GC Addresses Racism in New Voted Statement

This statement was voted by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee in Silver Spring, Maryland on September 15, 2020. It was originally published on the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s website, and is reprinted here in full:

VOTED, To adopt the statement, “One Humanity: A Human Relations Statement Addressing Racism, Casteism, Tribalism, and Ethnocentrism,” which reads as follows:

ONE HUMANITY: A HUMAN RELATIONS STATEMENT ADDRESSING RACISM, CASTEISM, TRIBALISM, AND ETHNOCENTRISM

The moral duty of declaring biblical principles in the treatment of fellow human beings has become paramount as the world increasingly recognizes the lingering scourge of racial injustice, tribal conflicts, and caste system bigotry suffered by millions of persons in every society and world region. God “has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26) and Jesus teaches us to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matt 22:39). The Seventh-day Adventist Church acknowledges the important responsibility of making its commitments and compassion clear to a world expecting both words and deeds in harmony with the teachings of Jesus. Our commitment flows from our mission to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to “every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev 14:6) in our troubled world as we recognize only Christ can change the human heart.

Seventh-day Adventists are committed to the unchanging biblical truths which reveal that human beings are made in the image of God (Gen 1:27). Based on the creation account in the book of Genesis, we believe in the God-given and immutable equality of all persons in all times, all places, and all circumstances. We are all descended from Adam and Eve, our original ancestors, who make all humanity one family (Gen 3:20). Even the tragic results of human choice to rebel against God have not erased the enduring relationships between all human beings. Distinctions of race, ethnicity, caste, and tribe are used to sinfully segment and divide the fundamental unity God intended all human beings to experience with Himself and each other.

We maintain our allegiance to the biblical principles of equality and dignity of all human beings in the face of historic and continuing attempts to use skin color, place of origin, caste, or perceived lineage as a pretext for oppressive and dominating behavior. These attempts are a denial of our shared humanity and we deplore all such aggression and prejudice as an offense to God. Still, we acknowledge that many members of our worldwide Church fail to uphold this biblical truth about the equality of all persons. Contrary to the teachings and example of Jesus, many believers and church organizations have absorbed sinful, dehumanizing ideas about racial, tribal, caste, and ethnic valuing that have led to practices injuring and wounding the human family. These ways of thinking, and the practices resulting from them, undermine the very truths we have pledged ourselves to live and teach. We apologize where in the past we may not have spoken or acted boldly enough on these matters.

Seventh-day Adventists are members of a diverse, global Church and are committed to being agents of peace and reconciliation in society by modeling and advocating for the biblical truth about our shared ancestry. “For the love of Christ compels us” to regard people from His point of view and to be His “ambassadors” in this divided world with the “word of reconciliation” (2 Cor 5:141920). We will support and nurture those marginalized and mistreated because of their color, caste, tribe, or ethnicity (Matt 25:40). We believe those who abuse and mistreat others should, in accordance with biblical principles, be appropriately brought to justice and will ultimately face divine judgment (Eccl 12:14Heb 9:27). We will teach and urge that God’s truth about human origins and equality as taught in the Bible is the wisest foundation for all human relationships.

God places a special responsibility upon those who have responded to His gracious salvation for all (Gal 3:28) to demonstrate our commitment to equality, fairness, and accountability in all human relations. God created each person unique, and His powerful influence in our lives results in a celebration of differences that respectfully values each person’s human heritage and culture. We recognize the ultimate solution to the sins of racism, casteism, tribalism, and ethnocentrism is the transformation of individual lives and relationships through Christ and His saving power. We accept and embrace our Christian commitment to live, through the power of the Holy Spirit, as a Church that is just, caring, and loving, grounded on biblical principles.

God invites everyone, everywhere to join the remnant Church described in Bible prophecy (Rev 12:17) in proclaiming the everlasting gospel which focuses on the righteousness of Jesus Christ encapsulated in the three angels’ messages (Rev 14:6-12). These messages are to be given to “every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” culminating with Christ’s soon return (Rev 14:614). We look forward to a new heaven and a new earth when “there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev 21:4).

 

 

Image by rawpixel.com

 

We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/10721

Let’s start with this:
Am I missing something, or was DISCRIMINATION OF WOMEN just forgotten, or excluded on purpose?

