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The International Paper for Seventh-day Adventists

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14 Waldensians and the Sabbath 24 Coming to a Device Near You 26 Moderation in Digital Technology ISSN 255003/09614


S e p te mb e r 2017

C O V E R

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F E AT U R E

Jesus and Media

People heard Jesus’ message because He spoke their language.

8 God’s Purpose for His Church W O R L D

F U N D A M E N T A L

B E L I E F S

By Marcos Blanco

Preparation for Christ’s return begins now.

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A D V E N T I S T

H E R I T A G E

Were the Waldensians Sabbathkeepers?

By P. Gerard Damsteegt

Reviewing the historical record

V I S T A

By Ted N. C. Wilson

Making the most of the gifts we’ve been given

10 How to Grow Spiritually D E V O T I O N A L

21 A Conversation With Ellen White S P I R I T

O F

P R O P H E C Y

What did she say about using media to preach the gospel?

22 New and Unusual Methods

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“When You See These Things . . .”

A D V E N T I S T

L I F E

By Hensley Moorooven

The furniture in the Old Testament sanctuary was all about knowing God better.

André Brink, associate editor for digital content, interviews Daryl Gungadoo about the church’s media opportunities.

D E PA RT M E N T S 3 W O R

L D

R E P O R T

24 F A S T C H A T Coming to a Device Near You

26 W O R L D H E A L T H Moderation in Digital Technology 27 

B I B L E Q U E S T I O N S A N S W E R E D

The Life of Discipline

www.adventistworld.org Available in 10 languages online

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Adventist World | September 2017

28 B I B L E S T U D Y Is Jesus Eternal? 29

I D E A

E X C H A N G E


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WORLD REPORT By Adventist World and Adventist News Network

Clyde Franz

Passes to His Rest

O F T H E

F R A N Z

F A M I LY

Former executive secretary is remembered as a quick wit, exemplary father, and model for healthful living.

C O U R T E S Y

hen believers who would ultimately unite under the name “Seventh-day Adventist” first began using that term in the early 1860s, they did so because of two key biblical ideas—the Sabbath and the second coming of Jesus. In the name given to the magazine around which the movement coalesced (the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, now Adventist Review) they would “review” the recent experience of expecting Jesus to return to earth about 1844, and “herald” the seventh-day Sabbath, given as one of the Ten Commandments, and honored by Jesus and His apostles. Both of these Bible truths were considered remarkably progressive—even radical—in the religious world of the mid-1800s. Resurrecting long-ignored Bible teachings was considered revolutionary by many other Christians, even though preserving scriptural truth is, at heart, a conservative endeavor. This dynamic—conserving Bible truth while leaning forward toward the Second Coming—has characterized the Advent movement for more than 150 years. Seventh-day Adventists have rightly insisted that every idea be tested by the teaching of Scripture, even as they adopted all possible new technologies— steam press, magazines, radio, television, film, the Internet, and social media—to share the three angels’ messages. This edition of Adventist World features the remarkable new technologies now being used by faithful Adventists to share the good news of Jesus. It also illustrates the developing partnerships between Adventist organizations, including Adventist Review Ministries, and individual believers with expertise in photography, podcasting, on-demand short-form video, virtual reality, and creative social media. Now, as perhaps never before, we begin to see the outlines of a global network of believers—some in church employ; most working in other businesses and industries— who harness all the tools available to share the full message of Jesus. In a November 1848 vision that launched the first journal—and thus, the dynamic world of Adventist media—Ellen White described the Advent message moving “like streams of light” around the world. Today, through a fascinating array of new technologies, that’s just the speed at which the truth is traveling.

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lyde O. Franz, retired Seventhday Adventist Church executive who oversaw membership statistics and missionary recruitment for international outposts, passed away on May 24, 2017, at the age of 104. Franz served as executive secretary of the denomination from 1970 to 1980.

A Life of Service

Franz was born on March 1, 1913, to self-supporting missionaries in Camagüey, Cuba. In 1932 he earned an accounting degree at Southern Clyde O. Franz, a retired Junior College, now Southern Advenexecutive secretary of the tist University, in Collegedale, TennesSeventh-day Adventist world see, United States. There church, passed away on May he met Lois Mae Clark. They were 24,2017, at the age of 104. married on June 2, 1935. Franz went on to serve as secretarytreasurer of several Adventist territories, including Alabama-Mississippi, Kentucky-Tennessee, Iowa, and the British West Indies Union. In the 1950s he served for two years as president in the Antillean Union Conference, based in Cuba. Franz also served as secretary of the Inter-American Division, based in Miami, Florida, from 1954 to 1961, then as the division’s treasurer until 1966. That same year, at the General Conference session in Detroit, Michigan, he was appointed associate executive secretary of the world church. Four years later he was appointed secretary, a position he held until his retirement in 1980. As secretary in the 1970s, Franz ran the department that was responsible for filling mission posts in an era before local leaders were appointed to most leadership roles. “In those days, unlike today, our number-one job was finding missionary recruits for divisions,” Franz said in an interview with Adventist News Network (ANN) when he turned 100 in 2013. Continued on next page

September 2017 | Adventist World

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WORLD REPORT Health and Longevity

When Franz turned 100, he shared that he didn’t have any secrets to longevity, other than being a vegetarian and living as a Seventh-day Adventist. “Clyde has been a model for all of us when it comes to healthy living,” said his family in a statement read at a recent service to celebrate his life. Indeed, Franz kept his mind sharp and his body fit well after turning 100. Even after living a century, he drove his car and walked for three kilometers (two miles) every day, his family said. He was a treasurer at heart—his top hobby, even at his retirement residence, was managing his own finances in a spare bedroom he converted into a study, complete with a computer and a copier. Franz, however, had another secret for a long and fruitful life. He believed observing the seventh-day Sabbath helped him. “It’s healthful, but it goes further than that. When we take the Sabbath off, we’re serving God,” he once said. Franz married three times. Each time he outlived his vow of “until death do us part.” He says that he enjoyed each marriage, but that after the third time, he decided to remain unmarried. His daughter shared another of Franz’s secrets for a long life: his sense of humor. “He loved telling little jokes,” she said. “We will certainly miss his jokes, lively conversations, and quick wit.” As for Franz himself, he was always aware of God’s guiding hand in his life. “I just can’t ignore the way the Lord has directed and led through all these years,” he said in the ANN interview four years ago. “I’ve been blessed beyond measure.” Clyde Franz is survived by a son, Chuck; a daughter, Sue Smith; four grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. n

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By Euro-Asia Division News

Adventist Elected to

State Advisory Body in Russia Religious liberty advocate will advise on interethnic and interreligious relations.

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representative of the Seventhday Adventist Church has been elected to the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation, a state advisory body. Oleg Y. Goncharov, a pastor who serves as public affairs and religious liberty director in the Euro-Asia Division, based in Moscow, will be a member of the chamber for a term that lasts from 2017 to 2020. Adventist leaders in the country believe this is a milestone for the Adventist Church in Russia. “For the first time, a representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was elected for such an important area of social and civil dialogue in Russia,” said church leaders in the region that includes the Russian Federation and other former Soviet-era nations. The results of the election to the advisory body were made public on June 6, 2017. The candidacy of Goncharov had garnered the support of the Russian Association for Protection of Religious Freedom (RARF) and other national and regional organizations, including the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Church leaders also believe Goncharov’s election is a nod to the work and status of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the country. “It certainly shows that in Russia society

and government leaders highly respect the Adventist Church,” they said. “It is a significant event in the life of our church.” In his candidacy statement Goncharov openly stated that he is a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, and mentioned his other religious liberty advocacy and public contributions. Only three positions were available for the 27 candidates who applied. With 57 votes, Goncharov placed third. According to the official site of the public chamber, the advisory body, created in 2005, works to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens and the interest of public organizations. Its stated mission is to create conditions for egalitarian dialogue between social actors and government officials. Church leaders see this as an opportunity for the Adventist Church in Russia. “As an official representative of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, it is a great opportunity for service,” they said, hoping that Goncharov will work to strengthen the status of religious organizations in the country. “[We expect him] to work to solve pressing problems that religious organizations may be going through in Russia,” church leaders said. n


B R Y K M A R I A

Participants listen to a presentation at the Reformation commemoration event at the Religious Freedom Center in Washington, D.C.

By Marcos Paseggi, senior correspondent, Adventist World

Preserving the Spirit

of the Reformation

Adventist-sponsored event commemorates its importance for religious freedom.

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eligious freedom scholars, advocates, and supporters met on June 1, 2017, at the Religious Freedom Center in Washington, D.C., to commemorate and discuss the implications of the Protestant Reformation for religious liberty and freedom of conscience. The one-day event, themed “Commemoration of the 500-year Anniversary of the Sixteenthth-Century Protestant Reformation: Conversations on the Reformation, Christian Identities, and Freedom of Conscience,” explored the connections between the watershed sixteenth-century event and the ongoing quest for freedom of conscience and worship. “The sixteenth-century world lived in the grip of fear, explaining every disease outbreak with all kinds of superstitions,” said Ganoune Diop, director of the Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department of the Adventist

dom was granted to states, not to individual persons,” he said. He added that such a path often ends in tragedy, resulting in violence and suffering. “Claim to truth must be paved with the individual freedom to believe or not.” While Luther was the most obvious reference in the commemoration talks, presenters also emphasized other forerunners of the principles of religious freedom and freedom of conscience. William Penn, founder of the state of Pennsylvania in the United States, was another name mentioned in reflecting on the trailblazers of the promotion of freedom of conscience. The early Quaker is credited with bringing and applying the principles of freedom of worship to America in the seventeenth century. An Adventist Approach

Church, which cosponsored the event. People would ask how could they ever be righteous before God, he said. “The Protestant Reformation was an answer to those questions,” Diop explained. People Who Made a Difference

In compact, 15-minute presentations, scholars from different Christian traditions emphasized the trailblazers and ideas that changed the religious landscape forever. The presenters also focused on less wellknown, even contradictory, approaches, of some of the Reformers. “The kingdom of God was central to [Martin Luther’s] beliefs,” said Diop. “His theology expected the end of the world. So in this doctrine, too, he was a Reformer.” Diop also pointed out that while Luther’s work opened ways for the freedoms we enjoy today, there was a long way to go. “At first religious free-

Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the General Conference of the Seventhday Adventist Church, summarized the specific Adventist contribution to freedom of conscience and worship. “Believing that we are created in the image of God is the basis of human dignity,” Wilson said. “All human beings are endowed with dignity and infinite worth, and human conscience is an essential part of it.” Wilson explained that such emphasis is ingrained in the character of God Himself. “Seventh-day Adventist pioneers believed that acting according to one’s conscience is an inalienable right,” Wilson said. Freedom of conscience is a universal right.” An Ongoing Process

It is difficult to trace a straight line from the Reformation to our current Continued on next page

September 2017 | Adventist World

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WORLD REPORT focus on religious freedom, said Neville Callam, general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance. It must be remembered, however, that “any alliance with secular powers will eventually force us to submit to one of those powers,” he said. “It is one of the reasons the Reformation needs to keep informing our witness and our life.”

