Evangelicals, President Trump, and Adventists

One of the most puzzling aspects of the current political scene is the Evangelicals’ support for President Trump. They form his strongest and most enthusiastic base. Some have even likened Trump to King Cyrus, the Persian king who came to the aid of the Jews after they were taken captive to Babylon.

How can this be? In the past, Evangelicals have issued clarion calls for moral character. In 1998, following the scandals involving Bill Clinton, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a “Resolution on Moral Character of Public Officials.” It stated unequivocally:

“Toleration of serious wrong by leaders sears the conscience of the culture, spawns unrestrained immorality and lawlessness in the society, and surely results in God’s judgment.”

It seems undeniable that Donald Trump, like Bill Clinton before him, massively fails the test of moral leadership. Without getting into partisan politics, the facts stare us in the face: on June 20, the writer E. Jean Carroll came forward with the disturbing claim that Trump raped her in an apartment store in the 1990s. She is the twenty-second woman to allege that Trump committed acts of sexual misconduct. In addition to these allegations, we should note Trump’s public profanity, lies, and xenophobic comments.

How then could Evangelicals support a leader whose conduct and words are the antithesis of their traditional values? Their conduct, counter-intuitive, deeply puzzles me.

For many years, long before Donald Trump ran for President, I have been interested in Evangelicals, trying to understand them and their relation to Seventh-day Adventists. Accordingly, I shall explore the current phenomenon on a broad canvas, working through the following steps:

1. Who are the Evangelicals?

2. How did they become Trump’s strongest supporters?

3. Evangelicals’ dramatic change of attitude toward Adventists

4. Are Adventists Evangelicals?

Who Are the Evangelicals?

The term Evangelical can be confusing. In Germany, for instance, the Lutheran Church goes by the name Evangelical Church to distinguish itself from the Roman Catholic Church. In America, Lutheranism has split into several different bodies, one of which is the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Evangelical comes from the Greek word for good news or gospel, euaggelion. When appearing with the lower case, evangelical is an adjective that signifies relationship to the gospel. With the upper case as in this paper, it is a noun that designates a particular expression of Protestantism.

Evangelicalism dates from the 18th century. Three movements exhibited similar characteristics: Methodism under John Wesley and George Whitefield, the Moravian Brethren under Nicolaus Zizendorf, and Pietism in Lutheranism.

Four features denote Evangelicals today:

a) Belief in Christ’s atoning death on the Cross,

b) Conversion, that is the need to be born again,

c) Acceptance of the Bible as authoritative, with belief in the resurrection of Jesus and His Second Coming, and

d) Evangelism — the proclamation of the Good News to the World.

Evangelicals are not a separate denomination. They are found among all Protestant churches.

Worldwide Evangelicals number about 600 million in 190 countries. The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), a loosely structured organization, coordinates activities.

Evangelicals in the United States differ sharply from their counterparts elsewhere. In America they have become heavily involved in politics, agitating for a clearly defined social agenda.

Evangelicals and Trump

Recently, while revisiting Philip Yancey’s What’s So Amazing About Grace? (Zondervan 1997), I came across materials that opened a shaft of light on the puzzling relationship between the Evangelicals and Trump. In the final section of Yancey’s book, “Grace Notes for a Deaf World,” he takes up developments among American Evangelicals in the 1980s and 1990s. Yancey had interviewed Bill Clinton for Christianity Today; his article, “The Riddle of Bill Clinton’s Faith,” brought a firestorm of reaction. Angry readers attacked Clinton but also Yancey, arguing that he never should have met with the President.

This experience, along with Yancey’s perception that a large segment of the American population viewed Evangelicals as rigid moralists who want to control the lives of other people, caused Yancey to reflect on how far Evangelicals had departed from grace as their primary emphasis. Evangelicals, who ought to be all about grace, had become ungraceful. Feeling under attack in schools, in courts, and sometimes in Congress, they had turned to political means to legislate morality and restore a “Christian America.”