Or, because the subject is so important, will there be a separate declaration dealing exclusively with discrimination of women? Most probably, uh? …

8 Likes

It’s just me but I’m done commenting on race on Spectrum.

4 Likes

Me too. Lets talk about our favorite…PIZZA!!

The best is Barone’s in the SF Valley. Better than Gino’s in Chicago. Favorite from my youth, but pricy. Whenever I go to CA, my daughter always takes me there. She is a sweetie

Now let me tell you about my daughter…

4 Likes

Allen, you have been arguing with Harry Allen too much. I’m afraid your train has jumped the track here.

3 Likes

Hmmm… No mention of discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, two areas where the GC itself ignores the principles it says it embraces here. No mention of racial segregation in congregations, church structure, or neighborhoods either. And then there is that final plug for the “Remnant Church”. Another segregating category. Is it still OK to preach all sorts of anti-Catholic material?

9 Likes

The article from which the above statement comes is to be commended on several points: It acknowledges a denominational failure in the past. It lays the groundwork for a future that addresses both the society in which we live and the denominational structure by which we are governed. It posits a future in which issues of individual justice are considered as important a part of our denominational proclamation as is the Sabbath.
But, there is a sense in which those words are empty. There is no mandate for each SDA Division to address those issues in terms of the society in which the Division operates.
• Where is there a concrete call for all humans, regardless of race, ethnic background or gender to have the exact same opportunities in both the Church and in the society?
• In a denomination that has once paid women less than men were paid for the same duties, where is there a call for total equality in opportunities.

If there was once a time for silence on these issues, that time has gone. Silence is no longer acceptable in either our denominational and local congregational structure nor in our role in society at large. If we fail to do what God calls us to do either others will be given by God that mission to accomplish, or we will have to do what God wants accomplished under very challenging conditions.

In many ways, the choice is ours as to whether or not we rise to the occasion, and put our words into action. Our mission for today is more than mere words. It also involves action.

5 Likes

My first thought also! We need the whole story!!

1 Like

Chuck, let’s see how long it will take HA @Harry_Allen to discover this thread…

Ooops, Did I call his attention? Sorry🤣

2 Likes

If there were a shining point with this GC address, it is the fact that this current GC leadership team excels in contradictions.

8 Likes

I’m no expert, George, but I’d guess there is selective amnesia going on here. Just a thought. Or is it that they can’t see the forest for the trees?

4 Likes

I’ll see your Barrone’s and raise you a Bend Pizza Kitchen in Bend, OR.

1 Like

Great idea, Pizza!
If you love pizza, plan a trip to Brazil. Being in the US now for 31 years, I still crave Brazilian pizza. Have found only one place that comes very close, but it’s far from home, so…
I am serious, the pizzas I have eaten here so far have been extremely disappointing. I don’t even try anymore.

3 Likes

Same hypocrisy as usual.
I have the impression that this “Statement” has some political reason for being created. They may be trying to impress a certain group, who knows where. Just another irrelevant, incomplete Beautiful Statement.

1 Like

I think I may have been at Bend Pizza. I have relatives near there. But Barone’s is the best. They put a bit of vinegar on the top that does something to make it really good. And it is rectangular and a corner piece is the best. I am sad I don’t have some now.

I don’t think I can continue this for 6 days…

2 Likes

Go ahead! I dare ya! LOL

1 Like

Ya think maybe??? got 20 out…

2 Likes

Selective smartness maybe???
They appear to lack intelligence. Do they really believe that people are so stupid that nobody is going to notice the hypocrisy and fakeness?
How do they climb to such high positions of leadership???
(Just for clarity, I am talking about the Church leaders, not the people in the WH… :wink: )

2 Likes

I’m convinced that they honestly don’t even notice the hypocrisy. The only focus in on the immediate issue to the exclusion of all else, which causes them to entirely miss the cognitive dissonance engendered by what they just did. But once the statement or action is done they’re immediately on to the next shiny object that captures their attention.

2 Likes

No worries Elmer. Based on its title, this topic is destined to be “intoxicated” and “suffocated” sooner or later. This time, I will be jumping out, and letting @ajshep and @Arkdrey in charge of the insane business… :laughing: They did an excellent (and extensive…) job on the past topic… :innocent:

1 Like