Deadly Doctrine

by Tim Challies I have asked Tim Challies about sharing his blog from February 2017. I have found it very profound and needed in today’s “touchy/feely” “say-whatever-you-want” society. His article is too long for one of our SR articles so I have done my best to condense it. For the full blog go to https://www.challies.com/articles/test-every-doctrine-test-every-teacher/ — Rob Appel T.D. Jakes says that God eternally exists in three manifestations, not three persons. Greg Boyd says God knows some aspects of the future, but that other future events are outside of His knowledge. Creflo Dollar says because we are created in the image of God, we are little gods. Mormonism says God revealed new scripture to Joseph Smith that supersedes the Bible. This world is a murky madness of true and false. For every doctrine we know to be true, there seems to be a hundred pretenders. No wonder, then, that John tells us to “test the spirits” and Paul says, “test everything” (1 John 4:1). It is our sacred responsibility to examine every doctrine to determine if it is true or false. But how can we distinguish sound doctrine from false? How can we distinguish teachers of truth from teachers of error? Here are some tests that are useful for testing any doctrine. Test 1: The Test of Origin Sound doctrine originates with God; false doctrine originates with someone or something created by God. Just as true doctrine is marked by its divine origin, false doctrine is marked by its worldly origin. Paul warned the Colossian church to avoid doctrine that is “according to human precepts and teachings” and told Timothy that some would “depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (Colossians 2:22, 1 Timothy 4:1). The test: Does this doctrine originate with God or has it been fabricated by someone or something else? Test 2: The Test of Authority Sound doctrine grounds its authority within the Bible; false doctrine grounds its authority outside the Bible. The Bible is God’s inerrant, infallible, sufficient, complete, and authoritative revelation of himself to humanity. Doctrines that originate in the mind of God are recorded in the Word of God. There is...

Proverbs 31…Worthy or Not?

Proverbs 31…Worthy or Not?

Jan 23, 2018

by Katrina Goodrich     She is everywhere, seemingly a part of every Christian conversation about dating and marriage. She is the Christian version of a supermodel: women want to be her and men want to marry her. The “Proverbs 31 woman.” To be clear there is absolutely nothing amiss with utilizing Proverbs 31 to teach and learn about what being a godly woman means and how it looks. It uses some very practical examples and, putting cultural context aside, we can even apply what it means in the 21st century. That passage is an amazing tool for guidance—but I think we misuse it. I remember the first time I heard about the “Proverbs 31 woman.” It was from an older boy who mentioned searching for a “Proverbs 31 (P31) woman” because that’s how he’d find a wife. Since then I’ve been indoctrinated into the “P31 Woman Club.” I’ve been in all-women Bible studies that poured over the meaning of this passage and how to be more like this beloved woman. I’ve been getting to know new people and been asked if I would consider myself a “P31” woman—and if I wasn’t, would I be willing to embrace that lifestyle? Here’s the thing: These incidents are all seemingly innocent things that seem good. A man looking for a godly wife, a Bible study for women looking to become more godly women, people getting to know each other on a spiritual level. However, that’s not the sum total of what is occurring in situations like these nor is it the attitude expressed. We’re using this passage as a way to measure self-worth and what it means to be a woman—an obsession born of an unhealthy chauvinistic culture placing the responsibility of perfection on the wife—i.e. she must be all these things or she is not a woman worthy of a godly man. Ouch! Wives look at this passage and see a checklist they need to tick off in order to own the perfect godly life. If the list isn’t checked off that must be why your relationship with your husband and/or house isn’t perfect. Single ladies look at this and think if I can only...

The Church’s Response to Mental Illness

Barb Green, Parish Nurse Milton, WI       Our health focus for 2017 has been on mental illness. In Milton this has been done through newsletter articles, bulletin board items, and Back Door posters. In September, we started a Grow Group discussion class titled “Mental Illness is Not a Choice.” We viewed videos, heard guest speakers and are working through a Bible study. Response has been so great that the class is continuing for another quarter. After learning about the various forms of mental illness, the question becomes “what should be the church’s response to those who suffer from these brain disorders?” One of the first things we learned is that 1 in 4 people struggle with a mental health issue. This may include relatives, those you share the pew with at worship, fellow workers or yourself. Many times we have no idea who they are since people tend to be ashamed of their condition. Much stigma is attached. When symptoms flare up people often drop out of activities until things are under control again. This makes us oblivious to their illness. When someone has a physical illness such as cancer or a broken leg, we help out by taking meals, visiting, sending cards, giving them rides, etc. Mental illness is called a “no casserole” disease because it is usually excluded from this type of help. So what can your church congregation do to support the mentally ill? Become educated about the disease. There are many resources on the internet, excellent books such as “The Troubled Mind” by Amy Simpson or NAMI, the National Alliance for Mental Illness, which has literature, classes and support groups. Learning helps remove the stigma associated with mental illness. Get the support of your pastor in the education process. Help them become educated. Talk about the illness. Tell your own story. Start a support group. Rid the church of stigma and shame. Do not gossip about those who are struggling or avoid them. Delight in broken people. Make them feel welcome. Be present, become a friend, radiate acceptance. The mentally ill are often lonely. Be patient. Mental illness does not resolve overnight; some is never resolved but can...

