Adventist Culture Thank you for printing David Marshall’s article “Celebrity Culture” (October 2007). And thanks to Marshall for pointing to the elephant in the living room of conservative Adventism. I was rebuked.
We’re great at denouncing the encroachments of popular culture in some areas, but we don’t seem to mind culturing our very own little Hollywood, replete with our very own pantheon of “stars.” But how worldly is that? The author of this long-overdue article skillfully extrapolated this celebrity culture to its final end, which is that “stars” often become fallen stars. Heaven help us if the onus for their apostasy hangs over our idolatrous little heads.
He identified a related problem of “camps.” My prayer is that those of us who value standards, but who are inclined to make them an excuse for separatism, will remember that unity is also a standard (Rom. 15:5, 6; 1 Cor. 1:10; Phil. 2:2, 3; 2 Cor. 13:11; and 1 Pet. 3:8).
Jennifer Schwirzer Pennsylvania, United States
In regard to “Celebrity Culture,” we cannot deny that this is taking place in our churches, not only in the United States, but also here in the Caribbean. And it is not only with preachers, but also with singers/musicians. It seems that a lot of people cannot resist the acclamations they receive from large audiences.
Several of our young people, excellent singers, have drifted away from the church congregations to the worldly audiences.
It is not necessarily true that a “great” preacher is a great Christian. The same may be said of singers. The attention has to be drawn to Jesus, but too many times the “performances and shows” of preachers and singers alike draw all attention to themselves.
The human flesh is weak indeed and too much attention makes being a Christian even more difficult. We should lift up the Talent-giver in place of the talent-presenter.
But we shouldn’t too harsh on these people, they are human just like us. We are probably no better should we stand in their shoes.
Norman R. Boekhoudt Via E-mail
With All Your Mind I consider the article “With All Your Mind,” by Reinder Bruinsma (August 2007), very thought-provoking and challenging. I have always believed that there is no such thing as a stagnant Christian. I am eager to learn new things, but the more I learn, the more I realize how little I know. I fully agree that there must always be a close relationship with knowing and doing, believing, obeying, and sharing.
One of my greatest anticipations of heaven is to have a mind capable of learning, understanding, and enjoying the many marvelous wonders God has in store for the redeemed. With the sin factor removed we will have minds capable of and eager to comprehend beyond what we now scarcely imagine. As we pursue our special interests in heaven, we will be capable of handling every challenge. God will be able to answer all of our troubling questions mentioned in the article, and we will realize that His wisdom will always be far beyond our understanding throughout eternity.
Loneta Pauly Texas, United States
Why Lucifer? I’m always interested in Angel Manuel Rodríguez’s section on Bible questions. I was recently reading his article in the July 2007 Adventist World issue. I really like the way he presented the three points; they are very clear and interesting. However, questions will continue to emanate even after such a detailed presentation. Therefore, I suggest that in any of the situations that preachers and teachers face such questions, they should only read the Bible and emphasize the origin of sin in the perfect heaven as mysterious.
Noel Mhosva Solusi University, Zimbabwe
Adventist World on the Internet Hello, I am so glad that we can now access Adventist World magazine online. I’m in Uganda, and it takes a long time to get copies of this very good magazine.
May God bless you all at Adventist World!
Henry Namazima Uganda
Thank you for allowing us to view the magazine on the Internet. Whenever you feel discouraged, just think how many people are depending on your effort. We don’t always write, but we will be here, reading and waiting for the next issue to come. (We don’t always see a printed version: now we have access!)
Andre van der Schyff South Africa
Jesus Is Still Coming I am very happy to have read one of your articles in the June 2006 Adventist World, “The Return of Jesus: Is It Still On?” by David Marshall.
This subject (opinion) really made me very happy because I am one of those who believe that Jesus is coming, and I concur with Mr. Rosario Alburo Choi of Ulsan, South Korea (his letter is published in that issue on p. 29).
Thank you also for your efforts to publish this wonderful magazine. Please do send me some of your articles, and if you offer Bible studies please enroll me as one of your Bible study students.
Alex Stanslaus Mossech Lusaka, Zambia
While we print a Bible study by Mark Finley in each monthly edition of Adventist World, these are solely for the use of readers—we are not equipped to run a program with students/teachers.
Our advice to this reader and others with similar concerns is to contact the Seventh-day Adventist Church union conference or division office in your region of the world. We are gratified that the magazine is filling this important need. In addition, those with access to the Internet may visit www.adventistworld.org.—Editors.