César García, general secretary of the Mennonite World Conference, concurred. “Using politicians to support Christianism affects the ability of the churches,” he said. “To know the truth always implies a voluntary decision.” This ongoing commitment should inform everything we do in the present,

By Northern Asia-Pacific News

Adventist Magazine

Granted Legacy Status

Local edition of Signs of the Times is now a Seoul Future Heritage item.

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Seventh-day Adventist magazine in Korea was recently granted legacy status. The Korean edition of Signs of the Times was selected as a Seoul Future Heritage item, the only publication so named in 2017. The Seoul Future Heritage label, launched in 2013, is awarded to any cultural asset worthy of remaining for future generations, according to officials of Seoul. The monthly Signs of the Times magazine is published by Sijosa, the Adventist publishing house in the country. It is unofficially the oldest periodical in Korea, the first issue published in 1910. “[As the magazine] was the only publication among the 54 items selected in 2017, it is a joy for Korean Adventists, and we give glory to God,” said regional church leaders. “Perhaps the most meaningful thing is that citizens of Seoul were the ones who nomi-

nated the magazine for the award.” As part of the selection process, the Future Heritage Preservation Committee visited Sijosa in December 2016 before a final decision was reached. In January city officials delivered the certificate to Sijosa in a special ceremony. A copper plaque was installed in front of the building, certifying that the magazine is now a Seoul Future Heritage item. In March, Sijosa began to include a Seoul Future Heritage symbol on the cover of the magazine. “Achieving future heritage status means that the Korean society officially approves the value of the magazine,” said regional church leaders. “It is a heritage based on the social and emotional well-being of citizens. . . . Above all, it confirms the message that the Adventist Church enlightens society and enhances the dignity and value of human beings.” Being selected as a Seoul Future

not only in church but especially outside of it, said Gretchen Castle, General Secretary of the Friends World Committee for Consultation. “[We] desire a church that is always reformed and reforming,” she said. “This is our spiritual imperative—to act and be active, to take risks for social change, and to choose to love.” n

Heritage item has raised the status of the magazine, said church leaders, who believe the Adventist message now has greater influence. It has also encouraged the work of literature evangelists, who can now recommend the magazine to people. More people seem to notice it. Chung Sye Kyun, speaker of the National Assembly, noticed the magazine after its selection and is now sharing it with his peers. Sijosa president Kil Soo Um said he felt overwhelmed to see God’s guiding hand in the selection process of the magazine, and highlighted the crucial role of the publication. “Signs of the Times is a seed of everlasting life for people we often cannot meet face to face,” Um said. n

The Korean edition of Signs of the Times magazine was selected as a Seoul Future Heritage item, and awarded that status in a special ceremony in January 2017. N O R T H E R N

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A S I A - PA C I F I C

D I V I S I O N


I N T E R - A M E R I C A N

D I V I S I O N

José Daniel Sánchez (with son, Jose Daniel, Jr., and wife, Virginia) served as a spiritual counselor to Manuel Noriega, former leader of Panama, after Noriega was extradited to Panama to serve the rest of this prison term. Noriega died in May 2017.

By Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

Adventist Pastor Remembers

Former Dictator

Manuel Noriega, 83, passed away in a Panamanian prison.

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rom the moment he found out that Manuel Noriega, a former military dictator in Panama serving a sentence in France, was going to be extradited back to Panama in 2011, José Daniel Sánchez, a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, knew he wanted to meet him. Noriega, 83, who passed away in a Panamanian prison on May 29, 2017, was captured when the United States invaded Panama in 1989. He was sentenced to prison for drug trafficking, money laundering, and other charges. Noriega served 17 years in the Federal Correctional Institution in Miami until 2007, then served a sentence in France. Sánchez had read about Noriega’s conversion and baptism into the

Seventh-day Adventist Church in a 2011 companion book to the Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide, published by the Adventist Church. In it author Tim Crosby described the details that led Noriega to accept Jesus as his Savior in federal prison in 1992. “I wanted to be a witness to such a transformation in Jesus, and wanted to meet him,” said Sánchez in a telephone interview after Noriega’s death. A native of Honduras and a second-generation Seventh-day Adventist, Sánchez was serving as a district pastor in Panama City in 2012 and involved in prison ministries. With clearance from local church leaders, Sánchez, who had been ministering in

the El Renacer Penitentiary, 25 kilometers (16 miles) southeast of Panama City, met Noriega. “I visited him dozens of times to study the Bible, pray, and minister to him,” he said. “We spoke about the true Sabbath, God’s forgiving power, and His mercy,” said Sánchez. “Noriega told me that he loved to study and learn more about Jesus. ‘I am a different person since I have given my life to Christ,’ Noriega told me. ‘I talk to God every day, and I know Jesus is my Savior who has forgiven my many sins; it is to Him I confess them to.’” “Many people are still hurt and angry by the things Noriega did when he was in power,” said Sánchez. “We must remember that our mission is to be instruments in the hands of God to take the gospel to everyone, no matter what level of sin they have committed, so they can go to Jesus and be restored by our Redeemer and Savior.” Sánchez last met with Noriega in early 2016. “After studying and praying, Noriega gave me a hug as he cried and asked me: ‘Pray so that when I get out, I can worship in your church.’ ” n

September 2017 | Adventist World

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W O R L D

V I S T A

the truths that were to move the world,” wrote Ellen White. “These men He purposed to train and educate as the leaders of His church. They in turn were to educate others and send them out with the gospel message. That they might have success in their work they were to be given the power of the Holy Spirit. Not by human might or human wisdom was the gospel to be proclaimed, but by the power of God.”3

Deliberate Action

By Ted N. C. Wilson

’ Gods

Purpose for His Church Implementing mission

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hen you hear the word “church,” what immediately comes to mind? A building? A group of believers? A denomination? An invisible entity? As Bible-believing Seventh-day Adventists, we believe that God has a visible church on earth, and that He has a specific purpose for His church.1 At the beginning of the book The Acts of the Apostles we are told clearly and succinctly what that purpose is: “The church is God’s appointed agency for

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the salvation of [men and women]. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world.”2 So right at the beginning of the Christian Era we see that organization, service, and mission were to be at the very heart of God’s church. Christ Himself organized His church for service and mission. He is the one who chose and trained its first leaders. “Passing by the self-righteous Jewish teachers, the Master Worker chose humble, unlearned men to proclaim

Here we see a very deliberate action by Christ Himself to train and educate leaders, who were then to train others to be sent out with the gospel message. This work was not to be carried out in a random, haphazard way. In his article “A Biblical Basis for Church Governance and Authority” Elias Brasil de Souza, director of the Biblical Research Institute, writes that “before ascending to heaven, Jesus said: ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth’ (Matt. 28:18). It was on the basis of this authority that Jesus granted the church the authority to carry out the mission. Therefore, the authority of the church is derived from Jesus (Matt. 16:19; 18:18; John 20:21, 22) and is to be exercised in harmony with God’s Word. “Based on this conviction, the apostolic church established a system of church governance—including that of ordaining leaders as Christ had ordained His 12 disciples—in order to advance the mission entrusted to them by the risen Lord. . . . A system of church authority and governance is required in order to maintain doctrinal unity and to implement the mission of the church.”4 In setting up His church, Christ had the authority to choose its leaders, to organize it in the best way for carrying out its mission, and to give it authority to govern and maintain unity. L D S

M E D I A


The Promised Gift

Even after three and a half years of intensive training with Jesus, Christ’s chosen leaders were not yet fully prepared to carry out their mission until they received the promised outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus, in His final instructions to His disciples, urged them to “tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). Christ knew that no matter how good their intentions or how strong their determination, their work would be fruitless until they experienced Pentecost and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The same is true for us today. God has given us a worldwide church organization that is set up for service and mission. But He is waiting for us to be ready to receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit so that we will be fully equipped to carry out His mission. Ellen White observed: “It was after the disciples had come into perfect unity. . . that the Spirit was poured out. . . . All differences had been put away. . . . The disciples did not ask for a blessing for themselves. They were weighted with the burden of souls. The gospel was to be carried to the ends of the earth, and they claimed the endowment of power that Christ had promised. Then it was that the Holy Spirit was poured out, and thousands were converted in a day.”5 “So It May Be Now”

Ellen White continues with this wonderful promise: “So it may be now. Let Christians put away all dissension and give themselves to God for the saving of the lost. Let them ask in faith for the promised blessing, and it will come.”6 Our great need today as God’s people, as God’s church, is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the coming of the promised “latter rain” so that

“What if, instead of being weighted down with the burden of disagreements in the family or the church, we were instead ‘weighted with the burden of souls’?” we are empowered to finish the work. So what is holding us back from receiving this promised blessing? Could it be that we have not yet come to the “unity of the faith”? Might God be waiting for us to put all differences away, and instead of focusing inwardly on concerns, to focus on our Godgiven mission to save the lost? What if, instead of being weighted down with the burden of disagreements in the family or the church, we were instead “weighted with the burden of souls”? What if we prayed every morning, “Lord, use me today in Total Member Involvement to reach someone for You”? Something Monumental

We are living in amazing times. Those who are in tune with Bible prophecy and events both in and outside the Seventh-day Adventist Church realize that God is doing something unusual. People are hungering for truth; they are longing for something better than what the world has to offer. There is a real sense that the world is on the precipice of something monumental. As we realize the nearness of the Second Coming, the urgency of proclaiming the three angels’ messages comes into sharp focus. The cry must go out to every nation, tribe, tongue,

and people: “Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water” (Rev. 14:7). When we humble ourselves before God through the power of the Holy Spirit, earnestly pray for His guidance, seek His Word, give up our own personal agendas, and allow God to lead us to truth, then He will bring us into a much closer relationship with Him and with each other so that we can help to finish His work here on earth. I invite you to pray as you have never prayed before. One day soon, when we see Christ coming, we will look up and say, “This is the God we have waited for.” Christ will look down and say, “Well done, good and faithful servants; enter into the joy of your Lord.” We will rise to meet the Lord in the air! Let’s dedicate our lives, energies, talents, resources, and time to finishing God’s work so that we can go home. God has promised to give us His power to finish His work. He will pour out the latter rain to proclaim the three angels’ messages and finish His work as a united church. n 1 For an explanation of this fundamental belief of the Seventhday Adventist Church, see “The Church” at: https://www. adventist.org/en/beliefs/church/the-church/. 2 Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1911), p. 9. 3 Ibid., p. 17. 4 Elias Brasil de Souza, “A Biblical Basis for Church Governance and Authority,” Adventist World, April 2017, http://www. adventistworld.org/2017/04/05/a-biblical-basis-for-churchgovernance-and-authority-built-on-a-solid-foundation/. 5 Ellen G. White, Counsels for the Church (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1991), p. 98. 6 Ibid., pp. 98, 99.

Ted N. C. Wilson is presi-

dent of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Additional articles and commentaries are available from the president’s office on Twitter: @pastortedwilson, and on Facebook: @PastorTedWilson.

