Sunday, June 27, 2010

New G.C. President: What if?

Elder Ted N.C. Wilson
New Seventh-day Adventist world church president

By now most Seventh-day Adventist know this past Friday June 25th, Elder Ted N.C. Wilson was elected the next president of the Seventh-day Adventist world church. I have to admit that the process to elect the president is one that I'm not all familiar with. Yet you can click here for a short behind the scenes look given by ANN (Adventist news network)

The process is one in which it seems that most of the members of the nominating committee don't know much about the nominated official(s) or perhaps even what they stand for. After being elected by the nominating committee the candidates name is brought to the 2,400 plus delegates for a vote of approval. Again I would venture to say that most of the delegates also don't know much about who the nominated person is or what he stands for.

Yet what if...what if the people actually had a list presidential candidates, maybe they can post youtube videos of what they stand for and their vision for the church. What if the president of the Seventh-dayAdventist world church was chosen by allowing members of the church world wide to vote. Perhaps it can be done via the web, and/or by ballot (like the absentee ballot here in America). Or what if the president was chosen by those who actually attend the General conference session. People would vote by divisions (just like when they register for the session) and then the president would be named at the end of the sessions instead of the beginning...what if?

Ok so perhaps my what if's isn't something that will happen anytime soon, but I do think that the process should be re-evaluated. Nonetheless though we should all pray for Elder Wilson that he will be filled with the Holy Spirit as he leads.

With that said though what if...


(image by ANN)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Interview: Pastor James Black

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Pastor James Black. He's the Youth/Young Adult director for the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventist. I was also able to speak with him one on one and I'm able to say that he has a real passion for young people. You may have to raise the volume a bit since we did the interview inside of the Georgia Dome where the actual General conference session is taking place. I thank Pastor Black for spending a few minutes with us.

Again if you get this via email/RSS feed please click here to see the interview, also feel free to send this to anyone else you think may be interested.

Stay tuned more to come from IMPACT Atlanta & the 59th General Conference session of Seventh-day Adventist.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Worship: Revelation & Response

As my last post mentioned I'm in Atlanta, GA for IMPACT Atlanta, and the 59th General conference session of Seventh-day Adventist. I had the pleasure of interviewing Nick Zork who is a well known worship leader in the Seventh-day Adventist church. Check it out and let me know what you think or a question you would like to ask him. Listen to what he says when asked: What is Christian worship?

(if you get this via email/RSS feed please click here to watch the video)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

IMPACT Atlanta

Today begins IMPACT Atlanta a young adult leadership and discipleship event that is being held along side the 59th Seventh-day Adventist general conference session which also begins today.

It will be a time to serve, learn, and allow God to make an impact in my life through this experience and hopefully make an impact in someone else's life.

Thousands of Adventist's will be converging on the city of Atlanta, GA to worship, site see, and meet up with new friends. Although with IMPACT Atlanta where I will be helping out with we will also be serving the community in different areas.

So for the next 10 days I will try to blog about my experience and things going on down here in Atlanta for these events. I know that there are those who read this blog and are not Seventh-day Adventist and I thank you for reading! Check out the links above for all the information regarding these events and keep reading because I believe you'll find the next several post's very intriguing.



Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I get nothing out of church

This is part three in a series of post' in which we are dealing with those who say they are "Spiritual but not religious." In the first post we set the stage regarding the mind set for those that say they are "Spiritual but not religious" and in my second post we touched on the fact that in the bible Jesus calls us to join the 'body' of believers.

So if Jesus calls us to come together and be the 'body' whats happened? Why are so many churches dying, or plateauing? Why are so many leaving our churches or simply not coming? These are not questions that are easily answered and I don't claim to give a full spectrum on the issue in this post alone.

Nonetheless there is a huge present day challenge for all churches. You see the church is not a club in which members pay their fees, enjoy what they receive, and then go home and until the next time they come. YOU are the church. The church is people not the building, the building is where the church simply meets. There is nothing holy about any church building, not it's pulpit, it's sanctuary, it's pews, it's golden bowls in which communion takes place. The only thing that makes the building holy is the presence of God when His worshippers are doing just that, worshipping Him.

