celebrating easter

A little more than a year ago (AR, March 2021) we asked what you thought of church and change. A lot of your answers then involved individualized reflections about what or how church should be. The discussion was lively: you wanted to do more of it. This issue’s question opens the door to that “more.” So here’s an edited selection of your responses to a simple query: “What’s church?”


Church means my family in Christ. The church building is our Father’s (God’s) house, where we meet together to do His will, whatever our Father’s will is.

Louise Gibson Addy, Realtor, Maryland


Church: a family of like­-minded, caring believers, supporting each other on the journey to heaven.

Sherla Mason, Modern languages teacher, Questelles, St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG)


Church: the community of believers, a shoulder to lean on in troublesome times, a beacon of hope for the future.

Rhonda Morgan, Teacher, Prospect, SVG


Church means fellowship, love, belonging, learning together.

Gloria Farrell, Retired teacher, North Carolina


Church is a building where people get together to worship and fellowship, no matter where.

Sarah Scott, Middle school math teacher, California


Church affords the opportunity to encourage and empower; it’s spiritually energizing.

Desrie Richards, Education officer, Pembroke, SVG


Church may be a structure where people gather in the company of like believers experiencing inclusiveness, friendship, love, and security as we worship our Lord and Creator.

Ann Laurence, Nurse, Retired, Maryland


Church is a building where Christians gather together for worship and fellowship.

L. K., Licensed clinical therapist, Ypsilanti, Michigan


Church: a place for spiritual enrichment, fellow­ship, physical and spiritual support, and corpo­rate worship.

Anncelma Allen, Teacher, Chauncey, SVG


For me the church is invisible; a safe environ­ment. But I stress this very strongly: it is not a place to show off how great you are because of how many scriptures you know; and it’s not some kind of contest.

Anonymous, Canada


The church provides spiritual stability to its members. The COVID pandemic demonstrates that church can do much more as its activities expand beyond its walls.

Ashley, Engineer, Educator, Consultant, Alabama


Church is community. A place of friends and fel­low pilgrims supporting each other through life and toward righteousness.

Andwele Worrell, Architect, Maryland


Church is what happens when we get together to study God’s Word, to do community service together—in a building; on the beach.

Isaac Garcia, Contractor, Florida


Just walking through the doors brings you closer to God. We’re making time for God and allowing Him into our lives by attending a place of worship.

David Johnson, Retired fireman, Canada


A loving and caring extended family—if we allow it by opening up and engaging with other members within the community.

Deanna Holloway, Maryland


A place of worship, thanksgiving, and praise.

Raquel Jaramillo, Retired pharmacist, Florida


Church is the place to receive a blessing and to be a blessing to someone else in need.

Betsy Johnson, Health care—parish nurse, Bowie, Maryland


Church means family. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that I have family beyond my earthly blood family. We can cry and laugh together. We are striving to stay together in Christ here and later for all eternity.

Vivienne Lettsome, Applications analyst, Maryland


Church is a body of Christ’s followers, a commu­nity of fellowship and worship.

Meghan Wazoua, Secondary school English teacher, Texas


Church to us is a noun, verb, and adjective. It embodies and validates our most sacred beliefs. It the incubator for fellowship and service. It is fundamental to our identify as individuals, a family and members of society.

Colin Bruce, Economist, Geneva, Switzerland


Church means the place of fellowship with believers in Christ.

Carol Holness, Professor of Nursing, Maryland


It’s the people who follow Jesus; we are part of them.

Marcos Cornejo, Engineer, Florida


Church is people gathered together to live out a life of faith, growing toward the full realization of their salvation and identity in Christ.

Stephanie Grant, Chaplain, Maryland


Church: a place where one goes to hear God’s words. Church commands me to share.

Adinga Findlay, Credit union employee, Lowmans Leeward, SVG


A building, a place to hang out with people and experience God’s love.

Jeremy Satnik, Youth volunteer, Calgary, Alberta


Christ’s house for His called­out people who are to make disciples for Him from all nations, and to live in fellowship and unity until He returns.

Mineva Glasgow, HR consultant, SVG


A family for whom the love of Jesus is the com­mon blood. Sometimes dysfunctional, but by God’s grace always growing.

Joan Cornejo, Chaplain, Florida


Church: a place where someone is led to newer and deeper insights into God, challenged to be the best person, and encouraged by others who recognize their frailties and total dependence upon God.

