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In “An Invitation to Uplift Jesus: A Statement from the General Conference Executive Leadership and Division Presidents,” the One Project is used as an example of an organization of whom questions should be asked regarding their stand on certain matters of church doctrine.
Asked for their response, two of the former leaders of the One Project replied. Japhet J. De Oliveira, senior pastor, Boulder SDA Church said,
I do believe that the General Conference Executive Leadership and Division Presidents have been, once again, tragically misinformed. I will press on. I will preach in season and out of season. When it is acceptable and when it is not acceptable. I will always unabashedly lift up the name of Jesus.
‘Indeed, I count everything loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ…’” Philippians 3:8
Paddy McCoy, pastor for young adult ministries, Kettering SDA Church, said,
For 7 years, my life has been changed by a deeper focus on the Jesus of Scripture. During that time, with the support of brothers and sisters and leaders in the Adventist church, I have had the incredible privilege to minister to 2,000 university students a year, teaching them about a walk with Jesus and trying desperately to keep them active members of the Adventist church. We have gone on mission trips, cared for the homeless in our community, sung to the elderly, raised 100s of 1,000s of dollars for projects around the world, many with ADRA and Adventist hospitals, we have baptized young adults into Jesus and His church, and we have worshipped the God of the Bible. We have also gathered together with Adventists and non-Adventists from around the world to talk about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with great joy and celebration in our hearts.
For those that wonder about our ministry, I agree wholeheartedly that you should check the fruit. What fruit is there from our ministries or gatherings like the One project? Countless people I know that were on the verge of leaving the Adventist Church found hope in Jesus and our church again because of our gatherings. People nearly ready to give up on faith found Jesus again. There are more stories than I can include here, but one more. This one, on a very personal note, involves my own daughter, 9 years old at the time. Inspired by what was happening at a One project gathering, two years later gave her life to Jesus in baptism because she realized that the most important thing in her life was for “Jesus to increase, while we decrease.” (She wrote those words, quoting John the Baptist in John 3, on a postcard at the gathering and turned it in without my knowledge until I found her card in a stack of other cards with people’s dreams for their church. The only reason I knew it was hers was because in the top right corner she wrote her name and age). She embraced the words of Ellen White who once wrote that if we only had one passage in Scripture, John 3:16 is all we would need. And today, she is living a life devoted to Jesus. What more could a parent hope and pray and dream of?
So please, if you are to judge what we do, please judge us by our fruits. “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit…The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of the evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” Luke 6:43-45. And friends, after journeying with my brothers and sisters for 7 years in the Way of Jesus, our hearts of full of Jesus. Not perfect, but full. That is all I have to say.”
William Johnsson, a frequent speaker at One Project meetings said, “Incredible— you can be a racist or spouse-beater, but you’d better be straight on the little horn!”
Bonnie Dwyer is editor of Spectrum.
Image credit: boulder.church/the1project
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