Here is a sampling of letters we received in response to the February 2016 print edition of OUTLOOK, our annual special issue produced by Union College students. Read another letter we received from a Mid-America Union pastor in response to Professor Chris Blake’s editorial, Diversity University, from the same issue here.
I’m a pastor in [Mid-America] Union, and I had a few comments re: February 2016 issue. I’ll keep it succinct.
- Thank you guys so much for Union College edition. That idea is awesome on so many levels.
- The tone of said issue was very balanced, and much needed in terms of helping us see each other as brothers and sisters rather than ideological opponents when we disagree. That message has been helpful to me as a pastor.
- The article “Seventh-day Catholicism” was a bit far for me, however. I understand that it is written by a non-Adventist, and I appreciate giving her the opportunity to speak to our church at large. That is such a cool thing. And it’s for that reason that the article makes me nervous. The very title is more antagonistic than provocative, and if this edition’s goal is to encourage us to enjoy our shared identity as Adventists, then this one misses the mark. I’m afraid of the backlash this young lady might get from people who don’t understand where she’s coming from.
Personally, I find it mildly disconcerting that this awesome girl could attend an SDA school for four years and walk away thinking that “some Adventists believe Catholicism is the prophecy of ‘the beast’ and Catholics are coercive and deceptive to everyone around us.” If she’s attempting to represent the Adventist view (or any variation of it) she’s completely missed the mark. I fully agree with her overall point that we need to learn about other religions (she was spot on with: “I know there are Adventists who would walk away immediately if they had to take classes about Catholicism”…sadly), but it seems she didn’t learn as much as she believes about Adventism…because this article reminds us that some differences are important.
M.L. Mason City, Iowa
Seventh-day Catholicism? and Give Me A Break
Many of the new SDA members have come in through prophecy seminars. They were convicted of the truth in Daniel and Revelation of the “beast” of prophecy, coming into the remnant church of prophecy. They go through the studies for baptism and eventually are baptized members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Then they receive the Outlook magazine and read an article by an author, though not an Adventist herself, [who] claims that after being around Adventists at the college that only some believe the beast of Revelation is the Catholic Church. If I were a new member it would shake my faith. A side note, if those who claim to be Adventist don’t believe that the Catholic Church is the beast of prophecy, they are Adventist in name only.
Secondly, an article entitled Give Me a Break is, toward the end of her article, incorporating yoga meditation breathing with prayer. I understand that most youth go through spiritual crisis and sometimes try different experiences. However when these are placed in front of our general population and brand new members it becomes a stumbling block…
On a personal note, it makes me sad to see this condition in our schools when we are standing in a time that is overflowing with signs of Christ’s soon coming. A time when we are to be preparing for a time of trouble such as the world has never experienced. Ultimately, I know that God is in control and Ellen White saw these things creeping in and gave us warning but as a dyed in the wool SDA I cannot see these things and keep quiet.
R.D., Kansas City, Missouri
A Church That Grows
It is difficult to put into words the article‘s impact . Perhaps because when the Holy Spirit gets involved, words get in the way and the joy felt is overwhelming. I just made the decision to move to [a new church] after attending another Adventist church for years and trying to fit in…I found myself going to church to tithe and pray, but NOT to engage in conversation or fellowship because there was none experienced…And when I offered to serve, there was no place to do so. Too many 4th and 5th generation Adventists and regulars that year after year vote the same ones to serve…
I always feel the Holy Spirit’s guidance; however, have been stubbornly refusing to leave the other church as I thought it did not make sense to drive…when a church is a few miles away. I never thought about a church “fitting” and meeting our needs both on a spiritual level and a deeper personal level. I kept trying to make it work.
But sometimes “your church doesn’t fit”, and I no longer feel guilty about not fitting in…I want a deep personal relationship with my church family and to not feel alone. As the writer stated “Church is not a place I go. It’s a place where I am. As God has shown mercy and done things for me, I will show others mercy and do things for them.”
C.R. Leawood, Kansas
I was GREATLY upset that this article made it in the magazine… You are [causing] others to look lightly on God’s law and more will say “Hey its ok I guess!” We need to UPHOLD His law especially His holy day, don’t you agree?
I am truly deeply saddened to see our church going so south, but yet by reading Sister White we all knew this would happen. The shaking is happening my friends, I beg you to learn of God’s message to us in His Laodicean message, because all is set up for the mark of the beast and if anyone takes the Sabbath lightly, or acts just as the world has, and leads others to do the same then that mark will be placed upon those people.
Let this not happen! Separate from the world and teach others to do the same! Do no publishing about breaking God’s Sabbath or joining with the world with fashion and jewelry, but as you interview people who do these things, lead them to the right path; if we don’t then their blood will be on our hands!
A. W. Plains, Kansas
More on Misconceptions
Do you love Him? That should ever be the point in this paper. If you love Him, keep His law. Eating out on the Sabbath is not love. Breaking God’s law will lead you to death. Sin will keep you out of heaven. You can’t keep God’s law and break the Sabbath.
L. M., Mountain Grove, Missouri