Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Friendly Appeal to my Friends at GYC

(Note: I started preparing this blog before David Asscherick gave his closing talk at GYC this past Sunday, January 2. I was thrilled to hear him say some of the same things that I had already been thinking about. His "cautionary" words were very appropriate and, in this post, I simply want to piggy-back on what he said in that talk. I am also glad that he said it because there are a lot more people who value his thoughts than there are who even know I exist!)

I often have people ask me what my thoughts are on GYC (Generation of Youth for Christ). As a pastor and conscientious Christian, they want to know if I think they or their children should attend GYC. Without hesitation, I always encourage people to attend this wonderful annual event. Though I have not yet attended my first GYC due to various circumstances, I have greatly admired from afar what this movement has accomplished and continues to accomplish.

It thrills my heart that there is a growing group of young people (and not so young people) who want to get back to classic Adventism and proclaim the three angels' messages, aim for a higher standard of living, and steer clear of compromise. It also makes me glad that there is a group out there that "gets it," realizing that we are not called to entertain our young people but to challenge them. I share most - perhaps even all - of the same values as those who have started this juggernaut. Beyond that, I consider many within the GYC leadership camp to be personal friends.

It is within this context that I want to share one of my biggest - and perhaps only - concerns with those who lead out and participate in GYC. (I hope it is clear that I submit this concern with an attitude of humility, love, and friendliness, and that it is merely one person's perspective.)

This is my concern in very simple terms: as I have observed GYC from a distance over the years (listening to many presentations on Audioverse and tuning in live via the Internet on occasion), I worry that there is, at times, such a huge emphasis on the Adventist distinctives, standards, and - to put it simply - "doing," that there has not been enough emphasis on "the matchless charms of Christ."

To put it a different way: over the course of my short ministry I have determined that there are essentially five components that go into - or at least should go into - every presentation of biblical truth. This is not exact or scientific, but those five components are the following:

1. What Christ has done for us.
2. What Christ is doing for us.
3. What we have done.
4. What we are doing.
5. What we should be doing.

As I listen to much of the material that is presented at GYC, I often come away with the impression that most of the time is spent on numbers four and five - though mostly on number five. And I understand why that is to a large degree. As Adventist Christians, we are not called to sit on our hands or be passive in our faith. Rather, we are called to "go" and "do." Similarly, the church is presently fraught with compromise (though that could be said about any time in the history of Christianity, of course) and we need to be reminded of our high calling. We need to raise the bar when it comes to standards.

I wholeheartedly affirm all these things.

But here is the problem: whenever there is a heavy emphasis on what one should be "doing" or on what one should be believing, we often find ourselves unwittingly setting others up - or even ourselves - to lead an "old covenant" (or that dreaded word "legalistic") lifestyle. And I fear that many young people leave GYC knowing that they should not be listening to certain types of music, or watching movies, or they know that Genesis affirms a literal six-day creation, but they do not have a deeper appreciation for what Christ has done for them and what He continues to do for them.

More than that: they may leave feeling very convicted that they need to start doing certain things - engaging in personal witnessing, living a healthier lifestyle, striving to overcome sin - but they do not have the motivational mechanism nor the know-how to achieve these things. In short, they have not had their hearts compelled by the Gospel or love of Jesus Christ - which is the only vehicle by which anyone can ever accomplish the things we are admonishing them to accomplish.

And time and time again whenever people know what they are supposed to be doing but have a hard time accomplishing it, they simply get driven further and further into discouragement until, at last, they just give up on the whole thing altogether. Lawlessness is sure to follow.

This was the case with Israel of old. Whenever the book of the law was discovered and implemented by a righteous king - like Josiah - it would simply be outward conformity that was emphasized without an inward heart-change that can only be accomplished by the Gospel. And Israel ended up being driven deeper and deeper into apostasy - all because they kept trying to change their outward behavior without having their hearts changed first. And the heart can only truly be changed when it dwells upon what Christ has done for us and what He continues to do for us.

