Adventist Online

Brethren,
I grieve inside me, and I am wondering why these things occur in the church.

  • Why is it we have no free Schools of Evangelism or Bible Schools? One is required to pay for everything, no free online courses!
  • Pastors preach and produce sermons, presentations on CDs and DVDs, all of them are on SALE.
  • SDA Schools are expensive benefiting very few SDAs save those kids from well to do families, why is this so?
  • Books are written in high quantities and yet a lot of them are on SALE. Spirit of Prophesy is on SALE, Bible on SALE, Sermons on SALE...


NB: The matter regarding EGW Software was settled and a free online database with Bible Commentaries can be easily accessed here

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Given the great popularity of David Gates and his messages, the following Biblical and detailed discussion about him may be beneficial and enlightening.

http://www.adventistonline.com/forum/topics/the-claims-and-propheci... )

Topics discussed in this document are:

David Gates’ Lazarus Experience
- The Spiritual Implication/Application of Gates’ Lazarus Experience
- Conclusion
Epilogue - Laodicean Dilemma
Epilogue II - (June 2010+)
- Gates’ Second Prophetic Campaign
Epilogue IIB - “Lazarus Is Dead”
Epilogue III - Gates’ 9/11/2010 Crisis!??

The vast majority of the claims made by Gates do not at all check out in various key aspects.
I have found a wealth of free information online. Enough that ANYONE could be so well educated in the truth that they would be the equal of any person that has been educated in any university. Is that not enough free stuff for you?

I am completely in favor of putting information online - for free. But that is completely different than saying everything should be free. Products and services have value. They have a cost of production that SOMEONE has to pay with money, trade, labor, or whatever. So it is simply not possible for everything to be free to everybody without any compensation. Someone has to pay. Or we could devise some elaborate system of barter where the gardeners supply their vegetables to the printers who supply... wait... WE ALREADY HAVE THAT SYSTEM. It's called the monetary system. What we contribute to society has value that we are compensated for. We can then use that money to compensate someone else for the value of good or services they provide.

There is another aspect to this. When everything is provided to us for free, we don't value it. It can be worthless in our eyes. We did not have to strive for it. We did not have to have any faith in God. Examples of this abound in the real world.

I am a member of the Walla Walla University community... one of the "expensive" universities mentioned. You know what? I have NEVER seen a student that wished to attend this university not be able to attend. Yes, they had to work and step out in faith... but I am simply in awe of the fact that EVERYONE that truly wishes to come to WWU has been able to do so. Some had to wait a year... some had to humble themselves before God and their brothers. But they ALL were able to come here. Their stories are amazing. And their faith in God has been strengthened more than you can imagine. They would not have that experience of trusting in God has it not been for the reliance they placed on Him.

If anyone truly thinks everything needs to be free... start with yourself as an example. You be free. Either refuse your paycheck or pay a 100% tithe. God didn't ask for that... but those who think everything should be free seem to be saying that it is somehow better to forgo compensation for their work.

Seriously though, I speed read and I could never read the amount of good free information currently available even if I didn't sleep or eat or do anything else. Look for it, it's there. :-)

God bless,
Clark
On a beach in Florida handing out books for free but no-one would accept them. We stopped for a while to rest and were approached by a down-and-out looking for "spare change". We gave him some money and someone pressed a book into his hand.

We continued trying to give away books but with very little success. The down-and-out came back and asked if he could have another book... or two. We gave him a couple of books and he went off. A short while later he came back and asked for as many books as we could give him. This time he took ten or twelve and walked off down the beach. Curious, we followed after him.

As we walked down the beach we saw people sitting reading our books, the very same people who had refused when we offered them. We spoke to one person and asked where he got the book and was it any good? He told us that there was a shabby-looking guy walking up and down the beach selling the books for a dollar each. He had read the first chapter and said it was quite a good book and worth the money.

Sometimes the methods God uses will surprise us.
I love that story! God can get His word out... no matter how we blunder along. :-)
I agree nice story, but the books were a dollar!
A lot of things are overpriced.