The 1970s had seen the rise of the Religious Right. Jerry Falwell had founded the Moral Majority and along with other Evangelicals like Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed, had mobilized their followers for political involvement at all levels of government. Their goal: to elect conservatives, influence legislation, and appoint to the Supreme Court, justices who held their views. Thus they planned that in time the Court would reverse the hated Roe v Wade decision of 1973.

The Religious Right saw itself as engaged in a culture war. It singled out two areas of emphasis where the stakes were most crucial: abortion and homosexual activity.

As Yancey was writing his book in the 1990s, he lamented that increasingly Evangelicals were becoming identified with the Religious Right. In doing so they had exchanged grace for ungrace. In their zeal to change the culture through legislation rather than by the transforming power of the gospel, they had lost their way.

Especially telling was Yancey’s argument from Jesus. In Jesus’ time, unwanted babies were thrown out and left by the roadside to be devoured by wild animals or die of exposure. Among both Romans and Greeks, older men openly took young boys to be their sex slaves. Yet Jesus spoke not one word of condemnation of these vile practices, although He must have been aware of them. His message was all about grace.

And there is more. Calling the temptation of the church to join with the state to enforce morality “serpent wisdom,” Yancey quoted Martin Luther King Jr., who warned: “The church is not the master or servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool.”

Although couched in gentle language, Yancey’s reflection sounded a rebuke and a warning to Evangelicals in the 1990s. Did they heed his counsel? With some exceptions, they have continued down the path of political action advocated by Falwell, Robertson, Reed, et.al. Evangelicals worked very hard to get George W. Bush elected president. Bush is an Evangelical, but in the White House he disappointed the Evangelicals: he did little to advance their agenda. Then in 2016, convinced that Hilary Clinton was the epitome of their worst fears, they embraced the unlikeliest of candidates — Donald Trump.

It was a marriage of convenience. In no sense is Trump an Evangelical Christian, but he promised he would appoint justices to the Supreme Court who would support their agenda for society. For their part, Evangelicals would back Trump to the hilt.

This understanding of Evangelicals’ unwavering support of Donald Trump conforms exactly to that of Time columnist David French. In an article titled, “Evangelicals Are Supporting Trump Out of Fear, Not Faith” (June 27, 2019), French writes:

“But in 2016, something snapped. I saw Christian men and women whom I have known and respected for years respond with raw fear at the very idea of a Hillary Clinton presidency. They believed she was going to place the church in mortal danger. The Christian writer Eric Metaxas wrote that if Hillary won, America’s chance to have a Supreme Court that values the Constitution will be ‘gone. Not for four years, not for eight,’ he said, ‘but forever.’

“That wasn’t faith speaking. They were the words of fearful men grasping at fading influence by clinging to a man whose daily life mocks the very values that Christians seek to advance.”

We turn now to sketch Adventists’ relations with the Evangelicals.

Evangelicals and Adventists

For many years Evangelicals regarded Adventists as a sect or cult. We were shut out of participation in events like the National Religious Broadcasters convention. At gatherings of Christians from various faith traditions, mention of “Adventist” usually brought a sudden chilling of the atmosphere and an abrupt close to the conversation. That was the state of Adventist-Evangelical relationships when I came to the General Conference in 1980 and became involved in interactions with other religious leaders. It troubled me: Adventists, I thought, are the most evangelical of Evangelicals.

Today the situation is vastly different. When Evangelicals encounter Adventists at gatherings of Christian leaders, they embrace us as brothers and sisters in Christ. What happened to bring about the shift?

No doubt several factors contributed to the change. First, we have largely cleaned up our expression of what we believe. In an earlier generation critics could point to statements in Adventist publications like Bible Readings for the Home Circle, where Jesus was described in Arian or semi-Arian terms, or to other places that cast doubt on our belief in the complete, once-for-all atonement on the Cross.

Books like Questions on Doctrine and The 27 Fundamental Beliefs adopted by the General Conference Session in 1980 went a long way to removing negative assessments of Adventist doctrine.

Another factor was the increasing involvement during this period of Adventists in meetings of biblical scholars. Theologians like Dr. Richard Rice attracted the attention of prominent Evangelical thinkers through his ground-breaking book, The Openness of God.