September 2017 | Adventist World

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eople often come to me asking how they can grow spiritually and have a more intimate relationship with Jesus. Most of us know what to do and what not to do, but we still find ourselves struggling to live our convictions. At times we may feel discouraged and distressed. The clearest answer I have found to this important question is linked to three furniture pieces found in the holy place of the sanctuary. Let’s look at each one of them.

By Hensley Moorooven

How to Grow

Spiritually Object lessons from three pieces of sanctuary furniture

The Table of Showbread Ex. 25:23-30; 37:10-16

The table of showbread was a small table made of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold. It held 12 loaves of bread, representing the 12 tribes of Israel. The priests baked the bread with fine flour, and it remained on the table before the Lord for a week. Every Sabbath the priests would remove it and eat it in the holy place, then put fresh bread on the table. The “showbread” was also called “bread of the presence” because it was to be always in the Lord’s presence. The table and the bread were a picture of God’s willingness to fellowship with humanity. At the fellowship table we commune with God through His Word. We need more than physical food, as Jesus said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).

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Spiritual growth requires active engagement with the Word of God. As we read a verse and meditate upon it, we try to apply its message to our lives. We ask ourselves, “What is this verse telling me?” Then it’s our time to talk. We tell God what we think about the message and how it applies to our lives. We are not in a hurry. We enjoy every minute of our conversation with Jesus. It’s not a duty or a burden, but rather an opportunity to receive God’s wonderful promises personally. Another approach that helps us enjoy reading and studying the Bible is to read it using “I” every time it says “we.” We place our own lives in the pages of the Bible. We pretend that God is talking to us individually. For example, Romans 8:31—“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be

against us?” (NIV)—may sound like this: “What, then shall I say in response to these things? If God is for me, who can be against me?” Then we tell God all the challenges that we face. We share the fears, doubts, and uncertainties that we struggle with, and close by saying that despite all these things, we believe that if God is with us, nothing will prevail against us. Notice there were no chairs at this table. As we are fed we cannot sit back and enjoy the “good life.” There is work to do. We are sustained for service. The Altar of Incense Ex. 30:1-10; 37:25-28

The golden altar of incense sat in front of the curtain that separated the holy place from the Most Holy Place. It was also made of acacia wood and overlaid with pure gold. I L L U S T R AT I O N S :

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God commanded the priests to burn incense on the altar every morning and evening. The incense was to be left burning continually throughout the day and night as a pleasing aroma to the Lord. It was made of equal parts of four precious spices (stacte, onycha, galbanum, and frankincense) and was considered holy. God commanded the Israelites not to use the same formula outside the tabernacle to make perfume for their own consumption; otherwise, they were to be cut off from their people (Ex. 30:34-38). The incense was a symbol of the prayers and intercession of the people going up to God as a sweet fragrance. The picture of prayers wafting up to heaven like incense is captured in this psalm: “May my prayer be set before you as incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice” (Ps. 141:2, NIV). Prayer is foundational for spiritual growth. Here are some practical pointers to a vibrant prayer life: 1. Choose a particular time, preferably before you start with the activities of the day. 2. Choose a place—if possible, a quiet place with no distractions. 3. Keep in mind the purpose of this time. This is time to commune with God, not to prepare a Bible study or church program. 4. Take time to pray. You may choose to adopt the ACTS principle:

Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplications. 5. Read your Bible or other devotional books. 6. Determine how much time you want to spend with God. Remember that in 24 hours there are 96 segments of 15 minutes. You can start by giving one of those segments to God! Now, just start and persevere. Don’t get discouraged if occasionally some obstacles interfere with your plans. Whereas the table of showbread is where God speaks to us and nourishes us, the altar of incense is where we speak to God. The Lampstand Ex. 25:31-36; 37:17-24

The “golden lampstand,” or “candlestick,” was hammered out of one piece of pure gold. The lampstand had a central branch from which three branches extended from each side, forming a total of seven branches. Priests were instructed to keep the lamps burning continuously. Jesus is represented by the main branch of the lampstand, and we believers are represented by the six branches that extend from the original branch. As believers we live as “children of light” (Eph. 5:8), who draw their source of light from Jesus, the true light. Jesus calls us “the light of the world” and commands us to “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and

glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:14, 16). True spiritual growth involves sharing our faith with others and testifying about what the Lord has done for us. We may seek friends in the neighborhood, or at work, or in school, and, without formalities or hypocrisy, tell them about what Christ means to us; what He brings to our lives; how He helps us in our daily activities; and how He has given us peace. We shouldn’t worry about methods and theories. Just being a friend and introducing others to our Best Friend, Jesus, will make the difference. We can share with them our faith journey and the changes Jesus has brought into our own lives. Notice that in the holy place there is no light except from this lampstand. In our lives there should be no light but God’s light enabling us to be the light of the world. Daily study of God’s Word, a vibrant prayer life, and the joy of sharing our faith with others will result in spiritual growth and a personal and close relationship with Jesus. n

Hensley Moorooven,

originally from Mauritius, serves as an associate secretary at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He lives with his family in Maryland, United States.

September 2017 | Adventist World

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F U N D A M E N T A L

B E L I E F S

NUMBER 25

“When You

I

was in the Philippines enjoying a lively conversation about prophecies with friends hailing from different continents when one of them asked me about the role of the new Roman Catholic pope in the context of endtime prophecies, since he is Argentinean, like me. I was improvising a rather general answer, when another friend said: “Anyway, we are a heartbeat away from the Second Coming, since all of us may pass away suddenly. The next time we open our eyes we hope will be at the Second Coming.” It wasn’t the first time I got such an answer; I have heard the same line of thought repeatedly. The main point of this argument is that the prophetic times we are living in do not matter that much; rather that we need to be personally prepared for our death. This argument, however, fails to differentiate two different perspectives of anticipating last days events. Scholars have long recognized that eschatology—the doctrine of the last things—involves two main dimensions: individual and cosmic. Let’s review both of them, focusing particularly on the relevance of cosmic eschatology.

Individual Eschatology

Individual eschatology refers to the destiny of individual believers after death. Jesus not only compared the intermediate state between an individual’s death and resurrection morning to an unconscious sleep (John 11:11, 14), but He also emphasized that both those who are believers and those who are wicked will receive their reward after resurrection (John 5:28, 29; Matt. 25:46; cf. Luke 14:14). Christ explained, however, that our final destiny after resurrection is being decided while we are still living here on earth. He highlighted the necessity of being prepared for death, since our eternal destiny depends on this preparation. Jesus told a parable about a rich man whose main concern was to figure out how to store his crops so he could live a carefree life later. “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ ” (Luke 12:20, NIV). According to Jesus, then, we must be prepared for a sudden end of our existence, since eternal life depends on the decisions we make here, and the priorities we have set

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See

By Marcos Blanco

These Things . . .”

Balancing personal and collective dimensions of last-day events in our daily living. The focus of this passage is on the personal timing—with no reference to the historical timing of cosmic events. Jesus, however, also referred to a second sphere: cosmic eschatology. Cosmic Eschatology

Jesus’ best-known reference to cosmic eschatology is found in His discourse on the Mount of Olives (Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21). This sermon focusing on last things came in response to the disciples’ question about the signs of the time of the end. Jesus’ sermon covers the uninterrupted, historical continuous from His days until the Second Coming and beyond. Among the Gospels, the Gospel of Luke places more emphasis on this historical unfolding of last days prophecies. For example, Jesus mentions that the “abomination of desolation” would be fulfilled in the historical siege of Jerusalem by military forces (Luke 21:20) and that it would be followed by “the times of the Gentiles” (verse 24), characterized by distressful times for God’s people. Immediately after that, Luke lists the cosmic signs that preannounce Christ’s second coming (verses 25-28). It seems clear that Luke focuses on the historical course of last days prophecies. In the context of this historical unfolding of these prophecies, Jesus emphasized the necessity of being prepared for His second coming—a real, literal, historical event in the end-time. What is more, Christ compares the unexpectedness of the Second Coming to the Flood, which


Prophecy reveals that the end-time remnant would be raised in a specific time of history. found people unprepared (Matt. 24:37-39). Since no one knows the day and hour of His second coming (verse 36), the right attitude for believers is to “take heed, watch and pray” (Mark 13:33). Jesus’ second appearing, however, cannot happen at any given moment, because Jesus emphasized that some prophecies must be first fulfilled, such as the coming of the “abomination of desolation” (Matt. 24:15), the “great tribulation” (verse 21), the preaching of the gospel to all the world; “then the end will come” (verse 14). Christ’s main concern in this discourse was to sketch a rough divine schedule for end-time prophecies, so that people living at the end of time can be prepared for this climactic event. In reality, the preparedness for a person’s death is different from the preparedness for the Second Coming. While the former can happen at any moment— regardless of the historical time or the prophetic schedule—the latter, although unexpected, will happen only after some historical prophecies are fulfilled. Why Cosmic Eschatology Matters

“If, as believers, we must be daily prepared for an unexpected death, which can happen at any time,” some may say, “why should we be worried about cosmic eschatology? After all, if we are ready to die, we are also ready for the Second Coming.” First, it’s important to remember that Christ Himself distinguished both kinds of readiness. Judging by the number of times He repeated the need to be prepared for the Second Coming, He highlighted the preparation for the cosmic event in contrast to the individual one. Besides, cosmic eschatology is closely linked to our identity and mission as God’s end-time remnant. Prophecy reveals that the end-time remnant would be raised in a specific time of history—after the end of the persecution of the saints by the little horn (Dan. 7; 8) and just before the Second Coming—to proclaim the closeness of the hour of God’s judgment (Rev. 14:7) and the imminence of the very end of time. Therefore, the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14 constitute the very mission of the end-time remnant.

The core of this message is God’s last call to be ready for Jesus’ second coming. In other words, cosmic eschatology tells us who we are, in which moment of salvation history we are living, and what our mission is in the context of the great controversy between Christ and Satan. We must be ready for both an imminent death and an imminent Second Coming. Our eternal destiny is closely linked to individual eschatology, but also to cosmic eschatology. If we fail to see the latter, we will lose our identity and mission as well. n

Marcos Blanco serves as the editor in chief of the South American Spanish Publishing House (ACES) and lives with his family in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is finishing a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology.

The Second Coming of

Christ

The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel. The Savior’s coming will be literal, personal, visible, and worldwide. When He returns, the righteous dead will be resurrected, and together with the righteous living will be glorified and taken to heaven, but the unrighteous will die. The almost complete fulfillment of most lines of prophecy, together with the present condition of the world, indicates that Christ’s coming is near. The time of that event has not been revealed, and we are therefore exhorted to be ready at all times. (Matt. 24; Mark 13; Luke 21; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 5:1-6; 2 Thess. 1:7-10; 2:8; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; Titus 2:13; Heb. 9:28; Rev. 1:7; 14:14-20; 19:11-21.)

