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Reviewing the Review: ADRA Witness edition

June 25, 2009 – Vol. 186, No. 18
The issue GOOD HEALTH—MORE THAN AN APPLE A DAY makes a powerful statement regarding the mission of the Adventist Church: love, heal and educate in the spirit of Jan Paulsen’s words in the June 18 Adventist Review: “. . .recognize and respect other religions, and that among Christians there are shades of difference. It is important for Christian believers to practice their convictions without being critical and hostile to other believers. . . .relate to all other expressions of belief and faith and be good neighbors not only to other Christians but also to Buddhists and Muslims. Negativism is something we reject.”
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’” Mathew 25:34-40
It’s the Gospel, and it ain’t rocket science.
Let’s treasure our 28 doctrines. In their clumsy way they have prepared us to love, heal, and educate worldwide. This Gospel that Jesus lived and died to make real is the solid foundation upon which Christian Adventists can light up the world and glorify the Great God of the Universe. Let’s treasure the 28 as traditional beliefs, not distracting, petty, legalistic, and dogmatic assertions. Charles Sandefur, writing in the July, 2009, edition of Ministry Magazine makes this point eloquently.
“We must do what we do with no strings attached. And no strings means just that—no strings. To make service dependent on people’s interest in or potential for becoming a follower of Christ would be a tragic distortion of the principle of love, which gives, expecting nothing in return.
“What then, is the relationship between acts of service and witness? Christian service calls us to serve human need, even if there were no reason to hope that our ministry will now or later create opportunities for outright evangelism. Of course, we must never seek to hide the source of our motivating Christian values, and we should always be ready to give an account of our faith when asked. But we should not have a guilty conscience if we have to wait a long time to give that account, or even if the opportunity to share our belief never comes.
“Who knows? In come cases what we do can be a better witness than what we say. At ADRA, for example, we want our work, what we do with our bodies, to proclaim what we, ourselves, can’t always verbalize. In other words, let our body language preach the gospel.”
ADRA and organizations like it must be our future, if we are to have one. I pray that we do.

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