And this heart-change needs to be a
daily - even moment-by-moment - experience! Thus, we need to constantly be dwelling upon the love of Christ. Or, as Ellen White says, "We must gather about the cross. Christ and Him crucified should be the theme of contemplation, of conversation, and of our most joyful emotion. We should keep in our thoughts every blessing we receive from God, and when we realize His great love we should be willing to trust everything to the hand that was nailed to the cross for us" (Steps to Christ, pp. 103, 104)."

Here is an important concept that must never be forgotten: #5 (what we should be doing) can never be accomplished without a strong emphasis on numbers 1 & 2 (what Christ has done and continues to do for us). Simply put, no talk of 1 & 2, no accomplishment of #5.

Let me repeat that: no talk of 1 & 2, no accomplishment of #5.

And we are not speaking of a "token" mention of Christ's work - both past and present - for us. We are not talking about mentioning it in passing. Everything we present - whether it's a talk on creation/evolution or entertainment or personal witnessing or "no turning back" - must be bathed and saturated with Christ's work on our behalf. As Paul reminds us, "The love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if one died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again" (2 Cor 5:14-15). This is why Paul, when writing to the Corinthians in his first letter, told them that he didn't want to know anything among them "except Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Cor 2:2).

Don't get me wrong: I am not speaking about a shallow, fluffy, or "feel-good" presentation of God's love that doesn't challenge anyone. These types of presentations are a dime a dozen and they are generally vague in what it is truly meant by God's love. Subsequently, they don't truly grip the heart - much less change it.

What I am speaking of is a deep, balanced, heart-changing explanation of the love of God that will truly draw one into a whole-hearted commitment to Christ and His mission.

My good friend, Herbert Douglass, likes to talk about the "ellipse of truth." He explains this ellipse: "This means that truth is the sum total of its objective and subjective elements, the two foci in the ellipse of truth." Thus, in any presentation of truth we cannot emphasize one element to the neglect - or diminishing - of the other. It will result in an imbalance that is unhealthy and even deadly.

So when we see the landscape of Adventism and how there seems to be a huge diminishing of our doctrines, our standards, our mission, and an inbalanced emphasis on love, grace, acceptance, forgiveness, etc., we must resist the urge to swing the pendulum in the other direction, unwittingly forcing us into the other ditch. (I am not saying that this is what has - or hasn't - happened with GYC, but that it very easily could happen - especially considering that, as GYC grows in popularity, more and more young people attend who may or may not have a whole-hearted commitment to Christ before attending.)

What we need is a perfect and balanced blending of the two. We need to challenge people - whether young or old - to reach a higher standard and fulfill their divine calling as their hearts are motivated and changed by the love, cross, and Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then, and only then, will Christ finally have a prepared bride who can truly accomplish what we have been trying to get her to accomplish for the last 167 years (but have been thus far unsuccessful because of the tendency to fall into either ditch).

So that is my friendly appeal to my friends at GYC.

