Posts Tagged: Adventist Music

In Defense of Ted

So there seems to be the expectation within my praticular faith community, that if you support women’s ordination, believe drums are okay, and didn’t like the tone of the Presidential sermon at our General Conference Session back in June/July of 2010 then you are also against the General Conference Presidency of Ted Wilson.


What bothers me most about this expectation is that it so deeply reflects the politics of our culture! I’m pro-life, “Oh so you’re a Republican.” I’m anti-guns, anti-death penalty, “Oh so you’re a Democrat.” But wait, what if you’re all of those then what are you?

We have become a nation that tries to force people into boxes and against specific individuals based on a select few issues. And it seems the church is trying to do the same, which is unfortunate because when the church mimics the world it looks a lot less like Jesus and a lot more like the devil!

So yes, Elder Wilson and I disagree on women’s ordination, I haven’t agreed with several of his comments on music, I wasn’t particularly thrilled with his opening speech, and YES, I’m glad he is our General Conference President!

Why shouldn’t I be? Because of those issues?

I struggle with a certain wing of our church, many of whom are my friends, that are always sounding the cry for tolerance and yet the language used towards Ted Wilson and the open support and hope of his removal from office show absolute intolerance!

Y’all we are not Washington D.C. We are a church. A church that NO ONE is forced to be a part of! A church that if a person is a part of, hopefully it is because they believe Jesus is leading the church.

And if we are truly a church then should we not take the same position as David whom though Saul was pursuing him for his very life, David felt guilty about even harming the fabric of Saul’s robe. (That is not a comparison of Ted Wilson to Saul. Ted Wilson is a good & kind man!)

Shame on us if we have become so like the world and the world’s politics we fail to accept our leadership, which God has established, based on a few varying points of view.

I pray our Spectrum of tolerance grows us into acting more like a church and less like a political party! 


Childhood Friday Night’s

I don’t have a ton of Spiritual moment memories as a child growing-up. But the few I do have almost all center on music and Friday nights. On Friday nights in our home it would get very peaceful!!! My Dad would often read to us, I remember us reading the Narnia series by C.S. Lewis and all the Uncle Arthur Bedtime Stories. Even more than reading though we would enjoy music. My Dad loved music of all kinds and taught us to do the same.

Today I got nostalgic and decided to try and find some of the songs that still are in my head from those Friday nights at the Stuart’s.

I believe God used these songs to plant seeds in my heart that began to grow roots that kept me in a small way connected, even in the years I was trying to go far from Jesus. I believe this because in the days when I was listening to Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana, Cypress Hill, etc. In the days when I was depressed and stoned and pondering what value life had. I remember pulling out a mixed tape my Dad had made of all that great Friday night music, and I’d listen and sing at the top of my lungs, “Give them all, give them all, give them all to Jesus and He will turn your sorrows into joy.” I didn’t believe it then, but Jesus kept a seed in me, He kept me singing, and He kept knocking at the door of my heart.

So here is a little Friday night music for you to enjoy. I pray that if you haven’t opened your heart to Jesus that one day very soon you will sing the songs hear the knock and accept Him as your Savior!

Dallas Holm–Rise Again

Sandi Patty–Via Dolorosa

Evie–Give Them All

Heritage Singers–Me & My House

Gaither Vocal Band–I’m The Lighthouse

Amy Grant–El Shaddai

Larnelle Harris & Sandy Patti–I’ve Just Seen Jesus

The Gaither Vocal Band–I Believe In A Hill Called Mount Calvary

Del Delker & The King’s Heralds–Holy

The One Project Analysis

I attended The One Project in Seattle this past month and wanted to share my analysis of my time at this “gathering.” It was not a conference we were told but a gathering, a discussion on the supremacy of Jesus Christ within the Adventist church.

I and almost 700 other folk gathered for two days. Most of us attended because of invitation from either one of the leaders of the gathering or the personal invitation of a friend that had attended the first One Project gathering in Atlanta, GA. a year ago.

One of the questions I received over and over again from folk that knew I was attending was, “What is this thing all about?” My answer was consistently, “I don’t know.” When I vocalized that sentiment on twitter I was assured, “Jesus. ALL.” In other words I was told, “the gathering is all about Jesus.”

Did I find this to be true? Yes and No.

My perspective on the idea of “Jesus. All.” after hearing people insist to me that Jesus is “ALL” we are about, no agenda. After hearing the encouragement before the meetings for people to prepare for the gathering by reading the Gospels and/or The Desire of Ages. After hearing Japhet De Oliveira give his explanation to the purpose of this gathering in the opening remarks I understood Jesus.ALL. to mean that it would be all about JESUS HIMSELF.

With that expectation in mind I found it to be NOT Jesus. ALL.

There were several talks, the majority of talks in fact, where scripture was not opened and where Jesus as God, Man, Savior, Friend, etc. were not addressed in any manner and so if you came like me with an expectation of learning more about JESUS HIMSELF, then you would have found this event wanting.

If you came with the understanding that it would be about Jesus primarily as how He has been used and focused on throughout the history of the Adventist church, then yes it was Jesus. ALL. This was the focus of much of the gathering. Jesus 1844, 1888, 1957, Doctrine, Mission, the future.

In every talk I found things I could, “AMEN”, in every talk I thought there were wonderfully valid points made. I resonated strongly with Sam Leonor & Mark Witas’ talks. My heart was touched as a Dad & as a former prodigal with Pastor Terry Swenson’s story about his own son.

And there were things said that concerned me, statements I believe were on the border of ideas or teachings I would in no way be able to support. That said, these statements were either intentionally or unintentionally veiled and therefore hard for me to make a completely accurate assessment of.

The format of the conference was amazing! There was no wasted time! After our break times we went straight into the speakers, no wasted words on announcements or giveaways. The music led by Nick Zork w/ an assist by Kimberly Bulgin and many others was amazing. On a side note, I believe if we invested through our church education system in wonderful worship leaders as much as we do other areas of ministry, all our churches would be well served! (It is Biblical 1 Chronicles 6:31,32) The fellowship was wonderful. It had a nice reunion feel to it. The organization was terrific and the leaders I spoke with were gracious in hearing my concerns and humble in hearing my praise.

In summary I would say, it was not the gathering I expected, but this doesn’t mean it was a bad gathering. The focal point I expected, learning more about Jesus and drawing nearer to Jesus, was not the primary focus I experienced, and based on that alone I would probably not choose to attend again.

However, this is only their second (in some ways 1st) intentional gathering, and I think it is wise, unless there is was  just absolute heresy, (which I choose to believe there was not) to reserve judgment after just one round. I was also encouraged by Alex Bryan’s statement that Chicago’s 2013 gathering will be a discussion on 8 stories from the life of Jesus. With that statement by Pastor Alex I believe a return and reinvested look at The ONE project is deserved, at least from me.

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