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Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) Origins
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Submitted: Jan 20, 2011

A recent issue of the Adventist Review [AR] (January 13, 2011), ran a three-page interview with the current president of what is currently known as Generation of Youth for Christ [GYC]. The original name was General Youth Conference [also GYC], which was changed after complaints that the name implied sponsorship by the General Conference.

In the questions posed and answers given, we can view a myth being developing right before our eyes:

AR Question: "GYC didn‘t grow out of some administrator's strategic vision . . . did it?"

GYC Answer: "No, you're right: it didn't come about that way. It began with a handful of young people, all about the age of 18, talking and praying one evening about a need they sensed for an organization that would challenge them to really live out their faith."

Fact: The GYC was born in, initially financed and coordinated by the actions of individuals employed by the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists well known to be headed by the most conservative, even reactionary, conference president in North America who supports the most reactionary programs and individuals in the church.

If someone is interested in understanding the reality behind the GYC, all one has to do is to obtain a copy of the GYC IRS Form 990 which is a public document and which every non-profit is required to file annually. For example, on page 4 of the return for 2007, there is a listing of the contributions to the GYC for the years 2003 through 2006. The total income was $1,365,044! And this is for a student initiated, student led organization! Remarkable. (I will resist the impulse to comment that if you believe the "student initiated, student led myth," I have this bridge I would like to sell . . . . But I said I will resist the temptation.)

AR Question: "Some other youth ministries have voiced criticism of GYC, claiming that it's just an outlet for dissident conservatives. What do you say to those critics?"

GYC Answer: "This movement [GYC] isn't "conservative"--it's Adventist; it's centered on the bible; it's right in the center of God's will for His remnant church."

Fact: To say that the GYC isn't conservative is like saying that the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) isn't racist, it's advancing Americanism, it's centered on the Constitution, and it's in the center of what all patriotic people want for their country.

AR Question: "Tell me about the relationship between GYC and church leaders."

GYC Answer: "We're meeting and interacting with top church leaders . . . Church leaders genuinely want our input . . . "

Fact: Prior to the election of Ted Wilson, the GYC was viewed for what it actually was--a well-financed means to advance fundamentalist North American Adventism supported by well-known very conservative and even reactionary forces who also support and advance the Adventist Theological Society. With his election, there has been a rapid change. The agenda of the GYC has been embraced by the new GC leadership and now is being pushed by the current editor of the AR.

Look for a number of additional articles in the Adventist Review over the next few years continuing to build the myth of the great virtues of the GYC.


Comments

Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 20th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"The total income was $1,365,044"

Such amazing entrepreneurship of 18-yr. old students should be written up in a national newspaper! Such fund raising equals what many conferences (excepting Michigan) would love to have.

Ah, the creative impressions given by the official Adventist Review!



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 20th, 2011 laffal says:

FACT:

ASI had a vital part of the initiation of the GYC, which speaks to the funding question. If you look at the Board of Directors, you will find as many half are listed as working in private sector business.

Peace



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 21st, 2011 geoffmarsh says:

And GYC is a great threat because...?

I've been to GYC, and I've been to GODENCOUNTERS, and I've been spiritually blessed by both events. I believe that both ministries are advancing God's work, and I don't think that any motives should be read into either of their actions by persons with their own agenda. You may have your valid concerns Dr. Taylor; but articles like this are more about innuendo than valid concerns.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 21st, 2011 BillCork says:

There are multiple issues here. One is Erv's fear and loathing of conservative Christianity. The other is the question of the agenda of GYC, upon which he offers speculation. The third is the facts that he has uncovered of their initial funding, which demonstrates that it is not a grass roots student driven initiative. This last piece should have appeared in AT as a news article first, then Erv could have speculated on its meaning to his heart's content.

There are issues that concern me about GYC that have little to do with its theology.

First and foremost is its relationship to the church. Oh, it has taken to inviting big name speakers from the GC. But does it ask the local conference's permission to hold an event? Does it work with the local conference in planning the event? Does it reach out to local pastors in the city? Has it done this in any of the places GYC has been held? As a pastor in Houston, where the next one is to be held, I am curious. I've written to a couple of GYC leaders about this concern and have not gotten a response. I plan to write more in my next AT column.

The most important theological question is not whether it is "conservative." It is whether GYC presents law or gospel. Is it a pre-1888 version of Adventism that's being pushed? See Shawn Brace's article:


http://newenglandpastor.blogspot.com/2011/01/friendly-appeal-to-my-friends-at-gyc.html



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 21st, 2011 arxadelphia says:

I wonder what Ignatius of Loyola would think of GYC? Would he see parallels with the Jesuits, conservative reformers of Catholicism? Do the powers battling within Adventism echo the conflicts between the Reformation and its Counter Reformation of several centuries ago?


Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 21st, 2011 David C. Read says:

Bill, I doubt you are encountering the same situation in Houston, in the Texas Conference, but the official church in Southern California is such that I would tend to trust an independent ministry much more readily than I would anything within the conference structure.

The situation here is that there is no doctrinal or moral discipline among the paid clergy. Everyone does and preaches whatever seems right in his own eyes, and often it has little connection with Adventist beliefs. So, based upon my experience with the official church over the last few years, GYC's independence is a huge plus, not a minus.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 21st, 2011 Shawn Brace says:

Your first point seems to be a huge non sequiter. That a 2007 IRS Form shows $1 million of income from 2003-2007 leads you to conclude that it was not started by a "handful of young people" in 2001? Perhaps you can help me understand . . . .

I am sorry that you think it a worth while venture to spend your valuable time digging up IRS documents from a movement that is trying to carry out the mission of classic Adventism.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 21st, 2011 Sean_R says:

I'm glad Dr. Taylor raised these questions regarding the financing of GYC. If he'll (or anyone else) take a closer look at the 990 forms, he'll note that the vast majority (well over 80%) of the funds received by GYC have come from "membership dues." In other words, the registration fees paid by the thousands of young people who attend GYC every year. So yes, GYC is student and youth initiated. More than that, however, it is student and youth funded.

I just recently had the opportunity to meet several of the individuals who started GYC. They were primarily college kids. You'd be encouraged to hear the stories of how they personally sacrificed to fund GYC, putting the expenses of the early conferences on personal credit cards. No big-time funders, just a group of motivated, inspired young people.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 21st, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

The figures supplied by Erv equal $341k each year, which means the kids (average age 18?) have great credit to borrow this amount. Depending on how many contributors, it still is a rather large sum for mostly college-age kids without much income. How many people contributed to this fund? How much from ASI? Was the money contributed considered tithe?



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 22nd, 2011 Tom says:

I take strong exception to your taking this swipe at GYC. My daughter went to two of these conferences, and was not only throughly blessed but the experience has staying power. I've seen too many youth rallies that were christianity Lite. Lots of loud music, a passer- by would think it a rock concert, shallow preaching founded on feel good religion and nominal committment.

Never underestimate the initiative and vision of youth committed to a cause. This church was founded by young people in the mid 1800's. There is no limit to what can be done when a spirit of "all on the altar of sacrifice is laid" prevails.

Do I think GYC could use a few more voices of moderation? Absolutely. I would like to see people like Lee Venden and George Knight invited to address one of their rallies. One thing is obvious to me, these young people are dead serious about having a covanent relationsip with Jesus that goes beyond the fluff and half baked stuff that has been dished out to them in recent years.

The pendulum has swung in 50 years from legalism to nominalism, where a relationship with Jesus has been lowered to minimum daily requirement thinking. Just about anything passes these days as a relationship. Two people shack up and they claim to have a relationship, when in reality all they have is an arrangement. Jesus wants more than just a convenient arrangement with us. He wants all of our heart and these young people at CYC have tapped into that.

 


Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 22nd, 2011 Sean_R says:

My comment about putting conference expenses on personal credit cards was in reference to the early days when GYC was just getting started. The conference then was much smaller, attracted fewer people, and had far lower expenses. Again, I encourage anyone with questions to look at the 990 forms closely. You'll see that the vast, vast majority of the income GYC receives is from "membership dues." And again, these dues are the registration fees paid by attendees. The annual conferences are directly funded by the young people who attend them. If you have doubts, do a little calculation. Take the average registration cost (somewhere around $150) and multiply it by the number of registered attendees (around 5,000 this past year). You'll quickly realize that GYC does not need to be financed by, as Dr. Taylor calls them, the "reactionary" elements in the church (I do, of course, take issue with whom he qualifies as reactionary).

When significant questions are raised, they deserve answers. Unfortunately, I'm saddened to see the noble efforts of some of the church's most dedicated young people the victim of misinformation. I'm sure Dr. Taylor simply didn't have all the facts when he wrote this blog post.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 22nd, 2011 guibox says:

From Tom

" I've seen too many youth rallies that were christianity Lite. Lots of loud music, a passer- by would think it a rock concert, shallow preaching founded on feel good religion and nominal committment."

Are some things like Acquire the Fire and other youth rallies the way to go? No I don't think so. Some of these 'praise conferences' can be merely be a CCM concert. I've seen some of my students come back from these worship conferences so 'high' for God, only to come crashing down from this high and back to business as usual. There is no meat. No foundation. Our kids don't need this cotton candy fluff Christianity.

However, neither do they need close minded, doctrinally pure, conservative, apologetic brainwashing either. Judging their Christianity by what they eat, drink, wear and watch, by how good they can recite, believe and promote the SDA 28 FBs will also leave them empty. Worse, it may leave them jaded and bitter when the reality of error in what they believe comes crashing through.

What our youth need is a revival of loving Christianity and a healthy dose of the good news of the Reformation of the gospel displayed through love. They need to understand that change comes through surrender to Christ daily and service to others. What they don't need is pagan feel good philosophy or blind apologism.

Darrell C




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 22nd, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

What is included in the $150 registration fee? Housing, meals? or just attendance at the sessions? Two or three nights?

 

Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 22nd, 2011 Israel Ramos says:

Wow. ET, you should seriously consider a job with the National Enquirer. Your research skills are beyond elementary. To conclude that GYC is a Michigan Conference funded event because of the budget is ridiculous.

I am the founder of GYC. I started it with my friend Justin. Our first conference was held when we were 22. I was at Andrews and he was at Brandies. Our first budget was around 50k. Call Pines Springs Ranch and ask them who paid for the conference.

When we held our next conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan donated 1 or 2k.

Our operating expenses are covered through registration. Is it incredible that college students were able to pull that off? You underestimate too much.

To me, it's more incredible that a person with a PhD has such poor research abilities. Don't let your hatred for the movement cause you to be questionable in how you seek to discredit organizations. GYC was and continues to function and exist on the support of young people. Let that be a lesson to you -- you're on the wrong side theologically and generationally. How old is your average reader?

Elaine, I would answer your questions. But seriously, it's more amusing to look at how far and crazy people will go with the conclusions they draw based on misinformation.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 22nd, 2011 Israel Ramos says:

Elaine, I agree with you. if you contact the national paper, I'll do the interview. Let me give you our secret to fundraising: give the young people something worthwhile, and they'll sacrifice a lot of cash. In honesty, I too am blown away by the success. God is good. Real good.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 22nd, 2011 Ervin Taylor says:

Mr. Ramos:

Thank you very much for posting your response. It is always helpful to obtain more than one perspective on any controversial topic.

I would appreciate it if you could contact me directly through email to erv.taylor@atoday.com so that I might obtain additional information from someone who was present at the beginning of the GYC movement.

I'm confident that the editor of Adventist Today would be interested in running a story about GYC and would want to include a wide range of opinions.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 22nd, 2011 klriley says:

I don't think it really matters who funds GYC, or who supports them. In the end they will be judged on what they do or don't achieve, and the effect they have on local churches. I don't see the point of looking for conspiracy theories. The conservative/ultraconservative wing of the church has been very open about their agenda: they plan to take back the church stolen from them in the 1950's. We can disagree with their understanding of history, and with their understanding of SDA theology, but they have not made a secret of their beliefs or intentions.

I can't comment on GYC. What I have heard and seen of the Australian version may or may not be an adequate reflection of GYC. I know a number of churches were very supportive in the beginning, as they saw it as a welcome alternative to the 'liberalism' and 'entertainment' of the official Conference/Union youth programmes. What I have heard more recently is that many are not happy, as their youth come back focused on what 'the church' is doing wrong, and are constantly pointing out what SDAs should not eat, drink, wear, listen to, etc. Many also come back on fire to evangelise, but it seems the enthusiasm for evangelism dies much quicker than the critical spirit. The youth become divisive, even in conservative churches.

