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Evangelistic Endeavor -- 8 (Fri, 9/15)

FRIDAY, 9/15

After a Thursday morning class, and work in the afternoon, I got a chance to go to the mall and eat at a good restaurant with some fellow workers. We had a good time and it was a nice break to not have a meeting that evening. Friday provided a happy reunion of Shari and I. We decided to fly her out for the weekend and it was great to see her again.


We have gotten into the flow of meetings and preparation has become routine. We started a new health segment that will start at 6:30 and cover different health topics then have prayer for healing and good health. I don’t think many people will come this early but it’s a good addition and we’ll see how it grows.

The attendance picked up a bit, probably due to it being Friday. There were a few first-time visitors but there seems to be a contingent of about 10 visitors that are coming nightly.

The topic was called, “Grace or Disgrace, Which?” The sermon was really about the 10 commandments and the need to keep them. There was a lot of commandments and little grace for most of the sermon but towards the end, he did a good job with grace. It seemed to be received well. The evangelist even got a bit ahead of himself and talked briefly about the Sabbath which is the topic for Saturday night.


Based on this sermon, and the two Sabbath School classes I have attended at the church, I have noticed that Adventists love talking about the commandments and the need to keep them. What concerns me is that Adventists feel good about their commandment-keeping simply because of the Sabbath. We use them as a tool to make us feel righteous when it actually is what reveals how far from God we are. I think the problem is that we have a very narrow definition of the commandments of God and forget about the heart of commandment keeping which is love for God and our neighbor. What are the commandments of God? Doesn’t it include helping the poor and needy? Doesn’t it include praying for our enemies? Doesn’t it include radical forgiveness? I think it does but it seems like that has been forgotten and the only commandment that’s really important is the Sabbath.


Anonymous said…
Although some might object to employing the term "marketing" along with evangelism I figure that when an evangelist offers money for people, I can conflate the two, to some degree.

So, to capture market share, we have to distinguish between other churches. In your post, it's significant that we don't say that we are less violent, less prone to idolatry, or less covetous; no, our added value is the Sabbath. This lies in the context of Sunday as Mark o' the Beast - so the message was clear. But now the cringe factor is too high, in educated America one cannot even suggest that what day one goes to church is the outward sign of real and fake holiness.

Sharp Adventists need to start thinking about ways to define Adventist beliefs that go beyond the old arguments, because the context is changing fast.

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