Alex Bryan, mission identity executive at Adventist Health and former senior pastor at Walla Walla University Church is one of our speakers for the AT1 gathering taking place October 4-6 in Portland, Oregon.
We asked all our presenters to answer the question, “How Does Christ Challenge Culture?” Here’s Alex’s take:
Love your enemies. Three words, if lived, that would turn the world right-side up. It seems the MID (Most Important Doctrine) of our age is hate your enemies. Be right. Know who is wrong. Identify the one to loathe. Who are the good guys; the bad guys? My team; your team? My religion; our religion? My politics; our politics? Tribal warfare. Racial tension. Gender wars. Battle of the fittest. Winning elections. Controlling the narrative. Naming the righteous remnant and the unwanted remains. Debates. Divisions. Declarations. Name calling. Shaming. Gossip. Judging the other by the weakest second, the worst decision, the time she washed out, the moment he wimped out. Judging others darkly that we might judge ourselves, by contrast, light.
Love your enemies. Maybe, just maybe, this is the MID of Jesus, the teaching at the very heart of God, the epicenter of ethics, the point of focus we see and follow on the way to becoming like our Rabbi, the One, Who loved, His enemies.
Here’s the list of AT1 speakers and topics:
Alex Bryan, mission identity executive at Adventist Health and former senior pastor, Walla Walla University Church – Love Your Enemies – Matthew 5:8
Karl Haffner, senior pastor, Kettering Seventh-day Adventist Church and mission strategist at Kettering Health Network – Lust – Matthew 5:27-28
John McLarty, former executive editor for Adventist Today, current senior pastor, Green Lake Church in Seattle – The Rich – Mark 10:21-25
Michaela Lawrence Jeffery, senior pastor, Athens, Georgia, Seventh-day Adventist Church – False Testimony – Matthew 15:18-20
Chris Oberg, lead pastor, La Sierra University Church – Lifestyle – But ye are to be perfect, as your Father in heaven is perfect – Matthew 5:48
Emily Whitney, spiritual discipleship pastor, Summit Northwest Ministries in Post Falls, Idaho – Sabbath – Mark 2:27-28
Jennifer Deans – senior pastor, Living Faith Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sterling, Virginia – True Christians – John 13:34-35
Brenda Billingy – senior pastor, Metropolitan Church, Allegheny East Conference & NAD Ministerial – Communion – Luke 22:14-20
Kendra Haloviak Valentine – professor of New Testament Studies, H.M.S. Richards Divinity School, La Sierra University – Afraid? No Faith? – Mark 4:40
Dilys Brooks – campus chaplain, Loma Linda University – Anger – Matthew 5:21-22
Don Veverka – Community Relations Manager, Whitman Place – Grief – John 11:18-35
Joey Oh – Associate Pastor for Administration, Loma Linda University Church – Us and Them – Matthew 12:30
John Brunt – author, New Testament theologian and former pastor at Azure Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church in Grand Terrace, California – Respondent
Marlene Ferreras – assistant professor of Practical Theology, H.M.S. Richards Divinity School, La Sierra University – Respondent
Linda Emmerson – instructor of philosophy, Walla Walla University – Reader
Nicholas Zork & Band – music