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Think Local, Act Global:
Reversing the Polarities of the Third Millennial Church
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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
“Think Local, Act Global: Reversing the Polarities of the 3rd Millennial Church”
- 1 Peter 1:1; 2:9-11
- Lee Beach, The Church in Exile: Living in Hope After Christendom: “. . . there was a time in the history of most Western nations when Christianity held court as the de facto religion of the empire, and the church stood at or near the center of political power. In this cultural setting the church had a significant role to play in the shaping of culture and the determining of the overarching moral structures of society.” (33)
- Beach: “If these trends continue at their current pace, religious ‘nones,’ as they are often called, will outnumber Christians by 2042.” (35)
- Beach: “Christianity has been gradually losing its status as the lingua franca in Western culture for some time and has increasingly tended to become a local language used only by those who are professing Christians, not understood by others. . . . As we enter into the twenty-first century and the dust from the cultural upheaval of the previous century begins to clear, it is apparent that the church no longer functions at or near the center of things any more. . . The church must now function within a framework that precludes any kind of cultural authority.” (34-36)
- Implication #1—we must find new ways to engage and penetrate the culture and world in which we are exiled.
- Daniel vs. Esther
- Implication #2—our modus operandi for doing so must be “engaged nonconformity.
- Beach: “Exilic holiness is fully engaged with culture while not fully conforming to it. Living as a Christian exile in Western culture calls the church to live its life constructively embedded within society while not being enslaved to all of its norms and ideals. Sometimes holiness has a personal cost and demands taking a stand that draws attention to oneself. At other times holiness is not defined by dramatic action but by the day-to-day choices we make.” (183)
- Walter Brueggemann, Cadences of Home: Preaching among Exiles: “The metaphor of Babylonian exile will serve well for my urging. . . . The great problem for exiles is cultural assimilation. The primary threat to those ancient Jews was that members of the community would decide that Jewishness is too demanding, or too dangerous, or too costly, and simply accept Babylonian definitions and modes of reality. And surely Jews in exile worried that their young would see no point in the hassle of being Jewish. . . . We ourselves [as Christians] surely know, moreover, about the next generation that too readily decides that discipleship is not worth it. As Jews disappeared into the woodwork of Babylon, so Christians now, as never before in the West, disappear into the hegemony of secularism.” (41)
- Philip Yancey, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News: “These three statements provide a neat summary of the gospel story. We are loved by God, forgiven by God, and invited to the banquet table. In the midst of a planet marked by brokenness—violence, natural disasters, ruptured relationships—the gospel is truly good news. Like an iPod listener dancing in a subway station full of glum commuters, a Christian hears a different sound, of joy and laughter on the other side of pain and death.” (71)
Please mark your calendar for Sabbath, June 26, when we will gather both services—in person or online—to celebrate the gift of our Savior in summertime fashion.
Will this be the last time we commemorate the cross with at-home foot washing and prepackaged emblems of bread and wine? It could very well be. But no matter—it will be a high day in worship for us all. If you wish to celebrate communion at home, please stop by the church office this next week (Monday thru Friday noon) to pick your packaged emblems. For on-site worship, you may receive the emblems as you arrive that Sabbath morning.
But how will we celebrate foot washing? We're inviting families and friends to experience Jesus' example in John 13 by washing each other's feet Friday evening where you live. Why not make this foot washing a part of your Friday evening worship as we gather across this community to welcome the Lord of the Sabbath into our homes at sundown?
Then Sabbath morning through music, prayer, the reading, and reflections from the Word (“For the Love of an Animal: Baaa”) let's throw wide our hearts to the Christ we love to worship. "Do this in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19).
Do you like chess, or want to learn how to play? You can make new friends and build new skills like critical thinking, strategizing, and self-control while playing this classic game. Join us on Sunday afternoons, 3-5 p.m. in the Commons. Register today: churchteams.com/m/Register.asp?a=MThGZzJLQ0FnSnc9
Local Church Budget
Naaman was the commander of the Syrian army, a great and honorable man in his nation. But he was a leper. During one of the conquests against Israel, Naaman captured a young girl and gave her to his wife as a maid. The Bible never gives the name of this precious child, but her influence in the house of Naaman was great. She spoke of the God of Israel who could heal the husband of her mistress.
The wife told her husband about the hope of a cure. Naaman asked the king of Syria to write a letter to the king of Israel requesting healing. After several delays, Naaman arrived at the home of the prophet Elisha. Rather than meeting Naaman himself, Elisha sent his servant with a simple
message: “Go and wash in Jordan seven times.” 2 Kings 5:10
Angry that the prophet did not come out and make a grand display of healing him, and instead, commanded him to wash in a dirty river, Naaman headed home. But his servants urged him to follow the command of the prophet and wash 7 times in the Jordan. When he did, God healed him of leprosy.
A little girl shared with her mistress. The woman shared with her husband. Her husband shared with the king of Syria. Today, we can do the same. When we give to the local budget, the funds are used to help share the gospel with others. Your name may never be known, but by sharing—like the little maid—lives will be changed just as Naaman was.
—North American Division Stewardship Ministries
Michigan Camp Meeting will be available for live streaming June 18–26 at www.misda.org/livestream2021. The theme this year is "How Much More".
It's time to stop worrying about money! In Financial Peace University, you'll learn the biblical truths to help you keep a budget, beat debt, and build wealth! Class begins Tuesday, June 8, 2021 (6:30—7:30 PM).
A.U. Eats is back! Offering chef made vegetarian/vegan meals delivered to your door. Go to GET.CBORD.com to place your order or for more information call 269-471-3161.
Join Timeless Tours next March 16-27, 2022 for an unforgettable tour to ancient Egypt. Two experienced biblical archaeologists will be your guides. For more information contact Timeless Tours through Stefanie Elkins at email@example.com. You can also learn more about the tour, find application forms, payments, itineraries and more via our website; www.digtheadventure.com.
Mommy and Me is now Preschool Pray & Play! Our goal is for our new name to reflect the way we welcome ALL caregivers--moms, dads, nannies, grandparents, babysitters, etc.—as well as our faith-based approach to friendship and play.
Pray and Play is a great group for caregivers and children ages 0-5 to meet new people, make friends, sing, pray, and play together. This year, we'll be meeting through the summer months, and we'd love you to join us! Text PLAYINFO to 269-281-2345 to be notified about upcoming meetings/events, or join online.
Join us for our Sabbath afternoon prayer walk on campus! We meet at the stairs behind the statue, and it starts at 5:00 PM and ends by 6:00 PM. We would love to have you join us. If that day/time does not work for you, there are other days that people are
prayer walking, as well. Questions? Contact: Ildiko at firstname.lastname@example.org; Andrew at email@example.com; or Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org.