NEW DATE FOR BUSINESS MEETING! Due to power outages last week we had to postpone our scheduled business meeting. Our new meeting date is this Wednesday, January 25 at 7 PM in the Sanctuary. Operation Joash will be introduced, along with other important items. We look forward to seeing you there.



Is the Great Controversy a Myth?

Obviously, unbelievers or atheists would say that the great controversy between Christ and Satan is a myth because they question or deny the existence of God or a devil. They may agree that there is good and evil, but since they wouldn’t base it on the Bible, it couldn’t be clearly defined by an objective standard. For some, human progress would be what’s good, and obstacles to that progress would be evil. Therefore, Christians could be viewed as the problem because they believe in a fantasy and get in the way of human progress with their old-fashioned rules and judgmental attitudes. For instance, Christians usually believe that marriage should be only between a man and a woman. Those opposed see Christians as trying to force their fantasy of an inspired Bible, of God and Satan, and the Christian view of what’s good and evil upon society. That’s what’s holding back the progress of man (or the evolution of man to a better state). That makes the Christians the evil ones. People with this perspective may see government’s most important role as protecting their right to live however they want without regard for the Christian view of morality. Christians who speak up against this are the worst enemies of society. Since spiritual things are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14), it makes some sense that unbelieving society has gone further and further from the biblical worldview, but how come most Christians can’t see the great controversy very clearly either?

How come so many Christians can’t see the great controversy worldview? Christians believe in God and most seem to accept some concept of a devil. Most see good and evil in conflict. However, a deeper understanding of the great controversy isn’t understood because most were never taught it. A few Christians have found it in the Scriptures, but not many. Seventh-day Adventists see it in the Scriptures largely because Ellen White emphasized it and wrote about it. But why did we need help seeing it, and why don’t more Christians find it on a deeper level when they read the Bible? 

Sadly, many Christians trust more what they think they see than they trust in God’s word. After all, babies seem to be born basically innocent. What we’ve seen is that a child who grows up in the ghetto is more likely to have problems with drugs, immorality, and crime, whereas children from better neighborhoods are more likely to turn out to be law-abiding citizens. So, instead of seeing the war between good and evil, a cosmic conflict between Christ and Satan, they think that the government can fix the problem with programs to fight poverty and fix the ghetto. The point isn’t to be against programs. Effective programs may be helpful and have a place. It’s just that they can only fix some of the problems and can only go so far. The “war to end poverty” in the USA began in the early 1960’s, but the problems have gotten worse in spite of millions upon millions of dollars spent by federal and state governments to fix them. Why haven’t all these government programs worked? What’s the real problem?

If children are born innocent and man is basically good, all that has to be done to get good results is to fix man’s environment, give him opportunities, and man will be good, right? (This premise is often accidently assumed by Christians. It is the faulty premise of Darwinian Naturalism – man is progressing, getting better, evolving upward.); however, the results haven’t been as expected. In fact, some who grow up with many advantages and opportunities become very evil anyway. Remember, the two teen-aged shooters in the Columbine High School massacre came from well off families. Improving surroundings and giving opportunities for children and youth is vitally important, but that isn’t nearly enough. Something is missing!

What is the missing element? According to the Scriptures, men, women, and children have evil on the inside. You mean little babies are not born innocent? Well, they are innocent, but they are born affected or damaged by evil or sin. The great controversy began in heaven but came to earth when Adam and Eve disobeyed God. As sinners, Adam and Eve couldn’t give birth without passing on some kind of effect in their DNA, and it’s been passing on ever since. The Bible says that not one human being is naturally good, righteous, or even inclined to seek God (Romans 3:10-12). Therefore, fixing a child or man’s environment and circumstances may be helpful, but it doesn’t fix the internal problem. This is why the war on poverty has largely failed. What can be done? Don’t we just need more psychologists to fix the internal problems of man? While I greatly respect the work a well-trained counselor can do, I think we have more psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers than ever before and overall, there seem to be more psychological problems than ever before. What can we do?