A Concert, Three Girls, and a Preacher Mark Finley’s cover story in the September 2007 Adventist World, “A Rock Concert, Three Girls and a Confused Preacher,” spoke so plainly to me—please publish many more articles like this one. Pastor Finley’s story reminds me, “Whether you are a professional pastor speaking in remote places for God, or a wage earner praying to influence others in a secular job setting, or a grandmother with a letter-writing ministry, God is the Power Source, not you.” It’s a “no-brainer,” but still we need constant reminding.
For those of us Adventists longing to feel we are of use to God’s cause and wondering whether we’ll ever see results, this article is an encouragement—what a faith-builder! I’ll remember this story as I pray and then head to work in the mornings—thank you!
Margi Dalgleish Roth Oregon, United States
Appreciation for Digital Communication Fylvia Fowler Kline laments the destruction of books in “As Crowd Watches, Thoughts Burn,” on page 5 of the August 2007 Adventist World. As a high school library media teacher, I too would be very disappointed to see the destruction of useful reading material.
I do question, however, the conclusion of the article implying that digital creativity is worthless and that “modern technology is leading to a gradual decline of our potential as God’s creation.” Everyone born before 1985 is basically a digital “immigrant.” We grew up in the world of paper. Technology is changing and the younger generation, the digital “natives,” are using the new technologies in extremely creative ways. Not all Web-surfing is aimless and the digital natives do not consider text-messaging to be impersonal. If Google is used correctly and thoughtfully, enormous information is available to the reader. Is a sermon less truthful if it comes to the listener on an iPod? We need to appreciate and use all of the various avenues of communication favored by members of all generations.
Robert E. DuBose, Jr. California, United States
Mind-set Over Matter! In the interview “Women and Ministry” (Adventist World, April 2007, p. 8), our world church president, Jan Paulsen, reconfirmed the church’s position on women as ordained ministers that “this is not the way we can go now.” What did Paulsen mean by this? Does it mean that women could be ordained pastors, but not now? If this is what he meant, then I would like to ask: When? Would it be acceptable in the future but not now? Are we waiting for a “mind-set to change” as mentioned earlier in the interview? A mind-set caused by whom or what? The world? Is this what our church is all about?
Ryno Shawe Gauteng, South Africa
The Silent Threat I am writing in regard to the Devotional article by Limoni Manu entitled “The Silent Threat” (May 2007). Manu humbles me with the dangerous currents lurking in our paths as Christians of today.
Manu says there are currents to watch. The one striking me most is the current of familiarity—just like deep sea divers become so familiar with big bodies of water that they underestimate the treacherous traits and dangers, we Christians become so familiar with the truth of salvation that we lose the sense of its quality and importance. Thus, instead of growing into spiritual maturity we remain spiritual infants, satisfied with our elementary understanding (the milk) of God’s Word. “But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil” (Heb. 5:14, NRSV).
So fellow conquerors, let’s go for solid food. Or is it milk until…?
David Kumo Via e-mail
Man of Vision We appreciate the work brother Harald Pfeiffer did in Sierra Leone in helping to build the hospital. I read about this in the article “Man of Vision,” by Pietro E. Copiz, in the August 2006 Adventist World magazine. May God bless Pfeiffer and continue upholding him. Our world needs to have such people so that we can change it into a better place to live.
Central Adventist Youth Group Mbale, Uganda
Sharing Adventist World I’m a pastor’s daughter in Zambia and each month when we receive copies of the Adventist World magazine we take them to the hospitals and other organizations. I thought you would like to know that God is working through the magazine to touch these people. This is good.
Personally, my life has never been the same ever since I started distributing these magazines. I feel as though God is blessing me more and more with each copy I give out and I hope to spread His Word more and more.
Thank you for the good work and may God bless you.
Kai Nachilima Zambia
The Return Visit I have always enjoyed reading our Adventist World magazine since its first arrival in our church, and I’m always excited for the coming issues. I am writing in response to Carina Goncalves article “The Return Visit” (June 2007). Being assigned mostly in the field I always encounter poor homeless people and beggars asking for a penny or food. And I share the same reaction as Goncalves in her first encounter with a beggar in her story. Most of, if not all, the time I ignore them and turn my back away from them as if I did not notice them, thinking they are being trafficked or are members of an organized network of a begging syndicate. Normally the question that lingers in my mind is: “Do they really deserve to receive something from me?”
