In Jesus’ Name?: Reflecting on the Current Madness

“They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind” (Mark 5:15, NRSV).


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11534
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When our faith group fails to shun, without fear, the blatant COVID misinformation (for fear of offending some members), we lose the opportunity to claim the promise that “the truth will make us free.” All truth gives freedom. Thank you to Roy Adams for this piece.

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One of the unintended consequences of insisting (rightly) on the separation of church and state is a tendency to so compartmentalize the two that, even though we are able to speak “truth” more freely into other aspects of our lives, we run the risk of becoming muzzled in regard to obvious issues when they spill over into the political arena. If it can be clothed in “political” garments it can then too often escape moral and ethical accountability.

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This is a well-written article. As a Canadian I’m sad to see America being swallowed up by the quicksands of accusations and counter-accusations. You mention the large gatherings of anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers. What you and many other commentators never do is tell us how many of those gathered in large groups became ill with covid and died. It seems odd to me that there is never any reliable follow-up to these events, whether they be concerts, political demonstrations, or religious gatherings. (I’m not an anti-vaxxer, would just like to read the follow-up.)

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Thank you Roy Adams for the sensible, intelligent conversation! We too have been alarmed and saddened by the current state of affairs in the country, which has sadly spilled over into the church. Our prayers are with our pastors and leaders during this difficult time. God knows His own and hopefully those who are deceived will be able to be enlightened.

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What a fascinating reflection on
• this early phase of the interlude between 2020 and 2024
• americana from inside the prism of Adventism and
• Adventism as part of americana, particularly considering the (current low) response rate to this acute reflection in Spectrum.
For a world with a vested interest in these orchestrated shenanigans, and surely for readers to whom Adventism is effectively a birthright, there’s never been a moment like this.
I wonder whether, like chickens coming home to roost, our old, insistent distractions (as on the role of women in leadership) are not now returning to plague whatever vision we may have thought we had of witnessing to this same interested world, in and outside America.
It is a moment for more - much more, far more - careful reflection such as this!
Thanks for parading the standard, Roy!

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One of Adventism’s, and Christianity’s most fundamental beliefs is that the Jews, despite ample foreshadowing, missed the boat when the messiah actually arrived.

I’m no longer an SDA and only consider myself a Christian to the extent that the dogma doesn’t require my belief in hearsay, counter-intuition, or the supernatural.

However, when I see many, and perhaps even a majority of Christians pushing for more governmental intrusion into the lives of my family and me, to the point where they would undoubtedly favor strict enforcement of total compliance with political mandates simply in order for everyone to be allowed to “buy and sell”, I keep thinking of the Jews again and that this time around it’s the Christians who can’t see the forest for the trees because history isn’t unfolding precisely according to what they thought it would and should look like.

Not that the possibility of the 2nd coming sends cold chills through me like it did when I was a Bible-believing SDA, but I can certainly sympathize with those who see current events as nothing other than the fulfillment of end time prophecy and I don’t see how the red warning flags could be more clear unless the vaccine came with some sort satanic logo on the bottle and the words “Mark of The Beast” were written in what could only be seen as a hellacious script across the top of the vaccine card.
:rofl::rofl::rofl:

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Human nature does not change. There are exploitable people, and there are cynical people. The general population in New England wondered the same thing in 1843/44 when at least three times, a whole population, robed and waiting on top of various hills (one group put on ascension robes and climbed Mt. Wachusset, Mass.) waiting for Jesus.

Adventists are just the perfect group to disbelieve government mandates. It’s in our DNA. It’s what made the Waco tragedy possible; and is what is woven into the end-time scenario we have been counting down. It’s no wonder many traditionalists see the handwriting on the wall - plagues, government edicts, racial tensions, lawlessness, generational animosities, etc. and are taking their stand, anticipating Sunday laws any day now. All we need is for Mt. Hood to come back to life. As has been mentioned, things don’t always go to plan. The Jews didn’t recognize the awaited Messiah either.

There are gullible people and there are cynical people. Which are which depends on point of view.

Having said all that, there is another issue at play here. A huge lack of trust. With all the underhanded political tricks abounding, nobody trusts anybody. We expect subterfuge. In a nation proud of its freedoms, government edicts don’t play well. There are experts everywhere, and the least trusted are the government ones.

