How to Find the Source of Scandalous World-Changing Fire

Allow me to be vulnerable for a moment. I have a love-hate relationship with church. It's not that I am critical, I just get tired of doing the same old thing which leads to the same old nothing all the time. I want to be a part of a church that loves the abandoned, heals the sick, and adopts the rebellious. I long to see the church step out of the box and do new and amazing things for God. I want to see the church reaching the unreachable and making a startling difference in the world. At times we get too caught up in ourselves. The church is meant to be the body of Christ, always reaching and serving the lost. But more often than not, we serve only ourselves. Almost everything in the church often seems geared for one purpose: to make the saints happy. It’s like we have forgotten that the church was never meant to be a resort for us.

So when I got into ministry I told God, “I don’t want to be ordinary. I don’t want to waste my life preaching sermons and preparing programs to make us happy. I want to do new and amazing things for you. I want to step out of my comfort zone where all my pet traditions and cherished customs lie and enter a new and unfamiliar world of impacting something other than myself – the world.”

So I prayed. I prayed a lot. I asked God to show me how to be scandalous for him. I wanted the secret. I wanted to discover the source of the flame that set the early church, the reformers, and the Adventist pioneers on fire. I wanted to tap into that fire so that I could do new, out of the ordinary, wild, and shocking things for God. To borrow Avril Lavigne's words, “I want to be anything but ordinary please”. So I prayed like crazy: “Lord, how can I be scandalous for you? Show me the source of the flame.”

And then one day, as I prayed he answered. And this is what he said. “If you want to do scandalous things for me, you must pursue a scandalous relationship with me.” And then it hit me. I was so dumb. There I was unsatisfied with doing the same old thing for God, and yet I was perfectly satisfied with having the same old relationship with Him. So God burst my bubble and put it to me straight. If you want to do amazing things for me, you must pursue an amazing relationship with me. These 10 minute prayers and 15 minute Bible studies may be OK if you are looking for ordinary; but if you want to go beyond ordinary, if you want to do wild things for me, you must go beyond ordinary in your relationship with me.

I discovered that the source of the flame that lights us up for him is the flame itself. The Bible tells us that God is a consuming fire. He is the flame. He is the source. And if you want to be on fire for him. If you are tired of a dead and dying church. If you want to do amazing things for God and lead the church you love toward a better tomorrow you must go to the source of the flame. It’s not in you. It’s not in your ideas. It’s not even in your efforts. The source of the flame is God – our consuming fire – the flame itself.


  1. Marcus, this post really hit a nerve. I was once in your shoes. On fire, called of God, given an amazing message, fueled by extraordinary talent and ready to turn the world upside down.

    And then the Church stepped in. Which is why I feel compelled to respond to this post.


    You said, "I long to see the church step out of the box and do new and amazing things for God." Unfortunately, that box is their identity. Once a denomination's doctrine and tradition are set in stone, that denomination is doomed, because it is closed off from receiving further revelation.

    And, once the door of revelation is closed, the door to God's power is closed, as well. This is why our Church has stagnated. This is why we don't experience God moving. It's why we don't see His hand or hear His voice. Because we've put God in a box, covered Him with a heavy lid, set Him behind a veil and said, "No one shall enter here."


    Another problem is that our church has adopted Catholic doctrine. Our Church was formally recognized as a Catholic subsidiary back in 1980. When that happened, I believe we nailed the door shut on God, His message and the power of His Spirit.

    I'm not sure what He can do with us, now that we're *officially* a daughter of Babylon.


    You also said, "I want to see the church reaching the unreachable and making a startling difference in the world. At times, we get too caught up in ourselves."

    We've spent the last 150 years defending our beliefs from seasoned Bible veterans. And those Bible veterans have not only torn a whole in our beliefs, but in our credibility, as well.

    I mean, let's be honest. We have some pretty freakish beliefs hidden away in our closet - beliefs that should've been abandoned a century ago.

    Our Church has been defending itself for so long that we've forgotten how to reach out to the world. We've resigned ourselves to laying on the ground, curled up in a ball, praying for Jesus to come and save us.


    You prayed, “Lord, how can I be scandalous for you?” The problem is, our Church doesn't tolerate scandal. And what does it consider scandalous? Anything that disagrees with Mrs. White's writings.

    Time and again, God has blessed us with motivated youth, powerful speakers, intelligent writers, talented musicians... but, the Church has silenced them all because they didn't “agree with” Mrs. White's writings.

    Her writings, and not the Bible, are our Measure of Truth. Just as the Mormons have the Book of Mormon, we have the writings of Ellen White. Just as the Mormons interpret Scripture through their Book we interpret Scripture through her writings.

