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

Association Secretary James A. Cress

Editor Willmore D, Eva
Interfacing faith and reason Assistant Editor Julia W. Norcott
Perspectives on the interplay of faith and reason Editorial Assistant Sheila Draper
Professional Growth and Inter-church Relations
Clifford Goldstein Nikolaus Satelmajer
Contributing Editors: Sharon Cress, Peter Prime, Joel
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Ministry (ISSN 0026-5314), the international journal
of the Seventh-day Adventist Ministerial Association
2001, is published monthly by the General
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ministry Vol. 74 Number 4

G. O. Martinborough

Bible credits: Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy

Bible, New International Version, Copyright 1973,
1978,1984 by the International Bible Society. Used by
permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

MINISTRY April 2001


The mission of a going the cross when His own Son became gratulate Herbert Douglass on his basic
church for a coming Lord the propitiation for our sins. He is right conclusions. This Adventist doctrine
I thank God for the inspiring article eous and just, "at the present time," and must surely be our most unappreciated
"The Mission of a Going Church for a a justifier of those who have faith in and under-researched theme, as much
Coming Lord by Professor Zebron M. Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:26). as it is arguably our most central and
Ncube. "In surrendering his spotless soul a fundamental doctrine. My recent and
It is very touching, especially for living sacrifice, Jesus was bearing the sin unfinished post-graduate research
Adventists who care about the present of the world; he was enduring the curse [M.Th., Avondale College] has rein
condition of the church. of the law; he was vindicating the jus forced this conclusion in my mind.
The issue addressed has been my tice of God. Separation from his Father, And yet however vital Douglass'
great concern since I became an the punishment for transgression, was conclusions may be, I believe that there
Adventist. I am very happy to note the to fall upon him, in order to settle the is even more to be said. I believe that by
steps suggested as ways out of our spir controversy between Satan and the using Ellen White's Great Controversy
itual lethargy. Prince of heaven in regard to the theme as the "orienting concern" of
We need to meditate on these words changeless character of that law" (Ellen Adventist theology, we may re-envision
and other timely messages. Frankly G. White, Signs of the Times, December that theology as a "practical theology."
speaking, we have lost focus. The 9, 1 897, paragraph 5). Such a "practical theology" is not inter
enemy has kept us busy unnecessarily I would suggest that having human ested in developing an elaborate
with irrelevant things. It is not too late beings vindicate God turns the plan of theological system. It is, however, inter
to make a change. redemption on its head, placing the ested in nurturing and shaping the
Olooto David Dannon, Lagos, Nigeria, saints in the redeeming and justifying worldview that determines the tone
West Africa. position! Have we settled this issue or and practice of believers.
do we yet lack faith in the sufficiency of Such a "practical theology" may be a
the atoning sacrifice of Christ and there looser collection of theological concepts
The Great Controversy by ourselves become a party of Satan's and therefore an "orienting concern"
theme: What it means to accusations? may well take the place of the system
Adventists It is finished! Our God is just and atic theologians' "organizing principle."
I read with interest the article by reigns today. The ruler of this world is I am indebted for the above insight to
Herbert Douglass concerning the Great already judged (John 16:10). Christ Randy Maddox, a leading Wesleyan
Controversy theme (December 2000). who now reigns, will soon come and scholar. He has applied the concept of
Historically, I believe it should be noted destroy the wicked and the last enemy, "practical theology" to John Wesley's
that within that overall theme there death! The "inaugurated kingdom will theology. I assert that they apply equal
have been individual Adventist interpre have become the "consummated ly well to Ellen White and to Adventist
tations as to "how and when" God's Kingdom!" theology in general.
justice and law are vindicated. Patrick Travis, chaplain, Florida Hospital. Peter S. Marks, Australia.
Some suggest that God still waits to
be vindicated in the future when His Editorial note: Well said! The divergent tracks of
law is revealed in the life of the saints Adventist identity
prior to Christ's appearing. I suggest it is Thanks for featuring "The Great I think both you [Will Eva (editorial)]
significant that God has already "been Controversy Theme: What It Means to and Paul McGraw (December 2000)]
vindicated" and proved Himself just at Adventists" so prominently. And I con continued on page 27

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April 2001 MINISTRY


Faith, reason,
and the
voice of God
he Bible opens with a dramatic standable, objective manifestation of
portrayal of direct communica the voice and presence of God in the
tion between God and humanity. believing community.
Cod is described as essentially speaking Throughout the history of God's
face-to-face with the first humans. In interaction with people many have
language they understand He says, "Be had difficulty believing that He com
fruitful and increase in number... sub municates at all with human beings, if
due [the earth]. Rule over . . . every they have even believed there is a God.
living creature (Gen. 1:28, NIV). There They have largely preferred to rely on
is no question in their minds as to who the evidence of the five physical sens
they are, what they are to do and what es. During the last century and a half
their relationship is to God. God Himself particularly, this merely physical, five-
has told them directly and audibly and sense approach to processing
this direct communication becomes a NIV). "The Word became flesh and surrounding reality has been refined
prototypical pattern of communication made his dwelling among us" (John into disciplines that have now come to
between God and His people through 1:14, NIV). In Christ there is a reversal dominate the way human beings
out human history. of the negative, post-Fall fortunes. Jesus understand and interpret their world
However, perhaps the most far- speaks directly to us and lives visibly and their experience. The resulting
reaching effect of "the Fall" was the among us, even though His divinity is worldviews, that may justly be called
banishing of our primordial parents shrouded in real human flesh. purely or merely materialistic, have
from the Garden and the chasm that But Jesus is crucified and ascends to come into being largely through mak
was fixed between God and His chil his Father. In His physical departure he ing use of rational or scientific
dren. While God still spoke with inaugurates an all important, elemen processes alone. This outlook has
people, the operative mode of com tal Reality. To His followers, anxious at spawned an impressive array of
munication became one in which the prospect of his absence, He says, insights, discoveries and inventions
designated patriarchs and prophets "Unless I go away, the Counselor will that have been seen to, or have in fact,
took on the role of being mediums not come to you.... I will send Him to spectacularly enriched everyday
between God and the people. In this you (John 16:7, NIV). Thus the Holy human life.
pattern, the less direct mode of visions Spirit comes to communicate with the The impressive accomplishments of
and dreams was often involved. world (verse 8) and with believers, the rational and scientific approach
Common to the language of the specifically to "guide [them] into all seem to have overawed much of con
prophets are words such as "This is the truth ... he will speak only what he temporary culture. Thus many today
word of the LORD ..." or "This is what hears... by taking from what is mine have come to believe that because the
the LORD, the God of Israel, says.. . ." and making it known to you" (verses scientific approach has so effectively
Following such authoritative introduc 13-15, NIV). handled the riddles posed by "A" it is
tions the thoughts and/or words of And so the fire falls and the Christian also automatically a fine resource for
God are expressed by the prophet, Church is born of the Holy Spirit (Acts handling "B." In other words, contem
even in the form of quotation. 2). Although there is still prophecy and porary humankind has largely
The crucial shift in divine-human now apostleship and the Holy Spirit concluded that the rational process
communication that came with Jesus is speaks with direct clarity to the early alone should be able to crack the
summarized this way: "In the past God Christian leaders, as a critical part of His secrets that lie at the heart of the most
spoke to our forefathers through the guiding, the Spirit also inspires into transcendent realities of the universe. It
prophets at many times and in various existence what we call the New therefore should also, they believe, ably
ways, but in these last days he has spo Testament, which with the Old makes decipher the mysteries of conscious
ken to us by his Son.... The Son is the up the primary king-pin component in ness and meaning that dwell hidden at
radiance of God's glory and the exact God's communication with humanity.
representation of his being (Heb. 1:1-3, The Bible becomes a tangible, under continued on page 29

MINISTRY April 2001

deserve, especially from the point of view of
mature Christian faith, and more particularly
still from the perspective of those who minis
ter to Christians who live in the midst of a
world largely dominated by this perspective?
What, if anything, may be given to the mate
rialistic axioms that dominate the Western
intellectual elite? Is the secularist, scientific
worldview as worthy of its firm entrenchment
in our cultures as many, like Bertrand Russell,
would have us believe? Are many Christians,
even ministers, surrendering, perhaps even
unwittingly, to a worldview that besides

nterfacing faith
being antithetical to the Christian faith is
built on faulty, even crumbling foundations?

The chemistry of a major shift

and reason From the time of Protagoras, who said,

"Concerning the gods, whether they exist or
not I do not know because of the difficulty of
the topic and the shortness of human life,"
on up through the materialistic presupposi

n May 29, 1919, Arthur Stanley tions of modern science a spiritless, natura
Clifford Goldstein
Eddington pointed a telescope listic worldview has had a long but thin (in
toward an eclipse and proved that few adhered to it) history. After thou
that gravity did, as Einstein sands of years of consideration, it is only dur
had theorized, bend light. ing the past 100 or so that cultures have
Unfortunately, nothing has been pointed in actually embraced the flimsy but thickly
the heavens, in the earth, or in any direction insular perspective of secularism, which now
that has proved, with such verifiable and may be said to have tilted the whole edifice
empirical objectivity, that Christ is the Son of of thought and worldview particularly in
God who shed His blood at the cross as an the West.
atonement for sin. People need what is called Conceived in the debris of the seven
faith to believe that "in a moment, in the teenth-century Cromwellian Revolution,
twinkling of an eye, at the last trump .. . the birthed in the arable soil of Enlightenment
trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be ideals, breast-fed by the goddess of reason,
raised incorruptible"(l Cor. 15:52), or that schooled in Parisian salons, parented by sci
"God commendeth his love toward us, in ence and technology and unwittingly encour
that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died aged and embraced by those ostensibly
for us" (Rom. 5:8). People do not need faith adorned in the numinous garb of Christ sec
to understand that "for every action there is ularism has come to maturity only in the
an equal and opposite reaction" or that the twentieth century, where it has been so
force of gravity between two objects "dimin infused into Western culture that we'd have
ishes by the square of the distance between to climb out of our eyes in order to see what
their centers." it has done to our minds.
This general context, no doubt, is what For hundreds of years men slit each other's
inspired philosopher Bertrand Russell to pro throats because they couldn't agree on what
claim, "What science cannot tell us, mankind God did to them after their throats were slit.
Clifford Goldstein is cannot know." Today, by contrast, people argue in a system
editor of the Mall
Really, now? Though Russell's scientific, atic, calculated, and scientific manner that
Bible Study Guide,
General Conference
materialist worldview has formed the back there is no god at all who does anything to us
of Seventh-day ground for some of humankind's greatest (either before or after we slit each other's
Adventists, Silver intellectual, pragmatic, and scientific achieve throats). Thus the chassis of an entire civiliza
Spring, Maryland. ments, just how valid are its presuppositions? tion has shifted away from the premise that
How much credence does such a worldview there is some kind of god behind the human