Results often don't equal intentions. I doubt that there was an intention to turn the youth into 'critical legalists' any more than there was an intention by the offical church to turn them into 'unspiritual liberals'. And in both cases there have been genuine and long-lasting conversions from the programmes.

What worries me most is that there has been no response to provide an alternative by the non-conservative sections of the church. When it comes to holy living, what have we offered? I know there are a few who see no point in how we live, but most SDAs either in the centre or to the left of centre do see a need to live a holy ife. If we deplore the conservative focus on 'rules', what do we offer as an alternative?

Perhaps it is time for us to move beyond being an intellectual movement that is focused on combating the abuses of doctrinal interpretation and look at Christian living as a whole. What does it mean to live as a non-conservative SDA who is committed to following Christ? What does it involve in terms of behaviour? How do we integrate faith and practice? I am not saying no one has thought this through, or that nothing is available on it, but I doubt most church members, youth or anyone else, could name either books to read or people to talk to on this subject. If a conference wants to run a weekend focused on evangelism, who can they get that isn't conservative? If they want a programm on spiritual growth, who can they call on?

The best response to GYC is not to question it, or condemn it, but put up an alternative and show the alternative works better. If we can't or won't do that, then our criticisms seem a bit hollow. I know there are a number ofConference and Union Youth leaders who would love to be able to promote an alternative, so getting official support - at least in some areas - wouldn't be a problem.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 22nd, 2011 Tom says:

I hear you Darrell. That is why I suggested people like Lee Venden and George Knight be included as speakers at one of their rallies. Like you I want to see our youth fed something more than spiritual cotton candy, but the other extreme that embraces the "Message to Young People" stuff that I was hand fed as a youth is not the answer either.

I see great potential here with GYC. I would rather our youth charge a registration fee on a credit card to attend than spend it on the latest electronic gadget. You skeptics out there should cut these kids some slack and be glad that they are serious about their walk with God. Like all youth, and adults too, they need to be shepherded to stay on a steady course and not get far off into the perifery that seems to find fault with those who are not of like mind.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 22nd, 2011 FredyR says:

I think Dr. Taylor raised an important issue and I have to admit that I have thought about this for some time as well .These type of conferences shows how divided our church is and also shows how difficult is to dialogue among ourselves .GYC has become a place where different ministries do "recruiting " and sell their materials . Dr. Samuel Pipim has been one of the main speakers for many years , Pastor Ted Wilson has been there more than one time and many more of the " conservatives " . If we look at the board we can see that the President of the Michigan conference is one of them .I don't have nothing against the conference personally because nobody puts a gun to the youth so they go . They go because they want to go .I have heard some testimonies of people who found Jesus in there ! Tom , you give a good point , I think GYC leadership don't consider Dr. George Knight " Adventist enough " to be one of the speakers .I was speaking to a young Pastor recently about this and we were thinking that we need to create a " Normal youth conference " He thinks that some of these young people who attend GYC have this " holier than thou " attitude .I don't know if it is true . As with every organizations they are always some who go the extremes and that maybe the case here . I have learned that EVen the truth when we push it to the extremes it is very dangerous ! One other problem that we have as Adventists is that we are very good making "traditions " and I am sure that many attend just because it has become a habit , let's just pray for our youth that God will lead them . Why we offend those who see things different than we do ?



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 23rd, 2011 Israel Ramos says:

Mr. Taylor:

No problem. I was happy to help.

I am happy to give you additional information to the points you've raised in this post on GYC Myths:

AT Myth: he GYC was born in, initially financed and coordinated by the actions of individuals employed by the Michigan Conference of Seventh-day Adventists well known to be headed by the most conservative, even reactionary, conference president in North America who supports the most reactionary programs and individuals in the church.

If someone is interested in understanding the reality behind the GYC, all one has to do is to obtain a copy of the GYC IRS Form 990 which is a public document and which every non-profit is required to file annually. For example, on page 4 of the return for 2007, there is a listing of the contributions to the GYC for the years 2003 through 2006. The total income was $1,365,044! And this is for a student initiated, student led organization! Remarkable. (I will resist the impulse to comment that if you believe the "student initiated, student led myth," I have this bridge I would like to sell . . . . But I said I will resist the temptation.)

Fact: GYC was initially financed and coordinated by the actions of individuals studying at various Adventist and non-Adventist universities: Andrews, Brandies, Brown, Princeton, Loma Linda, La Sierra, and others. To receive 1 million dollars from Michigan would be awesome, but at this time, there's no need. As you can see from the IRS Form 990. Our income is remarkable, isn't it? We thank the Lord for it and are trying to be wise with how we use it. So, do you still have that bridge?

AT Myth: To say that the GYC isn't conservative is like saying that the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) isn't racist, it's advancing Americanism, it's centered on the Constitution, and it's in the center of what all patriotic people want for their country.

Fact: The AT statement above regarding GYC and the KKK is as powerful as Saddam Hussein asking Americans to follow him because of his support of freedom, liberty, and justice. I'll stop there.

AT Myth: Prior to the election of Ted Wilson, the GYC was viewed for what it actually was--a well-financed means to advance fundamentalist North American Adventism supported by well-known very conservative and even reactionary forces who also support and advance the Adventist Theological Society. With his election, there has been a rapid change. The agenda of the GYC has been embraced by the new GC leadership and now is being pushed by the current editor of the AR.

Look for a number of additional articles in the Adventist Review over the next few years continuing to build the myth of the great virtues of the GYC.

Fact: You know that Jan Paulsen also supported GYC, right? He attended, spoke and supported in 2004 (Sacramento). No "rapid" change. Who is the "new" GC leadership? Can you list the names of the people who've just now embraced GYC since the election of Wilson?

I won't be able to contact you. I'm sorry. Frankly, I cannot trust your ethics as a journalist. I'm not asking you to agree with GYC's positions. I do wish you'd take the time to be more accurate in your reporting, instead of publishing myths for the purpose of discrediting the work of young people for our church.

I hope my comments are not taken to be mean. They're intended to be as frank as the post. I'm sure you'll understand.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 23rd, 2011 Ervin Taylor says:

Mr. Ramos:

As I am sure you can understand, I do not write my blog as a journalist, I write it as a commentary. All of our blogs are written in this context. In this case, the commentary offers a point of view based, in part, on my own understandings about GYC based on the input from many individuals over the last couple of years.

Adventist Today prides itself on its professionalism in making a clear distinction between what is printed as "news" and what is printed as "commentary."

Since you don't trust my integrity (thank you for being candid with this interesting comment in its own right), would you talk one on one with an Adventist journalist interested in obtaining your perspective on the facts as part of a news story about the history of GYC?




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 24th, 2011 BillCork says:

A useful historical perspective is provided by Sam Pipim here.

That its roots lie with the Michigan Conference is clear. That it got funding from ASI is also clear. That there has been tension between GYC and the GC is also clear.That it is "conservative" by any definition of the term is also clear--look at the music, the dress, the theology.It is "conservative."

I think Sam's history is refreshingly honest--he cites some very blunt criticisms made by young GYC leaders towards GC leadership and mainstream Adventist youth ministry. These are the kind of sentiments that have concerned many church leaders. Sam, seen by many readers of AT and Spectrum as "conservative," comes across as a moderating force, urging the young leaders to adopt more charitable views of church leaders. And following one particular tense episode, GYC and the GC/NAD youth ministry folks hammered out an agreement on how they could best work together. Yes, there have been growing pains, but GYC has grown and matured.

In regards to my question about contacting the local conference, Justin McNeilus tells me that they have now contacted the Texas Conference and want to work with the local church. I'm happy to hear that.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 25th, 2011 hflynn says:

The comments here are varied and interesting. However, could we change some of our labels? Could we forget such terms as liberal and conservative, whatever they mean and use the more basic terms of truth and error. That will cut right to the chase.

As a pastor in Southern California Conference who believes and teaches Adventism, I think that you are painting us with a very broad over generalizing brush. What you are saying about us is simply not true.

Before you sit in judgment on us and make charges that are without any evidence, you should have to serve as pastor of one of our churches for several months and see what we have to deal with. We deal with reality, what is as opposed to what it should be. You have better answers in dealing with our pastoral problems. Fine. Show us what they are and put them into practice in dealing with the people we have to deal with and let us know what happens. Honestly, you don't don't what it is like here in the most basic units of our church. Try dealing with some of the messes that people get themselves into, try to put together some of the tragically broken, disfunctional homes in our church. As far as sin is concerned, you name it, we have it. I have dealt with everything from breaking the Sabbath to murder, right in the church. What would you do in these cases? Tell me. What would you say to someone in our church family who has just committed murder? How many days in court have you spent with Adventst families dealing some horrible charges? How many hours of visitation and prayer with some of our people in jail and/or state prison have you made? We are the ones dealing with these realities everyday of ministry. We know how things really are in our churches, in all of them. Believe me, we know! If you can help us to solve some of our members problems and failings, please do so. Don't write about us; help us! Come and get in the "trenches" with us and see what it is like? Don't talk ABOUT our churches. Come and live with us and deal with our problems.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 25th, 2011 markham says:

GYC was and continues to function and exist on the support of young people. Let that be a lesson to you -- you're on the wrong side theologically and generationally. How old is your average reader? Ramos.

Thanks, Ramos. Don't let the fellow who seems to have almost nothing good to say about Adventism trap you.

Truth Seeker



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 25th, 2011 markham says:

Isn't Shawn Brace's commentary more judgmental than anything else? He admits he never attended an annual event and that makes me to wonder how he is in a position to make any kind of accurate evaluation.

Truth Seeker




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 25th, 2011 David C. Read says:

H Flynn, since your comment is not relevant to the GYC topic, and since I'm pretty sure you're Howard Flynn of the Southern California Conference, I assume you're addressing my comment regarding the laissez-faire attitude toward the pastors in this conference.

I appreciate that the "flock" you have to work with is far less than ideal (although I don't think the murderer is typical), but it hardly seems an appropriate response to the sad condition of the laity to let the clergy do and preach anything they want to. I would suggest that the laity is in such a sad condition because the clergy is also in a sad condition.

By the way, I don't think the problem is limited to Southern California. Just last week I heard a sermon where the pastor was strongly hinting at universalism, the idea that ultimately everyone will be saved. He never came right out and said it, but every building block of his logic was driving at. But this guy was from Atlanta, not California.

I think our church needs a major course correction. We need to re-introduce the idea of standards for both the laity and the clergy. I certainly don't think we need to go back to hassling people over wedding bands, but we need to make it clear that pastors cannot expect to undermine Adventist doctrine from the pulpit and hang on to their jobs. (We also need to make it clear that murder is unacceptable.)




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 25th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

" (We also need to make it clear that murder is unacceptable.)

Whew! That's a relief to know that murder is not an approved activity for members.

The question: how should a pastor aid the family of such an individual? Is condemnation necessary, or should the pastor attempt to comfort the family with such a catastrophe? Should a pastor not visit those in prison? Is there a place for conviction and even baptism in prison? Seems I've heard of that.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 25th, 2011 BillCork says:

Markham: "Isn't Shawn Brace's commentary more judgmental than anything else? He admits he never attended an annual event."

He based his evaluation, he says, on "listening to many presentations on Audioverse and tuning in live via the Internet on occasion." Seems like a pretty valid basis for judging: what is said in the major addresses that are heard by the greatest number of attendees? What is the message that is presented from the platform?

See Angelo Grasso's comments on Shawn's article. He echoes Shawn's concerns (though he thinks the problem is being addressed).




