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Are 'Celebration SDA Churches', new path to God, or away from truth?

Look at this as it is a eye opening shock of cold water on those who are pushing the Willow Creek Model of 'Celebration SDA Churches' with its hidden 'Spiritual Formation':

"My Pilgrimage to U.S.A. Celebration Churches

By the late 1980s, Australian Adventist administrators, evangelists, and pastors were looking for an answer to the challenge of this post-Christian era. They wanted to know how to successfully grow their churches.

It was at this time that the "celebration movement" was introduced to the world church of Seventh-day Adventists. The church’s leading papers heralded the first celebration churches in Milwaukie, a suburb of Portland, Oregon; and Colton, California, U.S.A. This new type of church was believed to be the answer to our church growth problems, as hundreds were flocking to these celebration churches. I was one of the pastors who embarked upon this pilgrimage.

My first opportunity to observe the celebration church movement in detail was in June 1990. I was part of a group of 30 Australian pastors who were taken on a Church Growth Tour through the U.S.A. to learn how to grow churches. Two of the "growing" Adventist churches we visited were Milwaukee and Colton. With glowing enthusiasm their pastors told of the crowds of worshippers who were attending. Their excitement was contagious. We took notes, filed materials, and then attended some of their services.

I was in my 38th year of ministry, having been a departmental director and pastor/evangelist. Observing these celebration churches caused me concern as I saw their sacred worship services accompanied with lights and loud disco-type music of secular, worldly entertainment. The distinctive truths of the three angels’ messages and the Spirit of Prophecy had given way to a message of "love and acceptance." Church standards had suffered a similar fate, as members were encouraged to be "loving" and not "judgmental." However, many of those attracted to these services could not see the dangers. They expressed their joy that this new presentation of the Gospel had brought to them love, understanding, and a liberation from Adventist legalism.

With almost evangelistic zeal the members were urging other Adventists from surrounding churches to join them in this newfound experience. These churches were certainly growing, and rapidly. But it was largely "transfer growth" from other Adventist churches. While they were supposed to attract and convert "unchurched Harrys and Marys," few such "kingdom-growth" baptisms were taking place.

While some of us left those celebration churches with questions in our minds, none of us had any idea that both of these churches would later collapse, with the loss of hundreds of souls. The pastor of the Milwaukee church also would become so antagonistic to the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its teachings that his soul-destroying influence would even extend to Australia. In fact, little did we realize then that one of our fellow ministers on this tour would on his return "plant" a celebration/contemporary church like those he was observing, and he too would suffer a similar fate, with the loss of the church and himself to the Adventist Church....


The Celebration Movement in the South Pacific Division

When the celebration movement was launched in the Seventh-day Adventist Church by the Milwaukie and Colton Adventist churches in America, some pragmatists in Australia and New Zealand were quick to follow them. Five church plants of this nature were attempted in the South Pacific Division, each of which adopted a celebration-type contemporary style of worship. They were: (1) Cherrybrook, Sydney, Greater Sydney Conference; (2) Cornerstone, North New Zealand Conference; (3) Fox Valley, Sydney, Greater Sydney Conference; (4) Riverside, Perth, West Australian Conference; and (5) Southside, Brisbane, South Queensland Conference.2

These five contemporary churches that were "planted" in the South Pacific Division initially experienced transfer growth from other Adventist churches, but had very little success in their style of evangelism in terms of kingdom growth. Tragically, four of these five churches are no longer in the sisterhood of Adventist churches. Like most of their American counterparts, they experienced a tragic loss of members as well as pastors.3

Besides the church "plants," some established Adventist churches also adopted aspects of the celebration church growth methods. The Church Growth leaders of the South Pacific Division specially promoted one such Sydney church (the Mt. Colah church), hoping to demonstrate the success of these pragmatic methods. However, official conference records reveal that this church only had 19 baptisms in its first nine years, and in the next five years only one baptism!4

This "model" pragmatic church now has such a small attendance that it is struggling to exist. In contrast to this celebration-type church, the neighboring "commissionist" (or traditional) church, Waitara, has so experienced real kingdom church growth that it has been asked to care for the "model" church.5 In fact, more of these celebration-type contemporary churches are in trouble, and conference leaders are becoming very embarrassed about them, having in the past enthusiastically promoted them....