April 2001 MINISTRY

scene. Never before has there been the tools, to explain all reality any erate-sized planet, orbiting around a
such a widespread, institutionalized, more than classical physics alone very average star in the outer suburb
and intellectually fertile movement to explains France's 1998 World Cup of one among hundreds of billion of
explain creation, and all its predicates victory, or fluid dynamics a ballerina's galaxies" a whole dimension that
(life, death, morals, law, purpose, love, dance, or endocrinology love. cannot be fitted into test tubes or con
whatever) without a Creator. There's something about Tenny formed down to formulas, has been
Wrapped in airtight numbers, son's Enoch Arden or Alexander drummed out of nature, demoted
expressed with precision by scientists Pushkin's A Little Bird that accesses a from reality to myth. It has been
and explained by universally testable dimension where science is too bulky, largely dismissed because it could not
theories the secular worldview has too crude, too broad, too clumsy to be reduced to a size and shape
claimed and commanded an aura of enter, a dimension where reason is too amenable to full physical explanation
objectivity, of validation and of staid, too hard, too inflexible to pass by the human intellect.
demonstration that is beyond the through. Equations, cold, dead, and In this new calculus, heaven
reach of religious faith. Special static serve a purpose in human exis instead of being the throne of the
Relativity has enjoyed proofs that the tence, but at the same time they are cosmos has been shattered, the
death and resurrection of Christ incapable of actually defining a reality pieces parceled out and fragmented,
haven't and can't, at least short of the made to appear as nothing but fickle
parousia itself. F PHYSICAL LAWS myths scattered around the supersti

Flimsy foundations
Fledgling, relatively short-lived,
and parochial, the materialistic, sci
tious halls of an over-religious over
anxious, imagination. And the God
who once reigned in that heaven, if
He is seen to exist at all, now instead
entific worldview has, nevertheless, cowers, in the minds of many, twice
harnessed the moment. This is true removed from that throne, created by
even if its tethers are proving to be the creatures He once created.
inadequate as they slowly unravel Yet not only has the divine been
under the strain of their own intricate contorted and demoted to fit the
and feckless knots and loops. frame that for the past hundred years
Despite accolades that continue to has outlined the boundaries of all real
be sung to the triumphs of scientific ity. Whole aspects of human existence
rationalism, with all it has genuinely have been painfully crammed by sci
accomplished, its victories have never entific rationalism and materialism
been tethered to anything far beyond riotous with passion, effusive with into containers that can no more hold
its own rather dogmatic presupposi thought, and spry with creativity. them than a fishnet can whirlpools.
tions. And the fit of presupposition They may help and they may hinder, Ethics and love, hate and hope tran
with conclusion is not as tight as has but either way they simply can't actu scend not just the Periodic Table of
been claimed. The longer such an ill- ally do the job that needs doing. Elements but all 112 other facets of
fitting shroud covers the world the Asking them to do so is asking to. the reality the Table represents. No
more threadbare it tends to become. Theories, formulas, principles, and matter how microscopically fine-
More and more, reality is laying laws don't make stars shine, robins tuned and balanced the proportions,
threadbare its seams and the frayed fly, or mothers feed their young any they cannot fully explain heroism,
gape becomes more and more visible more than carving the symbols art, fear, generosity, altruism, hate,
as it is placed under the light of the E=MC2 on a piece of refined uranium hope, and passion, and to pretend
truest needs and longings of the will make an atomic explosion. that they can or that they ever might,
humanity it is said to serve. is to be most truly preposterous.
Sure, the world flashes across our Chemical scum A worldview that limits its view
senses as material; sure, rational However great the scientific and thus its world, only to rational
thinking solves puzzles and helps jets achievements of the past few hundred ism, to materialism, and to scientific
fly; sure science has been hugely years, something primal, something atheism, misses all that's beyond
helpful in creating cures for all sorts essential and intrinsically human has them which is so much of who we
of human woes; sure it has dissected been squandered along the way. are, what we hope for, what we aspire
the atom and constructed the Space Between Isaac Newton's words, "O to, what we imagine, what we dream
Shuttle. Yet these facts don't prove God! I think thy thoughts after thee!" and laugh and cry about and love and
that materialism, rationalism, and and Stephen Hawking's, "The human worship and live and die for.
science contain the potential, or even race is just a chemical scum on a mod Chemical scum doesn't mull over

MINISTRY April 2001


J |i|


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loftier worlds, doesn't envision eter
nity, doesn't write Les Miserables,
doesn't weep for the pain of others,
doesn't evoke the sublime, doesn't
desire immortality, doesn't seek the
Good, and doesn't love (either condi
tionally or unconditionally). That for
mulas and chemicals are part of it, an
important part, of course. That they
are all of it, never.

Moral culpability?
There is more to consider. In a
purely materialistic, chemical, and
mechanical world, how can humans
ever be responsible for their actions? If
physical laws alone control us and
explain us, we're like the wind, or
combustion, or any single automatic
response dependent on chains of reac
tion and interaction. Any society
based on purely materialistic premises
would have to let all its offenders
murderers, child-molesters, thieves,
rapists go free because we're
"Re-igniting the Flame" machines, and who can ascribe moral
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No society, even those engorged on
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We're animated, obviously, by
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MINISTRY April 2001

chemical reactions? Isn't there more the system itself would not be all- reigns the potential for something
to imagination than quanta of neu- encompassing, as scientific material beyond it, something outside of it,
rotransmitters lunging across synap- ism often claims to be, or takes for something that could explain why
tic clefts? Otherwise, what does the granted that it is. love is more than endocrine function,
brain do, secrete ideas like the liver "In short," wrote scientist Timothy why ethics is more than chemical syn
does bile? Ferris, "there is not and will never be thesis and why beauty is more than
"An uneasy sense nonetheless pre a complete and comprehensive scien mathematical proportions . . . some
vails," wrote mathematician David tific account of the universe that can thing, perhaps, divine?
Berlinski," it has long prevailed be proved valid." In other words,
that the vision of a purely physical or even science will always have to be The natural man
material universe is somehow incom taken on or by ... faith. Ultimately of course, Christians
plete; it cannot encompass the famil Could it then be that the inherent can't "prove" their faith. Not, at least
iar but inescapable facts of ordinary limits of science itself require faith? as Arthur Eddington, with his tele
life." But isn't faith, the notion of belief in scope, could prove Einstein's General
something unprovable, outside the Theory of Relativity. Faith is a differ
Stepping outside the system purview of science, whose whole pur ent kind of knowledge, requiring a
Scientism and materialism cannot pose is to prove things empirically? different kind of epistemology. So it is
in fact even justify themselves, or Isn't the concept of faith a leftover that using the tools of science alone
their own existence, much less from a distant, mythic, pre-scientific, for theology is like using socket
explain everything else's. Austrian pre-rationalistic age? wrenches on computer software.
mathematician Kurt Godel showed Because science is based on the Thus, Lord Russell's words, "What
that no system of thought, even sci understanding of matter, science science cannot tell us, mankind can
entific, can be legitimized by any implies (at least hypothetically) that not know," present an exceedingly
thing within the system itself. One everything should be accessible to narrow view of reality, a view that the
has to step outside the system, to experiment and empirical validation. apostle Paul almost 1,900 years earli
view it from a different, grander and Ideally, there shouldn't be room for er answered with words still valid for
broader perspective in order to prop faith in a scientific, secular, material those who trust that reality stretches
erly appraise or validate it. In other istic universe, yet the very nature of that beyond where science can go: "But
words, how does one judge X, when universe demands it. the natural man receives not the
X itself is the very criterion used to do What a paradox! The same system things of the Spirit of God: for they
the judging? How can humans objec that verbally refutes faith inherently are foolishness unto him: neither can
tively study that act of thought, the implies it. Within the materialistic he know them, because they are spiritu
act of thinking, when they have only and scientific worldview, then, there ally discerned" (I Cor. 2:14). SB
the act of thought, the act of think
ing, to do it?
For years reason has reigned as Jumping the Hurdle
epistemological king of the Occident,
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April 2001 MINISTRY

His providence, power, and goodness are so
available? I think we do. We wouldn't be
human if, at least at times, we didn't.

Mountain ranges
What resources and individuals represent
mountains in our lives that we consciously or
subconsciously have come to depend on to
help maintain our stability from day to day?
When I reflect on 33 years as the spouse of
a pastor, as a mother, a homemaker, and a

The mountains professional, I realize that it is His unchang

ing hand that has helped me juggle these
roles. Jesus was the invisible, irreplaceable,

or the Maker irreducible reality standing within the shad

ows to keep watch over my family and me
through all the years.
But it is still a huge blessing, isn't it, to be
Words of encouragement surrounded by mountains? They are so mag
nificent, so strong, exuding stability, security,
and certainty. I have been blessed to have
many mountains in my life.

o I look to the mountains, Until a few years ago, my parents were
Sandra Pearson
expecting my help to come mountains for me. Their thoughtful direction
from them? No, my help comes during my childhood was priceless, but not
from the Lord who made the more meaningful than the encouragement
mountains. He will not let you that they supplied for me later in adulthood.
slip or fall but is always there to hold your They became best friends to my husband and
hand. He never slumbers or sleeps but watch me. We visited them, vacationed with them,
es over His people day and night. The Lord is and drew strength from them regularly. They
your keeper; He shades you from the blazing were dedicated Christians whose wise counsel
sun. The sun will not hurt you and the moon and mutual devotion represented a virtual
will not harm you. The Lord will help you so fortress. Family is for us a great, central moun
you will not fall into evil. He will preserve tain range.
your soul. He will watch over your comings In a most realistic sense, my husband is a a
and goings as long as you live" (Psalm 121, mountain for me and I believe that he
The Clear Word). would say that I am the same for him. My
These words have affirmed multitudes at adult children and I fondly recall, for exam
the summit of contentment, and sustained ple, the lectures that he repeated whenever
even more in the valley of despair. They have we arrived at a new church. He would remind
become so synonymous with affirmation that the congregation that he was the only mem
tears of joy and smiles of contentment often ber of our family who was paid to weather
appear the moment recitation begins. It's one their criticisms and suffer patiently through
of those psalms that always seems appropri their tirades. He warned that if anyone
ate, no matter what we face. attacked his wife or our children, they had
There's another layer beneath this serene better pray that the Holy Spirit got hold of
surface. Some commentators claim the him before he got to them! He is a mountain,
psalmist is suggesting that we often look to a great and strong one, in fact.
Sandra Pearson is mountains for help when it is the Maker of Early in my experience, I was blessed to
director of Public the mountains who deserves our trust. This have a few superlative role models. They were
Service Ministries
calls for a question: Do we, particularly when more experienced wives and mothers who, by
and associate field
in crisis, trust in what is created; in human precept and example, enriched my emotional
services director for
the Breath of Life
beings, in wealth, in things, even in moun and information base. Their nurture and
telecast Silver tains, rather than the One who created all advice enveloped me at critical periods in my
Spring, Mary/and. this? Do we trust in the powers of earth when development as the spouse of a minister. They

10 MINISTRY April 2001

were there, stable and inspiring, tance there. But there are the moun a volunteer Bible counselor, volun
mountains in my life. tains. teer personal counselor, or juggling
Through the years, God has strate the responsibilities of parenting,
gically placed peers in my pathway Looking above the mountains homemaking, and a professional
who empathized and understood my Mountains are sometimes there for career, I was never alone. I just had
trials. Trust developed between us as others. Mountains sometimes rise to to look above the mountains to see
we shared joys and sorrows. Because represent problems instead of solu His face.
distance or some other barrier often tions, but Jesus is always there to I wouldn't trade the experience of
forced me to walk without the sup defend and encourage. He is a very being married to a pastor for any
port of a fellow shepherdess, I learned present help in the time of need. The thing. It has allowed me to see for
to treasure those relationships and same Power that spoke the world into myself how the triumphant power of
depended upon them to comfort me existence, that launched the heaven Jesus overcomes evil, even at the
in times of need, especially those ly bodies on their paths through the times when my role seemed to be the
times when I felt not only lonely but cosmos; the same Power that gave life most thankless, endless, and lonely
forsaken. to all things living, is always present one in all the world.

