exists in the world, and understand that we have a lot of advantages here and opportunities to help, only then will the world be a better place.” At ADRA, a better world begins in the mind. “It is our mission and our long marathon, which we willingly take,” Molke said. ADRA in Germany received more than 24 million euros in 2018. The largest source of funding was the German Federal Foreign Office, with 8.7 million euros, closely followed by Europe Aid and the European Commission’s Development and Cooperation Office. November 2019


The Church I Want to Belong to Is...


Safe Church Abuse of the vulnerable in many world regions dominates the headlines almost daily. Sadly, such abuse is happening not just “out there” but also within Christian homes and churches of all denominations—including among Seventh-day Adventists. Adventist World editors Bill Knott and Gerald Klingbeil recently initiated a discussion among church leaders from the world church headquarters to ask, “What steps can we take to ensure we have a ‘safe’ church?” Participants included General Conference Family Ministries directors Willie and Elaine Oliver; Women’s Ministries associate director Raquel Arrais; Office of General Counsel director Karnik Doukmetzian; Adventist Health Ministries director Peter Landless; General Conference general vice president Ella Simmons; Adventist Health Ministries associate director Torben Bergland; and Ministerial Association associate secretary Anthony Kent.

You can watch the complete version of this interview at

BILL KNOTT: I’m going to put two words together in a phrase, and ask each of you simply to say what comes to mind when I say, “safe church.” WILLIE OLIVER: I think of a place,

an environment, where both the leadership and membership of the church are intentional about making sure that everyone in that space is going to be just fine mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. RAQUEL ARRAIS: I think about someone who listens therapeutically. Someone who is able to listen, identify, understand, and perhaps at some point even intervene. KARNIK DOUKMETZIAN: Not having to worry about whether I’m going to get shot or abused. ELAINE OLIVER: Similar to what Karnik said, I envision a place where I can bring my children, and they can play and feel comfortable and confident that they’re not going to get hurt; that they’re not going to get abused; that they’re not going to become victims of some type of violence. PETER LANDLESS: I think of a place that isn’t only safe from violence but also is accepting, caring, and embracing. Violence and abuse are intentionally avoided. ELLA SIMMONS: I resonate with what Peter was saying. I’ve rarely felt completely accepted, so for me a safe church is where every person—regardless of gender, ethnic background, cultural background— can feel completely accepted and supported to succeed or to fail. TORBEN BERGLAND: I very much like both words of that phrase. To be safe is a fundamental need. We have to be safe. We have to feel safe. If we’re not safe, we don’t thrive and do well. When you combine the word “safe” with the word “church,” you envision a very good place. But the church is made up of people, and people are never 100 percent safe.

When we’re dealing with people, there’s always the potential for something that is not good. So we must acknowledge that. We can’t take for granted that the church will be a perfectly safe place. KNOTT: All of us are consuming national and international media reports that reference acts of violence or abuse happening in sanctuaries or other places that we always thought of as safe. For you, are there things that your own local congregation is doing to help make your church a place in which you feel safe? WILLIE OLIVER: In our con-

gregation we’re very intentional about how we collect the offering. We have deacons who offer the prayer and collect the offering. We also have strategically positioned deacons, close to the front of the church and the entrance at the back. Our entire deacon staff is trained by professional security guards to be security for the church during vulnerable times, such as when collecting the offering. SIMMONS: What Willie has shared is very important; we want our finances to be safe. But in our churches our children roam

Abuse Defined


buse happens anytime someone intentionally harms another in any way, often to gain control over the other for the personal gain of the abuser. Adults may encounter different forms of abuse, such as rape or sexual assault, as well as physical, psychological, verbal, financial, spiritual, and emotional abuse. Those most vulnerable—children and elderly individuals—are frequent targets of abuse, often by those closest to them (family members, caretakers, teachers/ pastors/coaches). Abuse is not limited to any cultural, educational, or economic level, or even religious affiliation. And abuse is not only directed by men against women—it also occurs in women against men, and by people of either gender toward those of the same gender.

Claudio and Pamela Consuegra are director and associate director of the Department of Family Ministries for the North American Division.

Panel members Willie Oliver (left), Karnik Doukmetzian, Elaine Oliver, Rachel Arrais, Anthony Kent, Torben Bergland, Ella Simmons, and Peter Landless responded to questions posed by Gerald Klingbeil (left) and Bill Knott. Photo: Gabriel Begle November 2019


You can watch the complete version of this interview at

around, and they need to be able to do that. Some local churches are prepared for that. My home church also has deacons and others stationed in strategic places to watch out for the children. When we have children’s church and the children leave the larger congregation and go into another chapel, we have a security system that requires the parent or guardian to register the children, to sign them in and out. The children also have name tags, and no one leaves that space without an officially designated individual or parent with identification escorting them.

Observe and Report


eventh-day Adventist churches, schools, and institutions should be safe havens to all. Members and visitors should expect that they will be safe from the reaches of those who target weak persons. Predators (who take advantage of those who are weak and/or the elderly and children) often find in churches or schools ideal places to search out their next victims. We often think of sexual predators who take advantage of children and vulnerable adults, but predators also prey on seniors in our congregations, especially as it relates to finances. The expression “if you see something, say


KNOTT: How many of you are aware of whether your church has had some level of training on these kinds of issues? [All hands raised.] Then you’re fortunate to be attending congregations that have become more aware. What percentage of Adventist congregations might be ready for this moment? DOUKMETZIAN: Probably less

than 50 percent. The North American Division has put into place a background-check requirement for all volunteers. Not just those working with children, but anyone who is

something” is often heard in our societies. But before individuals are in a position to say something, they need to be educated, to be trained to observe, and to know what to look for. Leaders of local churches need to educate members to recognize symptoms of physical, financial, and sexual abuse. The Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual states: “In order to safeguard our children, churches are encouraged to adopt policies that would provide a measure of safety and protection for children.”1 Such policies should include, among other things, volunteer screening that requires “all volunteers [to] complete a volunteer information form, check their references, and, if required by law, do a police background check.”2 Training is important so that individual members

November 2019

volunteering in a local church. Elders, deacons, departmental directors—all have to go through a background check. We do that to protect not only the children but also to protect the individuals from a false accusation. GERALD KLINGBEIL: If we look at the larger body of the church as well, have we done enough to assure safety in our churches? We’ve talked about children, money, physical safety. Have we done enough to ensure that no one is victimized? DOUKMETZIAN: We can say

we’ve done enough until there’s

not only know what is required by law in their particular jurisdictions as far as reporting to authorities, but also understand what signs to look for. How should church members handle what they have observed? Rather than investigating on their own, they should first report to the pastor or head elder, who then should report all such incidents to the authorities. There may be times individuals accused and convicted of such offenses ask to be admitted back into church membership. According to the Church Manual: “When dealing with perpetrators of sexual abuse, it should be remembered the restoration to membership does not remove all consequences of such a serious violation. While attendance at church activities may be permissible with properly established guidelines, a

person convicted or disciplined for sexual abuse should not be placed in a role which could put them in contact with children, youth, and other vulnerable individuals.”3 Church members and leaders must protect the church and all who come within its doors. For further information see: “Sex Offenders in the Church: A Legal Guide,” _Risk/media/ARM/ Resource%20Page/PDFs/ English/GUIDE_Sex OffendersInChurch_ NADENG.pdf?ext=.pdf. 1 Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual (Silver Spring, Md.: General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, 2016), p. 175. 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid., p. 67.

