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Seventh Day Baptists are important to the religious liberty movement!

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016

by J. Brent Walker Executive Director Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty Religious liberty is important to Seventh Day Baptists, first of all, because you are Baptists. Ever since the early 17th century, we Baptists have championed religious freedom for others as much as for ourselves. From John Smyth in Holland, to Thomas Helwys in England, to Roger Williams in New England, we Baptists have stood firmly to declare that matters of the spirit should be of no concern of the magistrate. While we render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and are good citizens, we know our allegiance to God is paramount. During the colonial era, Isaac Backus and John Leland lobbied for spelled-out protections for the exercise of religion and against religious establishments in the Bill of Rights — to use Roger William’s words, that “hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world.” For the past 80 years, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty has carried forth that effort to defend and extend religious liberty — not just for Baptists but...

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Alliance In Ministry

California Here We Come!

Posted by on Mar 18, 2016

By Rob Appel Executive Director   The History The last time we had General Conference gathering in Southern California was 1993! Since 1949 we have been in SoCal a total of five times. That means between 1949 and 1993 we averaged about every eight years we would be there. So, what happened between 1993 and 2017? Why haven’t we been there? There are two main reasons: 1. It costs more to go there. Most of our SDB population reside east of the Mississippi River. Their cost of travel is more expensive to attend. (Please understand, those who travel from the west coast incur these high travel costs every year they attend.) Because it costs more, we have had lower attendance at the sessions, as low as 268 and as high as 466. It also costs more for the SDB Center and Missionary Society to ship their items for the gathering. 2. In 2007 at Newberg, OR, at George Fox University, it was decided that we should attend in the Western part of the USA or Canada once every ten years —...

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Features

The Silent Treatment

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016

by Pastor Scott Hausrath Seventh Day Baptist Church North Loup, NE Has your spouse (or a close friend) ever given you “the silent treatment”? You know what I mean. Because that person is angry at you, or extremely frustrated with you, s/he decides to withdraw verbal communication from you. Of course we all know this is a very immature and counterproductive way to behave, but as long as there are humans there will be the silent treatment. What about God? Does God ever give us the silent treatment? Some people say that He does. They say that, for whatever reason, sometimes God chooses to shut down His communication with us. Have you ever experienced this yourself? My answer to the question is a definite “No.” No, God does not give us the silent treatment. There are many reasons I believe this, but let me share with you just three of them. First, there’s God’s written word, the Bible. As followers of Jesus Christ, we believe that God speaks to us through the words of Scripture. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that “the...

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Departments

Seventh Day Baptists are important to the religious liberty movement!

Posted by on Apr 21, 2016

by J. Brent Walker Executive Director Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty Religious liberty is important to Seventh Day Baptists, first of all, because you are Baptists. Ever since the early 17th century, we Baptists have championed religious freedom for others as much as for ourselves. From John Smyth in Holland, to Thomas Helwys in England, to Roger Williams in New England, we Baptists have stood firmly to declare that matters of the spirit should be of no concern of the magistrate. While we render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and are good citizens, we know our allegiance to God is paramount. During the colonial era, Isaac Backus and John Leland lobbied for spelled-out protections for the exercise of religion and against religious establishments in the Bill of Rights — to use Roger William’s words, that “hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world.” For the past 80 years, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty has carried forth that effort to defend and extend religious liberty — not just for Baptists but...

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Seventh Day Baptists are important to the religious liberty movement!

Seventh Day Baptists are important to the religious liberty movement!

Apr 21, 2016

by J. Brent Walker Executive Director Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty Religious liberty is important to Seventh Day Baptists, first of all, because you are Baptists. Ever since the early 17th century, we Baptists have championed religious freedom for others as much as for ourselves. From John Smyth in Holland, to Thomas Helwys in England, to Roger Williams in New England, we Baptists have stood firmly to declare that matters of the spirit should be of no concern of the magistrate. While we render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and are good citizens, we know our allegiance to God is paramount. During the colonial era, Isaac Backus and John Leland lobbied for spelled-out protections for the exercise of religion and against religious establishments in the Bill of Rights — to use Roger William’s words, that “hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world.” For the past 80 years, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty has carried forth that effort to defend and extend religious liberty — not just for Baptists but for all children of God. Serving 15 Baptist bodies, including the Seventh Day Baptist General Conference, the Baptist Joint Committee files briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, keeps a watchful eye on Congress, advises the administrations as they come and go, and provides education resources highlighting the importance of religious liberty, including through social media. Seventh Day Baptists also are concerned about religious liberty, because you are Seventh Day Baptists. With your roots in England but, on this side of the Atlantic, from Stephen Mumford at Newport, RI, in 1672, you have carried forward a banner of religious liberty along with first-day Baptists. Seventh Day Baptists, perhaps, are greater beneficiaries of the fight for religious liberty than some other Baptists. Your relatively small size in number makes the counter-majoritarian protections in the First Amendment all the more important to you. And, as a result of your special sabbatarian concerns, Seventh Day Baptists rarely take religious liberty for granted. You know what it is like to be out of step with a culture that sometimes accommodates first-day worshippers, but which plans almost everything under...

