Our medical professionals are on the front line of this epidemic and we want to show them love and support. In the next week or two, we want to send a prayer caravan to drive around the hospital. We'll let them know ahead of time that we'll be praying—and perhaps honking our horns—at a designated time. To get more information and to register, please click below and select the prayer caravan option. We'll see you soon!
The Pugwash Factor:
How to Respond to the Supreme Court's Same-Sex Marriage Decision
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SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
More In This Series
“The Pugwash Factor: How to Respond to the Supreme Court’s Same Sex Marriage Decision”
- The Supreme Court
- “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. . . . It would misunderstand these [same sex] men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf)
- The Creator
- Matthew 19:3-12
- Seventh-day Adventist Church: “Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus Christ to be both monogamous and heterosexual, a lifelong union of loving companionship between a man and a woman. In the culmination of His creative activity, God fashioned humankind as male and female in His own image; and He instituted marriage, a covenant-based union of the two genders physically, emotionally, and spiritually, spoken of in Scripture as ‘one flesh.’” (http://www.adventist.org/information/official-statements/statements/article/go/0/marriage/30/)
- S.D.A. Theological Seminary: “. . . a marriage between a man and a woman is the Edenic model for all time. This unique heterosexual marital form involving the sexual union of a man and a woman constitutes the divine paradigm, the ‘Creation order,’ for humanity from the beginning. This paradigm means that marriage cannot consist of the sexual union between a man and another man or a woman and another woman. This Creation pattern of marriage between a man and a woman remains the norm throughout Scripture.” (“Biblical View on Homosexual Practice and Pastoral Care,” draft 6 p 2)
- North American Division of S.D.A.: “The Seventh-day Adventist Church acknowledges the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Friday June 26, legalizing same-sex marriage across the United States. Even with the Supreme Court's decision, the Adventist Church maintains its fundamental belief that marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman. While the church respects the opinions of those who may differ, it will continue to teach and promote its biblically based belief of marriage between a man and a woman. The Seventh-day Adventist Church believes that all people, regardless of race, gender, and sexual orientation, are God’s children and should be treated with civility, compassion, and Christ-like love.” (http://www.nadadventist.org/article/1073743014/news/current-newspoints/newspoints-june-26-2015-supreme-court-on-same-sex-marriage)
- The Church
- Russell Moore: “We must embody a gospel marriage culture. We have done a poor job of that in the past. Too many of our marriages have been ravaged by divorce. Too often we’ve neglected church discipline in the cases of those who have unrepentantly destroyed their marriages. . . . We must hold our views and love those who hate us for them. We must not only speak Christian truths; we must speak with a Christian accent. We must say what Jesus has revealed, and we must say those things the way Jesus does—with mercy and with an invitation to live.” (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/06/26/why-the-church-should-neither-cave-nor-panic-about-the-decision-on-gay-marriage/)
- Justin Lee: “I’ve talked to many single Christians who find the church a challenging place to be at times. But for single gay Christians, there are even bigger hurdles. . . . Single gay Christians face the difficulties of singleness alongside potential condemnation for their orientation. And while all single people face challenges in our culture, the challenges faced by people who are single by choice or because they haven’t yet found the right person are different from the challenges faced by those who eagerly desire companionship but believe God requires celibacy even if they should fall in love in the future.” (Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs-Christians Debate 239-240)
- Seminary: “While being faithful to biblical teaching about homosexuality, we must also seek earnestly to understand and empathize with the struggles and challenges that face those who struggle with sexual immorality. . . . All persons, including practicing homosexuals, should be made to feel welcome to attend our churches while non-practicing gay persons should be welcomed into membership and church office. All should receive spiritual care from the church (Gal 6:1). We stand against any antipathy toward homosexuals as well as any cultural biases that fuel a lack of Christ-like love for them. . . . We strongly affirm that homosexual persons have a place in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” (Ibid 16, 17)
- Henri Nouwen: “God, help me to see others not as my enemies or as ungodly but rather as thirsty people. And give me the courage and compassion to offer your Living Water, which alone quenches deep thirst.”
