May 21, 1998
Honor Thy Father and Mother
“Are you going to grow up and be ashamed of us?” they would query.
Seinfeld’s Missing Ingredient When We Feel Like Dirt LETTERS
The Local Church is vital. I challenge all denominational Bryan’s reference to the early rain in Whew! Finally someone says what’s really leaders to go beyond lip service and actu- Acts as “spiritual adrenaline” trivializes going on. I applaud ally do whatever it takes to make this what really occurred! The apostles the Adventist Review happen—redistribution of resources received the outpouring power of the for printing Alex (including tithe), development and sup- Holy Spirit only because they laid their Bryan’s “The Local port of pastors and other local church pride, self-righteousness, and jealousies Church Is the leaders, and creation of a corporate cli- at Christ’s feet in earnest prayer. They Church” (Mar. 19 mate that really values the life and min- were completely surrendered to God in Cutting Edge istry of the local church. all aspects of their lives. They were of Edition), as well as Just as an example: I pastor a large “one accord”; they did not worry about the other two articles that examined the church (1,000-plus members) that gener- contriving different kinds of worship state of the local church. ates almost $1.5 million a year in rev- styles to meet the likes and dislikes of As associate lay pastor/elder at my enue. After we send the tithe to the their church body. If we ever hope to church, where I have been a member for local conference and the subsidy to the have the latter rain fall upon us, we 15 years, I have seen our struggle in the local school, we have about $250,000 must ﬁrst humble ourselves before the “typewriter” age, as Bryan so aptly put it, (less than 17 percent) left to do the min- Lord and repent of our own self-righ- while “the latest communication and istry of the local church—Sabbath teousness. It’s not about what we can do, information technology is found in our school, evangelism, worship, discipleship but about what He can and will do! colleges and conference ofﬁces.” Our training, fellowship, maintenance of the congregation has supported the physical plant, etc. If we add in the sup- —Kathie Heydt Adventist system willingly, has little port from the local conference that sup- READING, PENNSYLVANIA funds to support our own congregation’s plies the pastors to my church, the per- ministries, and often has been in “critical centage increases to about 26 percent. condition” along with other churches. We can say what we like about the Bryan hit the nail right on the head! He As the mother of a Gen Xer and two importance of the local church, but the maintained fairness and balance in teenagers who are already assuming lead- truth is that the local church stands at granting the parachurch its legitimate ership roles as they attempt to minister the end of the line in our denomination, and necessary role, but reminded us who in their community, I shudder to think hoping that there will be something left work in the parachurch that we must what the local congregation will be like after the denominational bureaucracy not fall to the temptation of thinking for them in ﬁve to 10 years. Yes, we all and the educational system have taken we occupy the central position. “must commit ourselves to the primacy of their share. The crumbs left are barely the local church” if our churches are to enough to sustain life. —Gorden R. Doss emerge from languishing, sometimes DEPARTMENT OF WORLD MISSION pathetic, stupors and begin to ﬂourish as —David VanDenburgh, PASTOR ANDREWS UNIVERSITY God intended. Thank you for such a KETTERING, OHIO timely call to action! Look for more letters on this subject in two weeks.—Editors. —Iris Stovall With all due respect, the articles about HYATTSVILLE, MARYLAND the weakness of the local church missed the mark. When we focus our attention Waggoner and Jones on numbers and what “works” in other I disagree with one of the points Bryan’s central point—that we must ensure churches, we have lost sight of what we made by William G. Johnsson in his edi- the health of the local congregation— as a church are supposed to be about. torial “Right About Jesus” (Mar. 19).
2 (690) ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 Johnsson states that many of the pio- Along with the early Adventists, Waggoner neers saw Jesus as an “exalted, divine and Jones apparently believed that while the being who was not eternally God,” and Son of God shares an equality of nature with includes Waggoner in a list of those the Father, this was conferred upon Him by holding these Arian, or semi-Arian, virtue of His literal Sonship. Thus Waggoner beliefs. wrote: “While both are of the same nature, COVER STORY While it is true that Arianism was the Father is ﬁrst in point of time. He is also rampant among the pioneers, I feel greater in that he had no beginning, while 8 Honor Thy Father and Mother Johnsson should give credit to Waggoner, Christ’s personality had a beginning” (Signs Just because we make our own who actually made signiﬁcant strides of the Times, Apr. 8, 1889). Jones wrote: decisions doesn’t mean that we away from Arianism. Waggoner’s ﬁrst 13 “He came from heaven, God’s ﬁrstborn, to aren’t still impressionable. meetings at the epochal 1888 conference the earth, and was born again. . . . He BY EILEEN GREENWALT were recorded in shorthand by his wife whose goings forth have been from the days and published in 1890 as the book Christ of eternity, the ﬁrstborn of God, was born and His Righteousness. In Waggoner’s again, in order that we might be born ARTICLES series, he ﬁrst spent several meetings again” (Review and Herald, Aug. 1, establishing the divinity of Christ. In 1899).—Editors. 14 When We Feel Like Dirt An opportunity too good to be true fact, he warred against the belief that is still true. Jesus was a created being. He said, “Now BY JENNIFER JILL SCHWIRZER if He created everything that was ever Nash Ramblings created, and existed before all created Congratulations to Andy Nash for his things, it is evident that He Himself is not fine editorial “Nash Ramblings” (Mar. 24 The Missing Ingredient on among created things” (Christ and His 19). He has many insights about issues Seinfeld What comes after fame and Righteousness, p. 21; italics supplied). facing our church today and is able to fortune? Waggoner also described the deity of express these in a loving, kind, and BY DAVID B. SMITH Christ in phrases such as “Life inheres in forceful way. Many of his “ramblings” Him,” “The very substance of God,” and are topics needing exploring and/or “Jehovah, the self-existent one” (ibid., explaining. DEPARTMENTS pp. 22, 23). Instead of viewing Waggoner Take the simple statement about 2 Letters as entrenched in Arian thought, we Ellen White being progressive. How dare should see him as one of the ﬁrst who we as a church condemn the thinkers 7 Give & Take began to break free. inside our church doors today. We need 17 Book Mark and should welcome the questions being 18 World News & Perspectives —Jennifer Jill Schwirzer asked by our young people and applaud 22 The X-Change PUTNAM, CONNECTICUT the fact that they are searching for the answers that we do not seem to have for 29 Leaving the Comfort Zone them. 30 Reﬂections William Johnsson states that A. T. Jones “saw [Christ] as an exalted, divine being —Mae Feldmann who was not eternally God,” with a APOPKA, FLORIDA EDITORIALS “diminished Christology.” 5 Focus, Focus, Focus Here is what Jones actually said about Christ: “Christ is revealed as God, of the When Jesus “Fails” 6 Real Community name of God, because He is of the nature We have been warned never to ask of God. And so entirely is His nature of Why? However, in his inspiring “When the nature of God, that it is the very Jesus ‘Fails,’” (Mar. 19) Victor Czerkasij NEXT WEEK impress of the substance of God. . . . dares to ask Why? And he gives several [Christ’s likeness to God is] the very satisfying answers. I wish there were The Vision Glorious Ellen White’s “great controversy” vision
‘impress of His substance, Spirit of Spirit, more articles that contain solid biblical ISC substance of substance,’ of God” (The content and are imaginatively written. is 140 years old. Yet it still shapes the D
way we see end-time events. HOTO
Consecrated Way to Christian Perfection, P original edition, pp. 16, 17). —Dan Guild BY THOUSAND OAKS, CALIFORNIA PHOTO —Robert J. Wieland VER O
MEADOW VISTA, CALIFORNIA C
ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 (691) 3 “Behold, I come quickly . . .”
Our mission is to uplift Jesus Christ through stories of His matchless love, news of His present workings, help for knowing Him better, and hope in His soon return. The Adventist Review (ISSN 0161-1119), published since 1849, is the general paper of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is published by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and is printed 40 times a year each Thursday except the ﬁrst Thursday of each month by the Review and Herald® Publishing Association. Periodicals postage paid at Hagerstown, MD 21740. Copyright © 1998, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Publishing Board: Robert S. Folkenberg, chair; Phil Follett, vice- chair; Lowell Cooper; William G. Johnsson; A. C. McClure; Dorothy Watts; Ted N. C. Wilson; Martin Ytreberg; Robert Nixon, legal advisor
Executive Publisher and Editor William G. Johnsson Associate Editors Roy Adams, Bill Knott Managing Editor Myrna Tetz News Editor Carlos Medley Assistant Editors Stephen Chavez, Andy Nash Editorial Assistant Ella Rydzewski Administrative Secretary Chitra Barnabas Editorial Secretaries Mary Maxson, Jean Sequeira Art Director Bill Kirstein Designer Bill Tymeson Design Assistant/Production Stephanie Kaping Ad Sales Melynie Tooley Subscriber Services Steve Hanson Marketing Coordinator Ray Tetz
Consulting Editors: Robert S. Folkenberg, Matthew Bediako, Phil Follett, Robert J. Kloosterhuis, A. C. McClure, Jan Paulsen, Leo Ranzolin, R. F. Rawson, Calvin B. Rock, G. Ralph Thompson Special Contributors: P. D. Chun, L. T. Daniel, L. J. Evans, Ulrich Frikart, Lee Huff, Israel Leito, Ruy H. Nagel, L. D. Raelly, Ron Watts, Bertil Wiklander
To Writers: We welcome unsolicited manuscripts. (Please query before submitting long articles.) Include address, telephone number, and Social Security number, where available. Address all editorial correspondence to 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600. Editorial ofﬁce fax number: (301) 680-6638.
E-mail: Internet: [email protected] CompuServe network: 74617,15
Subscriptions: US$38.97 for 40 issues, US$50.97 for 52 issues. Add $10.20 postage for addresses outside North America. To order, send your name, address, and payment to your local Adventist Book Center or Adventist Review Subscription Desk, Box 1119, Hagerstown, MD 21741. Single copy, US$2.50. Prices subject to change without notice. Subscription queries and changes of address: Call l-800-456-3991, 301-791-7000, ext. 2439. or e-mail [email protected].
Postmaster: Send address changes to Adventist Review, 55 West Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, MD 21740.
Scriptures credited to ICB are quoted from the International Children’s Bible, New Century Version, copyright © 1983, 1986, 1988 by Word Publishing, Dallas, Texas 75039. Used by permission. Texts credited to MLB are from The Modern Language Bible: The New Berkeley Version in Modern English. Copyright © 1945, 1959, 1969, 1970, 1987, Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. used by permission. Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Bible texts credited to NRSV are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyrigt © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission. Bible texts credited to RSV are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, 1971, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission. Verses marked TLB are taken from The Living Bible, copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Ill. Used by permission.
PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. Vol. 175, No. 21
4 (692) ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 EDITORIAL Focus, Focus, Focus STEPHEN CHAVEZ
’m not saying that it’s impossible, but one of the hardest White had in mind when she wrote: “Christ is waiting with things you’ll ever do is try to keep your gaze out of your longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His fellow believer’s shopping cart when you meet him or church” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 69). her at the supermarket or But this level of commitment will wholesale shopping club. never be achieved as long as we con- IWhy? Because, if in a quick tent ourselves with comparing our- downward glance you catch a The only selves with each other. Even assuming glimpse of something not quite that we’re all doing the best we can to kosher (like a box of Double Fudge infallible standard live up to God’s standards of truth, Breakfast Buddies), you can justify purity, and devotion, the only infallible (at least in your own imagination) standard is Jesus. And only as we focus the six-pack of Coca Moca Cola in is Jesus. on Him will we reﬂect any of these your own shopping cart. characteristics to those around us. Most of us thrive on rationaliza- The negative aspect of this truth tion—“Well, I may ______, but at least I don’t ______.” is that when we focus on the perceived weaknesses of some- And so any time we can detect a bit of hypocrisy or a one else, we lose our spiritual moorings. Without being smidgen of a double standard in someone else, it’s easier to anchored in Christ, we become critical and judgmental; sooth our consciences about the areas in our own lives that allowing petty, inconsequential matters to grow out of pro- are less than sterling. portion and sabotage our own relationship with Him. But while highlighting the lifestyle ﬂaws of others may dis- One of Jesus’ post-Resurrection appearances was to His tract us from the problem areas in our own lives, to do so disciples on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. After Jesus rein- does nothing to provide a remedy. And focusing on the stated Peter and told him something about his future, Peter defects of others, be they small or large, real or imagined, pre- noticed John not far away and asked, “Lord, what about him?” vents us from making Jesus—His life, His love, His charac- Jesus’ answer is instructive: “What is that to you? You must ter—the focus of our attention. follow me” (John 21:21, 22, NIV). “And we all, . . . beholding the glory of the Lord, are We encounter innumerable distractions on our way to the being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to kingdom. The devil will use any means to get us to lose our another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” focus—and our salvation. Even the most devout role model (2 Cor. 3:18, RSV). It’s not by looking at each other that will sometimes disappoint. Our best hope—indeed, our only we become more like Jesus (although we can often see hope—is to ﬁx our eyes on Jesus. In the words of the old gospel reflections of His character in the lives of fellow believers); song: “Heaven and earth may pass away, but Jesus never fails.” it’s by permanently fixing our gaze on Jesus that we become So what do you do when you see your fellow believer more like Him. with something in his or her shopping This great truth has implications that are both positive cart that is less than wholesome, or wear- and negative. ing something that is less than tradi- On the positive side, in a world that’s smoldering in the tional, or renting a video or listening toxic fumes of greed, oppression, and religious and political to music that is less than uplifting intolerance, genuine Christian concern is truly a breath of (in your opinion)? fresh air. A Christlike character, faithfully and consistently Well, if you’ve been keeping your demonstrated among family members, neighbors, and fellow focus on Christ, you’ll treat that fellow workers, is a powerful antidote for feelings of guilt, despair, believer just as Jesus does—with love, loneliness, and humiliation. respect, patience, and gentleness. This proactive, intentional demonstration of Christ’s char- You know, the same way Jesus acter in the person of His followers is perhaps what Ellen treats you.
ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 (693) 5 EDITORIAL Real Community CARLOS MEDLEY
hen Adventist editors and communicators the small-village ambiance where each neighbor knows all the gathered in Florida last February, I took the families on the block. opportunity to visit the town of Celebration, a I believe that this movement is another vivid example of new, experimental housing community how desperately humanity longs for meaningful relationships. designed and built by the Walt Disney Both men and women are discovering that they need a com- WCompany, just south of Orlando. Florida munal connection. Hospital, an Adventist facility, has built a Recognizing this deep desire helps us as state-of-the-art wellness center there called Christians to share the gospel of Christ Celebration Health. more effectively with our neighbors and While walking through the 2-year-old friends. Christ offers the community that community I was awestruck by the old-fash- the world desires. He ﬁlls life’s emotional ioned atmosphere. Opened in the summer of void with love, peace, joy, and fellowship. 1996, the 4,900-acre community features His offer extends to everyone. neotraditional-styled homes inspired by old Christ says, “Here I am! I stand at the door Southern towns built near the turn of the and knock. If anyone hears my voice and century. A leisurely stroll through opens the door, I will come in and eat with Celebration’s streets is like a trip back in him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20, NIV). time—a real-life fantasy. Fellowship with Christ elevates life to a whole new level. The Victorian-, Colonial-, and French-styled houses are Humanity was created for fellowship with God. Those who placed close together on small plots, close to sidewalks and commune with Christ enjoy a deeper relationship with Him streets. Many homes feature columned porches, verandas, and than even the angels. Ellen White says, “By gentle and patient steeply sloped roofs. Garages are placed at the rear of the homes ministry they [angels] move upon the human spirit, to bring the with entrance through rear alleys. lost into fellowship with Christ which is even closer than they But Celebration is much more than just a bedroom commu- themselves can know.” 1 nity. It features a town center with restaurants, grocery store, Fellowship with Christ uplifts our character and nature. By post ofﬁce, bank, dry cleaners, movie theater, and ice-cream communing with Him, we quicken our senses, sharpen our parlor—all within a short walk. The neighborhood also has minds, and ennoble our thoughts. plenty of green space with manicured walking trails. In addition to our relationship with Christ, divine fellow- ship opens up a new community of relationships in the family Landmark Community of God. We become full partners in the body of Christ, sharing With Disney’s backing, this landmark project has captured in the joys and sorrows of our fellow believers. the attention of land developers and urban planners. The com- It is Christ’s desire that His family be united by the closest munity is considered the boldest statement to date by New bonds of brotherly love. If we would simply model that love, help- Urbanism architects and signals a growing trend. ing one another, strengthening one another, we New Urbanism architecture is an attempt to build genuine could mold the genuine community that the world community into architectural designs. Through pedestrian- craves. friendly streets and nearby shops, builders are trying to reduce the “A blessed brotherly fellowship one need for cars and help residents establish close-knit friendships. with another will bind all who truly The most important message undergirding the movement is receive the Lord Jesus Christ in a ﬁrm that people are growing weary of suburbia’s fortress lifestyle loyalty that cannot be broken.” 2 where cars are needed to get around. People have become iso- lated and disconnected in their big homes. On large estate- 1 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 21. 2 The Seventh-day Adventist Bible sized lots even neighbors are strangers. Commentary, Ellen G. White Comments, Research shows that newer home buyers seek to recapture vol. 5, p. 1098.
6(694) ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 HATS OFF TO ADVENTIST YOUTH After the recent deadly tornadoes in central Florida, the Forest Lake SDA Elementary School began a drive to collect funds for the tornado vic- tims. Nine-year- old MeMe Mader asked her mother for a donation, and, want- ing to contribute more, she received permission to pick the grapefruit from the backyard tree. GI&VE Without further conversation, she took the grapefruit, a table, and a handmade sign to the curbside—and was in business. Her efforts resulted in an additional $11 for the tornado BY HER FRUITS: MeMe Mader victims. The Review congratulates MeMe Mader on going the extra mile for God. Look for your Review cap in the mail.
ADVENTIST QUOTES “If he doesn’t get a shot at the NBA or at European pro ball, he TAKE hopes to study medicine at Loma “And then Jesus Linda University, an Adventist school ADVENTIST LIFE in California. ‘I’m OK with not making a career of basketball,’ he After my ﬁrst day of classes at will fly down in His says. ‘I mean, it would be great. But Chattanooga State, my husband asked I have higher aspirations.’ ” if I knew heavenly airplane —the March 9, 1998, issue of Sports Illustrated, in anyone. I a full-page article on seven-footer Sam Randolph, who chose to play basketball for Columbia Union was very College rather than big-time colleges that play games excited to and land on the on Sabbaths. tell him
ISC that I knew “I know some Adventists who are D Olive Garden.” two of the so sugar-free, they are sour.” HOTO women in —Ron Halversen, at Eastern Carolina camp meeting
© P —a young Adventist girl concluding her telling of the my class— millennium HOTO
P an ultra- conservative Christian named Patricia and an ardent evolutionist named WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT Helen. While telling him that the three of us sat together on the front BIG DAY: Pastor Carl Wilkens row, I mentioned that I had heaven on baptizes Milo Adventist Academy my right and Helen on my left. senior Luke Lambert in the South —Pamela Wood, Chattanooga, Tennessee Umpqua River, which ﬂows near the school. The river has been a WE NEED YOU favorite site for baptisms since 1955, when Milo Academy (lo- Send Give & Take submissions to . . . cated in Days Creek, Oregon) Give & Take, Adventist Review, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904; opened. As director of Fax: 301-680-6638; E-mail: marketing Jenienne Kriegelstein [email protected]. Please puts it: “The cold winter waters include phone number. Submissions will not do not chill the warmth of be returned. rebirth.” Photo by Jenienne Kriegelstein
ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 (695) 7 COVER STORY Honor Thy Fat h A boomer remembers a small f
BY EILEEN GREENWALT
HEN I WAS A LITTLE As we got older and could read our own books, it was the one activity my father approved of—as long as the stories girl, Daddy sang a little were true. No works of ﬁction were allowed, not even nursery rhymes or the “classics.” We had no TV, so on winter song whenever we asked nights we all huddled around the coal stove in the kitchen, the only room that was heated in our old farmhouse, and read. for a story: I especially remember one story called “Ingratitude,” from Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories. “Mr. and Mrs. Tomlinson lived You promised me, you on a lonely farm,” it began. “They had one son, whom they loved more than life itself . . .” Wsaid you would, The story told of the triumphant moment when the Tomlinsons saw Harold off to college, dressed in a “ﬁne new You’ve gotta give in, for I’ll be good. suit”—and of the heartbreaking rejection two years later when Dad showed up unexpectedly at Harold’s college. “Harold!” Tell me a story, and then I’ll go to bed. the excited father had called from his horse and cart. But ISC D HOTO © P HOTO P
8(696) ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 her and Mother farmhouse in 1950s Nebraska.