God’s Sabbath—Day of Rest and Gladness

God’s Sabbath—Day of Rest and Gladness

Apr 21, 2016

by Evelyn Gibson Riverside CA SDB Church In the very beginning when God created the earth, He crowned the week with the Seventh day, blessed it, and made it holy. No law was known yet. God wrote with His own finger in stone to remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy. It was the only commandment that included a reason: to acknowledge that the Everlasting God is Creator. Was it meaningless for Jesus in His short ministry to spend all that time teaching so often how to do well on the Sabbath? He reminded people that the Sabbath was made for man and that He is Lord of the Sabbath. We seem to be able to accept the symbol of communion because Jesus said to remember our Lord’s death until He comes. Yet why do we still want to resist that He really meant the earlier “Remember”? Satan’s tactics are still working. God placed the tree in the midst of the Garden of Eden to be seen, but not tasted. Satan made Eve doubt that God really meant that. What a disastrous event! The Sabbath continues as a symbol of God’s creative power. Sadly, He knew we would forget to the point of bowing to evolution and atheism. That’s why God told us to “remember” the only commandment that does. It’s His day! He deserves it! We honor Him; we love Him; it gives us joy. The Sabbath is the weekly symbol, a time uniquely blessed by God to remind us of His awesome creative capacity to accomplish what He promised and of His eternal rest. He is the Almighty. Let us worship...

Sending Workers into the Vineyard

SDB Boulder has committed in our vision to be a “sending church” that equips and sends out pastors, missionaries, evangelists, church planters, etc. into the world to contribute to the larger mission of the Kingdom of God. Recently one of our members, Tom Muniz, completed his training and began working as a home missionary with Child Evangelism Fellowship. Here is what Tom has to say about his new ministry: “The Bible is replete with stories that characterize the heart of God for children as in the case of Christ’s indignation toward His disciples for rebuking parents that were bringing their children to Him for a blessing in Mark 10:13-16. Church history and tradition speak of the impact of young converts such as: ‘Polycarp, the courageous early church martyr, was converted at nine years old. Modern ministers of the faith like Spurgeon began to awaken spiritually at twelve’ (Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations). With foundations such as these one might think that Christian churches in America would be overflowing with children’s ministries, or that our nation would abound in discipleship and missionary training for young people. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth. According to Barna Research,’6 in 10 of young people between the ages of 16-29 will leave the church to explore faith and spirituality on their own’ (“You Lost Me Interview”). It is into this backdrop God has called me to serve as a home missionary with Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). For more than 70 years, CEF has answered the call of God to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to establish (disciple) them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living. Last year, nearly 20 million young people heard the Good News thanks to the work of CEF around the world in 194 countries. I want to be a part of this work locally. I want to bring the light of Christ to young people here in Colorado today, and share the hope of a life inspired as they bear the cross of Christ and share His love as Apostles tomorrow.” If you would like to partner with Tom as...

God’s Purpose

by Annie Lloyd Alfred Station SDB Church, NY Everyone on the planet has a purpose. No matter where they live, what they’ve done, or what they believe. God has purpose for everyone — including those who resist Him. God’s love and grace is so powerful that we can work a meaning into anyone, no matter the circumstances. 2 Timothy 1:9 says, “He has saved us and called us to a holy life — not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time.” This is a very powerful verse to me because it explains that God’s very own grace and purpose was given to us before time ever existed. However, for some people it is difficult to grasp the idea of purpose. Our lives can be so crazy and demanding that we often forget the purpose behind them. We can become so distracted by everything going on in life that we do not realize that God always has greater purpose. In Romans 8:28 Paul writes, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Hard times can make it difficult to see God’s purpose, but we have to remember that God holds purpose behind every situation, even the worst ones. Even in the most mundane moments, God can express powerful meaning. We can express God’s purpose everywhere we go. Whether it be in school, at work, or in church. We don’t necessarily need to show God’s purpose through what we do — we can show His purpose simply through spreading acts of love and kindness. Psalm 40:9 states, “I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.” This verse expresses the idea that spreading God’s word and sharing His purpose to people is a God-honoring action. God is delighted when we spread His message. So life isn’t really about my purpose or your purpose: it’s all about God’s purpose. God intends us to go about...

