EVANGELISM

Includes three articles

Resolution on World Evangelism

Our evangelists around the world will read with, interest and inspiration this resolution on world evangelism. It was brought to the Autumn Council from a very representative committee. L. K. Dickson, vice-president of the General Conference, was the chairman; and W. R. Beach, president of the Southern European Division, was the secretary. After a wholesome and illuminating discussion a smaller subcommittee was organized to draft a resolution that would crystallize the discussion. The work of this group was not done in a hurry. Its suggestions were studied and re vised by the full committee several times before being presented to the council.

Every section of this resolution indicates a forward move, and when it was presented to the full council many, including the General Conference president, spoke from their hearts in an earnest appeal that somehow our work could be so conducted as to permit our ministerial force to enter more directly into definite soul winning. As this call to evangelism goes out to the field, and men begin to work within the framework of this resolution, we are confident that it will mark the beginning of a new day, especially in some areas of our world field. The enthusiastic response on the part of administrators, departmental leaders, and evangelists alike was heartening, but to translate this resolution into reality calls for wisdom, patience, determination, and a willingness to make the adjustments in our plans that will permit of its being carried out in fact as well as in spirit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                R. A. A.

Call to Evangelism

These are staggering times. Millions face Christ or chaos! They live in the shadow of impending doom. Many are in the valley of decision. In the cities, on the highways, across great expanses of countryside, and in lands afar millions on the brink of eternity have not heard the Advent message.

The Spirit of prophecy declares:

"Now is the time for the last warning to be given. . . . All are now deciding their eternal des tiny. . . . Decided efforts should be made to bring the message for this time prominently before the people; The third angel is to go forth with great power.'" Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 16.

"In this country and in foreign countries the cause of present truth is to make more rapid advancement than it has made. . . . "They [our people] must go as far and as fast as possible, with a determination to do the very things that the Lord has said should be done. . . . The world must hear the warning message." Evangelism, pp. 18, 19.

We believe the time has come for the fulfillment of this prediction by the messenger of the Lord:

"Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given." The Great Controversy, p. 612

This is the time for the church of the living God to go forward in unity and in the fellowship of service. The "everlasting gospel" must go now to "every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." Rev. 14:6. To this we pledge our lives and our all in renewed dedication. We come to the cross repentant sinners; we leave it exultant wit nesses. And we sound a solemn call to the world church and ministry to unite with us in this last- hour experience. Mantled with the promised power, we shall cause the glory of God to shine forth to the ends of the earth.

WHEREAS, This call to evangelism brings the Advent Movement face to face with God's last summons to universal action; and,

WHEREAS, Every resource in men and means must be harnessed now and utilized to the very best advantage, so that "terrible as an army with banners" we can "be strong and do exploits" with a maximum efficiency and success,

We recommend, 1. That division, union, and local field committees proceed immediately to survey their territories and to marshal their forces with a view to organizing an over-all program of integrated evangelism by which the total strength of the ministry, the activities of every department, and the resources of every institution shall be focused on soul-winning fruitage.

2. That local fields organize yearly institutes under the direction of the president and the depart mental secretaries at which this program of integrated evangelism can be developed, soul-winning techniques presented, and church leaders trained more efficiently, and thereby allow ministers to devote their major time and interest to leadership of public evangelism and to rallying the church, the Sabbath school, and the youth in concerted action.

3. That we encourage union and local commit tees to occasionally invite experienced evangelists to meet with them in counsel.

4. That when and where practicable, executive committees and boards arrange the duties of all credentialed and licensed workers so that they can conduct, or be associated with, at least one public effort yearly.

5. That an ever-increasing evangelistic mold be placed on our colporteur work, and that colporteur evangelists be encouraged to cooperate with ministers in soul winning by preparing the field with literature prior to a public evangelistic campaign, by reporting names and addresses of those who have purchased literature in the area, and by personally inviting to the meetings those who have manifested an interest in the message.

6. That every Seventh-day Adventist church be organized as an evangelistic center in which a year- round program of public evangelism is carried forward by either the conference worker or trained laymen, and that unless a major evangelistic effort is conducted in the vicinity, the lights be on in our churches each Sunday evening where a consistent evangelistic program can be conducted.

7. That the responsible leaders in local, union, and division fields keep this program of expanding evangelism constantly before their committees, workers, and churches, informing them of progress made in achieving the objective.

WHEREAS, The best ministerial talent of the church must be encouraged to think evangelism, plan evangelism, and remain in public evangelism as a lifework,

We recommend, I. That yearly workers' meetings be organized in such a way that a definite part of such meetings shall be reserved for a planned consideration of public evangelism and its problems.

2. That study be given to the organization, on the local, union, or division level, of special evangelistic teams, for larger city evangelism, in which evangelistic workers of experience can continue with unchanging service, and that the assignments of these teams be worked out on a long-range basis, and thus make better and more satisfactory planning possible for this evangelistic personnel.

3. That the program of public evangelism be kept before the church as the essential activity to which all other activities must be contributory, care being taken lest it be overshadowed by other denominational undertakings or programs.

4. That recognition be given to experienced evangelists called to leadership of teams on a union or division level that will classify them along with other workers who carry major responsibility in conference leadership.

5. That union and local fields give study to a plan for making regular financial provision to enable evangelistic workers to secure and protect essential evangelistic equipment.

6. That, as far as is practicable, each union field be invited to send one evangelist of experience to the biennial division council, and the General Conference Ministerial Association Advisory Committee meet, with as full attendance as possible, in connection with each General Conference session, the purpose of these arrangements being to provide for a general survey of our evangelistic endeavors and to maintain bright and high our evangelistic ideals and devotion.