This week I learned of our world church headquarters appeal for prayer throughout the global Seventh-day Adventist family. Originally timed to end during the recently-postponed General Conference session in Indianapolis, our church leaders are calling us to now focus 100 days of praying (March 27-July 4) on behalf of the global coronavirus pandemic. There could hardly be a more urgent need for earnest praying!
A pastor friend of mine, Jim Moon, pointed out a two-verse juxtaposition I'd not noticed before: "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a pestilence among My people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:13-14). While everyone knows the beloved prayer call in v 14, few of us connect it with the preceding divine action in v 13. "A pestilence among My people" certainly could represent a global pandemic like the coronavirus COVID-19. While Satan is the originator of destructive calamities, what more faith-appropriate response is our collective prayers to the One who can deliver this nation, this world, these people, from the grips of pestilence.
So let's join together in humbling ourselves before God and praying and seeking His face—that our world might be saved and our faith community might yet be mobilized to share the glad tidings of Jesus' soon return.
- Pastor Dwight
Since October 2018, our Pioneer congregation and the Andrews campus have joined together in setting aside the first Tuesday of every month as a Day of Fasting and Prayer. Since most of us this coming Tuesday will be safely ensconced in our homes, it will be a fitting opportunity to band together to seek God's face on behalf of our nation, our world, our church. The economic collapse on multiple fronts as a result of this pandemic has seriously affected the Adventist church and schools globally and locally. Let's unite our petitions to appeal to Christ to minister to the members, the leaders, the students, the teachers and all who serve our faith and academic community in this time of financial duress for many. "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of glory in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
In a world changing now by the nanosecond thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, want to celebrate something that isn’t? Join us in a house-bound Agape Feast, as we celebrate the unchanging love of God poured out through Jesus at Calvary. All you need is some fruit, crackers and nuts. Invite your family and friends to join you online Saturday morning (9AM/11:45AM ET—pmchurch.org or Facebook Live). It’s time to the good news overwhelm the bad news—be a part of the Feast!
Neighbor To Neighbor is hosting a food giveaway on April 6, 2020, sponsored by Feeding America. It will begin at 11:00 AM.
Due to the COVID-19 stay at home mandate, Pioneer is unable to provide physical copies of the Adult Sabbath School Lesson at this time. Both teacher's edition and standard edition are available online for free.
Each year, FLAG Camp seeks enthusiastic, responsible high school and college students to work as counselors, teachers and support staff. If you have a love for children and are committed to setting a wholesome example for our campers, consider joining our team. The application deadline is April 5, 2020. At this time FLAG Camp is still scheduled this summer. Due to the COVID-19 virus, please stay tuned for further updates.
The Board of Elders, under the leadership of Bryan and Becky von Dorpowski, has responded to the immediate spiritual and emotional needs of our oldest Pioneer members. Recognizing many of them will chose to protect themselves from the coronavirus by limiting their time in the wider community and thus missing the weekly fellowship that worship and Sabbath School provided, the elders will be focusing on those Pioneer members in their 70s, 80s, 90s and 100s—and will be reaching out by phone to visit with them. (In order to protect the health of our members our elders will not be making home visits at this time.)
If you know of an at-risk member who needs personal attention, please call Claudia Sowler 269.471.3134. The elders are praying these targeted phone calls will bring the ministry of our Good Shepherd Savior to these who have faithfully walked with Him throughout their lives.
During this time of potential boredom and cabin fever, enjoy these fun ideas for spending quality time together as a family.
After the long winter of gray and brown, get outside and look for all the buds, sprouts, and new leaves you can find. Try to identify what each one is. You can use your phone to look on the Internet or use an app like Pl@ntNet to identify leaves. Currently, you can see things like crocuses, daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, lilies, snowdrops, moss, ferns, ramps, and wild chives. It is so nice to be reminded that even when things look bleak, God is still there and recreating!
You can also "adopt a friend" each day or week! Send several encouraging and kind notes to a friend via text, email, Messenger, etc. Let them know you are thinking about them and even praying for them.
Sponsored by the Family Life Committee