Adventists In The News: Kenyan Congregation Decimated by Al-Shabab

(system) #1

Tiny Kenyan Congregation Decimated by Al-Shabab. Ten Seventh-day Adventists, who comprise half the congregants of the Mandera, Kenya church, were killed in the bus massacre Saturday, November 22. Pastor David Matheka cancelled services. From Standard Digital, "Seventh Day Adventist loses half of its members in attack". Al Jazeera English and other outlets reported that the attack was carried out by the militant Islamist group, Al Shabab as retaliation for raids carried out by security forces.

Jamaican Adventists Save Thief from Mob. Members of the Harrison Seventh-day Adventist Jamaican church choir, who had assembled for rehearsal, saved the life of a robber who entered the church, escaping from a mob intent on killing him. Choir members locked out the angry mob and called the police. The seriously injured robber was taken to a hospital in life-threatening condition. From the Jamaica Observer, "Church saves robber".

General Conference Vice President on Network TV. A CBS Interfaith Special will highlight three faiths on Dec. 14, 2014: Sikhs, Mennonites, and Seventh-day Adventists. Ella Smith Simmons, Vice President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Bill Knott, editor of the Adventist Review and Adventist World, and Richard Duerksen, Assistant to the President for Maranatha Volunteers International, are featured. From TV by the Numbers, "'World Religions: Sikhs, Seventh Day Adventists & Mennonites' an Interfaith Special Will be Broadcast Sunday December 14th 2014".

Former Teacher Convicted of Molestation Wins Appeal. Michael Copithorne, a former teacher at Napa Christian School, a Seventh-day Adventist school, was released on his own recognizance after a California Court of Appeal on Oct. 2 reversed his 2012 conviction for molesting a former student. The original case had included several major inaccuracies which had lead to his conviction. From the Napa Valley Register, "Ex-teacher Copithorne released from jail".

Seventh-day Adventist Church Excluded as Christian Denomination in Egypt. The Seventh-day Adventist denomination requested that Egypt's minister of transitional justice and the designated committee not to approve the exclusion of the church from the list of Christian denominations, as stated in the article 112 of the personal status law draft for non-Muslims. Previously, the Egyptian government has recognized the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a Christian denomination, allowed to exercise its religious ceremonies and to operate educational and health services. From AllAfrica.Com, "Egypt: Seventh-Day Adventists Say Excluded By Article in Personal Status Law From Christian Denominations"

Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Redlands, CA.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Andreas Bochmann) #2

What a mixed bag of news…
Could it be that the news from Egypt is an indicator that critics of the SDA church research on the internet and find the non-Christian fundamentalism that views itself as “Seventh-day Adventist”? Or is it just the radicalized Islam - just as in the dreadful story from Kenya… The CBS news story strikes me as odd in this context… What a combination. Christians (Mennonite), Sikhs, and Adventists? What does this combination suggest about Adventists, I wonder.
The Copithorne story is warning me to be careful with prejudice and accusation. Reality usually is more complex than “breaking news” make it appear. This probably is true for a wide range of topics…

(Elaine Nelson) #4

Which Christian groups were accepted and which excluded? This might give a clue as to the objections or reasoning.

(Frank Peacham) #5

Since it is reported they “were killed in the bus massacre Saturday, November 22.” I wonder if they were on their way to church or returning from church? How many were children? This seems to parallel the experience of King David, which stopped his praise and dancing—to weep before the Lord after Uzzah was killed by God.

(George Tichy) #7

The story is so tragic that many people may have become speechless. What do you expect people to say in a case like this? Does everyone have to react according to the timing YOU determine?
I bet everyone is shocked with the facts. And there are times when less words are better than many unhelpful ones. Sometimes words can even end up stricken out

(You betcha :slight_smile: - webEd)

(Rohan Charlton) #9

I did feel so shocked and saddend when I read that terrible news. I’m sure that everyone who read about it said a silent prayer on behalf of the victims as I did.

(Brad(Luna)) #10

What can one say when faced with such cruelty? It is easy to discuss matters where there is a clear intellectual debate to be had. This is simply beyond our comprehension as many of us here are Westerners who are deeply influenced by the Enlightenment, Protestant Reformation, and Scientific Revolution which helped reduce religious violence significantly in our society. However, I would argue that it is never so simple as only religion. Nationalism, competition for resources, radicalization, and Islam’s long history of not separating government and religion leads to violence such as this.

The human heart is a wonderful creation but it is also possible of immense evil simply by dehumanizing an entire group of people who don’t fit into our own personal worlds…

(k_Lutz) #11

I am curious that prayers are spent on behalf of the dead whose eternal destiny is already confirmed. It sounds to me that purgatory is alive and well in SDAism.

Would it not be much more fruitful to urge God to impress upon the perpetrators the eternal value of life-giving rather than life-taking?

Trust God.

(Elaine Nelson) #12

Too late for prayers for those killed; prayer should be for those survivors and families of victims.

(Rohan Charlton) #13

You are both absolutely right. It was a poorly worded comment. @ageis7

(k_Lutz) #14

I think not.

There may be many who are convinced that their prayers for the dead are beneficial, at least for their own souls. The sentiment is certainly understandable, yet surprising in these most anti-Catholic of conversations. Who knows, but, that those prayers are heard, and those recipients of grace - upon your say-so - effectively appeal in your behalf.

Trust God.

(Elaine Nelson) #15

What does Paul say about prayers for the dead?

(k_Lutz) #17

Please, help me out here, Elaine, as I cannot formulate the proper phrase to which my Bible search engine would lead me to the answer to this question. Though I vaguely recall that he wrote something on this matter.

Trust the Process.

(Elaine Nelson) #18

A correction: It was Paul (1 Cor. 15:29 who wrote about baptism for the dead; apparently there were were people who were being baptized for the dead, ald Paul admonished them “Whybe baptized on their behalf?”

(k_Lutz) #19

Yes. As x-LDS I am quite aware of that verse, who have not only applied it as a tenant of their doctrine but have also established a significant practice in their temple rites. Thus we see another uneducated alarmist eisegeting a singular verse for the exceptionality of his(her) ‘gospel’.

Note Tertullian’s take on that verse in “Against Marcion”:

Let us now return to the resurrection, to the defence of which against heretics of all sorts we have given indeed sufficient attention in another work of ours. But we will not be wanting (in some defence of the doctrine) even here, in consideration of such persons as are ignorant of that little treatise. “What,” asks he, “shall they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not?” Now, never mind that practice, (whatever it may have been.) The Februarian lustrations will perhaps answer him (quite as well), by praying for the dead. Do not then suppose that the apostle here indicates some new god as the author and advocate of this (baptism for the dead. His only aim in alluding to it was) that he might all the more firmly insist upon the resurrection of the body, in proportion as they who were vainly baptized for the dead resorted to the practice from their belief of such a resurrection. We have the apostle in another passage defining “but one baptism.” To be “baptized for the dead” therefore means, in fact, to be baptized for the body; for, as we have shown, it is the body which becomes dead. What, then, shall they do who are baptized for the body, if the body rises not again? We stand, then, on firm ground (when we say) that the next question which the apostle has discussed equally relates to the body. But “some man will say, How are the dead raised up? With what body do they come?’” Having established the doctrine of the resurrection which was denied, it was natural to discuss what would be the sort of body (in the resurrection), of which no one had an idea.
Doctrine of the Resurrection

Trust God.