Iris Mounsey, Teacher, Yambou, SVG

We’re hoping, dear reader, that you notice the attention given to your online involvement: in this issue we’ve published several letters from your online correspondence. Send us more. Editors


FAITH AND TRUST 

Thank you, Olga Valdivia (“Angel Watch,” February) for opening a new vista on faith and trust. I recognized faith and trust as defensive strategies enabling one to repel the attacks of Satan, but when you said, “My best weapon was my faith and the trust I was placing in the care of my heavenly Father,” that led to new and intriguing thoughts: faith and trust as a weapon against cruelty, the inhumanity of man to man, the evil of this world. A shield and a weapon all in one. A way to protect but also a way to take the battle to the enemy of my soul. 

Bruce McClay, M.A., M.L.S. 

Battle Ground, Washington 

CHANGE THE HEART 

What an impressive issue of the February Adventist Review, regarding the plight and suffering of African Americans. Coming from Brazil in 1956 to further my education, my wife and I rode by bus from Miami to Los Angeles and could not understand how Black people were treated in the buses and bathrooms. I admire the courage of Rosa Parks being arrested on February 22, 1956, to stand for equality! During my school days and work at the Church’s world headquarters I met with wonderful leaders who were in their rightful position, side by side with workers from all over the world. Justice had been made! Elder Cleveland was my teacher at the old seminary in Takoma Park, and later I had the opportunity to work side by side with other outstanding Black leaders. Our message should be to change the heart and not the skin. 

Leo Ranzolin, Sr. 

Estero, Florida 

VOLUNTEERS AND ADVENTIST MEMBERS SHOW THAT GOD’S LOVE IS STRONGER THAN WAR

Appreciating all of you. You are representing the “Salvation Army,” and your faith speaks. We pray for you all. 

Peter Savari 

LOCAL CHURCH EXPLORES CREATIVE APPROACH TO TEMPERANCE IN THE U.S.

Here in Colorado the use of marijuana has greatly increased among school-aged people since it was legalized for recreational use. It has cost our families, communities, and healthcare facilities so very much. I feel grateful the Vassar Church is responding. Good luck with this project. 

Beverly Helm 

ARE ADVENTIST ONE-ROOM SCHOOLS RELICS OF THE PAST?

The main benefit of a one-room school (with multiple grades in one room) is that students learn self-reliance. They are also not subjected to teachers who think they must spend the full classroom day teaching from the front of the room. This gives the students the time they need to complete their schoolwork in the classroom, where they can ask for individual assistance from the teacher or from higher-grade students as needed. 

Connie Dahlke 

ABUSIVE ADVENTISTS? 

Thirty years ago I stood in the pulpit of Adventist churches speaking on the hidden addictions and various abuses going on within the church. The message was not well received. I have walked away from the Adventist church a few times, disgusted by the level of denial and tired of the way I was treated. I dropped my membership and walked with Him, seeking His face. He called me back four years ago to the Adventist Church—back to pulpits to speak on the very same topics. He also put me on the radio and directed me to keep writing and seeking His lost sheep, those wounded lambs He loves so much. I am gladdened to see these topics are being discussed—finally. Thank you for sharing. 

Laura Lee 

Well done. Our medical institutions need to embed and integrate mental health services with warm handoffs when patients are assessed as anxious, depressed, addicted, etc. They don’t follow through well when sent out the door. Whole person care should extend to mental health. No, it won’t make the clinic or hospital lots of money, but it’s the moral and Christian service to offer. 

Karen Spruill 

I really appreciate the competent clinical perspective on this. We have much work to do and in my observation the conference level and many pastors are unwilling to explore ways to manage this. 

Elise Whogardens 

UNPRECEDENTED FLOODS IMPACT ADVENTIST CHURCHES AND SCHOOLS IN AUSTRALIA

We are living in the last days, when so many things are happening. Jesus is soon to come. 

Angella Samuels 

ADVENTIST SCHOOLS IN UKRAINE ARE DOUBLING AS PLACES OF REFUGE AMID ATTACKS

I’m proud of our brothers and sisters at those schools, for living out their faith this way. 

Wanda Teed 

“BIGGER THAN BASKETBALL” 

Sounds like Eric Lindell’s story in the famous “Chariots of Fire” movie and his refusal to run, as the favorite, at a 1924 Olympics Sunday (Sabbath for him) meet. Must applaud those who stand up for their convictions. 

Ted Porter 

“MISSION: INVENT” ENCOURAGES INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN STUDENTS

Bravo! This is hands-on learning. Now, take the next step and find sponsors to give the seed money needed to turn the best ideas into services for the community and business opportunities for the students. 

