Big Tent Advocates Need To Hear What Spreading Out! Thinking Big Is All About!
It is bigger than Ben Carson’s candidacy, or policies put in place at San Antonio meetings of the GC, it is bigger (taller) that Ted Wilson, it is the “biggest” tent of all! Read this Bible passage from God to all of us:
Isaiah 54The Message (MSG)
9-10 “This exile is just like the days of Noah for me:
I promised then that the waters of Noah
would never again flood the earth.
I’m promising now no more anger,
no more dressing you down.
For even if the mountains walk away
and the hills fall to pieces,
My love won’t walk away from you,
my covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart.”
The God who has compassion on you says so.
11-17 “Afflicted city, storm-battered, unpitied:
I’m about to rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
Lay your foundations with sapphires,
construct your towers with rubies,
Your gates with jewels,
and all your walls with precious stones.
All your children will have God for their teacher—
what a mentor for your children!
You’ll be built solid, grounded in righteousness,
far from any trouble—nothing to fear!
far from terror—it won’t even come close!
If anyone attacks you,
don’t for a moment suppose that I sent them,
And if any should attack,
nothing will come of it.
I create the blacksmith
who fires up his forge
and makes a weapon designed to kill.
I also create the destroyer—
but no weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged.
Any accuser who takes you to court
will be dismissed as a liar.
This is what God’s servants can expect.
I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best.”
Thank you Carmen Lau for a thoughtful and insightful article which encouraged me to enlarge “my tent”.
Today is November 12, 2015. Dr. Ben Carson, the genial, soft-spoken, African-American apex of apex he’s the top Seventh-day Adventist brain surgeon in the world has quietly captured the imagination of Republican Evangelical Conservatives on Carson’s Sabbath healing passion compassionate act of similar to Jesus healing the sick working on Saturday. Carson’s passions compassionate act on medical life emergency carryon 7 days a week. Would Desmond D an Adventist sitting in his morning Sabbath pew collapsed of brain aneurysm refuse medical emergency for repair by Dr. Ben Carson? Or would the lion’s roars of Adventist legalists arrest Dr. Carson on breaking Sabbath law repairing Desmond bleeding brain on Sabbath? Or would Desmond wait till Sunday for a coffin? Republican Evangelical Conservatives or atheist or agnostic Americans won’t go against the so well liked Carson to his tardiness in Sabbath keeping. In fact they are getting timely legal invaluable education on, “What is Sabbath keeping?” They don’t care if it means drawing Carson out of Sabbath morning worship service for his surgical skills and knowledge saving their life on Saturday, A job parallelism Jesus healing in public on Saturday healers affection the same signing books Carson authored, the iconic signatures of a genial, soft-spoken, African-American top brain surgeon in the world out on the job on Saturday, Jesus approved. Carson eschewed Republican-on-Republican bone picking. Should Seventh-day Adventists eschewed bad mouthing on Carson? Republican voters awed by his record of medical achievement admire his rise-from-poverty life story. Carson offers Adventists and Republican voters an absolution on winning the presidential race. He refuses to get into the mud pit with Republican-on-Republican violence or Adventist-on- Adventist violence. Carson spoke millions of times on social media that, when he takes someone to the operating room, he’s actually operating on the thing that makes them who they are, the skin doesn’t make them who they are, the hair doesn’t make them who they are. Carson with his 12 carats blue diamond 64 million dollars smiles declared, “ It’s time to move on. It’s time the other pot stop calling the other pot black. Republican-on-Republican. Adventist-on-Adventist.”
Thanks so much for writing your article and making this point, Carmen:
I’d like to offer a historical perspective.
During the Cold War, a religion professor at LLU made the point (in private conversation) that, when our church’s founders offered an interpretation of Revelation giving a central role to the Roman Catholic church, the interpretation was very relevant to the world they lived in. During the 19th century and around the turn of the 20th, anxiety was high about immigration from Catholic countries, “Sunday laws” were catching on in many local municipalities, and Roman Catholic leaders (including a Pope or two, if I recall correctly) specifically claimed secular power (“the sword”) to enforce their dictates.
The religion professor went on to say that, in “our era” (1970s, remember), we might find more relevance in the message Jesus gave to John at Patmos if we looked at the division of the world into Soviet-aligned and NATO-affiliated and non-aligned countries. Certainly Revelation seemed to speak of thermonuclear catastrophe to a girl who participated in fallout drills and grew up with a bomb shelter in her back yard. (I was present at the 1962 evacuation of US servicemen’s families from Guantanamo Bay during the Cuban Missile Crisis.)
During the 2000s Revelation seems very relevant in light of habitat destruction, overfishing, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, increasing population pressures manifested in rural diseases showing up in crowded cities (Ebola), etc., problems that did not exist in John’s or in Ellen White’s time. The realization of Isaiah’s poetic picture of the world’s end [“the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies” (Isaiah 51:6)], seems very relevant to the world we live in.
The central point the professor was making is that God is speaking to us in the Bible, not just to our ancestors. We don’t live in our ancestors’ world, so we need to consider that God is saying something about our world. A “big tent” perspective that was perhaps more mainstream in Adventism then than in 2015.
Ben Carson is an interesting candidate. He is about as unorthodox as one can get and get this far in the polls. He is certainly a far superior candidate than Donald Trump.
His stand on women’s ordination in the church, his pro-life position on abortion, make me soften my previous opposition to him. He is still too close to the religious right for my liking, and his position on same- sex marriage I don’t agree with. But he seems to have softened some his previous anti-gay rhetoric.
My favorite candidate would be a moderate Republican, like George Pataki but that just isn’t going to happen. I doubt if he will get the GOP nomination, but if he did, I would most likely vote for him over Hillary Clinton. It will be a cold day in hell before I vote for Hillary or Bernie. I would sit out the election before I would vote for Trump. A choice between Trump or Hillary would leave me no choice at all.
I don’t squirm at any of his theological positions. I only squirm at his abysmal lack of knowledge of foreign affairs, his absence of understanding of political management in our country. He admits publicly that he will need some time to get up to speed on such things as immigration, terrorist actions, foreign policy, etc. He has been quoted as saying “A year from now, I will know a lot more than I know now;” and “You’re going to have to explain to me exactly what you mean by that [Cuban refugee problem].” That’s a frightening lack of preparation for such a heavy job as being president of this USA. I don’t know where he gets the hutzpah to even attempt this job.
He’s a nice man. He’s a good, solid Seventh-day Adventist. And he’s a skillful surgeon. But as a potential president of the United States, he just doesn’t get it.