What We Can Learn from Ben Carson, Evangelicals and America
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SpeakerDwight K. Nelson
Since 1983, Dwight Nelson has served as lead pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preaches on the “New Perceptions” telecast, teaches at the theological seminary and has written some books, including The Chosen. He and his wife, Karen, are blessed with two married children and 2 granddaughters.
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What We Can Learn from Ben Carson, Evangelicals and America”
- Ben Carson
- North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (May, 2015): “As the 2016 United States election cycle begins, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is aware of the increased interest in the presidential candidacy of Dr. Ben Carson. Dr. Carson’s story is well known to most Adventists, and he is a well-respected physician. The Adventist Church has a longstanding position of not supporting or opposing any candidate for elected office. This position is based both on our historical position of separation of church and state and the applicable federal law relating to the church’s tax-exempt status. While individual church members are free to support or oppose any candidate for office as they see fit, it is crucial that the church as an institution remain neutral on all candidates for office. Care should be taken that the pulpit and all church property remain a neutral space when it comes to elections.” (http://spectrummagazine.org/article/2015/05/04/adventist-church-issues-statement-ben-carsons-candidacy)
- George Barna: Evangelicals (1) have made a personal commitment to Christ (“born again”), (2) believe that by faith in Him they will be in heaven one day, (3) say their faith is very important in their life today, (4) believe they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians, (5) believe that Satan exists, (6) believe that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works, (7) believe that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth, (8) assert that the Bible is accurate in all the principles it teaches, and (9) describe God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today. (https://www.barna.org/barna-update/faith-spirituality/648-is-evangelism-going-out-of-style#.Vjt4i7erTDc)
- Proverbs 14:34 NLT—“Godliness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.”
- Proverbs 16:12; 20:28
- Daniel 2:21; 4:25, 27; 5:27; 6:25; 7:26,27; 10:13; 11:36,45
- And Us
- Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore: “People attacked [Roger] Williams as a radical, a ‘church-ruinating’ anarchist, for laying the ideological foundation for a society that takes religion seriously but constructs a state without reference to any religious claims. Such a society is not secular, if by that we mean that religion plays no role in public life. Its politics, however, is godless, and so, in their official functions, are its politicians. Williams reached his conclusions about the urgent need to separate church and state, not because he did not care about the future of Christianity, but because he sometimes appeared to care about nothing else. Williams’s main concern was always the purity of the church.” (The Godless Constitution: The Case Against Religious Correctness 52)
- “No one who cares about civil peace would deny that morality is important. . . . The dispute is rather between those who argue that the content of morality is itself a question for public debate and those who argue that morality is an issue already settled by the religious views of the purported majority. To the latter, if public officials don’t profess religion, if they don’t make a link between proper citizenship and churchgoing, if they don’t see to it that schoolchildren pray, then the country is on its way to hell.” (Ibid 64)
- Great Controversy: “[The Pilgrims] patiently endured the privations of the wilderness, watering the tree of liberty with their tears, and with the sweat of their brow, till it took deep root in the land. The Bible was held as the foundation of faith, the source of wisdom, and the charter of liberty. The Bible was held as the foundation of faith, the source of wisdom, and the charter of liberty.” (296)
- “[The Bible’s] principles were diligently taught in the home, in the school, and in the church, and its fruits were manifest in thrift, intelligence, purity, and temperance. . . . It was demonstrated that the principles of the Bible are the surest safeguards of national greatness. The feeble and isolated colonies grew to a confederation of powerful states, and the world marked with wonder the peace and prosperity of ‘a church without a pope, and a state without a king.’” (Ibid emphasis supplied)
- Ellen White to A. T. Jones April 9, 1893: “Dear Brother, There is a subject which greatly troubles my mind. While I do not see the justice nor right in enforcing by law the bringing the Bible to be read in the public schools: yet there are some things which burden my mind in regard to our people making prominent their ideas on this point. These things I am sure will place us in a wrong light before the world.” “If such a law were to go into effect the Lord would overrule it for good, that an argument should be placed in the hands of those who keep the Sabbath, in their favor, to stand on the Bible foundation in reference to the Sabbath of the fourth commandment. . . . My brother, this objecting to the passing of a law to bring the Bible into the schools will work against us . . . who are making so much of the Bible.” (The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials 1164)
- 1 Peter 3:13—“Who is going to harm you, if you are eager to do good?”