A third factor was one in which I was personally involved and concerning which comparatively few are aware. I refer to dialogues between the Evangelicals and Adventists.

Shortly after I became editor of the Adventist Review, I was invited to participate in off-the-record conversations with Evangelical leaders. Kenneth Kantzer, then editor of Christianity Today, requested a private meeting to talk about our teachings. Several Evangelical scholars accompanied him. They were unsure as to how they should relate to Seventh-day Adventists: Are we genuine Christians or not?

The meetings, held at the General Conference, lasted a couple of days. By mutual agreement the deliberations were kept confidential with zero publicity. Neal C. Wilson, GC president, asked me to take notes of the conversation for his eyes alone.

Only Adventist teachings were scrutinized. Kantzer and his colleagues zeroed in on just two areas: Ellen White and the Sanctuary. They probed courteously but relentlessly as they sought to understand our theology.

At the conclusion of the discussions, the Evangelicals caucused for several hours. When we reconvened, Kantzer announced their conclusions: they found no impediment to accepting SDAs as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ!

Twenty years along witnessed another milestone in Adventist-Evangelical relations. By now I had become heavily involved in inter-church dialogues. Dr. Bert Beach was the prime mover in these conversations: he is the father of Adventist dialogues. I was a regular member of the Adventist team, and when he stepped aside in 2005, I replaced him as chair of the Adventist side.

By virtue of cultivating personal friendships, Beach had been able to arrange for official conversations with almost all the main denominations. He dearly wanted to have a dialogue with the World Evangelical Association (WEA), but the WEA confessional statement included belief in hellfire and the immortality of the soul, ideas totally opposed to Adventist beliefs. Then the way opened; under the influence of Evangelical scholars like John Stott and Edward Fudge, WEA dropped the hell/soul immortality from its credo. Conversations with Adventists could at last go forward.

We met twice, first at a Baptist seminary in the Czech Republic, and the following year at Andrews University. The dialogue that ensued was, I think, one of the most important of all the inter-church conversations of the preceding 25 years. It was also the most tense and explosive.

At the Prague meeting Adventists spent the first few days setting out our beliefs as Bible-based believers in Jesus Christ. One of the WEA delegates, a Swiss pastor, sat across the table without saying a word. Each morning he brought along two heavy folders of material that he plunked on the table in front of him. His body language radiated his discomfort with the meeting.

At last he exploded. Drawing upon the material from the folders, which, it transpired, he had gathered from websites hostile to Adventists, he in effect accused us of being liars. He contended that our beliefs were based on Ellen White’s writings, not on the Bible.

It was a wild close to the Prague meeting. I foresaw a lively time when we reconvened a year later at Andrews University.

All too true. The Evangelicals brought with them a draft statement to be jointly adopted at the close of the dialogue. The statement was totally unacceptable to us: it asserted that Adventists base our beliefs and practices, including the Sabbath, not on the Bible but on Ellen White.

Both sides argued back and forth. Eventually, Bert Beach in his inimitable manner spoke up: “Well, if you insist on stating that Adventists base their beliefs on Ellen White, we insist that the statement include the fact that your Sunday keeping is based on tradition, not on the Bible!”

Touche!

The dialogue had reached an impasse. At last the Evangelical chair, Dr. Rolf Hille from Tubigen in Germany, suggested that we Adventists prepare a draft for consideration. We handed over the task to Dr. Beach and he went to work immediately.

His statement was short. It laid out areas of agreement, areas of disagreement, and areas where we might cooperate in shared Christian witness. After extended discussion and amendments the statement was adopted by the entire group.

The Evangelical delegation took the joint statement to the WEA leadership with a recommendation that henceforth Seventh-day Adventists, though not members of the WEA, should be regarded as true believers in Jesus Christ. That message went around the world and Adventists, so long pariahs, soon found themselves accepted by Evangelicals everywhere.

A final question remains to complete this study. Are Adventists truly Evangelicals?

Are Adventists Evangelicals?

The answer, in my judgment, isn’t straightforward: it is both Yes and No.

If one limits understanding to the four characteristics that define Evangelicals — Christ’s atoning death, conversion and new birth, authority of the Bible, and evangelism — the answer must be an unqualified Yes. Adventists are evangelicals of the Evangelicals.

