We read with great interest Lael Caesar’s commentary “Jesus and Leviticus” and wholeheartedly concur with his position: the book of Leviticus has something to say to us today. The antipathy toward Leviticus is part of modern Christianity’s war on God’s law, as though the gospel negates the law of God.
This antipathy should have been resolved long ago for Seventh-day Adventists. Ellen White wrote: “The law and the gospel cannot be separated. In Christ mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The gospel has not ignored the obligations due to God by men and women. The gospel is the law unfolded, nothing more nor less. It gives no more latitude to sin than does the law” (From the Heart, p. 289). These principles still apply. The moral law statutes and judgments still apply. Where Scripture commands an animal sacrifice, there we are to lift up Christ’s death on the cross. Ellen White was shown in vision that at a time when trouble was coming upon the earth just before the close of probation, “We [Adventists] went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully” (Early Writings, p. 33).
What is “more fully”? “That the obligations of the Decalogue might be more fully understood and enforced, additional precepts were given, illustrating and applying the principles of the Ten Commandments. These laws were called judgments” (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 310). The statutes and judgments are the “more fully” of the Ten Commandments. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has a message to give “more fully.”
Walla Walla, Washington
“I’ve appreciated the articles by Bill Knott and Stephen Chavez to help our members not lose sight of the friendliness and understanding that should permeate all our churches.
When I became an Adventist Christian at a very young age, my mother and I attended our first worship service. It was a small church in São Paulo, where we have today more than 1,000 churches. It was a great contrast to the cathedrals where no one paid any attention.
I will never forget the welcome, smiles, and kindness of members. They made us feel at home, helped us find a seat, introduced us to other members, and read the stanzas of the hymns. We had no idea how to do it.
That inspiring service still stays with me in my ministry; I’ve tried to convey to our members how important it is. I’ve also wanted our church to open its doors, as Stephen Chavez said, to the marginalized, disenfranchised, and other groups who need to find refuge. As a former youth director, our young people need to feel accepted and loved in our churches.
Leo Ranzolin, Sr.
Stephen Chavez’s article “Jesus Said, ‘Come’” is a readable and convincing article about how to make everyone feel safe, worshipping with Adventists without having to “behave like us, think like us, or look like us.” It harmonizes with Jesus’ teachings throughout the Gospels.
The article is well worth reading again and again.
R. Lynn Sauls
The June 2020 Adventist Review with the cover title “Welcoming” capitalized on the opportunity to address stories we’ve all heard: A visitor comes to church, baubles dangle from her ears; gaudy bracelets, one stacked upon the other, adorn her arms. A gatekeeper sidles up to the woman and with piety dripping like water from a leaky faucet, says, “I thought you should know that in our church we believe in modest dress. We don’t wear jewelry.” This ends the conversation and the desire ever to return to that church.
The article “Jesus Said, ‘Come’” takes the discussion further and addresses the matter of intention. It well made the case that a congregation has the opportunity to intentionally create a welcoming church. Glendale City church supports your thesis. I have attended the church and presented to the congregation. The mix of people and the inclusion of atypical Adventist parishioners is an inspiration.
Lawrence G. Downing
“Forecast: Heavy Rain” was right-on! Extraordinarily well stated. And so timely. Thank you, Adventist Review, and Dixil Rodríguez.
Don’t Try, Do!
I thank and praise God every morning I can get out of bed.
I take exception with the word “try” used by Stephen Chavez in the closing article of the June 2020 issue. When I used the word “try” in front of my mentor years ago, he said: “Terry, I don’t want to hear that word out of your mouth ever again. You’re a winner, and winners don’t try, they do!”
I’ve not found the word “try” in His Word, and I believe our Lord and Savior continues to be a winner in every respect!
Alive and active at 73.
Beautiful read! Thank you.
Beverly Rachel, via web
Congratulations and praise God! We look forward to ready access of more stories of the development and worldwide spread of our message as the Lord uses human servants in this family of God.
Lloyd and Sheila Schomburg, via web
President and Mrs. Jackson, thank you so much for your years of leadership. We have prayed for you often and will miss having you as our North American Division president. God’s blessings as you retire.
Don and Louise Driver, via web
Well, don’t get all light and fluffy on us, Cliff! Seriously, though, “can this quantum phenomenon, or some variant thereof, explain how something in the classical realm, such as Jesus crying out, ‘It is finished,’ could be instantly conveyed ‘through every world and through heaven itself’?” Probably not. But why not? It’s intriguing. Quantum physics really humbles us in so many ways.
Jennifer Jill Schwirzer, via web