A Response to General Conference President Ted Wilson

Editor’s Note: On May 29, 2020, the Adventist News Network published a statement by General Conference President Ted N. C. Wilson titled, “Only connection with God can overcome global rise in evil.” (Read the statement here.)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/views/2020/response-general-conference-president-ted-wilson

The racist rock is this earth, get it?


As a man of color I have to agree with the above posters about this particular article. One of the things I learned early on in interracial dialogue is that we must provide room for the other to speak, and the for the other to perfect their speech. Many of our white brethren avoid any discussion of race because they feel that they will immediately be attacked regardless of what they say. They are afraid that they will be told that they have no voice. That their voice is laden with racism. That they only speak from a place of privilege and must sit silently and listen. It puts them in a no win situation, and sometimes into a “fight or flight” state of mind.

If you truly want to win over hearts, you have to show that you’ve heard what they said, and try to take it in the light in which it was intended, and then help with gentle correction. You may come across an unrepentant racist but most do not see themselves that way and want to speak but feel afraid that they will not have the tools to do so.

Sadly I doubt this author followed those steps in responding to Brother Wilson. In fact I probably could have accurately predicted what this article would say even if I hadn’t read Wilson’s piece. It would be “inadequate,” “not enough,” “not acknowledging the impossibility of racial reconciliation,” etc.

It is an article borne of anger and may have felt good to write but it seems to miss the mark completely.


Very good response, Sam. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but Terrence Floyd, brother of the man who police killed, has called for an end to the violence. My hat comes off to both you and him.


We should listen to Jocko. It’s not an advice about racial relations. It’s an advice about the human baseline from which we can have a conversation.

There are people out there who are saying that conversations are over, and they don’t understand what they are asking for. Conversations are all we got if we want a civil society in which we can come to some agreement and work together, however imperfectly, is much better than yelling at each other.

So, let’s commit to keep our emotions in check and work towards solutions as opposed to throwing sticks and stones at each other.


Is this the response people want to see? https://www.nbcnews.com/video/trump-stands-in-front-of-st-john-s-church-holding-bible-after-threatening-military-action-against-protesters-84206661837

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Well, it seems that not everyone is pleased with how the Bible is used. https://www.9news.com/article/news/nation-world/episcopal-bishop-outraged-trump-church-visit/507-0d5f64f5-58d9-46c0-9377-72b3bb66c180


What a moment for a photo op uh? Why to involve a Church if the Church was actually closed? Mere theater.
It’s been reported that because he was taken to a bunker under the WH on Friday night, to protect him, he felt embarrassed and wanted to show some sign of “confidence and strength,” thus deciding to shoo away the crowd of protesters in that park so that he could go on a senseless, absurd walk.

The worst, however, is that we may be at the brink of him declaring Martial Law. All his actions indicate that we are going in that direction. Our November elections may end up compromised, i.e., suspended. I would not be a bit surprised. Stay tuned.


We get it, George. You don’t like Trump. But, here’s what Chicago looks like from where I’m sitting.

As far as I’m concerned, Martial Law is the only viable way to restore order, largely because both media and police greenlit looting behavior by inaction and going soft on consequences. Cops got stand down order, as they just stood and watched people break windows and take stuff.

Now, how would you deal with situation like this?

You may not know it, but with all of the grocery stores looted and the school food program suspended, cities like Chicago are about to turn into a war zone.

So, if you have a better idea that doesn’t involve hindsight, please let us know.


Sadly martial law may be called for. Not against the protestors but rather those doing violence in the name of African Americans. White instigators who light fires and destroy cars and businesses will go home with no consequence. We will still be in the community and face the anger that the community justifiably feels toward what has happened to them. We will be the ones who lose retailers and jobs. It will take many years to restore what these people have destroyed.

And yes, I have seen the photos of pallets of rocks and bricks. And the out of state license plates. And the white protestors who claim to speak for BLM but are more violent than we would ever be. There is some kind of evil orchestration of these protestors who are taking over our message There are videos of people of color begging these white young people to stop the graffiti, stop the firebombs and flames but they refuse because they are not for us but against us. Destruction in our name is the worst kind of racism because it lingers and ruins what we need to build to survive. If they attacked us directly that would be bad enough but they convince the world that we ourselves are destructive and evil minded. They make the worst stereotypes live and walk and it’s not us. They are fakers masquerading as justice fighters. They deserve whatever retribution they receive and more.

It makes my heart sick. They may speak words that sound like we may speak but their actions destroy us.

I cannot describe how angry this makes me to see what’s happening. We should be speaking of George Floyd and of making things better. But they’re destroying the bridges to hope.

So yes I do support rough and ready retribution and lengthy prison sentences and force necessary to stop these evil people in their tracks. Full stop.


He also took a quick moment to shout out gay people as part of the problem and remind us we deserve death. In fact it’s really not clear who the whole quote is aimed at, but it’s weird to put a bible verse saying anyone deserves death in a statement about the murder of a black man.

