What We Can Learn from Ben Carson, Evangelicals and America
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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.
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What We Can Learn from Ben Carson, Evangelicals and America”
- Ben Carson
- North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (May, 2015): “As the 2016 United States election cycle begins, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is aware of the increased interest in the presidential candidacy of Dr. Ben Carson. Dr. Carson’s story is well known to most Adventists, and he is a well-respected physician. The Adventist Church has a longstanding position of not supporting or opposing any candidate for elected office. This position is based both on our historical position of separation of church and state and the applicable federal law relating to the church’s tax-exempt status. While individual church members are free to support or oppose any candidate for office as they see fit, it is crucial that the church as an institution remain neutral on all candidates for office. Care should be taken that the pulpit and all church property remain a neutral space when it comes to elections.” (http://spectrummagazine.org/article/2015/05/04/adventist-church-issues-statement-ben-carsons-candidacy)
- George Barna: Evangelicals (1) have made a personal commitment to Christ (“born again”), (2) believe that by faith in Him they will be in heaven one day, (3) say their faith is very important in their life today, (4) believe they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians, (5) believe that Satan exists, (6) believe that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works, (7) believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth, (8) assert that the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches, and (9) describe God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today. (https://www.barna.org/barna-update/faith-spirituality/648-is-evangelism-going-out-of-style#.Vjt4i7erTDc)
- Proverbs 14:34 NLT—“Godliness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”
- Proverbs 16:12; 20:28
- Daniel 2:21; 4:25, 27; 5:27; 6:25; 7:26,27; 10:13; 11:36,45
- And Us
- Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore: “People attacked [Roger] Williams as a radical, a ‘church-ruinating’ anarchist, for laying the ideological foundation for a society that takes religion seriously but constructs a state without reference to any religious claims. Such a society is not secular, if by that we mean that religion plays no role in public life. Its politics, however, is godless, and so, in their official functions, are its politicians. Williams reached his conclusions about the urgent need to separate church and state, not because he did not care about the future of Christianity, but because he sometimes appeared to care about nothing else. Williams’s main concern was always the purity of the church.” (The Godless Constitution: The Case Against Religious Correctness 52)
- “No one who cares about civil peace would deny that morality is important. . . . The dispute is rather between those who argue that the content of morality is itself a question for public debate and those who argue that morality is an issue already settled by the religious views of the purported majority. To the latter, if public officials don’t profess religion, if they don’t make a link between proper citizenship and churchgoing, if they don’t see to it that schoolchildren pray, then the country is on its way to hell.” (Ibid 64)
- Great Controversy: “[The Pilgrims] patiently endured the privations of the wilderness, watering the tree of liberty with their tears, and with the sweat of their brow, till it took deep root in the land. The Bible was held as the foundation of faith, the source of wisdom, and the charter of liberty. The Bible was held as the foundation of faith, the source of wisdom, and the charter of liberty.” (296)
- “[The Bible’s] principles were diligently taught in the home, in the school, and in the church, and its fruits were manifest in thrift, intelligence, purity, and temperance. . . . It was demonstrated that the principles of the Bible are the surest safeguards of national greatness. The feeble and isolated colonies grew to a confederation of powerful states, and the world marked with wonder the peace and prosperity of ‘a church without a pope, and a state without a king.’” (Ibid emphasis supplied)
- Ellen White to A. T. Jones April 9, 1893: “Dear Brother, There is a subject which greatly troubles my mind. While I do not see the justice nor right in enforcing by law the bringing the Bible to be read in the public schools: yet there are some things which burden my mind in regard to our people making prominent their ideas on this point. These things I am sure will place us in a wrong light before the world.” “If such a law were to go into effect the Lord would overrule it for good, that an argument should be placed in the hands of those who keep the Sabbath, in their favor, to stand on the Bible foundation in reference to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. . . . My brother, this objecting to the passing of a law to bring the Bible into the schools will work against us . . . who are making so much of the Bible.” (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials 1164)
- 1 Peter 3:13—“Who is going to harm you, if you are eager to do good?”
When you seek common good,
you share common ground.
Please mark Sabbath, October 3 (9:00/11:45 AM), for a joyful celebration of the Lord's Supper as a worshiping community. While we will participate with actual emblems of bread and wine, because of the pandemic the elements will be prepackaged for your safety. These packaged elements will be available for your pickup at the church office the week before (Monday, September 28 through Sabbath, October 3). On-site worshipers will receive the packaged communion elements upon arriving for worship Sabbath morning.
But how will we celebrate foot washing? We're inviting every worshiper and family to experience Jesus' example in John 13 by washing each other's feet that Friday evening where you live. If you would like someone with whom to share this foot washing, you may either invite a friend to join you or please call Claudia Sowler (269-471-3134) for arrangements. 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 preaching of the Word ("American Apocalypse: How to Train Your Dragon—By the Blood of the Lamb") let's throw wide our hearts to the Christ we love to worship. "Do this in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19).
The 4th Quarter Lesson Study Guides are ready for you to pick up at the church office during regular business hours.
Pioneer's Bible Journey Sabbath School class will be using the Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God (Study Guide) next quarter, beginning October 3. If you have always wanted to read this book, which has changed so many lives, you are welcome to
join us by Zoom. The class meets each Sabbath from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. The 270-page study guide, which is conveniently divided into 12 weekly lessons, can be purchased at Amazon.com for $15.99. For more information and to receive the Zoom link each week, please contact Jane Thayer at email@example.com.
Are you friendly and do you enjoy social media? Then, we have a great opportunity for you to be involved in ministry. Through streaming its services on Facebook Live and our website, Pioneer Memorial Church reaches thousands of people every single week. We’re looking to build a new team of local moderators/hosts for our online chat experiences. You could do this from your home. For more information contact Rodlie Ortiz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to all those who helped in any way to promote and support our July 23 Red Cross Blood Drive. That includes the Pioneer pastors and staff and especially the Pioneer Safety Committee who helped us establish COVID-related safety protocols and procedures with the Red Cross for the drive. Thank you to those who recruited someone to give, promoted the drive, helped set up, take down, register participants and
provide refreshments after donations. And, a SUPER SPECIAL THANK YOU to those that Gave The Gift Of Life by donating precious blood. We had one of our most successful summer blood drives ever despite the COVID virus (or, maybe because of the COVID virus). Less people away at camp meetings and traveling and vacationing? Just a hunch. Our next blood drive is scheduled for October 20, 2020 and again on February 24, 2021. Be well and God Bless! -Larry Ulery
Over the summer and fall of 2019 Pioneer underwent significant physical renovation—including a new roof and a major Sanctuary makeover. During the same time congregation leaders engaged in multiple conversations about our missional renovation—how does a faith community like Pioneer seriously engage and impact the people around us for Christ? From this dialogue emerged a fresh new expression of our Pioneer mission: "Love on the Move."