Monday, December 31, 2012

Seventh-day Adventists in the News│December 2012

Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black
Senate chaplain prays for ‘fiscal cliff’ deal (Navy chaplain and Seventh-Day Adventist minister, Senate Chaplain Barry C. Black). Washington Post│USA, Dec 31

End of the World As We Know It and I Feel Fine.│USA, Dec 31

Cabinet documents open window on 30 years ago (Azaria and Lindy Chamberlain Case). ABC News│Australia, Dec 31

 Cousins caught in SDA church sex act. News Day│Zimbabwe, Dec 31

 Church must engage with IMF — Rev Dr Marjorie Lewis. Jamaica Observer│Jamaica, Dec 31

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Jesus, Creator of Heaven and Earth│Lesson 1, December 29-January 4

Read for This Week’s Study:   Gen. 1:1; Heb. 11:3; Ps. 19:1-3;John 1:1-3, 14;Col. 1:15, 16;John 2:7-11.

Memory Text: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, NKJV).

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In the Beginning of the Beginning. By L. James Gibson

• Introduction: Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide│1st Quarter 2012

Open the Bible to the first book, first chapter, first line. Notice: it says nothing about Christ dying for our sins, nothing about the Second Coming, nothing about His bodily resurrection from the grave. It says nothing about the state of the dead, the Day of Atonement, or even the seventh-day Sabbath.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

White House Petition To Recognize Westboro Baptist Church As Hate Group Becomes Most Popular Ever

Users of the White House's "We the People" digital petition platform have flooded the site in support of an effort to officially designate the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church as a hate group.

The most popular petition was submitted on Dec. 14, the same day as the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., an incident that Westboro responded to by announcing its intent to picket the funerals of the 26 victims, including 20 young children. This plan made them a prime target of hacktivist group Anonymous and eventually drew a well-attended counter-protest to block the church's followers from disrupting the services.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Global Religious Landscape

A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Major Religious Groups as of 2010│Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life

Worldwide, more than eight-in-ten people identify with a religious group. A comprehensive demographic study of more than 230 countries and territories conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life estimates that there are 5.8 billion religiously affiliated adults and children around the globe, representing 84% of the 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Ellen G. White statements related to the observance of Christmas and holiday gifts

Christmas is Coming

"Christmas is coming," is the note that is sounded throughout our world from east to west and from north to south. With youth, those of mature age, and even the aged, it is a period of general rejoicing, of great gladness. But what is Christmas, that it should demand so much attention? This day has been made much of for centuries. It is accepted by the unbelieving world, and by the Christian world generally, as the day on which Christ was born. When the world at large celebrates the day, they show no honor to Christ. They refuse to acknowledge Him as their Saviour, to honor Him by willing obedience to His service. They show preference to the day, but none to the one for whom the day is celebrated, Jesus Christ.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christians & Christmas. By Angel Manuel Rodríguez

QUESTION: Should Adventists celebrate Christmas?

Every year I receive letters or phone calls asking whether it is correct for Adventists to celebrate Christmas. The uncertainty is usually based on the absence of any biblical information about the date of Christ’s birth, and on the conviction that December 25 has been associated with a pagan festival. Let me provide some historical information about the celebration of Christmas and say something about its significance.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

When All Things Become New / Lesson 13, December 22-28

Memory Text: “ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away’ ” ( Revelation 21:4, NKJV).

Key Thought: What is the millennium, when does it happen, and to what does it lead?

► All resources you need for the Sabbath School Bible Studies: free access to download all departments Lessons Editions, Videos, Podcasts, App and additional comments.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Forget the Mayans. Here are 5 actual apocalyptic possibilities.

The world might not end this December 21st, however life as we know it does face serious threats. (Nomadic Lass/flickr)

It's pretty clear that the world will not end on December 21, 2012. At least not based on so-called Mayan prophecies.

A thousand years ago, the ancient Mayans predicted that on this date, the sun, the earth, and the center of the Milky Way will be perfectly aligned for the first time in 26,000 years, ending the "fifth era of the sun."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Obesity now a bigger global killer than hunger

Two decades ago, childhood malnutrition was the world's leading cause of early death. Now, the top global killers are diseases related to obesity.

That's one of the many startling findings of a new, far-reaching report on global health.

The good news is that ambitious efforts to improve sanitation and wipe out infectious diseases in the developing world have been spectacularly successful, driving down infant mortality rates and pushing up life expectancy.