A mistaken assumption of the contemporary church growth movement is that distinctive Seventh-day Adventist doctrines are a hindrance to church growth and must, therefore, be abandoned. And yet, the churches that have jumped on this bandwagon are not growing!"
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Yea James, we do worship God every day in prayer and bible study. But as JohnB says if you ever noticed God has set aside a day for meeting with Him and fellow believers that Day is called Sabbath as God sanctified it and made it holy not a thing He did for any other day. You seem to forget that in Hebrews God speaks of the rest of the soul let me quote the text for you in case you have missed it.

Heb 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

And as I understand it Jesus newer spoke of another day I have asked you many times to show us where this other day was sanctified. The quote you gave from Isaiah is not speaking about Sunday as that would have been unthinkable to him. Surprise you hold yourself as speaking from God and you put on holy words as it would absolve you from any guilt. As for the 18 benefits you will miss out of one as the Sabbath sanctifies no other day has that benefit.

Peace

 brother James, I'm sure you can see you go against clear Biblical teachings in regards to the Moral laws of GOD... and you choose to ignore what Protestant pioneers and the Protestant world believes. Perhaps you didn't see it, here, check it out.

Dwight L. Moody

“Now men may cavil as much as they like about other parts of the Bible, but I have never met an honest man that found fault with the Ten Commandments. Infidels may mock the Lawgiver and reject Him who has delivered us from the curse of the law, but they can’t help admitting that the commandments are right…they are for all nations, and will remain the commandments of God through the centuries… The people must be made to understand that the Ten Commandments are still binding, and that there is a penalty attached to their violation…Jesus never condemned the law and the prophets, but He did condemn those who did not obey them [see Matthew 5:17-19].” Weighed and Wanting, pp. 11, 16, 15.

John Wesley

“‘Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the Prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil’” [Matthew 5:17] …The ritual or ceremonial law, delivered by Moses to the children of Israel, containing all the injunctions and ordinances which related to the old sacrifices and service of the temple, our Lord indeed did come to destroy, to dissolve, and utterly abolish…
But the moral law, contained in the Ten Commandments, and enforced by the prophets, He did not take away. It was not the design of His coming to revoke any part of this. This is a law which never can be broken, which stands fast as the faithful witness in heaven. The moral stands on an entirely different foundation from the ceremonial or ritual law, which was only designed for a temporary restraint upon a disobedient and stiff-necked people; whereas this was from the beginning of the world, being ‘written not on tables of stone,’ but on the hearts of all the children of men, when they came out of the hands of the Creator. And, however the letters once wrote by the finger of God are now in a great measure defaced by sin, yet can they not wholly be blotted out, while we have any consciousness of good and evil. Every part of this law must remain in force, upon all mankind, and in all ages; as not depending either on time or place, or any other circumstances liable to change, but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other.” On the Sermon on the Mount, Discourse 6, Sermons on Several Occasions (1810), pp. 75-76.


Martin Luther

“I wonder exceedingly how it came to be imputed to me that I should reject the law of Ten Commandments…. Can anyone think that sin exists where there is no law?Whosoever abrogates the law must of necessity, abrogate sin also.” Luther’s Works (trans., Weimer ed.), Vol. 50, pp. 470-471; originally printed in his Spiritual Antichrist, pp. 71, 72.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

  You ignoring and your refusal to acknowledge the clear teachings that the Moral law of the Ten Commandments are still in effect doesn't help the lies you are promoting, you do know that right?

 The Protestant world and even the catholic   church believes the Ten Commandments are still binding, but they believe some of them has been changed, and of course the SDA Church teaches that they haven't been changed. 

   

DITTO

Keeping any law does not save you. It is by grace through faith, without works including the  keeping of all laws. People have a hard time believing that God rescues us, it’s not that we are so good at keeping all the law that God gives us salvation as earned. NO!