Karnik Doukmetzian is director of the Office of General Counsel for the General Conference.

a problem, then we go back and look at it and say, “You know, we should have done this or that.” We can always do better. The point is to consider all the various aspects and make sure we’ve done the best we can. ARRAIS: As a global church, since 2001 we’ve had in place a special Sabbath to raise awareness about the potential for abuse. It’s a day of education for our community of faith and the surrounding communities to talk about safety, abuse, and so forth, and to provide materials and resources so that people can leave the church with more awareness of the problem and how to respond. BERGLAND: It’s great that we have all these initiatives and programs. But while the programs and policies are good—even though there’s potential for improvement—sometimes implementation is lacking. ANTHONY KENT: The church is a reflection of the families within that community, so it needs to branch out more into the community. We need to think about not only our own safety but also that of the wider community. The church then becomes a sanctuary, a known safe place with freedoms, where you can be yourself, where you can find faith—but you can find it in the context of safety. LANDLESS: There also needs to be a willingness to talk about the issues. We tend to easily discuss physical safety, money safety, but then skirt the issue of abuse, which comes in many forms, such as abuse in the home. Those are areas we too often avoid. BERGLAND: It’s important that we educate our leaders and employees, but it’s also important to educate our members and our children. They need to be able to recognize certain actions and behaviors as not acceptable, as forms of abuse that the church doesn’t condone. They

must learn how to talk about them when they happen. ARRAIS: It used to be taboo to talk about sensitive issues from the pulpit, but not anymore. We have plenty of training and resources in place at the General Conference level for the local churches. Today the Seventh-day Adventist Church is speaking about abuse, safety, and many other issues that few were openly discussing before. ELAINE OLIVER: I totally agree, but we’re finding that local churches aren’t always aware of these resources. We need to utilize the platforms that people are using, and not just Facebook. Most teenagers, adolescents, and college students are on Instagram and Snapchat. We need to collaborate with younger adults so that they can share information on their social media platforms. We have to begin speaking the language that people today speak. KENT: One of the greatest resources we have is the Bible, and it doesn’t avoid addressing these various issues of victimization, abuse, and personal trauma. We’re uncomfortable even reading some of those passages in public, but those stories are there for a reason. KNOTT: Several of you have referenced the issue of what could be called either “domestic abuse” or “intimate partner abuse” as an unspoken backdrop to much of what’s happening in congregational life. Those of you who’ve been involved in pastoral ministry know those stories. Assess how the church is doing in addressing the issues of domestic or intimate partner violence. WILLIE OLIVER: I think we’re

doing more, and I think we’re doing better. As Raquel has mentioned, the EndItNow program offers resources along those lines.


Home Was No Haven


eredith* says her earliest memories of her emotionally abusive father were of him standing over her mother verbally assaulting her while she sat crying. She remembers him threatening to kill her mother on two occasions. While he didn’t physically assault them, his violent tendencies and volatile behavior were enough to terrify the family. Meredith grew up feeling severely controlled while always at the receiving end of his hateful tirades. For eight years—from her midteens to early 20s­—Meredith was severely depressed to the point of thinking about suicide. To outside eyes, however, the family was perfect; no one had any idea. Reaching out to friends proved futile, as Meredith felt no one understood. She was advised to forgive her father simply because he was her father. Therapy did not completely resolve her emotional pain, but it offered a path to begin the healing process and recovery from her trauma. This has helped her to control her feelings toward her father, but stressful situations often result in strong emotional responses. She has learned to watch her perceptions of reality in these moments. Through it all Meredith has learned to distinguish her conflicted emotions toward her father from her trust in her heavenly Father. She has recognized that in the midst of darkness, He has always been by her side. *All names have been changed to protect the individual.

Wilona Karimabadi is an assistant editor of Adventist World. November 2019


You can watch the complete version of this interview at

Family Ministries also frequently addresses these issues. We’ve developed television programs and workshops, and pastors are now preaching and talking about abuse. So there’s increased awareness— but more needs to be done. SIMMONS: More can and must be done in our formal education process—pastoral education and training. We must be intentional; direct; and current in the language, the research, and the news media. Sometimes we are so caught up in what we ourselves are doing and who we are that we miss what’s happening right around us. We must be aware of everything happening in our communities. We must educate pastors for this type of interaction with the community. BERGLAND: As a church we have a great opportunity to reach members through Sabbath School, Pathfinders, and our schools. We should address these issues in a systematic way, and set the

What Can You Do? In the face of something horrific, have a ready response.


hen the unthinkable happens and someone you care about tells you they’ve suffered abuse, what do you do?


standard as a church. These are the values that we uphold. KLINGBEIL: I’m glad we’re discussing prevention. But as a church, what do we do when we confront these issues? WILLIE OLIVER: Unfortunately,

we haven’t done as well as we need to do to prepare for that. We’re confronting abuse more frequently, but still not addressing many of these instances. The church needs to be responsible. First, as a community of faith, we must make sure that our pastors are properly trained and sensitive not only to abuse but even the appearance of abuse. They also need to be mindful of the fact that using certain verbal language and certain body language can make people feel abused. How we speak and what we do and how we use our own bodies should convey safety. KNOTT: I want to ask the women: What do you find yourself thinking when you walk

1. Ready yourself and your congregation to contend with reports of abuse, because if you have not come across them in your congregation, sooner or later you will. Several ministries may be helpful in finding the right educational materials. See a list of resources in this issue. 2. Report to the appropriate authorities. Depending upon where you live, reporting any claim of child abuse may be mandated by law even if you can’t prove it really happened. While the Bible

November 2019

into a congregation that’s new to you? How do you determine if that place is a safe place for you? SIMMONS: We’re talking about

perceptions here, but I believe we’ve become astute at reading body language. It’s more than how someone looks at you or the words they say. I look at how individuals in a new setting interact with each other—how husbands and wives interact with each other; how men and women who aren’t married interact with each other; how adults interact with children. Then as I’m received into that setting— any cultural setting worldwide— that’s what gives me cues for my behavior. Sometimes we see red flags that become easily apparent, with both men and women. ELAINE OLIVER: There has to be a paradigm shift in our church. To be candid, our churches are still very male-centered. I’ve gone to churches with Willie where leaders will say, “Only your husband is speaking. Only your husband will

tells us not to engage in needless lawsuits against one another, it also tells us to “be subject to the governing authorities” (Rom. 13:1, NIV). Covering up crime will bring disrepute on the church. If the abuse is not a criminal matter but still a moral issue—for example, a church officer in an inappropriate relationship with a church member—it should be reported to the appropriate level of church administration. If a person has been abused, encouraging them to confront the abuser

alone isn’t wise. It may be more appropriate for that confrontation to occur with another person present. In any case, we should be very careful not to retraumatize victims of abuse by sending them back to the person who violated them in the first place. 3. Refer both victim and perpetrator to appropriate counseling resources.

Jennifer Jill Schwirzer is an author, licensed counselor, musician, and speaker who lives in Orlando, Florida, United States.

go on the platform during the worship service.” I have to perhaps respect the culture of this environment, but at the same time I say, “This is the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Aren’t we a worldwide body that has a belief system, a culture, policies regarding how we treat women?” So it’s a lot that women have to take in and process. We have to wonder, when we do have issues of abuse and violence, how will people in these contexts handle these cases? Are they prepared? Are they educated enough? Are they able to separate their personal cultural beliefs from what is actually happening to create a safe environment? ARRAIS: Elaine and Ella have given a wonderful analysis of what is going on. But we know that more women are being abused, and sometimes the church is completely silent. We totally ignore the issue. That’s why we must be able to identify, to understand, to not be suspicious or judgmental all the time, and to listen therapeutically. We need to learn how to intervene. This is where we often fail. We don’t know what to say; we don’t know where to go; we don’t know what to do. We need to create a system in collaboration with all departments that reaches the local church level. DOUKMETZIAN: That’s one piece of it. The other piece to remember is that our churches have open doors. In other words, anyone who walks in off the street is welcome. So we have to be very careful with the protection and safety of not only our adults but also our children, to make sure we have processes in place that protect their safety. KNOTT: I want to follow up with a question for Karnik about online discussions I’ve been reading. Some very well-intentioned people suggest that Photo: Kilarov Zaneit


A Different Kind of Father


evin’s* earliest memories of his dad are violent ones. Kevin’s father, a well-respected elder in his church, was charming in public, but cold and abusive at home. “One day, Dad realized my sisters and I weren’t brushing our teeth,” Kevin recalls. “He went into a rage, dragged each of us into the bathroom, and violently brushed our teeth while screaming at us.” Kevin was frequently beaten, leaving welts on his body and bruises on his heart. The verbal and emotional abuse were even more painful. Kevin was told he was “stupid,” “a moron,” and “an idiot.” Kevin left Christianity in his late teens, searching for love in a series of broken sexual relationships. He grew to believe that love would always come with hurt. Then one day, Kevin’s sister invited him to a prophecy series. He only attended a few times, but sensed God’s love in a new way. On the last night, the speaker made a simple appeal to accept Christ. Surprising both his sister and himself, Kevin went forward. “I was desperate for unconditional love,” Kevin says. “In the invitation that day, I found Someone who loved me, who wanted me, and who promised to heal me.” Kevin also experienced healing as kindhearted church members showed interest in him, prayed for him, and told him he was valuable. Kevin eventually learned that Christ’s love was a reflection of the Father’s love: “I realized in a very personal way that I had always had a Father who was kind, merciful, and patient with me.” Learning this truth was a pivotal point in Kevin’s healing: “I could forgive my dad for failing me, because I now had perfect love from a perfect Father. Knowing the Father makes all the difference. At least it did for me.” *All names have been changed to protect the individual.

