Why is the Society not wholly supporting NY13 at this time?
An Open Letter To Those Responsible For The Formation Of:
Mission To The Cities - Comprehensive Urban Evangelism
First, the Society Of Medical Evangelists recognizes and is very thankful that our church leaders have finally come together in a concerted effort to plan the work for the church and are setting programs in place intended to mobilize our church members to get involved in a work for their fellowmen. This kind of planning is precisely what it is going to take to finish the work of the gospel to all the earth.
S.O.M.E. has reviewed the plan introduced by our church leaders, entitled: Mission To The Cities - Comprehensive Urban Evangelism, beginning with NY13.
This plan, i.e. Mission To The Cities..., gives the appearance of a sincere divinely directed effort, but upon closer examination of this plan reveals a strange amalgamation of Christ's method of labor, man's interpretation of it and man's ideas of how it is to be done.
The Mission To The Cities plan seems to be touching all the bases except home-base because the plan lacks the critical call necessary to take us home. This plan is indeed 'comprehensive' and sounds very sophisticated. It looks very nice on paper and it seems doable but it does lack character. The work of the gospel medical missionary is underestimated and misunderstood, which is evident from their evangelistic planning.
"Our ministers are to work on the gospel plan of ministering...." WM 139
"Every city is to be entered by workers trained to do medical missionary work."7T. 59
This plan is clearly an evangelically based formulated plan in which the gospel of the third angel is not there the great leading power! This is why the medical missionary workers are not given their rightful place in this massive effort to reach the cities of the world.
We, The Society Of Medical Evangelists, also recognize that gospel medical missionary evangelists were literally cut out of this 'comprehensive' urban evangelism. We could not wholly support this plan even if we wanted to because we function as the right of the third angel's message and not the right hand of the Mission To The Cities but of the third angel's message. Thus without the third angel's message the medical evangelist is useless.
The plan does mention something about health work but places no real emphasis on the critical key role that medical missionaries are to play in the pioneering of this plan, if it is to have 'true' success in reaching the people. This is one reason why we know that the leading power of the gospel of the third angel is not present.
"It [the medical missionary work]' is a part of the gospel message, and must receive recognition. It is the heaven-ordained means of finding entrance to the hearts of people."MM 241.
"Henceforth medical missionary work is to be carried forward with an earnestness with which it has never yet been carried. This work is the door through which the truth is to find entrance to the large cities."9T 167.
There is no substitution for medical missionary work in reaching the hearts of the people in the cities. They have invented many gimmicks, many promotional devices,... well meaning things but nothing will ever take the place of, 'the heaven-ordained means of finding entrance to the hearts of the people.'
There is much emphasis on the words 'care' and 'compassion' in connection with following 'Christ's Method Alone.' However, can our leaders honestly expect the church to care for perfect strangers and many hardened in sin and vice, when it's not our habit to care for our very own? Isn't that a bit hypocritical?
Should we not first gain some experience in providing especially for our own, even those of the household of faith along with doing good for everyone not of our faith? Can we not see the need for a revival of true godliness among us? A revival of true godliness among us would more than prepare us for Mission To The Cities if such revival was, in spirit and in truth, made our first work.
There is also mention of "revival" as if hoping that the use of the term revival will serve to bring vitality back into our dead churches. What revival are they speaking about? Is a revival the very first thing that needs to take place or is revival 'thrown' in the plan as part of what they are hoping to happen?
The real tragedy about this plan is that it was not conceived or brought forth out of a revival of true godliness among us but was hatched independent of meeting our greatest and most urgent need. This is what will make such planning a positive failure from the onset. Will success attend the implementation of this plan? Certainly, but not 'true' success, which only will follow a revival of true godliness among us.
Remember that the primary objective of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church is the vindication of the holy character of Jehovah God, which is impossible at this time without first meeting the greatest and most urgent of all our needs - a revival of true godliness among us. The meeting of the greatest and most urgent of all our needs would ultimately result in the final and total accomplishment of our secondary objective - global evangelism.
Our Present Evangelistic Approach, As Seventh-Day Adventists Does Not Follow Gospel Order!
1. For instance, "Mission To The Cities - Comprehensive Urban Evangelism" by our GC has bypassed our greatest and most urgent need as a Church, i.e. a revival of true godliness among us, to focus on the Church's secondary objective - global evangelism.
We are putting the cart before the horse. We are putting the world's need before the Church's need. We are putting community service before unity among us. We are putting global evangelism before godly living.
2. Mission To The Cities - Comprehensive Urban Evangelism fails to first revive among us the medical missionary work in connection with the third angel's message and re-establish genuine unity between the gospel ministers and the medical missionary workers, which would ultimately call for the equipping of all our church members to do medical missionary work.
Remember that the medical missionary work is the pioneer work of the gospel- the third angel's message. While professing to follow 'Christ's Method Alone' they are, in reality, denying it. Christ's method alone, demands that all the workers be like Him and follow His example, Who was the greatest medical missionary the world has ever known.
3. To follow Christ's method alone means that every member of the church needs to take hold of the medical missionary work. The fact that, Mission To The Cities does not see the need to equip every church member to be a medical missionary evangelist suggests that the third angel's message, in it's fullness will not be given to these cities.And how are we to work the cities from the cities? Are we to work the cities by living in them? That is another problem all by itself. Thus the whole plan of Mission To The Cities is a massive promotion of the form of godliness on steroids!
What About Those Who Are Now Going Door To Door Witnessing, Colporteuring And Such Like? How Does The Society Feel About That?
First and foremost, these are not medical missionary evangelists and are not working as medical missionaries. Therefore they are not imitating Christ in their work, thus they are not taking the best approach designed to reveal Christ.
These are not following Christ's method alone. For example, Christ did more healing than preaching. The healing work or health reform work must first be evident among God's people in order to demonstrate it in the surrounding community. Therefore, we cannot achieve 'true' success without such a witness.
These are working at risk to themselves by ignoring the possibility of 'Achans' in the camp. They are working in a way that does not guarantee God's protection. Going door to door or street witnessing while neglecting to first deal with 'Achans' in the camp is presumption.
The way or manner in which these are working is not calculated to reproduce in them the character of Christ or to restore the moral image of Christ in the soul.
The Church, in life and character does not support the truth they are sharing. We are preaching the gospel without the needed collective witness of the church body.
Their work of bringing new souls into the truth will most likely be counteracted by the unconverted in the Church. The evangelistic effort to bring 'hot' souls into a 'lukewarm' environment is counter-productive, to say the least.
They are not following gospel order. While these are doing a good work, they are not doing the best work in the best way, and certainly not in the order in which we were counseled to work.
All of this is due to the fact that these are not making a revival of true godliness among us their first work.
The Society's Concern About Our Present Outreach Evangelistic Efforts
The gospel workers have failed to address the greatest and most urgent of all our needs.
By neglecting to first initiate or achieve a revival of true godliness among us, we have chosen to deny the power that is necessary to attend the work and carry it to its completion.
By ignoring the Church's greatest and most urgent need, we have disqualified ourselves from providing the most effective witness needed to convince the world of sin, righteousness and judgment.
By failing to recognize and meet the greatest and most urgent of all our needs, we have reversed the order in which we are instructed to work and thus have in effect denied the faith of Jesus and are worst than unbelievers.
By now you should realize that everything that The Society Of Medical Evangelists is saying is related to making a revival of true godliness among us our first work!