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 25th, 2011 Melissa Howell says:
Melissa Howell
AToday Web Columnist

Israel Ramos -

I have not attended a GYC meeting, but I have heard from plenty of people that it fosuces on legalism, perfectionism, and sets students up for failure. Obviously, this wasn't your intent when you started it - you wanted to get a generation of young people excited about Jesus. So I'm wondering - if you wouldn't mind - could you take the time here and just clarify, in a short paragraph or two - exactly what do you teach at the GYC? Where the theology seems to digress into legalism and perfectionism - what were your original intentions there? Has it been mis-represented? I think it would be so helpful for all of us to hear what is actually and truthfully being taught there, instead of continuing to listen to hear-say.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 26th, 2011 Hansen says:

HFlynn, If you gentleman would actually implement EGW's plan for ministry, you wouldn't be wailing about how tough you have it, dealing with the dysfunctional, sociopathic individuals who fill your churches. Really, it's you who have made the congregations helplessly dependent on ministerial labor, contrary to the interests of God.

20 years ago, I conducted an informal survey of pastors in 2 large L.A. area churches. At that time, the pastors were averaging about 8 baptisms a year, including the children of members. An M.div or D.min is not required to teach a young person the Adventist fundamental beliefs. The ministry has failed to develop living, working congregations who care about the salvation of others. When you have to be nursemaids to retain a salaried position, don't be surprised if you and those around you suffer from burnout.

I wouldn't be surprised if there is going to be an increase in predatory sexual assaults by Adventist clergy, as these poor guys try to cope with the anger, frustration, and disappointment they experience in their thankless jobs. I already have two acquaintances whose wives ended up marrying Adventist pastors to whom they had gone for help.

Luckily, both the fellows were constrained by the grace of God from carrying out the natural response to such a betrayal. Otherwise, it might be one of your colleagues visiting them in prison, if they dared.

Really, Adventist pastors have it pretty good. They can work in an office and accomplish little of real significance, or they can work in a church and spend a lot of hours putting together a boring sermon, or spend time grooming the wealthier members to fatten the conference coffers. Not too bad a gig, all things considered.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 26th, 2011 FredyR says:

let's see the topic was about GYC "Myths " For those who have not attended to GYC , the best way is to read the sermons on Audioverse.org As i said before many ministries do their "recruiting " at GYC . Like Amazing facts , Arise ,and many others who do the same .They have different "booths" where they sell all their material .young people are easy to "brainwash " especially young Seventh day Adventist who have been raised to "fear only" The problem is not GYC only , but all these Ministries who manipulate people to do things their way . Israel is a disciple of Samuel Pipim . GYC is the" brainchild " of Samuel Pipim .Something that we should look at is how much these ministries charge , for example to go the "training " amazing facts is about $8,000 dollars for 4 months , and there are now many ministries like these who do heavy recruting at GYC . It is fact , that many of the GYC people are against the church , they are against Adventist education , just a few number of these youth attend our universities , most of them just go to Amazing facts , or some of the Non-accredited colleges .When the new leadership of GYC was elected they took an "oath ' Guess who was the person making them take the oath ? Yes , Samuel Pipim ! It is all our fault .Why do you think people join "cults " because we as Christians don't offer something to the people . GYC has many youth people as the JHW's and the Mormons and many of those cults have many followers .What would be the result ? well when these young people grow up , they will see that things were not as they have been told .then they leave the church and will give up on the gospel , because it does not gives them what they need .I remember one time , I wanted to quit school and go to some of these expensive NOn - acredited colleges " one older Pastor told me , what about if Jesus does not return in 40 years and we are still here and you get married and have a family and you have no education ? you will need to provide for your children " I am glad i listened and changed my mind .Many youth are just looking for something , I propose that some of us work and create an alternative movement for our young people . what do you think ?


Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 26th, 2011 BillCork says:

Fredy says, "It is fact , that many of the GYC people are against the church , they are against Adventist education , just a few number of these youth attend our universities , most of them just go to Amazing facts , or some of the Non-accredited colleges."

Oh really? Amazing Facts and other "non-accredited colleges" have 5000 students? Really?

It is probably a true that "just a few number of these youth attend our universities." GYC, after all, is an outgrowth of the Michigan Conference's CAMPUS (Center for Adventist Ministry to Public University Students).

Sam Pipim notes,

The idea of GYC was conceived at CAMPUS to mobilize and train a diverse group of Adventist youth and college students who shared a vision for a Bible-based, mission-driven, multi-racial, youth-led movement. The key architects of the GYC “experiment”—Israel Ramos (then missionary at CAMPUS), Justin Kim (then student at Brandeis University), and Andrea Oliver (then student at Princeton)—were all impacted by the ministry of CAMPUS and all had either been CAMPUS missionaries (Israel and Andrea) or joined the CAMPUS staff (Israel and Justin).

I'd be interested in seeing if GYC has any statistics on who actually attends (public college or university, Adventist college or university, other, none). But to say "they are against Adventist education" and "against the church" is sheer libel.

It's one thing to criticize GYC based on criticism of publicly available presentations made at GYC. It's something else entirely to merely repeat rumor.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 26th, 2011 FredyR says:

Bill say "Oh really? Amazing Facts and other "non-accredited colleges" have 5000 students? Really?" we are talking about people who have attended those schools since 2001 . Remember David aschrick is a product of those schools , he is a graduate of mission college ( not a college it is a 4 month training schools like amazing facts ) The Rosario brothers , and many more who lead this " youth led movement "



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 26th, 2011 BillCork says:

And against these are others who are campus ministers at schools like Harvard, and students at Brandeis and Princeton (and attendees who are students and graduate students at Rice, Texas A&M, University of Houston Law School, and many others).

As to the leaders, they are publicly listed here: http://gycweb.org/about/leadership/
So some have graduate degrees, some have college degrees, some are working on them ... and some, speakers and attendees, are uneducated fishermen. And among the Hispanic version of GYC you'll find, in addition to these, day laborers and illegal immigrants.

What's your point?

Seems to me Jesus said to people of all backgrounds, "Follow me." And he sent them to "Go and make disciples of all nations."

And let us not forget Paul's words to the Corinthians:

26For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; 28God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 29so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. 30And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, 31so that, as it is written, "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord."



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 26th, 2011 Brian Holland says:

From the people I have talked to and the experiences that I have had at GYC, the attraction that attracts attendees can be summed up in one word: "Belief"

The organizers and the presenters believe the Bible.

They believe the Spirit of Prophecy.

They believe in the mission and doctrines of the church.

They try to teach and follow both, maybe not perfectly, but it is the whole-hearted desire of the organization.

That is what the church needs if they are going to present an alternative to GYC. Make a conference that presents belief in both word and deed. That would be great!

I think the Conference has presented an alternative, at least here in North America. Isn't the "Just Claim It" conference a similar idea?

Personally I don't like the Liberal/Conservative labels. In some ways I would fit under the Liberal label, in others the Conservative one. Liberals are open to change where merited and Conservatives stick to tradition simply because it is traditional. The better label in my mind is Biblical or unBiblical, or how about Believer and Unbeliever?

For those who don't believe in the Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy as well as the doctrines and mission of the church, and whose mission is to get others to think likewise then GYC is an enemy force to be attacked and discredited.

For those who do believe and want others to believe as well, then GYC is a breath of fresh wind.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 26th, 2011 Brian Holland says:

No housing, but meals and attendence. Housing is an additional expense. Three nights.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 28th, 2011 clintonj says:

Melissa Howell -

Your question about perfectionism and the theology taught at GYC demonstrsates exceptional insight. I look forward to hearing the response from the GYC leadership.

In the interim allow me to share the response from the Australian version (AYC). It took the form of a letter to the RECORD (the periodical in Australia and New Zealand) after a similar letter raised the charge of perfectionist theology. The pastoral team at the churches mention represent the leadership of AYC. It is interesting to observe that they fail to refute perfectionist theology.

You can view the letter in its original context at http://record.net.au/site_data/88/assets/0019/0263/rec16_09_05_2.pdf

Other responses to the original letter were published the week before http://record.net.au/site_data/88/assets/0018/9330/rec15_09_04_25.pdf

AYC Response

Pastoral and leadership team, Gateway (VIC) and Fountain in the City (NSW) Churches

We are disappointed “Distinctiveness ost?” (Letters, April 4) made a number of
unsupported observations about the supposed theology of the Australian Youth
Conference (AYC). AYC’s focus is on soul-winning and is not a theological battleground on issues like “perfectionism” or “the nature of Christ.” In the four years of AYC, there have been no workshop or lectures on these topics, as suggested by this letter.

The Bible says, “by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:20, NKJV)—and we praise God that young people in Australia are engaged in the mission of our church. At AYC’09, there were 45 young people serving full-time in Bible work, 170 Bible-study contacts found in one hour of door-knocking, more than 70 decisions for baptism, $A260,000 given by young people for youth evangelism and, connected with AYC, seven youth evangelistic series are planned for 2009.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 28th, 2011 hflynn says:

Thank you for your response. The first sentence of your reply is simply false while your second sentence is true to the mark.

You conducted a survey 20 years ago with two churches. Hmm. Anyway, that would be 1990. In that era I led the reigon in baptisms. One Friday evening we had 34 baptisms (some of which were rebaptisms, but we were having a real revival.) We had so many that we ran out of towels and had to tear the ones we had in half. We such a logistical problem that the head deaconess would not participate because I was baptizing too many people. At one period of my ministry I was having a baptism every month. I am noty saying this to brag, but simply to point out that your facts are incorrect. Look at the baptismal record for my conference for the last 40 years. Did we have a lot of baptisms? Yes. Did we have enough? No. I will be the first to admit that. How many is enough? When we baptize every man, woman, and chld. While numbers are not the primary concern in soul-winning, at least get your facts straight. If you are going to rant on us pastors, fine. We are used to it, believe me. However, please proceed from a factual basis.

I am not wailing about anything. I retired in 2005 after 44 years of ministry. Two years later I went back into full time ministry for another three years. Between those times I served as a volluntary associate pastor, which is what I am doing now. Hqaving retired in 2010, I am now working as a volluntary associate pastor again, preaching anywhere from one to three times a week. Does that sound like I am wimping out to you? Look, I have been spit on, attacked by dogs and have worked in some of the most dangerous parts of LA at night all by myself. While I am not sure of this I may have even been shot at twice. Whatever I may be, I am not a coward.

As far as the sexual predator issue, how many Adventist pastors have been caught and/or convicted of sexual misconduct? Unfortunately, too many. One is too many. But compare the number of offenses with the total number of pastors and look at what the ratio is. Don't confuse us with the Catholic priesthood. Our conference has a zero conduct on moral failures. Have you ever read our ministerial code of ethics for Southern California? They raise the bar pretty high.

I have been married over 41 years and never have slept with a woman that wasn't my wife though I have had the opportunity more than once. Am I the exception? Absolutely not! How do I know? I have been closely associated with pastors for many years, and I know what goes on, and more importantly what does not. We have had our failures and one is one too many. But please, wait until we are guilty to accuse us.

<< Really, Adventist pastors have it pretty good. They can work in an office and accomplish little of real significance, or they can work in a church and spend a lot of hours putting together a boring sermon, or spend time grooming the wealthier members to fatten the conference coffers. Not too bad a gig, all things considered.>>

Yeah, right.

My point is not to be critical; to the contrary, I appreciate your courage and honesty. I wish I had you as a member of my rmer) church. Really, I am not your enemy; I am a pastor. The point I want to stress is that there is another perspective on the issue. Come and join us and see what it is like. I never said you had to have an M.Div or D.Min (demon? just kidding). We have lay pastors and we value their fellowship and service. We have even been known to ordain them. Join us and see what it is like. It may not change your opinion, but it will open your eyes. As the Book of Revelation says, "Come and see."

Thanks again for responding to my post. I almost never do this. One reason is that when I have written letters to AT about controversial issues, they have gotten tossed in the trash. I even wondered if this post would get in. During the Daniel discussion when we were discussing this in the SS lessons, I wrote several responses to some of Des Ford's comments that AT, and my efforts wound up in the trash can. Now THAT makes me mad, so I just keep my mouth shut.

You might be interested in knowing that Ervin and I are classmates, both in academy and in college. I was a convert when I was in the academy and his friendship meant a lot to me at that difficult time I was going through. We studied biblical languages together under the late Dr. Graham Maxwell. He is a great guy.

I hope I can meet you someday. Thanks again.

hf




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 28th, 2011 ntr says:

As someone who has been acquainted with GYC from the beginning, I can assure you that the GYC was birthed in the hearts and minds of individuals in their early twenties. They were and are loyal supporters of the organized work of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Additionally the original GYC was put together on a shoe string budget. The fact that the ministry has grown and enlarged its board and has increased its budget is a testimony to the power of the original idea. This blog post is filled with gross misrepresentations and factual errors. It appears that Ervin's vineyard is filled with sour grapes this season.


Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 28th, 2011 ntr says:

As the co-founder of ARISE I can assure you that we do not in anyway discourage Adventist education or use fear tactics. Most of our students are post collage. Andrews and Southern have both been beneficiaries of the ARISE program because so many ARISE graduates pursue further education. Additionally if I had an unbalanced young person wanting to drop out of collage and make ARISE or AFCOE his or her only education I would discourage it as well. Of course the vast majority of students who come to ARISE aren't unbalanced. They have either finished their undergraduate studies, graduate studies, or are planning on pursuing them after ARISE, or simply aren't planning on additional education. On a side note AFCOE is about half the price you quoted.


Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 28th, 2011 TXalchemist says:

Thanks, Bill, for the link to Pipim's history of GYC. I knew he and CAMPUS were behind it, but you provided important documentation so we don't have to rely on hearsay. I think Ramos' claims to it being student initiated are somewhat misleading, given Pipim's key role (Ramos even working for CAMPUS, if I read the account right).

I chuckled when I read the "Spirit of GYC" statement (10 commandments?!). #10 said that GYC would promote An attitude of humility and cordiality—as we seek to clarify, articulate, and defend the Biblical teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.” Judging from Israel Ramos' response to Erv Taylor, my guess is they are so busy working on some of the earlier commandments they haven't had time to make much progress on this one yet.

Anyone with familiarity with Pipim's books will know that George Knight is considered by him to be heretical and thus will never be invited to speak at GYC in its current configuration. As author of books like "The Pharisee's Guide to Perfect Holiness" and "From 1888 to Apostasy", Knight would probably have some words of advice to GYC attendees if he were invited. It's too bad GYC doesn't avail itself of Knight's historical perspective, for as Pipim says, quoting Santayana, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes.”




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 29th, 2011 Hansen says:

Brother Flynn,

If the "fired up" Adventist youth develop a burden to take the message of the Cross into the regions where it has not been carried, good on them. If not, fiddle.

I was treated well by the pastors in So. Cal, regardless of how many people they baptized.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 29th, 2011 hflynn says:

Thank your for your kind response. I appreciate your candor and willingness to dialogue with me. May the Lord bless you in your service for Him

hf




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 29th, 2011 hflynn says:

David: You might be interested in knowing that I am on the side of the GYC. More power to them. I don't care where the money comes from as long as it is honest money. They want to hold the church to higher standards? Praise the Lord. I am in their corner and with them as well. We need such movements.

Yes, I know my previous reply was off the current situation. So getting on target, whatever you may think of me and the pastors of So. Cal., I wish the GYC nothing but success. Go for it.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 29th, 2011 steve billiter says:

Well Erv, I guess I’m not really that surprised at some things that I read here. It appears that some in the church will find a way to criticize what is obviously a Holy Spirit, youth led, conference mentored ministry of the 7th Day Adventist Church.

Who cares if GYC needs conference financial support, along with the mentoring (Mark Finley, Doug Batchelor, and many other fine pastors)? This does not mean it is not youth-inspired and led. Can the youth do it all alone? Its money well spent, I’m sure.

These young people are serious about the truth and I’m really happy to see this great movement within our beloved church. Instead of unduly criticizing the LORD’s work; let’s get behind GYC and its respective elements with our prayers, personal work and support; and above all, let’s love and interact with our young people instead of seeking to gratify lustful desires with rock music, theatricals, and other misguided attempts to “keep the youth in the church,” which is really nothing more than “spoiling the baby” as some parents do.Our young people need a real relationship with Jesus Christ......and not a shallow counterfeit.

Check out audioverse on the GYC website for some really good truth-filled sermons!




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 29th, 2011 Israel Ramos says:

Dr. Taylor,

Thanks for the clarification on Commentary Vs. News. I was confused because "facts" normally fall under the news category. Can I say that the theory of relativity is: the understanding that India was invaded by aliens in 1355? And say that this is true because my home economics teacher told me it was scientific fact? And then say that inaccurate "facts" contained in my theory are okay because I had limited resources but wanted to share on the topic anyway? And then say it was all good because I was writing the theory as commentary and not as news? And everybody knows that commentary, when not also written as news, can allow for the presentation of evidence that is factual but not accurate?

Melissa, I've yet to hear from a person who attends GYC that it focuses on what you've stated. I would be happy to speak with you about GYC at the upcoming Houston convention if you would like to attend. We can have a meal together and talk about your impressions of the conference and we could dialogue in that setting.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 29th, 2011 Nathan Schilt says:

Let me underscore, Mr. Ramos, that the AToday bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of AToday. The "myths" cited by Erv Taylor are not AToday myths.

I know nothing about the origins of GYC and frankly, don't really care. I only know the organization through its "fruits" - young people who attend my church and who have attended the academy where my wife was vice-principal. Those "fruits" are beliefs, beliefs, beliefs. Their mission is Adventist orthodoxy. They are rigid and perfectionistic. They are suspicious of, and hostile towards, any religious material that does not have the imprimatur of the guardians of Adventist orthodoxy. They are nice kids, but quite elitist and arrogant about not being as other Adventists. In fact their propositionalism is the perfect foil for the secular rationalism which forms the backbone of Adventist progressivism, whose adherents also love to thank God that they are not as other Adventists.

My wife is now very heavily invested in developing a service oriented ministry for young people who have aged out of the local foster care system, and are at high risk for homelessness and self-destructive behaviors. The GYC kids in the community have little interest in becoming involved in actual feet on the ground ministries like this.

This may not be typical of GYC devotees in other parts of the country. But in Southern California their uber legalism and fundamentalism seems anachronistic, cultic, and eerily irrelevant to the reality of the world that confronts today's SDA Church.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 30th, 2011 Rikko says:

I heard of GYC about 5 years ago thru the internet and audioverse.

However, I never shared it with anyone, I don't know why till this day.

Finally, last December I had the opportunity to attend my first GYC. I must admit, it was far better and greater than anything else I had seen or heard. Most people now ask me about it, but I tell them that they must attend one GYC and then they will be able to judge for themselves and not because of what someone else said.

I also admit that many pastors are in church for an income and it is reflected on their lack of leadership. The worst part is that most of the members in church know it. It gives a poor testimony of the church. However, I must admit that my pastor is a good man, he is not perfect, but he is a saint in my view, even when we don't agree. He works long hours and is dedicated, I can see changes in him, and he wants to go to the next GYC. We pray for each other too. (I have to clarify that there are a lot of good, dedicated and well intended pastors. Just that I truly admire and respect them more when they stand for truth and love, and when their credentials are put on risk because of principle.)

There is one issue that can settle most of these attacks against GYC and so called "conservatives". That issue is our own witnessing.

At GYC everyone was polite, enthusiastic and reverent even when they used the restrooms. That is something that is lacking in many other youth and even adult events where everyone is fighting for their rights, positions and attitudes.

I have to say that I am a SDA because one day I decided to find out for myself if it was the right church, and the more I study this topic, the more convinced I am that this is the remnant church. No one can convince me otherwise. Same thing with GYC. No one can convince me now that they are not preaching the truth straightforward and clearly. For example, a couple of my long time SDA friends just found out about the Alpha apostasy in the church. Something that we all should have some knowledge about. Their eyes were opened to new truths, and for that I thank God and then GYC.

I also admit that at other camps, congress and youth rallies, even the conversations that most of the young people have on the Sabbath have nothing to do with the spiritual truths of the bible. By my own experience, I hear them talking about careers, parties, sex, sports, trips, drugs, amusement and entertainment in the world and the church. (if you want more evidence just look at their facebook comments and abbreviations) When I leave those events I'm spiritually starved. At GYC I did NOT see or heard those comments as the main subject. The main topics were overall spiritual. It was wonderful to see young people praying and reading their OWN bibles at many places and at all times of the day and night.

Another area that fully impressed me was the courtesy, taste, humor and tact of how they communicated the announcements. Impressive!

Maybe some of you know more than me about the testimonies from hotel and convention personnel. What they were expecting on Dec. 31st. was a major party celebration of over 5,000 young people with some of them probably ending up in jail or in a local hospital the next day. I was glad to know that many of them stayed praying all night long and were ready and full of joy the next day on Saturday.

One more personal fact. I have made more contacts and witnessed about Christianity in my neighborhood, church and work in the last couple of weeks since GYC than in the last entire year. I yearn and look for opportunities to help, talk and spend quality Christian time with those who live around me and my family. I am excited about testifying for Jesus!

I must say, It was one of the wisest investments in my Christian life. GYC left me spiritually full and hungry for more, oh, and I want more. Romans 12:11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

With this said, I recognize that no one at GYC admits that they have reached perfection, but they do admit that they have their shortcomings and struggles. I pray and hope that their clarity, transparency and humility remains and grows. GYC is growing and is a threat to many because GYC stands on 7th. Day Adventist principles. There is no question about it!




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 30th, 2011 hflynn says:

Having never heard of the group before, I decided to learn more about it. As I read it, the great youth revivals of the early 70's came to mind. Those were great days.

The name Samuel Pipin keeps popping. The slant that I got in reading about him makes him sound like the Antichrist and that he is less than honest, to put it politely. So I went to his web site to learn more about him. I also read his article on the history of the GYC. What I learned raised a number of questions that I would like some answers, counsel, etc.

1. What is wrong with this gentleman? I looked at what he believed and what he was trying to do, and it puzzles me to see how anyone could ever find fault with him or his ministry. What he is teaching as far as I can see is classical Adventism 101. Look at his statement of belief. That is what we are all about.

2. As far as his working with GYC is concerned, I also observe that this is his job. This as far as I can tell is what he is getting paid to do. So he does it. What's wrong with that? If I am missing something, please tell me.

3. I also looked at the meetings and what they have accomplished. Even allowing the evangelicical count syndrom, the results are incridible. When was the last time we had that many young people going door to door and giving Bible studies? When was the last time we had a youth effor producing 40 baptism? For that matter, when was the last time that you, dear reader, led somebody into the Adventist Church?

4. Here we have a group trying to help our youth be better people, rehabilitate their ethics, and take Adventism more seriously. Who could possibly be against this? They come back to their churches and are not happy with what they see. Those are the kind of people, of all ages, that we need in our churches. Besides, when young people have revivals, this is one of the characteristics that you see. This is nothing new. This is the way they always have been. The reaction on this blog is the result that has always happened.

5. Some of their actions were not good. This I admit. However, this is the way the younger people in our church react when they get juiced up over something. Unless I mis read the account, they were provoked by people who were professionals in youth work. If they are professionals, then they should know that this a typical reaction and nothing pathological. This is the way young people are and the professionals should know that.

6. Having said that, the way our GC Youth Department reversed itselft show integrity, courage, and a sincere willingness to do the Lord's will. They certainly don't want to fight God. We should be proud of them, not critical.

7. Finally, Erv's comment on editorial versus news reporting is nothing new. That is what makes a blog a blog. Everybody else in the world seems to know this. It is difficult to see how this comes as new light. This is not tabloid journalism; this is responsible editorials. While Erv may be wrong, just reading between the lines of what Brother Pippin says shows that there is an argument in favor of what Ervin is saying. It is how you slant the evidence. Be that as it may, there certainy is nothing wrong with the Michigan Conference, or any other conference for that matter, getting behind a youth program, so the issue is moot.

8. Let me challenge us all: can we top what these young people are doing? The church that I volunteer at follows the more modern youth approach, yet I see nothing threatening in what GYC is doing. They are approaching the problem from another direction; to use a shopworn cliche, they are giving us a paradigm shift

9. So before we equivocate, let's investigate. We are currently not doing all that bad. North American Adventism is growing faster than the Baptists, Methodists, etc. Our growth rate is around 2.5 percent. This is a statistical fact. Ask Mone Sahlin. Now if someone comes up with an idea of how to do it better, why not grab it.

10. Well the problem is the elephant in the room that no one, including me, is facing. The hidden agenda in this discussion boils down to the fact that these young people are telling us to do things we are not willing to do. Rather than face that, we engage in doublespeak that clouds the existential guilt or angst that haunts us in our honest moments of retrospection. I am just as guilty as anyone else about this. There are things in my life that these young people are challenging and frankly, it hurts.