Objects of attack
It is no mystery, no secret: pastoral
spouses are singled out as targets of
the enemy's attacks. The influence of
the spouse on the pastor's effective
ness is greater than most imagine.
"The wife of a minister of the gospel
can be either a most successful helper to intervene for us. Yet we must look My Keeper
and a great blessing to her husband or above the mountains to find Him. My strength comes from the Lord
a hindrance to him in his work. It There may be pastoral spouses of Hosts and from the knowledge that
depends very much on the wife who have never encountered adversi we are preserved by a "Keeper" who
whether a minister will rise from day ty, but I have never met them. There neither slumbers nor sleeps, but who
to day in his sphere of usefulness, or are those who seem to think that protects and refreshes us like a cool
whether he will sink to the ordinary "Mount Pretense" is a reliable moun ing stream running beneath the
level."1 tain in which we sometimes trust. At shade of a full, spreading tree in the
The influence of the pastoral length, however, wounds and frustra full heat of the day. He is never far
spouse is so pivotal that it cannot be tions must be dealt with or they will away. He is close. He is at our right
ignored by Satan. His attacks on the turn into resentments. Jesus stands hand, and since the right hand is
spouse have the potential to wreak a above the mountains with healing for thought to be the working hand, He
devastation just as serious as direct every malady. assures us that He gives us strength to
attacks on the pastor. Each of us must There are those who cherish the accomplish tasks that seem to never
recognize our importance to our belief that the organization to which end. He will not allow us to lose our
spouses and the significance of our we fondly refer as "the church" will footing in times of distress. Though
own spiritual strength in the larger somehow attend to the needs of adversity and criticism may try to
scheme of things. When we are every worker and supply the personal overthrow us, He dispels our fears by
strong, our spouses tend to be resources required to sustain each keeping our feet from being moved.
affirmed and encouraged; if we allow pastoral family. While I thank the "Do I look to the mountains,
ourselves to be overcome, the effec Lord for the strong mountain of the expecting my help to come from
tiveness of our spouses may be dimin church, we must insist that we have them? No, my help comes from the
ished. to look even above this mountain. Lord who made the mountains."
Thus, the crucial question is, Upon The same Jesus whose power and Those are words all pastoral spous
whom do we lean in times of vulner authority constantly steadies the es and all pastors need to remember
ability? David declares that we can "ship of Zion" through the raging and to rest in, no matter whether
not depend on mountains. The mere waters is careful to hold pastoral fam they live among the highest summits,
hills to which we have looked too ilies in the palm of His hand. or on the most barren and desolate
often for assistance will disappoint us I can testify to the faithfulness of plain in the world.
eventually. Perhaps at the very God. He has always been there to see
moment we face our most formidable my family and me through it all. 1 Ellen G. White, Pastoral Ministry (Silver Spring, Md.:
foe, we will look and find no assis Whether I was serving the church as General Conference Ministerial Assoc., 1995), 86.

April 2001 MINISTRY 11

phy, focusing on social, educational, and eth
nic questions. The second and largest, dealt
with how pastors manage their money,
including everything from their current con
sumer debt to whether they have an updated
will. The final part related to congregational
giving and stewardship issues.
Of the approximately 670 pastors surveyed,
387 responded either by filling in the forms at
a conference ministerial retreat or sending the
forms by direct mail to Loma Linda University

Pastors, stop Center for Health Research, which was com

missioned to compile the final data.

throwing away How pastors manage their money

Since four of the seven conferences of the
Pacific Union are in California and three of

your money! them include two of the largest American

cities Los Angeles and San Francisco it was
expected that the largest number of pastors
would live in a metro area, or surrounding
suburbia and in mid-size townships. That

very month pastoral families in the proved to be the case, with 91 percent serving
Gordon Botting
United States are throwing away in urban areas. Fifty percent of the pastors
money that's rightfully theirs. This were facing retirement in the next 15 years.
year they will literally give away to Nearly 80 percent were over the age of 40.
creditors a minimum of $15,000 to Without significant exception, the ethnic
$20,000. In one's working lifetime, an background of pastors was consistent with
ordained pastor may give up to half a million the ethnicity of their congregations.
dollars to the banks and financial companies. When it comes to debt, Adventist pastors in
If this seems preposterous, consider the America live in a society with a consumer
facts. The average American family will pur debt (excluding home mortgage) of over six
chase ten vehicles in the first forty years of and a half trillion dollars. The first survey
employment and spend an average of $4,000 question sought to find if the pastors fol
in interest on each car loan, adding up to a lowed the community debt pattern. In this
total of $40,000. In their pastoral work, many area pastors get high marks, as one-fifth of the
clergy probably wear out twice as many vehi Adventist clergy had no debt, and 80 percent
cles, hence their total could be closer to had a consumer debt of under $20,000.
$80,000. Seventy-eight percent of the older ministers
Annual credit card interest of $1,500 will owed nothing in school loans. Of the pastors
tally up to $60,000 for those forty years. A under 40, 82 percent planned to pay off their
loan of $100,000 for a modest home will cost school loans in less than ten years.
over $200,000 in interest charges. The total How do pastors use the credit card? Nearly
for these three financial items is over a third 50 percent had two or three credit cards and
of a million dollars, and we haven't included 36 percent had none. When compared with
loans for education, furniture, furnishings, the average American family, which has 10 to
and other major items. 14 credit or charge cards, Adventist pastors
To find out more about how ministerial are well below the norm. Only 38 percent of
Gordon Boning,
Dr.Ph., CFC, is families manage their finances, in 1998 the the pastors carried credit card balances at the
financial education Stewardship Ministry of the Pacific Union end of the month, as compared to 75 percent
and stewardship Conference in the North American Division of the general populace. Of those who did
director of the Pacific conducted the first money management sur carry a monthly balance, 50 percent were
Union Conference, vey of local church pastors and conference under $500 and 86 percent under $4,000.
Westlake Village, leaders. The 72-question survey covered three When it came to credit card limits, 20 percent
California. sections. The first part dealt with demogra had less than a $5,000 limit, 40 percent less

12 MINISTRY April 2001

than $10,000, and less than 5 percent pastor's gross salary is $4,000, only vehicles combined, 9 percent of the
had over $20,000. Half of those who one-fifth of ministers in this survey ministers owed over $20,000, 18 per
had credit cards did not use a rebate saved the necessary 10 percent $400 cent $10,000 to $20,000, and 27 per
program, with the rest using mainly or more per month. Forty percent of cent less than $10,000. The rest
frequent flyer rewards (22 percent) or the ministers saved less than $100 per owned their vehicles outright.
a cash rebate (18 percent). month. One of the best methods to Having a family budget was impor
When it comes to home ownership, 64 save is to have it deducted from the tant to 40 percent of the pastors with
percent owned a home and 36 percent paycheck by direct deposit; yet 55 another 40 percent saying they more
rented. Of those who rented, 24 per percent of Adventist pastors surveyed or less believed in having one. The
cent have done so for 10 or more years failed to do this. rest were divided between the
and 18 percent for over 20 years. The Of the 40 percent of pastors who extremes of not having one and
fact that one third of Adventist minis had a savings account, how many needing it, and definitely not need
ters had lived in their current house had a reserve account for emergen ing it at all. Nearly two-thirds of the
over six years indicates long tenures in cies? Twenty-nine percent said that pastors had attended a personal
parishes. Of those who owned their
homes, 15 percent had either paid up
the mortgage or planned to do so in RE ADVENTIST PASTORS THROWING AWAY
less than five years. 45 percent had
less than 20 years before they could
bum the mortgage papers. Only one-
fifth had more than 25 years before
they could claim title to their home.
Two troubling aspects of this survey
on homes was the gain versus loss they had two months' reserve, 19 per financial seminar with their spouses.
ratio resulting from moves to new dis cent had three months, and 36 per On having wills, 44 percent said
tricts (only a pastor's two previous cent had over four months. they did not have one. Of those who
moves were surveyed) and the lack of The other area of savings we sur had a will, 25 percent said it was cur
planning among pastors that was veyed was in relationship to retire rent, and 33 percent indicated that it
revealed in relationship to property ment. Even though a majority of needed updating.
taxes and household maintenance. pastors planned to retire in the next Coming back to the original ques
When it came to the most recent 10 to 20 years, over 70 percent were tion: Are Adventist pastors throwing
move by a given pastoral family, two- saving less than $2,000 annually, with away their money? Our Financial
thirds sustained a loss on their proper 64 percent having less than $10,000 Survey provided a mixed answer.
ty value. On the relocation preceding currently in tax sheltered annuities. "Yes" in the areas of saving for
the latest, 60 percent suffered loss. The picture became even more short-term and emergencies, and also
This is a major concern since over half gloomy when the survey revealed that in the area of long-term planning,
the clergy had moved over seven approximately one-third of the clergy such as for retirement, with the most
times with 19 percent relocating more were not paying into Social Security serious lack of planning occurring in
than 13 times. Over 25 percent of and 44 percent of these were saving the area of home ownership and min
ministers did not save for property $100 or less per month. isterial moves. "No" when it comes to
taxes, and two-thirds did not include Vehicle ownership and usage is outstanding debt and credit card pur
a maintenance section in their budget another important area covered by chases. Overall, pastors are to be com
for home repairs. On owning a the study. Ninety-two percent of pas mended on their money management
debt-free home upon retirement, only tors owned their vehicles, while oth principles. With a little tuning, they
30 percent said this was a realistic pos ers leased. Fifty-nine percent of the 58 could pass a financial audit with fly
sibility and an equal number indicat individuals who leased, stated it was ing colors!
ed that they did not consider it for their profession or work. The vari
realistic in their case. ety of vehicles owned or leased ranged What pastors should do
In the area of savings, during the from motorcycles (3 percent), mini Savings. Since their dreams and
last 10 years, the average American vans (22 percent), pickup trucks (20 needs are important to their future,
family has saved less than 2 percent percent), full-size cars (28 percent), pastoral families need to develop def
of their income. Are Adventist pastors mid- to small-size cars (92 percent) to inite savings strategies. This should
any better? Financial planners urge recreational vehicles (7 percent). Fifty be considered along with the new
that a family save 10 percent on an percent of pastors had no vehicle pay retirement plan in North America.
annual basis. If the average ordained ment. On the total debt owed on all One of the weaknesses of pastors is

