Can We At Least Do This?

I don’t think that the racism issue is as detrimental and problematic, and neither is the issue of sexism.

The most problematic issue that structures all of these is the issue of “agism”, since the newer generations who can approach the world with a new paradigm in mind don’t have much access to modify the existing structure to correct the self-perpetuating problems of the past.

So, the dominant paradigm of power in the church is with 50++ year olds who are very reluctant to share it.


look around…70+ yr-olds are running the house, the senate and the white house…three of the leading dems with any kind of shot for the nomination are practically 80…

assuming good health, which is likely in the case of people who have followed egw their whole life, which includes many adventists who aspire to work for the church, there are advantages in advancing age…these include settled finances, beliefs, and family lives…older people are less likely to veer from principles they believe in as a response to outward pressures…and guess what…god thought the same thing thousands of yrs ago when he chose moses and his older brother aaron to lead millions of slaves out of egypt…

younger people just have to bide their time…it’s isn’t as if the people in power now were in power when they were young…they also bided their time…

being young is a special, wonderful time: it’s the time to prepare and improve, without saddling any responsibility for failure…the last thing we need is for the church to be run by a bunch of 25 yr-olds who barely know what side is up, and what side is down; who have limited or no equity; who may barely understand where they want to go in terms of any kind of family; and who really don’t know what they believe on a non-negotiable level…some of these young people may very well have leadership talent, but why rush things…they should perfect their gift while they have the opportunity to do so, and in the context of the wisdom that general living brings…their time will come soon enough…

Are you pointing to the cultural status quo as the norm I should accept :slight_smile: ?

Don’t get me wrong, I respect the experience and age. Being old is not the problem of itself. I hope you can see that’s not what I’m addressing. The problem is that the 60-70-80 generation grew up in rather inflexible era, and the new generation of 20-30-40s re-invented the world in the past 30 years. Hence, it’s a world they understand. A world with different sets of rules that the previous generation doesn’t get.

They are not going to do that. They will leave, which they already done so, and they will not be back because the cultural context gives them more opportunity to express their talents in environment that’s more interactive and collaborative.

These 25 year olds invented the very platform that you are communicating these things on now :). It’s a different world with different rules, where one can develop as fast as they want with information to do that on the palm of their hands. Sure, life experience matters, but there’s a whole scope of the “life experience” of the older generations, which is utterly irrelevant today. They are still living in “radio world” where the future is interactive. And that’s how the church is structured… as a radio you sing along with, and not interactive entity you can contribute in structuring.

Older generation in charge today doesn’t generally get that. There are always good exceptions, but these are few in number.


“Arkdrey” –
Wonderful insight between how different Generations grew up and HOW
each Generation interacts with the world around them.
As I interact with the older group of my age, I find them pretty much
intolerant of “Change”.
{{I find them tiring and wearysome at times. I much prefer the present
culture, and the Generation who are enjoying it. I guess I have always
been “adventurous” and so enjoy those types of persons.}}
Having the “old days” reactions to things. And I believe we see this SAME
intolerance in the older persons who are on Church Committees at various
levels. From the Local church through the World Church Divisions and
the General Conference.
There are MANY Issues one will NOT FIND in the Index To Ellen White’s
Writings because she wrote in context of 1800’s and ONLY ONE DECADE
after that. I won’t go into HOW life was lived during those times, but NOT
like ours!!!

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i’m just saying that older people running our church isn’t out of step with what we see all around us…

perfect…we’re in agreement…

i think you’re over-stating the case…every younger generation believes they’re being stifled, and that they, and only they, have the answers to the problems they see around them…nothing’s new under the sun…didn’t we just see an article here on Spectrum about rehoboam listening to younger instead of older councillors…how did that work out for him…

i can tell you that when i was 20, i truly believed i knew more than my parents and all my teachers combined…this is one reason i left the church as a young adult…it’s only after i’d lived in the world outside the church for a time that i began to see that there was wisdom in what my parents and teachers had stood for…

mind you, i don’t regret leaving the church when i did, or living the life i lived at the time…i think that time has given nuance and depth to the religion i have now…so if you say to me that young people should be allowed to run the church, or else they’ll leave, i’ll say to you, let them leave…let them learn lessons in life through their own experience…there’s nothing more valuable than this…if they’ve had a quality upbringing, they’ll be back…they’ll be able to see the value of real religion, having seen for themselves what life without it means…

Thanks, @vandieman.

