The Unity of Doctrine
Now more than ever, we as Christians need to know what we believe in and why we believe in it. There are so many different ideas floating around concerning the most important issues of life. Christianity was built on a certain set of teachings, and without these foundational teachings, you no longer have Christianity. You clearly have something else under the banner of Christianity.
It’s similar to a sport, let’s take basketball for example. If somebody came to you and said “let’s play basketball,” but they got on shoulder pads, cleats and a helmet, at that point you would recognize that this is clearly not basketball. They clearly have some other sport in mind. Sure there are some similarities, they have a jersey on and have a ball in their hand, but it’s not the equipment that comes along with the game of basketball. The same illustration can be likened unto Christianity. People say the name of Jesus in their songs, they say that they worship and preach Jesus, but what meaning do they read inside the name?
However, this doesn’t mean Christians can’t disagree on some things, but not on the core essentials. For instance, we cannot disagree on the nature of God, the tri-unity of God, the deity of Christ, the idea of Him being 100% man and 100% God, the atonement of Christ, the physical resurrection of Jesus, and most significantly, the belief that God is love. If you do not agree with these things, you are in danger of worshiping another god and belonging to another faith.
The belief that God is love is by far the most fundamental truth to Christianity. In fact, it is the great Truth by which we investigate every other belief in order to validate authenticity. For instance, consider the false dogma of eternal hell fire which torments the wicked endlessly. When we look at this belief through the lens of the great Truth, the truth that God is love, we are led to the conclusion that it would be impossible for an all-loving God to torment the wicked forever. Another popular belief that is questionable when viewed through the filter of God is love, would be the doctrine of predestination. Would a loving God predetermine those whom He would save and those whom He would reject? Personally, if that is the image of the God whom we serve, I don’t blame the atheist for choosing not to believe in Him. Thus the centrality of the belief that God is love is paramount to Christianity. Once again, without this belief you are in great danger of worshiping another god and belonging to another faith.
My prayer for you, along with every other Bible-believing Christians, would be that if somebody approached you and said “hey, this is what God looks like,” but they got on the shoulder pad of predestination, the cleat of eternal hell fire, along with the helmet of every other false belief that does not illuminate that God is love. At that point I would hope you would recognize that this is clearly not the God of the Bible as seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
See you tomorrow!
News & Notes
Sunnyside Pathfinders is off to a great start this year. Our Pathfinders in grades 5–12 stay very active. This afternoon, they are helping with Thanksgiving box assembly day at Union Gospel Mission in downtown Portland. (Special thanks to Pastor Colby for driving the Sunnyside bus even though he’s preaching the sermon.) This Sabbath, after church and Sabbath School, we are heading to Silver Falls State Park to hike the Trail of Ten Falls. Then Sunday morning, we will be back at Sunnyside, along with the Adventurers, to sort the donated food into boxes and deliver them to families in need so they can have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thank you Sunnyside for your generosity!
Pathfinders meet nearly every Tuesday evening from 6–8 pm. We enjoy activities such as worship, drill, Investiture Achievement, and honors classes. Currently, we have some awesome Sunnyside members instructing the Pathfinders in Lego design, food canning, and paper quilling. We are also working on the drawing and painting honor, but our instructor was offered a wonderful internship position, so we have an opening. If there are any Sunnyside members who would be willing to donate an hour from 7–8 pm on the first three Tuesdays in December, we would greatly appreciate it.
Additionally, if you know of any 5th–12th graders who are interested in learning and having fun with Pathfinders, it’s not too late to for them to join us. We are always happy to have kids come for a visit. Also, if there are any Sunnyside church members who want to be blessed by working with a great group of kids, it’s not too late for you to join us too.
Our worship services are at 8:45 and 11:15 am. Pastor Colby Maier will present the Bible message titled “Don’t Cry to Quit.”
Encounters With God at 5:00 pm will feature Bob and Cynthia Glass presenting “How God Changed Our Lives.”
