The final model is to synthesize the two perspectives. This is what Benjamin Reaves called, “Finding the liberation components of our message.” Here the preacher has in mind concrete human experience and attempts to note how Adventism addresses that. Does the Sabbath have anything to say to the woman who is barely keeping her head above water while being discriminated against at her job?
Howard Thurman asked the question, “What does Christianity have to say to those who’s back is up against the wall?” I ask the same question of Adventism. What does it have to say to those at the bottom? It is time to preach a liberation Adventism that is relevant to human experience.
Two Sermons on Incarnation
The other day I heard a sermon on the incarnation by a preacher. The preacher stated that God became human. You better believe that Jesus became human and not believe the errors taught by many people. He attacked Bishop John Spong as well as the Davinci code. He then ended by saying that He will hold on to the real Jesus.
The sermon didn’t really address concrete human experience. It simply taught a lecture on how Spong and the book Davinci code is incorrect. But a few years ago I heard a sermon by Henry Wright on the incarnation. I forget the title of the message, but Wright looked at the genealogy of Jesus. Wright noted the problem people you find in that genealogy. Wright noted how understands the pains of a bad family tree. Jesus understands the pain of not having the house that you would want. Jesus understands the pains of growing up poor. Jesus understands, and Jesus is with us in that pain that we find ourselves today.
And I will add, that if we find ourselves up against the wall, we can simply call on Jesus and Jesus knows by experience just how much grace is needed to wait on that paycheck when the rent is due. Jesus knows by experence what it mans to “not have anywher to lay his head.”
Synthesis for a Larger View of the Doctrines
Here the doctrine of the Incarnation is looked at through the hermeneutic perspective of the weak and the downtrodden. Can we do the same thing with the Sabbath? Can we do the same thing with the State of the Dead? that is our calling. Preach the Sabbath through the perspective that God has given us. We can’t just preach the same sermons as everyone else and only use “ebonics” we must preach a Black infused Adventism.
And what we will see when we do this, is that other cultures will see a relevant word as well, for ultimately we all have a need to hear Adventism address the real world. And it will for ultimately Adventists will preach with a loud voice that message of Revelation 14:6-12, if we preach it right, the world will known and understand how that message affects our daily living.