Elise Harboldt serves as communication and media coordinator for the Health Ministries Department of the General Conference. November 2019


You can watch the complete version of this interview at

when an incident of abuse is noted and comes to the attention of a congregation, it shouldn’t be reported to the authorities—that it should be handled somehow internally in the church’s system. “We shouldn’t take a brother to court” is the expression some have used. What do you say to people who reason like that? DOUKMETZIAN: If you’re a

pastor or someone who is required by law to report incidents of abuse, you have a legal obligation to report it, or you’ll likely end up in jail. Our job is to protect. The sooner we can get the authorities to investigate the situation—regardless of whether we believe it or not—the better. Let the authorities do their work. It doesn’t fall on us to investigate. In fact, we could mess up the investigation of the authorities if we try to investigate ourselves. My counsel always is to report it, and let the authorities handle it. KNOTT: Even with the chance that it could create some

embarrassment to the image of the church and the community? DOUKMETZIAN: Absolutely.

a zero-tolerance environment. I’m not sure that we’ve taken that step.

Because if you don’t, you’re running the risk not only of going to jail yourself, but of liability flowing to the organization. KENT: And greater embarrassment and shame. WILLIE OLIVER: Our concern should be safety, not whether we embarrass the church. DOUKMETZIAN: But we also must provide protection for the individual who is accused, because the investigation may prove that it wasn’t a proper allegation. ELAINE OLIVER: We also need an accurate sense of who is doing the abusing. It doesn’t just involve being aware of strangers. Otherwise, everyone else relaxes and doesn’t see the necessity for fingerprinting and background checks. We must hold everyone accountable. SIMMONS: If we would adopt a zero-tolerance policy and perspective on all abuse issues, then all these things would fall into place, because they would be required of

KLINGBEIL: Let’s talk about the spiritual dimension of safety and transparency within the church as it affects not just a local congregation but different generations. I read the other day that Millennials in various Christian denominations are leaving their churches because they see a lack of congruency between what church members say spiritually and what is really happening. So let’s talk about the spiritual dimension of this. WILLIE OLIVER: I want to

If You Need Help Silence is not the answer.


f you find yourself in the terrible situation of being a victim of abuse, please get help. While it is not easy to share one’s story, healing requires moving out of the shadows and seeking assistance. The following resources can be the starting point for recovery.


Adventist Risk Management (ARM) ARM is the official insurance and risk management company of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Under the menu option “Safety Resources” it offer numerous educational resources covering a wide spectrum of safety concerns. Helpful information from

November 2019

address that from the perspective of openness of the church. Ideas of younger people can sound radical to older people, so they’re often put down. I see that as a lack of safety. Safety in the church, safety in the congregation, means we have an approach of openness when someone has a different opinion, especially our younger members. How do we develop a position where rather than saying to some-

checking references to child protection planning to how to prevent bullying and how to deal with sex offenders in the church can be found on their multilanguage website (English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and German).

(ADRA) to educate church leaders and members and raise awareness on multiple forms of abuse. The annual summit is streamed live. This year’s event is from September 4 to 5, 2019.


The multilingual website of the WHO highlights education, prevention, and partnerships with other organizations focused on preventing any type of violence and abuse

This is an initiative of the North American Division and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency

World Health Organization (WHO)

one, “Oh, you’re wrong; that’s not what we believe,” we instead say, “I’ve never heard that perspective before; tell me more.” We should encourage an environment of acceptance and openness. ARRAIS: I can give you an example of that. We can’t ignore culture and tradition, but I was in a country where I opened the microphone for about 3,000 women, to give them an opportunity to speak out. It was a courageous act because the region’s pastors were there. The information, statements, and policies in the General Conference Working Policy don’t always filter down to them. They don’t know about them. So at the local church level in some regions, women believe that abuse is a normal part of their lives and that they have to endure it. Many of the women there had experienced domestic violence, and they heard for the first time what the Church Manual says. It was liberating for them. For the first time they were empowered to say, “Yes! The church has a provision for this,

(including child abuse, violence against children and elders, intimate partner violence, etc.). While it does not address the problem from a biblical worldview it offers a helpful starting point to find resources and support. injury_prevention/ violence/en/

ChristianCareConnect People living in North America can find available Christian counseling

and we can safely speak out.” BERGLAND: We should have a zero-tolerance policy based on the spiritual perspective. Abuse is the opposite of love. The fruit of love will never, ever be abuse in any form. We as a church should take a clear, strong stance for the sake of the perpetrator as well. It can be redemptive for the perpetrator. SIMMONS: For a spiritual response we have to go to Genesis. In the beginning God instructed man and woman to be nurturing and protective of His creation. All life is supposed to be protected and nurtured. As Christians we have a greater responsibility than even those who don’t believe, because we claim to accept God’s direction and instruction in our lives. So everything we do should be all about nurturing, protecting, and extending life. What Raquel just shared about withholding information, or spiritual guidance, from the church— that is spiritual abuse. WILLIE OLIVER: Absolutely! The Bible is very clear. What is the

resources at this website run by the American Association of Christian Counselors.

The Directory Group This resource offers a way of connecting to a Christian therapist in North America. christiancounselor

Abide Counseling Network This is a network of trained male and female Adventist counselors and coaches

culture of Scripture? It’s found in 1 Corinthians 13:4: “Love is patient, love is kind.” Galatians 5:22 tells us “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience” (NASB)* This is the Christian culture; this is the Bible culture that should permeate all our communities of faith. So we need to be very clear that there’s no place for abuse, for hurting someone and relegating it to being a part of the culture. That isn’t a godly culture. That’s Satan’s culture. KNOTT: It’s going to take courageous voices in pulpits and training sessions and in education to communicate to another generation a set of values that aren’t going to just automatically flow to them. It’s going to take intentionality, and you’ve demonstrated that here today. Thank you for caring deeply about this issue. *Bible texts credited to NASB are from the New American Standard Bible, copyright ©1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

providing affordable emotional and mental health resources. Abide also offers regular support and helper training events for those who want to become equipped to serve others in this capacity.

The Hope of Survivors It serves victims of clergy sexual misconduct across denominations, through providing educational materials, events, and its online presence. www.thehopeof

Godly Response to Abuse in a Christian Environment (GRACE) GRACE provides education, information, and support for victims. November 2019


Global View

What Is the Gospel? Becoming a portrait of Christ


he day began peacefully in the English village of Pensford as men, women, and children made their way to a large green area on the village outskirts. The great preacher, John Wesley, would be there, and people were eager to hear him. Being short in stature,1 Wesley climbed onto a table and preached the gospel he found in Jesus Christ, explaining it was twofold. First, all are sinners in need of a Savior; no one can save themselves, no matter how “good” they try to be. Justification is by faith alone. Second, God offers freedom from the power of sin. Salvation could not be complete without this promise of the gospel, Wesley explained. All children of God are given freedom from the guilt of sin through justification and its power through sanctification.2 VICIOUS DISTURBANCES

As Wesley preached, a rumble grew louder. A mob, hired by local clerics, was soon upon them, pushing along an agitated, bloodied bull. The bull, however, refused to charge into Wesley and the crowd, instead running around them as they “quietly sang praise to God and prayed for about an hour.” Frustrated, the mob grabbed the bull and forced it into the table where Wesley was standing. As he fell, friends caught him and quickly carried him to another area, where he continued preaching. Meanwhile, “the rabble wreaked their vengeance on the table, which they tore bit from bit.”3 This was just one of many disruptions John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church, and his followers faced as they preached, as Wesley called it, “scriptural Christianity.” Sometimes stones were hurled; other times Methodist preachers were smeared with sewage and beaten.4 Mobs often raided Methodist homes, “destroying furniture and goods, plundering whatever they chose, and brutally abusing men, women, and children.”5 Nevertheless, assured of God’s presence, Wesley and his compatriots pressed on. By the end of his life, adherents to Wesley’s teachings numbered more than 100,000. PERFECT HARMONY OF LAW AND GOSPEL

But why the viciousness against Wesley and his teachings? Why the hatred? Because he dared to preach the truth. “There is,” said Wesley, “the closest connection . . . between the law and the gospel. On the one hand, the law continually makes way for, and points us to, the gospel; on the other, the gospel continually leads us to a more exact fulfilling of the law. . . . ‘With man this is impossible.’ But we see a promise of God to give us that love, and to make us humble, meek, and holy. We lay hold of this gospel, of these glad tidings: it is done unto us according to our faith, and ‘the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us,’ through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”6 PERFECTIONISM?