Harold was ashamed of his father. and thy mother: that thy days may be spoke of education as a moral impera- “ ‘You’ve made a mistake,’ he said long upon the land which the Lord thy tive—the responsibility to use our tal- coldly. ‘Better take that old contrap- God giveth thee” (Ex. 20:12). ents wisely. tion out of here.’ But they were also afraid of what “Father’s heart froze . . .” He went “Christian Education,” He Snorted that might mean. Even as a very little home on the same long road he’d just Just as the parents in this story, my girl, I sensed my own parents’ anguish traveled, and when Mother saw him, own parents dreamed of sending us to when they read the story of Harold’s she knew something was terribly college. My mother had had a taste of ingratitude toward his father. “Are you wrong. Father walked through the higher education through a summer of going to grow up and be ashamed of house without a word, sat down si- teacher training in the early thirties. us?” they would query. And I, of lently in his old armchair, and died. But my father, a very intelligent man course, vowed never ever to treat my “‘Died of a broken heart,’ people who loved to read, had not had the parents in such a way. said. ‘Killed by base ingratitude.’” opportunity of even a secondary educa- I was the ﬁfth of six children. My The story concluded with the ﬁfth tion while growing up as an orphan on four older brothers and sisters had commandment: “Honour thy father his uncle’s farm in Wales. My parents attended boarding academy for at least
ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 (697) 9 part of their secondary experience, and to go to class to hear more. growing spiritually and maturing in my father was very disappointed in the I took a class in ethics from Fritz my faith, he interpreted all my experi- results. “Christian education,” he snorted. Guy. For years my questions in ences as “foolishness,” or criticized my “I sent away good Adventist boys and Sabbath school had received pat “ignorance” for not knowing these girls, and they send me back these silly, answers that left me frustrated. But things already. He blamed the college rebellious, worthless kids.” He raged at in this class we wrestled with the for “tinkering” with “the message” miniskirts, makeup, interest in the issues confronting us as idealistic and regretted he had “wasted” his opposite sex, disinterest in discussing young Adventists of the sixties. I dis- money on Christian education rather the Sabbath school lessons, and most of covered that Christians throughout than just leaving my religious instruc- all, his diminishing control over their the centuries have struggled with the tion to the Sabbath school quarterly, lives. So my parents chose to send me challenge to live lives of integrity in which he could carefully monitor. He to public schools from sixth grade interpreted my new security in my through the ﬁrst two years of college. relationship with God as “presump- But my father wasn’t entirely at tion” and predicted rebellion and a peace with that arrangement, either, I found myself “laxness of standards” to follow. He for my best friends happened to be was unable to hear how the classes I Catholic. When out of the line of deliberately had taken were grounded in the Bible their vision, he would catch my eye stories I had been taught at home. and make the sign of the cross— While I was more grateful than reminding me that I was speaking to mispronouncing ever for my Christian education, I an “antichrist.” was heavy in heart to sense that my I liked school. I loved listening words they parents were uncomfortable with to lectures and the questions and many of the changes that my college the discussions. But when I returned mispronounced to years were bringing. Mother was home summers to put up hay on the embarrassed when I appeared wearing ranch with my father, I found that a hat one day. Daddy thought I was he was not interested in the ideas I avoid offending. putting on airs when I used a word he had been pondering. Instead, he didn’t know. Mother experienced my interrogated me about doctrine, new independence as “coldness.” I faith, and standards. I seemed to pass the context of the world in which found myself suddenly being seen his judgments, but I felt betrayed and they lived. through their prejudice against intellec- isolated by his suspicions. Then my senior year I took The tuals even though I did not view myself At last my mother’s concern that I Doctrine of Christ from Edward as “intellectual.” I found myself think- marry an Adventist prevailed, and the Heppenstall and listened with aston- ing before I spoke and deliberately mis- last two years of college I attended ishment to a Week of Prayer by pronouncing words they mispronounced Loma Linda University. I anticipated Morris Venden on righteousness by to avoid offending. I never wore the hat being in a setting where others shared faith. Although I had always been again. My conﬁdence stumbled. I my faith and values. Indeed, over the sincere about religious life, I had stopped sharing my life. next two years the religion classes I never before found the pure grace of took were the highlight of my college God offered to me. “So What About the ‘Little Horn’?” experience. I wanted to share with my parents Throughout the years, my father I took The Life and Teachings of what I had been learning. Since I knew continued to ask me the same set of Jesus from John Robertson, and we the concern my father in particular had questions: “So what do you tell peo- read the Gospels along with The Desire for my spiritual well-being, I imagined ple who ask you about the ‘little
of Ages. He did what was called a connecting with him in a new way now horn’ of Daniel 8?” or “When did the ISC “close reading” of the texts: looking that my own faith was becoming a liv- command to ‘restore and rebuild D beyond a casual reading to understand ing part of my emerging adult life. Jerusalem’ go forth? Do you know HOTO better the meanings of the author. Instead, I discovered I alarmed my who did that? Why was this such an © P HOTO
Familiar texts came alive. I was hungry father. Rather than seeing me as important command?” P
10 (698) ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 I remember standing by the door- way as I was leaving my parents’ home An Inclusive Church one day. I was almost 40 years old and had been visiting from halfway across BY EILEEN GREENWALT the country. I felt very tired. “Daddy,” I said, “I don’t know. I can never seem My personal conﬂicts can be seen in the church at large: to remember those facts. What I do Are we going to deﬁne Adventism in ways that encourage the pursuit of God’s know is that most often I feel judged truth in every area of life (psychology, sociology, archaeology, the sciences, the and inadequate and hopeless and that arts), or are we going to judge everything as “foolishness” or “secular” that chal- my only hold on life is the grace of lenges our concepts? Is it OK to bring a subtle end to dialogue by labeling others God. Perhaps you need to live with who hold views different from our own as “disloyal critics of the church,” or are God’s imminent judgment hanging we going to trust God to lead Seventh-day Adventists into “present truth,” conﬁ- over your head every minute to sur- dent that God will bless our community with a timely message to this genera- vive. All I know is that I cannot live tion—if we will be open to one another? without God’s grace. I have left my life Do we still believe in the priesthood of all believers, or are we going to fall in God’s hands. God is going to have into a modern autocracy? Do we still believe that in Christ there is no male or to decide what to do with me.” female, that power and dominance over the minds and hearts of believers is For three decades I felt estranged still a great evil, that Christ is the head of this church and that all the rest of from my parents. As the church began us are servants? to focus upon the central importance of Is there a place for a family with a wide range of rich Bible-based Jesus as Saviour, my parents became experiences? more comfortable talking about grace and mercy. And in the last few years I was even invited to present the father for decades. I had been trying to reconcile our gratitude with our alien- Sabbath sermon in my home church “honor my father.” But was this really ation. Praying for the grace to bear the when I visited. They were “proud” of “honor”? Was it “honor” to listen to my self-righteous judgments of others my contribution, but I sensed that my parents’ ideas and remain forever silent? without becoming either resentful or father had been far more comfortable Was this respect, or had I only tried to self-righteous ourselves. Feeling a deep when I was a 5-year-old and had stood protect myself from my father’s wrath? commitment to our church, but feeling for a recitation of the 13 memory verses My sister told me our father began to exiled from its ranks because our trum- for the quarter. stew about my sermon as my next visit pet doesn’t have a “certain sound.” A One year, just as I was leaving, approached. So I called him and said few of us have stayed without voice or Daddy asked if I’d be bringing another that my topic was not going to be the identity; most have not. sermon the next time I got back. “I motherly characteristics of God. This is not the ofﬁcial story of the will if I’m invited,” I replied. church. Most stories focus on the “What’s your topic going to be?” he “All Is Foolishness!” anguish of parents whose children inquired. I have listened to stories others of have “strayed” or “left the truth” or “Well,” I said, “I’ve been reﬂecting my generation tell—stories very similar “lost their faith.” And there are end- recently on the metaphors in the Bible to mine. They are the stories of the less articles asking why so many people that focus on the mothering qualities confusion and brokenheartedness of leave the church. “Uncommitted of God. I’d like to do something with children—stories of going away to col- youth,” they say. “Secularized, rebel- those.” lege believing they are supported in lious, selﬁsh.” But no one dares to tell “God as Mother?” He was almost growing and learning and developing the story of the anguish of the children shouting. “Don’t think you can come their abilities. And then discovering who live in an invisible exile imposed in here and speak of such a thing in their parents’ fear of education: the by the traditions of their elders—tradi- our church! I won’t have it!” insecurity of their parents when they tions that silence their contributions, My heart froze. “Don’t you believe realize their “child” has learned some- traditions that may be unbiblical in the Genesis account of Creation, thing they don’t know; the distrust their emphasis and irrelevant to the Daddy,” I asked, “where it says we were when old information is restated into community at large, and reﬂect sadly created in the image of God—male new experiences; the fear of new para- upon God’s character. and female? Do you think I was not digms replacing old concepts. When I was a child, “Honor your created in the image of God because I These are stories of the pain of father and mother” meant that I had a am female? And what do you do with bearing our parents’ disappointment in responsibility to be loyal to my father’s those texts where the Bible speaks of us, of doing our best to live our lives demands and expectations, forgive his God as mothering us?” honestly, but being judged negatively rages, and abandon the pursuit of my I realized I hadn’t argued with my at every turn. Not knowing how to own interests. One of my father’s
ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 (699) 11 favorite words had been “foolishness”! all my good intentions.” We talk about each of you every morn- He quoted it from the text that says I called my mother and told her ing and pray for you.” that all is foolishness except for Jesus about the program I’d been working on. (1 Cor. 1, 2) and used it to lop off And I told her the swan feather story Roots and Wings whatever bit of life that was at the and how it symbolized the good inten- There is a saying that parents give moment trying to bud: learning to tions the mother had for her daughter. their children two gifts: one is roots swim, planting ﬂowers, practicing the And I told her that I believed her and the other is wings. That afternoon piano, birthday parties, church picnics, intentions toward us had been to give my mother gave me wings. And a and Saturday night socials—they were us freedom—giving us into the hands spring of gratitude ﬂowed freely. That all foolishness. Christmas, Halloween, of God to lead and educate and direct. was the last time I spoke with her. She and Easter were pagan. Valentine’s Day And she and Daddy had done that not died the next week. About a year and a and St. Patrick’s Day were popish. Any only by reminding us during our child- half later my father died. During the visible form of affection was nonsense. hood that we had been dedicated to last two years of his life, when he could Friendships, sports, art—all were “fool- God but also by encouraging us to “go no longer speak, I came to accept that I ish wastes of time.” And any thought on and get an education.” would say goodbye without hearing the that contradicted his own was quickly “But,” I told her, “you didn’t know blessing for which I had always hoped. dismissed with a single word: “Heresy!” how much pain that would bring you: I came to understand that to honor my For nearly 30 years I struggled with letting us go, seeing us take up lives so father meant to let him be who he was the dilemma: How can I honestly different from your own, experiencing even when that meant letting him share what I carry in my heart when it the distance and separation those remain closed to who I was. is unrecognized and rejected by the changes brought about.” The Bible emphasizes both roots and people I wish most to honor in all of My mother’s voice was young and wings. As a parent myself, I struggle to my life? No one had prepared us for strong again. She had been so quiet express that combination of grounded- the chasm that appeared. And so we while I’d been talking that I had begun ness and freedom in my relationships ﬁlled the chasm with small talk. to doubt my own interpretations, but with my children. And I discover that she responded now with a soft assur- “You Have Never Abandoned Us” ance, a young voice I hadn’t heard in My parents were suddenly in their years. “Well, that just about says it all! 80s and getting fragile. Mother had a But of course, we haven’t regretted serious heart attack, and then my sending any of you off . . . And you father had a severe stroke that left him have had to pay a price too. Why are paralyzed and speechless. I continued you crying?” she asked. to call and to visit in the summers. It was a long time before I could Subscriber Services Mother’s voice had lost its familiar speak. But as the tears came, I knew enthusiasm. She just wanted “to go better than ever how great a price I ❏ Please send me one year, 40 issues, of the Adventist Review for US$38.97. now.” I was not ready to let her go. had paid in order to follow God’s lead- ❏ Please renew my subscription. That fall I was preparing a women’s ing in my life, how excruciatingly ❏ Please update my address. Enter new address at top of form. Copy previous address at bottom ministry program on the topic of painful it had been to continue to live of form or enclose old mailing label. mothers and daughters. I remembered in ways that I felt God was leading ❏ Please send a gift subscription to the address a story I had read in The Joy Luck Club when it was not recognized and at the bottom of this form. about a Chinese woman who saw a afﬁrmed by my parents. And these My Name ______swan for sale at the market. She was were also tears of relief, for her words Current Address ______told that this swan used to be a duck told me that she now saw nothing City ______that had stretched its neck out, hoping needing forgiveness. State, Zip ______to become a goose. Inspired by this I was finally able to talk again. “I Phone ______swan that became “more than what have not known how to take my was hoped for,” she set off to build a freedom without feeling the guilt of Please enter previous address or gift address here. new life for herself, vowing that some- abandoning you,” I said. day she would have a daughter and she She was gentle and emphatic. “You Name ______would give her daughter this swan. As have never abandoned us. Everyone Address ______the story evolves, the swan is taken has to live their own life. You have City ______from her and she is left with only one done what everyone must do: ﬁnd State, Zip ______feather, but she saves the feather for their own place of work and home— Please enclose payment for orders. Mail to: Subscriber her daughter and plans to tell her, their own life. You have gone beyond Services, P.O. Box 1119, Hagerstown, MD 21741. “This feather may look worthless, but what we could give you. And Daddy Credit card orders: 1-800-765-6955. 663-01-0 it comes from afar and carries with it and I are proud of every one of you!