    I believe the Great Controversy for our Church has been and always will be: "Whom will you choose to serve? Will you choose Scripture or will you choose Mrs. White?" Because, as you know, if a person doesn't accept Mrs. White's interpretation of Scripture, they will quickly find themselves excommunicated.

    Mrs. White's writings are our taskmaster and they will continue to hold our Church hostage until the day we choose to follow the Bible and the Bible alone.


    I apologize for this being so long. But, your fire and enthusiasm strikes a chord in my heart. I was once where you are now. And the Church came down on my like a flood and drowned any chance I ever had of sharing my gift with the world -- at least, sharing it as an Adventist.

    So, like William Foy, I walked away from the beautiful ministry God gave me. I was young and impressionable and I allowed the Church to bully me into submission. As all governments bully their citizens into passifity.

    Don't be weak like me, Marcus. Don't let the Church douse the fire that God has placed in your belly. The Seventh-day Adventist Church is and always has been a business, with the sole purpose of making as much money as it can for those at the top of the pyramid.

    Don't be fooled. God has a far greater purpose for His people, of which you are one.

    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts! I am so thankful that when God showed me the source of world changing fire he didn't point to anything in this world. He pointed to himself. That gives me hope in the face of all the obstacles that are present. God is not simply greater than these obstacles. He is transcendentally greater. :D

  3. Ellen White is a messenger from God just like God sent other prophets like Jeremiah, Isaiah and Ezekiel. Since she is an uneducated woman, macho pastors don't want to mention her name. If God sent a beggar from the street to warn us, we should listen. I have no idea why people are so allergic to her? After 9 years of being an Adventist, I never heard her name mentioned from any churches I visited. Just like ancient Israel, we are rebellious to listen and follow God's warning and we do things our own way and we are reaping the consequences. I do agree Conference is all about money and self exaltation. I am sick of it too. I admire Marcos and his passion for the lost. I never ever came across a young man with such passion for reaching the lost. God is weeping for every soul out there and we are worried about making money and recognizing pastors who have no desire to reach the lost or know how to reach the lost. I have a daughter I raised alone in America without a family, friends, or a person who speaks my language. In her 31 years of life not one Christian talked to her other than homosexual friends and their families. She has nothing to do with God. I visited 8 different churches and I begged them to reach my child. They told me to pray. They can pray for their salaries also. After crying for 31 years to all church pastors, a Hindu man invited my daughter to visit his house with his daughter and took his family and my daughter to his friends house and told them, "Now I have 4 daughters". That was the happiest day of her life. I thought she will die of heart attack because of her joy. She was away in college and she called me to tell me, "Mom so and so's dad said I am his daughter". Gentiles have the law in their hearts while we have the law still on the stone. Mathew 7:12 is the way to bring people to Jesus. Less of me and more of Him. What an example John the Baptist and all the great leaders showed us to follow!. IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS AND NOT ABOUT US. God did not ask Moses to pray for the people, He said go and deliver them and He will be with him in his journey to deliver the oppressed. If pastors and conference leaders sit in the office and churches, who is out there winning souls? I had J.Witnesses and Mormons visited me many times when I came to America. Where were the Adventists? I was a church going atheist for 60 years because I never ever heard the name devil and I never heard one verse from the Old Testament. Love of money is the root of all evil and these false shepherds are destroying the lives of so many by their false teachings and we should have been on fire to preach the truth that the Lord has given to us. I have decided to do my part to warn others and I want the people to know there is truth out there. If anyone new comes to the church, we don't know how to keep them and they leave the church. People who have never been loved by anyone are hungry for love and acceptance. Where can they find it?

    1. Hi Moni! I think the answer to "Why is EGW ignored these days?" is a complicated one. In my opinion it tends to happen because in the older days she was quoted more than the Bible. I have 2 articles that you can read that cover this.

      and another written by a friend

      Alternatively, I recommend you read the conversations in the following post to see what others are thinking:


    2. Hi Marcos: I will read it. I have people told me, they left church because pastors talked mostly about sister White and that made them turn off. Now we don't mention her name at all and because of that we are in this mess. There is a time and place for everything. Too much and too little will kill us. If she is a messenger from God, I don't mind listening to her 24 hours especially when I had to search God for 60 years in every church. I give importance to the message not to the messenger.

  4. hopefully she will continue to be ignored...until not mentioned at all

    1. Unfortunately, for those who hold this sentiment, EGW is becoming increasingly popular outside of the SDA church in the last decade and making a resurgence within it. so i wouldn't hold my breath if i were you.


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