Today, as in the eighteenth century, some consider those who affirm Wesley’s scriptural teachings to be “legalists,” or worse. Wesley’s response to negative allegations is revealing: Photo: Jeremy Vessey

“Some allege that the doctrines of these men [himself and associates] are false, erroneous . . . new and unheard-of till of late. . . . Others allege, ‘Their doctrine is too strict; they make the way to heaven too narrow.’ . . . This is in truth the original objection, . . . and is secretly at the bottom of a thousand more, which appear in various forms. But do they make the way to heaven any narrower than our Lord and His apostles made it? Is their doctrine stricter than that of the Bible?”7 Wesley always used Scripture to make his points, often quoting Jesus, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48, KJV). Was this “perfectionism”? No! Wesley knew his and every human heart was full of wickedness. But he also knew the power of God to take a sinful heart and make it pure. Ellen White strongly affirmed Wesley’s teachings, stating, “Wesley declared the perfect harmony of the law and the gospel. . . . Thus while preaching the gospel of the grace of God, Wesley, like his Master, sought to ‘magnify the law, and make it honorable.’”8 THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL

We Seventh-day Adventists are called to proclaim the “everlasting gospel”: “Then I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth . . . saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come’” (Rev. 14:6, 7). While the judgment may frighten some, Scripture is filled with the hope of forgiveness and restoration—not only in heaven, but on earth, so that we can be living witnesses of the power of God. He urges us, “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:13-16). These are not idle words; God does not give us impossibilities. He invites us to share His truth, His love, His gospel, His power through the indwelling of His Spirit in our lives today. A wonderful passage about the saving power of Christ in the gospel message, and what He does in and through us, has this message: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all . . . , teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for

These are not idle words; God does not give us impossibilities. good works. Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you” (Titus 2:11-15). The book Steps to Christ has a marvelous explanation of the power of the gospel working in our lives through Christ’s all-encompassing righteousness that includes His justifying and sanctifying power. I encourage you to read the chapter “The Test of Discipleship.” Notice this powerful explanation and summary of this whole saving process: “So we have nothing in ourselves of which to boast. We have no ground for self-exaltation. Our only ground of hope is in the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and in that wrought by His Spirit working in and through us.”9 May we fully understand God’s great theme of salvation and His gospel message of full restoration in Him to be shared with the world as we approach Christ’s soon return. Let us proclaim this message with the Holy Spirit’s power, pleading for the latter rain so that all will fully grasp Christ’s gospel message and its ultimately all-encompassing aspects of justification and sanctification. Ellen White observed: “The gospel is to be presented, not as a lifeless theory, but as a living force to change the life. God desires that the receivers of His grace shall be witnesses to its power. . . . He would have His servants bear testimony to the fact that through His grace men may possess Christlikeness of character, and may rejoice in the assurance of His great love. . . . Words alone cannot tell it. Let it be reflected in the character and manifested in the life. Christ is sitting for His portrait in every disciple. . . . In everyone Christ’s long-suffering love, His holiness, meekness, mercy, and truth, are to be manifested to the world.”10 Ray Comfort, Wesley Gold (Orlando, Fla.: Bridge-Logos, 2007), p. 47. Summarized by Andrew Dragos in “The Gospel According to John Wesley Offers Freedom In Christ,” 3 Journal of John Wesley, . 4 Hugh J. Hughes, Life of Howell Harris, the Welsh Reformer (Newport, Wales: William Jones, 1892), p. 142. 5 Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1911), p. 259. 6 John Wesley, “Upon Our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount,” Discourse 5, sermons_on_several_occasions/sermon_25_upon_our_lords.htm. 7 John Wesley, “The Works of the Reverend John Wesley, A.M. (New York: J. Emory and B. Waugh, 1831), vol. 5, p. 152. 8 E. G. White, pp. 263, 264. 9 Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1956), p. 63. 10 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898, 1940), pp. 826, 827. 1 2

Ted N. C. Wilson is president of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church. Additional articles and commentaries are available from the president’s office on Twitter: @pastortedwilson and on Facebook: @Pastor Ted Wilson. November 2019


Millennial Voices

Creating an Introvert-friendly Church


The common factor for all introverts is that we expend energy in contact with people and need quiet time alone to regain that energy.


o we have any visitors with us today?” the welcoming elder beamed from the pulpit. I sank further into my seat, looking down at my Bible and trying to make myself as inconspicuous as possible. The elder continued with the dreaded invitation: “Would any first-time visitor please stand up?” My friend nudged me. “Stand up,” he whispered jovially. “That’s you!” I forced a smile to my face, bounced up, and gave the church a wave that lasted a millisecond before crumpling back down. My heart pounded unreasonably, even though I knew and appreciated that the church was simply trying to be friendly. Yet I felt only awkward and anxious. I am an introvert. There are different kinds of introverts. Not all of us are shy or dislike people, as the stereotype suggests, although many are typically quieter and more comfortable behind the scenes. The common factor for all introverts is that we expend energy in contact with people and we need quiet time alone to regain that energy. Within the Christian community I often feel that church was designed for extroverts, from our greeting styles to our favored evangelistic methods. So how can we create introvert-friendly spaces? I put the question to friends on social media and gained more perspective about how introverts would appreciate a church to welcome and engage with them. Most introverts dislike being singled out in a room full of strangers, or forced to mingle and do small talk. Instead, I heard some alternatives for welcoming visitors: “At my church we have all the members stand, then greet anyone still sitting.” “I prefer never having to ‘say a bit about yourself ’ in a group.” “I would like to be singled out by an

November 2019

individual who will take a personal, genuine interest in me. I am terrible at approaching people, but I want to feel included.” Being introvert-friendly goes beyond how we welcome newcomers. It affects how we “do” church. This includes validating and using different gifts that may not be public-oriented, as not everyone can knock on doors or make phone calls. It may even entail creating new types of services; one person suggested doing church in the forest, incorporating silent activities, and using the creative arts. Another expressed her longing for a house church of no more than 10 people who share life during the week as well as on Sabbath. The church is a diverse community by God’s design. As Paul writes, using the metaphor of the body: “Our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. . . . Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you.’ The head can’t say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you.’ . . . All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it” (1 Cor. 12:18-27, NLT).* No matter our gifts or personality types, each of us has a unique and important place within Christ’s body. We are called to create church spaces in which all people can feel welcomed and valued. * Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Lynette Allcock, a graduate of Southern Adventist University, lives in Watford, United Kingdom, where she produces and presents for Adventist Radio London.

Faith in Action

A More Special Sabbath A one-day celebration of both Creation and redemption


ave you ever thought about Sabbaths? I’m not referring only to the weekly seventh-day Sabbath, when we remember our Creator’s rest following the completion of His creation in six days (Ex. 20:8-11). I’m talking about the seven high Sabbaths celebrated by Israel: Sabbaths of Passover; Pentecost; Rosh Hashanah (trumpets); Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement); and two days during Sukkoth (tabernacles). These High Sabbath celebrations reviewed how God led in Israel’s past and anticipated the coming Messiah. Some may wonder, Where are our celebrations, our yearly High Sabbaths? SO MUCH SIGNIFICANCE

We Adventists celebrate a few Christian holidays (those associated with Christ’s birth and resurrection being the most obvious). But other Christians seem to have a richer calendar of celebrations, ranging from the anniversaries of biblical events, such as Epiphany, celebrating the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles through the Magi; or an endless series of saint’s days, such as St. Patrick’s Day. Why don’t Adventists have special days that remind us of God’s past leading and anticipate His second coming? The General Conference calendar of special days does have designated High Sabbaths. Creation Sabbath, the fourth Sabbath of every October, is the best example. It is generally the Sabbath closest to October 22, the anniversary of the Great Disappointment of 1844. Some years Creation Sabbath actually falls on October 22. So why does Creation Sabbath coincide with the Great Disappointment? We are not people of disappointment; we are Adventists. While learning from the mistakes of the past is essential, Adventists embrace an optimistic view of the future. Jesus Christ, our Creator and Redeemer, is coming again! We know that He is now involved in the investigative judgment, so His second advent is soon. What will happen after Jesus returns? In His own words Jesus says, “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5). God’s righteous judgment is a Photo: Nic Co

new heaven and a new earth (Isa. 65:17; Rev. 21:1). In anticipation of that glorious event we are called to share the everlasting gospel with the world (Rev. 14:6, 7). We celebrate that we were created through God’s infinite grace, that in Christ we become a “new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17); and through His grace we are saved. Wonderful grace indeed! PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE

I invite you to join millions of other Adventists as we celebrate Creation Sabbath together, resting in the knowledge that what God made in six days was wonderful, that He is victorious over the sin that mars creation, and that we will be changed in an instant as part of the wonderful new creation on the glorious day He returns (1 Cor. 15:52). On Creation Sabbath we celebrate what our Creator did in making everything, including ourselves; we take joy in what remains of His “very good” creation (Gen. 1:31). We eagerly anticipate His soon return and the promised new creation (Rom. 8:19-21). For more information and ideas about celebrating Creation Sabbath, visit

Timothy G. Standish, Ph.D., is a senior scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute in Loma Linda, California, United States. November 2019


What We Believe

The Experience of Salvation

Savoring Saving Grace Looking at Jesus will transform our faith.


ne of the most difficult, controversial, and often heatedly debated theological questions among Christians is: Do I have to do something to be saved? The Bible sometimes seems to say that there is nothing we have or can do in order to be saved, but rather that salvation is a gift for which we cannot attribute any merit to ourselves (Rom. 3:24; 9:16; Eph. 2:5-9; Titus 3:5; 2 Tim. 1:9; etc.). In other places the Bible states we have to do something in order to be saved, even at the cost of great sacrifices (Lev. 18:4, 5; Joshua 23:6; Matt. 7:13, 14; Phil. 2:12; James 2:14-26; etc.). The short and simple answer is usually that salvation is a gift that we cannot earn by works, but that we accept by faith. The problem with this answer is that faith is also a work, and therefore could lead to boasting. Some try to get out of this dilemma by saying that faith is also a gift. Although it is true that God is the one who sustains our faith, the only thing that this answer does is to shift the problem elsewhere. If we want to know what we must do to be saved, we have to know how we can accept the gift of 22

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faith, so the problem still remains. Another common response is that what we have to contribute to our salvation is so small or insignificant that it would be ridiculous to consider it meritorious. Compared to the sacrifice of Christ, this is undoubtedly true. But the problem with this answer is that, in addition to being somewhat subjective, it minimizes the intense effort and sacrifice that the Word of God encourages us to make, not only as a result of our salvation, but also as a means to obtain it (1 Peter 1:9; Phil 2:12). Throughout history many answered the question “Do I have Photo: Sam Rios

rather provides explanations that often contradict themselves or lead to a dead end, as described in the previous paragraph. PAYING CLOSE ATTENTION

to do something to be saved?” with an emphatic negative response, and in consequence, embraced the doctrine of predestination. Others, who responded positively to this question, have frequently fallen into the theological trap of salvation by works. The first group, in trying to protect the grace of God and the absence of human merit, undermines humanity’s free choice; the second group, in seeking to save the free choice, compromises the grace of God and the absence of human merit. A third major group does not answer the question categorically with a yes or a no, but

How, then, can these two answers be reconciled? The key lies in the object of our faith. If those who contemplate Christ as Savior begin to think that “I am being saved by trusting in Christ,” their faith would no longer be in Christ but in their own faith. Passengers on a plane in midair may feel that they are standing still. Only those who watch the aircraft from the outside can perceive the great speed at which it moves. Something similar happens with faith. An external observer could infer that believers are being saved by exercising faith, but the believers could never think that because at that very moment Christ would no longer be the object of their faith. It would be like trying to see our reflection in a mirror with our eyes closed: if we see ourselves, our eyes are open; and if we close our eyes, we don’t see ourselves. This does not mean, however, that we should not close our eyes, or that in doing so the mirror does not project our reflection anymore. In the same way, trusting in Jesus as our Savior does not mean that He is not really our Savior, or that we should not do anything. English author C. S. Lewis attempts a helpful explanation: “You cannot study pleasure in the moment of the nuptial embrace, nor repentance while repenting, nor analyze the nature of humor while roaring with laughter. But when else can you really know these things? ‘If only my toothache would stop, I could write another chapter about pain.’ But once it stops, what do I know about pain?”1

By means of an unnecessarily complicated philosophical approach, the simple meaning of faith has been obscured. As long as we look to Christ and trust in Him, we are safe. Stopping to look at Christ in order to scrutinize the experience of faith does not make any sense. This explanation of justification by faith does not make God’s grace and our free will and effort mutually exclusive. On the contrary, it allows us to understand all of them to their fullest extent. It is not a cunning ploy that has been conveniently devised, but it is consistent with the Word of God.2 If we are “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2), there is no room for boasting. Like Peter, while we are looking at Jesus, we will be safe even while walking on water. Christians “should turn the mind from self, to dwell upon the mercy and goodness of God and to recount His promises, and then simply believe that He will fulfill His word. We are not to trust in our faith, but in the promises of God.”3 Clive Staples Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2014), p. 57. 2 See also Ezekiel 33:13; John 3:14,15; and Ephesians 2:8. 3 Ellen G. White, The Sanctified Life (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1937), p. 89. To quote her more fully: “Many who are sincerely seeking for holiness of heart and purity of life seem perplexed and discouraged. They are constantly looking to themselves, and lamenting their lack of faith; and because they have no faith, they feel that they cannot claim the blessing of God. These persons mistake feeling for faith. They look above the simplicity of true faith, and thus bring great darkness upon their souls. They should turn the mind from self, to dwell upon the mercy and goodness of God and to recount His promises, and then simply believe that He will fulfill His word. We are not to trust in our faith, but in the promises of God. When we repent of our past transgressions of His law, and resolve to render obedience in the future, we should believe that God for Christ’s sake accepts us, and forgives our sins.” 1

Germán Jabloñski studies theology at River Plate Adventist University in Libertador San Martín, Entre Ríos, Argentina.

Read more about What We Believe at November 2019


Looking Back

Finding New Paths in Mission One of the lasting legacies of John Nevins Andrews Exactly 145 years ago the first missionary family was officially sent from the U.S.A. to Europe. Since then thousands have left the comforts and familiarity of home, have overcome culture shock, and have served around the world. They still go!—Editors.*


hen esteemed church pioneer John Andrews left New York in September 1874 bound for Switzerland with his two teenagers, Mary and Charles, the Adventist Church entered a new era, an era of worldwide mission. Crossing this Rubicon wasn’t an easy decision. Church leaders went back and forth about the need for a foreign mission presence for more than a year before deciding to proceed. Andrews had been an invaluable partner to James White, much as Philip Melanchthon was to Martin Luther. He was the scholarly “systematizer” of Adventist 24

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theology. Could he be spared? On the other hand, the ailing James White sometimes saw Andrews as a challenge to his own leadership. Was widower Andrews really the best person to send, even if he could read French? George Butler, General Conference president, helped crystallize the decision, and Andrews’ departure heralded a bright new dawn for the church, although during the morning of that new day cloudy mists often dimmed the light. Problems of finance, health, and cultural misunderstandings abounded. INNOCENTS ABROAD

Andrews had expected certain things to fall into place when he arrived in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, the charming lakeside city that was to be the location of his new life as a missionary. Plans called for the scattered Sabbathkeepers, converted by independent preacher

Michael Czechowski a decade earlier, to provide evangelistic helpers and fund the operation. Andrews himself did not receive a salary from the General Conference; he was supposed to quickly win new converts who would pay his salary. Becoming self-sustaining was the immediate objective. Battle Creek paid for his passage across the Atlantic, but Andrews had to pay for 13-year-old Mary and 16-year-old Charles, and for the transport of his books and personal effects. Church policy for mission appointments did not yet exist. Andrews had to draw deeply on his personal financial resources to survive. Upon his arrival Andrews found things very different from his hopes and expectations. Within days the chilly blasts of culture shock almost knocked him off his feet. The national workers he had been counting on were unavailable, Photo: Andrews University

and the Sabbathkeeping families were in deep in their own financial difficulty. Funding a salary was not going to be easy. So much else was different too: the food, the bathrooms, household appliances, local customs. The United States was so much “better” than Europe, so much more advanced, he opined—not always to himself. He didn’t know, of course, to call it “culture shock” at the time, but like every missionary who has followed him since 1874, this was his first challenge. It took months for Andrews to appreciate that differences were just that—not better or worse, just different. PLAIN SPEAKING