“Knowing We Are Pilgrims, as Our Fathers Were”: A New Look at the Hubbards

“Knowing We Are Pilgrims, as Our Fathers Were”: A New Look at the Hubbards

Jan 23, 2018

First in a series of spinoff articles from recent research on the Newport, Rhode Island, Seventh Day Baptists     by Janet Thorngate Most people who have even a smattering of American Seventh Day Baptist history know that the first Seventh Day Baptist church in America was founded in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1671 and that Samuel and Tacy Hubbard and their daughter Rachael Langworthy were three of the seven charter members. And anyone who has visited the Seventh Day Baptist museum in the last 100 years has seen the oldest book in our archives, the “Hubbard Bible,” of which Hubbard said, “Now 1675 I have a testament of my grandfather Cooke’s printed 1549, which he hid in his bed-straw lest it should be found and burnt in queen Mary’s days.” Those who have studied the history to any extent know that we would know little about the origins of the church and its first twenty-one years were it not for the extensive writings of Samuel Hubbard. So, what is new? What emerges from recent research into the wider context of the seven places Hubbard lived before arriving in Newport at age thirty-eight? We find that he viewed his life as a pilgrimage, each new beginning growing from earlier roots. What emerges from closer examination of his writing is the strong force of family nurture as it influences a growing church. The courage to follow one’s conscience wherever it leads gathers strength from both of these themes. Samuel Hubbard grew up in Mendelsham, Suffolk, England, an area known for religious dissent. He was aware that grandparents on both sides had suffered persecution for their faith, and he described his own Christian conversion at age sixteen as influenced particularly by his mother’s seeing to it that he heard “choice ministers.” It was apparently with older siblings that he joined the migration to Massachusetts Bay Colony at age twenty-three. Here he became acquainted with Roger Williams, whose radical opposition to the conscience-stifling practices of the Standing Order Congregational Church had not yet caused his banishment to what became Rhode Island. Hubbard’s own journey took him further and further away from the long arm of strict Puritan...

New Role for an Old Friend

New Role for an Old Friend

Jan 23, 2018

An Update from our Church Planting Co-worker, Patty Petersen: What’s next for me? I will continue helping Seventh Day Baptists in church planting. Based in Colorado, I’ll be working as a self-funded ministry volunteer under John Pethtel, Director of Church Development and Pastoral Services. I’ll respond to the many new inquiries we receive and follow up with those showing interest, assessing their compatibility with SDBs. I’ll also assist new groups to get started, pointing them to resources and helping find partners for the new work. I will support Pastor John with administrative tasks and we’ll evaluate after the first year to see what God might have me do next. Your financial gifts will continue to be matched through the Church Planting Co-worker Program. If you have been contributing monthly, I hope you will continue, and if you have been thinking about joining my support team, please join for 2018! One-time gifts are also an important part of my support base and much appreciated. Starting January 1, gifts designated for me can be payable to my sponsor, Boulder Seventh Day Baptist Church 6710 Arapahoe Rd Boulder CO 80303. Please consider supporting the important work that Patty will be doing for Seventh Day Baptists as a next step to planting churches. If you would like to follow Patty’s story as a Church Planting Co-worker, you can follow her blog at http://hosannacompany.blogspot.com. If you would like to know how you or your church can come alongside SDBs in the work of church planting, please contact the Director of Church...

Mission Kenya 2017 — To God Be The Glory

Mission Kenya 2017 — To God Be The Glory

Jan 23, 2018

by  Garfield Miller, Missions coordinator     A team of four—Garfield Miller (SDB Missionary Society), Nathan Crowder (Boulder SDB, CO), Sydney Looper (North Loup SDB, NE) and Elisabeth Lawson (Colton SDB, CA)—were in Kenya December 19-24, 2017. Every dollar and every prayer, in support, was worth it! God’s presence was experienced through preaching, singing, counseling, and teaching under the theme “Prison Shaking Faith.” The team was greatly impacted and from expressions, the lives of many in Kenya were also impacted for God. There were challenges, including arriving in Kisii a day and a half late, but the Holy Spirit acted on the hearts of many and seventeen (17) persons received Christ and were baptized on the Sabbath. Below are some testimonials: BENARD NYAKEBERE MOSE (Pastor, Kenya SDB Conference President): “On behalf of my wife, family and the entire Kenyan Church family of SDB, I am sending special greetings and thanks towards those who all gave support in monies, and also prayers, and at the same time encouragement, too. I am also thanking your families for support and permission to travel oversees for the mission trip and their support they gave you all when you planned to come over and also when you were here, too.” DORCAS (Pastor Benard’s wife): “I am also thanking you (Team) and church family to could have given you some clothing gift and also showing us such great wonderful love and kind heart. This has shown me a big love. The clothes already have been sent to several orphans and the poor, and others are remaining with me for use. Sydney, your ministry to the Kids was a blessing; Elisabeth, you touched my heart when you speak; Brother Nathan, your singing voice was truly a blessing, and we were really moved by your preaching and teaching, Pastor Miller. I can’t have words to say and share—please do not forget us in your prayer time.” NATHAN: “I felt truly blessed to serve in Kenya this Christmas. I spent most of the time teaching high school and college students with Elisabeth. We could feel the Spirit at work and together our team helped to baptize 17 new believers on Sabbath day. Our...