12 (700) ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 life is not only an exhilarating cre- creates anguish for them. space to “stick my neck out” and to ative process, but also ambiguous and Jesus warned against my becoming a become “more than they hoped for.” complex. But I know that God will stumbling block in the lives of my I pray that I can have the courage always be not just my God, but God of children. And so I am trying to teach of Abraham to let my children go, to my children. my children new meanings to familiar trust in God’s goodness and power to And so I am trying to share my roots concepts: honor does not mean they lead them. I pray that I will have eyes with my children. In our family, stories have to agree with my ideas or feel the to see and ears to hear the lessons God continue to be an important vehicle for same way about things as I do; loyalty has for me through their lives—and sharing. As did my father, I have a pas- does not mean avoiding conﬂicts; pro- that God will lead the church in ways sion for Scripture and those stories that tection does not mean controlling and that will honor our roots and lift our not only comfort and encourage but smothering them. children upon her wings. Amen. ■ also inspire and direct. As did my I best honor my parents by continu- mother, I am not content until inter- ing to commit my life into the hands Eileen Greenwalt is a com- pretations concur with an “orthodoxy of God and to be the person God is munication consultant in of living.” I want my children to take creating me to be moment by moment. Walla Walla, Washington. the Scriptures seriously and to wrestle I now believe that that is what their with interpretations for their personal intentions were for me. I must take the lives. I want them to say, “I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me.” And I am trying to give my children For further reading on cross-generation wings. I now know that the message relationships: Mary was given at Jesus’ dedication is the message every parent is given when Cannon, Carol. Never Good Enough. Boise, Idaho: Paciﬁc Press, 1993. they offer their child into the hands of Seamands, David A. Healing for Damaged Emotions. Wheaton, Ill.: Victor God: “A sword will pierce your side Books, 1988. also.” We desire to see them soar Smalley, Gary, and John Trent. The Blessing. New York: Pocket Books/Simon beyond our own sphere, but it is with and Schuster, Inc., 1986. anguish that we see them go. Wilson, Sandra. Released From Shame. Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity As a parent now myself, I am trying Press, 1990. to build on my parents’ gifts to me, just ———. Shame-Free Parenting. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1992. as they tried to build on what they had Wright, H. N., and G. J. Oliver. Raising Emotionally Healthy Kids. Wheaton, Ill.: been given themselves. My children Victor Books, 1995. are growing beyond my own gifts to them, but I can trust God to lead them, for they are rightly God’s chil- dren. And “higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for His children” (Ellen G. White, Education, p. 18). The story of Abraham’s test has new meaning to me now. Perhaps Abraham loved his son so much that he began to think of him as his own possession. And when God asked Abraham to give him up, He didn’t want Isaac’s destruction. He wanted to lead in Isaac’s life. I needed my parents to entrust me into God’s hands. My children need me to entrust them into God’s hands. This radical life of faith, of radical resigna- tion, is like a sword and creates anguish. But to ask for our children’s loyalty over their loyalty to God’s leading creates a division in the spirits of our children. To stand in the way of God’s leading
ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 (701) 13 DEVOTIONAL
When We Feel Like Dirt Why is this ancient story still so relevant?
BY JENNIFER JILL SCHWIRZER
EARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF IS THE Mephibosheth and is told to bring him in before the king. greatest love of all.” That was the theme of the No doubt Mephibosheth heard his death knell in the call song that launched Whitney Houston’s career. to come before the king who was his grandfather’s avowed Do you agree with that? enemy. He crumpled in fear before the throne, saying, “Here I like Whitney’s voice, but I have to disagree is your servant.” Imagine his astonishment when David Lwith her doctrine. I have never been able to learn to love promises to restore Saul’s property to him and invites him to myself. My self-worth was restored only when I saw that eat regularly at the royal table. Jesus loved me. The love of Jesus is the greatest love of all. “What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog Because I meet with so many people, especially women like me?” Mephibosheth gasps. Still, David took the fugitive who have what we would call “low self-esteem,” I’ve been in as if one of the family, wooing him to a table that would very interested in how the gospel restores human self-worth. hide his deformed feet. Sitting there, he would look like One little-known person featured in the Old Testament everyone else. makes this clear, and his story points the way to healing of the mind. His name is Mephibosheth.* That’s What We Are This is the gospel in story form. A crippled soul fearing Crippled death is invited into a royal family. He has no native right The ﬁrst time Mephibosheth appears he is a toddler. King there. That right was forfeited by his rebellious ancestor. The Saul and his son Jonathan are killed in a battle with the crippled man is now condemned because of what his grand- Philistines, and the survivors of the family of Saul know that father has done and because of his own personal deformity. it is time to run. David, their enemy, is about to possess the He responds to the gracious invitation to the royal table by throne. In the rush to leave, little Mephibosheth is dropped calling himself a dead dog. He knows that in his ﬂesh he is by his nurse, and his feet are permanently damaged. worse than nothing—a ﬂea-ridden carcass. The next time we see him is after David has been on the But the call to the table is not based on his worthiness. throne for several years. One day the king asks, “Is there any- He goes to the table, grateful but undeserving, and becomes one left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness a fully restored member of the royal family. He is not there for Jonathan’s sake?” Ziba, a servant of Saul’s house, mentions because he is beautiful, gifted, or charming. He is there
14 (702) ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 USTINEN J ARS L BY TION LLUSTRA I
because the king loves him. and in Him, you are a royal son, a of mourning, unshaven, unwashed, The Bible teaches that we are all royal daughter. Your twisted feet are before him. “dead dogs”—condemned because of hidden by the table. Heaven looks at David asks, “Why did you not go Adam’s sin. We no longer have a you as if you had never sinned. with me, Mephibosheth?” At this the native right at the banqueting table in lame man explains that he was unable heaven. “One man’s trespass led to The Bottom Line of the Gospel to because of his disability. David seems condemnation for all” (Rom. 5:18, We get one more glimpse of to believe Mephibosheth, but he has NRSV). But on the ﬂip side of that Mephibosheth. In it we see what the given the land to Ziba. In an effort to coin we see the restoration of all in gospel does to the human heart ulti- settle the matter once and for all, how- Christ: “So one man’s act of righteous- mately. Many years have passed, and ever, he says that Ziba can have half the ness leads to justiﬁcation and life for the Absalom debacle has forced David land and Mephibosheth the other half. all” (verse 18, NRSV). to ﬂee Jerusalem. The rebellion is But this is not Mephibosheth’s con- Jesus Christ relived human history short-lived, however, and soon David cern. He says, “Let him even take it all, by clothing Himself in fallen human is in the process of resuming his duties since my lord the king has come safely ﬂesh and living a perfect life. In so in Jerusalem. into his own house.” In other words, doing, He qualiﬁed Himself to be our But he’s been told by the conniving “Let him have it all; I have you.” Saviour and High Priest (see Heb. Ziba that Mephibosheth has defected This enamored soul cared not for his 2:16, 17). He has the right to ask you with Absalom. David then proceeds to own winnings. It was enough for him to eat at that table with Him. Will you award the property of Saul to Ziba. that the king was reinstated to his right- go? You are nothing but a dead dog in Imagine his surprise when ful throne. This is the bottom line of the your fallen ﬂesh, but because of Him, Mephibosheth appears in a posture gospel at work in the heart. When we
ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 (703) 15 ﬁnally understand who we were in You Are Somebody Adam and who we are in Christ, we will be set free. Our own sense of value will BY ELLEN G. WHITE be bound up with that of the King. Because He restored our sense of self- Rich and poor, high and low, free and bond, are God’s heritage. He who gave worth when we were nothing but dead His life to redeem man sees in every human being a value that exceeds ﬁnite dogs, we will love Him wholly. computation. By the mystery and glory of the cross we are to discern His esti- “In this is love, not that we loved mate of the value of the soul. When we do this, we shall feel that human beings, God but that he loved us and sent his however degraded, have cost too much to be treated with coldness or contempt. Son to be the atoning sacriﬁce for our We shall realize the importance of working for our fellowmen, that they may be sins” (1 John 4:10, NRSV). ■ exalted to the throne of God. The lost coin, in the Saviour’s parable, though lying in the dirt and rubbish, * The story of Mephibosheth is found in 2 Samuel 4, 9, 16, and 19. was a piece of silver still. Its owner sought it because it was of value. So every soul, however degraded by sin, is in God’s sight accounted precious. As the coin bore the image and superscription of the reigning power, so man at his creation Jennifer Jill Schwirzer is a bore the image and superscription of God. Though now marred and dim through homemaker living in the inﬂuence of sin, the traces of this inscription remain upon every soul. God Putnam, Connecticut. She is desires to recover that soul and to retrace upon it His own image in righteous- also founder of the Michael ness and holiness. Ministries Cooperation.
