I know from interacting with Adventists especially from America that the mention of 3ABN elicits strong opinions and views. There are some who don’t want to hear anything associated with 3ABN.
I remember a few weeks ago in my interaction with another prominent Adventist blogger he pointed out that since I share 3ABN videos he could not promote my blog on his site. I however understand the stand that some Adventist have taken against 3ABN.
In the case of my fellow blogger it was because of the divorce and remarriage of Danny Shelton that he thinks was unbiblical. He could be right but as a trained professional investigator I would rather not pass judgment on these issues. I have learned that things may not be exactly as they appear on the surface.
I am aware that some people have questioned the lifestyle that Danny and family have lived when 3ABN relies on donations for its operations. I get that but that does not nullify the fact that God has been with this movement.
God uses fallible human beings in carrying out his wishes. He has used Samson with his weakness for women. He has used David who also had a few problems in that area as well. He has used Abraham who had a bit of lapse in faith and also lied to protect himself from Pharaoh.
The list goes on and on. I therefore find it difficult to sit on judgment and decide as to who is genuine or not. God is the righteous judge and will make that decision.
As Ellen White says we as erring human beings cannot make a decision as to who are the tares or the wheat. We cannot read the hearts of people to know who God is calling to himself.I also need to add that there are also thousands all over the world who continue to be blessed by 3ABN regardless. Danny Shelton may or may not be in good books with the God of heaven but that does not stop the Lord from using 3ABN to spread the gospel.
In any case we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Even the best among us are still not perfect and are nothing without the grace of God.
We therefore need to be very careful when judging others. This however does not mean that if we see our brother falling we should not warn them. We all need brothers and sisters who can in love warn us of our actions and behaviour.
The History of 3ABN
The purpose of this post is not to defend the Sheltons but to just present the miracles that God has wrought in the history of the 3ABN. While the Sheltons just like all of us are not perfect it is clear to me that God used them to open and establish 3ABN.
It is not because they were perfect but because they were willing to trust God when most people around them thought they were crazy.
We ought to remember that when Danny Shelton began receiving impressions to open a Christian television he did not have the resources to do that. It was humanly impossible and they were some pastors who were willing to tell them that.
I remember watching Danny Shelton recalling that he went to one SDA Church where he shared with the members the dream to establish a Christian television station. He says after the service the pastor called him aside and told to stop telling people things that are impossible.
From my personal experiences it appears to me that nowaday Christians and Adventist in particular would rather put their trust in budgets rather than in God. We have stopped believing in the God of the impossible.
For we are okay in believing that God will heal us from curable disease than believing that God can also heal us from incurable diseases such as cancer.
Unfortunately I am also guilty of the same. I would also have struggled to believe anyone who came to me and said that they were going to establish a television station. Unless of course they had the resources or they had promises that they would get the required finance.
We need to stop limiting God. We need to start believing seriously that this work belongs to God who owns all the resources.
We sometimes need to take a step of faith even when dealing with what people think are impossibilities. What is impossible with men is possible with God.
I also read the following from Hal Steenson of 3ABN: “I remember when he started building the first 3ABN building, and a local pastor called and told me I needed to have a talk with him. He said, “Danny has gone crazy and is building a Noah’s Ark out in a field in Thompsonville!””
The fact that it only took two years from the time Danny Shelton had his dream in 1984 to the start of broadcasting (1986) is really a miracle! While he had no resources to carry out such a huge project God touched the hearts of those with resources to give until the dream was realised. Praise be to God!
As soon as he got this impression and started taking a step of faith things started happening. I read that one day he visited a television station where he used to sing in the hope of seeing what it takes to establish a station.
While there he met the station Engineer, Clarence Larson with whom he had a little interaction before. This engineer After introducing himself to Danny, pulled him aside and said, “I don’t know why I’m telling you this, but I believe a satellite uplink station could be built here in southern Illinois out in the Thompsonville area.” Interestingly, Clarence volunteered this information with no knowledge of Danny’s dream.
It was this engineer who helped the Sheltons in the early stages of the project. At one point during the project Clarence called Shelton and asked if it would be okay to stop the project as he had just realised that for the uplink station they would need a three phase power to operate the station.
He told Danny Shelton that since the land they had chosen was away from any factory he doubted if there was any three phase power nearby. Such being the case he warned that the costs of getting three phase power would be very prohibitive.
Danny is said to have responded that since God was the one who running the project He would find a way or that there could some three phase power nearby.
Clarence Larson then surveyed the area and discovered to his amazement that there was three phase power a few hundred feet away.
Danny Shelton called the power company and asked why three phase power lines were running through the fields away from factories and heavy machinery. The power company said they had no idea. This reminds of the word of God which says before they ask I will answer (Isaiah 65:24).
For more details about this miraculous birth of 3ABN watch the video below.