"Advent Next" Host Fired Over LGBTQ Episodes

With all respect, Harry tried to make clear that’s not what he was saying.

That said, his biblically justifiable and logically supported judgments of his fellow men are dumb to the point of being numb and insensitive, in addition to being as fundamentally wrong as he claims homosexuality is.

Such rationalizing is reasonably untenable given that these beliefs are merely biblical—as opposed to being empirically demonstrable—as well as essentially anti-Christian in their judgmental nature.

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I think it’s worth noticing, both Ms. Arsenault and Mr. Fenner seem to suggest this decision was made at a higher level than ALC itself. Her saying he seemed reluctant to fire her and had tried to save the show, him referencing that ALC is run by an NAD Executive Committee.

I also think it seems clear that some blame lies with Ms. Arsenault in this situation. By her own account, ALC hired her & invested in building her a studio, to give her a place to discuss progressive issues in the Adventist church. And whether you think the line is placed appropriately or not; by saying she thought the episodes would get pulled down and she would get a talking to, she is admitting that she knew she was crossing a line by publishing these episodes. It’s unfortunate she underestimated the consequences… but she knew what she was doing. As a result of her knowingly pushing too far, not only is the already created space to discuss these issues shut down, but it seems unlikely there will be another one created by the NAD for quite some time.

Finally, a bit of a tangent but… does it bother anyone else that tithe money apparently went to building an entire video studio for a series that, looking at youtube right now, has averaged around 500 views per video for the last year? I know it’s also a podcast, and let’s assume that gets a lot of listens… but you can do podcasts for the cost of one zoom and a mic. The cost of video cameras, lights, a contractor building a studio, the square footage being used, and a video editor; for an extra 500 views? I’m sure that’s not the worst stewardship in the church, but seems pretty questionable.

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Ms. Arenault did not treat the organization that hired her with respect in that she did not have the courtesy to inform them of her sexual orientation before disclosing that to the world. Also, based on the interview she had with Adventist Today, and the fact that she embraces the viewpoints of Alicia Johnson, she appears to condone the practice of homosexuality. Therefore, I am not sure why she would not have expected to be fired from.hosting the podcast sponsored by an organization that does not sanction the practice of homosexuality.

The challenge that Christians face in the world today is how to love sinners while despising sin.

"To hate and reprove sin, and at the same time to show pity and tenderness for the sinner, is a difficult attainment. The more earnest our own efforts to attain to holiness of heart and life, the more acute will be our perception of sin and the more decided our disapproval of any deviation from the right. We must guard against undue severity toward the wrongdoer, but we must also be careful not to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin. There is need of showing Christlike patience and love for the erring one, but there is also danger of showing so great toleration for his error that he will look upon himself as undeserving of reproof, and will reject it as uncalled for and unjust.

Ministers of the gospel sometimes do great harm by allowing their forbearance toward the erring to degenerate into toleration of sins and even participation in them. Thus they are led to excuse and palliate that which God condemns, and after a time they become so blinded as to commend the very ones whom God commands them to reprove. He who has blunted his spiritual perceptions by sinful leniency toward those whom God condemns, will ere long commit a greater sin by severity and harshness toward those whom God approves." Acts of the Apostles, pp. 503-504.

I will certainly keep Ms. Arenault in.my prayers.


Did the SDA organization treat its membership and the public with respect when it passed EGW’s “gift” off as supernatural in origin, particularly when knowing that there are more “earthly” explanations and that huge swathes of it were not really hers?

Did the church hierarchy act in good faith in disfellowshipping Dr. Kellog for a book he’d written that EGW had never read?

Is it respectful to the attendees of Stop Smoking Programs or Daniel and The Revelations Seminars to not clearly advertise that these are SDA membership drives?

Is it respectful to thier eternal souls to scare little children with unsubtle threats of hellfire if they don’t want to go out “Ingathering” funds “for those less fortunate”?

Is it respectful to use “the overflow” of those funds to help in paying to repave the church parking lot?

Is it respectful to the denomination’s preachers to curtail their vacations if their church’s don’t meet their Ingathering goals?

It it respectful to insist that teachers in Adventist schools present unscientific nonsense to their students as if it were divinely sanctioned fact?

Is it respectful to the tithe-paying church members to let them pay the mortgages while the GC holds the titles to the church buildings?

So was it respectful of Ms. Arenault to omit details of her personal life on her resume?

Would it have been respectful to fail to mention on your Nazi Party Registration Form that you didn’t hate Jews?

In the latter two cases, of course so.

But in those latter two cases, I firmly applaud such duplicity and find it find amusingly serendipitous!:rofl::rofl::rofl:


A homosexual is a homosexual, it is not practiced, it is who one is. But as usual…

Thanks, @plobdell3.

And before I reply to your statement, let me first say I appreciate the straightforward tone of your response. It’s specific and orderly, lacking the vitriol that frequently passes for rapport on Spectrum. (I include much of my own writing, here.) I respect your oversight.