Lastly, I want to share some select quotations from the pen of inspiration that emphasize the need to lift up the love and cross of Christ in every presentation we give. I ask that you give them your prayerful consideration (I would also invite you to read the book Lessons on Faith, by A.T. Jones & E.J. Waggoner, for a good idea of how a person can truly enjoy a changed life as they live by faith):
  • The sacrifice of Christ as an atonement for sin is the great truth around which all other truths cluster. In order to be rightly understood and appreciated, every truth in the Word of God, from Genesis to Revelation, must be studied in the light that streams from the cross of Calvary. I present before you the great, grand monument of mercy and regeneration, salvation and redemption--the Son of God uplifted on the cross. This is to be the foundation of every discourse given by our ministers. (Gospel Workers, p. 315)
  • It is our duty to preach faith, to present the love of Christ in connection with the claims of the law; for neither can be rightly understood without the other. In every discourse the love of God, as manifested in Christ, the sinner's only hope, should be dwelt upon until the people realize something of its power and preciousness. If this is done as it should be, it will not be said of this people that they teach the law but do not believe in repentance, faith, and conversion. We want these subjects to be blended as God has blended them; then will the truth be presented in its completeness, not as a mere theory, but as a power that will transform the character. It will then be preached in demonstration of the Spirit and with power. Then those who have accepted the doctrines of the Bible will not be unfed; they will feel the vivifying influence of the Holy Spirit. (Gospel Workers, pp. 227, 228)
  • Ministers and people have lost much by not dwelling more continually upon the work of our Redeemer. We should contemplate the love that led Christ to give himself as a ransom for fallen man, and this amazing love should be revealed in every discourse. The sacrifice of Christ not only makes apparent his compassion for the children of men, but also makes manifest the love of the Father; and this love ought to draw all men to God. The closest relation exists between God and his people, and the ambassador of God's truth should ever represent Christ. He should exemplify, by precept and example, the love of God, that those who are instructed by him may be brought into a position where they shall receive the divine blessing. The servants of God are to be earnest, penitent, trustful, thankful. Their lives should be living epistles, known and read of all men. They should be continually looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. The subjects dwelt upon by the gospel minister will be of a character to elevate, ennoble, and sanctify the soul. The teacher of divine truth should present the necessity of close communion with God, and dependence upon the righteousness of Christ. When the minister fully realizes his own helplessness without the aid of Christ, the danger of his becoming exalted will be removed, and Christ will absorb everything; his presence will pervade the whole soul, and impress all the senses. (Signs of the Times, January 27, 1890)
  • The Lord can do little for his people, because of their limited faith. The ministers have not presented Christ in his fullness to the people, either in the churches or in new fields, and the people have not an intelligent faith. They have not been instructed as they should have been, that Christ is unto them both salvation and righteousness. The love that Christ manifested in taking human nature, in bearing insult, reproach, and the rejection of men, in suffering crucifixion on the cross, should be presented in every discourse. It is Satan's studied purpose to keep souls from believing in Christ as their only hope; for the blood of Christ that cleanseth from all sin is only efficacious in behalf of those who believe in its merit, and who present it before the Father as did Abel in his offering. (Review and Herald, September 3, 1889)
  • It is true men will say, "You are too excited; you are making too much of this matter, and you do not think enough of the law; now, you must think more of the law; don't be all the time reaching for this righteousness of Christ, but build up the law." Let the law take care of itself. We have been at work on the law until we get as dry as the hills of Gilboa, without dew or rain. Let us trust in the merits of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. (1888 Materials, p. 557)
  • In Christ is the tenderness of the shepherd, the affection of the parent, and the matchless grace of the compassionate Saviour. His blessings He presents in the most alluring terms. He is not content merely to announce these blessings; He presents them in the most attractive way, to excite a desire to possess them. So His servants are to present the riches of the glory of the unspeakable Gift. The wonderful love of Christ will melt and subdue hearts, when the mere reiteration of doctrines would accomplish nothing. . . . Tell the people of Him who is "the Chiefest among ten thousand," and the One "altogether lovely." The Song of Solomon 5:10, 16. (The Desire of Ages, pp. 826, 827)

15 comments:

Gio and Larie Marin said...

Hello Shawn,

As one who has attend the last two GYC's and three in total I can speak from personal experience. Your comments are balanced yet surely shows a "never attend" perspective. I took 11 first timers of varying spiritual maturity, the full spectrum you can say, and to a man/woman what they loved about it was that they realized there are others who actually believe and take Jesus serious. Many of our youth are surrounded by lukewarm adults, churches and Pastors and yet to them GYC is a breath of fresh air.

You are correct Christ should be the center and we as pastors and GYC should never forget that but I assure you as one who has attended and heard the testimony of various young adults in the bible study afterwards in my room Christ is front and center in the entire GYC experience. By that I mean from what is aired on tv, spoken of in breakout sessions, done in the prayer room or the countless of other small groups that spontaneously meet out of Christ love; through out the convention God's spirit is present. GYC must be evaluated as a whole and from within.

Next year it is in Houston I beseech you to come.

Once again your article was balanced, good advice but does show and lean towards a perspective of someone who has never attended which you admit. Thank you for sharing.

jse7en said...

Hi Shawn,
I agree with Gio and Larie Marin's comment. .. they expressed my experience this year at GYC, and I spoke to a few young people who told me that GYC brought them back into the church and made their faith real for the first time. GYC is filling a need, a gap in the church. It doesn't replace the church, and doesn't try to be all things, but they saw a gap and moved to fill it, and its success shows that many others were also feeling the need for such a conference.

