At Andrews, Wilson Urges ‘Authentic’ Spirituality for Adventists
Vespers service includes revealing Q-and-A exchange (Posted April 21, 2013)


No doubt, one of the most important aspects of genuine authenticity is in the spiritual realm,” said Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, during a vespers service at church-owned Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, on April 19, 2013.

QUESTION TIME: Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, answers a question posed by Evan Knott (left), Andrews Student Association vice-president.  [PHOTOS: AU]
He added, “No one who ever lived on this Earth was more spiritually authentic than Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Wilson’s message to students gathered at Pioneer Memorial Church at the heart of the Andrews campus followed a day-earlier morning worship in which he also addressed the theme of “Authentic Christianity.” The world church leader came to the church’s flagship school after Spring Meetings, during which time Adventist leaders noted the 150th anniversary of the General Conference’s organization in 1863 in Battle Creek, Michigan.

He began his Friday night message with a brief account of the career of Martin Frobisher, the 16th century British privateer-turned-explorer whose search for the “Northwest Passage,” an Arctic Ocean sea route from Europe to the Pacific, was derailed by what he thought was the discovery of vast quantities of gold. Raising money for more ships and bringing home 200 tons of ore, Frobisher discovered he had only found pyrite, a substance known as “fool’s gold.”

Of Frobisher, Wilson noted, “Because he wasn’t patient enough to investigate the facts, he was fooled.” The Adventist leader then urged his hearers not to fall for inauthentic messages, but rather to seek the authentic word of God.

“Jesus went to God’s word for His authority,” Wilson said. “You can be sure that the Bible is God’s word … it is authentic, it is true, it is absolutely trustworthy. One of the great challenges to our future is whether or not you will accept this Word as it reads.”

He continued, “If you really want to know if the Bible is God’s authentic word for today, use the gold standard of prophecy.”

PRAYING TOGETHER -- At the close of the Friday evening vesper service, Wilson was surrounded by dozens of Andrews students who came forward to pray for him and his ministry to the world church.
Wilson urged students to “look at Daniel and Revelation. Understand the prophecies of the Messiah in the Old Testament and become convinced that Jesus is the one” who fulfills those prophecies.

“The Three Angels’ message is the reason why God raised up the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” Wilson added. “We belong to a heaven-born movement, the Advent movement, called by God for a very unique time, purpose and message.”

Earlier, while being interviewed by Andrews Student Association vice-president Evan Knott, Wilson spoke about his initial goals of church service, the challenges he faces as General Conference president, and the reason for emphasizing mission to the cities: “It’s where the people are,” he explained.

His most candid remarks came in response to a question about how Wilson and his wife, then Nancy Vollmer, met and married. Four years elapsed between their first meeting and their courtship, he noted.  While she turned down a proposal given on April 1 – in Wilson’s telling, she thought it wasn’t serious – a second proposal a few weeks later was accepted. Now married for 38 years, the Wilsons have three daughters, three sons-in-law and will soon welcome their eighth grandchild.

Wilson called his commitment in marriage “one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s a privilege to be married to Nancy.”


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