11. Finally, to use some of Ervin's terminology, maybe this is an evolutionary moment of natural selection that will distroy the Laodicean dinosaurs. If so, then could we not have here an opportunity to reach a new, more effective, more mature level of Adventism? Even if the GYC fades into some denominational archeological museum or geological column, could it not be that we will be the better for the experience? If so, maybe Ervin will mutate into an evangelist that is the counterpoint of Billy Graham. (Just kidding)




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 30th, 2011 Brian Holland says:

Even though Erv's blog is merely that, a blog, his blog carries more responsibility than the other blogs. It is seen as representing Adventist Today more than the typical blog on the Adventist Today site because of his position of Executive Publisher.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 30th, 2011 carmenlau says:
carmen lau

H Flynn, You present some honest relevant observations. I am learning from your wisdom.

When Israel Ramos initially commented on Erv's blog, I thought "OK, here we have a first hand observation as to the nature of GYC. Perhaps, Erv is straining in his myth analogy."

Then further down the comment strand I came across a link to Pipim's comments as to the history of GYC. And Pipim's essay validates Erv's assertions --as to funding, connection with Michigan conference etc. So, I thought, "A written essay holds more weight as to credibility than Ramos' casual musings so it seems Erv was correct."

Then Ramos posted 1/29/11 with a strained analogy as to what one should believe about history.

What is the truth vs. myth? Which picture is accurate--Ramos or Pipim?

Nonetheless, Thank you H. Flynn for your listed observations about this topic.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 30th, 2011 hflynn says:

Wow, what a wonderful reply. By the way, someone said that Erv was executive editior. I went to the list of staff and he is not listed in that position. Did I miss something?



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 30th, 2011 Ervin Taylor says:

Greetings to Pastor Flynn--long years ago it was Howard and Erv at Lynwood Academy and PUC.

Howard, I was very interested in several of your comments and will be responding in future postings.

For now, just an personal update--I was honored to serve as Executive Editor of Adventist Today (AT) for many years and then as the Executive Publisher. I recently retired from that position to allow a younger generation of leadership to assume responsibilities at AT.

In the current environment of the church, we need new and fresh ideas to deal with the increasingly strong retrograde influences currently being mounted that will stop at nothing to drag the Adventist Church back to the 1930's if not the 19th century.

More on that later.

Thank you for your contributions to the AT conversations and I look forward to a continuing exchange of views.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 30th, 2011 hflynn says:

As always, I am stimulated and chellenged by your thinking. We are not as far apart as you might think in a lot of issues. I was thinking something quite sardonic. I am not serious, but I want to share it with you.

You should have been a tuna fisherman. YOu would be a rich man now. You just throw the chum in the water and the fish compete to take the hook. This is no insult on your readers; I am just kidding, teasing.

My best to your wife and children.

hf




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 31st, 2011 Hansen says:

H Flynn, The numbers you cite regarding Adventist growth in North America, do they really matter? I have been continually shocked as I read more of the reports coming out of Rwanda regarding the roll SDA people played in slaughtering, not only their brethren, but others. Rwanda had some of the mosty impressive statistics of any nation in the world, if I correctly understand the reports.

Years ago, a writer described the landslide apostasy which took place when Mao assumed leadership of China. The writer himself compromised to save his own skin, he admitted.

A missionary reported SDA apostasy in Ethiopia in the face of persecution, while people of other denominations stood firm.

Of course, you can just deny the reports; however, I'm interested in the implications of these events to modern gospel proclamation. Spiritual formation has obviously been something terribly remiss in the SDA approach to evangelism. If the new SDA youth movement is simply a reaffirmation of Adventist legalism and perfectionism, it is irrelevant.

You are a soulwinner and evangelist. Do you have any ideas on how to present the gospel in such a way that people's lives are actually changed? I guess that many people who join the SDA church have a change of mind-- from purgatory to soul sleep; from Sunday to Sabbath. Few appear to have a change of heart, which is what interests me. For example, what does it take to change a racist into someone who loves people of any color or tribe or nation?




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 31st, 2011 FredyR says:

Hansen ,you are right numbers don't matter unless there is a change of heart . You ask some really good questions that I don't think we have answers for .The presentation of the Adventsit message hasn't changed that much since the 19th century .we continue with prophecy seminars that really scare people .I have been involved in Evangelism for the last 4 years and I really think that we are not doing a good job . The only one who can bring a change of heart is the Holy spirit . In the Spanish speaking churches , we have been doing something different , we present more Chirst centered messages , since I have been involved doing bible work for caucasian churches and Spanish churches , I can tell you that there is a big difference . Spanish churches are more friendly , and we have more like a community than Caucasians , on the other hand , Caucasians feel guilty that they are not doing anything so they bring an evangelists for 6 weeks and spent some $40,000 dollars at the end of the meetings he baptizes some 2 to 5 people who in six months will leave because all those things they were told were just around the corner did not happen and because they didn't make friends in the church . In spanish churches , our meetings last the most 6 nights but people stay in the church after they baptized because they have found" a family " The youth who attend GYC are very legalistic and narrow minded , To say that it is a "youth led movement " is laughable , I suggest you watch some 10 minutes sometimes when they air it on 3abn and you will see that it's not all young people as they want you to believe .A lot of older people .a lot of these people are those weird who want to flee to the moutains and think that education is from the devil .I would say GYC is the "Adventist version of the tea party ".



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 31st, 2011 guibox says:

From hflynn

"I also looked at the meetings and what they have accomplished. Even allowing the evangelicical count syndrom, the results are incridible. When was the last time we had that many young people going door to door and giving Bible studies? When was the last time we had a youth effor producing 40 baptism? ...They come back to their churches and are not happy with what they see. Those are the kind of people, of all ages, that we need in our churches."


But are their hearts changed? I have seen kids go to the CCM driven 'Aquire the Fire' weekends and come back just as fired up for the Lord. What happens in a month or even week's time? Life gets in the way, they go back doing the same things and speaking the same way. There have been people singing gospel music and even preaching for years who have finally become converted because they had the head knowledge of their church, but not the heart knowledge.

When the fruits of GYC are kids more judgmental, critical and intolerable for differences in the church other than what they've been taught to believe is Adventism (and I have heard this from many sources, not just here), then we can say that GYC makes kids 'better' Adventist apologists, not necessarily better Christians. If they come back with nothing more than the realisation that heresy exists in our church and they've been indoctrinated to recognize and deal with it so everyone can become 'good' Adventists, I call this misplaced fervor and false revival.

The 'fervor' we see may very well simply be the push towards making everyone see that the doctrines and standards of SDAism are the way to go and the truth and should be spread. This is not necessarily in step with being on fire to promote the love and gospel of Christ.

Darrell C




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 31st, 2011 Brian Holland says:

Tolerance is not always a virtue, intolerance is not always a vice. It depends on what you are being tolerant or intolerant of.

Ezra was fairly intolerant of the local people when they wanted to help rebuild the Temple (Ezra 4:1-4) and Nehemiah was fairly intolerant of Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem. Why? These men were very unhappy that Nehemiah was rebuilding Jerusalem. They wanted Jerusalem to continue to be in the wretched state that it was, or better yet, get worse.

How did Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem fight against Nehemiah? They made accusations, made fun of their work, and criticize it.

So GYC is building up the walls of spiritual Jerusalem. They are repairing the breach, but there are some who are angry with the attempt to rebuild. They do not want the doctrinal walls repaired. They do not want personal standards raised. They say, Look at these doctrines! A fox could knock them down! Look at their evangelistic efforts! They are pointless! They make accusations, make fun and criticize it. But the wall will still go up, the breaches repaired and the gates will be hung.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 31st, 2011 markham says:

On January 30th, 2011 Rikko says...

What a ringing an affirmative testimony. Had not unforeseen circumstances intervened we would have had the opportunity to visit one of the GYC meetings. If one has not attended how can he be so negative as Erv has been?

Truth Seeker




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 31st, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

I understand the point that some are making regarding the various dynamics of evangelism: but when we put a price tag on souls? Like when some say "we spent $60k for this effort but only two or three were saved", as though the money was wasted on just a few souls, then we have lost the plot. Our mission is to preach the gospel, and of course to use the finances as wisely as possible, but we must always during this process of labouring for souls, remember the price Jesus paid for every single soul: and there's no price tag on that! Every single soul is precious to God even though our estimate of it may be not valuable. There's that verse somewhere? Ah, John 3:16 ...For God so loved...

Our efforts as a church when actioned with the right motives and 'having the mind of Christ' and 'a right spirit within' together with the 'armour of God' and a host of other blessings the Lord has given His church, will surely always be showered with a joyful experience even if just one precious soul comes home to the 'Father's house'. The church was organised for service and when we are united in Christ as a people all these myths and accusations and faultfinding and bickering and judging and distructive criticism will strangely fade away with the things of this world, when we turn our eyes on Jesus and look full into His wonderful face and march under His Bloodstained banner: What a day that would be! This can never be achieved en masse but only when individuals who are children of the living God, deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Jesus in concert, then we'll all be on the 'testimony' blogs or busy in that roll call in heaven.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 31st, 2011 Brian Holland says:

Erv's byline at the end of this blog still lists him as Executive Publisher. May need to be updated...
Fixed.
-AT Moderator



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 31st, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

I have noticed one odd characteristic within this blog and many of the others as well that deal with topics regarding the church. There is no mention as a point of reference that we are part of the last day 'Lukewarm' Church of Rev 3:14-21. I think this is very important in the context of church ministry and it's mission. Only when we all realise our desperate need for the three remedies that "the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness" offers to us all, then and only then can revival and reformation and effective evangelism take place. The politics and domestics and academics will still have its place but no longer at the forefront but as supplements to the outcome of heeding these verses.

Another important factor, if not the most in terms of ministry, is the preaching and teaching of 'Righteousness by faith'. Whether GYC, AYS, GC, Divisions, Unions, Conferences and local churches, we ALL need to always have Christ as the centre our ministry and "Righteousness by faith" in our hearts and minds and on our lips. Then the lithurgical creeds and dogmas, and self righteous legalistic utterances and spirit of accusation and condemnation will be spewed out of our churches. One has to remember too that whilst in our lukewarm sinful state that christian standards are a thing of the past, in some circles, but with that been said, there is also an extreme self-righteous lot who practice a 'holier than thou' religion which boasts a form of godliness. [remember the fig tree]

So whilst doing the right things are important, the reason for doing it is even moreso. Humanists and human moralists are not uncommon today even in the christian church. Rev 3:14-21 exposes the 'nakedness' of this religious form and offers Christ robe of righteousness. I have heard of the tensions between various 'factions' regarding 1] who's doing a better job 2] who's more organised 3] who's more diciplined 4] who doesn't have fun and games 5] who focuses more on sermonising 6] who can do more for their local churches 6] who's the favorites at GC 7] who's group is more religious 8] who's group has more bible students 9] who's group had to do what when the other group was accused of doing nothing 10] who's getting more money, 11] who's had more baptisms etc.

GYC, Adventist Youth Society, GC, local churches etc, must again realise that not all sinners are the same. They are reached and preached and saved in various ways. Not all saved people can sit and listen to sermon after sermon or sit through study after study. Some may like to read, or prefer audio visuals or small group AY meetings or even only attend when there's potluck. Yet in all these diverse cultural, preferential, liturgical and even apparel differences, Righteousness by faith meets the sinners need rather than the religious creed. There was good reason when Jesus said His "Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees" line on a number of occasions, because their rightiousness was not of the faith kind but rather of their own works. Although there were so many sinners all around, Jesus rebuked their self-righteousness. Another important point to consider is that Jesus is on the outside of our hearts door due to our Lukewarm condition in Rev 3:20. So whilst Jesus waits outside of our hearts door and whilst we may sing the right hymns, wear the right apparel, listen to the right sermons, eat the right food, plan the right lithurgy, play the right music, use the right instruments, pray the right prayers and do all the other right things, we will be caste aside and spewed out for not having the right Saviour in our hearts.

I post my view not to pass accusation on any of the various party's concerned but rather to remind us all that Righteousness by faith, together with Christ centered ministry of which LOVE has to always be the dominating factor [need above creed - heard a sermon by Dwight Nelson] must be above all...