April 2001 MINISTRY 13

that, because they move approxi you pay your credit cards within the fits and tax relief taken in), he or she
mately every five to eight years, they grace period allowed. In fact, making will earn two million dollars in 40
fail to think and plan long range. the payment a week before the end of years of church employment. If you
Here are four steps to assist pastors in the grace period will often save you faithfully save 10 percent of your
having a viable savings program. further interest. annual income and you received an
1. Make a list. Sit down with your On the other hand, if you are like average of 8.5 percent in interest on
spouse and write out a list of your the ministers in our survey who faith your savings, in 40 years you will
dreams Christian education for your fully make their payment each have 100 percent plus of all the
children, further professional educa month, then you need to make cred money you would have earned dur
tion, a trip to the Holy Land or the it cards work for you by receiving a ing your working life. For Adventist
countries of the Reformation, your rebate or other offered benefit. clergy under the new retirement plan
first home, or being totally debt free Choose the benefit that is to your this does not need to be a financial
from school loans in two years. Once advantage. For example, if it's a vaca stretch. The local conference gives
you have made the list, prioritize the tion or the need to visit friends and you 4 percent, plus an additional 1
items on it. Set a realistic amount to relatives who live some distance percent if you match it with another
be saved in each pay period. Set a real away, get a card with frequent flyer 2 percent of your own money. If you
istic long-term time frame in which to benefits. If you need an automobile, add an additional 3 percent making a
achieve the goals you set. To boost some credit cards offer a 5-percent total of 5 percent of your own
your motivation to save, post a pic rebate of up to $3,500.00 toward your monies, you will achieve the 10 per
ture in your checkbook or on your next vehicle. If you have three cent goal for retirement living.
bathroom mirror of your new home, churches in your district fifty or more Home purchases. Purchasing a
your trip, or your degree. miles in opposite directions, then house is perhaps the most difficult
2. Use direct deposit. The easiest way make your purchase with a gasoline financial challenge pastors face. In
to save money is to have the amount credit card and receive up to 70 free the last two decades more and more
automatically transferred to a savings gallons. Adventist clergy are staying longer in
account. Often your conference will Vehicles. If there is one line item in their parishes; often over ten years,
be willing to do this for you. Set a the pastor's budget that is never satis which now gives them the advantage
minimum savings goal of 5 percent of fied, it is the pastor's vehicle. A num of owning a house. If you plan to be
your income. ber of things can assist the pastor in serving your current congregation for
3. Save from unexpected sources. Tax reducing this financial drain. the next ten years, it would be wise to
refund is one such source. Over the Purchase only used vehicles that purchase a home with a 15-year mort
last five years the annual tax refund are no more than two years old and gage. A 15-year mortgage does not
for the average American family has have less than 20,000 miles on the mean twice the monthly payment of
been about $1,200.00. Without the odometer. This will save you between a 30-year mortgage; in fact, it is usu
magic of compound interest this three and five thousand dollars in ally about one-third more. The real
would amount to close to $50,000 in depreciation and still leave you with a advantage is that instead of less than
your 40 years of ministry. Investing minimum of 15,000 miles under fac 3 percent equity on a 30-year mort
the money wisely would make it tory warranty. gage in each monthly payment, it is
much more. Determine to pay cash for each more like 33 percent. If you were to
4. Save from expected sources. After vehicle. If you have not done this in add an additional $200 in principal
paying off the last installment on the past, here is how you would go each month, the home would be paid
your current vehicle or school loan, about it. Continue to make the off in ten years with a saving of over
start putting that money directly into monthly installments on your cur $150,000 in interest.
your savings account. Discipline your rent car and when you have made the In all of this it is obvious that a
self to save the same amount for the last payment, open a new savings working spouse is a critical variable.
next vehicle or other future purchases. account and begin to put away the This is, of course, a personal matter
Credit cards. If you are like one of same amount. Four years later you and one that requires careful thought
the 25 percent of ministers in our sur will have the amount needed to pur and prayer.
vey, and fail to pay your cards in full chase a new pre-owned vehicle. This Providing for your family's current
each month, keep the total credit may seem unachievable, but working necessities, as well as saving for the
limit on your card to a minimum. For determinedly toward such a goal is future, is a biblical principle. Use the
most pastors $2,000 would be ade definitely worth it. strategies mentioned in this article.
quate for daily needs and any unex Retirement. Since the average Put the brakes on runaway interest.
pected emergency. Only purchase ordained pastor in the United States And with God's help, give yourself
what you have budgeted. Make sure earns over $50,000 a year (with bene financial security. W

14 MINISTRY April 2001


AH degrees are state rec

'"""'*'"''"""f"i:S'"y:'Wii-,. ''.'':? .'';"'>:.;

Historic Martin Luther

www.ThH-Friedensau. de
Two-year evangelism explosion
My doctoral study concentrated on evan
gelism and church growth. For my disserta
tion, I chose to focus on the mobilizing and
equipping of lay members for evangelism. To
do this I chose to spend two years in an "evan
gelism explosion" program. The two-year
evangelistic marathon involved 11 crusades.
The marathon began in 1998 with a five-
week crusade in Kishnev, the capital of
Moldova. Meetings were translated into
Russian and Romanian. We began with an
attendance of about 800 and ended the fifth

Public evangelism week with over 1,800. We baptized 310 souls,

and trained more than 200 lay evangelists.
From Moldova we flew to Dar es Salaam,
Tanzania, my home country. We began our
Still WOrkS (parti) meetings there with an attendance of 3,000.
By the end of the first week, attendance grew
to 10,000 and doubled by the end of second

week. By the end of the third week we had a
ate in 1990 I was appointed minis crowd of about 50,000. Some 150,000 were
Kerry Mhando
terial secretary and personal min coming to the meetings in the final week of
istries director for the Tanzania the five-week campaign. We had never wit
Union. The appointment puzzled nessed anything of that kind in any of our
me: how could I lead in evangelism previous crusades. In the end we baptized
when I had not been fully involved in evan 1,620 people.
gelism? I prayed, fasted, and sought for a Then there was Arlington, Texas. A small
clearer vision of what I should do. church, meeting in a rented hall with fewer
First, I needed to set soul-winning goals for than 150 members, hosted the meetings. The
my own ministry. "Someone in charge of four-week program began with a small atten
evangelism must set an example," I said to dance. The parking lot was only half-full.
myself. "I must set a high goal that I can only Local church leaders warned me that it was
reach by the power of God." I was impressed possible that we would not baptize anybody.
to set the goal of baptizing an average of five However, by the end of the fourth week the
people a day in 1992a total of 1,830. In parking lot was overflowing. When the cru
addition, I set out to train 500 active lay sade ended, 52 people had been baptized,
preachers. By the end of the year, and five cru including 15 couples. The crusade brought
sades later, 2,850 souls were baptized, and such revitalization to the church that today
more than 600 lay preachers had been pre more than 300 people are attending every
pared for their ministry. In 1994, four cru Sabbath, and the congregation is worshiping
sades yielded 4,000 baptisms and we trained in its own facility. Contrary to the way we
1,000 lay preachers. sometimes feel, public evangelism can work
In September 1995 my wife and I arrived in even in places that are not thought to be pro
Andrews University. In the academic setting ductive fields.
of the seminary, one can easily lose one's The year 1999 saw the Great Nairobi
moorings, and die professionally and spiritu Crusade in Kenya. One of my goals for the
Herry Mhando is a
ally. For this reason, I decided to prioritize two year was to reach and evangelize the higher
global evangelist for
Light Bearers
things: to study hard, and at the same time to class in society. In fact, I was determined to
Ministry, Ma/o, be involved in evangelism. God soon opened share the gospel story with the presidents
Washington. doors for me to evangelize. Every spring break and top leaders of different countries. I was
and summer I was invited to different coun determined to do whatever I could to reach
tries to conduct crusades. From 1996 to 1999, these thought leaders. Nevertheless, I did not
my wife and I have conducted 17 crusades. know how it would happen. My duty was

16 MINISTRY April 2001

only to work hard, lay all my plans every class of peoplefrom cabinet "Are you coming with us?" they
before God, and leave the results ministers to office workers, from busi asked.
with the One who knows no failure. ness leaders to just ordinary people. "No," I said. "However, before the
The first thing I did when we We baptized 3,200 souls. crusade ends, I will make sure that I
arrived in Kenya was to share my The president of Kenya was aware visit the person who funds this cru
dream with the pastors and church of what was going on in the city. One sade and pray with him."
members. I told them that the impact of his ministers attended our meet They left and came back smiling
ings daily. As a result, the president after one hour. The man had agreed
invited me to the State House where I to pay for the stadium, and for the
had the opportunity to share the public address system and the stage
Word of God with him, and to pray and advertising on television, radio,
for him. Along with the president of and the newspapers. How can our
our Eastern Africa Union and other God fail us financially when we
pastors and lay members we spent depend upon Him to do the work
almost an hour with President Daniel that is, in fact, His business? In Harare
Arap Moi. we baptized 1,523 souls.
Next we went to Blantyre, Malawi. Our last crusade for the millenni
Thousands of people attended Here, too, we had the privilege of um was in Kisii, Kenya. This was to be
the Kenya crusades. being invited to meet with the presi the largest reaping crusade in all the
dent, the Honorable Bakili Muluzi. 48 that I had conducted thus far in
Even before meeting him, he had sent my life. We had a team of 1,000 lay
of the crusade should reach the State a personal donation for the crusade. members, actively working with me.
House. During the second week of the When we met him at the State House,
crusade I told the pastors and church we spent about one hour with him,
elders that I needed 25 buses to pick spoke the Word of God, shared some
up people from outlying areas around books, and prayed with him. How
the city so that they would be able to wonderful our God is! He surely can
come to the crusade. They frankly said bring anything about.
this would be impossible. They simply In Harare, Zimbabwe, the crusade
did not have the budget. coordinators had chosen a small
After a few days, I met one lay auditorium because of budget con
member, an influential and financial straints. But I needed the National
ly blessed person. I told him I needed Sports Stadium, one of the most beau
25 buses to bring our members and tiful and modern stadiums in Africa. Baptism in one of the
their friends to and from my meet It can accommodate more than crusades in Kenya.
ings every night. I told him that I had 50,000 people, and no one needed to
chosen him to coordinate the pro be embarrassed to attend because the The conference president and several
gram. He and his wife would give part venue was sub-standard. But again pastors joined forces. We baptized
of their money toward this project, the problem was one of finances. 6,600 precious souls. Estranged, for
and find a few of his friends to spon I now knew that money was no mer members were reclaimed and
sor a few buses each. "You and your longer a problem when God was in rebaptized. Relatives, friends, and
wife pray about it, and let me know," our evangelistic endeavors. I asked neighbors of Adventists were among
I said to him. the steering committee if they knew those who decided to accept Jesus.
After a few days, the man and his at least three financially blessed peo In 1999 alone, I saw some 13,000
wife came up with a donation of ple in the city. They did. I chose one, people baptized, almost the same as
300,000 shillings (about US$5,000) and sent two of my team members to the total baptized during the 20 years
toward the bus project. Other contri meet him. of my ministry before I came to the
butions swelled the bus fund to more "Go to this man," I told them, seminary, m
than 1.5 million shillings. My donor "and tell him that Herry Mhando is
had also contacted the bus company, here to evangelize Harare for five Editorial note: The final part of this
and from the third week of the cru weeks. He has sent us to you, and he two part series will appear in the June
sade buses were bringing people from would like you to do two things. First, issue of Ministry. It will identify and
all parts of the city for free. The atten to arrange for the use of the stadium enlarge on five evangelistic principles
dance kept growing from 20,000 until for five weeks. Second, to pay the that have been basic to the inspiring
it reached over 200,000, and included rental for the facility." results described in this article.