Many of our churches are lacking hear-felt worship, the great commission has become the great pain because so few seem to embark on any kind of mission in their sphere of influence/community. Church members rumble and crumble over the most minute things, while not having done one meaningful thing to win a soul for the kingdom. The bottom line: leave my club just they way it is.

The young, young at heart, or those that want change get frustrated, tired, and disillusioned perhaps because the resistance seems to be strong. The one's who simply want their club continue their march and sadly to say the only person that seems to be winning is the enemy of all things Jesus.

There is much more that can be said about all this but there is one line ok actually two that come to mind. They are the first two sentences of a book called Acts of the Apostles written by Ellen White (yes she was one of the founders of the Adventist church). The two sentences read like this...
"The church is God's appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world." (A.A. pg.1)
You see maybe here lies one of the biggest problems. The church isn't serving, it isn't doing everything biblically possible to win souls for the kingdom, it's too comfortable. It's got to many people from all different sides worrying about their agenda instead of worrying about God's plan for the church, the body. So when someone says, "I get nothing out of church" or something to this regard, perhaps they get nothing out of the church because they haven't truly realized they are the church and aren't giving anything into the church as they should.

It's time that we the church get back to serving, back to being the church instead of saying we're going to church.

As the church/body of Christ we are family. This is why we call ourselves brothers and sisters in Christ and our heavenly Father is ever caring for His church. I leave you with this video in which Pastor Mark Driscoll speaks on this issue and does a great job.

To those that faithfully serve Jesus and His mission (wherever that may be) as the body of Christ. Thank You! Stay faithful your reward is with Him. To those struggling, surrender all to Him and prepare to serve!

Watch the video but at the end ask yourself this question: I'm I serving as a member/family of the body of Christ?


Saturday, June 12, 2010

" Spiritual but not religious"-part2

In my last post we began a discussion on the issue of being 'spiritual but not religious' a phrase that is being used by many to essentially say that they can be connected to a higher being (or something of the like) without organized religion.

Now I understand to some degree the issues that some may have with organized religion. The Catholic church, the most recognized religious body worldwide has not been highly looked upon with all the issues in the news regarding child abuse by priests. Islam after 911 obviously suffered a blow, and Christianity has had it's well known leaders fall out of grace causing people to say "hypocrites." The media of course most of the time has not helped.

So, again, one can understand to some extent why people have and honestly will always have a negative view of religion.

With that said though as a Christian, a person who follows Jesus Christ. It becomes very clear from the Bible that Jesus came and before He ascended to heaven He founded His church. It began with the apostles and as they spread the 'good news' and another important Jesus follower named Paul came along and planted churches in different areas.

The word church (ekklesia in the Greek) basically has the meaning of a people called out from the world. The bible also calls the church 'the body.' Paul tells the Corinthian believers, "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it," (1 Cor. 12:27)

Paul is speaking to a church that has a lot of problems to say the least. These are not perfect people by no means, chapter five tells us that a man was sleeping with his fathers wife (most likely his step-mom), so clearly this 'church' had issues. Here's the key though, it was still 'the body' of Christ.

Nowhere in the bible, in the teachings of Jesus is there a hint of Him even implying that we can be His follower without joining a 'body' of believers.

So when people stay home and don't go to church for no good reason, when they stay home and simply watch religious television such as 3ABN, Hope channel (these are Adventist satellite channels), or even TBN and believe it's ok to do this and not physically join the 'body' of believers, it's not biblical!

There is something special about coming together with other believers to worship, praise, and glorify our Savior Jesus. To be encouraged and challenged by His word. To fellowship with others that perhaps have similar struggles as we do.

Therefore if you are reading this and call yourself a follower of Jesus but haven't joined His 'body', haven't gone to church in sometime. If your honest with yourself and admit your excuses are weak and  Jesus isn't happy with you separating yourself from His 'body.' Come back! Come back to His 'body.'