Noveember September 2017 | Adventist World

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eventh-day Adventists have traditionally held a special affinity for the Waldensians, who, during a time of religious oppression, preserved and shared the Scriptures despite grim consequences. Adventists share a sense of comradery with this group for another reason, too. Ellen White shares “Through ages of darkness and apostasy there were Waldenses . . . who kept the true Sabbath.”1 While touring Torre Pellice, one of the group’s major centers in the foothills of the northern Italian Alps, Adventists often ask about Waldensian Sabbathkeeping practices. They are disappointed to hear that early Waldensians always observed Sunday; that there is no proof of them worshipping on Sabbath. Recently, however, new evidence has come to light. Who Are the Waldensians?

Early Waldensians were members of a reformation movement in Europe, specifically the Alpine regions of Spain, France, and Italy, during the high Middle Ages. Considered forerunners of the Protestant Reformation by various historians,2 the Waldensians stressed the importance of adhering strictly to the teachings of the Bible as the only rule of faith. Finding that many teachings and practices of the Roman Church were based more on tradition than Scripture, they rejected these doctrines and rituals, calling believers to return to the simplicity of the New Testament lifestyle and the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. The church investigated the Waldensians’ teachings at the Third Lateran Council (1179) and condemned the believers as heretics.3 Subsequent councils repeated this condemnation of heresy, bringing severe persecution, and causing them to flee to more hospitable locations. As a result, their teachings spread to far-flung regions of Europe. Unlike

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By P. Gerard Damsteegt

Were the Waldensians

Sabbathkeepers? other reform-minded groups, the Waldensians did not disappear, nor were they absorbed into other movements, but have continued their presence until today. Sabbath Observance Among Waldensians

Seventh-day Adventists have been particularly interested in this movement, because many Protestants see them as a connecting link between the early church and the Protestant Reformation. Of special interest to Adventists is their practice of Sabbathkeeping, as already noted. Based on Ellen White’s statement in The Great Controversy, Adventists have believed that some Waldensians kept the Sabbath, but not necessarily a sizable group. In response, the Waldensians, and even some Adventists, have said that Ellen White was not a historian. One Adventist historian has even gone so far as to suggest that The Great Controversy needs to be revised and brought up-to-date with present scholarship, because there is no pri-

mary source evidence for Waldensian Sabbath observance. A Quest for Evidence

For several years I have researched, with the help of graduate students, archaic sources from European libraries for evidence of Sabbathkeeping among the Waldensians. Such research is challenging because Waldensian documents themselves have been burned or otherwise destroyed through centuries of persecution.4 The only evidence one finds comes from the mouths of their inquisitors, who often portray them as a heretical movement. One of the primary sources of evidence of Waldensian Sabbathkeeping during the first half of the thirteenth century comes from a collection of five books written against the Cathars and Waldensians about 1241-1244 by Dominican inquisitor Father Moneta of Cremona in northern Italy. Moneta passionately defended himself against criticism from Waldensians and Cathars that Catholics were transgressors of the Sabbath commandment. In the chapter De P H O T O S :

C H E R Y L

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Left: The College of the Barbes (Waldensian itinerant preachers) in Pra del Torno. Below: The entrance to a cave in the Valley of Angrogna used by the Waldensians to hide to escape religious persecution.

Sabbato, et De Die Dominico he discussed the significance of the seventhday Sabbath of Exodus 20:8, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy,” and contrasted it with the value of the Lord’s day, his term for the first day of the week.5 Anti-Sabbath Arguments Against Waldensians

Moneta claimed that the Sabbath was for the Jews, pointing out that it was a memorial of Creation and of their liberation from Egypt. The Jewish Sabbath, he said, was “a sign and figure of the spiritual Sabbath of the Christian people. . . . It must be understood, however, that as the Jews observed the Sabbath, so also, we observe the Lord’s day.” He added, “this day we observe as an ordinance of the Church, and it is in reverence to Christ who was born on that day, who rose on that day, who sent the Holy Spirit on that day.” Moneta continued his dispute by referring to Galatians 4:10, 11, stating, “It is sin to observe days.” He continued by pointing out that circumcision “will be of no benefit to you” (Gal. 5:2,

3, NASB),6 and neither would Sabbathkeeping. Moneta concluded by quoting Colossians 2:16, commenting that “days related to Jewish festivals are not observed, on the contrary, the days instituted by the Church, and that is it.”7 Moneta’s treatise clearly shows that a sizable group of Waldensians and Cathars in northern Italy and southern France during the thirteenth century were worshipping on a day other than Sunday, namely, the seventh-day Sabbath. Ironically, Moneta’s Catholic arguments against Sabbathkeeping were used by Waldensians toward Adventists after Adventists began sharing the long-forgotten Sabbath truth with them. Sizable Sabbathkeeping Group

Sabbathkeeping among Waldensians was most widespread in Bohemia and Moravia, places to which they fled during papal persecution. A fifteenthcentury manuscript, published by church historian Johann Döllinger in History of the Sects, reports that Waldensians in Bohemia “do not celebrate the feasts of the blessed virgin Mary and the Apostles, except the Lord’s day. Not a few celebrate the Sabbath with the Jews.”8 These evidences from such primary sources clearly show that Sabbathkeeping was a practice among a good segment of Waldensians in the thirteenth century, continuing into the fifteenth century. They also confirm the validity of The Great Controversy’s account of Sabbathkeeping among early Waldensians. What led the Waldensians of northern Italy to give up Sabbathkeeping? The answer goes back to the time of the Reformation. In 1532, at a meeting between Waldensians and

representatives of the French Reformation, held in the Valley of Angrogna, most of the Waldensians voted to join the French Reformation. Consequently, they stopped training their itinerant preachers, or “barbes,” at the College of the Barbes in Pra del Torno and instead sent their pastoral candidates to Geneva, Switzerland, to be educated by John Calvin and his associates. Calvin believed that the Sabbath still had spiritual significance, but that the literal seventh day was ceremonial and a shadow, basing his view on the same scriptural passages as the inquisitor had used against the Waldensians.9 The new generation of pastors educated under Calvin no longer taught the seventh-day Sabbath, but Sunday, as the day of worship. These significant findings of Waldensian Sabbathkeeping invite further investigation into manuscripts prior to the twelfth century that may bring to light even more evidence about Sabbathkeeping among early Protestants in Italy and France. n 1 Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1911), p. 65. 2 See, e.g., Earle E. Cairns, Christianity Through the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), p. 221. 3 http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09017b.htm (accessed Jan. 23, 2017);http://www.catholic.org/encyclopedia/view. php?id=6882 (accessed Jan. 23, 2017). 4 See James Hastings, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1954), Vol. XII, p. 665. 5 Moneta and Tommaso Agostino Ricchini, Venerabilis Patris Monetæ Cremonensis ordinis prædicatorum S. P. Dominico Æqualis adversus Catharos et Valdenses libri quinque: Quos ex manuscriptis codd. Vaticano, Bononiensi, ac Neapolitano (Rome: 1743; reprinted, Ridgewood, N.J.: 1964), pp. 475-477. 6 Scripture quotations marked 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. 7 Moneta and Ricchini, pp. 476, 477. 8 Johann Döllinger, Beiträge zur Sektengeschichte des Mittelalters (Munich: Beck, 1890), Vol. II, p. 662. 9 John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536), trans. Ford L. Battles (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), p. 23.

P. Gerard Damsteegt is

an associate professor of church history at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University.

September 2017 | Adventist World Noveember

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hat if Jesus used popular stories as parables of God’s kingdom, even if they presented some theological questions? Well, actually, He did. And I suggest we should learn from Jesus’ methods in the first century as we fulfill our mission to present the same kingdom in the twenty-first. Jesus’ disciples and other Jews of the time believed that rich people would certainly go to heaven while those who were poor probably would not. Jesus tried to correct this misconception in His sermons, but people still didn’t understand (Matt. 19:2326). So He took a well-known story and switched the ending, which made a strong impression on His listeners. As a result, they likely remembered it the rest of their lives. It was the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). The Bible teaches that the dead are asleep and cannot have conversations (Eccl. 9:5, 6; Ps. 115:17, 18; Ps. 6:5). It also teaches that “hell” is not a place of eternally burning punishment. Jesus still used this popular story, however, to teach the people, despite these errors. He used it because His listeners knew the story. By using it to explain the kingdom of God, the Savior etched truth in their minds forever. Every time they remembered the theme they would now interpret it differently. Today’s media has made many stories known by most of the world’s population. Films such as Titanic or popular television series have been watched by billions of people around the globe. What if we were to follow the example of Jesus and use these well-known stories as parables of the kingdom of God? What would this look like? How could we turn the story of the Titanic, made into a 1997 movie, for example, into a parable of the kingdom? Based on the movie’s story theme of a man who sacrificed

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Jesus &

By Samuel Neves

Media

Would He shun it or embrace it?

his life to save that of the woman he loved, we could say: “Imagine that someone loved you so much that they willingly gave their life so you could be rescued and live? That’s what God has done for you in Jesus.” Then there are TV programs or movies that focus on strong bonds of friendship. Referring to such programs, perhaps we could ask thought-provoking questions like: “What if there was a community of people who accepted you exactly as you are and loved you enough to help you become better? That’s what my church looks like as we are trying to become like Jesus.” As the articles that follow show, we have many media formats available today—Internet, film, photography, podcasting—to help us share those stories, not only with those in our

own communities but also with every “nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6). Every well-known story might be used and shared creatively to serve as a parable of the kingdom of God. This may sound revolutionary—even contradictory—but there is nothing new here. For centuries evangelists have led people to Jesus from the known to the unknown, from stories people were familiar with to the truth they didn’t yet recognize or understand. Let’s not be transformed by the world, but let us consider adapting the human-interest stories the world already knows to help proclaim the truth of God’s kingdom. n

Samuel Neves is an

associate director of the Communication Department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

P H O T O S :

J E S U S : I N T E L L E C T U A L R E S E R V E , I N C / L D S M E D I A , P H O N E : M E D I A L O O T. C O M


C O U R T E S Y

O F T H E

A U T H O R

Glorifying od in

G

Everything By Andile Masuku

We’re all in the chase for glory. The only question is Whose? As a business professional turned broadcaster, I must confess that I have often entertained a self-congratulatory attitude for establishing a successful media career. Through prayerful introspection, however, I have learned that this, in part, is the result of my desire to compensate for the stuttering younger version of myself who suffered three traumatic years in Asia in the early 1990s. I struggled to “feel normal” amid flawed racial stereotypes and racial slurs slung at me by children on the playground. It has taken years for me to acknowledge to what extent that experience has reinforced my lack of faith in the ability and willingness of nonAfricans to tell accurate stories about the continent of Africa. They don’t always adequately articulate our people’s values and convictions or promote African interests on the world stage. That, in turn, has fueled a jus-

A former business professional turned broadcaster, Masuku says his mission is to use media to glorify God.

tice complex, which I now rely heavily on God to keep in check. I now appreciate that every time someone chooses to watch or listen to programming I’ve produced or hosted, it is Jesus Christ who should shine through my work. I haven’t always been open to God’s desire to merge the man I like to think I am and the one He desires me to be into one sanctified being. I’m embarrassed to admit how much time and energy I’ve spent masking my flaws and reducing my work as a media maker to a means of gaining validation through fame and fortune. I unwittingly was substituting my per-

sonal ambitions for the greater work of salvation that Jesus Christ has already done on my behalf. Now I hope that every time someone consumes “content” I’ve produced—whether it’s a tech podcast, a show on television, or even just a post on social media—they come away with an unmistakable sense of “Soli Deo gloria”—“Glory to God alone.” n

Andile Masuku is executive producer of African Tech Round-Up (www. africantechroundup.com) based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

September 2017 | Adventist World

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Musgrave’s photos chronicle the reality of refugees who are frozen in time between their pasts and their futures.