April 2001 MINISTRY 17

20,000 persons are affiliated with the
Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The evangelistic event

Over the years evangelism in Pakistan has
often been conducted by short term, itinerant
workers who have had success working
together with a Pakistani pastor in establish
ing an Adventist presence in 150 of the 800
Christian neighborhoods.

A model for In August and September 2000, three

teams joined together for a five-week evangel
istic thrust in the Hyderabad area. Eight
national pastors were assisted by four expatri

cross-cultural ate workers from Korea, England and

Denmark. These combined teams concentrat
ed on three Christian areas. People from six

evangelism other nearby Christian villages were bused in

each night. At the close of the campaign bap
tismal services were held in four locations
where 154 persons joined Christ and the
church. The campaigns were run on a moder
^^^J"^*he Islamic Republic of Pakistan ate budget. The teams were able to stay with
Borge Schantz
has an estimated population of in the budget to the extent that residual
about 140 million. Of these about monies made it possible for four young peo
three million are Christians, or ple from the area to be sponsored to attend
.J^L approximately 400,000 families. Pakistan Adventist Seminary.
For religious, political and practical reasons In connection with the General Conference
Christians live in 800 neighborhoods spread session in Toronto the Ministerial Association
widely over the whole country. The constitu published a book by Borge Schantz, featuring
tion of Pakistan, based on Shariat law, guar evangelism in developing areas titled A Path
antees some religious freedom. In Islamic Straight to the Hedges. All three teams used this
understanding this means that those born manual as a guide. They adapted the princi
Christian are permitted to remain in their tra ples set forth in the book to fit into their own
ditions, protected to some degree in the prac situations. It was rewarding to observe how
tice of their faith. They are always encouraged well the principles outlined in the book oper
to become Muslims. On the other hand, ated in the Pakistani "trial run." New experi
Muslims are not allowed to become Christian. ences, however, were gained, which means
Proselytizing among Muslims is forbidden. that a few paragraphs could be added to the
Transgressing in these proscriptions can result book. These new techniques are an important
in serious prosecution. part of this article.
Christian missions in Pakistan, with good
results among the Hindus, took root in the The campaign itself
1890s. Today there are 35 Christian denomi The five-week campaign began with a
nations active in Pakistan. Christians are, of deliberate demonstration of the presence
course, permitted to change their religious and purpose of the meetings in the Christian
affiliation. Unfortunately, over the years mis neighborhoods. We visited many homes and
sion societies have left many churches with invited people to the 10 sessions held
Borge Schantz is
out proper pastoral care. This has weakened sequentially each night. We spent no money
director of the
their spiritual life, influence and witness. for advertising or hall rental. Despite the
Institute of Islamic
Studies at Newbold Seventh-day Adventist work had a modest lack of advertizing, the first night of the 10
College, England. beginning in 1901. The present membership public lectures the meeting places were
officially stands at about 7,000 adults. By way filled, as people crowded in to sit on mats.
of the Pakistani count, this represents rough Sound equipment placed on surrounding
ly 3,000 households. In reality 18,000 to roofs and poles enabled the whole neighbor-

18 MINISTRY April 2001

hood to hear the message. such as Sabbath keeping genuinely 5. I believe in the seventh-day as
We selected the topics for the significant in a society with high the Sabbath.
meetings with three factors in mind. unemployment and limited social 6. I believe that only God has
They had to express the uniqueness amenities, one must move beyond an immortality.
of Christianity in general and initial public proclamation of such 7.1 believe in the Second Coming
Adventism in particular, they should verities. We had opportunity to do of Christ.
be relevant to the culture and religion this in the baptismal classes. We 8. I believe that my body is the
of the area, and they should be pre focused on the Seven Seals in temple of the Holy Spirit and will
sented so that illiterate people (up to Revelation 5 to 8, a prophecy that is honor God by taking care of my
50 percent of the audience) would easy to understand. With the four body.
understand them. The topics includ horsemen the historical development 9.1 believe in the ordinances of the
ed such subjects as the Bible, law and of false doctrines and the conse Seventh-day Adventist church.
grace, the origin of evil, the Sabbath, quences of it are obvious. We drew 10.1 believe that as a member of the
women in the Bible, the Second the conclusion that at the time of end SDA church I shall support it with my
Advent, heaven and hell, the nature there would be a church that would attendance, personal witness and
of death, conditional immortality, "obey God's commandments and financial means.
baptism and church membership. remain faithful to Jesus." In other Praise be to God the Father, God
We did not use visual aids such as words, Sabbath is more than resting the Son , and God the Holy Spirit.
films, overhead transparencies or on Saturday instead of Sunday. It is a The introduction of the "SDA
slides. Instead, we illustrated our lec test and a sign. Confession" (that no doubt still
tures by the simple means available In both the public lectures and the needs some refinement) went over
on the spot. (Hell, with the actual baptismal classes we put special well. Initially we had in mind that it
burning of straw; Conditional emphasis on the biblical truth about would help the illiterate people in the
Immortality, with a torch light; conditional immortality. Such an audience to memorize, give an
Baptism, with a doll and a wash emphasis is especially needed in vari account of and understand what they
basin). One reason for using these ous religions in the world, including believe. We discovered, however, that
simple illustrative methods is that the many Christian traditions. Worship all participants in the baptismal class
national pastors, who were not only in almost all world religions is cen esliterate as well as illiterate
partners in the venture but also stu tered in one way or the other on the enjoyed the recitals. Quite a few
dents of evangelism, would not have veneration of ancestors, reincarna could say it by heart on the last
access to the expensive electronic tion, immortality of human souls and evening. Some of the pastors decided
equipment we had. spiritualism. These beliefs are perhaps they were going to have church
During our visits in the homes of the greatest obstacles for the biblical members recite it each Sabbath at the
the people, we prayed with the fami teaching of what happens after death. beginning of the divine service.
lies and answered questions arising
from the lectures. These visits also "An SDA Confession of Faith" Baptismal services
provided opportunities for evaluating During our Pakistan meetings we From the onset of the campaigns,
the interest level of the attendees and also tried an approach that proved we conducted Sabbath School and
in the light of our evaluation, inviting successful. We wrote a 10-point church services. At the first public
people to forthcoming baptismal Seventh-day Adventist confession of meeting, we announced that on
classes. faith which was translated into Urdu. Saturday morning there would be a
The confession was based on the bap special service, and invited all to
Baptismal classes tismal vows. At the beginning of each come. Surprisingly, many attended.
We conducted five baptismal baptismal class session everyone in On the last weekend after four
classes. During these sessions we dug attendance recited these points in weeks' intensive work we conducted
deeper into the Word of God and unison. the baptismal services. Whenever
Seventh-day Adventist eschatology, The "Confession" reads: possible, baptismal services were con
lifestyle, and church structure. 1.1 believe in God the Father, God ducted in the neighborhood where
During the public lectures we had the Son and God the Holy Spirit. the new convert lived. This made the
presented the Sabbath as an impor 2.1 believe in the Bible as the Word baptismal event itself a witness to
tant command in the center of God's of God. family, neighbors and friends.
Law, but we had not been able to 3. I believe in Jesus Christ as the At the baptisms we asked photog
cover some of the eschatological only Savior from sin. raphers to take pictures of each bap
aspects related to the Sabbath ques 4. I believe in the Ten Command tismal candidate at the moment the
tion. If one wishes to make matters ments as a rule for Christian life. continued on page 30

April 2001 MINISTRY 19

which ends with the following statement:
A. The House of Shammai say, "A man
should divorce his wife only because he has
found grounds for it in unchastity,
B. Since it is said, Because he has found in her
indecency in anything (Deut. 24:1)."
C. And the House of Hillel say, "Even if she
spoiled his dish,

A Christian D. Since it is said, Because he has found in

her indecency in anything."
E. R. Aqiba says, "Even if he found some

theology of one else prettier than she,

F. Since it is said, And it shall be if she find
no favor in his eyes (Deut. 24:1)."1

divorce and It seems that the Pharisees were attempting

to align Jesus either with the conservative
position of Shammai, or the more liberal

remarriage stance of Hillel, which is preserved in later tra

dition by Rabbi Aqiba.
Jesus' initial response (19:4-6). Although
Jesus was almost certainly aware of the rab
binic debate, He responds by appealing to
^Jf A "^^hat is the biblical teaching Scripture: "Haven't you read that the one who
Keith A. Burton
^ y^ / on divorce and remar- created from the beginning made them male
% / ^ / riage? Two instances, and female? And said because of this a man
m/ ml Matthew 19:1-12 and shall leave father and mother and be joined to
V W 1 Corinthians 7:10-15, his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.
give us clear direction on this issue. Therefore, they are no longer two but one
flesh. That which God has yoked, let no per
Matthew 19:1-12 son separate." In this Jesus constructs a logical
In order to get to the heart of Jesus' teach argument that places Him in control of the
ing, it is necessary to follow the flow of the discussion. He does not even attempt to
dialogue in this passage. Many who analyze engage in the legitimacy of rabbinic authori
the course of the passage tend to jump from ty, but takes the issue back to Scripture.
verse 3 to verse 9, and forget that there is a By appealing to Scripture, Jesus upholds
logical progression to the discussion. the divine ideal. He first refers to human cre
Jesus leaves Galilee on His final journey to ation in Genesis 1:27 and affirms marriage as
Jerusalem. Some Pharisees approach Him a divine initiative. Then, He points to Genesis
with a question on the issue of divorce. 2:24 as evidence that not only did God place
The Pharisees' question (19:3b). The ques the first couple together, but He is actively
tion seems basic: "Is it lawful for a man to involved in solidifying the union of the mar
divorce his wife for every reason?" On one riage relationship. In some mysterious way,
level, it may seem as if the Pharisees are the married couple becomes "one flesh." Jesus
inquiring about legitimate grounds for uses the metaphor of "yoking" to describe the
divorce. However, as we look closely at the marital union.
text, we see that the issue for the Pharisees is With this in mind, if we reduce Jesus'
not whether there is any reason for divorce, answer to the Pharisees' question to one word,
but whether one could divorce for "every rea it would have to be "No!" A person cannot
Keith Augustus
son" (pasan aitian). secure a divorce for every reason stipulated in
Burton is associate
professor of New
To understand the question, we must rabbinic tradition. For Jesus, the Scripture is
Testament at appreciate the social context of the inquiry. clear that marriage is a lasting institution in
Oakwood College, The Pharisees were attempting to engage Jesus which God binds two individuals together.
Huntsville, Alabama. in an ongoing rabbinic debate over the Constructing a list of escape clauses to unyoke
grounds and methods of divorce. Much of the what God has yoked is to trivialize the sacred
discussion is recorded in Mishnah Gittin, and mystical nature of the union.

