This past week has drawn a lot of attention to the Seventh-day Adventist church as the result of a video interview with a new celebrity convert named Angus T. Jones by Christopher Hudson, the man behind the Forerunner Chronicles internet ministry. This testimony would have not garnered much attention except for the fact that Mr. Jones is a high profile Hollywood actor on one of the most popular shows on television who earns a reported $350,000 per episode. During the interview with Mr. Hudson, Angus told viewers his testimony about how he came into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and recommended that nobody the watch the program because it was “filth”. This YouTube video went viral overnight (over 2 million views) that sent the internet and media into a frenzy. We would like to take a moment and analyze some consequences of the intense scrutiny this has placed on the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its response.
The church loves to welcome such a high profile celebrity to joins its ranks as it brings credibility to its image in the world. However, in this case there is a peculiar twist to the story, Agnus’s new found brother in Christ and interviewer, Mr. Hudson runs an independent ministry which speaks rather boldly regarding the sins in Babylon, especially the media industry and certain politicians. This created an awkward situation for the church since the videos on the Forerunner Chronicles were quickly inspected by the world at large and charged with being extremist and conspiratorial. The Seventh-day Adventist church leadership was quick to issue an official press release and distance themselves from the Forerunner Chronicles by stating:
Many inquiries have come to the Church regarding the Forerunner Chronicles interview. We are unable to offer information because Forerunner Chronicles is not a ministry operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its host is not a pastor of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
What is even more interesting is the response of Seventh-day Adventists to the recent interview of Jones with Mr. Hudson. As the corporate church leadership has distanced itself from the Forerunner Chronicles and its teachings so to have a number of Adventist ministries both from the liberal spectrum and from more conservative factions. According to David Read writing on the ADvindicate website:
Although baptizing a celebrity presents the Seventh-day Adventist Church with opportunities for publicity, in this instance it has caused our Church more headaches than benefits. Unfortunately, Jones gave a video interview–subsequently uploaded to YouTube–to an independent interviewer, not affiliated with the official church, who holds a number of eccentric and conspiracy-oriented views. Tabloids and celebrity gossip sites in the United States and even Great Britain have wrongly characterized the interviewer as Jones’ “spiritual advisor” and, worse, have attributed the interviewer’s eccentric personal views to the larger Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Although the Forerunner Chronicles has many supporters in his bold approach to Bible end-time events, it appears that the mainstream Adventistism considers him to be an extremist, fanatic, offshoot, conspiracy-peddler, and what not. David Read concludes his opinions of the whole situation with the following recommendation.
The problems created by one rogue interview demonstrate how careful and discreet the church needs to be with regard to celebrity members. It would have been good idea to assign Jones a church publicist shortly after his baptism to advise him on public statements and interviews. Such a procedure might have spared Jones and the Church the considerable embarrassment the bad interview has caused both. It is to be hoped that this incident will prompt the church to develop a policy for future such situations, even though they will be very rare.
This is interesting, is Mr. Read ashamed of the gospel if it doesn’t go according to the way he believes it should? Despite all of the hoopla, discussion, opinions, comments that are brewing over this interview and all of the newfound attention directed to our church all over the internet, there are a couple of points that need to be addressed from the perspective of the Holy Bible in regard as to how the final work of closing the gospel will be accomplished under the mighty hand of God, regardless of what any man may think.
First off, this episode reveals that the corporate church leadership, along with many Adventists, do not recognize the role of independent or layman ministries to do a work for God, especially if they preach straight truth that stirs up controversy. Secondly, almost all Seventh-day Adventists are completely unaware of how the church in its present state of division, worldliness, and compromise is going to be able to complete the final harvest of souls. In stark reality, it is utterly impossible for the church in its militant state to carry out God’s plan with so many opinions, divisions and so much dependence on the church leaders to complete the work. Although there is much talk of revival and reformation coming from certain quarters, it has had little or no effect as the church continues its spiritual decline into the world (Testimonies Vol. 5, p. 217). Remarkably, God has a remedy in which it will soon be seen that:
“. . . that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning. There will be those among us who will always want to control the work of God, to dictate even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world. God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness.” — Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300
An amazing prophecy found in the first and second chapters of the book of Hosea foretells of a powerful layman’s movement that calls for the world loving and compromising leadership to reform or else be spued out of the Lord’s mouth because a purified church must emerge to proclaim the Loud Cry which finally closes the gospel. Can you afford to miss out and remain in ignorance of this present truth the flock needs now? Surely not! as this is the remedy to all of the church’s ills that will bring forth a church triumphant having an even more close and intimate relationship with her Lord and redeemer, Christ Jesus. Come and see without delay as the Word of the Lord never fails. Please click the links to view a video presentation, download a study outline as a PDF, and read an inspired message entitled, “Lewdness Flees Away — Revival and Reformation Wins.”