I Have an Adventist Dream
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.
This article was rewritten in honor of the “change” Martin Luther King Jr. helped to bring about through his dedication and leadership. Forty-five years have pasted since Luther gave his “I Have a Dream” speech and because of his big dream for change, America now has a black man running for president. If America can change, I believe our Adventist Church can change for the better. God has given us a BIG DREAM and now is the time to embrace it with the power of the Holy Spirit.
As I take a step back and look at our Adventist Church in the 21st century, I see a tired and confused Church. Yes, I love my Church and it’s message of hope and truth. Yes, we are still an end time movement, but our progress has slowed to a crawl. We have various groups within the Church who push personal agendas that dishonor God and bring about disunity. We have fanatics, radicals, liberals, conservatives, progressives, and the list could go on and on, when God has called us to be of one accord, unified in the mission to seek and save the lost for the eternal kingdom.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. We cannot slow down. There are those who are asking the devotees of Adventist reform, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as our churches are breeding grounds for spiritual laziness and apostasy. We can never be satisfied, as long as our schools use secular methodology to increase the numbers. We can never be satisfied, as long as our medical facilities use harmful medicine over God’s prescription for holistic healing. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until God’s end time Church becomes a spring of living water for a world dying of spiritual thirst.
I am not unmindful that some of you have been hurt by leaders within our churches, schools, and medical facilities. Some of you have been abused by fanatical Adventism. Some of you have suffered from liberal Adventism’s cheap theology. You have been the veterans of satanic abuse and suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Andrews University, go back to Loma Linda, go back to Heartland, go back to your church, go back to your school, go back to your conference, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the Adventist dream.
I have a dream that one day this Church will rise up and live out the true meaning of its mission: To "go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you."
I have a dream that one day on the campuses of our schools, colleges, and universities, that a majority of our young people will fall in love with Jesus and be joined together under His blood stained banner of love.
I have a dream that one day our schools will become training grounds for missions instead of liberal art schools.
I have a dream that my two boys will be able to attend our Adventist schools and not be assaulted with ungodly liberalism, conservatism, spiritual laziness, Pentecostal worship styles, and teachers and professors who don’t know Jesus.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, we will desegregate our conferences, allowing our brothers and sisters in the faith to work side by side in the great harvest. Today and not tomorrow, is the day to boldly stand up and say, “Enough! We will no longer be separated by the color of our skin. We will be unified here on earth, so we can be unified in heaven with Jesus.”
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every Adventist medical school, hospital, and clinic will utilize God’s health message to teach people healthy lifestyle skills. That they will set aside harmful methods for heaven’s healing plan.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, our churches will seek spiritual balance in worship, music, service, ministry, and fellowship. That our church leaders will begin to hold everyone accountable to the mission of seeking and saving lost souls for the eternal kingdom. That members will not be allowed to clutter the membership books with spiritual laziness and selfish ambition.
I have a dream that one day every church will truly impact the it’s community in a positive and powerful way. That every person will receive a gospel invitation and feel welcome no matter what they wear, eat, or drink.
This is our hope. This is the faith that allows me to remain in God’s end time Church knowing that spiritual revival and reformation is possible. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our Church into a beautiful symphony of missionhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for spiritual freedom together, knowing that Jesus wants His people to be unified.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "The church has one foundation, ’Tis Jesus Christ her Lord; She is His new creation, By water and the word; From heaven He came and sought her To be His holy bride; With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died.” Because of these words, we can know that spiritual freedom can ring from every person, church, conference, union, division, school, and hospital.
And if the Adventist Church is to be a great beacon of light this must become true. So let freedom ring from our schools. Let freedom ring from our hospitals. Let freedom ring from our little churches. Let freedom ring from our big churches!
Let freedom ring from every Adventist around the world!
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that great and glorious day when all of God's children will be able to go to heaven, join hands, and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free (from sin) at last!"