By Tanya Musgrave

Telling Stories Through

Photography

“He told me the rest of his story the next day. Of his attempted suicide. Of his murdered 2-year-old son. I was paralyzed. I couldn’t say anything. I felt stupid. We stood there, silent, propped up against the wall with arms crossed like a couple of sullen teenage mall rats, but the weight of reality hung in the silence between us. Any observer would’ve thought we’d just been hanging out, but the occasional tear-flick would’ve given us away.”—Excerpt from author’s travel journal while working with refugees in Greece. One problem with being a develA will to learn was what took me oped-country photographer is balancto the Oinofyta refugee camp in ing what I know developed countries Greece. I don’t consider myself a terrespond to and reality. Too happy, and ribly political person. For one thing, I people assume they don’t need help. abhor division; and for another, I Too pathetic, and it becomes poverty don’t know the subject matter extenvoyeurism that’s extremely misleadsively enough to argue it. But what ing. No blood and guts, and people I’ve found is that amid the present forget that a lot of their devastation “shame culture,” where you’re too lies internally. political or not political enough, A lot of this doesn’t affect me there’s a middle ground where most personally, so knowledge of this people are willing to convene: perwasn’t forefront growing up (not a sonal stories.

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bad thing, just a reality). It was once they were standing right in front of me that I couldn’t deny their humanity—they’re like me, like my aunt Shirley, my brothers, my childhood bestie in Tennessee. Now it does affect me personally. Empathy. Now solutions. It’s no mystery why Jesus used parables. Amid hotheaded politics and testy racial tensions, He used stories to get to the heart of the matter, to the practical basics of how we’re to handle life and love. How we view others can be a hard bone to break and reset, but we were never called to be mediocre. In everything we do, do well—and above all else, love. Love, after all, is only a perspective away. n

Tanya Musgrave, a

professional photographer, loves to “learn the stories behind the faces.” She is currently using the media of photography to tell the story of refugees in Greece. P H O T O S : TA N YA

M U S G R AV E


Filmmaking

R O S S

By Kristina Penny

PAT T E R S O N

Telling Stories With

We started our new ministry endeavor kneeling in the pastor’s office. It wasn’t for special prayer or Bible study—it was a film shoot. We’d arranged the office to look like a typical living room. Lee knelt in front of his Bible, reenacting his incredible testimony of turning from idol worship to a relationship with God. I knelt behind the camera, fine-tuning. I was thrilled to volunteer my professional skills for my local church, Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church in Takoma Park, Maryland, United States. The My Story project started when Joseph Khabbaz, Sligo’s youth and young adult pastor, shared his vision with me. I’ll admit that I was surprised that he understood the need to create quality films, and the investment it would take. “I strongly believe it’s important for the creatives in our church to know they have a place here,” says Khabbaz. “YouTube is filled with beautifully crafted cinematography. Why can’t the church create stories of eternal significance at the same level of excellence?”

Lee Escobar told me that at first he was nerKristina Penny, young adult media ministry vous about being on camleader at her local church, interviews Marera. He felt ashamed, or cus Robinson about finding forgiveness in that people wouldn’t Christ and a sense of community at church. believe his story. “But it looked legit and so real,” he said after the film screened in a church service. “It was a tured in the videos and share a walk blessing for others to realize God with God together. doesn’t forsake those who seek Him!” “Whether you’re in the public sec“There are many stories that need tor or the church, the need to be comto be told by those who don’t consider pelling in your message doesn’t themselves storytellers,” explains change,” says Castillo. “We’re selling Richard Castillo, Sligo’s pastor for the idea that a life lived with Christ is media and outreach. “The production, better than without. Quality matters.” music, and editing compel the listener He adds that one can start with to continue listening well past their simple camera work, good lighting, attention span.” and excellent interview questions. Our “We live in a world where social project started with just a few pieces media allows us to display our perfect of equipment. But after screening our ‘edited’ selves,” says Khabbaz. “Young videos at a local conference, we won adults see through the facade and funding to build upon our growing desire authenticity. The videos we cre- ministry. n ate tell the stories of young adults willing to be vulnerable to show the power of God at work in their lives.” Kristina Penny is video The My Story films are posted producer for Adventist online, but I’ve also seen their impact Review Ministries. in my local church as young adults create relationships with those feaSeptember 2017 | Adventist World

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“Real-Life”

Witnessing By Fabiana Bertotti

The first time someone asked me to make videos and post them on YouTube I didn’t know what that meant. Five years ago YouTube was just a place to post virtual video diaries. Anyone could do it. Full of funny cat faces and kids’ jokes, the platform was remodeling the way we watch videos. Since then, the format has changed dramatically. Because of YouTube, people became more tolerant of amateur errors and didn’t expect professional framing or good sound quality and image stability. Why? Because YouTube is a place dominated by “regular” people, not celebrities. Well—at least at the beginning. Today, more than 10 years since its inception, YouTube is filled with celebrities! Mine was one of the first Christian YouTube channels in Brazil. At the time, people generally didn’t discuss serious or religious matters via platforms considered informal and fun. But I decided to relate the gospel message in such a way that the YouTube audience would accept it. I made it relevant. I began discussing topics not usually talked about in churches, but of interest to young people—sex, lifestyle

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Fabiana Bertotti draws in young YouTube viewers by candidly discussing issues of interest to them, based on a biblical foundation. More than 400,000 followers subscribe to her religious programming on YouTube.

issues, existential crises—but all guided by the Bible. I wanted to show that the Bible has answers to these questions, that it is good to be a Christian, and that you didn’t have to be a “grumpy old person” to follow Christ. It worked! I currently have 427,000 subscribers. I conduct Weeks of Prayer—live. My last program drew in some 30,000 followers. I give Bible studies, and my husband, a pastor, answers theological questions. I’ve learned that people want to talk and listen to others the way they do in “real life.” They long to connect with people who “speak their language” and don’t

need to look “perfect” on video. They care more about the witness of my life than the quality of my camera. And even though they watch my videos, they also follow me on other social networks. They listen to what I say because they like how I live; and it is in daily real life that we truly witness for Jesus. To follow Fabiana on YouTube, go to www.youtube.com/fabibertotti. n

Fabiana Bertotti, a journalist, writer, and

native of Brazil, lives in Italy with her pastor husband, Rodrigo, and their infant son, Theodoro.

P H O T O S

C O U R T E S Y

O F T H E

A U T H O R


S P I R I T

A Conversation With

O F

P R O P H E C Y

Ellen White

If we could interview Ellen White today, what might she say about how we use media to communicate? You would be amazed at today’s technology. We can communicate faster and better than ever. “I am encouraged and blessed as I realize that the God of Israel is still guiding His people and that He will continue to be with them, even to the end.”1

Did Jesus use different methods when He was here on earth? “Jesus sought an avenue to every heart. By using a variety of illustrations, He not only presented truth in its different phases, but appealed to the different hearers. Their interest was aroused by figures drawn from the surroundings of their daily life.”2

What kind of media did you have in your day? “[Our evangelist, Elder E. E. Franke, has] given much study to the matter of how to make the truth interesting, and the charts [he has] made are in perfect accord with the work to be carried forward. These charts are object lessons to the people. [He has] put intensity of thought into the work of getting out these striking illustrations. . . . The Lord uses them to impress minds.”3 “Brother [W. W. Simpson] dwells especially upon the prophecies in the books of Daniel and the Revelation. He has large representations of the beasts spoken of in these books. These beasts are made of papier-mâché, and by an ingenious invention, they may be brought at the proper time before the congregation. Thus he holds the attention of the people, while he preaches the truth to them.”4

Should we use technology for spreading the gospel? “A man is no sooner converted than in his heart is born a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus; the saving and sanctifying truth cannot

be shut up in his heart.”5 “God calls upon us to bring freshness and power into our work. We can do this only by the aid of the Holy Spirit.”6

What about other types of media? Should these also be used? “Let every worker in the Master’s vineyard, study, plan, devise methods, to reach the people where they are. We must do something out of the common course of things. We must arrest the attention. We must be deadly in earnest. We are on the very verge of times of trouble and perplexities that are scarcely dreamed of.”7 “Let the workers for God manifest tact and talent, and originate devices by which to communicate light to those who are near and to those who are afar off. . . . Time has been lost, golden opportunities have been unimproved, because men have lacked clear, spiritual eyesight, and have not been wise to plan and devise means and ways whereby they might preoccupy the field before the enemy had taken possession.”8 “God will guide His messengers in the adoption of new methods to arrest the attention of men, and convince their judgment. He will give skill and understanding in the use of effective illustrations to arrest the attention of the people.”9 n 1 Ellen

G. White, Counsels for the Church (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1991), p. 357. G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1900), p. 21. 3 Ellen G. White, Evangelism (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1946), p. 203. 4 Ibid., p. 204. 5 Ellen G. White, Testimonies for the Church (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1948), vol. 4, pp. 318, 319. 6 Ellen G. White, Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1923), p. 313. 7 E. G. White, Evangelism, pp. 122, 123. 8 Ibid., p. 206. 9 Ellen G. White, in The Gospel Herald, Dec. 1, 1901. 2 Ellen

Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White (18271915) exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry. Noveember 2017 | Adventist World

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New &

By André Brink

nusual U methods Trying “new things” is actually an old concept.