God Bless




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 31st, 2011 hflynn says:

I have had no problem with what is being said. True, numbers don't tell it. I am sure that the comparison with Rwanda is valid one, but that is just my opinion. What

What I look for is whether the converts are in the church on the first anniversary of their baptism. AS for changed lives, I can't help because God is the judge. If we say that lives are not being changed and close down GYC, where do the young people go? What do they do? Back on the street? Will that make them better people?




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On January 31st, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Just a wild guess: I may be wrong, but I don't think that the majority of our admirable GYC youth are 'off the streets' young people. It will take much more than a conference of this nature to actually reach youth that are 'on the streets'. With that been said, and as an afterthought, I know that there are many 'off the street' youth IN our churches as well and many grown-ups too. One leg on the street, in reference to their lifestyle and culture, and one leg in church. All of these young people are also in need of the Saviour and all are special is God's sight! If GYC, or any other form of effort, can create a conducive atmosphere where souls can find salvation, then, Praise the Lord!

The youth attending GYC, their founders and members are mostly 'churched' individuals who are honestly searching for truth, have a basic christian unbringing or background and have their priorities right. Did they drop down from space? No! They are from our regular 'lukewarm' churches, of which I am not ashamed to be part of as this is our 'true condition' which, I might add, doesn't have to remain that way. I know too that they are not aloof of the condition we all are in.

GYC should not and cannot be compared or benchmarked against our Adventist Youth Society or any other of our other youth departments. Both ministries are different 'ball-games' altogether. AYS, like most other local church senior and junior youth ministries, are limited in terms of the extent of what they can do as per objectives and constitution and the 'red tape' surrounding their organisational structure. Access to resources and , manpower and sheer numbers can sometimes be instrumental in making or breaking an effort. Futher to this, the independence of GYC in terms of it's relationship with conferences and GC for that matter, and the financial support it has received from members and the church, is a pivital factor which from an organisational point of view is one of the reasons for its success. The businesslike formal professional approach and high standard of organisation also appeals to many within the Body of Christ - His Church.

If the same GYC type ministry were attempted both in structure and organisation [and there have been many many attempts all around the world over the years which don't even go past conference level, in most cases], it would have been quickly watered down and labeled as rebels, off-shoots and radicals, and of course very little funding would come from nominal church structures, if any. This is a fact! This been said, I wish I could say that GYC represents all those many sincere AYS leaders and youth who have found a way for an 'out of box' experience, but hey, those left behind in these circumstantial youth structures are ironically labeled the 'fun and games type' who lack zeal and spiritual fervour. But again in this regard, I may be wrong. I hope I am!




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 1st, 2011 Tom says:

My impressions of GYC and young people who I personally know who have attended their gatherings has been quite positive. However I'm a little worried if people like Sam Pipin have considerable influence with these folks. If Pipin really considers George Knight a heretic than he probably thinks Joe McCarthy was a shining example of Americanism sixty years ago.


Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 1st, 2011 Hansen says:

People who join Adventism from "off the street" usually bring a lot of issues with them into the church. Christianity is not a substitute for good "breeding." Rarely, someone like th late Emilio Knechtle will hook up with Adventism. He brought a lot of talent and ability with him into the church and became a dynamic representative of the Adventist Christian faith.

Usually, people with numerous "issues" join the church. Doug Batchelor, for example; however, again, due to a unique gene pool, he has developed into a dynamic representative of Adventism. For some people "off the street," Adventism keeps them out of prison. For a very few, Adventism may keep them from worldly glory. Most gladly make the trade.

If the GYC is merely a reaffirmation of traditional Adventism, that's not a good thing. Traditional Adventism has failed. It's amazing that people can't see that.

Recently perusing a study of China's minority people, I noticed a chapter or two on the impact of Christianity upon tribal groups in Yunnan. Legalistic Christian groups utterly failed in their efforts. One remarkable success took place among a tribe which was involved in a situation which called for social justice tempered with Christian wisdom. A capable person appeared and virtually the entire group aligned themselves with Christianity.

Unique situations offer precious opportunities for Christian young people. The king of Bhutan for instance. What is to prevent him from responding favorably to the claims of the Cross? In many cases, the main obstacle is the language barrier. How many Adventist youth can proclaim the gospel in Laotian, or putonghua. In the case of putonghua, there are more than a billion people who communicate in the language.

Has the church, with its educational institutions, developed a plan to qualify young people to serve the puthonghua speaking populace? Many young people could devote their entire lives to serving the people of China. A special set of circumstances exists now, unique in the history of China. Foreigners are being welcomed into China.

Other church groups have forged alliances with Chinese universities to provide teachers. In some schools, nearly the entire foreign English language faculty is made up of church workers. Where are the Adventists? What good is an extensive educational system, if it simply turns out self serving professionals? From a missions perspective, it's a failed system.

I hope, for the sake of those involved, that whatever is taking in GYC will result in young people who have a burden to carry the message of the cross into the regions beyond, a region where rich rewards await those so inclined.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 1st, 2011 Brian Holland says:

"Traditional Adventism has failed." True. But unbelief will fail even more dramatically.

Traditionally Adventism was "righteousness by doctrine and lifestyle standards". It made a appearance of belief, but it wasn't a belief in Christ, but a belief in doctrine and standards. The doctrines and standards were and are fine, but that is not what saves.

Unfortunately, there is a swing the opposite direction. "The doctrines have failed! Get rid of the doctrines! Get rid of the standards!" is the cry, when the doctrines and the standards themselves were not the problem but the misuse of the doctrines and standards. The baby is getting thrown out with the bathwater.

Everyone laughs at the Pharisees who tithed mint, anise and cumin, but we ignore what Jesus said at the end of his statement to them:

Luke 11:42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 1st, 2011 hflynn says:

Here we have a large number of young people who want to get together, read the Bible, go door to door, and give Bible studies. Isn't this what we are all about? The question is, would God not want them to meet, worship Him, witness for Him, and baptize people in His name? Does this displease God? If it does, what would God have them do? Where would He have them go?

The young people are not perfect, and neither are the the names that keep coming up in this blog. So what do we conclude? What do we do? Should we tell them to leave our movement, not witness to our young people? Do we cast them out as lepers? Do we discourage the GYC from persuing their activities? Will this send young people to the mission countries mentioned? Will sending them back home to go out one the streets, get involved in drugs, and live immoral lives inspire them to take up the mantle of service for the cause of Christ? The GYC is not a perfect movement, but it is a movement. Is no movement better than their current movement? Think about it.

I would rather see an imperfect movement rather than no movement at all. I would rather have young people who may not have their theology straight go witness for Christ than stay home and do nothing. There is enough work for everybody in the Lord's vineyard. Let's spend our time doing our work and not finding fault with someone else's efforts.

Someone earlier asked how we win souls and keep them. Let me tell you how we don't do it. We don't do it by doing nothing. That won't work. The time tested means of soul winning are personal Bible studies, giving out literature, and asking people to become a part of our movement. True, we will lose some we thought we had, but what about the ones who stay? Should we deny them the opportunity to know the truth and accept Christ? The young people are giving out literature, giving Bible studies, and bringing people into the church. True, their work is not perfect. However, there is something even less perfect than that, and that is to do nothing. If the GYC tries to do the Lord's work, the odds of success, according to some, are not good. Their chances of accomplishing their mission are small. Well, their chances of success are zero if they do nothing.

Besides, remember that the devil is the accusar of the brethren, and he is pretty good at it. He really doesn't need our help. It would be rather ironic for the GYC to be doing the Lord's work while we do the devil's. Let's not do that.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 1st, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Dear Hansen

1] The 'off the street' in my previous post made reference to 'unchurched' youth primarily and then 'those old and young who are living in sin' but are in the church. The 'issues' you presuppose these unchurched souls bring in, is prejudiced and unbiblical. In fact God's message to the Laodicean church in Rev 3:14-21 clearly mentions those IN the church have 'issues' of which He is not pleased. Rather be hot or cold God says. Your statement further insinuates that these 'off the street' people come into Adventism for the wrong reasons, expecting to be 'bred' as christians. This can't be further from the truth. Churched and unchurched souls have to all come to Jesus for cleansing from sin. All have to undergo the process of experiencing salvation and righteousness by faith and converted and transformed in Christ's likeness. In fact they too qualify entry into God's church and become recipients of His divine grace and favour. 'Off the street' converts bring a vibrant glow of excitement and zeal and enthusiasm that many 'old school' churched people have lost in their cold formalism and superior 'holier than thou' Pharisaical disposition. It was and is the perogative of Jesus' ministry to seek and save that which is lost.

2] You bring in genetics as an argument for better quality conversion. This again is unbiblical and tantamount to a form of racism in my opinion.

3] Traditional Adventism hasn't failed! It is rather the Modernised version of it which has. Coupled with the reckless influence of so called 'theologians', and 'academics' who sow the seed of disbelief and doubt by imperceptibly eroding what God has taught and how He has led in our past history. Many seek to gain popularity by supporting and sanctioning radical views and popular positions to draw attention not to God but to themselves, hence change not for the better, but for worse.

4] Regarding the "puthonghua speaking populace" that you mention ---> Asked not what your church can do for you but what you can do for your church. Why do we always wait for others to do the work? Maybe one should learn the language and lead a church planting effort in China which has many "off the street" souls which one can lead to Christ. Why wait for 'the church' to do it?

5] God knows our condition as a church and yet still loves us and is patient with us. Yet all we sometimes do is attack and blame His Church, His Body.

God Bless




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 1st, 2011 hflynn says:

Brother Hansen:

"Other church groups have forged alliances with Chinese universities to provide teachers. In some schools, nearly the entire foreign English language faculty is made up of church workers. Where are the Adventists? What good is an extensive educational system, if it simply turns out self serving professionals? From a missions perspective, it's a failed system"

Whatever you are, you are not asleep. You are awake and apparently not much gets past you. Previous arguments notwithstanding, I have great respect for your courage and thinking.

On the above subject, let me ask your opinion on one element already in place. I am referring to the student missionary movement. As a pastor I have been involved with at least 3 student missionaries. One went to some obscure south sea island that I am not even going to try and spell. One went to the Ukraine, and one went to some Asian country that I can't name, but I know they have elephants because she sent a picture of herself on one of them. We have a group that has and I think still are going to Cambodia on a short term basis every year. They don't make it into Laos or North Vietnam because the leader is a former member of the North Vietnamese Army and was an officer at that. He deserted, became an Adventist, and now is a pastor. There is an old saying that revenge is best served cold, and some governments have long memories.

My point here is that our young people are doing this every year and doing it well. I am sure that there are some that I don't know about go to China. The other country you mentioned is one I am not acquainted with. So we have been doing it for a long time now. In fact, you could take a year off and join the volunteer missionarys that our church sends overseas on short term missions and then you could preach your heart out or teach in one of our schools.

So we are doing something. I wonder if any of the thousands of GYC members have ever been student missionaries? I suspect they have.

Your evaluation of this would be very interesting. Please consider it.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 1st, 2011 BillCork says:

Hansen says, "I hope, for the sake of those involved, that whatever is taking in GYC will result in young people who have a burden to carry the message of the cross into the regions beyond, a region where rich rewards await those so inclined."

Amen to that! This, I think, is the real test. Is GYC inward looking, aimed simply at ensuring correct behavior or theology, or is it outward looking? Will it result in a new, youth missionary movement? Time will tell.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 1st, 2011 klriley says:

We're still here after 150 years. That indicates some level of failure. And I notice the liberals and conservatives are equally still here, so the failure seems to be shared equally. Of course, other denominations have been here longer, so perhaps we can take some comfort in the idea that we have not failed as much as they have. Will God reward those who have failed least more than those who have failed more? I guess we can hope so.

