September 10,2009 – Vol. 186, No. 25
Bill Knott takes his “first born” to an Adventist university and hopes the experience will be worth the money. (He doesn’t mention an Adventist daughter-in-law, but I’m sure it’s in the back of his mind.)
Wilona Karimabadi offered a reminder of a miracle FROM LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY. WORLD NEWS AND PERSPECTIVES provided timely information about what’s happening, tragic and inspirational, world wide. In this issue there are reports of a Typhoon in Taiwan that claimed the lives of four church members and two pastors, a Religious Freedom Festival in Peru, and an Adventist pastors’ and teachers’ conference in Rhode Island. John R. Nay, an Adventist diplomat was named Ambassador to Suriname.
CONNECTION RESTORED by Daryl Martin offered a reminder that the discovery of a long lost friend is a priceless treasure. EVANGELIZE? WHO ME? By Whitney Von Lake Hopler is a practical step-by-step guide to personal evangelism. Casey Wolverton reveals THE BEST DEFENCE against territorial magpies and the devil’s lies.
Clifford Goldstein’s THE SOMBRERO GALAXY reminds us that we are only an insignificant “speck of creation with so much in our view but so infinitely beyond our grasp. The only thing that can save us from this absurdity is the gospel, the hope of redemption, the promise that are lives are of infinite value, and that one day everything will be resolved, made right.”
CONSPIRACIES by Reinder Bruinsma declares in no uncertain terms that, “The message of the Advent hope is not to be correlated with theories about. . .the spread of New Age thinking or the alleged development of some form of world government.”
The Cover Features, DROWNING IN A SEA OF GRAY and WILLING BUT WEAK by Erica Richards are attempts to understand why young adults in North America are leaving the Adventist church in droves and provides strategies to stem the tide. Unfortunately, both analysis and prescription are unhelpful. North American young people and many adults haven’t time for a religion that, in the words of Karen Armstrong, “no longer evokes a profound conviction of life’s ultimate value”*. In other words, the rituals, traditions, mores, and beliefs required to remain “Adventist” have become meaningless.
I’d like to believe that many of the young people who leave our church have become adult Christians, far more concerned with the Gospel of service and love than legalism and conformity to a cultic creed.
For what it’s worth, here’s my solution to the “problem”. Adventists should celebrate the diversity of Christian beliefs and life styles of young people instead of making them uncomfortable and unwanted. In other words, it should be official church policy that every baptized Adventist is an Adventist in good standing until individual members request that their names be “taken off” the church books.
*The Case for God, p. 9