An early major adjustment Andrews had to make concerned his penchant for “plain speaking.” A deeply engrained New England custom nurtured in him by mentors James and Ellen White, this style of communication valued honesty and frankness above diplomatic niceties. Communicating with Swiss believers in this way did not go well. His hearers just thought him harsh, insensitive, and antagonistic. It took time for Andrews to adapt, and for Swiss believers to appreciate revivalist-style Adventist social meetings with their distinctive emotional approach to religious experience. Learning the local language became an important priority for Andrews. He could read French reasonably well, if rather slowly. Speaking it fluently was another thing altogether. He had to learn to speak. Local Sabbathkeepers spoke their French quickly, running their words together in “a low indistinct tone.” Not comprehending, Andrews felt stranded. He experienced agonized exasperation as he struggled to learn. At the age of 45 his tongue and palate would just not shape the sounds his brain intended. Fortunately, his teenagers, with their much more pliant brain

structures, picked up the language more easily. It took three years of stubborn determination for Andrews to master spoken French enough to preach publicly without embarrassment. He learned to converse with some clunky German, but he always needed a translator for preaching. As language specialist Pietro Copiz has pointed out, Andrews’ reputed language abilities accumulated some myths over the years. He wasn’t really such a grand linguist. But he was totally committed to learning what he needed in order to be successful in mission. With determined effort Andrews eventually mastered the intricacies of written French to such a degree that he was able to launch a quality evangelistic monthly he called Les Signes des Temps (The Signs of the Times). The culturally different and complicated postal system eventually yielded its secrets through trial and error, and the magazine soon reached across borders and cultural boundaries into French-speaking homes throughout Europe and in parts of the world where evangelists could not venture. Andrews found that American-style evangelism just did not work well in Europe. Preachers had to apply for state licenses in each new locality. Tents were neither safe nor suitable. Halls were expensive and tight-knit villages bound by strong church-state connections were culturally resistant to a religion based in the United States. It took some time for leaders in Battle Creek to realize that things could be so different. In the interim Andrews was misunderstood and had to face mistrust and a loss of confidence from fellow believers for a time. Not until those in Battle Creek came to Europe to see for themselves did they realize why growth could be slow, and how mission had to be adapted to local culture and circumstances.

Finding new pathways to mission is a contribution for which the church will always be indebted to Andrews. THE LARGER LEGACY

John Andrews had a gift for scholarship. His very effective defense of the seventh-day Sabbath in his classic book History of the Sabbath (1861), was highly valued by pastors and evangelists, as were his writings on other distinctive Adventist teachings. Andrews’ role as General Conference president when James White was ill, and his contribution as editor of the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald through difficult times, also made an enduring contribution. But his most notable contribution was made in the crucible of the church’s first venture overseas. Andrews learned to be successful in mission through trial and error, and by learning to adapt to new cultures. As he learned, he also helped the church learn. Over time a more adequate policy framework made things easier financially. Finding new pathways to mission was a contribution for which the church will always be indebted to Andrews—its first official overseas evangelist. * This article focuses on the beginnings of the official mission activity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Earlier self-funded Adventist missionaries included Hannah More (1808-1868), who worked in Africa, and Michael B. Czechowski (1818-1876) who pioneered work in Europe.

Gilbert M. Valentine, Ph.D., is professor and chair of the Department of Administration and Leadership at La Sierra University in the United States. His biography of John Nevins Andrews, newly published by Pacific Press, casts new light on this important church pioneer. November 2019


Bible Questions Answered

Furniture With a Message Q

What is the significance of the different articles of furniture found in the Israelites’ desert tabernacle?


The tabernacle was an expression of God’s love manifested in His willingness to dwell among His people. It was a type of His heavenly dwelling, where the sin problem was to be solved. God’s plan of salvation was illustrated in the services of the earthly tabernacle. Within that setting the furniture of the tabernacle is rich in symbolism.* 1. ALTAR OF SACRIFICES

During the patriarchal period places of worship were identified by the altars built on them (Gen. 8:20; 12:7, 8; 22:9; 26:25; 33:20). When the tabernacle was built, the altar was centralized. It was built of acacia wood covered by bronze and placed in the courtyard. It is associated throughout the Old Testament with the presence of the Lord. Through the altar the Israelites had access to God (Ps. 43:4) and brought to Him their sacrifices. On each of its corners was a horn (Ex. 27:1-8) to which blood was applied during the daily sacrifices (e.g., Lev. 4:7) and during the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:18). The altar represented the cross of Christ. 2. LAVER

It stood between the altar and the entrance to the sanctuary (Ex. 30:17-21). Priests used it to wash their hands and feet before officiating at the altar, or before going into the tabernacle (verse 20). Those who approach God must be clean. What cleanses us now is the blood of Christ, appropriated through baptism (cf. Acts 22:16; Eph. 5:26; 1 Cor. 6:11). 26

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Inside the holy place, to the north, was a table made of acacia wood overlaid with gold (Ex. 25:23-30). The bread of the presence was placed on the table. The 12 loaves were probably grouped into two stacks of six each (Lev. 24:5-9). New ones were placed on the table every Sabbath. The Lord gave the bread back to the priests to eat it as representatives of the people. Thus was indicated that God was the one who provided the daily bread for His people, a symbol of Christ as the bread of life (cf. Eze. 16:19; John 6:48-51). 4. LAMPSTAND

A lampstand joined by a central shaft with three branches on each side was located on the south side of the holy place (Ex. 25:31-40). It was made of solid gold decorated with almond-shaped cups and flowers. Its shape and the use of floral terminology suggest the image of a tree. The lampstand seems to have been a stylized tree of life that represented God as the source of life for His creatures and pointed to Christ as the true source of life. 5. ALTAR OF INCENSE

This altar stood directly in front of the veil that separated the holy and Most Holy places. It was used to burn incense twice a day before the Lord. Incense represents the prayers of God’s people (Ps. 141:2; cf. Rev. 5:8; 8:3, 4), but it also made it possible for the high priest to approach God in the Most Holy Place (Lev. 16:13). Incense symbolically links God and His people and is an adequate symbol of the merits of Christ (cf. Eph. 5:2; 2 Cor. 2:14-17; Phil. 4:18). As you can see, it’s all about Jesus. * A description of the ark of the covenant appeared in Adventist World, March 2012.

Angel Manuel Rodríguez is retired after a career serving as a pastor, professor, and theologian.

Health & Wellness

Supplements Are they needed? I have a friend who has been to a health camp and has returned with many bottles of supplements. I am 40 years old and want to enjoy the best health possible; should I take supplements? Should I advise my mother to start supplements? She is 70 years old and generally well.


his is a very topical question, and one that we revisit from time to time. First, it’s important to understand what a supplement is. It’s a substance taken in addition to the diet—often a vitamin, mineral, or amino acid—and is not considered food in itself. These substances are normally found in the variety of foods that make up a nutritious and well-balanced diet, and are consumed as a part of a whole and healthful diet. Back in 2010 studies on beta carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, showed that taken as a supplement it did not reduce the occurrence of cancers (as originally had been thought). Supplemental beta carotene may lead to increased lung cancer, especially in smokers. Vitamin E supplements were thought to protect against prostate cancer, but large studies showed that this was not the case. Increased risk for cancer was demonstrated in men who were taking the vitamin E supplements even after the close of the study. In 2019 studies on supplements and health outcomes continue. In a large study analysis of data done at Tufts University,1 it again appears that best health outcomes occur in individuals who have adequate intake of nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, and copper through their dietary food intake (not as supplemental tablets). These people have better health outcomes (lower all-cause mortality) and lower death rates from heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) Photo: Anastasia Dulgier

diseases. People who used vitamin D as a supplement but had no evidence of vitamin D deficiency actually had a higher risk of all-cause mortality (this means death from any cause, such as cancer, heart disease, infections, etc.).2 For more than a decade supplemental vitamin D has been recommended as a prevention for cancer, heart disease, and many other conditions, and in some situations at extremely high doses. Recent papers3 caution against this “shotgun” style of treatment (using a therapy widely and hoping to achieve some benefit). An important aspect of this conversation is the communication between health-care providers and patients/ clients. Seek the advice of your physician. When a nutrient is missing from the diet, it needs to be supplemented or replaced, such as vitamin B12 in a total vegetarian diet, and also for lacto-ovo vegetarians as we age. Vitamin D needs to be supplemented in certain bone conditions such as osteoporosis/osteopenia, and there are definite indications for supplements when needed. To answer your questions: If there is no specific need for a supplement, seek wholesome nutrition through a balanced diet. As far as your mother is concerned, she needs to consult her physician and be guided accordingly. Fan Chen, Mengxi Du, Jeffrey B. Blumberg, et al., “Association Among Dietary Supplement Use, Nutrient Intake, and Mortality Among U.S. Adults: A Cohort Study,” Annals of Internal Medicine 170, no. 9 (2019):604-613. Published at on April 9, 2019. 2 Ibid. See also Mahmoud Barbarawi, Babikir Kheiri, Yazan Zayed, et al, “Vitamin D Supplementation and Cardiovascular Disease Risks in More Than 83,000 Individuals in 21 Randomized Clinical Trials—A Meta-analysis,” JAMA Cardiology, doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2019.1870, published online June 19, 2019. 3 Barbarawi et al. 1

