Adventism in the New Millennium– Survival

Speaker: Categories: Feb 13, 1999


[49min, 10sec / 36min, 41sec]


SURVIVAL! Not growth, church planting, missions expansion, but SURVIVAL! Not Net'99, not tithe reversion, not celebration-style versus traditional service, BUT SURVIVAL!!

The concept is rather foreign to Adventist thinking. For the most part, it has been assumed, almost guaranteed, that the movement which was divinely blessed a century and a half ago would continue as an ever expanding force untoall the worldand thenwould the end come.

So, to pose the quest ion:“What will it take to survive?” is not part of our Adventist mind-set. For some, even to ask the question may be labeled as evidence of a total lack of faith -- of the way in which the Lord has led in the past. For others, such a quest ion is timely, in fact, long over due! How do you see the issue?

Dr. Frank Knittel contends:“A host of worldwide phenomena have demanded adjustments of all systems in all countries within the past half century: reorganization of national boundaries, emergence of crime syndicates as world players, political upheavals, scandals within religious organizations, dramatic turning to eastern religions, ethnic divergence in American churches, agitation about corporate church expenditures, completely new music scene, challenge to corporate church authority, increased contrast between “liberals” and “conservatives,” and a growing disinclination to be bound by a body of beliefs whichhave been based more upon interpretation of prophecy than upon the clear teachings of Jesus as found in the Gospels. All of this has affected Adventism in noticeable ways, to say nothing of the serious challenges to the authenticity of Ellen White and some SDA beliefs strongly supported by her.”

He then promises:“My talk will focus on all the foregoing and how our church needs to address these issues in preaching, in the church press, and in church organization. We will specifically discuss churchauthorityas a factor which should come from the bottom up rather than from the top down. We will also discuss the failure of our primary paper,Adventist Review, to deal with truly significant issues. Presently it now is mainly a promotional publication designed to bolster corporately established beliefs rather than a forum for open and frank discussion on all sides of an issue. The so-calledissueswhich are discussed in most church publications are almost entirely quite devoid of spiritual significance and thus serve no purpose other than rhetorical inquiry.”


To mention that Dr. Frank Knittel has adiversifiedbackground may be a gross understatement! Consider, for instance, elementary teacher/principal (Plaquemine Louisiana); United States naval officer; Dean of Men (Campion Academy, Colorado); teacher (Enterprise Academy, Kansas); teacher and College Professor of English, La Sierra University; and owner, until just two years ago, of the world's largest volume Kawasaki dealership! A California native, born and raised in a staunchly German family, he learned English in el school s in Dinuba, Madera, and Chowchilla. He completed his bachelor's degree at Union College, Lincoln, Nebraska, and his Ph.D., focusing on Medieval Languages (Anglo Saxon, Middle English Gothic, Old Norse, and Old French) at the University of Colorado.

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