The Ministry of Healing, pp. 162, 163.
ing is too hard for God. When Abraham’s wife overheard God say Understand? that she was going to have a baby at her age, she laughed. God asked, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” ROSY TETZ And then He answered, “No!” (Genesis 18:14, ICB). Abraham knew that was the truth. Abraham didn’t know how God o you like school? You ple. God told Abraham to offer Isaac could keep His promise about probably do when you as a sacriﬁce. How could Abraham be descendants like stars if Isaac was think about it. There are willing to do that? killed. But even though Abraham some kids in the world Even though he couldn’t under- didn’t know what God’s plan was, he who can’t go to school. stand why God would want him to kill knew that there was one. Even DDo you suppose they sit around all day his son, Abraham did understand some though he didn’t know how God playing video games and watching car- things. would keep His promise, he knew toons? They don’t. They hoe weeds or Abraham understood that God had He would keep it. Even though haul water or tie knots in a rug factory. a plan. Years before, God had called Abraham didn’t know why God But school is more than an alterna- Abraham to “go to the land I will show wanted him to do something that tive to hard labor. School is a place you” (Genesis 12:1, ICB). Abraham seemed impossible, he knew that where you can learn to understand learned that life works out best when with God nothing is impossible. why the moon changes, how numbers we obey and follow God’s plan. God stopped Abraham before he work, what words mean, and who Abraham understood that God killed Isaac. And Abraham learned Abraham Lincoln was. keeps His promises. God had even more about God. He understood It can be frustrating not to under- promised Abraham that he would have what it feels like to be willing to sacri- stand. That’s why it’s so important to more descendants than there were ﬁce your son. study the Bible. God gave you the Bible stars. Abraham had to learn to be When things happen that you so you could learn more about Him. patient, but eventually he did have a don’t understand, remember the But there are some things in it that son, and he knew that God always things that you do understand, and we ﬁnd hard to understand. Take the does what He says He will do. go forward. We’ll understand them story of Abraham and Isaac, for exam- Abraham understood that noth- all by and by.
16 (704) ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 prayer warriors. Old and frail, she ance and protection. battles to continue living even If you have read Prayer Warriors, though ill and nearing death. As she you must read Guardians to find out prays, streams of angels go to heaven how Billie Jo discovers secrets of and back to deliver her requests to Helen’s past, how the African mis- Christ. Meanwhile, opposing forces sionary suffers but survives, and how a and demons lurk in the background, prayer warrior successor emerges to ¥MARK¥ unable to intervene. take on Ethel’s work. The story moves on two levels: ﬁrst, Like Prayer Warriors, Guardians the actual characters dealing with their spotlights Satan’s devices and strategies lives, and second, the spiritual warfare and shows us how prayer will keep us going on around them—battles centered. Prayer is not a passive Guardians between good and evil. Walker portrays Christian device, but pivotal commu- the thoughts and motives of demons nication with a beneﬁcent God who is Céleste perrino and angels with uncanny imagination. only too willing to hold back the Walker, Pacific Even though some conversations seem forces of evil on earth and launch Press Publishing realistic and others perhaps silly, she heaven-sent hosts to our side. Association, gives us a glimpse of what could be Nampa, Idaho, happening every day and invisible to 1997, 317 pages. our senses. Guardians can help you tune US$12.99, in on your thoughts and actions as you Cdn$18.19, ask yourself who or what inﬂuences paper. Reviewed you—good or evil. The story encour- by Colleen ages you to pray for help and gives you Kelly, of determination to receive divine guid- Indianapolis, Indiana. She is community relations director for the Metropolitan School District of Washington Township and video producer of the “Overview” MSDWT television show.
uardians is the com- pelling sequel to Prayer Warriors and continues to weave together the remarkable stories of Gordinary people struggling with life and their relationships to God. Prayer is their main hope as spiritual warfare rages all around them. Author Céleste perrino Walker por- trays the lives of ﬁve individuals and their families. Some surprising twists and intertwining of characters occur as her story unfolds. Walker states in an author’s note, “My purpose in writing these books was to condense The Great Controversy into one practical idea. The battle for our wills became the plot in order that we might draw aside the curtain for a time and become aware of this battle and explore ways to become warriors in it rather than victims of it.” Ethel Bennington is one of those
ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 (705) 17 WORLD NEWS & PERSPECTIVES AU Students Seek to Save “Soul” of Alaska Town Their architectural vision combats urban sprawl.
BY JACK STENGER, ANDREWS UNIVERSITY PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER
or outdoor enthusiasts, transformed wide-open spaces into sold his faculty colleagues on the Palmer, Alaska, is a frontier four-lane corridors lined with discount Palmer project. Andrews’ fifth-year paradise. The city of 4,000 is marts and expansive parking lots. students could not only handle the surrounded by snowcapped Since Palmer is just 45 miles northeast challenge, he reasoned, but they mountains, and glacier-fed of Anchorage, there are now fears that could also get some real-world expe- Frivers run through it. urban sprawl could swallow up the rience out of it. For students at Andrews University, city’s landscape. For the project Bess would be assisted Berrien Springs, Michigan, is home. This “strip mall effect” and a desire by Mark Moreno, assistant professor of The village of 2,500 is surrounded by to avoid it prompted a group of Palmer architecture. Even though it would fruit orchards, and a meander- mean a lot of work, students ing St. Joseph River runs enthusiastically signed on from through it. the start. “This was not some More than 3,000 miles sepa- make-believe thing,” said Randy rate the two communities, but Boersen, a ﬁfth-year student. the continental distance has “This was a chance to possibly been bridged by 10 enterprising direct the future of a city.” Andrews architecture students. Every year ﬁfth-year architec- Since August the ﬁfth-year ture students at Andrews take on architecture class has been a class project. Recent projects deeply involved in an ambi- have meant extensive urban tious plan to revitalize Palmer’s designs for sites in Chicago, central core. Milwaukee, and Santa Paula, It could be considered the California. But the Palmer plan ultimate class project: “How to is the most ambitious plan save the soul of an Alaskan PAPER DREAMS: Though the above drawing is only paper, it attempted so far, Bess said. Fifth- frontier city and get a good symbolizes the future dreams of many Alaskans. year plans are typically more on grade while doing it.” the theoretical side. “But this Once associated mostly with year we’re getting as close to spectacular scenery and underpopu- residents to organize. Formed under reality as we can get,” Bess said. lated spaces, some parts of Alaska have the acronym PARCS, the Palmer Arts When their school year started in experienced a comparative population Recreation Culture and Sports com- September, ﬁfth-year students poured boom in recent years. United States mittee had a vision for their town’s themselves into the task. Traditionally Census ﬁgures show that the “Last future: planned growth with no ugly nocturnal crawlers, the students say Frontier” (a moniker proudly displayed urban sprawl. they were even more juiced up for the on state license plates), has gained But along with a vision, the group Palmer plan. “We spent a lot of late 60,000 citizens in the past seven years. recognized the need for an architec- nights getting this thing ready,” said With 250,000 residents, Anchorage, tural plan. Fortunately, committee student Seth Morrison. Alaska’s largest city, has grown by member Howard Bess knew just the In case they needed a reminder 30,000 citizens since 1990, many of person to call: his son. Since 1995 about the importance of their work, whom are recent transplants. architect Philip Bess has been asso- they quickly got one. In early October Their arrival has meant massive real ciate director of the Andrews all 10 students and Bess were ﬂown up estate and commercial development. Division of Architecture. Bess, who to Alaska by PARCS to conduct a 10- As this development has spread, it has teaches fifth-year studio courses, first day design workshop with committee
18 (706) ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 WORLD NEWS & PERSPECTIVES members and Palmer city ofﬁcials. ter plan to the Palmer city plan- Their arrival in town and their ning and zoning commission. For much-discussed Palmer plan were student and teacher alike, it was a even written up in the city’s news- reminder that architecture is not paper, the Frontiersman. “PARCS all parallel rules and computer ter- Unveils Proposed Master Plan,” an minals. “It’s a lot more than just article headline read on October 15. drawings and designs. We have to Since the weeklong October learn to sell our projects to people. visit, the students worked through- In a way we have to be architects out the fall quarter to give the mas- and politicians,” Hoyt said. ter plan more detail. The winter Whether all or any of the quarter has been spent designing Andrews plan will become an individual buildings and streetscapes YOUNG VISIONARIES: With hard work and long hours immediate reality is not certain. that will go into the master plan. Andrews University students created a new vision of Competing interests and a need The overreaching goal for Palmer is community in Palmer, Alaska. for further political discussion currently a dominant theme in con- likely mean the Palmer plan will temporary urban design: creating more undeveloped acreage into contiguous outlast the academic career of students residential and commercial activity in real estate development. But the working on it. a city core. Palmer plan seeks to preserve the nat- But for the moment a group of 10 Unchecked growth could mean ural and agricultural character of the college students in Berrien Springs are urban sprawl. In contrast, the Palmer landscape surrounding the city. working hard to ensure that the “Last plan envisions a walking community In January, Bess and architecture Frontier” remains safe for nature that utilizes the city’s historical student Chris Hoyt ﬂew back to lovers—and safe from too many shop- strengths. Current trends could turn Palmer to present a more detailed mas- ping center parking lots.