I said:

You said:

In response:

Well, that’s a response; the obvious one.

So, the next question is, how is this supposed to work? Like, what are the mechanics of this arrangement?

Then, most of all: How does this proposal ablate white supremacy? How does this arrangement satisfy Black people’s desire to manage their own religious experiences, doing so in the setting of a racist denomination?

You said:

In response:


You said:

In response:


You said:

In response:

This is ignorant, belittling language.

Black people, and the churches we oversee, are not more “emotional.” I don’t know if you’re white, or non-white. But this is the language of the racist who effectively minimizes the Black intellectual experience.

Black people are not “more emotional.” Black culture is, perhaps, typically, more expressive.

In such cultures, the validity and verity of an intellectual experience is not signified through detachment and repose, but through communal display and show.

You said:

In response:

Spirituality isn’t “synonymous” with anything. It’s an internal, subjective experience.

Thinking isn’t synonymous with anything, either.

You said:

In response:

Now, you’re talking about genes. In other words, there’s a gene for expressiveness.

You said:

In response:

@DarrelL’s actually not doing that. That’s not the way one should talk to an aggrieved person.

@drdrjcc is talking about white obliviousness and hard-headedness over their racism. @DarrelL’s response is a typical one: Diffuse the blame—“this statement is true of every person”—and, thus, deflect it, which means don’t accept it; there is no specific white culpability in the history of Adventism. This is merely false.

So, to follow that up with a statement about how white and Black people can worship together is kind of asinine.

Hey: Here’s a strategy: If church leaders want to eliminate regional conferences, find a way to get Black members to move into white neighborhoods, schools, and jobs, first.

Get parity, there. Find ways to make Black people more competitive, with white people, for those limited slots. Do that, and regional conferences with fade away through atrophy.


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Thank you, basically correct.


Thanks, @DarrelL:

However, this statement—

“keep in mind that darrel was originally responding to drdrjcc’s characterization that white racism is essentially hopeless”

—was made by @vandieman, not I. So, your thanks should go to him.


Actually, it is when it comes to innovative companies over the past few decades.

Eh… Do you know how old Adventist founders were in 1850? Whites were in their 20s, so was Andrews and Smith. They essentially grew older with the church, although they never handed down the rains for moving innovation forward.

Luther was in his 30s when he triggered Reformation movement. Calvin was in his 20s.

But certainly… you can go with Rehoboam to justify the present-day agism in the church. :slight_smile:

It’s not really about being stifled. It’s about understanding the changing environment that we live in, and there has been a cultural shift over the past 25 years that the gen born in 1930s and 1940s don’t really understand or are unwilling to understand, again with a few exceptions.

Yes… and I helped teaching University-level class at 19 per request of desperate 50-some profs who didn’t have experience and needed the department to move ahead.

You don’t need to know everything or know everything to be given adequate respensibilities relevant to something one does know or understand. And it’s not a knock down on the older gen for something they can’t keep up with. But, there should be a healthy balance in the management strata that integrates younger generation who does understand certain cultural aspects better, and with a fresher perspective.

A good question should be as to what is the ratio between wide range of perspectives one gets to hear in your church (you are a pastor, right?). How much do you get to hear from 20-some from the pulpit? 30-some? Women? Business and tech professionals? Health-care professionals?

If the only voice the church gets to hear most of the time is yours… Or 50-70s some elders… The church is robbed of broader perspective.


I think this is extremely ignorant, since it doesn’t take into account the shifted cultural dynamics as it relates to religion.