I thought I’d fully anticipated such a concern—because I’ve been accused of the same, before—when I said:

I also added:

Stated another way, I’m not comparing homosexuality and terrorism. (I don’t even know how, generically, one would do so, or how they would make the case.)

I’m comparing the SDA Church to the U.N. This seems feasible. They are both humanitarian, international, hierarchical member organizations, headquartered in the United States, attenuated by rules with are voted upon in session, and which, thereby, govern them.

I’m talking about how these organizations, respectively, view these subjects. It was in this sense I made the statement, and analogy, about Arsenault.



Thanks, @jaray.

If one is, one does.

This is a truism. I have never, nor have you ever, heard of someone who was something, but who wasn’t distinct from someone else, because of something they, the former, did.

Indeed, the more someone affirms that something is, at their essence, who they are—“it is who one is”—…

“I don’t work as a jeweler. Being a jeweler is, at my core, what I am.”

…the more we commonly expect this to be reflected in some form of, yes, practice.

If a person is a homosexual, then, they are a homosexual. That part of your statement is true.

But if you say, despite this, they do not practice, or do, something which is different from someone else—e.g., a heterosexual—then your statement will not be sustainable.


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High-freaking-larious, @bartwalker92.


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I thought it was rather easy to get my meaning…but I guess not. It had been mentioned in a previous post about “the practice of homosexuality”, with out any reference to what they meant. One could read the statement to say that if you didn’t ‘practice’, you wouldn’t be a homosexual. Thats all!

Thanks, @Jaray.

I often say, to the shock of no one, that communicating is the most difficult thing human beings do.

Was it mine?

At the time of your posting, mine was the only post in this thread containing the word “practice,” let alone the phrase you’ve reproduced.

If so, pardon me for being vague: It’s a quality I dislike in others, and abhor in myself.

What I meant, Jaray, were homosexual acts.

By these, I mean this:

Years ago, there was a debate, raised by the news uncovering President Clinton’s indiscrete sexual activities with Monica Lewinsky, as to whether “oral sex was sex.” (This happened, despite half the term being the word “sex,” as the space between the words is there merely to accommodate the word “sex.”)

Technical wrangling raged. However, I answered the question this way:

Sex is anything, whereby, if you came home from grad school and found your college best friend doing it with your mom, you’d immediately a) scream something unprintable, b) grab him, punch him in the face, and throw him out the house, as is, c) scream at your mother, and d) never talk to her again, or for at least a few years. Plus, if your father found out, he’d e) divorce your mom.

By homosexual acts, I mean the same, unnamed, incipient action, above, except where your best friend is the same gender as your parent.

Well, you wouldn’t be a practicing homosexual if you didn’t commit homosexual acts.

One might seek to hire a lawyer, or a physician, only to find out neither of them practice law, or medicine, any longer.

Each would still be a lawyer, or a doctor. But they would no longer practice the acts of their professions; e.g., filing briefs, seeing patients, etc.

I meant “the practice of homosexuality” in a similar way.


Yeah, while I’ve grown cynical and may chuckle about the innovation of Ted talk, which is a sermon with no podium… or innovation of Podcast, which is every 3ABN show you’ve ever seen… since 80s…

It’s important for leadership to avoid all or nothing at all cost, because they are moving closer to nothing than to all.

Oh you are trixy trixy man with these moral dilemmas :rofl:

The question is though whether someone not having sex with your mother, but let’s say a college friend they’ve met and share a lot in common with is as much of a problem … and whether there’s some room for some ambiguity in any-given approach to sexual morality that has no clear directives from moral past.

Recreational sex ok? Meaning, no intent to get pregnant and actively preventing that but simply scratching the itch, simply because there’s a biological urge that doesn’t negate cultural expectations to postpone sex and pregnancy.

Should infertile people have sex?

If yes, then anal sex is a problem or not? Oral sex?

One can say… well it’s a misuse. There’s no misuse if there’s no use to begin with. Likewise, there’s discharge with involuntary orgasm in teens with body alleviating thay pressure. Is that misuse?

Where do you draw the line and why? Masturbating is ok or not? What’s the difference if it’s someone else’s hand?

Eventually… “Homosexuality is evil” is an argument for “anything other than unprotected sex shooting for pregnancy in marital contract is evil”. There’s an inevitable slippery slope that’s hard to avoid.

Which is why church avoids that subject like wildfires… and puts 10ft fence around it too.

The problem with the way the Adventist church treats people such as Pastor Arsenault is that with each firing, the church loses its claim to open-minded, transparent dialogue. If human beings are to have a space to conduct such dialogue, they need to have significant leeway to say things outside the norms of what is usually said in traditional contexts. If they can be fired for the slightest infraction of orthodoxy, they quickly become propaganda mouthpieces rather than honest interlocutors. The listener begins to wonder, “Are they saying this because they believe it, or because they want to keep their job?” The need for official approval thus bowdlerizes and dumbs down the entire form of communication.