When you seek common good,
you share common ground.
Pioneer Operating Budget
During the early days of the Seventh-day Adventist movement, church buildings were few. Battle Creek, Michigan, had become the center for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They needed to build a church large enough to house the rapid membership growth, camp meetings, and General Conference sessions.
Elder James White, one of the founders of the church, thought of a plan. He suggested, “If each month, every member would donate one dime, within one year we could raise enough money to build a new church structure.” At that time, the average price of a home was around $2,000.
The members adopted the project. On April 20, 1879, they dedicated the new church, debt-free. The “Dime Tabernacle,” capable of seating 4,000 people became the fourth church structure of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination.
The fund-raising plan was simple; Give a dime per month. A dime then would be equivalent to $2.25 today. Even though $2.25 is 22 ½ times more than a dime, it still isn’t much money in today’s economy!
Widespread participation brought success. When the members took this as their project, the Lord blessed.
When God’s people come together, like they did with the Dime Tabernacle, God will move hearts to accomplish His will through His children. “And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” Luke 18:27
—North American Division Stewardship Ministries
Volunteers are needed by the Fellowship Dinner teams to assist with the preparation and service of the fellowship dinners which we hope to be able to resume soon. Teams serve about three times a year, so the time commitment is minimal, but your help is invaluable. Please let us know you if can help by emailing Ben Chilson at email@example.com. You will be assigned to a team that fits your schedule.
At the beginning of the summer, we hoped that the pandemic would recede enough for us to have a full-orbed on-site celebration of the cross at Pioneer come the fall. But alas, the unwelcome Delta variant means that on Sabbath, September 18, Pioneer will sponsor a two-phase Lord's Supper commemoration.
Friday evening (September 17) we invite families, friends, students, acquaintances to gather together to celebrate Jesus' own example of foot washing. "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you" (John 13:14-15). Let it be a blessed beginning to a beautiful Sabbath experience.
Then Sabbath morning (September 18) in both celebrations (9:00 AM/11:45 AM) let's gather around the Lord’s Table to relive the deep significance of Jesus' sacrifice for our salvation. "How to Become an Influencer: The Last Aching Abyss." Once again, we will have sealed communion emblems for either on-site or in-home worship. The in-home emblem packets will be available for pickup at the church office on Thursday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.
Jesus' wish for us all is clear: "I have eagerly desired to eat this Supper with you" (see Luke 22:15).
Our Pathfinder and Adventurer Clubs are back in session this fall. Join below:
Pathfinders text "PMCEP" to 269-281-2345 or join online.
Pathfinder Staff Members text "EPSTAFF" to 269-281-2345 or join online
Adventurers text "PMCFF" to 269-281-2345 or join online
Fall Grow Groups are here and we are so excited to have more than 50 groups available to join this semester! The session officially begins September 19, so don’t wait!
We have a variety of groups meeting every day of the week. Pioneer is continuing to offer groups both in-person and online, so we think you’ll be able to find one that works for you--whether you’re looking for Bible study, support, art, prayer, discipleship, or activity groups.
If you have any questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Darkness Will Not Overcome is an 8-part series that will inspire, equip, and empower you to live your best life possible. In every presentation you will learn practical ways we can experience healing, hope, and change. Whatever your "darkness" is—an addiction, a mental health struggle, dysfunction, past trauma, broken relationships, or lack of direction—the Darkness Will Not Overcome! Beginning Friday, October 1.
Neighbor to Neighbor (our local Adventist Community Services center) is currently looking for volunteers for their "Helping Hand Team". To respond, please call 269-471-7411 or visit them at 9147 US 31, Berrien Springs, MI.
Pioneer's new Collegiate Sabbath School meets in the Pioneer Commons! This is a place for interactive connections with Collegiates and with God, to study the stories of Jesus and what they mean for us today. Breakfast snacks will be provided.
Weekly on Sabbath, 10:30 AM
Location: Pioneer Commons
Are you the primary caregiver for your spouse or another person? If so we have a resource available for you. Care Giver's Support Group, Thursday evenings starting at 6:30 PM, at Neighbor to Neighbor (West entrance). You're invited to come and recharge your "batteries". For more information call Pastor John Glass at 262-825-3632.