As my husband sys, “trust and immunize.”

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Very insightful piece by Roy Adams; I do agree with the content of the article, but more so am I pleased to see ‘clear-eyed writing, impervious to manipulation’ from a guy I used to read in the Review. Back then the boundaries were narrower for what could/could not be written for the world church. Glad to see you are now cut loose, Roy, and free indeed.

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Thank you, Roy Adams, for writing this timely article. I hope it will have an impact; I hope it is not too late. Thank you, Spectrum, for publishing it. I hope it will have an impact; I hope it is not too late.

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Thanks to Roy Adams for this thought provoking essay.
I can’t dispute his analysis, which is being played out most vividly in America. His sobering words including madness, insanity, berserk, frightening, witchcraft, and especially deception (used over a dozen times when including related words like deceitful), accurately describe the current situation.
In the Bible we read of ancient rulers such as Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, and Roman emperors having tremendous power over the people of God, but to me it is remarkable that in our modern age, in a prosperous country, the misguided assertions of one man can have such influence. It seems clear there are spiritual forces at work here.

The apostle Peter spoke of ‘presumptuous and arrogant’ people, who are ‘irrational’ and ‘speak evil of things they do not understand’, who ‘revel in their own deception’ and ‘entice unstable souls’. (I remember a young woman in Georgia, upon hearing the 2020 election results, saying that she would have to take her daughter out of school and go into hiding. Her reason was that she had been told the democrats would soon try to find and kill her daughter because they lived off children’s blood.)

Five years ago I would not have believed the US would ever be in such a state. God rendered judgment by plague and pestilence to chastise ancient Israel and today we have the richest nation on earth having the most reported deaths from Covid. I believe part of that suffering is because America, despite its vast resources and being founded on Christian principles, has never implemented a health care system to protect its most vulnerable.

I know it’s hard for Americans to recognize, but, in spite of much good America has done, the US has imposed its will, often by deceitful means, on many other nations. Often to further its own interests, America has overtly by force or clandestinely by subterfuge, overthrown legitimately placed governments of other countries. Now, it appears this malevolence has rebounded on the US and, ironically, about half of America’s own citizens do not believe their current federal government was duly elected and are clamouring for its removal. ‘…with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’

On Jan 6, Mitch McConnell said, “If this election were overturned by mere allegations from the losing side, our democracy would enter a death spiral. We’d never see the whole nation accept an election again. Every four years would be a scramble for power at any cost.”

The conditions are currently being put in place for such a demise of American democracy. See:

As Christians, I believe it’s important that we remember several things. Since God is love, His plan has our ultimate good as its objective and since God is omniscient and omnipotent, what He wants will finally come about. We may not understand many of the steps in God’s plan but since we live by faith and not by sight, we can rest in the knowledge that He will see us through whatever comes.

Yes, there are forces of darkness at work, but Paul prayed that we would be enlightened to understand the power of God. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is ‘far above all principalities, and power, and might, and dominion.’ God ‘put all things under His (Christ’s) feet and made Him the head over all things…’ Christ is ‘the head of all authority and power’ and Christ, ‘…having disarmed authorities and powers…triumphed over them by the cross.’ After His resurrection, Jesus announced, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.’
Do we believe that? If so, we are instructed to not be frightened and to be anxious for nothing.
We can have peace if our mind is stayed on God and we let the peace of God, which surpasses all (human) understanding and to which we are called, rule in our hearts.

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This article should be passed along to everyone you come in contact with. The author only touched the surface of the level of deception we are seeing. The country has already been destroyed by the distrust in our institutions, and many of us have yet to come to that realization. For any entity, government, denomination, institution to exist, it can only function with the vast majority trusting that the entity functions with the acceptance and belief of it’s constituents. We have passed that tipping point. And, yes, the internet has played a major part in our demise. I have to wonder if Al Gore still wishes to take credit for its creation…because I would be embarrassed to make that claim at this point. Thank you to the author for writing it and for Spectrum for publishing it.

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I found myself fully agreeing with the author with everything being expressed until I came to the above paragraph, from here on out the analytical tone of the writing took on a decidedly prescriptive tone, even as the author expressed his neutrality.