But the Global Burden of Disease study also shows that more people, even in many developing countries, are now dying of "rich country" ailments such as cancer and heart disease than "poor country" diseases like malnutrition and tuberculosis.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

One in Three Americans see Extreme Weather as a Sign of Biblical End Times. By Dan Merica

More than a third of Americans see recent extreme weather as a sign that the world is in biblical “end times,” according to a survey released Thursday.

Thirty-six percent of Americans say that the severity of recent natural disasters indicate that we are at the precipice of Jesus’ second coming and the end of the world, according to the survey, released by Public Religion Research Institute. The survey found that 15% of Americans believe the world will end, as predicated in the book of Revelation, in their lifetime.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Newtown: New Chapter of the U.S. Mass Shooting Epidemic

Another sad chapter in a story that is seemingly never-ending and increasingly becoming more bloody ... the slaughter of 20 children and seven employees of the school in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14.

Adventist Report offers access to some items that we consider very interesting read. Reviews and disparate visions and possibly conflicting, but agree on some issues: violence, insecurity ... fundamental elements of anarchy to which this world is headed.

We know, Ellen White said, “We are living in the midst of an 'epidemic of crime,' at which thoughtful, God-fearing men everywhere stand aghast. The corruption that prevails, it is beyond the power of the human pen to describe. Every day brings fresh revelations of political strife, bribery, and fraud. Every day brings its heart-sickening record of violence and lawlessness, of indifference to human suffering, of brutal, fiendish destruction of human life. Every day testifies to the increase of insanity, murder, and suicide. Who can doubt that satanic agencies are at work among men with increasing activity to distract and corrupt the mind, and defile and destroy the body?” (The Ministry of Healing, p. 142)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Greetings from Ted N. C. Wilson

Revival for Mission│Christmas Special

Join Seventh-day Adventist world church President Ted N. C. Wilson and his wife Nancy Wilson as they host a special Christmas edition of “Revival for Mission,” featuring the new music video, “God’s Gifts.” Nancy tells the story of Jesus’ birth through the eyes of a young shepherd and Pastor Wilson shares a message about forgiveness inspired by Christ’s birth.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Last Things: Jesus and the Saved / Lesson 12, December 15-21

Read for This Week’s Study: Heb. 8:1-5; Isa. 53:6; Rom. 3:24-25; 1 Tim. 2:5; Heb. 9:23; Acts 3:19-21.

Memory Text:  ‘Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began’ ” ( Acts 3:19-21, NKJV).

Key Thought: The Bible’s teaching on Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, His second coming, and the resurrection of the dead stand together as a message of hope for those who have placed their trust in Him.

► All resources you need for the Sabbath School Bible Studies: free access to download all departments Lessons Editions, Videos, Podcasts, App and additional comments.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why the World Didn't End Yesterday

NASA debunks myths of Mayan apocalypse

Fears of an impending apocalypse continue to swell as Earth marches toward its supposed end date: December 21, 2012. But the U.S. government, and NASA in particular, are doing their best to dispel notions that the world is coming to an end.

Many of the fears of a coming catastrophe center around the Mayan calender, which inexplicably ends on Dec. 21. As NASA scientists and experts explain in the above video, the Mayans were not predicting catastrophe. Their calendar works just like the ones on your refrigerator: it eventually runs out of days, and a new one starts.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Breaking The Taboo│Film

New documentary features the work of the Global Commission on Drug Policy to end the war on drugs

Launched this week, “Breaking the Taboo” follows The Global Commission on Drug Policy on a mission to break the political taboo over the War on Drugs and exposes what it calls the biggest failure of global policy in the last 40 years. Narrated by Oscar winning actor Morgan Freeman, “Breaking the Taboo” is produced by Sam Branson’s Sundog Pictures (UK) and Brazilian Spray Filmes and was directed by Cosmo Feilding Mellen and Fernando Grostein Andrade.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Survival Guide to Mayan Prophecies. By Felix H. Cortez

Some interpretations of the Mayan calendar suggest that the world will end in December 2012.
       The last independent native kingdom of Mesoamerica succumbed to the Spanish Empire on March 13, 1697. This was the end of the Mayan civilization and way of life that had lasted for millennia. The story of the end of the Mayan world is enthralling, however, not only because of the military and political prowess of the Spanish conquistadors, but also because of the fact that it happened in precise fulfillment of ancient Mayan prophecies.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Theology of Ordination Study Committee Members Announced

Committee members identified for study of theology of ordination

The Chairman of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Theology of Ordination Study Committee this week announced the names of committee members, the final step in the group’s formation.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Christian Life / Lesson 11, December 8-14

Memory Text:   “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3:16, NKJV).