Clark, you are a member of Walla Walla community, could you please explain to me why Walla Walla and other Adventist theological seminaries have no open course ware?
In this instance the professors are well paid, so why is it they have no open course ware and yet secular universities do? I am waiting for your answer on that one.

I can't work for free because I am in a public institution, now returning 100% tithe depends on the individual being worked upon by the Holy Spirit.
If it's of God, the Lord will support it. The Lord supports his work, I know there's information online for free, but some is sold heavily.

I gave you an example, I was distributing Spirit of Prophesy Software with all the prophetess writings and bible commentaries and amazingly there were pastors in USA who contacted me for the software. I offered it to them for free, because I myself I got it for free. Do you get my argument? These things are supposed to be for free, or just charge only administrative costs and that's all. If the software was sold at $10 it's equivalent to being free and many would have that benefit.

Ask yourself how many people in Asia, Africa, Europe have got the Spirit of Prophesy? Very few because the Lord's word is being sold!

He who started work in us, is able to fulfill. It would not hurt for Walla Walla, SAU, LMU, OC and others if they had free open course ware, this would help other Adventist Universities in other regions such that they can share information and teach almost the same things with quality. There has to be a change.
Joseph I get your point very well. The pastors of our church draw their livelihood from the same principles as those of Levites. The priests were not supposed to do any work except that of the Lord. And it was not for profit. In Paul's time, some of the apostles worked (Paul was a tentmaker and he encouraged others not to be a burden to believers, meaning they worked at some trade), but maybe someone could shed light on how much Paul engaged in tentmaking before he was imprisoned.

It is questionable if the same principles apply to gospel ministers today, particularly to Adventist pastors.

I get two points from the posts:

1. God's word is priceless, so we cannot place a value on it (administrative, personal etc). We should give it out for 'free' no matter what it costs us. Especially, we should not sell it for profit.

2. The word of God is so priceless that people should get it at any cost. Let them pay; the higher they pay, the more they value it.
Joseph,
Is your argument a philosophical one? Do you philosophically think that all information should be free? Do you want some specific thing because it is 'unattainable' (not free) instead of using and promoting all the free info that IS available? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems like you don't want to really acknowledge and use the wealth of free stuff that is available. Could we use more free info? ABSOLUTELY! But then you need to use your burden for this issue to provide that free material. (And it will cost you real money.)

You said "I can't work for free because I am in a public institution". So... you can't work for free but you want other to do that? I feel you have blunted your whole line of reasoning by not being willing to do what you are suggesting other people should do. The other option is for you to use your money to sponsor the creation of free materials. That would be very welcome. That is the way to get free information out there. Sponsor it with your money. Don't just say "it should be free" and complain that it is not.

There is no scriptural or SOP advice that I can find that tells us to give everything away for free. What basis do you have for your position other than it feels right to you?

You mention Walla Walla University (among others) as an 'offender' in not providing free courses. Do you want to go to Walla Walla University? They have a great Engineering school here. If you want to come here, YOU CAN. God WILL provide a way. I can't speak for WWU as to why they don't have all their courses for free, but I assume it's because there is intrinsic cost in providing that material that needs to be paid for by someone. All universities cost money. The professors and administrators at WWU are missionaries, make no mistake about it. They could be paid double what they currently are by teaching/working elsewhere (like you?). But they have decided to take a meager wage and perhaps struggle all for the cause of Adventist Education. I applaud their convictions and actions.

Everything that is 'free' still costs something. Do you think this web site doesn't cost anything? It's free to you. But that does not mean there are not significant costs associated with it. Likewise, creating university coursework in a presentable free format would cost time and money. Are you providing that money/time? If you are willing to pay for the initial cost of making coursework available for free, I'm sure many schools would take you up on your offer to make their courses available for free. Someone has to be willing to step up and bear the cost. I would hope it would be those that have money and are speaking the loudest about free stuff. :-) There is a real opportunity here for fundraisers who have a burden for getting more free information out. But simply saying "It should be free" does not get it done. Because it's NOT free. No free material is free to the person the produced it. So raise the funds, adapt/create the material, and spread it for free like dust in the wind. That would be awesome! I have no doubts that God would bless you richly.