As our investigation has shown, however, Evangelicals in America are driven by two impulses outside these four defining markers. Their focus has moved away to a fixation on fighting abortion and homosexual practice. With regard to these twin concerns, Adventists by no means fall into line.

Some, perhaps most, Adventists in America would agree with the Evangelicals’ strictures against abortion and homosexual practice, but they are uncomfortable with attempts to enforce morality through legislation. Separation of church and state is an idea deeply rooted in the Adventist psyche.

Adventists are a people with high regard for adherence to biblical norms, but our ethics are informed by a major consideration outside the purview of Evangelicals — our involvement in health care. For us, truth is derived from two sources: Scripture and the natural world. We take both avenues seriously: we consider data from the Bible in conjunction with what we learn through the large network of Adventist physicians, scientists, and others employed in the healing arts. We own and operate many hospitals and clinics; we aim for excellence and cutting-edge care.

Because of the major impact of our medical emphasis, we cannot and do not address ethical issues like abortion and homosexuality divorced from the truth that our health practitioners encounter in real-life situations.

Thus, while Adventists hold a high view of life, we do not jump on the pro-life political bandwagon. We realize that in this broken world, many ethical decisions cannot be reduced to simple Yes or No answers (as in the case of an 11-year-old girl who has been impregnated by her grandfather). Similarly, awareness of prenatal factors that influence gender preference causes us to view the complex issue of homosexuality on a much broader canvas.

Because of our strong biblical basis along with our passion for healing of the whole person, Adventists are uniquely positioned to contribute to the vexed bioethical issues of the day. Adventist ethicists, like the late Dr. Jack Provonsha and Dr. Gerry Winslow, have had and have a major impact.

Are Adventists Evangelicals? From a European perspective, definitely Yes. (In the dialogue with the WEA, issues of abortion and homosexuality were not mentioned.) From an American perspective the answer has to be Yes — and No.

William G. Johnsson is the retired editor of Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines, and the author of numerous books including Where Are We Headed? Adventism after San Antonio (2017) and Authentic Adventism (2018).

Image: President Donald J. Trump, joined by Vice President Mike Pence, is seen [in] prayer with members of his Cabinet Tuesday, July 16, 2019, in the Cabinet Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.) Flickr.com / Public Domain.

Editor's Note (August 5, 2019): The spelling of Eric Metaxas' name has been corrected. We apologize for the error.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9774
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An excellent summary history.What troubles me is the pro active support of several€Adventist friends who are vocally strong supporters of Trump.

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Back in March of 1970, Neal Wilson had this to say about Adventists and Abortion:

“Though we walk the fence, Adventists lean toward abortion rather than against it. Because we realize we are confronted by big problems of hunger and overpopulation, we do not oppose family planning and appropriate endeavors to control population.”

Religious News Service, Mar. 17, 1970, pp.
16, 17.

I’m not agreeing that Adventists tend to see abortion as an appropriate form of family planning to combat overpopulation, but this statement from Neal Wilson is part of our history and it is a far cry from an American Evangelical position.

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Okay, I am genuinely disturbed by this piece. Johnsson describes one of the most unjust and cruel aspects of history when he quotes Yancey as follows:

“Especially telling was Yancey’s argument from Jesus. In Jesus’ time, unwanted babies were thrown out and left by the roadside to be devoured by wild animals or die of exposure. Among both Romans and Greeks, older men openly took young boys to be their sex slaves. Yet Jesus spoke not one word of condemnation of these vile practices, although He must have been aware of them. His message was all about grace.”

One would think that Johnsson would then say something about how the Adventist Church should stand for the children being separated from their parents at the border, combat modern slavery, rise up against hunger, stand for justice for the least among us, etc. One might not expect him to take a pro-life position, but there’s no argument that no Christian should stand idly by in the face of the abuses he describes.

But instead Johnsson takes the OPPOSITE approach and says, essentially, that because Jesus did nothing, we shouldn’t either other than apparently use that example to offer the sex traffickers and rapists and child separators “grace” and try to see things from their perspective.

