Steven Fonseca, youth pastor for the North Cascade Church in Burlington, Wash., attended the Seventh-day Adventist Global Youth Leaders Congress, held in Kassel, Germany, from July 31 to Aug. 4.
Christology — the study of Christ — has suffered theological conflict throughout church history. Lately some Adventists have raised questions about who Jesus is in relation to God the Father. A few on the fringe even believe Christ was derived from God, just as Eve was created from Adam.
Such confused Christology revives the ancient heresy of Arianism: that Jesus, the divine Creator of this earth, was Himself created by the Father. It naturally follows that not only Jesus but women are inherently secondary and subservient: Christ to the Father and women to men.
As I write this latest installment of my monthly column, I am embarked on preparations for my Ph.D. qualifying exams this fall. This means my brain is overloaded with random bits of information pertaining to Husserl’s phenomenology, Derrida’s critique of that phenomenology, the history of radio (which includes the odious Father Coughlin and the heartbreaking Kristallnacht), the philosophy of the mirror’s double reflection, symbolic interactionism, and so so so so much more … so much more … .
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
The young man who asked me the question was celebrating his sixth birthday and making some choices that would seriously impact his life.
I thought for a moment, relishing the taste of a very good birthday cake.
“A fireman,” I answered.
He considered, and then pronounced his blessings on my choice. We laughed, and he took me outside to break a piñata. That was long ago, but his question still echoes. Especially when I’m looking through old photos.
My residence is in Washington, but I live in the state of Cognitive Dissonance.
Webster’s defines the term as the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions. Our subconscious mind gathers facts and trends that often go unrecognized in our busy, over-planned lives. But connecting the threads, I’ve lived my entire life with the sneaking suspicion I am living in the “last generation” of which Jesus spoke in Matthew 24.
Thirteen Northwest academy students were each recipients of the $500 Caring Heart Award scholarship made possible through three-way funding from the North Pacific Union Conference, local conferences and academies. Students were selected by their schools for exemplifying the spirit of the Caring Heart — a willingness to serve others. The North American Division provided each student with a plaque and an engraved Bible. The scholarships may be used toward tuition at an Adventist school or on a short-term mission trip.
On March 21–25, 2018, more than 150 young people from across the North Pacific Union gathered at the Village Church in College Place, Wash., for the 2018 Generation of Youth for Christ (GYC) Northwest convention. The main speakers, including Dee Casper, Taj Pacleb and Chad Kreuzer, presented powerful and thoughtful messages centered around the convention’s theme: "Return. Receive. Run."
Joe and Ann (not their real names) felt both hurt and shock as the words slammed into their hearing. Sadness fell upon them as they left the meeting that Sabbath morning, never to return. He had lived there since a toddler, she since marrying him some 30 years earlier.
The church was small, always seeking helpers, and both Joe and Ann were willing to step in as teacher, deacon, pianist, elder, just where needed. They were a friendly couple, doing their part in helping the small church thrive.
Now fast forward 18 years.
One day, after a short absence from Jesus, the disciples found Him praying. Being totally absorbed in His communion with the Father, Jesus was unaware of their presence. He continued to pray aloud. Listening to His prayer, the hearts of the disciples were deeply moved.
As Jesus finished praying, they asked Him to teach them to pray. Jesus then gave His disciples what we call the Lord’s Prayer. It’s a beautiful model of prayer He first taught them during the Sermon on the Mount.
Then Jesus illustrated the lesson on prayer with a profound story.