SCSC 2016 Part 2

SCSC 2016 Part 2

Apr 21, 2016

Katrina Goodrich People can change, miracles happen, and sometimes old dogs learn new tricks. Change is all around; sometimes for the good and sometimes for the not so good. Typically change doesn’t spontaneously happen — there needs to be catalyst. A catalyst is a person or event that causes a change. Popular theological theory indicates that Jesus is the transformer of culture. He changes lives, expectations, everything he comes into contact with — the ultimate catalyst. SCSC is an organization used as a catalyst by God. It changes people: the students involved and the people who come into contact with them on project and after project. I’ve had the privilege of serving this organization as a student in SCSC, a project director (PD), and most recently as a member of the Women’s Board. Even before my participation in the program, I was involved with SCSC. My church hosted many SCSC teams. As a child, my life was impacted by the work of SCSC and I saw numerous others impacted as well. There is no question in my mind that SCSC is an important ministry. The program has undergone many changes over its 50-year existence. But the nature of the program has remained the same: carrying out the great commission, raising up leaders, and serving SDB churches. Recently, I’ve been thinking about how important raising people is. Children have extremely impressionable and moldable minds. Once they grow up, their ways of thinking and behaving become more static. If we can reach out to younger generations the seeds of change have more time to grow and develop. SCSC does this by working with young adults who continue to fertilize these seeds as well as planting them in younger children. But SCSC is not only for the young — it is also reaching older generations and making an impact there. Last month’s article talked about the SCSC missions track project to Jamaica. This month the rest of the SCSC teams have been decided and released. It is my pleasure to announce them here: Ashaway, RI PD: Beth Brown Randi Gammons, Texarkana, AR (1st year) Dustin Tio, New Auburn, WI (1st year) Bay Area, CA PDs: Becky and...

The Global Refugee Crisis and Us: Sifting Through The Issues to Honor Our King

The Global Refugee Crisis and Us:  Sifting Through The Issues to Honor Our King

Apr 21, 2016

  Rev. Nicholas J. Kersten Director of Education and History Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” — Matthew 2:13-15 (ESV) “The first story we have about the baby Jesus is that He was driven to a foreign nation by a murderous king.” — David Platt     There is no shortage of trouble in our sin-scarred world. In our times (as in all times), sin has run rampant, bringing with it the death and destruction which is its primary calling card. But our times are different in the amount of information about this scale and scope of the groans of our world (Romans 8:22). We no longer need to wait for trouble to invade our small circle of family and friends to be affected by it. We are assaulted daily with new information about evil happening elsewhere in the broader world. We, too, groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of ourselves and this world. Depending on your constitution, giftings and experiences, different kinds of evils may strike you differently. But all of us are buffeted daily by news of disasters, wars and famine. It is difficult in the face of such widespread pain and suffering to be moved by anything anymore. Becoming calloused to the disasters and struggles surrounding us is a common coping strategy. Others ignore any news of the broader world, choosing to focus only on the trouble which is directly in front of them. Still others despair, and give up their hope altogether. But none of these responses are the ones which the Scriptures call us to as followers of Christ. The call of Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, is...

Is it Safe to Go on Missions?

Is it Safe to Go on Missions?

Apr 21, 2016

Focus on Missions Clinton R. Brown A couple weeks ago I was getting my hair cut at our downtown barbershop in Westerly, RI. I had opted for my usual barber and was having one of our normal conversations about travel, missions, and following Jesus in different cultures. Suddenly, the barber at the neighboring chair piped in, “Where are you going? Mozambique? Is that really safe?!?” Surprised, that he was even listening to us, I answered hastily something about it was not necessarily safe in many places that I went, but the people I am generally visiting are interested in keeping me alive and well. So I have a higher degree of confidence in my well-being than many might in those regions. Later, I reflected on how his question demonstrates a lot of our perspectives when making decisions about doing what God calls us to do. It makes sense to me that in this world with twenty-four hour access to news and entertainment about war, disease, crime, natural disasters, and terrorism, that we become preoccupied with our safety. We are reminded all the time that this world is truly not a safe place, and has not been since Eden. Living has been a terminal condition for pretty much everyone who has come before us. Also, our default setting seems to be positioned towards self-preservation, so it is not surprising that when we consider our actions, our first inclination is to heavily load the scales of our choices away from danger. The problem with that attitude is, as new creations in Christ Jesus, we are instructed to not worry or be concerned with the troubles of this world. We are called to have a peace that is beyond this world’s understanding. Our choices are to be skewed towards sacrifice and love for others — not the love of our own flesh. God is to be the source of our confidence. We are to be cognizant, through constant communion with Him, that He is there to guide and protect us because He loves us as a good father loves his little children. As it turned out, this weekend our pastor pointed out that the passage of scripture...

The Silent Treatment

The Silent Treatment

Apr 21, 2016

by Pastor Scott Hausrath Seventh Day Baptist Church North Loup, NE Has your spouse (or a close friend) ever given you “the silent treatment”? You know what I mean. Because that person is angry at you, or extremely frustrated with you, s/he decides to withdraw verbal communication from you. Of course we all know this is a very immature and counterproductive way to behave, but as long as there are humans there will be the silent treatment. What about God? Does God ever give us the silent treatment? Some people say that He does. They say that, for whatever reason, sometimes God chooses to shut down His communication with us. Have you ever experienced this yourself? My answer to the question is a definite “No.” No, God does not give us the silent treatment. There are many reasons I believe this, but let me share with you just three of them. First, there’s God’s written word, the Bible. As followers of Jesus Christ, we believe that God speaks to us through the words of Scripture. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that “the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Every time we read the Bible, God is actively speaking to us. We may not feel Him speaking as we’re reading, but that’s a moot point. God’s word is God’s word, whether we feel it or not. With this in mind, the question isn’t “Is God failing to speak to me?” The question is “Am I failing to listen to God?” God is never silent. Just open His word and see for yourself. Second, there’s God’s creation. In Psalm 19:1-4, for example, David states that “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Let me challenge you to do this:...