The human problem of evil, sin, and self-centeredness can only be fixed on the inside by a spiritual heart transplant. Jesus said we “must be born again” (John 3:5). The Gospel of Jesus Christ says that we are all sinners that need salvation, not just progress. This means that we must grasp the mission of Jesus going to the cross, see that the warfare is real and has engaged us personally, and that we must make a choice, and that all our choices can play a part in the larger choice for Jesus or for evil. It all comes down to accepting Jesus and the life-transforming power of the Holy Spirit. If we settle for the world’s view of progress, then for us the great controversy is a myth. Is it a myth to you? We must live as though it is real because it is! We are not capable of fixing our internal problem. We are all casualties if we miss out on the new birth. We’ll never be satisfied with anything less. Are you accepting something less than what God wants to give you? 

Fred Dana, Associate Pastor



This Week (January 22 - 28): 

• Tuesday @ 10:00 AM – Women’s Bible Study

• Tuesday @ 7:00 PM –Prayer Meeting with JeAnn Davis

• Wednesday @ 7:00 PM –Spanish Group Prayer Meeting

• Various L.I.F.E. groups (in-home small group Bible studies) take place across Sacramento. To locate one near you contact our small groups’ coordinator, Richard Anger @ (916) 681-3990.

• Wednesday @ 7:00 PM –Church Business Meeting 

This Sabbath (January 28): @ 9:00 AM – Morning Manna with Taija Hall / @ 9:30 AM – Central Study Hour with Pastor Mike Thompson + Children/Youth/Adult Sabbath School Classes / @ 10:50 AM – Worship Service with Pastor Michael Butler

Upcoming Events

Business Meeting: Our annual Business Meeting has been re-scheduled for this Wednesday, January 25 at 7 PM in the Sanctuary. Vital building/renovation project plans will be discussed along with other important items. All members of Central are encouraged to attend.

Dr. David DeRose will be here at Sacramento Central Monday, January 23 at 7 PM. He will be presenting, Herbs, Supplements, and Natural Remedies: Learning from Hypertension Therapies. More information will be available next week.

Family Matters

The Last Empire DVD/CD Sets are available. If you missed any of the exciting presentations given by Pastor Chris during this recent prophecy series, or if you want to share the messages with those you love, or if you ordered a set in advance, they are now available. Pick up your copy at the church office during the week or call to make other arrangements if needed. All the study guides are downloadable on-line on the church website.




Liberty Magazine, founded in 1906, continues to be the preeminent resource for matters of religious freedom. Subscribe a friend or send a copy to a thought leader in your community. Learn more right here.

Prophecy Encounter by Amazing Factsruns from February 17–25, 2017, and is a perfect event for you to open your church or home to friends and neighbors and build their confidence in the Bible and prepare them for the tumultuous events coming in these last days. You can join this live event by satellite, ROKU on AFTV, or AFTV.org. For more information please click here.

Be Inspired 

What attitude should we manifest toward political figures?

“If ever we needed to manifest kindness and true courtesy, it is now. We may have to plead most earnestly before legislative councils for the right to worship God according to the dictates of conscience. Thus in His providence God has designed that the claims of His law shall be brought before men in positions of highest authority. But as we stand before these men, we are to show no bitterness of feeling. Constantly we are to pray for divine aid. It is God alone who can hold the four winds until His servants shall be sealed in their foreheads. (Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 375)


Central Happenings is published by the Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, 6045 Camellia Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95819 www.saccentral.org

Sacramento Central Staff: Chris Buttery, Senior Pastor; Mike Thompsons, Associate; Fred Dana, Associate; Michael Butler, Youth/Young Adult; JeAnn Davis, Bible Instructor

Central Happenings: Chris Buttery, Editor; Chrystal White, Copy Editor/Distributor