The Power of a Glass of Water

Many years ago I was asked to help lead a youth evangelisation group. Five weekends and two weeks a year we came together to work on our witnessing. It was then that I discovered how much I hated ‘evangelism’. Whenever someone suggested standing in a market square and singing or talking to people, my toes would curl. Verder lezen

New NUC Executive Secretary and Youth Leader

De Nederlandstalige versie van dit bericht vindt u hier.

shutterstock_218280283There have been a number of changes in the positions of the pastors at the Netherlands Union Conference (NUC). Pastor Hans Ponte has been called to work for the church in the Dutch Caribbean; accordingly, as of 1 February 2015 Dr Tom de Bruin will assume his duties as departmental director of Youth and Family Ministries. Pastor Bert Nab will be the new Executive Secretary of the NUC. Verder lezen

Human Rights in Kenya

[De Nederlandstalige versie van dit persbericht kunt u hier vinden.]

Recently a number of Kenyan members of parlement submitted an anti-homosexual bill. This bill, proposed by the Republican Liberty Party, appears to be written by a Kenyan member of the Adventist Church. This bill, modelled on the Ugandan one,  promotes violence,  hatred and discrimination of LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Intersex) individuals, and misleadingly associate being LBGTI with paedophilia and sexually transmitted diseases.

The Netherlands Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church distances itself from these bills. We, as a church, stand for accepting love and following the character of Jesus Christ. We strongly believe that all people are called to love one another. This includes loving LGBTIs – not excluding them or judging their relationships.

Christians don’t all agree regarding LGBTIs, but we are one in the faith that mankind was created in the image of God, and each person is valuable in his eyes. People should, therefore, treat each other with decency – respectfully, peacefully and lovingly. Violence or discrimination in any form is unacceptable.

The delegates of all the Adventist churches in the Netherlands took a strong stand with regards to LGBTIs in 2012. With a large majority, they decided the following:

Following the example of the ‘Safe Church’ initiative, the delegates, gathered together in committee, charge the Executive Board in the coming administrative period to consider the problems of and concerning people with a non-heterosexual nature, so that they can feel safe in the church.

The Netherlands Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church also signed the International Day Against Homophobia declaration in 2011. The Executive Committee took a unanimous stand against violence towards and discrimination of LGBTIs.

We do not all have the same views on homosexuality, but we are one in the belief that all human beings are created in God’s image and precious in His eyes. Therefore people should treat each other with dignity – respectfully, peacefully and affectionately – and violence against homosexuals, in any form, is completely unacceptable.

To each violation of human rights we say: that is wrong. Today we emphasize this in particular concerning the violation of the human rights of homosexuals. This includes all forms of physical, psychological and verbal violence against homosexuals, as well as inciting these expressions of violence. He who uses violence against fellow human beings, made in the image of God, ignores Christ’s appeal to love God and thy neighbour. Also in our own communities of faith the human dignity of homosexuals has sometimes been damaged by uncharitable and unsympathetic behaviour.

We dedicate ourselves to defend in every way the dignity of all people. We call on worshippers in our congregations to refrain from promoting any form of violence against homosexuals. Churches desire, after the example of Christ, to be places of encounter. They desire to be a safe haven for all, including homosexuals.

We call on everyone, whatever their place in society, to offer an environment in which homosexuals feel safe and in that way contribute to a safer social climate in our society.

We will endeavour, in our international ecclesiastical contacts and in our contacts with representatives of other faiths, to oppose homophobia, hatred and violence against homosexuals.

Human Rights in Africa

[De Nederlandstalige versie van dit persbericht kunt u hier vinden.]

The Ugandan Parliament passed the so-called Anti-Homosexual Bill on the 20th of December, 2013. The Nigerian president signed a similar bill on the 13th of January, 2014. These bills promote the hatred and discrimination of LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, & Intersex) individuals, and misleadingly associate being LBGTI with paedophilia and sexually transmitted diseases.

The Netherlands Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church distances itself from these bills. We, as a church, stand for accepting love and following the character of Jesus Christ. We strongly believe that all people are called to love one another. This includes loving LGBTIs – not excluding them or judging their relationships.

Christians don’t all agree regarding LGBTIs, but we are one in the faith that mankind was created in the image of God, and each person is valuable in his eyes. People should, therefore, create each other with decency – respectfully, peacefully and lovingly. Violence or discrimination in any form is unacceptable.

The delegates of all the Adventist churches in the Netherlands took a strong stand with regards to LGBTIs in 2012. With a large majority, they decided the following:

Following the example of the ‘Safe Church’ initiative, the delegates, gathered together in committee, charge the Executive Board in the coming administrative period to consider the problems of and concerning people with a non-heterosexual nature, so that they can feel safe in the church.

The Netherlands Union of the Seventh-day Adventist Church also signed the International Day Against Homophobia declaration in 2011. The Executive Committee took a unanimous stand against violence towards and discrimination of LGBTIs.

We do not all have the same views on homosexuality, but we are one in the belief that all human beings are created in God’s image and precious in His eyes. Therefore people should treat each other with dignity – respectfully, peacefully and affectionately – and violence against homosexuals, in any form, is completely unacceptable.

To each violation of human rights we say: that is wrong. Today we emphasize this in particular concerning the violation of the human rights of homosexuals. This includes all forms of physical, psychological and verbal violence against homosexuals, as well as inciting these expressions of violence. He who uses violence against fellow human beings, made in the image of God, ignores Christ’s appeal to love God and thy neighbour. Also in our own communities of faith the human dignity of homosexuals has sometimes been damaged by uncharitable and unsympathetic behaviour.

We dedicate ourselves to defend in every way the dignity of all people. We call on worshippers in our congregations to refrain from promoting any form of violence against homosexuals. Churches desire, after the example of Christ, to be places of encounter. They desire to be a safe haven for all, including homosexuals.

We call on everyone, whatever their place in society, to offer an environment in which homosexuals feel safe and in that way contribute to a safer social climate in our society.

We will endeavour, in our international ecclesiastical contacts and in our contacts with representatives of other faiths, to oppose homophobia, hatred and violence against homosexuals.

Week of Prayer Readings 2013

“And They Followed Him”issue_cover_2013-1527

Each year the Seventh-day Adventist Church celebrates a week of spiritual emphasis. The theme for the 2013 Week of Prayer is And They Followed Him. In
support of the Week of Prayer, the Adventist Review is  giving unrestricted access to this special issue. We’ve provided all the readings for the week, including the
children’s stories. We trust that this material will be a blessing to you.

Greetings From the President
World church president Ted N. C. Wilson welcomes readers to this special edition of Adventist Review.

First Sabbath: Living With Heaven in Our Hearts
November 2
Jesus Shows Us the Way.

Sunday: Things Deeply Hidden–Yet Seen
November 3
Our life can be a wonder too.

Monday: The Cruciform Mind
November 4
What’s behind our interaction with others?

Tuesday: What Am I Thinking?
November 5
Moral sensitivity and spiritual influence.

Wednesday: Integer or Fraction?
November 6
Living the whole package.

Thursday: What Will It Take?
November 7
Doing the best we can with all we have.

Friday: Leave the Light On
November 8
What is revealed when Christ lives in us?

Second Sabbath: Our Present Duty  
November 9
What steps are we taking heavenward?

 

Children’s Readings

Saustin Mfune’s special readings and activities for the younger set.