William Noel 


Your Turn

We welcome your letters, noting, as always, that inclusion of a letter in this section does not imply that the ideas expressed are endorsed by either the editors of the Adventist Review or the General Conference. Short, specific, timely letters have the best chance at being published (please include your complete address and phone number—even with e-mail messages). Letters will be edited for space and clarity only. Send correspondence to Letters to the Editor, Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600; Internet: [email protected]

The issue of the Adventist Review before you is about us. We thought that for consistency’s sake, the Voices should also be. So here’s your invitation to listen, with us, to the echoes reverberating from your magazine’s first pages at the start of each new decade, from our beginnings to today:

1850

“Some have contended that the Sabbath was not instituted until the law was given to Moses at Mount Sinai. But there are serious difficulties in the way of this belief.”

EDITORS, “WHEN WAS THE SABBATH INSTITUTED?” VOL. 1, NO. 1, NOVEMBER 1850.

1860

“There’s a land far away, ’mid the stars we are told,

Where they know not the sorrows of time:

Where the pure waters wander through valleys of gold,

And life is a treasure sublime.”

ANONYMOUS, “THE MOUNTAINS OF LIFE,” VOL. 15, NO. 7, JAN. 5, 1860.

1870

“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief.” 1 Thess. 5:4.

“The day mentioned in this text is definitely named in the previous verses.”

JAMES WHITE, “OUR FAITH AND HOPE; OR, REASONS WHY WE BELIEVE AS WE DO,” VOL. 35, NO. 2, JAN. 4, 1870.

1880

“What shall I render unto the Lord for all

his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord.” Ps. 116:12, 13.

“Lord what can I render thee

For thy mercies unto me—

Me, a lost, forsaken wanderer from the fold?”

MRS. L.D.A. STUTTLE, “THE SOUL’S RESPONSE,” VOL. 55, NO. 1, JAN 1, 1880.

1890

“What though this earthly house of clay Sink into ruin and decay,

Though health and vigor pass away Christ is my life [emphasis original].”

BRITISH EVANGELIST, “CHRIST IS ALL,” VOL. 67, NO. 1, JAN. 7, 1890.

1900

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Isa. 26:3.

“ ‘In perfect peace,’ O Lord, thou ’lt keep The soul that trusts in thee.

The promise shines through all the years Like beacon-lights at sea.”

FRANCES A. CRANSTON, “PEACE,” VOL. 77, NO. 1, JAN. 2, 1900.

1910

“I hear it singing in the dawn— A world-old sweet refrain—

I hear its notes insistent drawn In music of the rain;

It sings within the swaying corn

A canticle of cheer

That glorifies the golden morn:

“ ‘He loves thee: do not fear.’ ”

ROSE TRUMBULL, “THE SWEET REFRAIN,” IN SUNDAY SCHOOL TIMES, VOL. 87, NO. 1, JAN. 6, 1910.

1920

 “Educate your mind to love the Bible, to love the prayer meeting, to love the hour of meditation, and above all, the hour when the soul communes with God.”

MRS. E. G. WHITE, “NEW YEAR MOTTO,” VOL. 97, NO. 1, JAN. 1, 1920.

1930

“Beloved, we ‘wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.’ ”

“ ‘Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest.’ ”

EDITORS, “NEW YEAR’S GREETINGS TO OUR READ- ERS,” VOL. 107, NO. 1, JAN. 2, 1930.

1940

“That during the last three or four decades there has been a changing emphasis in preaching, no intelligent student of the times will deny. . . . By many, including occupants both of the pulpit and of the pew, the Bible is no longer regarded as the infallible word of divine revelation.”

EDS., “SUBTLE DANGERS THREATENING THE CHURCH: CHANGING EMPHASIS IN PREACHING,” VOL. 117, NO. 1, JAN. 4, 1940.

1950

“The introduction to this journey, like that to all overseas trips, was a hypodermic needle applied at frequent intervals to immunize me . . . . How simple if a similar procedure could be devised for immunizing us against the germs of sin before we start the long journey of life!”

F. D. NICHOL, “HAWAII . . . SPARKLING SPECK IN THE PACIFIC: EDITORIAL CORRESPONDENCE OVER THE PA- CIFIC EN ROUTE TO FIJI, NOVEMBER 20, 1949,” VOL. 127, NO. 1, JAN. 5, 1950.

1960

“The world eagerly awaited news of the Dalai Lama as he fled from Tibet to India during April and May last year.”

DUANE S. JOHNSON, SECRETARY, SOUTHERN ASIA DI- VISION, “RELIEF FOR TIBETAN REFUGEES,” VOL. 137, NO. 1, JAN. 7, 1960.

1970

“A tiny toddler taps upon earth’s door To catch the itchy ear of humankind—Another year is granted to implore

A loving God that we may be refined.

Will this wee infant be a modern Cain

To murder peace and mystify our souls? Or will it grow like Abel and maintain An ember faith upon the altar coals?”

