More Than Rest

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt is always a blessing when one of our regional conference officials worships with us, and the recent visit by Secretary Terrell McCoy was no exception-for not only would he speak that morning, but would return for an afternoon seminar.

His Sabbath message began with his acknowledgement of Berean’s elimination of debt campaign. “Elimination of debt in our churches is as essential as is our lives,” he emphasized. From there he announced his sermon with its captivating title “More Than Rest.” Even though McCoy directed us to Matthew 11:28-30, it didn’t take long for us to realize his was going to be a different approach to Sabbath observance. “There is danger in just resting; Sabbath is more than just rest; Sabbath is about relationships beginning with our relationship with Mother Earth and how a blessed land is a productive land.” He then startled most by stating “We can break the Sabbath on any day, not just Sabbath.” Utilizing an analogy of his approaching 34th wedding anniversary, he emphasized how important it was for him to demonstrate daily his love for his wife Beverly as opposed to waiting for their anniversary or some other momentous event. The point was that how we spend our time prior to Sabbath is as significant as the day itself- a day of celebration with our Mother Earth, not just one day a week, but 360 days a year. He continued with “And of course, the most important relationship is the one we have with our maker as recorded in Exodus 20:2 and Revelation 21:3 ‘…the tabernacle of God is with men and He shall dwell with them….’ “

The afternoon seminar “Homosexuality and Its Impact on Religious Liberty” focused on how our denomination’s stance on homosexuality is ultimately going to result in local and national sanctions against our places of worship, institutions of higher learning, medical facilities, and other programs where we have received scholarships and exemption status. McCoy went on to share excerpts from articles on penalties that have been directed toward some of the church’s programs because of its Biblical position on same-sex marriages. “Proponents of the homosexual agenda are arguing that ‘equality for all’ is their focal point and that the Seventh-day Adventist church’s fundamental belief that marriage is solely between a man and a woman is contrary to that agenda. We are being portrayed as haters.” To the delight of his audience, throughout his presentation, McCoy allowed for an interactive exchange of ideas and experiences. But in the end, it was the solutions that made the most impact: “Like never before, we need Christian education or home schooling for our children; we must persevere in right doing as others persevere in wrong doing; we must support religious liberty, and above all, must pray like never before.” We thank Secretary McCoy for his enlightening presentation and pray we will follow his admonition.    Thank you, Pastor Davis, for inviting him.

 

BEREAN OF BATON ROUGE

Evelyn M. Edwards

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