You have stated that few in Asia, Africa, and Europe have the Spirit of Prophesy because it is "being sold". I don't believe that is the true reason. I think the larger issue is translating the books into the local language. Check out all the free SOP books the White Estate provides for free: http://www.whiteestate.org/books/books.asp I would suggest that the huge majority of those that complain about "no free SOP" have not read all of these free books. So why moan about some others that you don't have? Distribute what we do have for free. Or 'put your money where you mouth' is and sponsor/create more free materials.

God bless,
Clark

PS. I strongly condemn pirating/copying of copyrighted software and books. It is stealing. Just because a person has the ability to copy a protected work, does not make it right to do so. No matter how helpful that particular material might be to others. No matter if anyone prosecutes you for doing it. It is still breaking the 8th Commandment and should not be done.
There is a verse in the Bible that says freely you have received, freely give.

I wonder where preachers get their spiritual material from. Can anyone rightly claim God's word to be "my own"? If the Spirit of God were to copyright the material...
Who has claimed God's word to be their own? How many free copies of the bible do you need to find online?

The verse you quoted (Matthew 10:7-8) is a directive from Jesus to the 12 disciples to be generous with what they had. But that is not the same as saying everything should be free. The disciples had no money, books, or anything to give away (see the next two verses) so this verse clearly wasn't about giving stuff away for free.

These verses were simply telling the disciples to freely give of their knowledge (through preaching) and their spiritual gifts (healing).

Yes, we should freely give what we have freely received. His love and our knowledge of Him. We should be VERY generous with our time and money. But that still doesn't mean everything should be free.

I don't see how these verses have relevance to how a product or service that has a cost of production should be priced or if it should be free.

Each of us has our role in telling the world of Christ's soon return. God bless those that are volunteering. God also bless those that are working for wages and donating from their money to support these efforts. It seems as if we need both types of 'workers'. Having all volunteers with no money to print books, hold meetings, etc. is not the best way. Having lots of money but no volunteers clearly doesn't work either. One is not superior to the other. We need both.
Bro. Clark, thanks for your prompt reply and I am gonna break it down.

The Lord's system of government throughout ages works on the format whereby the Levites were supposed to do the Lord's work nothing to add to it. Members of the church were supposed to make sure the Levites fulfill their roles and support the system through tithes and offerings.

Realize the Lord didn't say that hey folks you shouldn't work, no He said "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Now I am supposed to support the Lord's system and inside this system we have churches, schools and hospitals.

We can't justify the fact that we charge people in schools and hospitals because it's an expensive country, we don't get funding from the government etc.
If an institution is blessed by God, He Himself will make it stand. The reason why we are in the red most of the time in regards to financial matters is because the Lord trusted us with His resources but we are withholding those resources, so how can the Lord bless our institutions when the fact that we have withheld that which belongs to him?

Let WWU, SAU, LMU et. al come out boldly and say you know what folks we are offering tuition free courses to SDA young men and women who want to study nursing, medicine and theology. Graduates from these courses will be sent on mission trips worldwide, work there for 1 to 2 years and then you can decide to do what you want.
Clark, do you want to tell me, there won't be church members who will contribute towards that project in terms of financial matters?
Do you want to tell me we have no SDA professors in the whole world who can volunteer to teach?
Do you want to tell me the hand of God is too short that it can't support a work meant to advance the gospel?

Today the professors in those universities are paid as a matter of fact they are paid well. Let me leave it at that. But if they are paid and ofcourse they teach their students, do you want to tell me that they have no prepared material they teach to their students?
Do you want to tell me the whole of those institutions can't record lectures and make them available for free download?