I would agree that the message of Christ's love is the most important message, and that it is like the king in the procession. The king does not lead the procession, he is so important, he comes last. The truth that Jesus loves us comes into the heart after wrestling long enough and try desparately to live out the truth we know, that we finally submit and realize their is nothing in us that merits grace. My own testimony is that I could not understand Christ's love for me until my questions of truth were answered, and they were answered by doctrine. Then I acted on that knowledge by faith, and only then was I finally able to see His love for me in particular. I'm not saying that this is the model for everyone, but Jesus' own method of friendship, then ministering to their physical needs before asking them to follow should be used for unbelievers in the church as well as outside. In America we have a great need for truth but we often don't act on that truth until we believe it. However, the catch-22 is that we often don't believe that truth until we act on it. If we act on faith, like submitting to the health message before we believe in it's efficacy, then the mind begins to grasp things that seem counterintuitive before the experience. Your point is well taken, and I like your SOP quotes to back it up, but I will balance your view with this SOP quote:
"The message went with power in the East and extended westward until centers of influence had been established in many places. The laborers of today may not have to endure all the hardships of those early days. The changed conditions, however, should not lead to any slackening of effort. Now, when the Lord bids us proclaim the message once more with power in the East, when He bids us enter the cities of the East and of the South and of the West and of the North, shall we not respond as one man and do His bidding? Shall we not plan to send our messengers all through these fields and support them liberally? Shall not the ministers of God go into these crowded centers and there lift up their voices in warning the multitudes? What are our conferences for, if not for the carrying forward of this very work?" {9T 98.3}

I too hope you can make it to Houston next year!
God Bless
Joshua

Angelo Grasso said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lee G said...

I'm encouraged by your thoughts Angelo and Joshua! Thanks for sharing. As I have never been to a GYC but have listened and watched many of them. I'm always coming away encouraged at the messages. It seems good to me to have unity between leadership and youth. I do hope they don't try to take it over like Angelo said. It does seem to have a similar structure as the GC. (1 presidents and many vice presidents) It seems to me that you have a good point Shawn and when looking back it could seem to have that works before grace feel to it. But I'm glad that the people so far that have responded say it's different when you attend. I feel bad for Patrick who has a bad experience (via his thoughts on FB)

I found this from EGW this morning while reading in my Bible.


MS- 16, 1890
Bible Religion Means Constant Work.—Genuine faith always works by love. When you look to Calvary it is not to quiet your soul in the non-performance of duty, not to compose yourself to sleep, but to create faith in Jesus, faith that will work, purifying the soul from the slime of selfishness. When we lay hold of Christ by faith, our work has just begun. Every man has corrupt and sinful habits that must be overcome by vigorous warfare. Every soul is required to fight the fight of faith. If one is a follower of Christ, he cannot be sharp in deal, he cannot be hardhearted, devoid of sympathy. He cannot be coarse in his speech. He cannot be full of pomposity and self-esteem. He cannot be overbearing, nor can he use harsh words, and censure and condemn. {6BC 1111.4}
S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 6, p. 1111.5 (EGW)
The labor of love springs from the work of faith. Bible religion means constant work. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” We are to be zealous of good works; be careful to maintain good works. And the true Witness says, “I know thy works.” {6BC 1111.5}
S.D.A. Bible Commentary Vol. 6, p. 1111.6 (EGW)
While it is true that our busy activities will not in themselves ensure salvation, it is also true that faith which unites us to Christ will stir the soul to activity (MS 16, 1890). {6BC 1111.6}

Shawn Brace said...

Folks,

I have appreciated all of your thoughts and feedback. I am glad that many of you have had positive experiences at GYC and I am thrilled with the work that has been accomplished there. Again, I hope people consider this as simply a friendly little reminder.

Not to belabor the point, but I do not think one has to look much further than GYC's own "Spirit of GYC" statement to recognize that there seems to be a missing ingredient. This is from the GYC website (the program from this year's GYC says it a little differently, saying that these are the values that GYC is trying to promote):

The spirit of GYC is a set of statements that describes the core guiding principles of this movement. It is the heartbeat of the GYC. All participants and attendees are expected to uphold and exhibit these values.

