Our Past Our Future
The 2011 OCI retreat’s theme of “Together unbroken” provided an ideal setting to review Seventh-day adventist history. it was also rewarding to meet people from every continent who are following God’s leading in ministry.
We began by studying James White—his spiritual experience just before his death in 1881, his renewed focus on Jesus, and his burden for the subject of redemption. Then we jumped ahead 20 years to a letter Ellen White wrote to James Kellogg. in that letter are found the four phrases used to title the four parts of the my seminar:
- Fully accept the truths
- Unite with your brethren
- Standing by the old landmarks
- Then there will be unity
We evaluated the truths (variously referred to as foundations, waymarks, and landmarks) that have given us our identity. Ellen White wrote, “We have nothing to fear for the future, except as we shall forget the way the lord has led us, and His teaching in our past history” (p. 196, life Sketches of ellen G. White ).
We then studied the Biblical depiction of unity, citing the disciples (who were divided throughout Jesus’ ministry but who came together just before pentecost). We reviewed the steps essential for that most remarkable of paradigm shifts. unity is achieved only through truth. In contrast, the devil fathered the lie that the way to live is for self. This is the cause of disunity.
We reviewed 27 pioneers and the three threads that comprise the advent movement: landmarks, messages, and ministries. We considered the powerful statement, “The precious, golden links of truth are not separate, detached, disconnected doctrines; but link after link, form one string of golden truth, and constitute a complete whole, with christ as its living center” (p. 25, PH002). Our closing challenge was how to see and live our message and mission with Christ at the center.
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