Peter N. Landless, a board-certified nuclear cardiologist, is director of Adventist Health Ministries at the General Conference. Zeno L. Charles-Marcel, a board-certified internist, is an associate director of Adventist Health Ministries at the General Conference. November 2019


The Blocked Call L “May I Tell You a Story?” BY DICK DUERKSEN


awrence Tanabose, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Solomon Islands, was enjoying a fairly normal day in paradise when his cell phone buzzed. The calling number was listed as “Blocked,” so he answered tentatively, expecting a fake offer on a condominium in Bora Bora. Instead, a scratchy voice asked, “Are you Pastor Tanabose, the Seventh-day Adventist?” “I am Pastor Tana,” he replied. “Hold then for ‘X,’ the prime minister of Australia.” Pastor Tana held, wondering what kind of trouble God was getting him into now! A few moments later a new voice came on the cell phone. “Pastor Tana, this is X, the prime minister of Australia. As you know, we are having a bit of a problem with the rebels in the Solomon Islands right now.” There was a pause, so Pastor Tana said, “Yes, sir.” “I understand that you know everyone in the Solomon Islands. Is that right?” “No, sir, but I do know most of them.” “Do you know the rebel leader? I hear that he may be one of your members.” “Yes, I do know him. We have many members on all sides of the conflict, sir.” “My people tell me that they have a message for the rebel leader, but they have been unable to reach him. I would like to talk with him personally. Might you be able to make that happen?” Pastor Tana thought for a moment. He was always careful to stay out of political

November 2019

conflicts. His church members needed to know that he was on God’s side only. But maybe this was a time he could help. “I am willing to try, sir. What would you like me to do?” “Thank you, Pastor. Please go right back to your house. A man in a helicopter will bring you a coded cell phone with instructions about how the rebel commander can use it to call me on a safe line. Please pick up the phone from the man in the chopper and deliver it to the rebel leader for me. That’s all. Can you do that?” “Yes, sir. I will do my best.” *** Pastor Tana closed his cell phone, turned his car around, and headed home. He arrived about the same time as a camouflaged Apache helicopter landed in a field near his home. A man dropped from the helicopter and ran toward Pastor Tana with a small package. “The directions are in the package, Pastor. This will save many lives! Thank you!” The helicopter flew away and Pastor Tana began driving toward the barricades between the government and rebel soldiers. He knew the way well, since he had members on both sides and often needed to cross the lines to minister to the churches. This time was different. The government barricade was staffed by a soldier who refused to let him pass. “Not today, Pastor. Something big is up, and we have had to close the barricade. You may not pass.” Photo: Jyotirmoy Gupta

Pastor Tana prayed, asked again, argued, prayed more, asked more clearly, and still the soldiers refused. Pastor Tana turned around, drove to a small park, and prayed more. Much more. “God, it seems You need my humble help today, but the soldiers disagree. What shall I do? Stay or go?” God’s answer was so clear that Pastor Tana thought there was someone with him in the car! “Go!” Pastor Tana went, his small yellow car bouncing over the muddy road back to the barricade. The soldiers and their superiors refused passage again. *** So Pastor Tana put his small yellow car in first gear and drove directly at the barricade. The soldiers shouted and warned. Pastor Tana shifted into second gear. More loud shouting. Third gear. Pastor Tana’s small car broke through the barricade! The breach was greeted by the soldiers firing bullets from machine guns at Pastor Tana’s car—and at Pastor Tana. However, the car sped on across the “no man’s land” toward the rebel barricade. A rocket propelled grenade now joined the weaponry, and the soldiers saw Pastor Tana’s car explode into burning shards of broken metal. The rebel soldiers lifted their barricade quickly as Pastor Tana, in his untouched car, arrived on the other side. Moments later Pastor Tana and the rebel leader met in rebel headquarters and Pastor Tana delivered the package from the prime minister of Australia. Nothing fancy; just “Here. The prime minister wants you to use this cell phone to call him. The directions are in the package. God bless. Must be important.” Pastor Tana smiled, prayed, then drove to a local market, where he purchased six bags of fresh groceries, only the finest! Pastor Tana waved to the rebel soldiers from his little yellow car. They

Pastor Tana prayed, asked again, argued, prayed more, asked more clearly, and still the soldiers refused. raised the barricade and let him pass. On the government side, the barricade stood broken, just as he had left it. Pastor Tana parked his car near the government command post, picked up two bags of groceries, and walked toward the soldiers who had tried to kill him about an hour before. The soldiers stood, as if frozen, against the back wall of the command center. Twice Pastor Tana returned to his car until he had delivered all six bags of groceries to the guards who still stood silently, mouths wide open. Finally, one of the soldiers spoke, his voice stammering with emotion. “We shot you. We killed you. We saw you and your car die. How are you still here?” “God needed me to cross today,” Pastor Tana replied. “I’m sorry that made it hard for you. I know you believe you destroyed my car and killed me. You did your job well, but God protected me. Please enjoy the fresh food.” The next week, after the battle was over and peace returned to the Solomon Islands, five of the government guards came to Pastor Tana and asked to learn more about the God who trades groceries for guns. All five accepted Jesus, and a number became leaders in the island churches.

Publisher The Adventist World, an international periodical of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The General Conference, Northern Asia-Pacific Division of Seventh-day Adventists®, is the publisher. Executive Editor/Director of Adventist Review Ministries Bill Knott International Publishing Manager Chun, Pyung Duk Adventist World Coordinating Committee Si Young Kim, chair; Yukata Inada; German Lust; Chun, Pyung Duk; Han, Suk Hee; Lyu, Dong Jin Associate Editors/Directors, Adventist Review Ministries Lael Caesar, Gerald A. Klingbeil, Greg Scott Editors based in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA Sandra Blackmer, Stephen Chavez, Costin Jordache, Wilona Karimabadi Editors based in Seoul, Korea Chun, Pyung Duk; Park, Jae Man; Kim, Hyo-Jun Digital Platform Manager Gabriel Begle Operations Manager Merle Poirier Editorial Assessment Coordinator Marvene Thorpe-Baptiste Editors-at-Large/Advisors Mark A. Finley, John M. Fowler, E. Edward Zinke Financial Manager Kimberly Brown Distribution Coordinator Sharon Tennyson Management Board Si Young Kim, chair; Bill Knott, secretary; Chun, Pyung Duk; Karnik Doukmetzian; Han, Suk Hee; Yutaka Inada; Gerald A. Klingbeil; Joel Tompkins; Ray Wahlen; Ex-officio: Juan Prestol-Puesán; G. T. Ng; Ted N. C. Wilson Art Direction and Design Types & Symbols To Writers: We welcome unsolicited manuscripts. Address all editorial correspondence to 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600, U.S.A. Editorial office fax number: (301) 680-6638 E-mail: Web site: Unless otherwise indicated, all Bible references are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission. Unless otherwise noted, all prominent photos are © Getty Images 2019. Adventist World is published monthly and printed simultaneously in Korea, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States. Vol. 15, No. 11

Dick Duerksen, a pastor and storyteller living in Portland, Oregon, United States, is known around the world as “an itinerant pollinator of grace.” November 2019


Growing Faith

Fun-filled page for younger ages


Saved by Angels?


eo Hallliwell steered the Luzeiro along the river. Jungle trees formed a green canopy overhead. Jack, Halliwell’s 15-year-old son, stared into the jungle hoping to see a jaguar, the “jungle leopard.” Overhead a brilliant red, blue, green, and yellow macaw flew by, squawking loudly. In the distance a woolly monkey howled. The boat’s engine slowed, and Jack noticed three well-dressed men waving at them from a canoe. “Hello!” one man called out. “Can you give us a tow upstream?” Halliwell, a missionary for many years, knew it was dangerous to give hitchhikers a ride, but something impressed him to stop. “Throw them a line, Jack,” he called to his son. Jack threw the men the rope, and the men tied it to their canoe. Two of the men climbed


November 2019

aboard while the other remained in their canoe. The two men stood beside Halliwell as he steered the boat up the river. Suddenly one of the men grabbed the wheel and turned it. The boat shuddered and moved suddenly away from the riverbank and out into the middle of the river. The sudden movement nearly threw Jack overboard. Halliwell stared out at the waters they would have crossed. Not seven meters (20 feet) from where they had been heading, the jagged points of hundreds of rocks lay just beneath the surface of the water. If the boat had hit those rocks, it would have been ripped apart. The missionaries might have lost their lives. “Whew!” Halliwell exclaimed to the man. “Thank you! You saved our boat and probably our lives!” The man smiled but said nothing as he steered the boat through the rocky waters.