As I finished reading her article, I’ve gotten a new understanding of how to treat these individuals. Our thinking in regard to them must not be limited only by what they are going to do with what we give, but by how they will be blessed if we give. God knows smokers will still smoke, drunkards will still drink, and sinners will still sin, yet He still blesses their lives unsparingly, knowing they may only waste them. He even knows that only a handful will accept His Son, yet He gave Him anyway. We don’t deserve salvation and eternal life, yet God gave it to us abundantly.
We received special favor from God that we don’t deserve, but the poor and the needy deserve simple things that we can give. However, not all people begging are beggars and not all people asking something from us are poor. “As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things” (2 Cor. 6:10). On the contrary, beggars may come to us once in a while—should we miss sharing? Some even say that the way we’re treating those unfortunate and needy ones is the practical measure of true Christianity. When we give, it’s not only the recipient that is blessed. We are also blessed with a special joy that comes to us when we give unconditionally.
The point is that love is still the basis of all our thoughts and actions!
Hero of Faith Living in a time when the world makes heroes of actors, athletes, and other so-called celebrities of every sort, it was so refreshing to read an article about a real hero—the hero of faith, Pastor Masaichi Imamura (“Hero of Faith,” July 2007, pp. 16-19).
However, as a history teacher I’m a stickler for detail, and I think the history in the article was a bit skewed. It reads: “It was in the midst of World War II, and Japan had been attacked by the Allied Forces, mainly the United States.” The last I knew, Japan attacked the United States on December 7, 1941. I realize the article is looking through Japanese eyes, but that doesn’t change the facts.
Again, it was a great article dealing with a true hero.
California, United States
In Rebellion? I received the Adventist World magazine from the local church here on Palm Drive. I have a comment on the Bible Questions column in the May 2007 issue on “A Law That Isn’t Good.” I am referring to Mark 7:7-9, which addresses the issues Rodríguez is dealing with. Christ says, “You reject God’s laws and replace them with your own traditions and man-made laws” (paraphrase).
It is much like the difference between God’s wisdom (real wisdom) and human wisdom (foolishness). I agree with Rodríguez’s assessment that God handed the people over to their own ways.
When Israel asked for a king, God basically said, “They are really rejecting me.” I would add that they were also rejecting God’s Law. Much of the church has done the same. Even though they call themselves Christians, they are really in rebellion (see Matt. 5:17-19).
A Beautiful Letter I am compelled by the open-mindedness of the servant of the Lord, Pastor Jan Paulsen, in his approach in the Let’s Talk series. As a participant in the “Let’s Talk Africa,” in Uganda in 2006—and also in the Adventist World magazine, “Reaching the Secular Mind” (Jan. 2007, pp. 8-10)—I see a quality worth embracing. With the right attitude in all that we do, a bliss filled with peace and blessings shall be the aftermath. Diverted attitudes will only render us hopeless even in God’s work. For those of us who are paddling their canoes in the wrong direction, those who harbor hatred in the church, those who exhibit self-gratification and self-seeking, there is hope and satisfaction in Jesus.
I am also impressed with the church’s keen ear listening to the youth who are so prone to sway with the erring world. Adventist World magazine is such a beautiful letter to the ugly world. Congratulations.
Moses Gitonga Ndwiga
Nairobi, Kiambu, Kenya
Adventist World Impacts World Let me begin by saying “Yes!” to assure the Adventist World magazine that you no longer have to wonder if what you are doing is impacting the lives of your audience. Adventist World, in my opinion, should be awarded the Grammy Award among Adventist publications. It is truly the one I enjoy the most. It bridges the “gap” between nations that are home to millions of believers.
Everything you send out does not return void. Each is being used in its own special way. Rise up every morning knowing you have a special mission you’ve been blessed with in fulfilling God’s plan for salvation.
Lousiana, United States
Born Again I am a 26-year-old Adventist from Liberia. I am presently in Kumasi, Ghana, pursuing a Master of Philosophy in Parasitology at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
On campus there is a fellowship of Adventist students with a membership of more than 500. We have been studying the great prophecies of Daniel and Revelation along with Ellen G. White’s The Great Controversy.
A friend of mine, Helen Asamoah-Boadi, gave me an Adventist World magazine with the cover story entitled “Reaching the Secular Mind” (January 2007). Since my encounter with the magazine, in addition to the prophetic books, I have developed an unflinching passion for Master Jesus and have decided to follow Him until the end of this temporary life.