Key Thought: Anyone can call himself or herself a Christian. What, though, does that mean in practical terms?

► All resources you need for the Sabbath School Bible Studies: free access to download all departments Lessons Editions, Videos, Podcasts, App and additional comments.

Central Study Hour with Doug Batchelor at the Sacramento Central Church / Amazing Facts

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Remember the Sabbath, says Kentucky doctor-author Matthew Sleeth. By Peter Smith

When some stores opened on Thanksgiving Day, bleeding Black Friday into Black Thursday, many observers lamented the latest sign that Americans’ lives are being increasingly crammed with the business of busy-ness.

More and more holidays are becoming days of shopping and other business, and Sundays long ago ceased to be quiet days of rest and worship.

A Kentucky doctor and author is part of a growing movement in the opposite direction.

The doctor’s prescription: Keep a Sabbath.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Celebration of Creation

Adventist HQ holiday outreach celebrates belief in biblical creation

The auditorium darkened, lightening flashed across a projector screen, thunder roared over the loudspeaker and artificial rain fell on hundreds of school children this morning during a recreation of the biblical flood, eliciting laughter and screams from the students.

The simulation was part of Celebration of Creation, a free community event held this week at Seventh-day Adventist world church headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Seventh-day Adventist Position Statement on Vegetarian Diets

What is the vegetarian lifestyle?

For more than 130 years Seventh-day Adventists (SDAs) have practiced a vegetarian dietary lifestyle because of their belief in the holistic nature of humankind. Whatever is done in eating or drinking should honor and glorify God and preserve the health of the body, mind and spirit.

The vegetarian diet recommended by Seventh-day Adventists includes the generous use of whole grain breads, cereals and pastas, a liberal use of fresh vegetables and fruits, a moderate use of legumes, nuts, seeds. It can also include low fat dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheeses and eggs. It is best to avoid high saturated fat and cholesterol foods such as: beef, lamb, pork, chicken, fish and seafood. Coffee, tea and alcoholic beverages provide few nutrients and may interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Law and the Gospel / Lesson 10, December 1-7

All resources you need for the Sabbath School Bible Studies: free access to download all departments Lessons Editions, Videos, Podcasts, App and additional comments.

Memory Text:   “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3-4, NKJV).

Key Thought: God’s entire moral law is what reveals our sin and, thus, our need for a Savior. The law and the gospel are, therefore, inseparable.

Central Study Hour with Doug Batchelor at the Sacramento Central Church / Amazing Facts

Friday, November 30, 2012

Seventh-day Adventists in the News│November 2012

‘Two and a Half Men’ actor’s criticism of show shines light on Seventh-day Adventists. CNN│USA, Nov 28

 • The testimony of Angus T. Jones obviously has led to the "Adventist" and "Seventh-day Adventist Church" to be mentioned in the world media thousands of times. ADVENTIST REPORT has SELECTED some of them as an example, adding to the other references of "Adventists" in the news ...

Seventh Day Adventist Church President calls for International Day of Prayer. Examiner│USA, Nov 30

 Candidates praise new nomination system. The Royal Gazette│Bermuda, Nov 30

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Internet Addiction Is The New Mental Health Disorder. By Alice G. Walton

There’s been a lot of controversy about some of the maladies included in the freshly revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-V). Internet addiction, or formally, Internet Use Disorder (IUD), may soon be included as an actual mental health disorder, although the authors do say it still needs a lot of additional study. So what are the symptoms of IUD, and maybe more importantly for those of us flirting with it, what’s the treatment?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Official Statement Regarding Angus T. Jones and the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Angus T. Jones, an actor of the CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men," became a member of a local Seventh-day Adventist congregation in the San Fernando Valley area 1 in June of 2012. On October 8, Jones was interviewed on a show called Turning Point, produced by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in which he discussed his faith journey. The interview will air on Hope Channel (DirecTV channel 368) this Friday, November 30, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Currently, you can view an online version at The Adventist Channel 2.