Thanksgiving is coming soon! Do you have dinner plans? If not, we have families that are opening their homes to anyone that doesn’t have a place to go and celebrate the season. Call the church office for specific details, 503-252-8080. If you would also like to offer your home to others, please let us know.
Sunday Breakfast at O’Bryant Square – Every Sunday we serve breakfast to approximately 500 homeless, hungry, and poor. To continue this program, we need your support with the following donations: 8” paper plates (Chinet), 8 oz paper cups, plastic forks (Solo 500 count), Costco napkins, coffee, chocolate and creamer, large size syrup, catsup, oil, and pancake mix; and/or tax deductible $$ donations payable to Sunnyside Adventist Church, memo “Breakfast at O’Bryant Square.” For information contact
Ardina Wang 503-255-0075. You may drop off your contributions at the church office.
Devotional books! Time to order your new devotional book for 2016. Check the table in the Narthex too see available books, and sign up for the books you desire. By ordering through the church, you will receive special pricing. These make great Christmas gifts! They will be ready for pick up by December 12. If you have any questions, contact
Lorrie Wescott. Click here to view a flyer with descriptions.
Turkey Trot / Tot Trot At The Zoo, Thanksgiving morning, November 26, 8:00 am, at Washington Park. Advance sign up not required. Runners and walkers, toddlers and strollers – it begins at the Forestry Center and ends at the elephant exhibit in the zoo. For more information contact Arnold Petersen. View details at Turkey Trot.
Family Resource Network thanks you for your gifts that have made it possible in recent months to help a number of families through difficult times. The holiday season is a challenging time of year for those having difficulty. Please remember them with your contributions to account #9387. Special request: We have a family of four, with two children ages 3 and 4, who need everything for setting up a household. If you can help with anything please contact Marie Pierre at 503-998-3754.
Sunnyside Youth, ages 15+, will be involved in a mission trip to Los Angeles during Spring Break, March 18-27. The Dream Center was founded twenty years ago with a compelling vision to impact all of Los Angeles by addressing people’s physical, material, and spiritual needs in unique and practical ways, The Dream Center has grown into a phenomenon that now reaches more than thirty thousand people each week through its multiple church services and more than two hundred need-centered ministries. We will be driving a bus to Los Angeles and some of the activities we may be involved in are: adopt-a-block, construction, discipleship, food bank, food truck, kitchen, His hands extended, kid’s ministry, family floor, and foster care intervention. Come prepared to share Jesus in practical ways. For further information and to register, contact Pastor Colby at Colby.Maier@SunnysideAdventist.org or call 503-334-8095.
Sunnyside will be sponsoring a mission trip to Ethiopia during Spring Break 2016. Plan to join the mission team for evangelism, building, heath ministry, and children’s ministry. Express your interest by contacting Ted Mackett, chair, Foreign Missions Facilitation Committee, or see Dick Fenn in the Missions office this morning.
Ethiopia 2016: Mission News:
* Our two teams have plans for
. . . Fixing the water-supply system at Ethiopian Adventist College.
. . . Upgrading the computer lab.
. . . Building a community elementary school.
. . . Conducting evangelistic and worship services.
. . . Providing health education programs and medical-dental clinics.
. . . Engaging in women’s and children’s ministries.
. . . Supporting Pathfinder clubs.
. . . Exploring Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city.
* Today is a prime day to register your membership. Forms are available on the info table in the Narthex and in Room 52: Elders/Mission office.
* Saturday, December 5, 6:15 pm: First official team meeting.(Bonus: Arrive by 5:00 and hear all about Sunnyside’s November mission to Cuba!)
* Wednesday, December 23: Last day for significant member-contribution savings!
Group A (March 16-April 3): Save $150.
Group B (March 16-April 10): Save $230.
Portland Adventist Academy
Portland Adventist Elementary
Area Events and Announcements
Follow the Star is accepting actors for its 14th annual production portraying the story of the birth of the Messiah the first two weekends of December. Also, singers may join the angel choir or audition for the singing angel at the manger. Contact Paul or Corleen Johnson for details, 503-970-1693 or 503-702-5639, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers staff this production that is free to the community. Please reply ASAP.