The Bible teaches culture not religion, cultural change is very difficult for self satisfied Christians who have no spiritual needs, such Christians prefer religion instead of Biblical culture.
We can be blessed if we become curious about Biblical culture, descendants of Abraham Isaac Jacob are still here with us, they need us Christians to acknowledge them as siblings, and we need them to show us Biblical culture.

And what would you do to end the mayhem? More dialogue?

Ditto! I only hope that the States will be able to combat this violence without a Martial Law being evoked. Though I have the impression that yhis is kind of window of opportunity for Trump to fully hijack the country and become a dictator. This would be the end of democracy, the end of elections, the end of personal safety (against Government’s treatment of citizens “a la Russia,”) a true regime of terror.

I am saying for about two years that Trump may well have Martial Law in his mind as a way of becoming “enthroned” instead of elected. It’s just a gut feeling though, and I hope my guts are wrong (this time… :laughing:)

It’s alarming that we may be closer to a dictatorship in the US than we would ever have guessed. The whole world is appalled, except Putin, who is certainly very satisfied for the honor of being a great role model to Trump.


I am not claiming to have any bright ideas; besides I am not in charge of anything. I am simply and only stating my personal concerns with the possible implications of having the country embarking in a Martial Law under the control of a completely emotionally unstable individual. Some people may be clapping for him and his governing style; I wish them luck if the worse happens. But, I also know that even if the worse happens, there will be many still shouting, “Heil Trump, our Fuehrer!” It happened once before… Scary.


No, no it is not. It may be a most pressing issue in the USA, but in most of the world it is not. The USA is not the world.


Yeah, I noticed. This refrain is getting very old.


My honest thoughts… no one condones what that officer did to George Floyd. No one. As a nation, we were horrified, all races and ethnicities. The moral high ground was set for actually coming together in peaceful protest and working towards meaningful change.

This high ground has been abandoned by retaliatory rage. That rage is explainable, due to generations of systemic injustice, lack of prospects for inner city African Americans, and the loss of hope. It explains the violence. It does not excuse it.

Nor do the reports that white hate groups are stoking the violence. While likely true, so are leftist groups, such as Antifa, whatever form they exist in. News reports show not simply white racists in the midst of inciting the vandalism, looting and mayhem. Footage reveals black men participating. Many young men of color.

I have heard the voices coming from the African American Christian community condemning the generations of racism that helped breed such wanton disregard of life as displayed by the officer in Minneapolis. It is a national shame. I totally agree. But, where are those same, unified voices now calling for a stoppage of the violence, and looting? Where is the condemnation of such behavior? Where is the call to Jesus’s own warning that he who lives by the sword will die by it? Jesus said this within the reality of Roman oppression, where crucifixion was used to send a loud message that this is what would happen to Jews if they got out of line. Jesus said that the natural urge to retaliate wasn’t the solution. In fact, it would be their nation’s undoing. It was just as he said.

Violence and hatred will only beget more violence and hatred. This was also part of MLK’s message. The national conscience was provoked in 1965 when peaceful protesters were assaulted by police with attack dogs and fire hoses in Selma, Alabama, and it was broadcast nationally for all to see. The road to the Civil Rights Act was paved by the horrific acts that were perpetrated there. That is not happening now. A nation stands horrified as our cities are being burned, looted, and pillaged. The just argument in favor of meaningful and lasting change will never be won, or even given a fair hearing in this way, and by these methods. Never.




Racism and Bigotry have been around since the dawn of time. The Bible has been used, still is in some countries, regions, to promote and condone both. It permeates religion as well. Within our own church it survives. We have a long history of looking at non-SDA’s as not being the correct type of christian. We have used persons of other belief systems to instill fear into the ‘faithful’. We seek out interpretations of the Bible to support the belief of inequality in the sexes. When a people are discriminated against for hundreds of years, and regardless of advances, it continues something is going to happen and not is the best ways. Segments of society will use that for their own purposes or just plain anarchy. Just because those groups are trying to hijack the protests for their own purposes we should not forget what instigated the current unrest. We do not have to wait until Christ comes for changes to happen, as many would suggest, but we can begin to seek out and make the changes need in our homes, neighborhoods, churches, schools, etc. To use the Bible as justification for sitting on the sidelines means we do not understand the ministry of Christ and do Him a huge dishonor. Lets not continue down the road of making God in our image for our purposes but rather to remember we were made in His image and what that means. Religious belief systems have much to do with bigotry and racism in all its forms. WE can start making a difference here and now!!


Yes, there’s meaningful expressions of pain and loss, as well frustration and anger - before the sun goes down; after that we have quite a different group, with a different agenda. Out come the goons burning looting and maiming - nothing to do with the death of George Floyd. It’s an orchestrated and coordinated show pure rage against the US. Vehicles loaded with bricks and bats strategically parked, get accessed as the sun goes down. The legitimate show of solidarity in pain gets hijacked by a bunch of goons.