Turning Point│In this special preview episode, host Connie Jeffery interviews Angus T. Jones, actor in the hit CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, about his spiritual journey.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

‘Two and a Half Men’ Star Angus T. Jones becomes Seventh-Day Adventist and Rebukes Show

It appears that Angus T. Jones has become a Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Christian, according to his online video testimonials with The Forerunner Chronicles on YouTube. Angus T. is most well known for his role as “Jake”, the “half a man” on the super successful CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men.

Part 1 of Angus T. Jones' video testimonial begins with the taller, slimmer, bespectacled 19 yr old sitting on a couch in Angus' trailer at Warner Bros. Studio in Los Angeles, with Chris Hudson the host of the Forerunner Chronicles, gladly proclaiming Angus' acceptance of the 7th day as God's Holy Sabbath Day and more. The video continues with Angus sharing the story of his life, including such details as his family moving from to California, attending Christian schools, acting, as well as his foray into “weed” and “acid”; however, approximately one year ago, God grabbed hold of Angus and has yet to let go.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Ready for Apocalypse? Insurance companies refuse to cover Armageddon

Latvian insurers have rejected the request to insure against “breaking the space-time continuum” and the coming of a fictional deity Cthulhu as the “damage from the end of the world is difficult to evaluate”.

With one month to go before the end of the world according to Mayan calendar cycle, an unusual request came from organizers of a festival to a Latvian insurance agency, reports The client also wanted to insure against abduction by aliens and breaking the space-time continuum that could take festival goers into parallel worlds.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

North Pacific Union Conference Opens Dialogue on Ordination without Regard to Gender

With additional documents by Dr. John McVay, Emily Flottmann, Andre Wang and James Wibberding.

During their regularly-scheduled quarterly meeting held Nov. 14 in Ridgefield, Wash., North Pacific Union Conference1 executive committee members voted to engage Northwest membership in a discussion on gender-inclusiveness in gospel ministry. They approved a motion to 1) inform and educate Northwest members of the rationale toward biblical church leadership without regard to gender; 2) engage and encourage constituents in structured conversation and discussion on women in ministry; and 3) call a special session of the NPUC constituency to address ministerial ordination without regard to gender. The motion was presented in response to extensive reports provided by an Ad Hoc Committee on Women in Leadership which met during 2012. No date was specified at the meeting for a proposed constituency session, but that will be determined as the process for discussion and decision-making is further defined within the next month.

As an aid to the ongoing discussion, we will be posting additional documents produced or gathered by the Ad Hoc Committee and beyond. The following documents are currently posted here:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Church: Rites and Rituals / Lesson 9, November 24-30

Memory Text:   “Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38, NKJV).

Key Thought: God has instituted ordinances that, properly understood, help to reinforce our faith.

Central Study Hour with Doug Batchelor at the Sacramento Central Church│Amazing Facts

► All resources you need for the Sabbath School Bible Studies: free access to download all departments Lessons Editions, Videos, Podcasts, App and additional comments.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Indian Textbook Claims Meat Eaters 'Steal, Fight And Turn To Violence And Sex Crimes'

The publisher claims that the author of the book is a Seventh-day Adventist
You might be used to hearing this from your vegan pals during the holidays, but an Indian textbook company is now making claims that might surprise the most militant members of PETA.

According to "New Healthway," a health and hygiene book aimed at 11- to 12-year-old students, meat eaters are awful people.

"They easily cheat, tell lies, they forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and sex crimes," the book states on page 56.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Way. By Edwin Cook

Novus Ordo Seclorum: A New World Order.

Novus ordo seclorum, a phrase that appears on the American $1 bill, means “a new order for the ages,” and reflects the thinking and intent of the Founders in America at the time of the Continental Congress. For them, the New World discovered by Columbus offered many opportunities for a political experiment that was completely foreign to the medieval system of guilds and monarchies of European society. The constitutional ideas formulated by Thomas Jefferson depended much upon the “balance of powers” from Montesquieu, the democracy and republicanism of Greek society, and the need for law from Roman society. 

In contrast to the wars of religion that drenched European soil with blood, the Founders conceptualized a society in which civil peace would reign. To this end, they recognized the need for a separation of church and state; thereby granting to the individual citizen freedom of conscience to follow his or her personal convictions without incurring civil penalties. Relying upon the influence of Baptists, who argued for religious freedom based on “soul liberty,” as well as the philosophical arguments of John Locke and the French philosophes, James Madison formulated the religion clauses of the First Amendment. In essence, the Founders conceived of a country without a king and a church without a pope.