I will be returning home next year (2008) upon graduation. It is my fervent prayer that the Lord use me as a “tool” in His vineyard to help reform the church in central Liberia. The church is going through a period of reform after a long, bitter country war annihilated the moral fabrics of the church. Members lost their families, friends, and properties. The church also lost property. This left many of our youth traumatized as some were living on their own, or becoming breadwinners for their families. Whenever I recount these dreadful years, my eyes become drenched with tears.
Please remember the church in Liberia in your prayers.
H. Eementary Kpoeh, Jr.
I was spiritually touched after reading the Adventist World magazine. I borrowed a copy of it from one of my friends who is an Adventist. The scriptures used in it are wonderful! I hope I can get other copies so that I can read them and even share them with other people who are also interested. Thank you and God bless you.
I salute you all in the name of the Lord. It’s my hope that the good Lord is blessing and protecting you in all fields. I am very much delighted to come across your monthly magazine, which has enabled me to grow spiritually. How do I receive future editions of the magazine?
Richard Ndukoh Orina
Our advice to this reader and others with similar concerns is to contact the Seventh-day Adventist Church union or division office in your region of the world. We are gratified that the magazine is filling this important need.—Editors.
Absolutely Thrilled I was absolutely thrilled to read the article about the celebration of the three-millionth member in the Inter-American Division! In 1978 we had 3 million members worldwide and 29 years later, one division has 3 million. This makes me very happy, for IAD was the very first division I visited during my ministry at the GC! The joy and happiness expressed in the face of the young lady baptized by Elder Israel Leito, division president, translates the way we all feel!
Florida, United States
More Thoughts on Women in Ministry I am responding to the interview with Jan Paulsen, in the April 2007 Adventist World, on women in ministry. Kimberly Luste Maran asked Paulsen the following: “What should the church be saying to its female members, particularly about the opportunities to serve in leadership roles, for which the Spirit has given women gifts?”
Paulsen stated this as part of his response: “I know the fullest kind of recognition to pastoral ministry—ordination—is a direction the church has said, on at least two different occasions we have met together as a world body, ‘This is not the way to go now,’ but I would still encourage women to train for the ministry.”
“This is not the way to go now.” Why not, what’s the problem? I’ve been a Seventh-day Adventist for 30 years, and I’ve heard nothing but excuses for not ordaining women in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. As far as I’m concerned, this is just another excuse.
Michael L. Hughes, Jr.
Texas, United States
The interaction of the GC president with women has motivated some of our AWM leaders to mount the pulpit and preach the love of Jesus.
In this part of the world, some people believed that women had no business on the altar during divine service. Now the attitude is gradually changing. Thank you for printing the interview with Paulsen, which further supports women being involved in ministry.
Alimosho District, Nigeria
A Part of the Family Again I am not an Adventist, but I appreciate so much reading your Adventist Worldmagazine. It is very inspiring and soul-satisfying.
I have been happily married for 17 years, and blessed with four children. It is not easy to be a mother and a career woman. The economic situation in our country requires double income families. Fortunately for me, I was able to finish college through the sacrifices of my loving parents.
I work not only because I want to help my husband, but, honestly, I hate being at home and doing the chores. My career is my temptation. I could work for 20 hours a day without being exhausted. I have been working away from home six days a week, leaving my children behind, cared for by my parents and my husband. I have been exchanging my most precious time that is supposed to be for my growing children with my career—until I found myself sitting in the guidance room of my son’s school. He is not doing well and has almost become a liability to society. I blame myself because I never give them quality time.
When I happened to read the article “Lord, Remember Our Children” (May 2006) in your magazine, I was struck by the message: “the most precious gift we can give to our children is our time.”
Thanks be to God for using your magazine as an instrument to open my heart and make me realize my mistakes. My family is my source of inspiration—it is God’s manifestations of His great love and mercy. I may have lost a career, but I am holding the world’s greatest jewel—my family. I believe there is never a wrong time to do the right thing. I am a part of my family’s life again.
Frances Joy Aleria
Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Bill Knott, in his “World View” editorial, “Discerning the Body” (Adventist World, September 2008), expressed my sentiments exactly! How wonderful it is to come to church on Sabbath morning, not because we have to attend church, but because we are eager to attend!
There’s something about our meeting together that’s unexplainable to those who do not know God’s rejuvenating agenda for His special remnant people. He wants all people to participate in this experience, and it is our wonderful privilege to share this blessing with others until He comes. Then we will all participate in worshipping our Creator and Redeemer together for all eternity.