Thousands Tour Global Village Bank; and Charles T. Manatt, International Business on Opening Day Council chair of the D.C. Board of Trade. AGV features 10 life-size habitats, including a South-
BY BETH SCHAEFER, A PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER east Asian stilt house, an African Masai hut and a Latin- FOR THE ADVENTIST DEVELOPMENT AND RELIEF AGENCY American choza. At the 10 learning stations, visitors dis- covered the importance of clean water, “beasts of bur- housands of schoolchildren joined public and civic den,” bridges, and marketplaces. At the Pack-a-Box sta- Tofficials for the grand opening of the tion, the last stop on the two- to three-hour Adventist Development and Relief tour, schoolchildren took direct action Agency’s Global Village (AGV) at the against the global poverty they’d just Mall in Washington, D.C., on April 16. learned about. At the opening, Eleanor Holmes “At Pack-a-Box they are busily packing Norton, congressional delegate for the boxes of clothes and personal hygiene items District of Columbia, said, “I am pleased for needy children overseas,” explains Casey that ADRA and its sponsors have brought Bahr, ADRA’s director of development and the world to Washington. When the presi- education, and one of the creators of the vil- dent [Bill Clinton] went to Africa a few lage. “We also talk with students about what weeks ago, I don’t know if he went into a they’ve learned and encourage them to think mud hut, but I am thrilled that children about how to continue helping others.” from the District will have a chance to be A BIG SMILE PLEASE: Children from At this event the items the children in a mud hut and to experience how peo- the Bryn Mawr School in Baltimore, packed will go to Haiti, and as Norton hap- ple live in other places.” Maryland, play with goats at Global pily noted in her opening speech, some of Other visitors to the one-of-a-kind trav- Village. the boxes will beneﬁt three charities in the eling, educational exhibit were Brian Atwood, United District of Columbia: Martha’s Table, For the Love of States Agency for International Development administra- Children, and Bailey’s Making the Grade. tor; Elaine Wolfensohn, educator representing the World Almost 1,000 schoolchildren from as far as New York
ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 (707) 19 WORLD NEWS & PERSPECTIVES What? A Dismissal Without a Scandal?
BY ANDY NASH, ADVENTIST REVIEW ASSISTANT EDITOR
arlier this spring Russian president Boris Yeltsin ﬁred The same must hold for the church. his prime minister and all but two of his cabinet Over the years we have consistently disciplined employ- Emembers because, said Yeltsin, they were “lacking in ees who do wrong—who commit adultery, preach heresy, dynamism and initiative, fresh approaches and ideas” withhold tithe. And we should continue to show little toler- (Washington Post, Mar. 24, 1998). ance for such trust-busters; they set the church back. It’s worth repeating. But do we also consistently discipline employees who Earlier this spring Russian president neglect to do right—the pastor who Boris Yeltsin ﬁred his prime minister and NEWS COMMENTARY hasn’t baptized an unchurched person all but two of his cabinet members because, in 30 years, the less-than-ambitious said Yeltsin, they were “lacking in dynamism and initiative, administrator that hides behind an office door all day, fresh approaches and ideas” (Washington Post, Mar. 24, 1998). the high-level appointee “lacking in dynamism and ini- In a society in which political appointees are generally tiative, fresh approaches and ideas”? By not doing so, we dismissed for what they did—lying, laundering, cheating—it reward apathy. is, in a weird way, refreshing to see someone dismissed for In any business—and the church is in the business of what they didn’t do. soul-winning—we must not only guard against slipping Not that a government shouldn’t discipline employees who backward, but against refusing to move forward. do wrong. It should. But it must also discipline employees who As President Yeltsin reminds us, there’s more than one neglect to do right. By not doing so, it rewards apathy. way to serve poorly.
State also came to tour on opening day, and more than Spring, Maryland. 150,000 were expected throughout the two-week event. ADRA projects in Burundi include a camp for inter- nally displaced persons, a clinic, a home for the disabled, Adventist Elected to Indian Parliament and a home-rebuilding project.
Kim Gangte, an Adventist who attends church in Adventists Trade Ivory Towers New Delhi, India, was recently elected to the Lok Sabha, for Community Service India’s lower house of Parliament. Gangte, a graduate of Spicer Memorial College, became the ﬁrst woman to rep- Dental students in California and university faculty in resent her home state of Manipur and is the ﬁrst known Michigan recently traded their “ivory towers” for commu- Adventist to be elected to India’s Parliament. nity service, underscoring the practical learning that has always been a hallmark of Adventist education. Burundi ADRA Director Murdered In a recent Clinic With a Heart program, Ofﬁcials of the Adventist Development and Relief hosted by the Loma Agency are mourning the loss of Bent Moeller Nielsen, Linda University School ADRA director for Burundi, who was shot and killed by of Dentistry in armed bandits in Bujumbura on April 22. California, 350 patients Nielsen had reportedly just dropped off a colleague when crowded into a tent for he was attacked. He was shot and killed, and his vehicle was a “free-for-all” service stolen. Conﬂicting times place the attack at 4:30 p.m. or designed for those with 9:00 p.m. The vehicle was found in another part of town. no access to dental care. “Bent was one of our longest-serving country directors, Run by 170 students, and his tragic death is a terrible loss to the agency. Our OPEN WIDE: Dental students with 100 faculty and hearts go out to the family at this sad time,” said Ralph S. donated about $20,000 of dental support staff, the pro- Watts, president of ADRA International, based in Silver care to needy patients. gram demonstrated the
20 (708) ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 WORLD NEWS & PERSPECTIVES
Did You Know? For Your Good Health
High Court: A City May Continue Nativity Display Glorious Garlic The United States Supreme Court let stand a lower While your aorta naturally stiffens as you get older, a new court decision March 9 permitting the city of Syracuse, study from Germany shows that people who consume gar- New York, to continue its sponsorship of its annual lic daily have up to 15 percent more elasticity than those Nativity scene in a public park. who don’t include garlic in their daily diets. And while the Without comment the High Court turned away the study’s subjects consumed garlic tablets, researchers say the argument of a self-described atheist that the display beneﬁts of garlic are the same whether it’s taken in pill amounts to public endorsement of religion. form or in food.—Health and Fitness News Service. In 1995 Carol A. Elewski asked a federal judge to rule the Nativity display, which includes a banner proclaiming “Herbal” Not Always Safe “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” unconstitutional. But the judge If you’re using an herbal weight-loss remedy as a safe ruled against Elewski, saying the scene did not intend to alternative to the recently banned diet drug combination convey a religious message, the Associated Press reported. fen-phen, make sure your product doesn’t contain In addition to the Nativity scene, the city also permits ephedrine, an amphetamine-like stimulant. Ephedrine a privately owned Hanukkah menorah to be displayed in has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and another public park and sponsors other holiday displays, even death. It can appear on package labeling as ma including lights, reindeer, and a snowman. huang, ephedra, epitonin, Sida cordifolia, or The second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with ephedrine.—May Clinic Health Letter. the lower district court, saying that because the Nativity is part of a larger holiday display, it does not endorse —“For Your Good Health” is compiled by Larry Becker, editor of Vibrant Christianity.—Religion News Service. Life, the church’s health outreach journal. To subscribe, call 1-800-765-6955.
NEWSBREAK dental school’s commitment to the community. The mone- and other equipment for $1,975, plus shipping, handling, tary value of the donated dental services totaled almost and installation. $20,000. ACN will continue to provide services to churches “Students volunteer their time to help in a number of using the analog system at least through the end of the ways,” says Charles Goodacre, dean of the Loma Linda year 2000. Churches wishing to adapt to the new system University School of Dentistry. “The Norton Clinic, can purchase the upgrade package for $1,255, plus ship- traveling assignments around the school districts, helping ping, handling, and installation. For more information, migrant workers in agricultural areas, as well as helping call (800) ACN-1119, extension 3 or 7. in 82 mission clinics—these give our students meaningful ✔ Adventist Review editors William G. Johnsson and experience in a wider environment.” Roy Adams will host a special mission report at the In Michigan, faculty from Andrews University partici- Florida Conference electronic camp meeting at 2:30 p.m. pate in direct teaching of the county’s gifted children, (EDT) May 23 (Galaxy 9, channel 2). according to Patricia Mutch, dean of the College of Arts With the theme “What One Can Do,” the program and Sciences. features presentations from the Adventist Development “Faculty in the Science, Mathematics, and Computing and Relief Agency, Adventist World Radio, a live video departments teach 125 high school students each week,” segment from the Pentecost 2000 evangelistic series in says Mutch. “This is one of only a very few such programs South Africa, and other mission-oriented reports. in the country in which university lecturers are directly teaching public school students in the local community.” What’s Upcoming —Adventist News Network. May 23 Global Baptism Day News Notes June 6 Bible Correspondence School emphasis June 13 Women’s Ministry Day ✔ The Adventist Communication Network has July 4 Vacation Witnessing Emphasis adopted a new digital satellite system. The new package July 18 Home Study International Day includes a seven-foot-six-inch dish, receiver, automation, Aug. 1 Global Mission Evangelism Day
ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 (709) 21 THE X-CHANGE A Parent’s Love: The A. ALLAN AND DEIRDRE MARTIN Passion and the Peril
’m not as close to the church as my parents wish I hy would God place the tree of the were. But how do I convince them I still love them knowledge of good and evil in the and that my noninvolvement is not a reflection of WGarden of Eden? how they brought me up or what they did wrong? I Deirdre’s reply: I’m sure that your local pastor can give want them to love me without pitying or you a theological reason for this, and I encour- Ipining over whether or not I will go to age you to study this Bible topic with her heaven. or him. But since you asked, let me give Allan’s reply: Yours is a difficult ques- you my thoughts. tion, and I sense some of the anguish that I think God placed that tree in the gar- both you and your parents must be feeling. den because He didn’t want His creatures A parent’s love for his or her children is to be robots. He didn’t want to create one of the most powerful emotions in the mechanical push-button drones who just REWS universe. It’s one of God’s ways to give follow some uniform program. God wanted C us a glimpse of His potent and ever- to create freethinking humans, and He Y ERR present passion for us. loved us enough to give us a choice. That T BY Let me address your question first freedom to choose, as risky as it may be, by saying it is because of their love provides us with the opportunity to love TION that your parents desire your salvation. Him or leave Him. It’s hard to have a LLUSTRA The very idea of an eternity without choice with only life-bearing “love Him” I you is a painful prospect—solid evidence trees to eat from. For there to be real choice, of their love for you. So to want them to love you and there has to be a knowledge-bearing “leave Him” tree. not yearn for your salvation is a very difficult thing to Having “created” my own child, I sometimes wish that I ask any sincere and caring parent. In addition to lan- could simply tell her what to do and she would obey auto- guishing over your spiritual condition, your parents are matically, without question. Sometimes I, as a protective searching themselves for what they might have done dif- parent, wish I could make all her choices for her. But as I ferently in your upbringing, where they might have search my heart, I know that Alexa’s thoughtless compli- failed to convey the importance of salvation. Here again ance would not reﬂect the love relationship I want to expe- is evidence of their love. rience between us. A remote-control daughter, although As long as your parents aren’t looking at your decisions intriguing, would not be as lovable as my Alexa. It’s when as a personal insult, their reactions are vivid examples of she chooses to trust me, to obey me willingly, and to run to their love for you. me, that I fully experience the love between us. And I sense your love for them also. For even as you God loves us enough to give us a choice. make your own decisions and choices, you want your par- ents to know that your love for them is still very strong. Send your questions about young adult life, Christian lifestyle, and Although your relationship with the church may not be Generation X culture to The X-CHANGE, Adventist Review, very strong, you care about your parents, and you don’t 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600, or want them to agonize over your future. via e-mail to [email protected]. How do you convince them of your love while not embracing God’s gift of salvation? How do you get them to love you without wanting to spend eternity with you? I Allan and Deirdre Martin are cofounders of don’t know. dre•am VISION ministries, dedicated to I really don’t know. empowering young people in Christian lifestyle and leadership. Visit their Web site at http://www.tagnet.org/dvm.