This is strictly regarding salvation. Many here believe and state things directly in opposition to what Paul the Apostle stated. He received revelation directly from Jesus Christ. Now if anyone understood grace, and law, it was Paul not only having studied under Gamaliel the greatest law scholar at the time, but also Paul being a Pharisee of Pharisees. God rescued Paul and forgave his crimes against Jesus and the body of Christ. What works could Paul do to earn and undo the death of Stephen? None!

Paul received the sacred secrets directly from Jesus himself, which were hid in God since the foundations of the world. These are the new rules laid out by God through Jesus Christ. Read chapter 15 of Acts regarding what was required in writing of the newly converted Gentiles. It was to avoid blood, strangled animals and those things offered to idols only. Read what a Peter said, and Paul and even James agreed.

KJV - Acts 15
“Acts” info

And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said,, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot † be saved.
When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.

And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
And put no difference between † us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even † as they.
Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, † saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment:
It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.
So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle:
Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.
And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.

And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles.
Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.
Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, † Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.
And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.
But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: †: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;
And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.”

Who said salvation is earned? this is where you are making a big mistake. No one can earn salvation not even an SDA Keeping Sabbath In obedience to God's Holy Will. Only the Blood of Jesus can save you. 

Nowhere in the Book of Acts does it say that the Sabbath has been changed to Sunday. The one who did this was Constantine and the Roman Catholic church enforced the Sundaykeeping at the pain of death. And now we see people like you who think they can mould God into their ideas Spit on God and His Holy Commandments.

You say one thing but do another.

Are you blaming me for the Catholic Church regarding the Sabbath? 

Argue with Acts 15, not with me. They wrote exactly what was agreed for gentiles.

Are you do brain washed that you cannot read, process and understand?

I am not holding you responsible for what Antichrist are doing and have done. I am holding you responsible for Disobedience to God, as God Himself will on Judgement day. If we need to talk about brainwashing I think you are the one that is the victim of Antichrist doctrines. 

Just show one verse in Acts 15 that says that You are now free to keep the day of Antichrist and the Sabbath is not for the Gentiles. 

I note you say that you are under the New Covenant that is not like the Old Covenant. And you are correct in it is different. Why is it different Because instead of God writing His Commandments on stone God now writes them on your heart.  

too brain washed

Where is the text for Sunday-keeping? 

Peace

James wrote: "Keeping any law does not save you."

 Like brother Ian said, who said keeping any law saves us??? Where is your proof??? Your making things up, in other words your lying on what SDA teach. Again, you can prove me wrong, just show some proof of someone saying it. 

James wrote: "This is strictly regarding salvation. Many here believe and state things directly in opposition to what Paul the Apostle stated. "

  Ok, where is your proof??  Without proof, your just making things up in your head. Geesh... Brother James, your making Pinocchio look like a saint. 

Then why do you put yourselves under law of Moses (first 5 books of the bible) regarding tithes, 10 commandments? Membership in a denomination is not even Biblical. There is one body of Christ.

Your conflict with the 7 church epistles and chapter 15 of Acts shows that your allegiance is to the SDA, which most here say is the standard, and the hatred received for entering here through ambiguous entrance agreement while I was attending and studying at a local SDA church is the antipathy of everything Christian. The local church graciously offered me the right hand of fellowship and friendship.

They did not complain that I had entered, neither did they or the entrance material here state that I or anyone else must agree with all SDA doctrine. I am experienced in law and the entrance material implies anyone can enter, not just SDA members.

My research and experience is sincere and rational, based upon sound Biblical research principles.

James, you do not get it, do you? SDA does not keep Sabbath because of the laws of Moses. We keep Sabbath as a Sign of our Loyalty and obedience to Christ the Lawgiver. 

Sabbath keeping is in no way in conflict with any writings in the Bible. While Sunday keeping is in conflict with the Bible, because nowhere can we find God ordaining the Sunday. In revelation, you will find that Sunday was ordained by Antichrist and those who hold to it will one day soon have a mark. 

Your research is based on your twisted understanding of what the Bible does say. You are walking in a light of your own kindling. Moses nephews were doing that also and met with a sad end.   

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