In short, you had something to come back to because the numbers and cultural background were on the side of the church.

Today, these are not. In 20 years there may be nothing to come back to in North America if the current generational trends keep up. There will not be present-day 50,60,70 some there, and the church is failing to attract 30-40 some to keep the numbers going. It’s heading towards extinction. You may think it’s extreme, but it already happened. Small town churches like these are now forced into closing and consolidation…

And the other mid-sized churches are not far behind.

This “Riverside” is in Michigan, not California where I live.

Notice – the Pastor NOW has 3 churches that he pastors after the
merger of Riverdale with Alma.

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They should merge all 3 of them now, and have (finally) one church with 50 members… :innocent:

HAPPY NEW YEAR Steve! Let’s see if this year we can get rid of TWO Presidents… One in July, one in November… :laughing:

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In my humble opinion Agism isn’t as problematic as the current administration apparently “setting the stage” for cronyism and appearing to “stack the votes” where only 4-5 members of a committee of over a hundred can “meet and vote” something that will continue this “old boys” system.


Apparently, it is also an aging population with Little or NO
interaction with the community.
Perhaps ALL 3 of the SDA churches in that “parish” have
Little or NO interaction with the community.
Mine here in Macon DOES NOT.

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but it isn’t out of step with congress, the white house, the throne of england, or in fact the vatican, which are some of the most powerful institutions in our world…i think our church is more of an institution, rather than a business, although of course sound business principles should be incorporated, where they apply…

yes, and the founders were working against a backdrop of nothing, as opposed to what we have today, which is an institution over a century old, and with a worldwide establishment…the reformers were also leading into unchartered territory…

are any of today’s protestant churches being run by 20 and 30 yr-olds…billy graham was 99 when he died, jerry falwell was 73…in fact protestant pastors’ average age is 54, and trending up:

joel osteen is 57, franklin graham is 67…

i’m not necessarily opposed to another 17-yr old prophet showing up, and leading us into another place…but in the absence of supernatural inspiration, we have to go with wisdom and experience, and unfortunately, young people generally don’t have either in abundance…keep in mind that
we are not a business, looking to make a buck by hook and by crook…we’re an institution that fills a place in many peoples’ lives, including many aging people…in fact the average age of american adventists is now at least 50:

i don’t think they want to be managed by people young enough to be their children and grandchildren, many of whom they still support…

no, i’m not…

my church, which is arguably the most conservative church in canada, generally has youth church once or twice a quarter…this would be where young people lead the song service, provide the pastoral prayer, call for the offering, handle the childrens’ story and special music, and preach the sermon…one of our pastors is in his 20’s…our head pastor is either in his 30’s or early 40’s…they share sermon responsibilities with an older 50-something pastor…

the last sermon we had by a woman was 1995, that i can recall, although someone from the white estate came since then, but i can’t recall the year (i recall 1995 because a lot of people weren’t
happy)…but we’re a headship church…we don’t allow drums, and we don’t allow musical events in our sanctuary, although i do recall an extremely conservative american group on our podium, and running the church service, from a few yrs back (people from across the country have complained about my church, because our rules are relatively rigid)…we’ve had one woman elder, but that’s been it…there is a small adventist church down the road lead by a woman pastor, and people do go from time to time, but the vast majority come to my church…as for business, tech and health-care professionals, why would they preach a sabbath morning sermon…we do have these and other professionals do things like vespers, etc…

our camp meetings are generally different…here many women have been key note speakers, and there are a lot of young people doing the music, as well as various events…

i don’t think people in my church feel robbed of anything…most weeks are standing room only, which means we’re packed in the pews from around 11am to 12pm or so each and every week…

i think you’re mistakenly equating church attendance with religion…i would still have returned to the religion of my parents, even if there wasn’t a church to attend…there are many ways to keep the sabbath, and grow spiritually, besides church attendance…

i’m not big on church numbers…churches that can’t survive financially should close in my view, as should academies, colleges and universities…but whatever the trends, there will always be a place for people who believe in egw adventism…i’m not worried…

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You might want to take this back or restructure its wording. For some reasons, it does not come out “right.”