NICHOLAS LLOYD INGRAHAM, “AN EMPTY CUP,” VOL. 147, NO. 1, JAN. 1, 1970.

1980

“Those who have a vital union with Christwill rejoice in the assurance of His love. Nothing in the world can make them sad when Jesus makes them glad by His presence.”

ELLEN G. WHITE, “WALKING IN THE LIGHT,” VOL. 157, NO. 1, JAN. 3, 1980.

1990

“We are living in momentous times. Marvelous changes . . . are providing opportunities for advancing the gospel on an unprecedented scale.”

NEAL C. WILSON, “TIME FOR REVIVAL,” VOL. 167, NO. 1, JAN. 4, 1990.

2000

“One thousand years ago . . . , the cutting edge of medical technology was—leeches!”

WILLIAM JOHNSSON, “I BELIEVE,” VOL. 177, NO. 1, JAN. 6, 2000.

2010

“American humorist Garrison Keillor writes of the grade school year in his semi-mythical hometown of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota, in which an anxious school principal assigned each of the students who lived on an outlying farm to an in-town ‘Storm-Home.’ ”

BILL KNOTT, “A SHELTER IN THE TIME OF STORM,” VOL. 187, NO. 1, JAN. 14, 2010.

2020

“The first was a small and shiny volume, barely 2 x 3 inches, containing selected psalms and the Gospel of John.”

BILL KNOTT, “BIBLES I HAVE LOVED,” VOL. 197, NO. 1, JAN., 2020.

Misreading Scripture With Western Eyes, E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien, InterVarsity Press, Westmont, Illinois, 2012, 240 pages, paperback, US$12.49. Reviewed by Rajkumar Dixit.

Review Misreading Scripture

It is not uncommon for a reader to read through the lenses of their own culture. With the Bible we sometimes forget we are reading a document that is thousands of years old and from a different part of the world. Its culture and manners will differ from a Western, postindustrial worldview. These differences include time, setting, language, and cultural norms, all of which help communicate an author’s intent. But the book before us is a fine example of how academia and easy-to-understand lay language can create a vital dialogue.

The authors delve into some common problems contemporary Bible readers face, and provide appropriate case studies from the Bible, enhanced by their personal experiences from working in multicultural settings—Richards, in Asia as a missionary; O’Brien, from England, but traveling throughout the world.

Their book addresses many possible misinterpretations. Major biblical themes dealt with include race versus ethnicity, individualism versus collectivism, rules versus relationships, and many more. Chapter 3 (“Just Words?”) points out the difficulties of having no appropriate word in our language that equates to the nuanced meaning of the original word. One example is the Greek word makarios, translated “blessed” or “happy.” The authors observe: “Sociologists suggest that people have a difficult time describing or even identifying something that they don’t have the vocabulary for. Some even suggest that one can have a hard time experiencing something for which one has no corresponding word” (p. 75). Cultural and linguistic nuances can certainly create difficulties when interpreting Scripture.

Chapter nine clearly states the book’s thesis: “It’s All About Me: Finding the Centers of God’s Will.” Ironically, perhaps, the example of their aim is the overused and oft-misunderstood passage from Jeremiah 29:11: “ ‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord.” The point is that Americans, mostly reading Scripture through an individualist lens, apply the promise personally, whereas the Lord’s promise through Jeremiah is being stated for the wider community.

Authors Richards and O’Brien share various passages of Scripture through a modern lens, helping the reader to better appreciate the difference it produces. This is one of the best books on theology and contextualization I have read in many years. Where was it when I was in seminary?


Rajkumar Dixit, D.Min., BCCC, BCPC, an ordained Adventist minister, works as a chaplain in hospice and palliative care, and has taught courses in theology and religion for 20 years.

Reviews and commentaries about books, films, or other items do not constitute endorsement by the editorial staff of Adventist Review Ministries.

We’re hoping, dear reader, that you notice the attention given to your online involvement: in this issue we’ve published several letters from your online correspondence. Send us more. Editors


New Look

I just love the new look of the Review‘s website. It is clean, airy, polished, inviting—these are the descriptions that come to mind. Well done!

Debbie Michel

Woman and Ministry

Wow. Your July edition on women and ministry was powerful and well researched, and included the beautiful artwork of South American artist Joao Luis Cardoso! But my heart is so heavy that the church I love and have been part of for 74 years is still unwilling to treat men and women equally.

Nancy Daniels Nelson

Pandemics, Vaccines, and Promises

What I find most amazing about this article is that the writer was able to look past his own beliefs regarding the vaccination and reach down to help someone in need. God is truly great, and I pray that He continues to do this work through you!