Paul states, "Now the body is not made up of one part but of many." (1 Cor. 12:14-italics mine). Now as many may know Paul is using the human body as a metaphor of the 'body' of Christ. This example goes totally against the ideological thought that you can go at it alone as the mind frame is for those that say they are 'spiritual but not religious.'

Friend, Jesus is calling you to His 'body.' If you already are a faithful part of that 'body' praise the Lord. If you are struggling with this...Jesus is calling you now to come back and be part of His 'body.'

So what do you think can we really be 'spiritual but not religious' or is this more semantics?

Stay tuned for part 3...we'll really get to the heart of the matter.


image by [powerpointsermons]

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lady Gaga: "I'm very religious"

If you haven't heard of her than probably you don't read much news on-line or watch much news on t.v. because she's certainly made headlines. Her stage name is Lady Gaga, real name Stefani Germanotta. She is a pop music sensation (at least to millions who seem to love her music) Some have called her Madonna's successor. Watch this short clip on what she had to say about religion when she was on Larry King last week. Then read the rest of the post. Click here if you get this via email/RSS to see the video.

Last week CNN had a great article about being "Spiritual but not religious." It's worth taking a few minutes if you can to read it. It certainly relates to the line of thinking Lady Gaga has.

I believe that this form of saying that 'I'm spiritual but not religious' is dangerous, and the Enemy of all things Jesus, is using this to the fullest. Those who believe as such essentially shun denominational religion. Yet they become a religious denomination unto themselves. 

Without a doubt this is not the kind of 'spiritual-ness' the Jesus of the Bible calls us to. Lady Gaga says she believes "in Jesus" yet one obviously has to wonder is this the same Jesus of the bible? Some may accuse me of judging her, but let me put it this way if I believe in not smoking and I smoke? Okay you get the picture.

Be clear though this post is not about Lady Gaga's belief per se but the mind set that she has which influences millions, and according to the CNN article many already adhere to being "Spiritual but not religious." (without Gaga's help:-)

This is part 1 regarding this issue of being "Spiritual but not religious." Stay tuned for my next post, it will get a bit deeper and personal...

Friends be alert and awake for as the bible says, "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1Pt. 5:8) 

So what do you think regarding this issue of being "Spiritual but not religious"?


image by [powerpointsermons]

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Discipleship: Being/Becoming

This past Sabbath we started at my church a short sermon series entitled: Doing Hard Things for God: 3 Hard sayings of Jesus. You can listen to the sermon by clicking here.

The text that I used as the first hard saying of Jesus is found in Matthew 16:24-27. Essentially Jesus calls us to deny ourselves and follow Him. Now I know that this is a text that most who call themselves Christian have read before. Yet the bottom line question is are we truly applying it to our lives?

I believe that many sincere Christians follow the ways of Jesus by doing a lot of good things. Yet I would venture to say that most of our churches are lacking one core issue when it comes to following Jesus. That is this: Those who follow Jesus are called His disciples and disciples are to make other disciples!

Perhaps then one of the reasons that we are not seeing more disciples of Jesus in our churches is that we are not really following Jesus as a disciple who makes other disciples. If we claim to follow Jesus then we are called not just to be a disciple but help others become a disciple of Jesus.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer famously stated, "When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” (Cost of Discipleship pg. 89) Another Christian author by the name of Ellen White once stated, "Love for souls for whom Christ died means crucifixion of self." (Desire of Ages pg. 417)

You see making disciples is something that is not only time consuming but it takes sacrificial time. We'll watch movies for hours or do man other 'things' that are time consuming and be OK with it, but sacrificial time is something else. Yet in this day and age we are also about getting things done quick, fast, and an a hurry. Making disciples is nothing of the like. It's crucifixion of self, period! Everything contrary to what culture implores.

God challenged me with this sermon. It's not rocket science, it's not something, to be honest, that we haven't heard before. Nonetheless it's something that many are not doing. We think either consciously or sub-consciously that if we just come to church, give to church, read the bible, pray a little, and just be good we're following Jesus. Jesus says no, the one who follows me, will BE like Me and help others BECOME like me!

So what say you? Are you being and helping other become?


image by [powerpointsermons]

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