There are things I do not like about GYC and related groups. There are things I do like. Is God behind GYC? I don't know. Perhaps he is. Maybe it is step 1 in his plan and something better is coming. Anything that gains a hearing for the gospel is good. It won't begin to reach most youth I know. That is as true of the spiritually active as those who are not. I am more interested in what will reach them, and what will help them become stronger Christians than I am in who is or is not behind or funding GYC. Most of our youth are not looking to the church - conservative, liberal, or middle of the road - for answers. So why do we spend so much time arguing over who they should ignore first or more. I read the other day that 70% of youth in Christian schools do not rate religion as 'important' or 'very important' in their lives. Seems that could indicate failure on a fairly massive scale for all of us. My son and almost all his friends are part of that 70%. Sometimes I think it is only grace that keeps me from joining them.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 2nd, 2011 Hansen says:

Hflynn and others,

It generally takes a person at least 6 years to develop fluency in a language not their own. The normal missionary term is 6 years; therefore, about the time people have reached a point where they can communicate effectively in the target language, they return to their home country.

Certainly there are people who can speak English in other countries; however, their goal is often to leave their native country and settle in an English speaking country. So even if they become Christians themselves, they often disappear into the West rather than remaining in their home country as gospel medical missionary evangelists.

The SDA denomination has had decades to consider and resolve these difficulties. So far they have not. Perhaps the youth of the denomination can. A good place to start would be with undergraduate language learning and cross cultural studies which would prepare them for trans cultural ministry.

When I became a Christian, I was compelled to share my faith with others. I can assure you that I brought a lot of baggage into the church, much of which has not been satisfactorily shed. Many of those things still impair my witness. Certainly there are many individuals more imminently qualified to share Christ with those who know him not.

Language barriers, culture shock, personal struggle, social isolation and Christian formation make Christian witness difficult. But doing nothing makes it impossible. Some Chinese universities areis offeing specialized, even custom tailored Chinese language programs.

For example, a group of college degreed individuals form AFCOE could arrive in China as a group and study Chinese together in a university at a reasonable price before taking up English teaching positions in Chinese universities. A group from GYC could do the same. Mind you, they will be paid a living wage by the universities which hire them, so this would essentially be cost free to the denomination.

The men in the administrative offices can continue going to meetings, moving papers around on their desk, spend time trying to figure out if they should revert to a fountain pen, and so forth.

If GYC simply mounts to a herd of mules scratching each other, nothing new there. I hope there is more to it than that.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 2nd, 2011 hflynn says:

It generally takes a person at least 6 years to develop fluency in a language not their own. The normal missionary term is 6 years; therefore, about the time people have reached a point where they can communicate effectively in the target language, they return to their home country.

Certainly there are people who can speak English in other countries; however, their goal is often to leave their native country and settle in an English speaking country. So even if they become Christians themselves, they often disappear into the West rather than remaining in their home country as gospel medical missionary evangelists.

The SDA denomination has had decades to consider and resolve these difficulties. So far they have not. Perhaps the youth of the denomination can. A good place to start would be with undergraduate language learning and cross cultural studies which would prepare them for trans cultural ministry.

*****************************************************************

OK, let's look at some of these points. So a person takes six years to learn a language. Seems like a reasonable period of time to me. Then they say that they go home. Again, this is correct. However, the point that you overlook is that these same people return to the field after their furlough. People taking that long to learn a language are career missionaries. You might want to check with the department of missions to find out how many come on permanent return and how many go back. For example, my brother-in-law and his family spent 16 years in the mission field, returning only when it was time to complete the education of their children. It might help for you to get the stastical facts on ths issue.

As for the people who speak English in foreign countries, I am not sure that you are correct in this statement. Do you have any evidence to support this? Of course there are those who do want to come here, but remember that there is a strong nationalistic movement in many countries and most English speaking people remain at home. Travel to some of these countries and see for yourself. But what does this have to do with the GYC convention or the movement for that matter?

Actually there are programs in our colleges where students studying a foreign language spend time abroad in the country of the language they are studying. See for yourself.

True, the denomination has had decades to consider this problem, but consider the programs the church has instituted to solve these problems. Do you know what these programs are? Again you might want to check with the department of missions and see what is actually going on.

But what does this have to do with the GLC? Most of these young people will return to their school program, which is what they should do. Most of them will not become foreign missionaries, but what does that prove? What does this have to do with GLC? Its mission is to bring people to Christ, not recruit foreign missionaries. Once a person has found Christ, then the Holy Spirit will lead them into whatever work that they should enter. Besides, I think that GLC has chapters in foreign countries. What should those young people do? Leave their country, learn a foreign language and work in that country? If so, then you would have their kids coming here or other nations and our kids going there. You cannot expect the GLC to sponsor that.

Where is the mission field? The point where belief ends an unbelief begins is where the mission field is. But again, what does this have to do with the GLC? Its job is not to send young people overseas, it to equip them to serve Christ better and to witness for him. These young people are out doing missionary work, even though we no longer call it that. Look at the facts. Look at what these young people are doing. No one can rationally fault the GLC for what it is doing in this area. It is a movement in the full sense of the term. They are doing something and apparently doing it well.

Finally, what does this have to do with the issue that Erv raised? His point had to do with who was behind it and where the money was coming from, not what the organization itself was doing.

So I honestly donot see how you can judge the GLC using the arguments that you have used. This is not valid or fair.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 4th, 2011 Hansen says:

Br. Flynn,

Apparently you and I disagree about facts. When I mentioned the informal interviews I had with pastors of two Los Angeles churches, you said I should get my facts straight. My facts are straight. I know what they told me. I could name the pastors, churches, and approximate time frame in which the interviews took place. Around that time John Carter came to Glendale and I started attending there. What I said before, I will say again. The average number of baptisms per year in those churches per pastor was about 8. I'm fairly certain that those numbers included children of members. It would make little difference in terms of cost efficiency

As for missions, my comments are based on my personal observations. It is possible that there are large numbers of Christian physicians leaving Loma Linda for the mission field. I find that difficult to believe, although it is certainly possible. One physician told me how he got through Loma Linda on amphetamines stolen from his father's office. I doubt that a career as a missionary was one of his priorities as a medical student. Others drag through 6 years of mission service and then come home and open a million dollar practice and live deliciously. I've also seen Christian physicians have their missionary aspirations destroyed by world loving wives who are much more interested in that new Mercedes than a life of self sacrificing service.

Since one of my teachers, at an Adventist college, was a "missionary" I had a long discussion with him about his term of service. He told me how useless he felt, how he developed ulcers, from the stress of being a paid missionary, in a country where he could not effectively communicate with his "prospects." He high tailed it out of there as soon as he could.

Of course there are others who spend years. You asked me to comment on a post above, which I did. Foreign "mission trips" for kids make a nice vacation or frolic. Rwanda is a damning indictment against the effectiveness of Adventist missions, as was the landslide apostasy in China when Mao ascended. I base my commentary on eyewitness reports and research done by those who visited the field afterward or were there during the events. Spectrum has some excellent articles on the subject. Other observations are drawn from my own experiences and observations, of which you know nothing.

Historically, when the gospel was preached, people responded with faith unto death. Bishop Briconnet, who apostasized, was so unusual, Wylie devoted numerous lines to his experience. One English Reformer, Cranmer, who stumbled at the prospect of death, regretted his decision. He longed for the opportunity to burn, that he might undo his disgrace, which he did. Few of us are willing to risk our job, much less our life.

Any youth movement in the church should result in people who make a career out of being missionaries, wherever they live. A reaffirmation of legalistic Adventism isn't going to help the church or the world. The idea that church attendance one year later is evidence of a job well done might soothe your conscience. How many years did the Adventist leader, convicted of crimes against humanity, attend church? In whose crown is he a jewel?




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 4th, 2011 Brian Holland says:

I have taken the following principle:

How do I know if the message preached has done me, the listeners or the preachers any good? How do I know if it is effective? This is the test:

If it does not ask or require any sacrifice, if it has cost me nothing but rather instead given me only financial or societal advantages and I have done nothing of sacrifice, then this gospel has done nothing for me, for others or for the speaker/pastor. In fact it has done harm for it gives a false hope on false pretenses.

There is no possible way for one to accept the true biblical gospel without sacrifice, usually large sacrifice, in this world. It will cost you something -- politically, financially, socially. It is out of harmony with this world. However, the nominal gospel costs you nothing and in fact helps you socially, financially and politically. Millions accept it.

Before I think a preacher is great, I ask the question: What has he/she sacrificed for Jesus? If it appears that there has been no sacrifice, if he/she has made no stands for the truth that required to take unpopular, politically incorrect, positions. If they have not taken a stand for the Bible positions. If it seems that he/she is merely getting a good salary and accolades, then I will enjoy their sermons, and I will get a blessing from the truths they give, but I will not think of them as a great preacher.

It is prophesied that most of the Adventist church will leave due to several factors: heresy, persecution, etc. When sacrifice is required, most will vacate. Why is this surprising when even of the 12 disciples, one was a devil? Why does it amaze us that even the 11 forsook Him and fled? Why do we wonder at Peter's denial? If this was true of Jesus' immediate associates, why are we surprised that there are tares in the church today?

We are headed to 15 million Adventists worldwide which I praise the Lord for! But don't be surprised if in the future there isn't a stampede for the door. Statistically, about 10% end up true.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 4th, 2011 xy says:

A seed sown must put down some roots, and the plant must grow before it bears fruit. A few days at GYC cannot undo unchristian character;this is the work of a lifetime. These young people are given tools to do things like: improve their devotonal life, overcome depression, reach out to gay loved ones etc. they are given tools-practical steps that they must continue to implement long after they leave. Tools don't use themselves. I believe that These youth are still growing in Christ and are excited by the real examples of christianity that they see at GYC they need to see that their examples are 100%, especially since they are so good at spotting frauds. Some of the prominent leaders at GYC did not grow up adventist but became Christian SDA's and are still on fire,for Jesus. They are not jaded like me and others who were born Adventist.


Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 4th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"These young people are given tools to do things like: improve their devotonal life, overcome depression, reach out to gay loved ones etc

Exactly how are they taught to "reach out to gays"? Will they ACCEPT gays as GYC? What does "reaching out" mean to them? Is it reaching out with one hand while condemning with the other?



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 4th, 2011 Brian Holland says:

Yep, they reach out to practicing homosexuals, drunks, drug addicts, heterosexuals in sexual relationships together outside of marriage, liars, cheaters, witches, you name it. All of these was where we came from. All of these Jesus came to save. They will invite them to church and other meetings, they will befriend, they will encourage.

Will they say that their bad behaviors are moral? No. Will they baptize those that are unwilling to change? No.

It is a false premise to say; you must accept my bad behavior as okay in order to love and accept me. No parent that is worth their salt will swallow that one concerning their children.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 4th, 2011 jbrack1 says:

Well, Erv, I'm saddened that you take the effort to call a myth by it's right name and propose to label people (reactionary or otherwise) rather than taking the time and effort to truly acquaint yourself with what is happening in the lives of young people who are being blessed by this movement. They are, by the thousands, committing themselves to a connection with Christ, spending themselves in working to reach the unsaved with the Gospel and ministering to their peers.

You might want to rethink how you characterize the movement and it's followers--the thinking about Jesus by the Jewish leaders in His day sounds curiously like yours regarding the GYC movement.

Having said that, Gamaliel's counsel will likely prevail in spite of my or your thinking on the matter: "...take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. . .for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought, but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."

God bless. I don't doubt for a moment your sincerity though I grieve the potential for the destruction of faith rendered by your line of reasoning.

Jim Brackett (WWC, LSC, LLU graduate)




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 4th, 2011 Elaine Nelson says:

"It is a false premise to say; you must accept my bad behavior as okay in order to love and accept me. No parent that is worth their salt will swallow that one concerning their children."

Not exactly sure how you intend this to mean. But as a parent, my children will always and forever be loved UNCONDITIONALLY, and whether I accept or condone their behavior (adult children make their own choices and often are not the same their parents would choose for them).

If you are a parent, under what conditions do you give for loving and accepting them? Have I misunderstood you? At what age should children be free to make their own choices? Whether we "accept" their behavior or not, is that the proper corrective to remind them we are not accepting?




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 4th, 2011 hflynn says:

John Carter and I are friends, and I have preached in his church many times. Again I urge you to consider the total baptisms in the conference It is easy to get that information. By the way, do you know what centurions are? These are people who baptize 100 or more people in a year We have some who have achieved this. Again, look at the actual numbers, not just generalizations based on on someone pulling out numbers from the top of his head. Look at the total number of people who we baptize in a year. Look at what we did 20 years ago. Get the facts, the truth But suppose each church baptized only 8 people. What would that prove? People work and sometimes that is all they get. Would they be a failure? When I was ordained, I had baptized nine in one year. The conference thought that was fine. The reason was that this was over 10 percent of the members. Was that a failure? Our church spent over $3,000 on Net 2000and the opening night when we held the meeting on satellite, we had more non-Adventists present than Adventists. From those meetings we baptized four. Was that a failure?