Nicolas Salomon

How Pandemic-Fatigued Churches Are Adapting To Disruption

I encourage people to focus on the positives, make use of technology to connect, be willing to adapt, and find new ways of doing church. The ones who are not adaptable, who complain about missing the good old days and also don’t take the virus seriously, are going to suffer.

Robin Hill

Two Hundred Afghan Families Visit Adventist School In England

May you all be blessed abun- dantly for comforting the afflicted and displaced folks! Imagine their fear and anxiety.

Randy Grambow

“TikTok” Grandma Grows Bible Study Ministry To Nearly 30,000 Followers

Digital media is such a powerful tool for evangelism! So impressed by this woman’s willingness to use technology to spread the gospel. God’s blessings on you abundantly, Betilda.

Connected Adventist Podcast

The Lost Teddy

Prayer is so powerful.

Reggy Ragwar Easter

Why 4,898 Is a Very Exciting Number

No more shame. Thank God for FARM STEW.

Terry Ann Finnikin

Southern Students Receive Film Award During Sundance Film Festival

Congratulations to the young people who put this together. I can only imagine all the time and effort and sacrifice this film took to make. Well done!

Pat Rodriguez Castillo

Why Do They Walk Away?

Family worship is not a smoking gun. More than half my academy classmates, plus several of my family members, have left the church. Some had family worship in their homes; some did not. All of them felt the church was out of step and did not represent their values. Most of them did not cite disagreement with doctrine, but practice. It’s time we are honest and admit that we may not understand how Gen Z operates. A Revelation Seminar isn’t going to bring those people back.

Bonnie McLean

Asteroid Gets Name of Adventist Teen in Brazil

I am proud of you, Bruna Pontes!

Patricia Wiant Ridpath

The Challenges of Politics and Faith

Very insightful article. Thank you!

Lynda Gill du Preez

New Hospital Focuses on Serving the Community Through Wholistic Care

Oh, how I wish I lived closer! I would love to be a nurse there. This is great, and what a blessing for the community.

Cynthia West

Is Science the New Spiritualism?

Yes, we need to study God’s Word more for ourselves; the truth and peace are in its pages.

Claudette Thomas

Adventist Schools in Australia Work to Increase Teacher Supply

The work is plentiful, but the workers are few. Nevertheless, God will send the right workers for the right time.

Camila Ito Skaf

Obesity "Is Not A Good Condition for Patients Having COVID-19," Doctor Says

Makes the health message extremely important.

Lester Daproza

Andrews University Receives Grant to Explore Its Institutional History

We need to hear all of the voices of the past. Not just the domi- nant voices that we have heard.

Joe Williams

In Brazil, Adventist Church Musicians Gather to Dialogue and Learn

Great! I wish something like that would happen in my country’s church.

Dani Barbosa

In Zambia, Six Adventist Young Men Clasped Hands As They Drowned

An enemy has done this. Rest, young Christian warriors. You all learned at a young age that we are our brother’s keeper and the importance of unity. Condolences to the brokenhearted families and friends; may God Himself comfort each one of you.

Gloria B. Dorsey

The Demon of Unkindness

Great read. Practicing kindness in a world of hate and anger is challenging—I’m committing myself to be compassionate and loving. Prayers are always welcome.

Barb Preas

Keep Calm and Trust God

I am thankful that no matter what issues we face in our lives, God is with us and will see us through.

Dorothy Mckinney


Your Turn

We welcome your letters, noting, as always, that inclusion of a letter in this section does not imply that the ideas expressed are endorsed by either the editors of the Adventist Review or the General Conference. Short, specific, timely letters have the best chance at being published (please include your complete address and phone number—even with e-mail messages). Letters will be edited for space and clarity only. Send correspondence to Letters to the Editor, Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600; Internet: [email protected]

In that famed line of classic literature Mark Antony comes “to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”*

Mine, and myriad minds besides my own, have pondered the purpose of Antony’s line, particularly, in my case, in relation to the magazine before you, number three of this year’s 12 issues of the Adventist Review (AR03, ’22). For if the gamut of possibilities for words is either praise or funeralizing, our effort in the current issue has faltered from the start. Adventists, you may know, aren’t known for heaping fulsome praise on their work. No year goes by without this magazine winning a half dozen and more awards from national evaluators of journalism. We’re thrilled that others consistently find us worthy of praise. But we know full well that laud and honor belong to Jesus.

We’ve decided, though, that it’s time we gave you some concrete idea about your magazine: you deserve to know it better. And that’s what AR03, ’22 is about. In good Adventist tradition, though, AR03, ’22 aims, not at affirmation or compliment, but simply at candid introduction—not of the magazine itself, since you do know the magazine; you’re a reader; you’re a subscriber. But how does this product of Adventist Review Ministries (ARMies)** come to be from issue to issue? And how about the entire ministry of which this magazine is a part? We seek to answer these questions in the current issue, by

(a) listinganddescribingtherolesteammembersplay,andhigh- lighting the integrated nature of multiple tasks and multiple platforms to show how the magazine and other ARMies platforms stand individually and together as one integrated whole.