I’d like to think that Johnsson is outside the mainstream of Adventist thought on this, but he’s not. While there are a few Adventists who care about social issues and making the world a better and safer place, most Adventists are sitting on their hands in sequestered pews doing nothing but offering “thoughts and prayers.”

It’s why I’m really thinking of leaving the church - even moreso than the church’s lack of tolerance toward women and the LGBTQI community. When it comes to most Adventists reflecting what God would do, the danger isn’t being overly active as Johnsson suggests. The danger is being a church full of inert duds.

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Johnsson reported what Yancey had written, correctly noting that Jesus is not recorded as having made an issue of these things. But I don’t see the author suggesting that therefore we should abandon social justice.
It could also be noted that many SDAs no longer accept the traditional anti-LGBT+ position.

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Johnsson uses the Yancey quotation to justify contemporary silence on abortion. Provonsha definitely did not speak for most Adventists.

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It is indeed puzzling seeing any Christian supporting an individual like Trump. I only wonder what happened to the moral and ethical code that I was raised with within Adventism? Was it all “fake” at that time???

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The reason many people voted for Trump, whether they were religious or not, is because the alternative was Hillary Clinton.

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  1. I voted for Hillary
  2. I voted for Trump
  3. I voted for someone else
  4. I did note vote

Any takers?

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Over here we are not allowed to vote in your election. (Didn’t they have an investigation into that?) In fact we can’t even donate to the candidate of our choice.

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Where is “over here”?

Not in the Untied State of America

This piece is dead on the mark. I don’t agree with Neal Wilson that Abortion should be used for population control. But it is easily provable that Abortion in the bible is not murder. This belief that it is killing a human being stems from the fact that 99% of Christianity believes in an immortal soul, which is easily disproved in the bible.

Read Numbers 5 and you will see that either the priest or God, chemically causes abortion…strictly on the basis that a husband suspects that his wife’s pregnancy may not be his. Look at Exodus 21:22-25. You will see that killing a fetus requires paying a fee to the father, but killing a child that is born deserves death. Genesis 2:7 shows that when we take our first breath we BECOME a living soul. Also Ezekiel 37:5 reconfirms that. The very definition of Soul in both Hebrew and Greek is a breathing being. The bible even says animals have a soul…something Evangelicals would go nuts over if you pointed that out.

Most Evangelicals believe that God has a whole warehouse of souls in heaven, since they must have always existed, just like God. Their belief is predicated on the belief that we are created in God’s image so we must be immortal, and have existed forever. They say that by aborting a fetus, we are thwarting God from putting one of those souls he is storing in heaven into that body. This is the crux of their belief against abortion. Although most lay people don’t know enough to argue this point.

Please spare me the text in Jerimiah 1 about knowing you when you’re in the womb. If you throw that out, then you’re going to look pretty foolish with the text in Ephesians 1 where it says that God knew you before the world was formed. If you’re still standing firm on that, then you must have had a very long gestation period.

I am opposed to using abortion as a means of population control, but the very people who are most adamantly against abortion also oppose birth control. How stupid is that? George W Bush halted the dissemination of birth control and contraception to African nations after he took office, and we saw a huge rise in AIDS on that continent. Then he sent our tax dollars to help those infected with AIDS, which I commend him for. But everyone would have been far better off is he simply had continued to send condoms to the African
Continent. I’m sure all the AID’s victims would have preferred that to being on the cocktail for the rest of their lives.

Abortion isn’t pretty, and almost no one is pro-abortion. But it is necessary in cases of rape, incest, young child pregnancies, and where there is danger to the life or health of the mother. And, unlike that idiot Senator from the Midwest. You do get pregnant if raped, just like if you were a consenting partner.

It amazes me just how much people’s opinions change if it is their daughter who is pregnant and unwed.

