It's a beautiful sunny day, but it started with a disturbing dream I had this morning. At times (I'm glad it's not very often) I get really upset with my dream world, but I'm thankful it wasn't reality. Well, I prayed about it, and I also prayed about my work day. In principle, all is fine and relaxed today. My deputy head of unit had to go for an inspection to Germany (the follow-up of our recent dawn-raid), so I can do as I please. However, there is this note to our Commissioner that has to go to the cabinet today. Mr. Almunia has to be consulted for every important step to be taken in any of our cases, and these notes are usually finalized last minute. So we started circulating it through the hierarchy yesterday, but it didn't go smoothly. Some changes had to be made, and I already anticipated that this would keep me from getting home early this Friday afternoon. I'm thankful that sunset is still after 7 PM at this time of the year (and my superiors know about my Sabbath issue), but I would like to get home by 5 PM anyway. So I was delighted to see that everything still got solved yesterday evening and the note is now with our Director General (who never tarries to sign them). That saved my day!
Another thing that I find disturbing are the developments in our church in Germany. It's difficult to explain (all the more I haven't lived in my country for nearly 7 years), but there have been divisions on doctrine for a long time, the South of Germany (and especially my home conference) being much more conservative than other areas. I still get some insights through e-mails that I receive, and things started heating up through a very controversial paper issued by the leaders of the North and South German Union called "QuoVadisAdventistChurch?" I don't want to go into details of this paper, fact is that it was severely criticized by our Biblical Research Institute at the GC headquarters. Then it seems that the GC session in Atlanta has brought the dissensions to a boil. It was the Sabbath sermon of Ted Wilson in particular that lead to a lot of controversy, as quite a few people in my home country didn't like what he said. The bottom line is that many Adventists in Germany can't identify themselves with the heritage of our church and they don't want to accept the Spirit of Prophecy. They are striving to have their own German Adventist culture. The leaders now have been bombarded with a lot of letters from individual church members, former Pastors, etc. who are still faithful. Where is this development heading? Well, the Lord still knows His own, and He will bring us through this sifting process.
This morning, I watched a video clip on the internet broadcasted by a radio station in the city of Bremen (Northern Germany). At the beginning of this year, some SDA churches started a big campaign on creation vs. evolution, featuring a beautiful film on creation and a series of talks with Professor Walter Veith (who is not allowed anymore to speak in the Adventist churches in Germany by the way). This has been taking place in public places all over Germany, with lots of success. Anyway, in this broadcast they basically mocked about the concepts presented, pointing out the absurdity of the concept of creation. They even featured interviews with some leaders of the two state churches in Germany, saying that evolution is absolutely compatible with Christian beliefs. “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be"... (Matth. 24:37). It tends not to shock me anymore to hear such news, but these developments should certainly wake us up! I really don't want to get desensitized to the signs of the times, and I pray that nobody will deceive us into thinking that the Lord's second coming is still far away.