(b) Ourtell-alldoesn’ttelleverything:wehaven’twrittenuptherole of our financial manager, Kim Brown, or that of our London-based distribution coordinator, Sharon Tennyson; or Yves Senty, pro- ducer of the French version of GraceNotes; and Bryan Gray, our art director.

As you see, there will always be more to tell. What we ever remember is our mission: the gospel to the world. And our prayer? That after this issue you’ll be better prepared to work with us to fulfill that mission so we may all bury the magazine because it’s done its job, and Jesus has come, and we’re all going home.—Editors.

*William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act III, scene ii.

**Adventist Review Ministries, ARMies—as used throughout this issue, is the multi-platform, multimedia ministry that, beginning with the magazine Adventist Review, now embraces print, audio, video and social media ministries.

Seventh-day Adventism lives aware—even if insufficiently so—of the evangelistic, theological, social, administrative consciousness and impact of our Black leaders: Ella Simmons, first female General Conference vice president; Hyveth Williams, celebrated preacher, first female professor of preaching at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. We content ourselves, today, with hearing from but a few—their word historic, at times prophetic, always for the cause, and in the name of the Lord:

“People who are watching Adventist Christians are not looking for perfection. Neither are they expecting us to be quiet little church mice who never rock the boat. Most understand that oneness is not blandness, and peace is not always silence. Instead, they’re looking to see fellowship in our fellowship. . . . If they can see Christian virtues in us rather than vices, we will win more people to this church by accident than we now win to Christ on purpose.”

ROSA BANKS, first female associate secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; “United in the Fellowship of the Fellowship,” Adven- tist Review, October 2003.


“In the plans and purposes of God, the whole church may profit by the experience of its African- American brothers and sisters. This struggling yet victorious people make their greatest contribution to their church and the larger society when they are assured of their self-worth and affirmed by the belief system they have espoused—the message. When African-Americans, ordinary people, come to see themselves as laborers together with God, identify- ing with His plans and purposes, a sense of security maximizes their ability to serve their fellow human beings with dignity. They will not envy the rich and privileged, nor will they despise the poor and underclass. Buying into the divine economy helps the believer to see the big picture and thus transcend the injustices and inequities of the present.”

CHARLES E. BRADFORD, first president, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, in Perspectives, Calvin Rock, ed.


“Evangelism is the elixir that warms up a cold church, the force that moves the members from standing on the premises to standing on the promises.”

C. D. BROOKS, media ministry founder, whose passing earned a headline article in the New York Times, June, 2016: “C. D. Brooks Is Dead at 85; Preached Seventh-Day Adventist Message”; from blacksdahistory.org.


“I have seen God, for so long, do so much, with so little, I now believe He can do anything with nothing—meaning me.”

E. EARL CLEVELAND, first Black to integrate a de- partment at the Adventist Church world headquarters, and the man who conducted national evangelistic campaigns before the advent of satellite technology; from blacksdahistory.org.


Roll call of Cleveland’s impact: “I could experience no greater joy than seeing the power of God exhib- ited in the ministry of [those] who worked with me. George Rainey, Leonard Newton, E. C. Ward, Warren Banfield, Richard Barron, and Lucius Dan- iels were among them. M. T. Battle was originally hired at my insistence and went on to serve faith- fully and efficiently in the secretariat of the world body. Benjamin Reaves became president of Oak- wood College. James Edgecombe became president of the Southeastern Conference. Elbert Shepperd became vice president of the Pacific Union Con- ference. And William Scales became secretary of evangelism for all of North America. Wintley Phipps became a world-renowned minister of music. Delbert Baker became editor of Message magazine. John Street became president of the City Council of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“Outstanding women have made their mark. . . . Lillie Evans, Ola May Harris, Mildred Johnson, Bertha Bailey, Ellen Anderson, Vivian Perry, and Beatrice Hampton brought hundreds to the foot of the cross in my campaigns.”

E. EARL CLEVELAND, Let the Church Roll On, pp. 40, 41.


“The question of a little gray-haired Bible instruc- tor, Ella Johnson, I met as a young preacher in 1947 is relevant here. She asked, ‘How are Black people in the United States represented in Reve- lation 14:6? The text says, “. . . every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.” ’ Answering her own question, she mused, ‘We are not a nation, nor a kindred. We do not have a tongue [language]. We are just “people.” All mixed-up people.’ ”

CHARLES E. DUDLEY, SR., 311⁄2 continuous years an administrator, South Central Conference; Thou Who Hast Brought Us.