I thank the Lord for He blessed me with a Masters degree in Aerospace (Aeronautical) Engineering and to tell you the truth, the Lord paid for it, because I didn't pay a coin from undergraduate to masters because it was a scholarship from above.
Now Andrews University has a department which produces graduates of Aviation such as pilots, maintenance mechanics etc. Because they are made to pay heavily, no one turns up for Adventist Medical Aviation.
All them go into commercial business why because we have a strategy which isn't working, it's flawed. If we made that department to train missionary pilots for free, do you want to say that the Lord wouldn't support it?
Pr. Gates of Gospel Ministries International started his own aviation school and is now training missionary pilots for free, how comes the Lord is blessing his ministry and the Lord pays for it?
Why is it Pr. Gates bought multi-million dollar TV channels in South America and the Lord working through individuals, the money was provided. Multi-million dollar ($20 million plus)

Just like Dr. Ben Carson said, we need to think big. SDAs today have a flawed short minded mentality which is keeping the Lord's work progress at a snail's pace. We need to lay big nets in the waters for us to catch more fish.
Let me give you another example of GYC, started with two guys now it's a full blast youth movement spreading the gospel, the disease has affected other continents too and youth movements are being formed.
Come on now brother, let's not limit the Lord's work.

Now regarding the availability of some but not all Spirit of Prophesy books, it's cool. I know there's a lot of free information online, but that doesn't answer the question why we should sell even though administrative costs are put into play.

Adventist Online has administrative costs, but if in any way the Lord's name is glorified, He will make a way that He'll give you funds to support the website. Don't have volunteers here who act as admins, greeters etc. Are they paid? The scientific answer is no, it's volunteering for a good cause.
There are still 7000 of God's people who haven't bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him, and are willing to volunteer for the Lord's work.
Now many of them might be shy to speak up, but they are there, and let's not limit them!

GC shouldn't limit them, they should leave them to do a great work for the Lord. Why should we speak for the administrations of WWU, SAU, LMU that they can't volunteer, I Joseph, if I get a chance to meet Jan Paulsen, it's unfortunate his term of office is coming to an end, but I can assure you whoever comes into office, If I meet them, I will challenge them from East to West, North to South and put them to task on issues regarding these business models in the SDA Church.

Now regarding distribution of SOP software as being piracy, I am afraid but I am gonna be the Lord's pirate. I am gonna make sure that stuff is readily available to all. We need these things and we can't just sit back and wait, we are living on borrowed time, we live in times where the world is sick and many are perishing but all we can say is that may be in 30yrs we will be 100million SDAs only that?
Wrong strategy we need new minds at GC, we need young and charismatic leaders of the type running GYC to get to Maryland and put into place measures which are gonna accelerate his return.

Let Review and Herald, Pacific print SOP freely, get bibles and start distributing this material freely to all the world for free and let's go to the father and tell him, that we have run out of resources. He will rain all what we need.

I recommend you to watch Extreme Faith DVD here
After watching the sermons of that guy, I got a fire burning in me and I told the Lord, freely given, freely give.

Our payment will be in heaven, if AO wins souls how precious will it be for you when the Lord introduces to you souls who were blessed by AO, if profesors train folks for free, how blessed with they be when the Lord informs them, thou hast been good and faithful servant...

Now is the time to act. The time is coming when WWU, SAU, LMU will be under the hands of the beast, why not train SDA young men and women now and send them into the fields.

FREELY GIVEN, FREELY GIVE.
Just because you did not pay for your education, does not mean it was free. Yes, it was a scholarship from above. Praise God! But the schools where you were educated still received money. So it was not free.

Ellen White wrote an entire book about SELLING books called "Colporteur Ministry". If she thought this was bad... don't you think she would have spoken out about it? She clearly had NO problem with selling her books.
I think they were not highly priced and not for material gain.

Haven't you read the history of Review and Herald? Joseph Bates had to volunteer to make sure the word of God is printed out freely, as a matter of fact she called upon members to invest in the publishing industry.

But still you haven't answered a couple of questions I wanted you to answer one by one.

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