22 (710) ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 CURRENT ISSUES
The Missing Ingredient onSeinfeld Jerry said it was a show about “nothing.” Considering that God was never in the story, he’s probably right.
BY DAVID B. SMITH
T WAS THE LAMENT ON THE COVER OF they serve deviled eggs. Since we’ll probably have wings, maybe they’ll give us airline food!” The caption reads: People magazine—and also of millions of viewers all “Pastor Larry had been watching too much Seinfeld.” There’s no denying that these four people represent the around the world: “Say It Ain’t So!” But it was so, hot demographic in network television today. They’re young; they’re single. They’re angst-ridden and hung up about a and comedian Jerry Seinfeld announced last million things. They’re city dwellers who have to buzz their friends into the building and who trade keys with each December that the NBC hit television program that other. Every week it’s one social crisis after another. They pick every relationship to death. Their lives are ruled by self wasI famously about “nothing” would be coming to an end. and the desire to please self. And of course Jerry, the creative force behind the program, is—in his own words—“thin, sin- Grieving fans counted down to the May 14 deadline when gle, and neat,” with all the advantages. But there’s one thing he isn’t, and that’s religious. God isn’t there much on Jerry, Elaine, George, and the wild-haired Kramer would Thursday nights. bicker in Monk’s corner café for the very last time. What’s Missing? All of us who stop to think about this God-absent media For nine years and 178 episodes these four single, con- phenomenon have to concede immediately the obvious fused, disturbed, wacky, paranoid—and admittedly very question. Is Jerry Seinfeld—and you can take your pick of funny—New Yorkers have ruled the airwaves on Thursday either the TV character or the hugely successful actor with nights. But what is there that God’s people can learn from a the same name— missing anything? Now, it’s not our place sitcom like Seinfeld? to judge what the real Jerry has decided to do about God or Admittedly, out of 32 million viewers, many are also about His Son Jesus Christ, but the real Jerry has been faithful church attendees each weekend; in fact, the picking up more than $1 million an episode for each half- Christian magazine Leadership, in the summer 1997 issue, hour sitcom he’s in. In 1997 alone he tucked into his wallet ran a cartoon in which a pastor in the pulpit is doing a little something like $94 million. In front of his Hollywood comedy routine of his own. “Do you ever wonder what the house there are not one but three Porsches. And if that food is going to be like in heaven?” he asks. “I wonder if doesn’t seem so impressive, just add on 60 more cars that he
24 (712) ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 owns. That’s right. Sixty cars, all many half hours stitched together, you love prepare to live lives that last belonging to Jerry Seinfeld, parked in a with lessons you never quite learn, for eternity. Everything you do has warehouse in Santa Monica. happiness you never quite ﬁnd, fulﬁll- meaning—it counts—because it’s all So does this person need God? Can ment that never quite arrives, parties shaping an everlasting destiny. I, with a straight face, announce on that don’t quite satisfy, friends who There’s an Old Testament passage the Voice of Prophecy: “Jerry, you’d usually don’t stay. And there’s always that actually have a better life as a born-again an end to ratings and to the describes the cast Christian; you’d be happier if you got headlines of Seinfeld, down on your knees, confessed believe it or not. you’re a sinner, People who, and joined my deep down, are church”? scared and NBC, desperate lonely; people to keep its “must-see who are afraid TV” lock on of real ene- Thursday nights, mies, not just recently offered the psycho- HOTOS Seinfeld a whopping logical sit- P $5 million per episode if com bug- RCHIVE
he’d go one more year bears out / A with the show. This past there. year the other three Here’s their TIONAL actors, Julia Louis- endless NTERNA Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, curse: I
and Michael Richards, “Your OTOS had just moved up to the eyfus, and lives will © F , Julia Louis-Dr
“big leagues” themselves, hang in HOTO
ds, Jason Alexander P getting $600,000 each per Michael Richar doubt. You SEINFELD: show, with millions more if THE CAST OF will live night and day in fear, they could have persuaded Jerry Seinfeld. and and will have no reason to believe that their leader to keep being even to the money. you will see the morning light. In the funny through 1999. And all Without God, all of those things really morning you will say, ‘Oh, that night of this without going to church, paying are going to run out in the end. When were here!’ And in the evening you tithe, or acknowledging God as the the lights go out at the end of life, you will say, ‘Oh, that morning were giver of all good things. These people can’t take your Emmys and your here!’” (Deut. 28:66, 67, TLB). seem to have made it to the top with- Porsches with you. In other words, perfect fulﬁllment out any need for heaven’s help along and happiness are always the other the way. What About the Rest of Us? thing, not the thing you have. And yet the observant person who But maybe that’s oversimplifying. That morning-evening lament cer- watches even a few episodes might After all, Christians lurch from one tainly has to describe the romantic rela- notice what Tom Shales, writer for the crisis to another too. God’s people tionships of George Costanza. When- Washington Post, wisely picked up. He stumble in their relationships just as ever he’s dating a girl, he’s immediately gives the program high marks, calling George Costanza does. They have looking to get out of the relationship. it an all-time classic right up there messy breakups and painful divorces “This is terrible, Jerry! I’m stuck!” But with I Love Lucy and All in the Family. too. We all know that. ﬁnally he sees his way clear to freedom. But then he says: “Seinfeld is about the But in the Christian faith there’s And you hear that cry of exultation: human condition. And the human Someone with you who outlasts all “I’m out, baby! I’m ﬁnally out!” Which condition is basically a mess.” that. There’s a big picture, a divine is followed maybe two minutes later by And this is the core lesson we can plan, in which your birth on this planet the realization: “But wait a minute! learn as the last few episodes of Seinfeld counts because God paid an incredible Now I’m alone! How could I have been slip into syndication. Sure, it’s funny price for you. The small deeds you so stupid? She was everything! Jerry, stuff. People laugh because they’re do—raising your kids, driving them to give me the phone; I’ve got to call her laughing at themselves and their own soccer practice, putting a Band-Aid on back and grovel. Yes sir, some major warts and worries. But when God isn’t their scrapes and scratches—may seem groveling is coming up.” in the equation, life is basically a trivial in a sitcom world. But in God’s That’s the story of George Costanza’s meaningless collection of episodes. It’s eyes they all add up as you and those life: in wanting to get out; out wanting
ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 (713) 25 The “Seinfelding” of Adventist Adventist preaching over the past 25 years. Sermons now focus on daily life. We preach about marriage and the Preaching family, not Armageddon and apostasy. “Seven Tips on How to Have a Better Monday” is more By Kermit Netteburg, NORTH AMERICAN DIVISION likely to be a sermon topic in the 1990s than it was in the COMMUNICATION DIRECTOR 1950s. Is this good or bad? Both. It’s important to know how Seinfeld wanders out of prime-time television this month, godly living affects life on the job. We struggle with raising except, of course, for the reruns, which will be as our kids, ﬁnding meaning in the “rat race,” loving our neigh- omnipresent as God, though not nearly as long-lasting. The bors when we don’t even know their ﬁrst names. Those are series will receive television’s highest praise: $2 million per important parts of Christian living, and our preaching must commercial. speak to those issues. We’ll miss Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer. They’ve It’s also important for Adventists to know the prophetic become our imaginary friends. Meeting at Monk’s café for faith that created this church. Jesus is coming soon! That lunch, wandering in and out of Jerry’s apartment, but never changes how I live at work. That creates meaning in our out of each other’s lives. daily lives. Seinfeld was the comedy of daily life. Ellen DeGeneres Jerry and the gang are leaving us. I hope the sermons came out of the closet and announced her homosexuality. on daily life won’t stop, but that they’ll include what our Jerry came out of the bedroom and announced that he was prophetic faith has to say about Tuesday’s “rat race.” going to be late for an appointment. Maybe a sermon entitled: “Living Your Faith in the Third There’s some similarity here to changes we’ve seen in Millennium.” to get in. Never happy; never secure. denied myself nothing my eyes desired; single female candidate after another, Always knowing that his life has a miss- I refused my heart no pleasure. My but none of them ever stay. They break ing piece, but he just can’t ﬁgure out heart took delight in all my work, and up with him or he with them. And what it is. this was the reward for all my labor” over what? One because she stabbed We also ﬁnd a Seinfeld essay of sorts (verses 9, 10, NIV). her peas with her fork one at a time. in the second chapter of Ecclesiastes. It This is the Jerry Seinfeld of 950 Another one got the ax because she was written by someone who was on B.C. He’s got a condo in Manhattan liked a Dockers television commercial the top of the Nielsen charts just as and a mansion in Beverly Hills. But that Jerry thought was stupid. Finally, surely as the four Seinfeld millionaires the next sentence, verse 11, is in a telling moment, Jerry’s friend from NBC. Notice how King Solomon absolutely shattering. Listen up, Jerry Elaine listens in amazement as he hit it big-time as well: and George and Elaine and Kramer: spouts off about yet another failed rela- “I tried cheering myself with wine, “Yet when I surveyed all that my tionship. Elaine shakes her head: “You and embracing folly. . . . I wanted to see hands had done and what I had toiled know,” she tells him, “every time I what was worthwhile for men to do to achieve, everything was meaning- think you can’t possibly get any shal- under heaven during the few days of less, a chasing after the wind; nothing lower, you scoop a little more water their lives. I undertook great projects: I was gained under the sun” (NIV). out of the pool.” built houses for myself and planted All that money—meaningless. All Even in the real Jerry’s stand-up rou- vineyards. I made gardens and parks the limo rides—meaningless. The tines, he admits to the emptiness of his and planted all kinds of fruit trees in headlines, the acceptance speeches on romantic relationships. Men are scared them. . . . I bought male and female Emmy night, the chance to host the that women won’t be impressed with slaves and had other slaves who were Oscars—meaningless. The millions what they do for a living, he suggests. born in my house. I also owned more and millions of dollars piled up—in “That’s why we make up those phony, herds and ﬂocks than anyone in the end, meaningless. bogus names for the jobs we have. Jerusalem before me. [Those were the And those who have watched the ‘Well, right now, I’m the regional man- Porsche collections of Solomon’s day.] I exploits of these four comedians know agement supervisor. I’m in develop- amassed silver and gold for myself, and how true those words ring. Without God ment, production, consulting . . .’” the treasure of kings and provinces. I somewhere—anywhere—in the mix, According to Seinfeld, guys who work acquired men and women singers, and a these people never really learn to care at the drive-up window at McDonald’s harem as well—the delights of the heart about anything other than themselves. tell pretty girls that they have a high- of man” (Eccl. 2:3-8, NIV). level job as a “vehicular nutritionist.” Well, this guy’s on a roll. But here’s Getting Down to Basics And of course, bonds between two a bit more: “I became greater by far than The Jerry character goes from one men are even more tenuous, as the anyone in Jerusalem before me. . . . I relationship to another, one pretty and ﬁctional Jerry, George, and Kramer