As far as children as concerned, at what age must they reach in order to be a viable convert? How important are their souls? Isn't that why we have schools and colleges?

I really think that God is the one to judge whether we have done well or not. Someday He will do that, so since He will do it then, why try to judge now? Forgive me for being personal, but when was the last time you brought someone into the church?

You talk about the spirituality of someone one after his baptism. Let me give you an example. I baptized an African-American years ago, and in one year he got us over 20 baptisms and the converts were all white. That was over 40 years ago and he is still in the church and an elder at that. Another member that I baptized became the manager of the Riverside ABC. Today he is the assistant manager of the ABC in Southern Calif. He also was baptized over 40 years ago. Another that I baptized became a doctor while two entered the ministry. I could say more, but I think that I have made my point. You talk to two pastors 20 years ago and from that you over generalize the evangelistic zeal of our church. Earlier you said that how many peopl baptized stayed in the church? Now you are saying that being members one year later proves nothing.

Let's look at some of your quotes.

1."You asked me to comment on a post above, which I did. Foreign "mission trips" for kids make a nice vacation or frolic." (No, it does not. They work and work hard. Ask the missions leader what these young people are doing. Don't kid youself.)

2."Rwanda is a damning indictment against the effectiveness of Adventist missions. (Is it? True, some lost their was, but what about the thousands over the years who didn't lose their faith. What is going on there now? Do you even know?)

3."landslide apostasy in China when Mao ascended." (You need to look again. When things got better, the church was alive and well. One of the leader spent 20 years in jail and came out preaching the gospel and a leader in his church.)

4."The idea that church attendance one year later is evidence of a job well done might soothe your conscience." (Soothe my conscience about what? What did I do wrong that caused this person to be in the church one year later? What's wrong with that? Earlier you talked about people staying in the church. So I did and you find fault with that?)

5."Since one of my teachers, at an Adventist college, was a "missionary" I had a long discussion with him about his term of service. He told me how useless he felt, how he developed ulcers, from the stress of being a paid missionary, in a country where he could not effectively communicate with his "prospects." He high tailed it out of there as soon as he could." (Unfortunately, this does happen. But are you going to write off the whole movement because of this unfortunate case? Get the facts from the GC. As far as the doctors are concerned, I thought we were talking about the GYC? Now we are talking about Loma Linda. On that note let me point out the both my son and daughter-in-law are physicians and both were active in missionary work in the community. Do you really think that all doctors, nurses, etc are apostates? If they stay here, maybe it is because that is what God wants them to do. Who are you to judge how these people spend their lives? That is for God to do.)

6. "How many years did the Adventist leader, convicted of crimes against humanity, attend church? In whose crown is he a jewel?" (So you are going to judge all native workers because of one man's fall? How long were the fallen angels and Lucifer faithful before they fell. Are you going to blame God for this? Besides, you need to read the monthly edition of the Adventist Review and see what people in foreign countries are doing. There are some real touching stories told.)

7."My facts are straight."(You are being naughty with the facts. Everything positive the church is doing you are finding fault with. I think the problem here is your perception and not the facts, many of which you do NOT have straight.)

8."Historically, when the gospel was preached, people responded with faith unto death" (Historically, Adventists have done and are doing the same. By your statement you are besmirching their silent, yet faithful witness. That is really tragically sad.)

Now I have been forthcoming with you; please do the same for me. You were (are?)a young person once. How are you spending your life? What is its direction? What is your witness? Have you going door-to-door like these young people? Have you given Bible studies? Have you had baptisms? Do you give the time that these kids are giving? Now I realize that you can have a fruitful spirit-filled life without doing what they are doing. I am not finding fault with your life, but neither should you find fault with their.)




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 4th, 2011 xy says:

That is a great question Elaine! Hmm. What does the bible teach on condemnation? What does the bible teach on acceptance. If Christ did not condemn the woman who was caught in the act of adultery why would any christian do so? I would hate to muddle a great sermon by regurgitation would you like me to post a link? I follow all the GYC sessions on the web and you can too! Joy!



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 4th, 2011 TXalchemist says:

Tom,

I don't think recall Pipim using "heretic" in so many words, but his thoughts on Knight, Alden Thompson and others in the "other camp" are quite pointed. I don't own the book "Here We Stand" (refuse to buy it) but did browse a friend's copy for a couple hours and the criticism of Knight et al. was clear. You can also find some freely accessable comments on Pipim's website, for example in this article:

http://www.drpipim.org/bible-contemporaryissues-54/90-how-church-liberals-undermine-the-bible-part-1.html

The title "How Church Liberals Undermine the Bible" sets the tone. Pipim argues his thesis that the "historic Adventist" position was towards literal biblical inspiration/historicism/etc. (he tries to duck the label "fundamentalist" but clearly he is), and argues here and in his book "Receiving the Word" (freely downloadable from his website) that that is the church's teaching still today (as stated in the FB#1 on the Bible). Adventist members/his readers face a choice. They can choose what the church teaches, or they can choose to depart from it and follow the higher critics, and then he proceeds to use Knight and Thompson as examples.

According to dictionary.com, a heretic can be defined as "a professed believer who maintains religious opinions contrary to those accepted by his or her church or rejects doctrines prescribed by that church." Given what Pipim says your 2 choices are, i.e., "for" or "against" FB#1 and the church's study document on inspiration, he is clearly labeling Knight a heretic by definition if not in word.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 5th, 2011 Hansen says:

Hflynn,

Years ago I approached an Adventist evangelist after a service. I said, "I'd like to see more of Jesus and less of you in your sermons." Although he was considered an effective evangelist, I still think of him as, with all due respect, an ignorant blowhard. His response to me was, in essence, "Boy, It's only the grace of God that's preventing me from knocking you to the floor." I might have responded in numerous ways. I decided to pass. The pastor of the church, who is now a college professor said, privately, that if I didn't get more education, I would end up like him [the evangelist]. The pastor was unaware of the previous exchange between the evangelist and I.

I accept your suggestion to get more facts about the SDA mission program, from the GC. It would be informative to actually understand the figures at LLU. How many graduates actually do mission service, for how long, and how effective are they? I would also like to know, for instance, what the mission budget is compared to the administrative budget of the denomination.

There are numerous exciting opportunities for Christian youth to serve Christ in the world. I hope they won't limit themselves to chest thumping displays, denominational apologetics, and so forth. People, of any age, who have a burden to do something in the interests of the Cross of Christ should just do it. Others, intent on career building and grandstanding, can work through "regular channels."




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 5th, 2011 Brian Holland says:

@Elaine

Sorry that was unclear. What I am saying is that a parent unconditionally loves and accepts their child, but they will definitely not accept and will discipline bad behavior. With adult children they may even have to say in certain conditions, "I am sorry but you cannot stay at home. When you are willing to live by the family rules, we will be glad to have you live here, but until then you will have to live somewhere else." This does not mean that they are not loving and accepting the child, but they do not accept the behavior.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 5th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

Hansen

Your story with the evangelist is hilarious! PG13V ;)

Moral of the story. Always say it on a blog - it's safer!

Trevor




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 5th, 2011 hflynn says:

Brother Hansen:

What a fine reply. As far as that evangelist is concerned there are a lot of creeps in the ministry, unfortunately. No preacher worth his salt would ever take fault with what you said. This is the goal of every true sermon. We fail in so many ways. Just keep in mind, though, that we are not all that way. There are some of us that want to do the right thing. We don't always do it, though.

The goal of every minister should be to be nothing that Christ may be everything, to want nothing for ourselves but everything for Christ. That is a tall order, but that is what we should aim for.



Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 8th, 2011 Trevor Hammond says:

hflynn

In a previous comment I did say to Hansen that the incident was absolutely hilarious (and I still think it is), but I don't think that it was appropiate behaviour: on both sides! Stepping up to someone and telling them something insulting to their face is inappropiate behaviour, at least in a Christian environment. It's not the way counseling or advice is done. Christians don't provoke conflict by using 'righteous' innuendos to hurt one another. First thing to do is to pray for someone. Was this done? Openly 'attacking' someone even with the truth is not in the best interests of anyone. The evangelist probably wasn't expecting an insult and responded inappropiately also. Christians with 'Christ' in their hearts shouldn't act this way, period. [Matthew 7:12]. I wouldn't brag about doing this to a man of God, even if he may not meet my expectations.

You mention 'creeps in the ministry', is Christ also referred to in this? I don't think that "what was said" to the evangelist was the main problem. It is more a matter of "who said it" and "how it was said" and "where it was said" that is. Remember that small word called "tact"?

I think of Ellen White, whose exemplary Christian life cannot be criticised for not preaching more of Christ, yet she is, and has been insulted tremendously, mocked and ridiculed, for allowing God to use her in service. I think God should be the judge of who the 'creeps' are and who needs more of Christ. I think we all need more of Christ!




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 12th, 2011 Hansen says:

H flynn,

I followed your advice to get some facts or better facts or straight facts. What I found is this:

There are more employees in the General Conference office than the entire number of missionaries, currenly serving, who were sent out by the NA division.

There are less than 35 LLU dental or medical professionals currently serving overseas.

The average number of acquisitions to the church by baptism, or profession of faith per pastor in 2008 was ~9. My number of 8, excluding profession of faith, taken 20 years ago, was actually quite close to the mark, one might even say "right on."

The current mission termed is 5 years. Some medicaldental professionals serve only one year.

Your remarks were incorrect. My facts were and continue to be "straight." Check with the office of archives and statistics. In the future, perhaps you should check your facts first, before contradicting someone whose facts are correct.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 15th, 2011 Doctorf says:

Israel,

Your arbiter of "truth" is your success in both dollar and number of converts? Well then, the Mormons have just as much claim on the "truth" as they often cite their amazing numbers both financially and in numbers of converts. Their conclusion? Look what God has done!

Your success financial or otherwise is more a testimony of cyclical human history. These "revivals" come and go. Next.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 15th, 2011 Doctorf says:

Hflynn,

Can you explain this self loathing theology? I am nothing so that Christ can be everything? I do not subscribe to the idea that "I am nothing." Tell that to my mother or my wife or our children. They will disagree with you.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 17th, 2011 hflynn says:

Don't take that the wrong way and make it say what I didn't mean. What I was trying to say is that a true minister will (ideally) lay aside all selfish ambition and be willing to allow Christ to use him as Christ desires. The ministry can be the biggest ego trip around, and we can all fall into that trap. I wasn't talking about loathing at all. The desire to be seen of men (and women), to get the biggest church, etc. can short circuit one's ministry. All of us fall pray to this temptation. What we need is to do is to fight that because it can creep on us unaware.

As far as creeps in the ministry, I stand by what I said because it happens to be the truth.




Re: Creating Myths: Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) ...
On February 18th, 2011 Doctorf says:

Hyflynn,

Thank you for the reply. You chose the word "loathing" but I think I understand your position better.

I appreciate your honesty regarding the headiness involved in the ministry. I am skeptical (with good reason) of anyone who says they "wish to do the lords work." That leaves a lot of open territory. This personality type generally longs for influence over others and clergy do have such influence. Thus, guarding against ego with a continued honest evaluation of ones true motives is a well reasoned position.

With regards to Christ using me as he "desires", I find the metaphor offensive. I am not here to be used by anyone Christ or otherwise. As I have no direct communication with Jesus or any other supernaturals I have no clue as to what they "desire" of me. Indeed, I am not a piece on a celestial chessboard. In my life's path, I choose, not God and I accept the consequences of my choices as a free moral agent.

We are not sheep or servants. The Christian position of God and afterlife reminds me of a Star Trek episode where the hand of Zeus holds onto the Enterprise. Zeus in human form takes the humans down to the planet and tells them that in exchange for adoration and worship he will give them eternal life and take care of all their needs. Capt Kirk's response is "we have outgrown you and we want to make our own mistakes and we accept the consequences."

I really hope that eternal life allows me to disagree with God and do a bit of my own fact finding.


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