Darfur: What is our leadership saying?


(system) #1

By Alexander Carpenter

In 1999, the the General Conference Administrative Committee approved an official statement on Kosovo expressing concern "about the worsening humanitarian situation in Kosovo" and bemoaning the "hundreds of thousands of displaced and homeless people."

But what about Darfur?

The region continues to fester like Kosovo and humans continues to suffer, die, or relocate at genocidal levels. The time is now to move forward on this and stand up for our Christian principles. This Sabbath millions of our community members will gather in the name of present truth and talk about being like Christ in word and deed. Many will ponder the difference between faith and works.

It's time for our church leadership to not just witness for itself, but push us to act like Christ who modeled a faith that leads the faithful to work for others. Today, this means standing up for the least of these in Darfur.

If we can say this about Kosovo: "The Seventh-day Adventist Church urges the international community and government authorities involved to push for an early end to the crisis on the basis of Christian, moral, and ethical principles of human rights, and good faith negotiations that are fair to all concerned and which may lead to better relationships." We must say it about the hunted Africans of Darfur.

If we continue to tell our comfortable white, middle class audience that Christ offers "life and more abundantly," the time is now to help out those who may die while we worship. Change comes first when people take the time to articulate the need, and then push for those words to become reality.

Heidegger writes in his "letter on humanism:""Language is the house of Being. In its home man dwells. Those who think and those who create with words are the guardians of this home. . .such action is presumably the simplest and at the same time the highest, because it concerns the relation of Being to man (217)."The future of the Adventist church lies in the actions of our leaders today. They can continue to release statements on what everyone should believe about the bible and Ellen White, or they can show us what that belief means.

Most Adventist young people have little buy-in to the church's mission. One still misunderstood reason is that the future of truth is not just truth that just makes a difference in me, but leads me to make a difference. That's the attraction of Last Generation Theology and the General Youth Conference, but if the church wants to be more than just a bunch of soteriological solipsists our leaders need to lead us to a thoughtful prophetic Adventism that finds in faith a mandate for the common good.

Let's start with Darfur. ADRA's kinda there, we've lost churches and members to the conflict - it's time for our community leaders to show us what servant-leadership really means. . .

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/4424