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!
What We Can Learn from Ben Carson, Evangelicals and America
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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
What We Can Learn from Ben Carson, Evangelicals and America”
- Ben Carson
- North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (May, 2015): “As the 2016 United States election cycle begins, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is aware of the increased interest in the presidential candidacy of Dr. Ben Carson. Dr. Carson’s story is well known to most Adventists, and he is a well-respected physician. The Adventist Church has a longstanding position of not supporting or opposing any candidate for elected office. This position is based both on our historical position of separation of church and state and the applicable federal law relating to the church’s tax-exempt status. While individual church members are free to support or oppose any candidate for office as they see fit, it is crucial that the church as an institution remain neutral on all candidates for office. Care should be taken that the pulpit and all church property remain a neutral space when it comes to elections.” (http://spectrummagazine.org/article/2015/05/04/adventist-church-issues-statement-ben-carsons-candidacy)
- George Barna: Evangelicals (1) have made a personal commitment to Christ (“born again”), (2) believe that by faith in Him they will be in heaven one day, (3) say their faith is very important in their life today, (4) believe they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians, (5) believe that Satan exists, (6) believe that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works, (7) believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth, (8) assert that the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches, and (9) describe God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today. (https://www.barna.org/barna-update/faith-spirituality/648-is-evangelism-going-out-of-style#.Vjt4i7erTDc)
- Proverbs 14:34 NLT—“Godliness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”
- Proverbs 16:12; 20:28
- Daniel 2:21; 4:25, 27; 5:27; 6:25; 7:26,27; 10:13; 11:36,45
- And Us
- Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore: “People attacked [Roger] Williams as a radical, a ‘church-ruinating’ anarchist, for laying the ideological foundation for a society that takes religion seriously but constructs a state without reference to any religious claims. Such a society is not secular, if by that we mean that religion plays no role in public life. Its politics, however, is godless, and so, in their official functions, are its politicians. Williams reached his conclusions about the urgent need to separate church and state, not because he did not care about the future of Christianity, but because he sometimes appeared to care about nothing else. Williams’s main concern was always the purity of the church.” (The Godless Constitution: The Case Against Religious Correctness 52)
- “No one who cares about civil peace would deny that morality is important. . . . The dispute is rather between those who argue that the content of morality is itself a question for public debate and those who argue that morality is an issue already settled by the religious views of the purported majority. To the latter, if public officials don’t profess religion, if they don’t make a link between proper citizenship and churchgoing, if they don’t see to it that schoolchildren pray, then the country is on its way to hell.” (Ibid 64)
- Great Controversy: “[The Pilgrims] patiently endured the privations of the wilderness, watering the tree of liberty with their tears, and with the sweat of their brow, till it took deep root in the land. The Bible was held as the foundation of faith, the source of wisdom, and the charter of liberty. The Bible was held as the foundation of faith, the source of wisdom, and the charter of liberty.” (296)
- “[The Bible’s] principles were diligently taught in the home, in the school, and in the church, and its fruits were manifest in thrift, intelligence, purity, and temperance. . . . It was demonstrated that the principles of the Bible are the surest safeguards of national greatness. The feeble and isolated colonies grew to a confederation of powerful states, and the world marked with wonder the peace and prosperity of ‘a church without a pope, and a state without a king.’” (Ibid emphasis supplied)
- Ellen White to A. T. Jones April 9, 1893: “Dear Brother, There is a subject which greatly troubles my mind. While I do not see the justice nor right in enforcing by law the bringing the Bible to be read in the public schools: yet there are some things which burden my mind in regard to our people making prominent their ideas on this point. These things I am sure will place us in a wrong light before the world.” “If such a law were to go into effect the Lord would overrule it for good, that an argument should be placed in the hands of those who keep the Sabbath, in their favor, to stand on the Bible foundation in reference to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. . . . My brother, this objecting to the passing of a law to bring the Bible into the schools will work against us . . . who are making so much of the Bible.” (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials 1164)
- 1 Peter 3:13—“Who is going to harm you, if you are eager to do good?”
When you seek common good,
you share common ground.
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).
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.
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
We are looking for teams of volunteers that can help people who are more vulnerable in our community to run errands such as picking up groceries and medicine. We're also asking for volunteers to make calls and pray for our members and community.
Community and gathering in some form remains vital. We have asked Grow Groups of more than ten people to start meeting online. For Grow Groups of less than ten people, we're asking them to practice safe social distancing of at least six feet—as per the CDC.
Over the summer and fall of 2019 Pioneer underwent significant physical renovation—including a new roof and a major Sanctuary makeover. During the same time congregation leaders engaged in multiple conversations about our missional renovation—how does a faith community like Pioneer seriously engage and impact the people around us for Christ? From this dialogue emerged a fresh new expression of our Pioneer mission: "Love on the Move."