On one occasion while crossing the ocean in Ellen White’s early years she became sick. At the time she drank one cup of mild tea as a medication. On another occasion during her sickness she took one cup of coffee with a raw egg as a medication.
After she was given full light on the harmful effects of tea and coffee, she wrote that tea and coffee are health destroying (see Counsels on Diet and Foods, p. 63), and she listed many other harmful effects. In Ellen White’s experience, one cup of mild tea, plus one cup of coffee with a raw egg, in her lifetime, does not allude to her use of them as a medication.
E. J. Nichols
Chetwynd, British Columbia, Canada
I was extremely interested in the August 2008 Adventist World article written by Hans Olson (“Into Myanmar”).
After having spent 17 youthful, happy years as missionaries in Burma (as it was then known), there is a slight correction I must make to a statement Olson made, as follows: “Following the war, cross-cultural missionaries returned until 1962, when the military junta took over Myanmar. [That is the correct date of the changeover.] At that time the 26 missionaries left the country.”
My husband, Frank Wyman, and I, with our 9-year-old son Ralph, left Burma under order of the Burmese government on May 19, 1966. About two weeks later, the late Philip Parker also left. He had previously seen his family off to return to the United States, but he stayed to “hold the fort” until his required departure.
In 1962 we left for furlough, and returned in 1963, hearing of the changes taking place then. We were quickly informed that the Burmese government had nationalized the banks and major businesses in Rangoon, and gradually from there to other cities and towns. Then in 1965, they came to take over our Adventist mission hospital.
Abruptly, one day they came and ordered the foreign doctors and nurses into an office, under guard, and soon gave them their “walking papers.” Dr. Robert Dunn wanted to go back upstairs to check on his surgical patients he’d operated on the day before, but they would not allow him to.
Before long the Burmese government was nationalizing all of the mission schools in the country, regardless of denominations. This went on for months, and it was in March of 1966 that we received our letter of “invitation” to leave Burma within two months. When we finally left, with very heavy hearts, we flew to India, then as a family we headed home to our uncertain future.
The ongoing work of Adventists in Myanmar is being directed by some of our former students and friends. In addition to Adventist Mission there are also the Myanmar Frontier Missions and Gospel Outreach workers carrying the gospel throughout Myanmar.
I applaud the great efforts ADRA/Myanmar workers and other mission officials have made in disaster relief following Cyclone Nargis, which surely devastated areas where we have previously worked.
Washington, United States
Along the Journey
I find this story (“My Journey … So Far,” Adventist World, September 2008) to be a story of inspiration and rebuilding of my mind and spirit—it is wonderful to see if we really let go and let God. The journey may not always be what we want, but the end will always be the greatest outcome. May God continue to bless everyone; He is good.
New York, United States
I am grateful to God and to the entire staff of Adventist World for this timely magazine. From the Editor’s Pen to the Quote of the Month you have met our needs on this campus. God bless you real good!
Esther Olufunmilayo Oyedepo
Babcock University, Nigeria
Blessing From Haiti
I am a young Christian in Haiti and want to congratulate you today for the good you are doing for God. I think that God will never stop blessing you!
Caffeine Linked to Drug Addiction
Your article, “Caffeine—Has the Church Changed Its Stand?” (Adventist World, September 2008) was read with great interest by me for two reasons. The first was I was concerned about how you would relate to the increased use of caffeinated beverages by some of our churches and church members. I am delighted over how plainly the church’s stand was explained. And the reasons for that stand.
The second reason is that for the past two years I have spent many hours researching the negative aspects of caffeine. My search revealed that there is strong circumstantial evidence that poor diet and/or caffeine may cause addiction to alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, and amphetamines. Also that caffeine can serve as a drug reinforcer for those four substances.
As a result of those findings a committee, Citizens Concerned About Addictions, was formed here in Farmington. I am the chairman of that committee. Our local hospital here in Farmington, New Mexico, has given a grant of $5,000 to our committee to prepare a first-class presentation and to begin educating the public. The presentation, entitled “Poor Nutrition, Caffeine, and Addiction” is nearly ready, and a number of people, some with significant educational credentials, have critiqued it. The feedback has been very positive, for which I praise the Lord.
Donald E. Casebolt, MD
New Mexico, United States
Words of Comfort I was so much delighted to receive this most splendid magazine, Adventist World. Thanks for the articles that give me comfort, especially “Lord, Remember Our Children” in the May 2006 issue.