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Hi Bill,
Thank you for your comments and expressing your concern as related to your present understanding of church state matters.
I notice you choose to use 4 questions and amplify your present understanding of them:

  1. Who are the Evangelicals?
    Bill, I would ask you who were the evangelicals that Froom and others were addressing in QOD? They certainly weren’t mainline churches of the groups you describe. They were those that believed in basically what Christianity Today was founded on in opposition to “Liberal Progressive” theology that had invaded the Mailine churches and Theological Seminaries. They were mainly Baptist and conservative Presbyterians & certain Lutherans etc… All definitely weren’t dispensational.
    The issues they were asking clarity on indeed did involve the characteristics of evangelicals at that time which you listed. So please focus on that in how you describe present evangelicals. a) Belief in Christ’s atoning death on the Cross,b) Conversion, that is the need to be born again,c) Acceptance of the Bible as authoritative, with belief in the resurrection of Jesus and His Second Coming, and d) Evangelism — the proclamation of the Good News to the World.
    So the questions to the SDA church and later to you by Walter Martin were in that arena. So since you ask them (some) questions on history< I also ask you some.

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-omr-001&hsimp=yhs-001&hspart=omr&p=walter+martin+and+william+johnson+on+egw#id=1&vid=d113ebb6890c83d69c10f0af88bbaec2&action=click

I suggest you also as Neal Wilson evaded the question in practice concerning EGW not in a declared principle but practice.
So these are the Evangelicals I am concerned with and how the SDA church has related historically to them. I am not concerned with the many groups who may now consider themselves evangelicals though out side the 4 parameters above. So thats my history and question to you. In practice if there is a disagreement on doctrine in the SDA church is it decided by sola scriptura or EGW?

  1. How did they become Trump’s strongest supporters?
    Ok, Lets start back with Liberty and Roland Hegsted. Was it FEAR that promoted that Sunday Laws and the violation of the 1st Amendment was going to take place. Continually under Hegsted and Steed the mantra was that the “moral stands” of Evangelicals were nothing more than the desire to build a Christian Nation. Their desire for morality for the good of the country was not supported by SDA’s in that context but the FEAR of a Christian Nation that would enforce Sunday laws.
    So Bill, which Evangelicals do you want? The one’s who “then” supported morality in public office or the present ones? Or, are you and SDA’s ike the children in the market place who say we sang a dirge and you did not mourn and we played a flute and you did not dance?
    Trump offers Christian Evangelicals the hope their 1st Amendment rights will not be ignored. You know those despicable, deplorable ones…including conservative Evangelicals! A “moral vote for Hillary?”
    So, That’s how the vote for a “flawed leader” following earlier SDA thoughts that guarantees their, of all things religious rights!

  2. Evangelicals’ dramatic change of attitude toward Adventists
    As, I said modern terms of Evangelicals do not apply. Most who use the title no longer hold to all 4 of your above described that Walter Martin did.
    I suggest to them the “question mark” still remains as raised by Martin!

  3. Are Adventists Evangelicals?
    So William, do SDA’s hold the Bible as the final authority? If their is a disagreement is it sola scriptura or EGW’s view that settles the question? The decisions against Des Ford solved the problem for many long term SDA’s because In practice they do not hold to Sola Scriptura.
    So Bill, would Ted Wison stand up at the World Session and state and explain this SDA’s official position to all SDA’s present?
    The official position can be found on p.13 of Seventh-day Adventist Believe …27." 1988 Ministerial association. Perhaps with the 28 it has changed? It states, “Finally, the Scriptures retain authority even over the gifts that come from the Holy Spirit, including guidance though the gifts of prophecy or speaking in tongues. The gifts of the Spirit do not supersede the Bible, indeed they must be tested by the Bible, and if not in accord with it they must be discarded as not genuine.”
    I suggest to Walter Martin type Evangelicals and myself, the answer is appropriately still certainly not clear!
    Enough of hypocrisy questioning the Evangelicals. Get you own house in order Ted & William!
    Regards,
    Pat

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Another provocative, pertinent piece by a writer whom I greatly admire!—William G Johnson.

Johnsson did not allude to the Evangelicals overwhelming support of Israel. Trump confirms them in this, with his ardent support for Israel, as demonstrated by his moving the US embassy to Jerusalem— long promised by former presidents but never achieved.

Trump’s anti Iran actions and his other Middle East policies are in line with his support of Israel and Netanyahu — Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East and does deserve the support of our US administration . I am not sure why the Evangelicals are so pro Israel,
but I applaud their stance.