A

rt in all its disciplines has played a significant role within the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and is doing so increasingly today. William Miller and other pioneers who preceded the organized church used charts and graphs to clarify the complicated truths of Daniel and Revelation. But these were limited. Eventually woodcuts, simple renderings, and then more finished illustrations were used in Adventist work and publications as cost permitted.1 Later James and Ellen White repeatedly procured the latest in printing technology for use in spreading the gospel. Today the use of contemporary design, full-color illustrations, photography, and video are viewed as vital rather than superfluous to serve the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Virtual reality (VR) involves the creation of a virtual world that immerses consumers in a 360-degree experience. VR headsets are head-mounted goggles with a screen in front of the eyes—often by way of a smartphone. A person wearing a virtual reality headset can “be in the picture” and “look around” the virtual world and sometimes even interact with it. Adventist Review Ministries has developed an ondemand video platform called ARtv with hundreds of videos available on Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, GoogleChrome, and Amazon Fire TV. There are also ARtv apps for iOS and Android, and a Web site, artvnow.com. ARtv has produced several VR360 videos, mostly featuring natural vistas and animals in nature. Several months ago ARtv partnered with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to create their first VR short film

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about water projects in Zimbabwe. Imagine a potential donor being able to virtually visit the sites of projects through the headset. Consider the difference a full-immersion experience may have on a viewer’s perceptions. Ellen White wrote, “From Christ’s methods of labor we may learn many valuable lessons. He did not follow merely one method; in various ways He sought to gain the attention of the multitude; and then He proclaimed to them the truths of the gospel.”2 Adventist Review Ministries is using all the latest technologies—4K video, VR, and soon-to-be-released augmented reality projects—to meet the challenge of “trying new methods,” and a “multitude of methods” at that. I recently interviewed Daryl Gungadoo, global distribution manager at Adventist World Radio in London, England. Daryl is known for his enthusiastic pioneering of the VR medium in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Daryl, when and where did your interest in VR start? It started in 1995 with one of my senior class projects in computer science at Andrews University. I got involved in a project with one of the computer science professors in virtual reality headsets and image stitching algorithms. Back then the image resolution was very low, and yet the mathematics was taxing on the computers available to us. This interest stayed with me in the back of my mind, as it were, until I started getting involved in helping with the European refugee crisis projects in 2014. There were no devices on the market to capture the various situations in 360 that didn’t cost more than US$10,000 apiece. So I used some wooden blocks from my son’s toy box and stuck five P H O T O :

A N D R É

B R I N K


“Let every worker in the Master’s vineyard, study, plan, devise methods, to reach the people where they are. We must do something out of the common course of things. We must arrest the attention. We must be deadly in earnest. We are on the very verge of times of trouble and perplexities that are scarcely dreamed of.” Ellen G. White Evangelism, pp. 122, 123

Daryl Gungadoo shares a happy moment with a refugee when assisting with the European Refugee Crisis Projects in 2014.

GoPros (small cameras) with rubber bands and adhesive, and managed to capture five different perspectives. I started tinkering with video-sync and video-stitch methods, and quickly realized that my algorithms from 1995 just did not scale. By late 2014, on my own time and in conversation with the MIT media labs, I started rewriting my algorithms to take advantage of today’s muchimproved computer technology. The algorithm later became part of the core engine for a software called AutoPano Video Pro, which, in early 2016, was acquired by GoPro. How does Adventist World Radio (AWR), as a radio ministry, make use of VR? How did it help your exhibit at the 2015 General Conference (GC) session? The public relations department of AWR decided to use that method to tell the AWR story—from the studio producer to the transmitter to the remote listener. We noticed how people who were interested in the technology tried the headsets at the GC session, then after the experience remained to learn more about AWR as a ministry. Why is VR so powerful and engaging, and how can we as a church use it to share the gospel? When a viewer is experiencing VR, there are no distractions. You can tell the “story” very quickly. The story sticks because of “curiosity education.” The content is authentic (unless computer-generated). VR talks to digital natives who are used to playing computer games. In terms of equipment, not much is required beyond a smartphone and Google Cardboard, for example.

C O U R T E S Y

O F

D A R Y L

G U N G A D O O

I’ve always believed in using leading-edge technology to convey the age-old story of Christ’s redemption. People who might not be interested in spirituality would nonetheless be interested [because of the technology approach] just for curiosity’s sake. As a church, we ought to pioneer these new platforms instead of hopping on the bandwagon years later. What is your dream in this regard? My dream is to see Adventist technology incubation centers popping up throughout the world, promoting an environment for our youth to invent, and lead, for whatever industry they’ve received gifts and talents. Let’s not hide the Light under a basket (see Matt. 5:14, 15). Some people are called to preach, others to invent new methods of communication to allow for this message to be spread. Some may refer to such innovators as “geeks,” but they are missionaries nonetheless. n 1 Seventh-day 2 See

Adventist Encyclopedia (1996), pp. 116-119. Ellen G. White, Evangelism (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1946), p. 123.

André Brink is associate editor/digital media director for Adventist Review Ministries.

Noveember 2017 | Adventist World

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I N T E RV I E W

Coming to a Device Near Adventist content is now more accessible than ever.

FASTCHAT is a monthly ministry feature/interview for Adventist World. Adventist media is changing exponentially. What started as a single printing press in the nineteenth century, and a few radio and television programs in the twentieth century, has become a plethora of media offerings. Traditional print and broadcast media have been joined by digital offerings hardly imagined a decade ago. Adventist World recently spoke to André Brink, associate editor for digital content, and Jared Thurmon, director of strategy and marketing, about how the church can capitalize on society’s never-ending search for media content.

With so many media offerings out there, what unique content does Adventist media offer? AB: Adventists are unique because of what we believe. Media is an expression of who we are. Our media are unique because of what they reflect about us. This makes the question one that we need to continue asking ourselves to fulfill our mission in our productions. JT: The media landscape is noisy. Adventist media has the opportunity to answer the call to something Ellen White challenged Adventists to do long ago: arrest the attention of people. To do that, we have to identify areas in which we can make sense of the chaos, and do so in a way that is as innovative as possible. AB: The three angels’ messages are our springboard, and there is so much there. For example, the

To learn more ... visit its Web site: ARtvNow.com.

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Adventist World | November 2017

Sabbath, Creation, the investigative judgment and all that goes with that in terms of preparing people to meet Jesus at His soon coming, presented in practical ways: lifestyle, relationships, environmental issues, witnessing.

The expression “Adventist media” used to encompass little more than programs such as Voice of Prophecy or It Is Written. What’s the future of Adventist media five years from now? JT: Some innovators have paved the way. I think of the King of Innovation. Ellen White explained why Jesus used parables to teach: “Parable teaching was popular, and commanded the respect and attention, not only of the Jews, but of the people of other nations. No more effective method of instruction could He have employed.”* I see film as the most innovative storytelling method of our day. AB: As things become worse economically, politically, and socially, people will be interested in the Adventist perspective, how Adventists

evaluate world events and tie them to biblical prophecy. I see Adventists playing a larger role in film, making use of this powerful medium to convey messages. We have some of the richest stories that need to be told: of adventurous pioneers forging the mission of the church, of heroes during times of war and conflict, of powerful faith that helped people persevere. JT: In five years we will be in a world of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, self-driving cars. We will see more change in the next five years than in the past 20. Our duty is to remain relevant.

How does Adventist Review Ministries hope to satisfy the Internet’s instiable appetite for more and different content? AB: ARtv is all about using the latest technology, not only in delivery but also in the use of new types of media such as 4K, virtual reality, augmented reality, and vertical video. ARtv is the first Adventist media entity to show 4K videos much higher quality than high definition (HD) on its platforms with increasing amounts of our productions in this format. ARtv is also producing virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree videos so that viewers can have a fully immersive experience, thus becoming a part of the story being told. They may find themselves in a tropical rain forest, underwater surrounded by schools of fish, transported back in time to the beginning of the world, to


You

André Brink

Jared Thurmon

Creation week, to life in Bible times. The possibilities for telling powerful stories with lifelike qualities are endless! Today most of the world’s inhabitants have cell phones, and more and more are equipped with smartphones. More than 60 percent of video is consumed on mobile phones. That’s why ARtv produces a lot of short, shareable content that busy audiences with ever-decreasing attention spans can view and share with their friends on social media. Most people prefer to keep their phones upright, so vertical video has become very important. ARtv has produced its first vertical video, and more are in the pipeline. JT: We have to create content about topics that people discuss over dinner. If people aren’t talking about the content we produce, then we’re not relevant. We don’t live in a world in which people consume only one form of content. We have to create such outstanding content that people go from reading the New York Times, or watching CNN or Fox News to Netflix to our print and digital platforms and feel they can’t

P H O T O S :

K R I S T I N A

P E N N Y

get a real grasp of the world without the perspective coming from Adventist Review Ministries. AB: ARtv is currently producing numerous exciting miniseries that will appeal to various ages and interests. We put most of our resources into the production of content and try to limit our spending on delivery. We have costeffective platforms that reach people everywhere, at any time. Our videos are on-demand, so you can watch them when you want to, in any order, and back to back if you wish. The model is very different from traditional linear television.

In a few words, share a story that illustrates the reach of Adventist media, particularly that which comes from Adventist Review Ministries. JT: Two examples: I had someone write to me a few months back about how amazed they were to hear about an article from the Adventist Review being discussed on one of the top

morning shows in the country. That article took off after this individual spoke of how it influenced their thinking. Another one: an ARtv team was in Los Angeles filming a few weeks back. We have a new on-demand series called PressED Conference. The scripts were shared with a casting, and the ones we chose to play some of the parts had successful backgrounds in many Hollywood productions. They said the reason they wanted to be a part of PressED Conference was that these scripts about biblical doctrines were so compelling that they had to be a part of it. That series launches this fall. It will arrest some attention for sure. AB: In 2010 we filmed a series of 11 TV and Web episodes about three friends encountering rescued animals in South Africa. The three young presenters dived with great white sharks, fed elephants, observed wild meerkats, touched cheetahs, interacted with monkeys, and enjoyed many more wildlife experiences, highlighting our responsibility over God’s creation. This low-budget series has been an international hit, translated into numerous languages and aired almost continuously for the past few years on Hope Channel and several other Christian TV networks. The second season was recently filmed by ARtv in Costa Rica and will be aired internationally in October 2017. What sets Animal Encounters apart from other nature programs is that it contains no references to evolution and no sensational footage of animals killing each other. It affirms a worldview that includes an awesome, loving Creator God. * Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Pub. Assn., 1900), p. 21.

Noveember 2017 | Adventist World

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W O R L D

H E A L T H

Moderation in

By Peter N. Landless and Zeno L. Charles-Marcel

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY

How does the use of digital technology and media affect my health?