The Church of England Votes Against Female Bishops. By Megan Gibson

With many hoping to smash the stained-glass ceiling, the Church of England voted over allowing women to serve as bishops on Nov.20. But the ceiling remains intact, as the vote failed to pass and the outcome could have major implications for the church’s future.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

16 Seventh-day Adventist Female Pastors Approved for Ordination

Bill Miller (right), president of the Potomac Conference, presents Debbie Eisele, a pastor at Sligo church in Takoma Park, Md., with her ordination certificate.

Following the Columbia Union Conference Special Constituency’s historic July 29 decision to ordain pastors without regard to gender, the union executive committee voted to approve the ordination of 16 women pastors. The women include Allegheny East Conference’s Rosa Taylor Banks, Brenda Billingy, Paula Olivier and Lisa Smith-Reid; Ohio Conference’s Linda Farley, Lori Farr, Sandra Pappenfus and Carmen Seibold; and Potomac’s Karen L. Cress, Sharon Cress, Jennifer Deans, Debbie Eisele, Cherilyn O’Ffill and Sonia Perez. The vote included emeritus credentials for Chesapeake Conference’s Charlotte McClure and Josephine Benton, the first female pastor presented for ordination in 1973.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Adventist president calls for December 1 Day of Prayer, Fasting to support falsely accused members

Seventh-day Adventist world church President Ted N. C. Wilson today called for an International Day of Prayer and Fasting on December 1 to rally support for the release of two Adventists currently imprisoned in the West African country of Togo.

Wilson and top church executives who voted the emphasis day at a November 20 morning business meeting said the event will raise awareness of the plight of Antonio dos Anjos Monteiro (photo), Sabbath School and Personal Ministries director for the church’s Sahel Union Mission, headquartered in Lome; and Bruno Amah, an Adventist lay member and businessman in Lome.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Yes, the FBI and CIA can read your email. Here's how. By Zack Whittaker

Summary: "Petraeus-gate," some U.S. pundits are calling it. How significant is it that even the head of the CIA can have his emails read by an albeit friendly domestic intelligence agency, which can lead to his resignation and global, and very public humiliation? Here's how.

The U.S. government -- and likely your own government, for that matter -- is either watching your online activity every minute of the day through automated methods and non-human eavesdropping techniques, or has the ability to dip in as and when it deems necessary -- sometimes with a warrant, sometimes without.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Church: In Service to Humanity│Lesson 8, November 17-23

All resources you need for the Sabbath School Bible Studies: free access to download all departments Lessons Editions, Videos, Podcasts, App and additional comments.

Memory Text:  “These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:14-15, NKJV).

Key Thought: “We should remember that the church, enfeebled and defective though it be, is the only object on earth on which Christ bestows His supreme regard.”-Ellen G. White, Selected Messages, book 2, p. 396.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Soda Drinking Every Day Could Raise Women's Stroke Risk

Yet another study is linking regular consumption of sugary drinks with risk of stroke.

The newest finding, first reported by Reuters and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that women who said they drank the most soft drinks in the study had an 83 percent higher risk of ischemic stroke than those who reported drinking the fewest soft drinks.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Results: Voters Decide on Same-Sex Marriage, Marijuana, and Religious Freedom. By Michael Peabody

On November 6, 2012 voters in many states had the opportunity to make decisions on a number of state laws through ballot measures. Voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington voted in favor of measures that would legalize same-sex marriage. Voters in Minnesota rejected a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, and voters in North Carolina voted to define marriage as solely existing between one man and one woman.

Voters in North Dakota rejected a Religious Freedom Restoration measure that would have required the government to demonstrate a compelling reason for imposing laws that are intended to be neutral but adversely affect the free exercise of religion. North Dakota also rejected a bill that would have increase criminal sanctions against certain types of animal cruelty.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Climate change 'likely to be more severe than some models predict'

Scientists analysing climate models warn we should expect high temperature rises – meaning more extreme weather, sooner

A satellite image of superstorm Sandy. Photograph: Nasa/Getty Images

Climate change is likely to be more severe than some models have implied, according to a new study which ratchets up the possible temperature rises and subsequent climatic impacts.