Adventist Media Response and Conversation

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Few Good Words from Paulsen

Thanks to a mention on intersections I just saw the following article in the Review:

Our churches are meant to be places of healing and renewal – they must be,” General Conference president Dr. Jan Paulsen declared December 9, 2008, during the twenty-ninth Annual Pastoral and Evangelism Council held at church-owned Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. “The church should not be a battlefield, but a city of refuge.”

Carrying forward a theme he began at the 2008 Annual Council in Manila, Philippines, Paulsen expressed concern over those who would seek to separate the tares from the wheat in today’s Seventh-day Adventist Church, violating the spirit and letter of Christ’s parable in Matthew 13:24-30. “The church is a very mixed lot,” Paulsen conceded, but it is Jesus’ role to judge its members, not our role.

And while “the church has a right a right to church discipline” in situations where such discipline is called for, “however, it must not skew a day to day relationship” with its members.

Emphasizing that some who might be viewed negatively are in fact wrestling with the demands of God the Holy Spirit, Paulsen said “sinners are meant to be received warmly” by the church.

“I wouldn’t want to be only with those who have it all figured out,” he added, saying such people can become “arrogant, clinical and judgmental.”

Paulsen said, “It is within our reach to shape and create the spiritual atmosphere of our community.” Adventists should “create a good home in our local congregations, [and be] a warm family.”

Would not it be nice if our local churches actually took Paulsen's advice. It appears to me there is entrenched in many local churches a coterie of people who really do think they have it all figured out. The trouble is if you ask them a question they won't answer, they are quick to declare others to be unbelievers if they don't think just like themselves. They are killing the Adventist church just as surely as any unbiblical doctrine will, come to think of it they tend to use a good number of unbiblical doctrines anyway.

Oh well read the article on Paulsen and think positive and try to put in place his above mentioned ideas into your local church, maybe you will have more luck than I did.

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