M

ultimedia and digital technology have become part of the fabric of modern living worldwide. Information availability and accessibility are at an all-time high. Digital technology (DT) adds value to our lives, but it comes with a price. Your question concerns scientific and consumer communities alike. There is no easy answer, since DT and media are a mixed bag ranging from satellite radio to video games. Digital media, such as television, video games, and Internet-based learning, are creating a new profile of cognitive and visual-spatial skills. But as a side effect it promotes desensitization, aggressive behavior, and gender inequity because of the prevailing content aimed at consumers. Video gaming and social networking trigger release of the brain chemical dopamine in the same manner as junk food and the drug ecstasy. Sadly children are disproportionately affected because of their impressionable, developing brains. Simultaneously, educators and psychologists are observing a growing weakness in higher-order cognitive (thinking) pro-

6 TIPS for Digital Balance

 reate a personal and family DT policy. C Take a DT-use inventory. n Designate DT-free zones. n Create intentional DT timeouts. n Don’t sleep with cellphone close by. n Learn more about these issues. n n

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cesses: abstract vocabulary, mindfulness, reflection, inductive problem solving, critical thinking, and imagination—which are developed through reading and even radio. A balanced media diet using each technology’s specific strengths helps develop a balanced profile of cognitive skills. So what about DT itself? The short answer is that people are using DT in ways that affect their health. Who can deny that DT improves access to information about safe health practices and can foster social interaction with friends? DT helps users improve their diets and fitness efforts and manage various health conditions. A UCLA study, however, showed a decline in memory and attention correlated with texting and online time, as well as affecting the architecture, quantity, and quality of sleep. Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute showed that two hours of DT emitted-light exposure reduced levels of melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone, by 22 percent. Other research suggests that sleeping with these devices close to the head may further disrupt sleep quality and dreams. A study conducted by university counseling centers across the United States associates the rise in use of DT with an increase in mental health issues among university students. Additionally, bright-screen exposure decreases leptin, a hormone that makes us feel full, while it increases ghrelin, one that makes us feel hungry. By negatively affecting the metabolism, DT may contribute to obesity. Digital multitasking—using more than one DT device simultaneously— is an increasing trend. Neuroscientists claim that our brains are not hard-

wired to process overwhelming, multiple-input streams at once. It’s like trying to drink from a fire hydrant. Attention spans shorten as we try to match pace with the complex digital information highway. Some occupations benefit from training in multitasking; for example, pilots need to be able to monitor multiple instruments at the same time. But for complex problem solving, sustained concentration is the preferred skill. Moreover, researchers at UCLA claim that multitasking prevents people from getting a deeper understanding of information, diminishes analytical reasoning, and negatively impacts tasks requiring deep and sustained thought. This is where the overuse and abuse of DT is of great spiritual concern. God appeals to us through reason (see Deut. 30; Isa. 1:18). If DT abuse impedes our reasoning ability and our ability to concentrate and process the deeper issues of life, does it also impede God’s access to us? Something to think about. Media and DT are not good or bad in themselves, but they can be used for good or for evil. They can add value to our lives—when we use them mindfully. n

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. P H O T O :

S T O C K

U N L I M I T E D


B I B L E

Q U E S T I O N S

A N S W E R E D

A Life of Why do we practice church discipline?

Discipline

I assume you’re referring to disciplinary actions

taken by the church to correct deviant behavior on the part of church members. The church is formed by individuals who, moved by the Spirit and voluntarily, find, in Jesus, their Savior and Lord and become part of His body, the church. This community of believers has boundaries— that is, a well-defined message, mission, and way of life— that contribute to its harmonious unity and to the achievement of common goals. Sanctions are established in order to deal with dissidence that could threaten the well-being of the community and the spiritual experience of believers. This is what we find in the Bible, and I will comment on the significance of disciplinary actions of the church. 1. Types of Church Discipline: Church discipline was used in the apostolic church for two main reasons. The first was for the violation of the moral values of the church based on the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. For instance, Paul instructs the Corinthians to apply discipline to a member who practiced sexual immorality (1 Cor. 5:15). Jesus instructed His followers about what to do when “your brother sins against you” (Matt. 18:15; 1 Tim. 5:20). The second was of a doctrinal nature. Individuals who opposed the teachings of the church, or promoted their own teachings, were to be disciplined (2 John 10; 2 Tim. 4:2; Titus 1:9, 13). Based on the nature of the infraction, two main types of specific church discipline were practiced. The first consisted of the application of sanctions that could include a private or public rebuke (2 Tim. 4:2; 1 Tim. 5:20), or the restriction of Christian fellowship (e.g., “keep away from” them [2 Thess. 3:6, NIV]; “do not associate with him” [verse 14, NIV]). The individuals were not to be regarded as enemies (verse 15, NIV). The second type of discipline was total exclusion from the church, excommunication. It is probably to this that Paul refers when he says that he “handed over to Satan” two church members (1 Tim. 1:20, NIV; cf. 1 Cor. 16:22; Titus 3:10, 11). 2. Purpose of Discipline: Church discipline has two

main purposes. The first is to restore individuals to full fellowship within the church. Indeed, this is the most fundamental purpose of any church discipline, including excommunication. True discipline is redemptive, not punitive (cf. Gal. 6:1-5). The hope is that “God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 2:25, NIV; cf. James 5:19, 20; Jude 22, 23). Second, discipline is applied on account of the holiness of the church. This explains why those disciplined do not enjoy full fellowship. The public witness of the church is to be protected by supporting the highest values of society that some of its members may be violating (1 Peter 2:12). 3. Significance of Exclusion: Disfellowshipping church members brings to an end their fellowship within the body of Christ. In apostolic times this could mean their returning to a pagan way of life and exclusion from the grace of God through Christ. This remains the same in places in which Christianity is a minority world religion. In the Christian world there are many denominations, and church discipline is not usually considered a serious matter. For Adventists, exclusion is, first, a return to a religious world in a state of confusion, heading to an eschatological apostasy. Second, it is a decision that could lead to permanently taking the wrong side in the cosmic conflict, therefore risking eternal life. Third, since excommunication is to be accompanied by loving attempts to restore former church members, it does not fix their final destiny. Finally, church discipline is the church’s painful acknowledgment that particular believers have chosen to break from the church in spite of all efforts to keep them within the community of faith. In that sense exclusion is an expression of respect for their freedom of conscience. Perhaps we should take from this discussion the importance of showing kindness and love to those who deviate from the teachings and way of life in the body of Christ. n

Angel Manuel Rodríguez is retired after a career of service as a pastor, professor, and theologian. September 2017 | Adventist World

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B I B L E

S T U D Y

Is

Jesus Eternal?

I N T E L L E C T U A L

R E S E R V E

I N C

By Mark A. Finley

T

here is a discussion in some circles regarding the eternal nature of Jesus. Some propose that since the King James Version of Scripture states that Christ was “begotten” of the Father, the “firstborn” of all creation, there was a time in the distant past when Jesus did not exist. But what does the Bible teach regarding the eternal nature of Jesus? How does Scripture portray Christ? In this month’s lesson we will explore some of the Bible passages that clearly state that Jesus has existed from eternity, that He never had a beginning.

1 What expression did Jesus use in John 8:58 to describe His eternal nature? What was the reaction of Jewish leaders to Christ’s statement? Jesus clearly and powerfully declared His eternal nature by declaring Himself the “I AM.” This expression is equivalent to Jesus saying, “I am the Eternal One.” Jewish leaders understood exactly what Jesus meant and attempted to stone Him. They understood the implications of His statement in light of Exodus 3:14, in which God declares Himself the “I AM.” If both Father and Son are the “I AM,” then both are eternal.

2

Read Isaiah 9:6 and list the titles of Jesus.

It may seem strange to some that Jesus is called “Everlasting Father” when they are two separate, distinct beings. The answer lies in the fact that they are one in character and eternal in existence. That’s what Jesus meant when He answered Phillip’s query, “Show us the Father,” by responding, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

3 How did the prophet Micah describe Christ’s eternal nature? Read Micah 5:2. Micah’s statement harmonizes well with Ellen White’s comment: “In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived. ‘He that hath the Son hath life.’ 1 John 5:12. The

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divinity of Christ is the believer’s assurance of eternal life. ‘He that believeth in me,’ said Jesus, ‘though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.’ ”* In this remarkably clear statement Ellen White links Christ’s eternal nature with His ability to provide salvation. In other words, if He is not eternal, can He provide eternal life? Obviously not.

4 Compare Philippians 2:4-7 with Hebrews 1:2-4, 8, 9. What do these verses tell us about the relationship of the Father and the Son? How do they describe Jesus? The apostle Paul declares that Jesus was in the very “form” of God. The Greek word for form is morphe, which means the very essence of God. That’s why it was not “robbery” for Jesus to be “equal” with God. Robbery is stealing something that is not rightfully yours. Since Jesus was the “brightness of [the Father’s] glory” and the “express image of His person,” He can rightfully claim equality with God.

5 How did John the revelator describe Jesus? What expressions did He use to portray Christ’s eternal nature? Read Revelation 1:8. John used the expression “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End” to describe Christ. In this same verse Jesus is described as the one “who is and who was and who is to come.” In verse 4 the Father is described as He “who is and who was and who is to come.” The Father and Son both existed from eternity.

6

In the book of Hebrews, Melchizedek, high priest of Salem, is compared to Jesus. What insights about Christ do we get from this comparison? Read Hebrews 7:1-3. According to this passage, Jesus, like Melchizedek, has no beginning or ending. The overwhelming evidence of Scripture is that Jesus is the divine, eternal Son of God. We can rejoice that One equal with the Father, One with the Father and One linked by an inestimable bond of love with the Father, is the Jesus who lived, died, rose from the dead, and ministers as our high priest in heaven. n * Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1898), p. 530.


IDEA EXCHANGE

Our church has been revived.

Letters Inspired by Romania

I was absolutely thrilled by the special issues on the evangelistic impact in Romania, the largest country in SDA membership in Europe and several other European nations. It took me back to 1996 during an evangelistic meeting in Ploiesti where 90 people were baptized. This Latin nation is open to the gospel and we need to reach people before it becomes completely secularized. I was happy to hear that Pastor Brito, president of the division said that he has a conviction “that these efforts can be replicated in other cultures of our division.” It was interesting to hear that the pastor of the Bucharest church did not believe

PrayerW

especially in the Portland area, nighttime fast pitch softball was very popular and received wide publically. At the end of each summer season a statewide tournament was held to determine the Oregon state champion. This tournament had always ended on Friday night. In the summer of 1942 it soon became apparent that the five best pitchers in the state were all Seventh-day Adventists. Their absence from the tournament would make it almost meaningless. To solve the problem, the entire schedule for the tournament was changed so that the championship game would be held on Thursday night. The pitchers for the championship game were Adventists and one of them was a younger brother of an official in the General Conference. Herbert Harder, MD Via E-mail

in the meetings and later said: “I am amazed. Our church has been revived.” They hope to baptize 1,000 people. How about the two ladies from the General Conference as firsttime evangelistic preachers? Lori said: “Being immersed in evangelism for almost three weeks changes you.” We need to change the mentality of our people and let the fire of the Holy Spirit fall upon our church, leaders, and lay members to be immersed in saving souls for Christ!” Leo Ranzolin, Sr. Florida, United States Adventists and Competitive Sports

I have long held the belief that competitive sports are a venue in which Seventh-day Adventists can publically honor the Sabbath (or other beliefs for that matter). Therefore, the lead article of the February issue of Adventist World was of great interest to me. Two prior instances of significantly less notoriety, in which I had a small part. In the early 1940s Oregon, and

Letters Policy: Please send to: letters@adventistworld.org. Letters must be clearly written, 100-word maximum. Include the name of the article and the date of publication with your letter. Also include your name, the town/city, state, and country from which you are writing. Letters will be edited for space and clarity. Not all letters submitted will be published.

PRAISE

Paul is having stomach issues. Please pray the doctor finds a diagnosis and treatment plan. April, Via E-mail Satan is really using me and causing me to behave destructively. Please pray for me. Catherine, Uganda

Please pray for me that my exam results will allow me to study at our university in Pune. Sanjay, India

Pray for me to find a stable, fulltime job with good pay and benefits. Camille, Via E-mail Please pray for my friend who is suffering from cancer and needs an operation. Eliezar, Via E-mail Please pray for my brother and two nieces to find satisfactory employment. Mark, Canada

Prayer & Praise: Send prayer requests and praise (thanks for answered prayer) to prayer@adventistworld.org. Keep entries short and concise, 50-words or less. Items will be edited for space and clarity. Not all submissions will be printed. Please include your name and your country’s name. You may also fax requests to: 1-301-680-6638; or mail them to Adventist World, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600 U.S.A.