The sweetest texts and articles draw my thoughts to our loving, passionate Savior. I admire the simplicity, but striking assurance in Isaiah 50:2, which says, “Was my arm too short to ransom you? Do I lack the strength to rescue you?” (NIV). His indivisible love and care cannot be compared. His interminable sympathy is an inspiration to love Him more and to follow His beautiful design. I like this touching message of Sister Ellen White from Mind, Character, and Personality, which says: “Your child is not your own; you cannot do with her as you like, for she is the property of the Lord” (vol. 1, p. 169). “At all times the mother should endeavor to be quiet, calm, and self-possessed…. That which may be small to the mother is large to them. And a word of direction or caution at the right time will often prove of great value” (ibid., p. 168).
God will be pleased to look down upon the efforts of parents with their abiding closeness of prayer in all walks of toughness.
Starlette A. Jordan Prilly, Switzerland
Women and Witness Many thanks for the article “Women and Witness” in the April 2006 Adventist World. I am happy that Brian Strayer highlighted the contributions made by Roxie Rice, Mary Priest, and Mary Haskell in forming and shaping the vision of our church’s most successful evangelistic ministries. How I wish the world leadership would more actively encourage those at the division, union, conference, and local church levels to include more women in our outreach work. The significant membership of the female gender within our world church membership is sadly underrepresented. Ella Smith Simmons made a commendable movement in the right direction.
Dennis E.N. Wilson-Cole London, England
Would Love to Receive Adventist World! I was glad to receive my first issue of Adventist World, and wanted to know how I could continue to get it.
Boas Donza Via e-mail
There are currently two divisions that do not yet receive Adventist World—the Euro-Africa and South American divisions. If you are from a division other than these two, please contact your division office to receive it. —Editors
I read with much awe and interest the October 2005 Adventist World. The many methods used in praying really caught my attention and puzzled me. I had not yet grasped that praying can be so enjoyable using many different ways. I really enjoyed Adventist World and was wondering how I could receive monthly copies? I tried in vain to get hold of the November and December 2005 issues as our local conference did not receive them either. Many Adventists around here are asking for it, and as a youth director I decided to write directly to you.
May God richly bless you. Khumbulani Douglas DubeMidlands, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe falls under Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division territory, and therefore should be receiving Adventist World. Please contact their offices to secure your free subscription. —Editors
Bolstering Our Faith We praise the Lord for publishing a great conveyor of our worldwide work. The cover stories have fascinated us so much and helped us to know more about the progress of Adventism in the world. Articles on our fundamental beliefs and the Spirit of Prophecy also served as great pointers in widening our scriptural knowledge, and helped to sharpen our faith and instill a deeply rooted knowledge of Adventism. The Bible study by Mark Finley was also a good review piece for new and old Adventist members.
Members of the Hanging Bridge Seventh-day Adventist Church Bulacan, Philippines
Connecting With Other Believers I am a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, and I greet you all in the precious name of Jesus Christ our Lord. I am an old man of 75 years. On reading the January 2006 Adventist World, I came across a small article [on the Muscat church in Oman] with a picture of East Indians dressed just like us (with saris and long hair) in South Africa. It made my heart so happy.
Sam Moodley Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Blessed With His Best The “Hope for Humanity” piece in Adventist World (NAD edition, May 2006) was very informative and interesting. I have memories of Harvest Ingathering from way back in the late 1930s and 1940s going up and down the streets with a singing band. The Lord did bless us as the years passed by.
During the past few years my husband and I have had a burden for our own Native Americans. So we have helped them and have wondered what our church was doing, especially for the poorest of these groups in the Southwest—the Navajo, Apache, and Hopi.
I appreciate your writings on the issues of the church. It is like you challenge and then affirm. God bless your work with His best—He always does.
Jeanne Hardaker Bridgewater, New Jersey
A Thorough Examination I find this article more than a little irritating. Is this an Adventist magazine? Is Brother Rodríguez familiar with The Desire of Ages? Certainly his exegesis is a thorough study of the Bible, and in addition he seems to be very thorough in examining all possibilities. However, he particularly avoids the obvious, as if he assumes only the Bible is authoritative for Adventists. The article completely ignores these clear statements: “His brothers, as the sons of Joseph were called, sided with the rabbis” (The Desire of Ages, p. 86). “All this displeased his brothers. Being older than Jesus, they felt that He should be under their dictation” (ibid., p. 87). “Here were His mother, His brothers and sisters, and all eyes were turned upon Him as He entered the synagogue upon the Sabbath day, and took His place among the worshippers” (ibid., p. 236).
