Lease Termination

HopeSide after August 31, 2020

Dear all,
We wish to disclose the following.

HopeSide's lease has been terminated.  Until we find a place, we will have home based meetings at 10702 Cherry Tree Ct., Hyattsville, MD 20783.  Before anything else is said, let this be known and well appreciated:  The church we have been renting for the last 9 years has been a great blessing to countless many.  We are indeed grateful to them and God for the opportunity we have been given to start a ministry.


The purpose of this public disclosure is meant to be informative and correctional.  This is not our preferred method of resolving any kind of disputes.  However, many attempts at resolving our differences in private have been rejected and the other church's concerned official has resorted to greatly harming our ministry based on misinformation and misconception about who Adventists are, or for that matter, what Christianity is all about.  We believe that despite any differences, Christians are called to bear one another's burdens thus exemplifying Christ's love.  Christianity should be about being redemptive and not punitive.

Our lease was terminated for the following reasons:

  1. That "there are specific doctrinal distinctions found in the core Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) beliefs and practices that are not in line with traditional standard Baptist and Biblical Evangelical orthodoxy."
  2. They believe that once HopeSide leaves, they will grow as they can "consistently present and promote those tenets of the Christian faith associated with the Baptist and Evangelical theology to the community."
Our position and answers:
 
  1. Adventists are not looking to be in line with any one, tradition or orthodoxy but are looking to be in line with God as revealed in the Bible and therefore, believe in "Sola Scriptura" or the Bible alone.  Everything else including the writings of Ellen G. White, Luther or anyone else is measured according to the Bible alone.  We are always open to dialogue for correction and learning from one another and primarily the Bible.  Coincidentally, this kind of phenomenon of "Christian vs. Christian", and "Cain vs. Abel" over matters of faith has been predicted to happen in the end times according to Adventist theology and so this is being disclosed publicly to stimulate further open discussion.  It's not even clear if this condition of "being in line Baptist orthodoxy" was part of the lease but that's another matter.  These conflicts are thousands of years in the making and we believe that resolving matters of faith in a business transaction is not appropriate.  Keeping some issues separate from each other like the keeping of the church and state separate can better aid in clarity and understanding to avoid needless conflicts.
     
  2. The church can grow most when the golden rule is followed which is to show love to all no matter any ideological and doctrinal differences as exemplified by Jesus Himself when He associated with sinners and as illustrated in the example of the Good Samaritan.  We are called as Christians to live and love each other as we love ourselves If there's no love, nothing else matters.  When we truly love each other no matter our differences, it does not mean that we are compromising with our cherished doctrines but that we are fulfilling the law of love Even when there's no growth, our call is still to grow in love for one another as Christ has loved us.
     
  3. There are many churches in the Washington D.C. area that rent their facilities to those of other Christian "faiths" and doing so has not slowed their growth or sent a mixed message to the community.  Jesus said that He has His sheep in every fold and to let the wheat and tares grow together until the time of the harvest.  We believe that God is not in the business of blessing and growing only those who promote their specific doctrines from their particular buildings or their own camps.  This kind of belief is contrary to what the Bible teaches.  Christianity in its highest form is to give up oneself and give away everything to the poor and needy and follow God besides the keeping of the Ten Commandments which in summary are love to God and Man.
     
  4. Christianity is not about competition between various faith groups.  Besides, there are many who identify as Baptists and Evangelicals who have very different and opposing beliefs from one another, therefore, HopeSide is not clear about which tenets of the "Baptist" and or "Evangelical" orthodoxy that we are not in line with?
     
  5. It's worth noting also that no two Christians or even family members are alike in their beliefs or practices, but the one thing that can bind us together is the understanding of who God is and what He commanded us to do which is to love one another unconditionally despite any differences.  Matters of faith are best left up to individual conscience and God.