The Adventists seem to have neither a pro nor anti Israeli agenda.

Dr Johnson, you allude to the widespread practice, in Biblical times, of heterosexual Greek and Roman men having “ boy toys” adolescent / teenage male slaves for their sexual pleasure outside of the marital bed .

Many current Biblical scholars are in agreement that Paul’s homophobic comments were addressing this practice. What a shame that Paul was not more clear in delineating the activities he was condemning.- boy prostitutes and not loving same sex monogamous unions.

Because of Paul’s admonitions against male on male sex, the Evangelicals are vehemently, vociferously and venomously, homophobic — despite modern medical / psychological / psychiatric understandings that sexual orientation ( whether heterosexual or homosexual ) is an inborn attribute over which the individual has zero input.

As you state, despite this demographic of LGBT being undoubtedly present in Christ’s time, our Savior declines comment on it,

Given the demographic fact that 4-5 per cent of the population is LGBT — every extended family has at least one cousin / sibling / child / grandchild who is gay / lesbian, ——the Evangelicals response to the problem is troubling —. they prescribe life long celibacy for their LGBT offspring ( which equals life long LONELINESS )

While Adventists “ sit on the fence “ regarding the abortion issue, our current denominational hierarchy is actively anti gay

They threw our LGBT members under the bus when they recently opposed the congressional EQUALITY ACT. In many US states, gays / lesbians can be fired from their jobs, merely due to their sexual orientation —over which they have zero control.

Gays / lesbians can also be evicted by their landlords from housing , and can be denied low cost public housing, if they are gay — this without any legal recourse, in many states. The EQUALITY ACT was designed to eliminate this egregious inequity.

Since employment and accommodation are surely necessary to the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS ( as guaranteed to ALL in our constitution ) what were our SDA leaders thinking when they opposed the Equality Act??

Just as Evangelicals espouse coercive légal agendas to impose their beliefs on a wider non Evangelical, non Christian population, the Adventists do likewise. Even the Pacific Union Conference Religious Liberty Secretary ( who should have known better ) promoted proposition Eight, in California , which would have denied LGBT same sex marriage rights.

More recently, the SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION was in active opposition to same sex marriage in Australia,
thus imposing their doctrinal views on Buddhist, Islamic, Jewish, Atheist gays / lesbians as well as on other Christian Protestant gays whose denominations held a more liberal view of marriage.

As equal taxpayers, LGBT surely deserve all the tax / estate / financial advantages that legal marriage confers. . .

Finally, TW’s largest “compliance “ committee is committed to a witch hunt against our LGBT members.

The Evangelicals must surely be applauding all these homophobic actions by our SDA hierarchy!

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Interesting article. @webEd Correct spelling is Eric Metaxas
Eric Metaxas is an American author known for three biographies,
Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery,
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, and
“Martin Luther: The Man Who Rediscovered God and Changed the World”

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-# 1- And would do it again.

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Has Donald Trump ever lifted a finger to help anyone in need beyond his own immediate circle? He has never fought to end poverty, or worked for the rights of the disabled, or helped to improve our schools and hospitals, or make sure veterans are well-supported, or that the elderly have access to affordable medicine. No record of public service to speak of. Isn’t Christianity, above all, about love? How can these hardy Evangelical Christians support a man who mainly sows hatred?

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Wherever “here” is, at least you probably don’t have to be ashamed of having Trump as your President.

I know, some people are proud of him despite his fake morals, but this is one of those things I do not understand about human behavior. How can Christians support a depraved individual like that?

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Oh,… they do that because they are “pro-life.” :roll_eyes: However, most of those are the same people who had no problem with, for instance, the Iraq war where we lost about 5,000 of our best troops, got tens of thousands of handicapped, and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. This is not “pro-life,” this is actually “pro-death!” And they are talking about abortion?..

Though that gang has been quiet. I never heard of any completed hunting mission so far. I wonder if TW realizes that if he hunts he loses the next so-called “election” for GC Presidency. He may be keeping the action for after the so-called election. Who knows?

Ditto!

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