“He was looking straight at them, challenging their scruples, belittling their person—throwing them under the gospel bus; so infuriating them that they ran Him out of town and actually tried to throw Him of a cliff [Luke 4:28, 29].”

CALVIN B. ROCK, former president, Oakwood College (now Oakwood University), and, for 17 years, general vice president of the General Conference


of Seventh-day Adventists, in “The Radically Social Jesus,” Adventist Review, https//adventistreview.org/ radically-social-jesus.

“This time, after the shock, the outrage, and the pain [of George Floyd’s murder], let us not return to an unhealthy, inhumane business-and-ministry- as-usual, only praying and hoping for that better day of change.

“There was a time when God told His people to get up off their knees, to stop praying, and move forward. So let us arise and ‘let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!’ [Amos 5:24, NIV].

“I hear that charge to move now.”

ELLA SIMMONS, “Deeds, Not Only Words,” Adventist Review, June 2020.


“Love is free. Coercion and control are its opposite. . . . The tree drags no one into its shade, even if we are in danger of a sunstroke. A lamp will not force its light on us lest we stumble in the dark. They respect our freedom to use or not enjoy their resources. Think of all the coercion and control that we submit to on the part of others when we so anxiously live up to their expectations in order to buy their love and approval. . . . Each time we submit to these, we undermine the capacity to love and receive love that is our very nature, for we cannot but do to others only what we allow them to do to us.”

HYVETH WILLIAMS, “Love Alive,” Adventist Review, February 2018.


“Scales have valued sons over daughters, or a spouse over children, relatives over strangers, and fellow citizens over foreigners. The underlying principle for preference has often been likeness to me. The end result is a diminished reflection of God and godliness in humanity, and diminished human ability to see life as God sees life.”

HENRY WRIGHT, “To God They Matter,” Adventist Review, February 2016.

Loving Our Theology

Just wanted to say I felt Shawn Brace really took the words out of my mouth with his December column about his love affair with Adventist theology. And it was so refreshing to hear this take from someone else in my age bracket. So often I find myself in his category and feeling a need to defend my love for our theology while listening to my peers get stuck on the “secondary and inconsequential matters” he acknowl- edges. Thanks for the encouragement, Shawn. 

Jaclyn Knight, New Market, Virginia

Timely and With Meaning

Let me say how timely was the excellent edition of the December Review to bring back the main purpose and meaning of Christmas, which is the celebra- tion of the Saviour’s birth, sadly completely forgotten today by the media. Ellen White said that He was not entrusted to wealthy parents; they gave a humble offering when He was dedicated in the temple. What a paradox of the waste of expensive gifts today! I was happy to see in the January Review that the editor is challenging each one of us to make covenants, not just resolutions, and I believe that our covenant for the new year comes from the great apostle Paul: “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth in insight” (Phil. 1:9, NIV), which was the message of our Saviour when He came down. He left heaven, offered His life, victoriously conquered sin, and eternal life was available again to humanity!

Leo Ranzolin, Sr., Estero, Florida

Share the Positive

I took the liberty to cut and paste the article “Accentuate the Positive,” by Dr. Landless and Dr. Charles-Marcel, in the January issue and printed it on impres- sive paper to hand out to my Sabbath School class family. Lots of good stuff to do as we edge our way into 2022. Thanks.

Robert Rouillard, Lakewood, Washington

Sentiments Exactly

Thank you, Shawn Brace, for expressing my sentiments even more accurately than I could have (December 2021 issue)! I have been so blessed by so many teachers, pastors, and Adventist journals; I am indeed called to invite all I meet into the same joy. May God continue to bless you and the Adventist Review, which does so well in cheering us on the way!

Lynn Baerg

Comments From AdventistReview.org

Adventist Church Leaders Note ‘One Humanity’ Statement

I love the Adventist Church because they are spreading the true teachings of God.

Vincent Gwaya

North American Division Finds Partner to Offer Covid-19 Vaccine Clinics

I am very happy to be part of a church that saves lives by providing an effective vaccine for COVID. I pray each day that our elected church leaders do not succumb to the temptation to listen to the often very loud sophist logic. Loma Linda University has done an excellent job of providing data and clear explanations of the data that show the safety and effective- ness of COVID vaccines. There are rare reactions and there are breakthrough cases, but as a recent president has said, the vaccines are effective and do a very good job of preventing serious cases and death.

Duane C. McBride

Reaching the World Next Door

Awesome ministry! God bless you, and I hope this program spreads across the United States.