A professor of mine at the Andrews University seminary once told me that if I wanted to read interesting, cutting edge Catholic theology, I should avoid books with the imprimatur “Nihil obstat” under the cover, because this official approval was a sign that the author had nothing seriously valuable to say. This is what happens when a church carries out aggressive censorship.

By firing Pastor Arsenault, the Adventist church revealed that it only wishes for its funds to be spent on propaganda, rather than critical theological investigation. This trajectory, when carried to its ultimate end, makes your church a very boring place, among other things . . .


The purpose of the church is to proclaim the everlasting gospel based solely on the word of God. There is no room for people’s opinion. It is strictly thus says the Lord. We should all learn this from the experience of Adam and Eve.

People (guests) are given the opportunity to share their opinion during a podcast, but the person leading out in the discussion has the responsibility to lead the listeners to the truth of God’s word. The word of God is very clear on the boundaries of human sexuality.

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i think a lot of people have left, and will continue to leave, the church over this LGBT question…but there are a few people who have left LGBT in order to be an active part of the church…it can be done…it all boils down to what people choose…

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I’m curious when you say “clear” whether you are referring to the oldest Greek or Hebrew manuscripts we have access to—both languages for which we don’t have perfect one-to-one words.
Are you referring to an English translation? Is it one that added words and phrases to spruce it up to the king’s líking—like the King James—or is it one based on a Greek edition which changed disciples’ names to be masculine contrary to more original text and scholarly consensus?
Is it the translation which introduced the word “homosexual” into the narrative and its modern meaning, therefore changing the meaning of those passages in the Bible?

Once we answer those questions, then we can get to how to read a passage in the way it would have been read at the time it was written, through that cultural lens. Do you understand those myriad cultural lenses perfectly? Can anyone living understand them perfectly?

The Bible is absolutely not clear on this and many other points. At this point in my journey, though, it is clear enough to me that we aren’t called to condemn people, but to love them.

@vandieman, being LGBTQ+ is not a choice. Intentionally engaging in the LGBTQ+ community of people is a choice, though.


Fortunately, SDA’s have the voluminous panoply of EGW’s indubitably precise phantasmagoria to make all of the contradictory dictums in King James’ Cobbled-Together Concoction melt away like ice cubes floating in The Dead Sea during summertime, right?


The problem is that both Catholics and Adventists are in the same camp where criticism exposes embarrassing deficiencies in theology… especially when it comes to increasingly awkward literal Biblianity that both worship at some level.

So, it’s a lot easier to fire people to maintain integrity, than rewrite all of the theology books.


This is always an attempt to inject ambiguity into this subject by yelling “context” as though the background against which these narratives developed isn’t indicative-enough of the attitudes towards these subjects. In general it’s difficult to us to even get into a mindset of a culture where sex is more of a duty than a pleasurable pastime that will result in mostly unwanted pregnancies for people under 25.

So, the context for sexual liberation was always when society progressed to some degree of comfort where the luxury of individual preferences could be afforded, like we do today.

I’m not sure how much favors it’s doing for anyone to attempt to sterilize or drive the semantic context into ambiguity where no one will know for sure what the writers intended. It’s very clear that they intended a narrative that went along their cultural lines of specialized duty for societal members that re-enforced certain concepts… like homosexuality, even though in civilized world that afforded some luxury of individuality, those were no longer punishable by death through stoning.

It doesn’t really do marginal groups any favors to say that attitudes where somehow ambiguous when these were not. Past was played by different rules that have to be recontextualized for present. It’s as simple of an explanation as there should be.

Love is not enough in the way it’s contextualized today as a rather ambiguous narrative of “good will”. Love is a moral category, and as a moral category it’s an umbrella for a hierarchy of concepts that are all competing version of “love”.

We may have misconceptions about perceived comparative benefits of something, and in our ignorance we cause pain, thinking that this pain justifies and is worth certain outcome which may not be there. And the opposite is also true, we may think that love is to secure emotional comfort for someone, when their version of emotional comfort is built around very different tendencies that may cause them greater distress.

How can you even be certain that the entire Christian enterprise as a religion is about love, and not mere misconception of love that drives people towards a very limited human experience in general?

None of these are very easy questions to ask, which is why we should stop “Lovespluatation” of religious narrative through emotional baits and hooks that we throw out there to catch people to do what our pastors say. Very few pastors “love” people more than they love the concept of Christian narrative in which they think these people must fit into.

Very thing can be said about all of us, propagating all the way up to the writers of that narrative. They gave us a collection of axioms to live by, and the fundamentalist idea became that these axioms shouldn’t shift with context, much like how the rest of life on this planet adjusts to changing environment. It doesn’t mean that anything goes, but it does mean that there are more than one way to accomplish the same thing.

And that’s ultimately what we should showing, because that’s were religion inevitably ends up when it’s all said and done. It starts out as a moral reality, but then it progresses into a structural narrative that simply exemplifies certain past axioms of morality that were the building blocks of the present. But, it doesn’t mean we should be shoving all of the present-day complexities through the narrow hole of these standards. Certain things have outgrown and simply don’t fit anymore.

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