1. A respect for Scripture – as the foundation and test of all teachings and practices
2. An appreciation for the Spirit of Prophecy – as an authoritative source of instruction, comfort, and warning
3. A quest for Biblical holiness – through a daily prayer and devotional experience with Jesus and a commitment to following His Word
4. A vibrant worship experience – one that is characterized by principle, reverence, and decorum
5. A passion for lost souls – animated by personal experience in the saving love of Jesus and a desire for His imminent return
6. A cultivation of godly relationships – preserving purity and encouraging accountability
7. An exemplary and abundant lifestyle – in recreation, entertainment, dress, and healthful living
8. An enthusiasm for service – through care for the needy, service to the community, promotion of human rights, and stewardship of the environment
9. A commitment to the Seventh-day Adventist Church as God’s remnant church – by supporting and upholding its principles, organization, and leadership
10. An attitude of humility and cordiality – as we seek to clarify, articulate, and defend the Biblical teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist church.

I can affirm and agree with all these values that they are seeking to promote, but where is the mention of the cross, the Gospel, the love of Christ? The number one value that should be promoted is to deepen attendees' appreciation for the love of Christ and the cross - unless I have a misunderstanding of what the Bible promotes (not to mention Ellen White), as well as why we have been raised up as a movement at this time in earth's history.

It is just something to think about!

Gio and Larie Marin said...

Heb 5:12 ¶ For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
Heb 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
Heb 5:14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Heb 6:1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
Heb 6:2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Heb 6:3 And this we will do if God permits.

David Beall said...

Shawn,

The GYC I attended in Sacramento, I believe back in 2004, was amazing, and one of the things that made it so incredible was the variety of sessions they had available. I attended lectures on Prophecy (with Mark Finley), Sanctification (with Dr. Samuel Pippin), Prayer & Devotional life, Overcoming Life's Trials, even one on Dinosaurs by some scientist (which was over my head, and a bit weird, but fascinating).

Included amongst all the variety were several that lifted up Jesus, my favorite being the series that David Asherick did, and it helped my walk with our savior.

I don't know if the variety that existed then is still present, but I can attest that at the one I was at there were several Christ affirming sessions mixed in with the others (all of which touched on Christ for sure).

So in short, at the buffet there was plenty of milk, along with solid food, and even lots of things in between (quiche?).

David

Team Revolution said...

Hi Shawn,
Thanks for this post. I especially appreciate two things about it:
1. You share your thoughts and concerns in the spirit of Christ.
2. You care enough about the movement to follow, even though your schedule only allows you to do so from a distance.
In short, I ultimately agree with what you've shared: we need to focus on more than just "doing." But in all fairness to anyone who preaches or seeks to organize these types of events, we can never preach the "matchless charms of Christ" enough.
Have we lacked in this area, severely? I don't know yet. I'm still processing that. This is why it has taken me so long to comment despite reading your post soon after it came out. Our "Spirit of GYC" statement should perhaps include something reflecting more clearly our love for Christ. It does mention something on the more abundant life, meaning a life like that of Christ -- full of love and service. But it's perhaps not as clear as it should be. Our mission statement doest, however, state that we yearn to have "the love of Christ for God and humanity."
None of this is in defensive mode. I don't see your post as an attack. I'm just thinking out loud.
Thanks for holding your fellow workers accountable. Keep praying for us. And keep up the great posts!
- Israel

Israel Ramos said...

Hi Shawn,
Thanks for this post. I especially appreciate two things about it:
1. You share your thoughts and concerns in the spirit of Christ.
2. You care enough about the movement to follow, even though your schedule only allows you to do so from a distance.
In short, I ultimately agree with what you've shared: we need to focus on more than just "doing." But in all fairness to anyone who preaches or seeks to organize these types of events, we can never preach the "matchless charms of Christ" enough.
Have we lacked in this area, severely? I don't know yet. I'm still processing that. This is why it has taken me so long to comment despite reading your post soon after it came out. Our "Spirit of GYC" statement should perhaps include something reflecting more clearly our love for Christ. It does mention something on the more abundant life, meaning a life like that of Christ -- full of love and service. But it's perhaps not as clear as it should be. Our mission statement doest, however, state that we yearn to have "the love of Christ for God and humanity."
None of this is in defensive mode. I don't see your post as an attack. I'm just thinking out loud.
Thanks for holding your fellow workers accountable. Keep praying for us. And keep up the great posts!
- Israel

Andreas Müller said...