Other points to consider:
 
HopeSide Church invested at least $30,000 or more over the years in capital improvements at the church we rented for mutual benefit.  Those things among others included carpet restoration and a projection system that took three years to plan and install in a certain unique and proprietary way based on the structure and challenge of the building.  All these investments are a loss to us now as we can no longer enjoy the benefits of our own labor and investments.  The other party has been unwilling to pay a fair amount for what has been done that has and will benefit them for years to come.  Further, they even said that all that HopeSide did was to benefit itself alone though they fully benefitted in equal measure without paying fully for what was done through the years.  Now they even claim that they own everything that is "permanently fixed" according to a certain law and that whatever smaller amount they paid toward a joint ownership stake in HopeSide's projection equipment should be considered like a payoff amount for everything to part ways.  The issue for them to address in good conscience is why would they want to keep anything that they think was done for the sole benefit of HopeSide?  We would have given it all for free and that offer was always on the table.  For us, relationships count most of all rather than anything.  This experience though very difficult has taught us quite a few things which will be applied going forward. 
 

Further, four ladies from HopeSide asked the person concerned to please reconsider letting HopeSide continue to stay on the basis of Christian love.  One of the ladies even said that in heaven these differences we have now will not be there.  The official then told the ladies that it cannot happen and that he also believes that "we will not be in heaven together".  HopeSide believes that matters of salvation are God's prerogative.

The same person then followed up in a sermon a week later by stating that he will not entertain or tolerate fellowshipping or associating with those (referring to HopeSide it is assumed) who blaspheme God's word, do not use the entire Bible or care about doctrines, that we are in darkness, that we don't worship the same Jesus as they do.

You can hear that person's speech given on January 12, 2020 at the link below.  We invite him to respond to anything that has been posted here and are open to correcting anything that is not accurately represented:

Click here to listen (5 min.) >> http://hopeside.org/cbcsermon.mp3 

In light of the speech that was made, our positions as members of the Adventist church again are these:

We believe and worship Jesus the Lord God who first is love personified and from this fact flows all other doctrines or teachings.  Jesus did not compromise His teachings when He associated with sinners and offered his life while we were yet sinners to save all who will accept Him.  He came to save the one lost sheep.  We don't believe that we are saved merely by obeying the Ten Commandments moral law which we do teach, or that good works alone will save anyone.  Being saved however precedes with repentance which itself is a "good work" that God enables.  Bad works will definitely get punished in the end and God will reward all according to their works Faith without works is dead and a faith in Jesus will lead to obedience and good works and not bad works, despite our daily short comings.
 
We believe that churches are not called to be monuments of a certain doctrinal system, orthodoxy or tradition but that they should be monuments to love and sacrifice most of all.  Jesus said that what counts in the end is what we have done to the least of these, or even those we may unwittingly think less of.
 
We believe that matters of faith should not be forced, coerced or transactional but of the heart.  We are called to be true witnesses by focusing on being a blessing to others no matter what. 


In light of our circumstances, we are open to any collaboration opportunities with any one or group for us to be able to continue our ministry.  Please contact us with any suggestions or ideas through our email: contact@hopeside.org.

We have strived to be of service to anyone no matter their situation or background and that will always continue in whatever manner that is possible.  We wish that we could have our own place to continue our ministry but until then, we will meet in a house and ask God to lead us through this difficult time. .

We are thankful for God's great leading thus far.  Our goal now is to explore having our own building where we can operate and grow in full measure according to God's will in a self-sustaining manner.  To that end, we believe that God has given us a vision of a multi-purpose community center through which many community development projects that are focused on the holistic development of the disadvantaged, including women, minorities, disabled and low income groups among other goals can be accomplished with great effectiveness.  This idea came about before the current pandemic happened.  It is much bigger in scope than what we can do on our own but with God's help and your support, nothing will be impossible to accomplish.  We truly and passionately wish to GO BIG for GOD and COMMUNITY!  You can go here to support our building project: https://www.gofundme.com/f/hopesidebuilding.  More details will be made available on this project as it develops as we build a model of great service and great impact. 

Check the video of our final meeting.

Thank you all for supporting HopeSide thus far and may God bless you. 

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Summary:

Adventists are not like Baptists or Evangelicals, and Baptists are not like Adventists either, but we all can and should focus on being like Christ and everything will fall into place.  We do not seek to build bridges between truth and error.  Through love and sacrifice, we seek to be focused on the salvation of souls and following TRUTH as it is and not as we wish it to be.  We are not concerned  with labels, traditions and orthodoxies but hold the entire Bible as its own authority without adding or subtracting anything from it.