James Burry New Dimension, China
Response: Dear Brother James: I apologize for causing you some discomfort. I am sorry that for some reason you missed my final conclusion in the last paragraph: The brothers of Jesus were the sons of Joseph and not of Mary. I did not use Ellen G. White because I am expected to provide a biblical answer. It is obvious that the answer she provides in her writings is the same found in the Bible. Based on her prophetic role within the church, we should consider what she says on this subject to be extremely valuable extra-canonical information.
Blessings, Angel Manuel Rodríguez
Such Good Things Many years ago I observed my father reading what then was called The Review and Herald. And I would ask him, “What do you get out of that?” “Oh,” he said, “there are such good things in here!”
Little did I know that someday I would be baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Today I receive Adventist World. When it arrives, I stop what I am doing and read it from cover to cover.
Oh, how I wish Pop could read it now! It’s much thicker, has stories from all over the world, and has such beautiful, colorful illustrations. I would tell him, “There are such good things in here!”
I am writing in reference to Jan Paulsen’s interview in World Vista on “Women and Ministry” (Adventist World, April 2007). Ellen White writes this: “It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares workers, both men and women, to become pastors to the flock of God” (Gospel Workers, pp. 96, 97).
Georgia, United States
This letter is a response to the interview with Jan Paulsen on pages 8 and 9 of the April 2006Adventist World.
I was delighted to read the affirmation for women in ministry coming from our world president. I hope it serves to raise awareness, distill prejudice and false conceptions, and facilitate more women serving their church in whatever role God has called them.
I was dedicated to the Lord as an infant (not as “just the thing to do” but solemnly dedicated) and have felt God’s calling in my life since the age of 5. Seriously. My ministry began as a 5-year-old singing for the congregation. At 12 and 13 I gave Bible studies to my public school classmates during study hall. I would have gone as a student missionary at 14 if anyone would have allowed me to. At 18 I was a camp counselor, at 19 a colporteur, at 20 a pastor’s wife. I have served my church for 49 years (I’m 54, but I began at the age of 5, remember).
I have been a Sabbath school teacher/superintendent, children’s ministry coordinator, prayer coordinator, personal ministries coordinator, spiritual counselor and coach, minister of worship, field school of evangelism team coordinator, president of various Shepherdess organizations, and Discover Bible School secretary. My husband and I have conducted evangelistic meetings in the U.S., Poland, Russia, and Malawi. I have intentionally chosen not to seek full-time secular employment in order to have the time and energy for these ministries, almost all of which have been on a volunteer basis (I was briefly paid a stipend salary for about 2 1/2 years).
I have availed myself of personal enrichment and professional training at every opportunity. Out of 150 enrollees from RMC in NADEI’s Lay Evangelism Training Program, I was one of three who completed the course of study and graduated with a Certificate in Lay Evangelism. I am currently enrolled in the MaPMin program with Andrews University. I have an associate degree in secretarial science, a bachelor’s degree in music education, and certification in women’s ministry with The American Association of Christian Counselors. I am seriously, intentionally dedicated to the work of God’s kingdom.
On page 9 I read this statement, “It’s not always easy to find available individuals—women who have had some experience in a leadership role in a decision-making forum of the church and who also have the time available to attend meetings.”
Since my work is volunteer, I have the time to attend meetings. I have never been so bold as this. The above paragraphs are not meant to expound on my qualifications, but to emphasize and verify my personal commitment to the church. If the church is serious about “‘seeking women willing to make a personal sacrifice in order to be involved in a forum that makes decisions for the church,’” then I would like to volunteer my services.
North Dakota, United States
The First Mongolia Language School
I was excited to see Mongolia making it into Adventist World again. This is great! Even though I no longer work there, I am happy to read all about what is happening there and hope to continue to read about how the work is growing.
I am writing to let you know that a mistake was made in two articles that needs to be corrected (see Adventist World, Feb. 2007, p. 3; and March 2007, pp. 8, 9).
