Friday, November 12, 2010

Do You Believe Boldly?

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I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian. Overall, if you look into what we believe we have some pretty bold beliefs. Some examples are:

1. We believe that we are the remnant, 'true' church.
2. Along the lines of #1 we claim to have biblical 'truth'
3. We believe that a lady by the name of Ellen White who died 95 years ago, had the prophetic gift, was inspired by God and hold  her writings in high regards (at least most SDA's do).
4. We believe/claim we have been chosen by God through the book of Revelation to preach the 'end time' message found in Revelation 14, to all people before Jesus comes.

Knowing that some who read this blog are not Adventist, to which I'm so glad you take the time to read the blog! I must ask you, along with everyone else. Do the above beliefs/claims sound pretty bold? Perhaps pompous? Please feel free to comment below...

Yet as bold as we may believe, I'm not sure that our bold beliefs have translated into people boldly believing. Allow me to give a brief explanation.

Jesus also gave some bold statements about Himself, as the cross was looming Jesus said: "And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself." (John 12:32)

Now that's a bold statement. The question is do you believe it, do we believe it? Maybe another question we should be asking ourselves is, 'Who are we lifting up?'

John chapter 12 goes on to say interestingly enough that most didn't believe but that many did indeed believe in Jesus even some of the Jewish leaders, but they didn't want to admit it, "for fear the Pharisees would expel them from the Synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God."(John 12: 42, 43)

So here's the just of where I'm getting at. Within Christian circles we continue to hear that 'millennials' those born from 1980-1991 are leaving our churches. Recently at my own denominations year end meetings (essentially all the denominational leaders from North America get together and discuss many important issues such as finances, leadership, direction of the church, and they report on different statistics) it was stated that of the 1.1 million plus members in North America about 275,000 of them are from ages 11-35! It was also stated that our church is 'graying'

No I wasn't at those meetings, but nonetheless those are facts that although not new, need to alarm us. I say us because we are not the only denomination with these such issues.

So we have the facts. Now what? What do we do? How do we reach this generation? There are books that are out there, studies that have been done and are being done, there are churches that have had succes  in reaching this age group. Yet there are no apparent cookie cutter answers.

We (Adventists) may have bold beliefs but in general they don't seem to be stopping the trend here in North America of our church 'graying.'

I don't claim to have the silver bullet, but perhaps we must return to what Jesus said, "And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself." Do we really believe this? If so are we ready for what it really means to believe Jesus' bold statement or are we more worried of being kicked out of the synagogue and the praises of men rather than God?

Go ye therefore...

Are you (me) ready to really lift up Jesus in our lives? Or do we prefer the praises of men?


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