20 MINISTRY April 2001

The Pharisees' counter question about an "exception" clause (except pregnant during the time of the
(19:7). Not satisfied with Jesus' for porneia/adultery). Even Luke's engagement, three questions would
answer, the Pharisees prod Him fur brief reference is absolute (Luke be asked: (1) Was it the impatient
ther: "Why then did Moses legislate 16:18). Matthew is the only one that fiance? (2) Was it another man after
that a husband could give his wife a provides an escape hatch. the engagement? (3) Was it another
divorce writ and put her away?" They The interpretation of porneia has man before the engagement?
have followed Jesus onto His turf and challenged commentators for cen If it were the fiance, the marriage
are willing to meet Scripture with turies. The normal biblical under would commence immediately. If it
Scripture. The Mosaic legislation is standing of the term is "fornication," were another man after the engage
found in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. In but the pre-marital connotation of ment, the woman would be guilty of
appealing to this text, the Pharisees "fornication" has led to obscure trans adultery and consequently executed
are suggesting that Jesus is going lations like "unchastity," "infidelity," (Deut. 22:23, 24). If it were with
against Moses. "unfaithfulness," and even "adul another man before the engagement,
Jesus' second response (19:8, 9). Jesus tery." I say even adultery because she would be guilty of fornication
refuses to move from His position as many hold that this is the unpardon and biblical law mandated that she be
He places the Mosaic stipulation in its able sin in marriage.2 However, if executed (Deut. 22:13-21). However,
social context. He answers, "Because Matthew meant adultery, he would for the third category, rabbinic law
of your hardheartedness Moses have used the correct term as he does does not appear to be as harsh as bib-
allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so."
This is not so much an indictment
against Moses as it is against the rebel
lious people who refused to submit to
the divine ideal. Moses did not initiate
the divorce law; he simply permitted
(epetrepsen) it.
Notice that the purpose of the further on in the verse and also in lical law. Although the Mishnah
Mosaic legislation was not to estab 15:19. Further, in 5:27, adultery upholds execution for adultery, it per
lish grounds for divorce, but to dis includes not just the physical act, but mits a man to divorce on the grounds
cuss the issue of sexual defilement. the preceding act of the mind as well. of fornication (Mishnah Gittin, 9:10
The existence of the divorce law is This would mean that one had a-b). Could Jesus be agreeing with the
taken for granted in Deuteronomy. grounds for divorce even if a spouse House of Shammai at this point?
There is no explanation concerning thought about having an affair! So, This view is certainly worthy of
its origin; it simply existed. However, what is the meaning of pomeial careful thought. Matthew is the only
although it existed it was clear to The term itself is related to the Gospel that provides the real scoop
Jesus that it was not a part of God's Greek word for a female prostitute behind the engagement of Joseph
original plan. (pome) and a male who solicits a pros and Mary. Matthew 1:18 tells us that
Given the flow of the discussion so titute (pornos). 3 However, it is not while the two were engaged, Mary
far, the interpretive task would have only used to describe this ignoble was found to be "with child from the
been a lot easier if Jesus had stopped profession, but also refers to other Holy Spirit." Joseph's initial reaction
here. If Jesus had ended His discus forms of sexually deviant behavior, was to "divorce her quietly." We are
sion at this point, much of the cur particularly premarital sex. The idea is not sure at what point in their rela
rent controversy would have been that those who engage in premarital tionship Mary was chosen to be the
alleviated. However, Jesus ends His sex are behaving in the manner of mother of the Savior, but we do know
dialogue with a stern pronounce prostitutes. Is it possible that Jesus has that when it was discovered that
ment: "I say to you that whoever this understanding in mind? Could Mary was pregnant, Joseph thought
divorces his wife, except for porneia, Jesus have been stating that the only of the option of divorce. Had the
and marries another, commits adul ground for divorce is premarital sex? divorce gone through, Joseph's action
tery." Some manuscripts go even fur This merits further explanation. would have indicated to the commu
ther: "and the one who marries a Jewish marriages in the first century nity that Mary had engaged in pre
divorced woman commits adultery." commenced at the time we today marital sex. As such, she would have
What makes this statement in may call "engagement." However, the been guilty of porneia. It is only the
Matthew even more astounding is the marriage was not consummated until intervention of the heavenly messen
fact that the parallel version in Mark twelve months after the engage ger that stopped Joseph from making
10:1-12 says absolutely nothing ment.4 If a woman were found to be a perfectly legal decision.

April 2001 MINISTRY 21

The disciples' reaction (19:10). divine ideal"not all can take this feels that it nevertheless makes sense.
While the case of Joseph and Mary saying." Nonetheless, despite the diffi If a spouse does not profess
does provide a likely context in cult challenges that arise in a lifelong Christianity, he or she cannot be
which to understand Matthew's marital commitment, God calls for forced to share the values that are pro
exception clause, the verdict is still His people to take the union seriously. moted in verses 10 and 11. A divine
out on the exact meaning of pomeia. command means nothing to a person
Whatever it means it certainly caused 1 Corinthians 7:10-15 who does not recognize divine
a stir among the disciples. Apparently Those who are still not convinced authority. In such cases, if the unbe
after the Pharisees had left, the disci about the radical nature of Jesus' state liever chooses to separate, the
ples told Jesus: "If this is the case of a ment can look to Paul's parallel admo Christian brother or sister is not
man with his wife, it is better not to nition in 1 Corinthians 7:10, 11. "bound." In this Paul seems to be say
marry!" This extreme reaction sug Surely any confusion over Jesus' ing that only those Christians who
gests that Jesus' statement seriously admonition would have been fall in this category are free to remar
limited any grounds for divorce. The resolved by the time Paul wrote to the ry. However, those marriages in which
disciples in effect were saying that if a church in Corinth.6 both partners claim to be Christian
man was thus stuck with his wife for According to 7:1, Paul is respond are expected to last until the death of
life, it was better to remain single. ing to inquiries about marriage and a spouse (1 Cor. 7:39; Rom. 7:1).
The impact of Jesus' statement is sexual relations between Christians.
even greater when seen in the light of His teaching is clear: "To those Conclusion
the immediate rhetorical context. Just already married I command (not I, From our investigation, the basic
before the encounter with the but the Lord), that a woman is not to biblical teaching is clear. Jesus pro
Pharisees, Matthew records Jesus' separate from her husband (if she sep hibits divorce for Christian couples.
teaching on forgiveness (18:15-34). arates, let her remain unmarried or be Instead, He promotes lifelong unions
Could it be mere coincidence that the reconciled to her husband), and the for those who unite together under
topic of marriage follows these impor husband should not divorce his God. For those couples who feel that
tant lessons on forgiveness? I don't wife." Paul gets straight to the point: they cannot live under the same
think it is. If this contextual, rhetori Christian partners are bound together rooffor whatever reasonthe Bible
cal continuum is indeed a deliberate for the rest of their natural lives. suggests that they remain single until
part of the way Matthew constructs Christian husbands who have the either reconciliation or the death of
his Gospel, the message is clear that power to initiate a divorce are prohib the other spouse.8 Thus, according to
no hurtful action perpetrated by a ited from such action. this line of thinking and interpreta
spouse is unforgivablenot even Similarly, Christian wives who tion, a Christian can only be released
adultery.5 Thus the integrity of mar want release from the relationship are from the marriage relationship under
riage may well remain intact, even not free to remarry but must remain two circumstances: (1) If it is discov
when adultery is a reality. single for the rest of their lives.7 And ered soon after marriage that the
Jesus' concluding statement (19:11, just in case Paul is accused of invent spouse has either impregnated or
12). Knowing the hyperbolic nature ing this "difficult" saying, he makes it been impregnated; (2) If a married
of the disciples' statement, Jesus clear that he received it directly from person becomes a Christian and the
retorts: "Not all can take this saying, the Lord Himself. non-Christian spouse decides to
but [only] those to whom it is given. The only exception Paul makes is desert him or her. The rest of us are
For there are eunuchs who are that with marriages in which only one per bound by the vows we made before
way from birth, and there are son has converted to Christianity divine and human witnesses: "Till
eunuchs who have been made while the other has not: "To the rest I death do us part." M
eunuchs by men, and there are say (I, not the Lord): if a certain man
eunuchs who have made themselves has an unbelieving wife and she
1 Mishnah Gittin, 9:10 Qacob Neusner's translation).
eunuchs on account of the kingdom agrees to live with him, he must not 2 See Craig S. Keener, And Maine* Another: Divorce and Remarriage in
of heaven. The one who is able to divorce her; and if a woman has an the Teaching of tte Testament (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1991).
3 Walter Bauer, A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament, 2nd ed.
receive this let him receive it." unbelieving husband and he consents (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979), 693.
Jesus recognizes the disciples' to live with her, she must not divorce 4 Mishnah Ketubot, 5:2a.

impulsiveness and brings them home her husband.... But if the unbeliever 5 See C. Welton Gaddy, Adultery and Grace: The Ultimate Scandal
(Grand Rapids: Eerdroans, 1996).
to reality. Not many people are willing leaves, let him leave; the brother or 6 One also sees remnants of this teaching in the early church. See
David G. Hunter, Marriage in the Early Church (Minneapolis:
to sacrifice the pleasures of marriage sister is not bound in such cases" Fortress Press, 1992).
for a lifetime of celibacy. He also (7:12, 13, 15). 7 See also 7:39 (Rom. 7:1), "A wife is bound [in marriage] for as long

acknowledges that many people are Here Paul admits that he did not as her husband lives."
8 See Calvin Rock, "Separation in Marriage," Adventitt Review 1993
unable to accept the seriousness of the receive this advice from the Lord, but (October 14), 1074.

22 MINISTRY April 2001

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the husband-wife relationship. Through the
prophets Isaiah (54:5-8), Jeremiah (6:3), and
Ezekiel (16; 23), to name a few examples, He
repeatedly likened Himself to a loving hus
band craving the love of Israel, His wife. The
story of Ruth employs the same concept, and
the whole book of Hosea is one great power
ful parable of the family.