An African Concept of God

W. P. BRADLEY: General Conference Associate Secretary

A short time ago in Accra, Pastor J. O. Gibson lent me a book that presents an African delineation of God that is remarkably like the concept of God found in the Scriptures. This book, The Akan Doctrine of God, by J. B. Danquah, Ph.D. (Lutterworth Press, London, 1944), deals with the nature of God as found in the Akan division of the Ashanti race of West Africa, and from its pages I recorded a few notes.

"The most used name of God in Akanland is Onyame, often pronounced Nyame, and modern anthropologists say He is a sky God. I am convinced from Internal evidence that the appellation is misleading and does little credit to Nyame Himself." Page 30.

"The other evidence obtainable from Christaller unmistakably shows to my mind, that Onyame or Nyame is derived from the word onyam, which means glory, majesty, grace." Page 37.

Another form of the name of God is Nyanko- pon, and concerning this the author says:

"My own view is as already stated: Nyankopon is correctly and most obviously derived from Onyame and koro, from biako, one; and from pon, great, such that the entire name means by etymology, 'The Only Great Onyame,' 'The Only Great Shining One,' or 'He who alone is of the Greatest Bright ness.' " Page 45.

Other names of God Nyankopon with their respective meanings, as given by Dr. Danquah, are:

1. Brekyirihunuade, That is, the All-knowing or Omniscient.

2. Abommubuwafre, A Consoler or Comforter that gives salvation.

3. Nyaamanekose, He in whom you confide troubles.

4. Tetuvaframue, He who endures forever.

5. Oboadu, He who created the Thing.

6. Opanyin, Prince, Grandee, Chief, Elder, Sovereign of all.

7. Nana, The Grand Ancestor.

The full title of God for religious purposes is Nana Nyankopon Kwaame, which means, "The Great Ancestor Nyankopon whose day is Saturday."

Here is introduced a most surprising feature, the connecting of the name of God with Saturday, and in elaboration of that aspect we are told:

"Rattrey was one of the first to recognize that the Akan have a particular name for the God of religion, who is called 'He of Saturday,' Nyankopon, Kwaame. . . , The God of religion is ... called 'He of Saturday," either because He is supposed to have been born on Saturday or that Saturday is the appropriate day for His worship." Page 43.

Concerning the use of the natal day, the explanation is that "it is each person's godly or religious day." Page 47. The common word for Saturday is Memenda, but the male natal form is Kwaame.

"Corresponding to each person's natal day name is his attribute or secret name, by which he is addressed on the talking drums or on the horns, and at religious ceremonies. Thus (1) Kwasi ('He of Sunday') is known as Bodua, 'Tail of the Beast' . . . and (7) Kwaami (Saturday) is Atoapoma, 'Ever-ready Shooter,' and also Otanankaduro, 'Master of Ser pents' Antidote.' " Pages 47, 48.

Naturally, our evangelists in this area make good use of this name of God, "He of Saturday," when presenting the Bible truths about the true God.

"Doom-cried to Apathy"

HELEN F. SMITH: Assistant Secretary, General Conference Bureau of Press Relations

Are Seventh-day Adventist ministers guilty of preaching a message of alarm that was attention catching in the rosy, comfortable days of the 1920's but is in danger of being lost in today's chorus of doom?

Robert C. Ruark, newspaper columnist, raises a question that might well be cause for soul searching by the minister, who must understand the prevalent psychological modes of his time if he is to reach his audience.

Ruark inquires whether the American public is not "a little over-communicated, to where our powers of reception have been semi-drowned in an inundation of sensation. . . .

"The poised ax of imminent disaster has always been a forceful tool, and has been lavishly brandished by the exhorters, whether they be politicians or preachers, hucksters or even wives with a point to make. The threat is a tricky weapon, and the words 'if you don't do such-and-such, so-and-so will happen' are rubbed slick with hard usage.

"But it is possible to threaten too much, too often, and too wildly, so that the keen edge blunts and the harsh impact is reduced to a tickle. The American people are in that stage today. We have been threatened right down to lethargy, doom-cried to apathy. This has been made possible by our vast network of communication the devices by which the crisis of the moment, no matter where it occurs, is swiftly transmitted to the home of every man."

Fear has no power to save. Only divine love can break the sin-hardened heart and bring it in contrition to the foot of the cross.

Shall we not draw a heart-hungry, distraught world to Christ by witnessing to the love that glows within our own hearts, by speaking of the blessed hope of His soon coming that "buoys our spirits up"?

Are advertisements that proclaim Coming A World Famine! . . . D-Day Is Coming Will It Be Doomsday? . . . Armageddon . . . HELL! . . . Russia and Atomic Power . . . Thunder Over Korea . . . appealing to the deep longing that is in men's hearts for a personal faith?

Few today need to be convinced of the imminence of disaster. Radio, newsreels, television, and the daily newspaper force their ominous evidence upon weary, gloom-surfeited minds. Their reluctance to hear what must seem to them only another prophet of doom is understandable.

In the resurgence of Protestant revivalism which is portrayed in many magazine articles and books, and in the unprecendented accessions to Catholicism, is reflected the growing urgency of the world's search for certainty.

Shall we not lift up Christ in every sermon, every written line, revealing Him in all His loveliness in the light of Bible truth?

If we are to do so, we must find fulfillment in our own personal lives of the truth that "the gospel we present for the saving of souls must be the gospel by which our own souls are saved."

 


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December 1952

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