The language school that was recently opened in Mongolia is not the first Adventist language school. Adventist International Language Center opened in 2000 and was registered with the Mongolian government to operate in Ulaanbaatar. Adventist volunteers came to teach from Canada, England, Australia, and the United States. AILC was even listed in the SDA Yearbook as a Mongolia Mission Field entity. For two years an AILC branch also operated in Darkhan city. I believe the volunteers from these places, the Mongolian staff that worked at AILC, and the people baptized as a result of attending would be disappointed to see that the language school recently opened by the Korean SDA Language Institute is referred to as the first Adventist language school by our official Adventist magazine.
Dale Tunnell, former director of Mongolia Mission Field
Tennessee, United States
Thanks for Showing Us the World
I am so glad that our church members can now have access to reports coming from the different parts of the world church via Adventist World. Please continue to publish articles that motivate our lay people in the work that they are assigned. We need to uplift our church members who are working unknown and unrecognized. We love to hear stories coming from the front line of the work.
We at Romblon Adventist Mission continue to pray for the continued success of our publication. God bless, and more power to the staff and workers of the Adventist World.
Orley M. Fajilan
Please Send More
Thank you very much for your magazine. I just received and read this one copy, the July 2006 issue. I am thirsting for more knowledge about God. Please send me more of them.
Our advice to this reader and others with similar concerns is to contact your union or division office. We are gratified that the magazine is filling this important need.—Editors.
It was indeed the mighty unchanging hand of God that led me to read the article on an outstanding educator, Goodloe Bell, within the Adventist system (see “God Used a Man,” by Allan G. Lindsay, August 2008 Adventist World).
As a young educator within the system myself, I was mesmerized by the strong features and flowing beard I saw in my office on the first day of school in August 2003. I was unsure as to what to do with the huge framed picture of Bell. I was advised to “throw it out.” As the frame matched the furniture in my office very well and the authoritative face gave my office “presence,” I held on to the picture and gave it a prominent spot—focal point position in the room. Each student, worker, and visitor would inquire as to the “fame” of this gentleman, but none of us knew. Today, I am happy. I kept the photograph—today, the name Goodloe Bell has been given life and recognition.
Thank you for this article!
Charlene Sharpe, Northern Caribbean University faculty member
Proud Member, Proud of Women in Ministry
At one time it was believed that women should be seen but not heard in the East Nigeria Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but thanks to Pastor I. M. Alala, who came to the Uhum district and broke the several years of pressing silence on women, female members are not only seen but are “copreachers” and contributors in everyday activities of the church. In light of the articles and letters on the topic published this year in Adventist World, I wanted to share this.
Women [in our area] have conducted open-air preaching programs and won souls for Christ, many of whom are now baptized members and committed Christians today. Thanks immensely for our church leadership that brought our pastor and his wife, a teacher; the Adventist Women’s Ministries leader Joy Njoku and secretary Gift Njoku; and Bola Nwaejike, the conference women’s leader. These women have had tremendous achievements in the district in membership growth, and oneness has been the order of the day.
I was not a member of the church until early June 2006 when I got married to Sample Ajah Onyenmuru of Mbutu Umuezeoche. Today, I am a proud member of the church, baptized and a Sabbath school teacher in my church. I am proud, too, of the work our church is doing through [both men and women].
Chioma Sample Ajah
I notice that very little or nothing is written now in the Adventist magazines about Christian lifestyle, being a light of the world and a peculiar people. Is the church now being converted by the world?
We need to see articles written which present the Adventist/Bible positions on: style of dress, witchcraft, smoking, drinking alcohol and other practices. People need spiritual guidance to live a godly life. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking any lifestyle is fine as long as one believes in God. Remember Cain and Abel? Both were worshipping God, but one was wrong in the way he worshipped.
Thank you so much for sending me Adventist World. I have received two issues so far, and I want you to know just how your magazine has definitely helped me.
I was overjoyed when I received the July 2008 issue with the cover story “A Daniel in Moscow.” The article was something I greatly needed. It told how Dave Kulakov prayed that God would bring his thoughts under divine control. He knew that it would be physiologically impossible to switch his impulses overnight because of the fixed pathways between brain cells, formed over years of undisciplined, irreligious thinking. He resolved to copy the entire Bible by hand.
I decided I would do that, too. I began to copy the Bible in a big composition book. I do it every morning, and I find it really does transform one’s thoughts. I am so happy for what God is doing for me.
Virginia L. Enanoria
California, United States
David Marshall’s article “The Greatest Miracle,” July 2008, brought me some new insights. Thank you. Then “They Still Go” – that is what I say to the Lord in prayer in the early morning.
Pennsylvania, United States