Five benefits of New Testament strategy

When Christ came He was known as

integrated "Rabbi," Teacher, And one of His best teaching

strategies was the use of parables. "Without a
parable spake He not unto them" (Matt.

family-life 13:34). Some of His most compelling stories

were centered on the family. They were about
bridegrooms and weddings and bridesmaids.

evangelism And who can forget the immortal parable of

the prodigal son? What was Jesus doing? He
was using the literal family to teach lessons
about the spiritual family. And that is the
essence of integrated family-life evangelism.
"^^" A ^^hat is integrated family As with Jesus, Paul used this methodology
G. 0. Martinborough
^ y% / life evangelism? It is an in a masterful way. In Ephesians 5, for exam
% / ^ / approach to evangelistic ple, he gives family-life counsel to the wife.
*/ M/ outreach and ministry "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own
w w that combines the presen husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband
tation of family life issues with conceptually is the head of the wife" (verses 22, 23). Then
compatible Bible doctrines in unified Christ- he moved to the spiritual family declaring,
centered outreach programs. Here are five rea "For the husband is the head of the wife, even
sons why family-life evangelism is beneficial as Christ is the head of the church; and he is
to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. the saviour of the body" (verse 23). Turning to
the husband he advised, "Husbands, love your
Cod's methodology wives" (verse 25). Then he switched and said,
First, family-life evangelism uses one of "as Christ also loved the church, and gave
God's great methods of communicating truth. himself for it." Exhorting the couple he said,
Consider Abraham facing his life's severest "For this cause shall a man leave his father and
test. Isaac is willingly bound and lies upon the mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and
altar on Mount Moriah. The parting words are they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mys
spoken between father and child! The tery" (verses 31, 32). Then He declared, "but I
anguish of Abraham's heart rises as he raises speak concerning Christ and the church"
the knife to kill his only son. And then there (verse 32). So what was the apostle's focus, the
is the voice from heaven; and the ram. What human or the divine family? Both. He was giv
a parable of redemption. "When the father's ing counsel about the literal family and about
hand was stayed . . . even the angels under the spiritual family simultaneously; he used
stood more clearly the wonderful provision one to illustrate the other. Therefore, this
that God had made for man's salvation."1 method of communicating truth is no human
What was God doing on Mount Moriah? gimmick; it is of divine origin.
G. 0. Martinborough He was using the parent-child relationship to So the first benefit of family-life evangelism
is an evangelist for
teach the mystery of the Gospel. And that is is the consciousness that we are employing a
the Inter-American
Division, Miami, the essence of family-life evangelism. It is divine strategy.
Florida. using the literal family as a parable of the spir
itual family. Dual restorers
Not only did God use the parent-child Two institutions were created by God and
relationship to teach truth, He also employed given to the first human beings in the Garden

24 MINISTRY April 2001

of Eden: the Sabbath and the family.
From Genesis to Revelation these two
institutions were elevated. Then, the
"sin" arose. The Sabbath was ulti
mately desecrated and a substitute
Would Voit lile
'- : '. '''.'-"' - -- ''*/ '""'. ;,'-.";".; ':."".;. :-V-
put in its place. But not only was the
Sabbath corrupted, so was the high
estate of the family.
write for
And now God has raised up a rem
nant to proclaim the "everlasting Here are some areas of emphasis inwhich Ministry is interested; ;
gospel" (Rev. 14:6). Seventh-day
Adventists are to be "the repairer of
the breach, the restorer of the paths to
dwell in" (Isa. 58:12).
What does the prophet say should ^.^^l^feisi^rtat^iiils^jlli^^
be restored? It is not only Eden's ' T%,:;^J^^^p^^;tfe&teflnt5nisl^^
Sabbath that is to be restored by the ^:;;';||a|i|f^:;i|Bri|^26ea|;^ ; ; ;::;3;x;!; | :^:i|;l^!:;^S||^
remnant. It is also the Edenic family. ^,;^|g|||||!||i^sie||fi|',:i^
:J^/l:\"\^/^^ibht'^'->'-iim*^*:>'!:! '''aiS,H\^ I'J'^'r: ^''-.'"-''y^ut'^':^.!;;;' '^: ^^S:^'t''^I.S.^iA^^^^l:V:^'; J^>

The Seventh-day Adventist Church :;^;|'S^!|^^i|i^^|i||li^;^|i^;^

is famous for restoring the Sabbath.
Are we as famous for the restoration : .Jti'' 1 ' '''^*i'i*Wi^M4h?4A'^k*'S'ft'''\'*W^ i'^I^ViW^l^ lll tSiiiPX'!'~^

of the family? If not, why not? Yes,

Adventists are famous for modeling
Sabbath observance. Are we as
famous for modeling family life? In
our own family life, are we repairers
or destroyers? Thus, the second bene
fit of family-life evangelism is that we
become active restorers.

Character of Cod
Third, family-life evangelism pres
ents the great truths of God's Word in
an attractive manner. Occasionally,
we hear doctrinal presentations that
are abrasive and repulsive. But the
marriage of Bible doctrine, even the ||lS| a^dylSllli^^iQSisil^liilli^^
most difficult, challenging ones, with
conceptually compatible family-life
concepts makes a package that is not
only attractive but almost irresistible. };|aT::|yeri|^|f|^4\{^fe;^l!|f^^
From the very beginning, at the ^9!ifi:^ ; ^ore;|l^^;'^,^^
heart of the great controversy has ; i|i2| ntate^i^iBf^-V^^ ,a^e^^^,v->^3^i!*^eilt^B^:'M?^
been a question about the character of
God. Whenever an evangelistic pres
entation makes God look bad it plays ;:rsjB|e^;rt^
into the hands of the opposition. My ' '''' :
presentations should reveal that "God
is love." Family-life evangelism puts Editorial-
:' : ;' : ' :/ :;' ' < ;': ;;Y'' 12301'
each Bible doctrine within the frame
'. ' ;" ; " ';.;',.'.'';- ;,~, :', : ;:Stlver Spring,
work of a love relationship, human
and divine. Thus every truth, even the Non-0,S, residents may-.request Writer's ^u
doctrine of hell fire, is presented the name and address to which they wpulii lie their cdpy seat.
under the overarching rainbow of
God's love.

April 2001 MINISTRY 25

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Felt need of the universal felt needs while revival. It challenges the presenter to
There is another consideration. attending to the most important, effect change in his or her own fami
While we rejoice over the miraculous though sometimes unfelt need of sal ly. Then there is the experience of
growth of our church's membership, vation. For example, while exploring change in the members of the
we are hardly reaching certain groups the dynamics of family communica church. As night by night and week
of people. Many of these consist of tions we may show how to communi by week our own members are
materialistic persons who cannot be cate with God. While identifying the exposed to practical life-changing
attracted by a "naked," purely doctri marks of true love, we portray concepts, the honest in heart will
nal presentation of the gospel. They Calvary, God's supreme act of love. experience revitalization in their own
are looking for something else While examining the mysteries of homes and families.
gospel plus the meeting of a felt need. conception and childbirth, we lead to So while we are evangelizing the
Wasn't that the way Jesus approached conversion and the new birth. While world we are reviving the church.
alienated people? "Christ's method emphasizing the permanence of mar And isn't that the Elijah message that
alone will give true success in reach riage, the union of husband and wife, we are called to proclaim, fulfilling
ing the people. The Saviour mingled we highlight the indestructible union the family-life revival foretold by the
with men as one who desired their of law and grace. While showing par prophet Malachi? The revival of the
good. He showed His sympathy for ents how to help children to obey, we church and the evangelization of the
them, ministered to their needs, and teach the compulsion of obedience to worldthat's our mission. HB
won their confidence. Then He bade God. We minister to felt and unfelt
them, 'Follow Me.'"2 needs simultaneously.

The unfelt need for salvation Revival 1 Ellen G. White, Palriaichs and Prophets (Nampa,
Idaho: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1958), 155.
The fourth blessing of family-life Finally, family-life evangelism has 2 , Ministry of Healing (Nampa, Idaho: Pacific
evangelism is that it ministers to one the potential for initiating a spiritual Press Pub. Assn., 1905), 143.

26 MINISTRY April 2001

Letters continued from page 3 resulted in (1) the publication of a wide to the basic issues discussed in McCraw's
range of inspired counsel which has and Eva's work in the December issue;
have missed something. You have set up guided the church to become what it is that is, the nature of Ellen White's inspi
a "straw man," a false dilemma, by today; (2) a united, global church that ration and the authority other writings. It
implying that one must choose between still holds to a high view of the authori is also difficult to see how Daniells' and
the position of Holmes/Washburn on ty of Scripture, precisely because Ellen Prescott's position would have done any
the one hand and that of Daniells/ White holds us to that high view; (3) thing but, in the long run, contribute to
Prescott on the other. broad and growing confidence in the the four excellent points presented above
Clearly, Holmes and Washburn were prophetic ministry of Ellen White as the (with the possible exception of a less lib
misguided. Fortunately, their approach decades have passed, based on the self- eral release of some of Mrs. White's
to Ellen White's writings has mostly authenticating witness of the writings work).
faded away. themselves; and (4) a mature, balanced
Just as clearly, we can be thankful understanding of how inspiration Ministry welcomes letters
that Daniells and Prescott did not pre works, thanks to our exposure to this from readers
vail in their desire to keep the priceless laboratorya body of "original Letters must be exclusive to Ministry,
unpublished material sealed away in a manuscripts" that help us understand must be signed and must include the
vault. They were good men, but they how God works through a prophet to writer's home address. Because of
weren't able to see all the potentially guide His people. space limitations, published letters are
damaging implications of some of the It seems to me that it was Willie who subject to abridgment. Although we
things they verbalized at the 1919 Bible had it right. are unable to acknowledge letters we
Conference. Dale Wolcott, pastor, Midland, Michigan. cannot publish, we value the views of
It seems to me that there is a third those who send us their comments.
alternative. It's the one Willie White Editorial note: Given the evidence, it Letters should be addressed to the
advocated, which was the very one would be difficult to deny that the posi Editor and may be hand-delivered, sub-
God led the church to follow: To let the tion of Willie White was essentially that of mitted via mail, or via our email
writings speak for themselves. This has Daniells and Prescott, if one limits oneself address at m

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April 2001


rdination sermons intrigue me. only the experience that one happens to
Having observed and partici have at the moment and that this expe
pated in a number of them rience, in itself, is a sufficient definition.
through the years, I have noticed that A number of years ago I jotted some
the sermons usually follow a pattern of 'fy^y^ notes from a source which I cannot now
attempting to clearly define the role of locate regarding dangers that result
ministry, carefully delineate the various from shallow thinking about disciple
responsibilities of ministry, and chal ship. With apologies for being unable to
lenge the candidates to faithful give credit to the author, I share these
fulfillment of their calling. pitfalls for their importance to our lives
Beyond listing pastoral duties, how now.
ever, there are two even more
fundamental considerations. The pastor Aesthetics admiration. An atti
is called first to be a disciple and, sec management technique than spiritual tude which confuses outward
ond, to be a disciple maker. I believe power. If so, tragedy results. Far too appearance with genuine spirituality
this is the essence of what the apostle often we have seen the sad conse seems to permeate society, politics, busi
Paul meant when he wrote "follow me quences of choosing business plans ness, and community. People like the
as I follow Christ." The highest role of over biblical models, planning over appearance of religiosity. Becoming
God's ministry today is to first follow prophesying, or lobbying over praying. known as a religious individual improves
Jesus Christ personally and then to While goals and objectives are your potential for success. Church con
invite others to join you in that journey importanteven necessaryfor suc nections seem to bring advantage. "If it
of discipleship. In further articles, we cess, a discerning of the Spirit and a call is true that Jesus has never had better
will look at the issues surrounding disci to follow in Jesus' steps is the call God press than today, it is also true that rarely
ple making, but for now we will places before ministers today. It is has there been less knowledge of His
concentrate on issues of discipleship. instructive to remind ourselves that it commands, and even less inclination to
Remember, Jesus called his own was not in the courts of Egypt, but in obey them. Recognition of His greatness
apostles first to discipleship, and then to the back side of the desert that Moses has served as a substitute for reckoning
ministry. Even then, discipleship pre gained his spiritual power. Likewise, it the cost of discipleship ... It is high time
ceded ordination. This point seems so was not in the councils of the that disciples declare a moratorium on
patently obvious that we tend to over Sanhedrin, but out in the desert of praise and an open session on a more
look it as we rush on to determine Arabia that Paul learned discipleship les honest study of what Christ's demands
proper roles and functions for ministers. sons that prepared him for great actually require."
Yet, in overlooking these foundational leadership.
issues, we may be overlooking the Focusing again and again on the Resistence to authority. We live
essence of what God has called us to importance of discipleship being the in a societyand to a certain extent the
do. Become disciples, ourselves. Make source from which all our ministry church mirrors that society in which it
disciples of others. grows may not be as glamorous or liveswhich has adopted an anti-
Overlooking the primacy of disciple exciting as some ventures, but it may authority stance. Such posture is
ship tends to shift our attention to less just help us deliver our homes, our fam against the very idea of obeying com
important things. Leadership, for exam ilies, our congregations, and even our mands. In fact, obedience sounds
ple. I believe every pastor needs to be a very lives from the snare of Satan. legalistic and raises hackles. Let nothing
leader. Leadership is necessary and restrict our individualistic freedom! But
good. But leadership, untempered by What does discipleship mean? there is danger in libertarian abandon
discipleship, could produce monstrous Rather than recognizing the biblical ment of responsibility. When we
results. If we pursue a pattern of leader- path that involves cost to discipleship, conclude that individualism is the great
ship that excludes or minimizes we have come to a stage in the religious est of all values and assert that any
discipleship, we could rely more on world where discipleship is regarded as authority destroys freedom, we are in