26 (714) ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 endlessly demonstrate. In Seinfeld’s own chapter he looks back at his own mess, Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander (who’s words: “All plans between men are ten- and maybe anticipates the thin pros- probably bound for Broadway), and tative. If one man should suddenly have perity of Jerry Seinfeld: Michael Richards, if he can plaster an opportunity to pursue a woman, it’s “Remember your Creator in the down his hair a bit. Career-wise, these like these two guys never met each days of your youth”—the sixth-richest four are still “in their youth.” other in life. This is the male code.” entertainer in the world is only 43, so It’s certainly not too late for any of And as philosophies go, what we he’s still relatively young—“before the them to remember their Creator and see on Thursday evenings at 9:00 has days of trouble come and the years go on to show us some new material been tried before. King Solomon had it approach when you will say, ‘I ﬁnd no that, for a change, is about something. all: the girlfriends, the money, the pleasure in them’” (Eccl. 12:1, NIV). Better yet, make that Someone. ■ fame, and the fun. But in the end he It’s only when one remembers the found it was all meaningless. Several Creator, builds a career, amasses what- Based on Can Jerry Seinfeld Make It Into Heaven? a weeklong Voice of Prophecy radio times every year we read in the papers ever wealth comes along, with a loving series that aired March 30-April 4, 1998. that a certain very famous person, big God at the very center of her or his in business or politics or rock-and-roll existence, that life has real meaning. music, has put a bullet in their own brain. Because royalty checks and one- erry Seinfeld’s mother is an 83-year- night stands in a Caesar’s Palace pent- old widow living in South Florida, house suite can last only so long. JFlorida. She tells People magazine Never long enough. that her son is probably going to enjoy In the book of Ecclesiastes, which not working for a while, but everybody David B. Smith is writer/ reads as though it came right out of knows this creative genius isn’t just producer for the Voice of Variety or the Hollywood Reporter, this going to retire and count his money . . . Prophecy radiobroadcast. playboy named Solomon ﬁnally gets not for long. There are big careers still He lives in Newbury Park, down to the bottom line. In the ﬁnal out there for Seinfeld and for Julia California.
ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 (715) 27 LEAVING THE COMFORT ZONE Getting Away CHRIS BLAKE
ome snapshots stick in your brain. I remember my focus, my impure thoughts, my laziness. I could never truly get dad standing in front of the TV in the living room. away, because wherever I went, there I was. Cradling his head in his hands, he covered his eyes After my Christian conversion years later, I realized that we and slowly rotated his torso. Mostly I remember him can get away only as the Way gets in us. Freed from ourselves, we moaning, “My son . . . is a moron. My son become ourselves. Dying daily, we live S. . . is a moron.” abundantly in the thrall of peace. I had just informed Dad that I would be hitchhiking across the country with my ••••• friend Don, who was also a freshman in col- I remember squatting in the hospital lege. We were ready, as we had read a book corridor outside the room where Dad had about hitchhiking. Though confetti might just died. He had been dying for weeks— have been a bit much, Dad’s mantra was not no, years—yet I was unprepared. The can- the send-off I had hoped for. I laughed cer had consumed his kidneys, and he had
about his comment. He did not seem all said no to dialysis. Our family—his wife REWS C that amused. of 35 years, two sons, two daughters, two Y ERR
Anyway, I wanted to get away. Away grandchildren, my younger son (not yet T from coaches who screamed and swore. 3 months)—clustered about his bed and BY
From pointless droning classes. From insane laughed and watched home movies and TION living in an athletic dorm. From a mind- talked and watched him slowly die. My LLUSTRA numbing, soul-shriveling summer job at a sisters bathed his yellowing skin with a I Sunkist factory. From the suffocating smog. From life’s sponge. I prayed with him. He croaked, “Take care of this fam- sameness. I needed to get away. ily forever.” This to his son, the moron. So we left on August 10 from Ontario, California. We trav- For some reason we allowed him to be taken to the hos- eled across to Washington, D.C., up to Montreal and back. I pital at the very end. I sat beside my father—my honest, dropped off Don at Kearney (pronounced CAR-nee) State intelligent, giving, witty father—and listened to his rasping College in Nebraska and returned home September 10. breaths until he breathed no more. I notified the nurse and I can still recount each day of the trip. The day I left Don I went out to the corridor as staff rushed by me. I wanted to caught a 1,400-mile ride with a student from New York headed get away, and I knew I could not. for Stanford. I’ve forgotten his name, but I remember his dog, It wasn’t the send-off I had hoped for. As a son I had lost my Azdak, which lay across the top of the front seat and skittered father. I thought later of the Father who had lost His Son. off each time we stopped or started. I helped drive, and we slept Life trips us down, kicks us with heavy boots, and laughs. in the car outside Elko, Nevada. Azdak got the top bunk. The Son of man showed that true Christians get disappointed, I remember sleeping on a sidewalk outside a corporation in gored, betrayed. We long to get away, to have this cup taken Rockville, Maryland, and waking as suited businesspeople from us, and in truth, whether we escape to the Catskills, showed for work. Feeling grit in my eyes after an afternoon of British Columbia, or Cancun, we cannot fully get away. New York City. Folk dancing in a public square one evening in I look forward to when we catch the ultimate ride with the Montreal. Wondering where the falls were on a foggy, roaring Way. He reaches out His arm to open the door, beckons us in, Niagara night and abruptly, unexpectedly peering over the boil- smiles, and says, “Let’s go.” ing, tumbling waters. Kind strangers of every stripe going out of their normal paths to cart and deposit us where we wished. Chris Blake teaches at Union College in Lincoln, I’m not recommending hitchhiking; Dad’s discomfort was jus- Nebraska. tiﬁed. And I recall something else distinctly. Though I traveled 7,000 miles, I never got away. Everywhere I went I carried along my greatest frustration, my deepest regret—myself. My lack of
ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998 (717) 29 REFLECTIONS The Fountain of Life BY K. L. BASSFORD
asking in the shadow of the Big Horn Mountains I stand in awe as I drink my ﬁll, and I walk away refreshed is a small farming community surrounded by and oddly pleased. ﬁelds of sugar beets and barley. From the outskirts A simple thing. A stone fountain sitting on a street cor- of Worland, Wyoming, ner in a little desert town, and yet a cattle ranches scatter thing so totally extraordinary. Bthemselves far and wide. Yet just a Tourists travel hundreds, even thou- few miles away are areas of dry I drink my ﬁll, sands, of miles to stand in awe at rocky buttes, sagebrush, and alkali the geysers in Yellowstone National known as badlands. and I walk away Park, 160 miles away, and yet here Although Worland thrives as an on a street corner in Worland, agricultural community, the badlands refreshed. Wyoming, stands a monument so remind us that it is located in a totally impressive and so wonder- desert. If not for the expansive net- fully unique. An attraction that is work of irrigation canals ﬂowing from the Buffalo Bill completely overlooked, and almost entirely unknown. Reservoir near Cody, the crops would wither and die, and the Standing on the street corner in Worland, drinking from land would soon return to the desert from which it was carved. the fountain, reminds me of a passage contained within the Small and homey, Worland has that atmosphere of rustic pages of my favorite book of poetry: friendliness so often found in small Western towns that rep- resents the wholesome goodness of American life at its best. How precious is Thy lovingkindness, O God, Residents are comfortable here; everyone knows each other. So the children . . . take refuge in the shadow of Thy wings! . . . It is a place where neighbors look after one another, and Thou shalt give them to drink of the stream of Thy delights; doors are seldom locked. for with Thee is the fountain of life. With a population of less than 6,000, downtown Worland, —Ps. 36:7-9, MLB quite naturally, is small. The full-color brochure of the Big Horn Mountains that you picked up over in Cody refers to the Very often it’s the simple things in life, such as a stone foun- town as “authentically Western.” Tourists smile their sophisti- tain on a street corner, that cause us to stop dead in our tracks cated city smiles and call it rustic and quaint, even as they and remember how wonderful is our God. We are tourists, trav- glance at their watches and wonder what’s on up the road. eling through the unknown and barren desert of life. Lost in There is more to see “on up the road,” certainly. But not until the tourist traps, we are in desperate need of a guide who you’ve discovered the treasure contained in Worland. knows the territory and is able to point out the lovely spots, the At the corner of Big Horn Avenue and Tenth Street, next quiet spots, the meaningful spots. If we stand on the street cor- to the county courthouse, stands a rock fountain, one of those ner and take the time to listen, He directs us to the fountain friendly Western gestures that reﬂect the fact that the passing where His goodness bubbles up like an artesian well in the of time has been of but little concern to Worland. Clear and desert of our withered souls. We drink, and the tourist traps we cold, the continually bubbling water is always ready to refresh once thought so necessary to our lives, so meaningful, are the thirsty passerby. Pure, fresh, and clean, it’s not the kind of pulled back into perspective. We drink, and we are refreshed. puriﬁed or chlorinated water served in the city, for the foun- Renewed. For “with Thee” there is a “fountain of life.” ■ tain is fed by a 4,330-foot-deep artesian well. A natural well nearly a mile deep! Amazing! But what is even more amazing is that the well is located 23 miles away K. L. Bassford is the library director for the Idaho from Worland. Since I discovered it, I never pass through State Correctional Institution and writes from Worland without taking a drink, whether I’m thirsty or not. Boise, Idaho. And when I do, I always marvel at the fact that my lips are drawing up water from so far down in the depths of the earth.
30 (718) ADVENTIST REVIEW, MAY 21, 1998