Yes - thanks from Denmark for the good blog post!

Micheal Goetz said...

Hey Shawn -

I'm throwing my comment on the end of Israel's here - Thanks for keeping others accountable... I've seen GYC's passion to lift up Christ...but it's with thoughts and reflections like yours that take it to the next level... for GYC or any of us.
Much courage up there.
Micheal G.

Shawn Brace said...

Israel, et al,

Thanks for your kind feedback. I wish I could respond to all of you individually and in detail, but time does not allow me.

But thanks for your gracious thoughts and responses. May we all learn better the ways of Christ, as we seek to lift Him up!

F Moor said...

Dear Shawn,

After reading your post and all of the other responses I am encouraged on the one hand that there is recognition that we need a better balance between "law" and "grace".

One respondent mentioned that "Our "Spirit of GYC" statement should perhaps include something reflecting more clearly our love for Christ."

Here is the issue: It is NOT "our love for Christ" that needs more emphasis. This is already being emphasized, leaving a void in the Divine motivation that is so needed. What is needed is a greater emphasis on God's love for us in Christ! This will motivate change and more love for Him.

Another thing, often I hear too much specific "interpretation and application" of the law that makes one feel that the speaker's view of things is the ONLY way to understand God's Word. This particular "monolithic" approach that reflects only one understanding within the broader boundaries of the Seventh-day Adventist faith statements, is damaging to the freedom and respect we should have for one another under the guiding work of the Holy Spirit. It is too tempting to become the Holy Spirit in another's life. Wouldn't it be more helpful to speak of the principles of our standards and let the Holy Spirit convict us on how He would want us to apply those principles. Spoon feeding people like this only makes for immature, rule oriented, and dependent followers of the human agent who has so specifically defined the principles, that it becomes a replacement for the Holy Spirit's work in our lives.

We need to have a living relationship with Christ Himself and not a substitute relationship through mere "behavioralism." This does not mean that specifics cannot be pointed out as illustrations of the principles, perhaps. But to leave the impression that unless one is doing things as interpreted by a particular person or that it is to be applied to all situations, when it might not apply that way, based on the context, is really misleading to those who need to be guided by the Word, the Spirit, and the Spirit of Prophecy themselves.

This is just a concern that I have observed from some of the presentations I've heard.

F Moor

John S (Jake) said...

Greetings to all,
Believe it's vital to closely examine the GYC standards as Shawn points out (just so you know, do not know him). Hopefully can look "objectively." ... Read an article on "legal justification" today by Paul E. Penno called "The Cross Justifies the existence of all life". Yes, it's theological, but it warmed my heart to no end. ... Point being, GYC has some lofty goals, I commend that whole heartily and emphatically believe it. I believe what seems to be left out with all our doings, is the "faith OF Jesus" (His faith-- His doings), I'm from an athiestic abusive upbringing, after years of trying to "keep the standards" (heavily emphasized for GYC), I gave up TILL I saw Romans 3 and 5 (two Adams), and Christ's true humanity, which made me weep like a baby. Then "seeing" the gospel, the standards become Christ's life living in my heart. I have so much more to say, sorry for going on. blessings to all.

Fabian said...

How wonderful it is to find a youth program (GYC) which has only a tiny loophole for criticism. We need more programs like this (without the loophole) for our youths.

I believe though that the author, being a person who has never attended GYC, is somewhat caught up in the "letter of GYC" rather than the "spirit". People do the same with the Ten Commandments today and the Seventh-day Adventist church on a whole. Jesus is not mentioned in the Ten Commandments. Yet we know that their primary purpose is to lead one to the love of Christ. People who has never been to an Adventist church like to write articles about Adventist placing do much emphasis on the "letter of the law".

I would submit though that a clear statement should be included in the 'letter of GYC' that all roads lead to John 3:16 and a bible-based life in Christ.

The author is a pastor, the anointed of the Lord, one whose work I thank God for. So I thank God for all he is doing, even to bring this loophole to the forefront to make the best better.