28 MINISTRY April 2001

danger. Self becomes the supreme Today it is the primarily rational and
authority and self-fulfillment becomes
Faith, reason, and scientific voice of some theology that
the idol which replaces genuine self-
submission, in direct disobedience to
the voice of God has become ascendent in our minds.
Forgetting or rejecting the testimony
continued from page 4
the first of all the commandments, the of divine-human communication his
great god "me" becomes intolerant of the core of the human soul and in the tory and hardly hearing the specific
discipline and self-denial. being of God (see Job 38^1). elements in the promise of Jesus to his
Today, the essential modes of the disquieted disciples, that the Spirit and
Cultural change. Some have con rational, scientific approach have been not merely the Bible would lead into all
cluded that the message and lifestyle of applied to the study and understand truth we come to lose the hugely sig
Scripture is for another time. Scripture is ing of the Bible. This application nificant capacity to hear the voice of
dismissed as an irrelevant or non-func produces one of the most enigmatic God.
tioning fossil in an age of artificial applications of what is at its heart a It is interesting that the role, and
intelligence and microprocessors. After basically rational approach. The nature especially the authority, of the "theolo
all, what does a jet pilot have in com of human consciousness by all means gian" as such has come of age only
mon with a Tiberian fisherman? What demands that the rational be applied recently. This role could be powerfully
pressures could a Hebrew shepherd to our study of Scripture. It is not true energized in all of us if what is so valu
have experienced that even compare that forces destructive to a genuinely able in rational and theological
with life today? Thus reasoning, people Christian faith and worldview arrive discipline could be properly coupled in
design standards to fit their own criteria simply when reason is applied to the us to authentically and unequivocally
rather than striving to discover universal Bible. The destructive forces do arrive, embrace what is borne in on the pre
standards. From my same "lost-source" however, when to all intents and pur vailing wind of the Holy Spirit.
notes, Alan Richardson is quoted, poses reason is virtually the only faculty Cliff Goldstein's lead article in this
"There is a gradual decay of the ordi utilized in our study of the Bible. issue is one that challenges us to
nary Christian that can read the Bible Chaos brews when we forget or review these issues. In effect his article
for himself and discover its meaning reduce the reality that God lives, loves lays before each of us the immensely
without aid from an interpreter." Even and still by all means speaks to human important challenge to render unto
the very ideal of an authoritative guide ity preternaturally and supernaturally reason the things that are reason's and
to discipleship is dismissed out of hand. as he has from the beginning. unto faith the things that are faith's. H

Defective models. This fourth bar

rier to discipleship is probably the
greatest hindrance of all. Too many

SEEDS 2001
believers and religious institutions are a
liability rather than as an asset in learn
ing about God and the character of
Jesus Christ. Francis Schaeffer warned
shortly before his death, "I'm convinced
people all over the world will not listen, A Church Planting Conference
even if we have the right doctrine, even
if we have the right policy, but if we are Plant a Church ... Reap a Bountiful Harvest!
not exhibiting the life of Jesus Christ in
ourselves, and in our community." English, Spanish Reaping...Innovative Reaping Ideas
Discipleship means modeling the Young Adults =, Role of the Pastor As Equipper, the Lay-Led
Teacher. Discipleship means striving to Lay Members Church, and Church Planting
look like the leader. pastors, Planters
^Administrators Introduction to Church Planting
Understanding discipleship, then, is
Departmental Basic Church Planting
understanding the mind of Jesus. Then Directors
follows disciple-making. People will
Cell Church Planting
understand and believe our actions July 18-21,2001 Planting and Growing Healthy Churches
before they will believe our words and Andrews University through Natural Church Development
when Jesus is lifted up in the lives of His 1.800.255.7568
disciples, all individuals will be drawn to 1.616.471.9220 SEEDS JMADEI
Him. m

April 2001 MINISTRY 29

this case were Christians from various nations. For this reason we were
A model for traditions our public campaigns were accused of "sheep-stealing." We did
conducted in Christian neighbor not take this allegation too seriously.
cross-cultural hoods. We concluded among ourselves that
evangelism In all lectures we presented when sheep are neglected and left
continued from page 19
Seventh-day Adventist-Christian largely unfed, it is only right to feed
doctrines, and were careful not to those who are spiritually starving and
pastor, who wore a special gown for berate other Christian traditions. who are seeking. As an interesting
the occasion, lifted his hand to bap As noted, some of the pioneering and positive side effect of our cam
tize the candidate. During a visit fol mission societies have neglected their paigns we found that unenterprising
lowing the baptismal service the daughter churches, so members often pastors from some surrounding
picture was handed to each candi were left without meaningful leader Christian churches suddenly became
date. They became a visible sign to ship, weekly programs, or even pas active in home visitations and meet
bring the baptism into memory and toral care. Because of this our ings.
prompted the new members to con organized activities seemed to draw To bring people into a meaningful
firm their sacred covenant with God. people to our places of meeting more and dependable relationship with
These pictures were often framed and than did the preaching of the biblical Jesus Christ and into active church
placed in prominent locations in the message per se. We hoped that as the membership is the greatest task
homes of the baptized. audience listened it would be Jesus entrusted to human beings. This is
and Him crucified who became the also the most complex and difficult
Stealing or feeding? main attraction. enterprise in which we could be
We have mentioned that in It is obvious that many of those we involved. It means hard work, man
Islamic nations Christians have the baptized or accepted into church fel power, finances, faithfulness to truth,
privilege of direct witness only to lowship, were persons who officially and an understanding and ability to
non-Muslims. And as non-Muslims in belonged to other Christian denomi adapt to cultures and customs. W


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30 MINISTRY April 2001


There are numerous advantages to of the subjects covered in this series.:

this service. Some of these benefits "How to Interpret Scripture," "How to
include the following: Organize and Develop Small Groups,"
* Prices are a fraction of what you "How to Prepare a Sermon," "How to
would expect to pay for comparable Conduct a Pastoral Visit," "How to
A star is born! printing elsewhere. For example, 500 Conduct a Bible Study," "How to
Everybody loves a brand-new baby! business cards are only US$39.00 plus Conduct a Communion Service," "How
When a new baby arrives in the shipping and handling. to Conduct a Funeral Service," and
home of a church member, the faithful * Instant preview so you can see "How to Reclaim Missing Members."
Cradle Roll department can place a your completed product before you Each video costs US$24.95 plus 18
small "real-estate" type sign in the front place your order. percent shipping and handling). If you
yard of the member's housepainted * Order at any time through the purchase six or more videos, each title
pink for girls and blue for boys. The sign computer with an Internet connection costs US$19.95. Videos are available in
says, "A Star is Born! Welcome to this and standard Web browser. A typical VHS/NTSC or PAL formats.
new addition to our church nursery" order takes less than five minutes. To order these or other titles in the
and include the name of the local The official Adventist business cards series, contact the General Conference
church. with the standard three-color corporate Ministerial Association Resource Center
It makes a wonderful, warm impres design are currently available. at 888.771.0738 (toll-free) or
sion on both the church family as well Letterhead and envelopes will be added 301.680.6508; fax 301.680.6502. Or
as the neighbors and is excellent adver soon. mail your order to the Resource Center
tising for the church. It's like having For more information, go to at 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver
mini-billboards around the area at no or call Spring, MD 20904.
cost to anyone. It also serves as a con 208.466.3887.
versation-starter to the unchurched Bryan Cray, Nampa, Idaho. $25 for your ideas!
neighbors. Send us your suggestions about how
Douglas R. Rose, pastor, Grand Prairie, Seminar in a box pastors can make daily ministry more
Texas. Attend a professional seminar in your effective. If you publish it, we will you
own living room! Or facilitate a seminar send you $25. If your idea promotes a
Adventist stationery for your church officers. Seminars on product or service, we'll be glad to con
services video, presented by experts in the field, sider it but won't pay $25.
A new web-based service has just show how you can better your ministry, Send ideas to Ministry, 12501 Old
been launched for Adventist employ promote church growth, lead your Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD
ees. It is designed to simplify the often church in evangelism, and plan your ser- 20904. All authors must include their
time-consuming task of getting sta monic year. Each video is like a mailing address, and U.S. citizens must
tionery printed, while also dramatically power-packed, dynamic seminary include their Social Security number if
reducing the cost. course. The following list is just a sample they wish to receive payment. BB

Let Ministry move with you! Send address changes to leannette Calbi, Ministry, 12501 Old
Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, Maryland 20904, or email us at
Please notify us eight weeks in advance.
Please print clearly:
First Name _____ Middle Initial Last Name

Old Street Address.

City _______ State Zip Code_ Country,

New Street Address

City ________ State Zip Code, Country _

n n o u n c i n

June27-July 1,2001
at Southern Adventist University

A conference to encourage the innovative use of

computers and Internet technology in mission
outreach and the work of the church.

Who Should Attend:

Minsters 'Evangelists 'Teachers 'Administrators

Webmasters / web designers 'Computer science students
Information technology staff 'Computer professionals
Computer hobbyists interested in using computer
technology to advance global and local mission projects

Seminars, tutorials, and panels targeted to
technical and non-technical participants
Networking and fellowship opportunities
Special Sabbath services
Banquet, reception, and daily lunches included

Earlybird Registration by April 30: $160

After April 30: $200

for complete and updated information or
to register online.

Call 423.238.2936 to register by phone.

school of



NAMPA, ID 83687-3193 NAMPA,ID
PERMIT No. 147