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 Story of Martin Luther and the New Reformation
"Here I Stand!"
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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 Story of Martin Luther and the New Reformation:
'Here I Stand!'"
- Derek Wilson: "Whatever else it was, the Reformation was the world’s biggest ever evangelical revival. That is, it called all members of the Christian world and, through the work of missionaries, the whole of humanity to sign up to the three fundamentals of evangelical faith: the primacy of Scripture, the centrality of the Cross and the necessity for personal conversion. Luther died a disappointed man because he believed that his message had failed to conquer the hearts and minds of many people. He was right—but only because he set himself high standards. With the benefit of hindsight we can see that religious revival is always limited in its impact and in its duration. German Pietism, the Methodist Revival in Britain, America’s Great Awakening, the later movements associated with the names of Dwight Moody, William Booth, Billy Graham and others—they all eventually reached and passed their sell-by dates. Inevitably zeal wanes, vision fades and vibrant churches become institutions. The old adage always holds good: 'a mission becomes a movement, a movement becomes a machine, a machine becomes a monument and a monument becomes a museum'—until woken up by the next revival." (Luther: Out of the Storm 353)
- Leroy Froom: "Seeing the corrupting influence of these indulgences among his own parishioners, Luther tried to stem the tide, and refused to absolve those from their sins who produced an indulgence purchased from Tezel. Therefore the immediate spark that ignited the Reformation did not come from the theological chair, nor even from the pulpit, but from a faithful pastor who was roused to protect his flock from spiritual harm." (Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers 2:252)
- The Great Controversy: "[Luther] had been called as a shepherd to feed the flock of God, that were hungering and thirsting for the truth." (126)
- Timothy Lull, Derek Nelson: "The one title Luther has been given on which there can be virtually no equivocation, one that does not have two sides, has no ‘yes, but,’ is pastor. On the most momentous day in a turbulent life—the day of his examination at the Diet of Worms—Luther rose early so that he could hear the confession of several people with heavy hearts…He did not want to be right about doctrine for the sake of being right but for being helpful to troubled consciences. His concern for preaching, both his own and that of others, trumped everything else in his theology…The word pastor literally means ‘shepherd,’ and Luther was like a German Shepherd in more ways than one." (Resilient Reform: The Life and Thought of Martin Luther 383, 384)
- The Great Controversy: "From the secret place of prayer came the power that shook the world in the Reformation." (210)
- Luther: "Since then your serene majesty and your lordships seek a simple answer, I will give it in this manner... : Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. I cannot do otherwise, here I stand, may God help me. Amen." (Lull and Nelson 130)
- James Reston, Jr: "This is the story of the most intense and pivotal period in the life of the great Reformer Martin Luther.... At the Wartburg he wrestled courageously with the most profound questions of Christian life. . . . He interpreted Holy Scripture for the common person.... Miraculously, Luther not only survived this ordeal at the Wartburg but flourished. His literary output in these furtive months was astonishing: letters, sermons, essays, translations.... Indeed without books to refer to during this period, he would succeed in changing the German language forever, as he would transform a rebellion against Rome into a lasting alternate religion.... Hounded into the Wartburg, he emerged with strength and stature to face his persecutors—and triumph over them." (Luther’s Fortress: Martin Luther and His Reformation under Siege ix-x)
- Luther: "The wise of this world are rejected, that we may learn not to think ourselves wise . . . indeed, to shut our eyes altogether, and cling only to Christ’s Word and come to Him, as He so lovingly invites us to do, and say: Thou alone art my beloved Lord and Master, I am Thy disciple. This much and more might be said concerning this Gospel, but I am too weak and we shall let it go at that." (Lull/Nelson 385)
- Luke 11:9-13
- Isaiah 43:19/44:3
- Ellen White: "The Holy Spirit, the representative of Christ Himself, is the greatest of all gifts." (Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing 132)
- "Morning by morning [Jesus] communicated with His Father in heaven, receiving from Him daily a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit." (Signs of the Times November 21, 1895)
- Download a PDF of Helmut Haubeil’s book: www.steps-to-personal-revival.info
We must all be beggars
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."