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Connecting 'some' dots »
October is a significant month in the history of Christianity and Adventism. Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther posted his “95 Theses” on a door in Wittenburg with the intention of drawing his church closer to the heart of God. This event is also known as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
In October 1844, many “Advent” believers accepted that Jesus would appear. They believed it so strongly, they were willing to to put their lives on hold to pursue Christ and win the world for Jesus. They were not concerned with how people perceived them; they were “all in.”
As I consider these two events and the hearts of those who set out to follow God’s prompting, I am struck with the contrast of the issues and conversations in our church today: worship styles, women's ordination, tithe distribution and the administrative structure of our church.
There seems to be a strange void in these topics. Where is the discussion of reaching our communities for Christ? Where do we talk about revival and when will we start praying for our churches, communities, and our families, seeking to be drawn closer to Jesus? Is it possible we have been too easily drawn away and have lost sight of the real issue?
Some may say we just need reformation, others might mention the need to be more relevant, and still others believe our foundational values need protection.
I would say, yes, yes and yes!
Yes, we need to protect the values we were founded on. It seems to me we were and still are an advent church, with a clear message that Jesus is coming soon. He invites us to draw near to Him as He draws near to us.
Yes, we must become more relevant to the world we are trying to convey this message to. Without relevance, we have no voice!
And yes, we need reformation. Paul says it like this: “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your minds.” We need to “reform” the way we think, the way we approach this calling we have been given to go into all the world. Somehow we have become just like the world. We have lost the fervor that compelled the movement in 1844 and have become more interested in being part of the world and its pursuits, rather than calling people out of it.
Jesus is coming and no matter how often we have heard it, or how old the massage may be, it is still true. We must plead with God to reignite the fire, to fan the flame, to revive us as a church. Psalms 85:6 “Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?”
Lord, we need renewed expectation! Help us to live as if we too believe Jesus is coming soon.