The next big reason for the author’s doubts about the mental stability of a large portion of the American population is of course the Covid pandemic. So the first thought that comes to mind here is: predictability - while the author claims non-partisanship there is clear consistency, as he argues on the same side of both of these gripping and divisive topics: (1) Most Democrats believe the last presidential elections were fair and (2) Most democrats support vaccination mandates Majority in U.S. Supports Biden COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates
Not only are the unvaccinated people “reckless” he claims but he quickly categorizes them with epithets such as anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers, and further indirectly associates them with QAnon “crazy heads going berserk”. This type of rhetoric is not unusual in the cutthroat political world in which the author is an obvious participant of, but now his neutrality has lost credibility (in my opinion).

I don’t think anyone would doubt that recognized leaders automatically capture the public’s attention with perceived authority in their opinions, and this benefit of course also requires a higher level of responsibility. In this specific essay this perceived authority is not only political but also medical and religious by endorsement, all in the name of truth and “in the name of Jesus”. Did the author consider the real dangers he may be subjecting his SDA brethren to who are already marginalized for their beliefs? I will leave it here.

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it would be nice if just the Republican side, with Trump at the top was the clear lier etc. But unfortunately this is not the case. The Dem’s lies go deep with the FBI and CIA involved, quite the bigger threat to democracy. (Note letter by 90 of them saying the Hunter laptop was likely Russian, when they knew it was not at all.). According to Atlas’s book, Fauci, Brix and friends refused to follow the science! Masks and lock downs are ineffective.

So,Liberals can’t take the credit for straightforward honesty… The country was put through two years of distraction by the so called Russian collusion accusation, which was completely false.

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As a devout independent, my favorite part in all of this is that the left-whose fascination, even obsession, with conspiracy theories goes back to the sixties and continues to this day with the assertions about the supposedly satanic Donald Trump-now have as their mantra the basic assumption that anyone who even hints at the possibility that there is anything fishy going on anywhere in the world is a right-lunatic deserving of nothing but derision and psychiatric scrutiny.

The only thing more amusing-particularly to an avowed “backslider” who left the church in an effort to move forward-is the fact that so many postmodern Adventists, having loosed their ties to the 28 Fundamental Beliefs of their denomination have, in their attempts to achieve acceptance in the ecumenical and political communities, tied their ships to other ships, pirate ships, in fact, helmed by looters who “earn” their money through enforced ignorance and an inculcated fear of facts. (Not surprising then that such “thinkers” would adopt as their leader Joe Biden who wants to be called a Catholic even though he doesn’t believe in The Pope!?!?)

This rather than anchor in the living words of our creator as expressed by that ever-present consciousness also referred to as The Holy Spirit.:rofl::rofl::rofl:

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Much of the authors points are indisputably true. Yet our own views and expectations are largely shaped by our cultural conditioning, personal experiences, and all too brief readings of historical accounts written almost exclusively by white men in service of our empire. Our country was founded upon ruthless genocide, an economy founded and dependent upon the horrors of slavery, and a capitalistic system that, like cancer, relies on endlessly increasing growth at the expense of both the earth and people. Today’s lies, foolishness, and brutalities are no different, and in some ways perhaps less, than the conditions Ellen White wrote about, or even those of 50 years ago. The public’s mistrust of our institutions has certainly been declining, but that has been well earned, from the sadisms of Christian “Indian schools,” to the Tuskegee syphilis experiments, to the FBI’s murders of black activists in the 1960’s, and the hundreds of people currently killed by police every year. The yellow journalism of the frontier newspapers who published lurid lies and the fervid propaganda of William Randolph Hearst’s newspaper chain, was but a foretaste of the warmongering and corruption of today’s corporate-controlled media.

Is the American empire failing by every discernible standard? Certainly. Will this death spiral be grim? Absolutely. It is only our faith in an Eternal Rock that will allow us to be unmoved by the lies, the hysteria, and the horrors to come. “Pray that your flight be not in winter” indeed.

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and more recently forced to two years of destruction of the economy, educational systems and yes, even people.

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Bravo!! (This 20 character rule is annoying.)

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Yep.

Kinda ruins the idea that brevity is the essence of wit!!!

(And not that I necessarily exhibit either.:wink:)

Dave, do you really think there is anything that the US democracy needs to learn from the liberal Australian media? any other scenarion we should keep in mind or be aware of?