Northwest Religious Liberty Association is here to help. If you struggle to explain your convictions about Sabbath or labor unions to your employer, or are being asked to work on Sabbath, call Greg Hamilton or Rhonda Bolton at 360-857-7040.
November 20, 7:00 pm; November 21, 11:00 am and 3:00 pm; November 22, 10:00 am: Health Seminar.
Rico Hill presents from sickness to health – optimize your health and increase your energy. Learn to defeat diabetes, overcome lifestyle disease, optimize your health, beat the high cost of health care, and learn how to live longer. Free food samples. Online registration at fs2h.tabneraclesda.org or call 503-223-0623.
Event Location: Tabernacle Adventist Church.
November 29, 6:30 pm: Homeless Benefit Concert.
A classical music concert has been co-organized by young violinists Byron (18) and Victoria (15), in the spirit of thankfulness and generosity. This concert is free so please come and bring lots of friends! Donations are not required, but will be received with the hope of raising $2,000 to benefit PACS, Human Solutions, Street Roots, and JOIN. Let’s give a little extra to those in need this Thanksgiving season while listening to the amazing music presented by Byron and Victoria along with a few of the members from the Portland Youth Philharmonic, and the Oregon Symphony.
Event Location: Tabernacle Church.
December 2, 6:30 pm: Grieving Class:
The Spiritual Care Department at Adventist Medical Center invites you to “Grieving Through the Holidays – A Special Healing Session.” What to expect: relaxing music, helpful grieving tips to lessen the holiday pain, connecting with others who are grieving, and light refreshments.
Event Location: Adventist Medical Center Education Center A.
December 4, 5: Women of Faith – Loved.
If you are interested in attending this exciting event and would like more information or discounted tickets, please contact Heidi Hill at 503-412-9600.
Event Location: Moda Center, Portland.
December 5, 7:00 pm: Choral Concert.
The Pacific Northwest Schola Cantorum, from Kirkland, Washington, will perform Christmas and sacred choral music. This is a concert you won’t want to miss! There will be light refreshments following the concert.
Event Location: Mt. Tabor Church.
December 7, 7:00 pm: Concert.
Popular Portland Christian musician, blogger, and public speaker, Jon Davidson has released his seventh album, a hymn project called “It Is Well.” Invite your friends and help Jon as he shares his love of Jesus with the people of Portland. Learn more about Jon at www.jondavidsonmusic.com.
Event Location: City Sanctuary (1640 NW Irving St.).
December 20, 7:00 pm: Christmas Concert.
Fountainview Academy presents the final concert on their 2015 Christmas tour. Enjoy an evening of meditative and spirited music honoring the King of Kings. Admission is free. Seating is first come, first served.
Event Location: Adventist Community Church of Vancouver.
December 21, 6:00 pm: Missional Gathering (Vespers).
Join us for the “Reservoir,” a missional gathering to connect with each other, to worship God, and to experience His word. Praise music will be provided by Remix. Invite your family and friends to share in this inspirational evening.
Event Location: Mt. Tabor Church.
December 26, 6:00 pm: Christmas Concert.
You are invited to join in listening to beautiful instrumentation and heartfelt voices as they combine to tell the story of the birth of our Lord. You don’t want to miss this one!
Event Location: Stone Tower Church.
March 4-6: Women’s Ministries Leader’s Retreat.
Save the date! For more information email email@example.com.
Event Location: The Village Green Resort and Gardens, Cottage Grove.
July 25-28, 2016: Great Controversy Tours with Dr. Gerard Damsteegt of the Seminary, Andrews University. See the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation come alive. Visit Rome and the Reformation sites in the Waldensian Valleys, Switzerland, and Germany. These tours give you a new vision in how to inspire church members for Jesus’ coming and future challenges. A most exciting experience! Call 269-815-8624, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.