I’m not contesting that it’s not out of place, but these are rent-seeking institutions that seldom innovate in some progressive manner. And I understand that there should be someone pulling people back from innovating too much, but the generic problem today… largely because of the age of these people … is that they don’t understand the ACTUAL problems we are facing in the future, because they don’t really understand present really well. Case and point:

The above guy was on a committee that was deciding the fate of the biggest technological breakthrough of humanity… and he had very little clue. It was asinine.

The point being… he had no business there, and a young technocrat who had better understanding would be a far better fit. It’s only an analogy, but I hope the point lands for you.

It wasn’t nothing. There were institutional construct patterned after the Anglican model, with puritans heading it. Puritans were the equivalent of “old Adventism” you are talking about today… and they had a mass exodus and extinction due to the practice of …

Many people split from that church because of that practice, and eventually formed their own sects because of the restrictive and authoritarian approach of Puritanism. The uncharted territory was exiting that model, especially for the younger generation in that era.

That’s why you have people like EGW and Joseph Smith, who both were pioneers of their movement because they could innovate. We may agree on that innovation being questionable in whatever context, but the fact is that there was a break from that pattern.

But, the younger generations who exit today aren’t planning to structure the new religious movements. They simply exit, and try to find community and purpose in business or broader social context of various movements outside the church. They are not likely to come back to Adventism, since there’s no broader cultural tangent that emphasizes religion as viable or important anymore.

I am aware of that. But it’s also an aging institution due to its similarity to Puritan model that drove younger generations out, and Puritan churches into eventual extinction.

Younger generations are largely stigmatized to be “unfit”, when they can successfully run giant corporations and business startups if they are given enough exposure and information. And yes, church isn’t for profit corp, but the point that I keep driving across and you keep ignoring… older gen today doesn’t understand the issues the younger gen faces in the immediate future. It’s not their fault. The cultural changes over the past 25 years were just too rapid for them to adopt to, and that’s something the new gen simply grew up into as the norm. The way we communicate changed. Conceptual landscape changed. Our expectations from the future changed.

65+ were able to simply retire out of these issues, and they don’t really care for the most part what these issues are, so the most of the church narrative is centered around them… getting hope to wake up after they die. That’s the only impending problem they see as viable :slight_smile:

But, you can’t have a successful congregational continuum if you pander to the 50-70 year olds who elect each other into leadership positions. Younger people simply retreat into culture and business world where they find more appreciation and community. And Christianity generally will decline as a result. And it’s a problem… it’s especially a problem for Adventists, since they will be losing a huge chunk of their congregation over the next 20 years. They face extinction. And the only way out is to involve younger generation again in leadership scope.

I don’t think you understand what I’m talking about. You don’t need to feel that you are robbed to be robbed of your potential that comes through exposure to a broader range of views, possibility, and understanding.

I don’t, but church is the prime point of contact for Adventist religion in context of organized participation. My guess is that for 80-90% of Adventists in the US, Sabbath service is the only organized point of contact with Adventism and Christianity in a group setting.

So, yes, there are plenty of ways of growing spiritually beyond the church walls. That’s great. But church is the fulcrum of that experience in context of the community, which is very difficult in our day and age. It’s something that requires more effort than before.

I can see that you are not worried, but I suspect you think that the world will not survive into 2050s :). I would like to see Adventist church to actually flourish into the best it could be, or deliver on what it claims to be.

But, it would take a good number of 50-70s people who aren’t so worried about these issues either to die off and free up some space for younger leadership. They’d have a lot of catching up to do, but it’s not impossible.



so elmer, what point do you think these pictures of the outsides and insides of eggs are making…

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I would contend that “the whites” are just “genetically programmed” as “the blacks” in regards to “emotionally effusiveness.”