THIS QUARTER, OUR Q&A COLUMN HAS BEEN ANSWERED BY PASTOR TED N. C. WILSON, PRESIDENT OF THE SEVENTHDAY ADVENTIST CHURCH.
HOW SHOULD CHURCH LEADERSHIP REACT TO OPPOSITION CONCERNING THE AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE AND THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY?
We must be very persistent in our defense of the Bible as the authoritative Word of God. Once people start to utilize the historical-critical type of scholarship, our beautiful understanding of the Word of God begins to disappear. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has historically used the “historical-biblical” or “grammatical” method of scriptural interpretation. It is vital that we maintain this approach when analyzing Scripture. In addition, the Spirit of Prophecy helps us to more fully understand so many of the truths in the Bible. For instance, the ninth chapter of Patriarchs and Prophets gives us a wonderful demonstration of how God created the earth in six literal days. When we understand the beautiful message from heaven about a loving God who created us and died for us, we will be better able to completely share this message with others without being afraid to share what we believe. We must always give a resolute answer to anyone who asks us about the Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, and the authority of Scripture. The Holy Spirit will help unite us around the world, in spite of our differing cultures and perspectives.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT IN THESE END-TIMES TO KEEP RELIGIOUS FREEDOM A STRONG COMPONENT OF OUR CHURCH WORK?
We must be ever vigilant to maintain strong religious freedom and freedom of conscience for all people. If we fail to advocate for others, we will be denied our rights as well. Religious freedom is something provided to us by God Himself. Strong efforts should be made to maintain religious freedom so that we might have more time to share the precious three angels’ messages.
Seventh-day Adventists are called to stand for the principle of liberty of conscience for all. In keeping with our love for others, we must be ready to work on behalf of groups whose freedom of conscience is inappropriately impinged by the state. Such work may result in personal and corporate loss. This is the price we must be willing to pay in order to follow our Savior who consistently spoke for the disfavored and dispossessed.
If you have a question about church policy or procedure, let us know! Every quarter we address these issues in our “Question and Answer” column and we would love to hear from you! E-mail us at [email protected].