The New Coat

Charles Mills, I was touched by reading this article. You have a gift.

Sylvia Gabrys

Adventist University in Germany Will Offer Free Theology Degrees

I am a retired North American Division pastor and educator. This is excellent news! I congratu- late our leaders who have the foresight of doing what they can to help with the needs of our future pastors! Practical experience will enable them to be better master’s students, as well as solidify their calling to pastoral ministry.

Edwin Gibbons

Community Family Impacted by an Adventist Academy is Baptized

Brought tears to my eyes to see how God works through us, His church. Congratulations to the Campion Academy community and welcome to the Tesdardi family.

Sone Mariner

Beautiful story. God works things according to His will. May His name be honored.

Roselyn Oneka

Your Turn in the U.S., Local Church Partners With Community to Open Homeless Shelter

This is the flesh and bones of witness.

Kevin James

U.S. Adventist Hospital Brings Covid Vaccines to Vulnerable Communities

Kudos to Shawnee Mission! And to the respiratory team!

Dan L. Kelly

What Happened on Christmas?

After preaching this once, a 10-year-old boy was afraid gifts and celebrations would be stopped at his house. I now try to emphasize that celebrating God’s entry into the human family is now authenticated. There’s more reason to celebrate than ever!

David. E. Smith

A Hymn to Coming Justice

Six years later I’m still coming back to this article. Thanks, Bill.

Jarod Thomas

We welcome your letters, noting, as always, that inclusion of a letter in this section does not imply that the ideas expressed are endorsed by either the editors of the Adventist Review or the General Conference. Short, specific, timely letters have the best chance at being published (please include your complete address and phone number—even with e-mail messages). Letters will be edited for space and clarity only. Send correspondence to Letters to the Editor, Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600; Internet: [email protected]

“When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian and activist who wrote these words, was merely reflecting Christ’s invitation: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Christianity embodies paradoxes: we die to live; give to receive; and humble ourselves to be exalted. The greatest Christians have embodied humility the most clearly. Their example challenges every Christian to live humbly in the twenty-first century.—Editors.


“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

Apostle James (James 4:6).


“This is what the Lord says: ‘Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord.’”

Prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 9:23).


“The more humble and obedient to God a man is, the more wise and at peace he will be in all he does.”

Thomas À Kempis,
fifteenth-century Christian theologian.


“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all around me seemed insufficient for that day.”

Abraham Lincoln,
former United States president.


“When a man truly sees himself, he knows nobody can say anything about him that is too bad.”

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones,
Welsh Protestant minister.


“Each one of us has as much need of God’s grace and forgiveness as the next person.”

Kari PAULSEn, MISSIONArY, author.


“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”

C. S. Lewis, Christian apologist.


“True humility does not know that it is humble. If it did, it would be proud from the contemplation of so fine a virtue.”

Martin Luther,
Protestant reformer.


“There is universal respect and even admiration for those who are humble and simple by nature, and who have absolute confidence in all human beings irrespective of their social status.”

Nelson Mandela,
first Black president of South Africa.


“This statement [Micah 6:8] summarizes . . . the essence of true worship.”

MARTIN PROEBSTLE,
PROFESSOR OF OLD TESTAMENT.


“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.

And what does the Lord require of you?

To act justly and to love mercy

And to walk humbly with your God.”

Prophet Micah (Micah 6:8).


“Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.”

Andrew Murray,
South African pastor and writer.


“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Apostle Paul (Col. 3:12).


“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”

Apostle Paul (Phil. 2:3, 4).


“Under the Holy Spirit’s working even the weakest [at Pentecost], by exercising faith in God, learned to improve their entrusted powers and to become sanctified, refined, and ennobled. As in humility they submitted to the molding influence of the Holy Spirit, they received of the fullness of the Godhead and were fashioned in the likeness of the divine.”

Ellen G. White
(The Acts of the Apostles, Pp. 49, 50).


“All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

Apostle Peter (1 Peter 5:5, 6).


“Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.”

Proverbs 22:4.


“There are two things that men should never weary of, goodness and humility; we get none too much of them in this rough world among cold, proud people.”

Robert Lewis Stevenson,
Scottish novelist and poet.


“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

Rick Warren, Christian author.


“Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.”

Apostle Paul (Rom. 12:3).


“In the life of the disciple John true sanctification is exemplified. During the years of close association with Christ, he was often warned and cautioned by the Saviour; and these reproofs he accepted. As the character of the Divine One was manifested to him, John saw his own deficiencies, and was humbled by the revelation. Day by day, in contrast with his own violent spirit, he beheld the tenderness and forebearance of Jesus, and heard His lessons of humility and patience.”

Ellen G. White
(The Acts of the Apostles, p. 557).