“Thank you for the ride, sir,” he said. “If you stop, we’ll get out now.” Halliwell thought it was a strange place to stop because there were no signs of a village nearby. Nevertheless, he stopped the boat, and the two men climbed back into their canoe and pushed off into the current. “Watch where they go,” Halliwell called to Jack. “Dad, they’ve disappeared!” Jack called back. Halliwell turned from the wheel. The river was empty. There was no bend in the river, no ripples in the water. The three men and their canoe had disappeared. Were they angels? Halliwell thought so. What other explanation could there be? He and Jack thanked God for His mighty protection that day.

This story was first printed in the January 2013 edition of KidsView. Illustration: Xuan Le



Wedding CHARLESON– DEHN. Trent

Charleson, son of Peter and Shelly Charleson, and Emily Dehn, daughter of Robert and Sallyanne Dehn, were married on 30.9.19 in Martinsville, NSW. Trent and Emily met at Avondale College in 2016 and are now living in Western Australia, where Trent is a teacher and Emily is studying medicine. Alex Green

Hall–Rosenberg. Braydon James Hall, son of Llayton Hall and Sheree Ashton, and Sarah Joanne Rosenburg, daughter of Eldon and Suzanne Rosenberg were married on 15.9.19 in a beautiful outdoor setting surrounded by family and friends on Wilkinson Rd, Martinsville, NSW. Both bride and groom are professionally employed and will continue to live in the Cooranbong area. Wilfred Pascoe, Robert Fa’atoia Collins

Obituaries Kinghorn, Regi-

nald William, born 11.10.1929 in Orange, NSW: died 27.9.19 in St Catherine’s Nursing Home, Bathurst. On 11.10.1952 Reg married Shirley Stein in the Methodist Church, Penrith. Reg is survived by his wife; sons, Stephen (Nords Wharf) and David (Inverell); daughter, Kathryn Brady (Gosford); eight grandchildren, Joshua, Aron, Mathew, Jordan, Sarah, Michael, Sharyn and Kelly; and six great-grandchildren, Cooper, Eva, Koda, Pheonix, Alannah and Amelie. Reg served the local church as deacon, elder and pathfinder leader. As a volunteer, he worked with ADRA, throughout central west NSW, He received an award and a citation for his dedicated work. Reg was committed to his God. Errol Webster


Lindsay Walters, born 31.8.1929 in St Arnaud, Victoria; died 5.10.19 in Tweed Heads, NSW. On 9.5.1957 he married Phyllis Chasey in Ballarat, Vic. Lindsay was predeceased by his son, Glenn. He is survived by his wife (Cudgera Creek, NSW); daughters, Robyn and Robert Johnson (Nunderi), Christine (Brisbane,

Qld) and Kerryn and Cameron McMaster (Bilambil, NSW); son, Paul and Anne (Binna Burra); 10 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Lindsay had a strong faith. His work included farm labourer, beekeeper and grain, sheep, cattle and poultry farmer in Victoria and banana, cattle and sugar cane farmer in north NSW until his “retirement” to a small acreage at age 76. He was a long-serving deacon at Tumbulgum church. His sense of humour and good nature endeared him to all. Raymond Dabson, Errol Wright

VENES, Lachlan Ryan, born 8.3.02 in Victoria; died 4.6.19 in Mt Evelyn. Lochie is survived by his parents, Julie and Phil Venes; and sister, Kahlia (all of Mt Evelyn). While Lochie battled with the darkness in his short 17 years of life, the light was also evident in the way he loved his family. He wasn’t ashamed for his friends to know he had Christian parents and in the care he showed for the hurting and downtrodden. The packed funeral at Lilydale Church was a testimony to those Lochie had touched in a life cut so tragically short. While Lochie now rests, those who remain can show the light of God by living with purpose while waiting for Jesus. Soon He will make everything right. Darren Croft, Morrie Krieg WARREN, Sally Elizabeth (nee Carter), born 7.9.1957; died 21.9.19 in Calvary Mater Hospital, Newcastle, NSW. On 4.8.1978 she married Earl. Sally is survived by her husband (Bonnells Bay); children, Rebecca, Tabatha, Wade, Leah, Aaron, Lydia; and 14 grandchildren. In earlier years, Sally worked in shop management in Sydney and Bonnells Bay. She was known to be kind, generous, industrious and a homemaker extraordinaire. She described her children as “six bags of gold.” Sally bravely endured a terminal illness but her faith in God never wavered. Roger Nixon

expressions of interest from people who may be interested in becoming tenants in this much-needed facility. If you are interested or know of someone who could be interested, please contact us via email <> or < au> or phone (07) 3218 7777. A service provided by the South Queensland Conference.

Sabbath School PowerPoints 500 per cent greater attention and retention. Free downoads. <> <> (languages).

Next issue: AdventisT REcord, November 16

POSITIONS VACANT PERSONAL ASSISTANT (PARENTAL LEAVE) RINGWOOD, VIC We have an exciting opportunity for an experienced personal assistant to our Australian Union general secretary and CFO. This full-time maximum term parental leave position (20 January, 2020 to 29 January, 2021) is suited to someone who is organised and able to facilitate a productive office through the efficient processing of enquiries, documents, scheduling appointments, clerical work, and other administrative and business functions. The successful candidate would serve the secretariat and the CFO, be an excellent communicator with good work ethic, and enjoy taking on the dynamics of the day-to-day functions. Applicants must be practising baptised members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. For a position description and application requirements, please contact <>, people and culture manager, Seventh-day Adventist Church (AUC) Ltd. Applications close November 28, 2019.

POLICY & COMPLIANCE OFFICER WAHROONGA, NSW The South Pacific Division (SPD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church is seeking a highly skilled and experienced person to develop policy, procedures and programs, provide advice and monitor legal compliance within the workplace. This includes planning, directing and implementing compliance in the areas of health and safety, return to work, privacy and other employment legislative areas. For full selection criteria please visit the South Pacific Division’s human resources website <>. To apply, please send a cover letter, your CV, three work-related referees and the contact details of your church pastor, to: Human Resources, Seventh-day Adventist Church (SPD) Ltd, Locked Bag 2014, Wahroonga NSW, 2076 Australia. Email <>. Fax: 02 9489 0943. Applications close November 30, 2019. FOR MORE AVAILABLE POSITIONS VISIT:


Adventist Residential Care, Yooroonga at Victoria Point, Qld, is under construction right now, with an expected completion by mid-November 2019. Yooroonga will provide independent living for “younger” people who live with disabilities. We are seeking



Note: Neither the editor, Adventist Media, nor the Seventh-day Adventist Church is responsible for the quality of goods or services advertised. Publication does not indicate endorsement of a product or service. Classified advertisements in Adventist Record are available to Seventh-day Adventist members, churches and institutions only. All advertisements, appreciation, anniversary, wedding and obituary notices may be submitted via <ads@> or online at <>. Notices will not be reprinted unless there is an error of fact caused by Record staff. November 20199, 201931 November | Adventist record


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Profile for Adventist Record

Adventist World - November 2019  

Safe church | Creating an introvert-friendly church | Finding new paths in mission

Adventist World - November 2019  

Safe church | Creating an introvert-friendly church | Finding new paths in mission