September 2017 | Adventist World

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IDEA EXCHANGE R E S E A R C H

“Behold, I come quickly…”

C E N T E R

F O R

A D V E N T I S T

Our mission is to uplift Jesus Christ, uniting Seventh-day Adventists everywhere in beliefs, mission, life, and hope.

149 Years Ago

I N S E T: E L L E N G . W H I T E E S TAT E

O

n September 1-7, 1868, the first official General Conference camp meeting was held at E. H. Root’s farm, in Wright, Michigan, United States. The subject of holding such meetings came up at the General Conference session in Battle Creek, Michigan, in May 12-18, 1868. The minutes of that meeting recorded: “Resolved, That this conference recommend to our people to hold a general camp meeting annually at the time of the sessions of our business associations.” Two months later, in an editorial in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, James White made a strong appeal for general camp meetings. He referred to the unsuitability of General Conference business sessions for a spiritual feast. “This is not a good time for a general gathering of our brethren and sisters to enjoy a spiritual feast. Not understanding this, many have come to our annual conferences, spent a week’s time, and gone home disappointed. They had no special interest in the business sessions, thought they occupied too much time, and concluded that their brethren were becoming formal and backslidden.” Attended by as many as 2,000 people, the meeting in Wright was both a revival for church members and an evangelistic series for guests.

FIVE,

NO, WAIT, 10-A-DAY

Everyone should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables each day to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and cancer. But researchers at Imperial College London estimate that 7.8 million premature deaths worldwide could possibly be prevented if people double their servings of fruit and vegetables to 10 a day. One small banana, or three heaping tablespoons of cooked vegetables, count as one serving.

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= lO

Source: The Rotarian

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. Adventist Review Ministries Board Ted N. C. Wilson, chair; Guillermo Biaggi, vice chair, Bill Knott, secretary; Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, Williams Costa, Daniel R. Jackson, Peter Landless, Robert Lemon, Geoffrey Mbwana, G. T. Ng, Daisy Orion, Juan Prestol-Puesán, Ella Simmons, Artur Stele, Ray Wahlen, Karnik Doukmetzian, legal advisor Executive Editor/Director of Adventist Review Ministries Bill Knott Associate Director of Adventist Review Ministries International Publishing Manager Chun, Pyung Duk Adventist World Coordinating Committee Jairyong Lee, chair; Yukata Inada; German Lust; Chun, Pyung Duk; Han, Suk Hee; Lyu, Dong Jin Editors based in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA André Brink, Lael Caesar, Gerald A. Klingbeil (associate editors), Sandra Blackmer, Stephen Chavez, Costin Jordache, Wilona Karimabadi Editors based in Seoul, Korea Chun, Pyung Duk; Park, Jae Man; Kim, Hyo-Jun Operations Manager Merle Poirier Editors-at-Large Mark A. Finley, John M. Fowler Senior Advisor E. Edward Zinke Financial Manager Kimberly Brown Manuscript Evaluation Coordinator Marvene Thorpe-Baptiste Management Board Jairyong Lee, chair; Bill Knott, secretary; Chun, Pyung Duk; Karnik Doukmetzian; Han, Suk Hee; Yutaka Inada; German Lust; Ray Wahlen; Ex-officio: Juan Prestol-Puesán; G. T. Ng; Ted N. C. Wilson Art Direction and Design Jeff Dever, Kim Pollock Consultants Ted N. C. Wilson, Juan Prestol-Puesán, G. T. Ng, Guillermo E. Biaggi, Mario Brito, Abner De Los Santos, Dan Jackson, Raafat A. Kamal, Michael F. Kaminskiy, Erton C. Köhler, Ezras Lakra, Jairyong Lee, Israel Leito, Thomas L. Lemon, Solomon Maphosa, Geoffrey G. Mbwana, Blasious M. Ruguri, Saw Samuel, Ella Simmons, Artur A. Stele, Glenn Townend, Elie Weick-Dido 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: worldeditor@gc.adventist.org Web site: www.adventistworld.org 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. Adventist World is published monthly and printed simultaneously in Korea, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States.

Vol. 13, No. 9


Weddings Barden-Fellowes. Benjamin Peter Barden, son of Kim Barden (Lowood, Qld) and Anne Barden (deceased) and Janine Barden (stepmother Lowood) and Amy Leanne Fellowes, daughter of Geoff and Leanne Fellowes (Ipswich) were married on 9.9.17 at Brookwater Golf and Country Club. They met at work at the Ipswich Hospital where they are both nurses. Ben is a clinical nurse and Amy is a RN. Their home is now in Bellbird Park. Mark Pearce

WALLACE-PIPER. Scott Victor Wallace, son of William (deceased) and Pam Wallace (Brisbane, Qld), and Shaylee Star Piper, daughter of Kelvin Piper (Darwin, NT) and Gail Piper (Brisbane, Qld) were married on 22.9.17 at Cedar Creek Lodge (North Tamborine Mountain). Scott and Shaylee met at work when they were both working for Aldi. The wedding was held on the 10th anniversary of the beginning of their relationship. Their home is in Eden’s Landing where Scott works as a concrete layer and Shaylee as a cake decorator. Mark Pearce

Obituaries

BARENDSE, Elizabeth (Beth) Daisy

(nee Coltheart), born 6.10.1929 in Launceston, Tas; died 23.9.17 in Macedon, Vic. In May 1953 she married Walter. Beth was predeceased by her brothers John and Don Coltheart. She is survived by her husband Wal (Macedon): sister Joy Melville and family (Whangarei, NZ); daughter Merinda and son-in-law Jon Amiss (Macedon, Victoria), son Victor and daughter-in-law Shalleen (Maidenhead, UK); grandchildren Monique, Ariane, Danielle, Chantel, Simeon and Micah, and four great grandchildren. After attending Avondale College, Beth worked in the old Customs House in Sydney where she met Walter

and they worked together in Sydney in their own import/export business, specialising in duty free photographic equipment. They attended Waitara church, where they both held numerous church offices. They retired to Gisborne, Vic, to be near their daughter. David Coltheart

Crossley, Lola Jean (nee Gilmore), born 29.4.31 in Armidale NSW; died 24.4.17 at Coffs Harbour. On 28.10.1950 she married Neville Crossley. She is survived by her husband; children Maureen, Grahame, Robyn and Maughan; seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. The children were blessed to be by her bedside as she passed away. Lola was a fun-loving, compassionate person and dearly loved by her family and her church. Bob Manners, Abel Iorgulescu Di Cesare, Rina, born 7.9.1941 in

Guglionesi, Italy;died on 12.9.17 in Darwin, Northern Territory. In 1961 Rina married Vincenzo in Italy. She was predeceased by her husband. Rina is survived by her children Josepina, Nicola, Adam, Peter, Teresa and John; grandchildren and great-grandchildren; two sisters and three brothers; plus a large extended family in Australia, Italy and Canada. In April 2017, Rina was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which she battled bravely, maintaining her strong trust in God. Rina was known for her kind and friendly smile, and her gentle personality. Michael Browning

ELLISON, Unita (Nita) (nee Edmunds), born 10.8.1923 in Bundarra, NSW; died 17.9.17 in Stanthorpe, Qld. Nita married Roderick (Rod) Ellison who, along with their son Lee, predeceased her in 2008. She is survived by her daughter Denise Kent and husband Tom Scott, Qld; grandchildren Candice Kent and husband Andrew Price (NSW), Chantel Kent (Qld), Jacqueline Ellison (WA), David Ellison and wife Candy (Qld); and great-grandchild Scarlett (NSW). Of her four siblings she is survived by her youngest brother Bob Edmunds (NSW). Nita trained in

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@record.net.au> or online at <record.adventistchurch.com>.

midwifery and tropical diseases in preparation for missionary service in PNG. Returning to Australia she trained, produced resources and worked as a teacher. She also trained in marriage and family counselling, while her greatest achievement was the establishment of a refuge for abused women and children. Nita’s faith was her motivation for service to the God she loved. Carole Ferch-Johnson

JOHANSSON, Pamla (nee Bain),

born 24.6.1928 in Katanning, WA; died 27.8.17 in Bunbury. On 24.5.1946 she married Jim who predeceased her in 1995. She was also predeceased by her son Erick in 1963. Pam is survived by her children Coral and Ian Culling (Perth, WA), Colin and Dianne Johansson (Bunbury), David and Elaine Johansson (Bunbury), Mark and Dianne Johansson (Bunbury), Stephen and Sue Johansson (Bunbury), Sharyn and Joe Macri (Perth); 15 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Pam was an independent, energetic and industrious lady who made a large impact on her family and community through her involvement in children’s ministry, pathfinders and community services. Her faith in Jesus and the Bible bore fruit in a faithful and active life which continues to bless and inspire others. Roger Millist

LONG, Grace (nee

Crawford), born 15.8.1929 in Northcliffe, WA; died 24.9.17 in Rossmoyne. On 29.9.1949 she

married Ross who predeceased her in 2013. She is survived by her children Maureen and Frank McGrath (Perth, WA) Susan and Greg Jennings (Perth) Debra and Ken Gardner (Perth) Warrick and Kerry Long (Cooranbong, NSW); 11 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Grace was a gracious, happy lady who was loved by all. She loved handcrafts and sewing and blessed many with her skills. As a young mother she purchased books from Stan Bastien (LE). This commenced a lifelong friendship with Jesus and commitment to His Word. She consistently and faithfully maintained her faith and hope in Jesus and His Second Coming to the end of her life. Roger Millist

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POSITION VACANT AVIATION PROFESSIONALS—PILOTS, LAMES AND/OR MANAGERS (POTENTIAL FLY-IN FLY-OUT ROSTERS) Adventist Aviation Services PNG Adventist Aviation Services PNG is seeking expressions of interest from suitable candidates who are (or were) qualified pilots, LAMEs or managers with aviation management experience for positions becoming available in November 2017 and January 2018. The ideal candidates would be either experienced pilots, LAMEs (Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers) or managers with experience in management of aviation, transport or similar service-related activities. Interested candidates who are active Seventh-day Adventist Church members, mission oriented, professional, hardworking and adventurous, with commercial aptitude for business management, are encouraged to apply. For more information please visit the South Pacific Division’s Human Resources website at <www.adventistemployment.org.au>. All applications, including your CV, three work-related referees and a reference from your church pastor, must be forwarded to: Human Resources, Seventh-day Adventist Church (Pacific) Limited, Locked Bag 2014, Wahroonga NSW 2076 Australia; email: <hr@adventist.org. au>; fax: (612) 9489 0943. Applications close November 20, 2017.

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ADVENTISTEMPLOYMENT.ORG.AU

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Noveember 2017 | Adventist World

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