NAD President Dan Jackson in Orlando Florida: "Our Hearts Grieve with LGBT Community"

Daniel R. Jackson, President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, issued a statement by video from Orlando Florida on the Pulse Club Shooting in Orlando, Florida. Jackson traveled with his wife Donna to Orlando to offer encouragement and support.

A post accompanying the video message on the North American Division's Facebook page said:

WATCH a VIDEO MESSAGE from Pastor Dan Jackson who traveled to Orlando, Florida with Donna Jackson. They went to support and encourage the families of the Pulse Club mass shooting victims and the Adventist Churches, pastors, and chaplains that are serving them with love and compassion. Four Orlando Adventist Churches have offered their sanctuaries for free funeral services for the LGBT victims of ‪#‎ThePulse‬ shooting. The Jacksons stopped at one of the memorials for the 49 lives that were lost tragically as the result of hate in the deadliest mass shooting in US history. ‪#‎LoveNotHate‬ ‪#‎LoveIsLoveIsLove‬ ‪#‎LoveAlwaysWins‬

A Message from Dan Jackson Regarding Pulse Club Shooting from NAD Adventist on Vimeo.

Donna and I are here in Orlando, Florida at one of the many memorials that have been set up around this city to the victims of a vicious slaughter that took place only two or three blocks from here. We grieve with the families of the forty-nine victims who died and the fifty-three families who still are hoping and praying for the healing for those who were part of that tragedy. You know, we cannot make sense of the tragedies that take place in our lives though we understand a broad picture. But our hearts grieve with the LGBT community -- with those who’ve lost their loved ones and those who are still struggling. We’re praying that the healing Spirit of God will touch these lives and will bless them. A sign close by reads, “All Lives Matter,” and that is so true. Not only matter to the human family, but they also matter to God. God bless you.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7515
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I thank Pastor Dan Jackson for his kind words of support for the families and communities affected by this horror. Even across the country, my LGBT chorus was deeply affected by the news and some of my fellow chorus members were fearful of going on to sing in the concert later on Sunday. I am happy that we were able to sing our hearts out and start the healing that our community needed that day, and continues to reach out for.

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While some may second guess and question President Dan Jackson’s motives for his visit to Orlando, I find it admirable. Very good public relations and nicely done!

Let us hope that this horrible atrocity will start a trajectory of healing in Adventist communities which hitherto have barely acknowledged that some of our flesh and blood offspring are gay/lesbian.

The tenor and tone of the abusive condemnatory comments on Adventist blog sites, following the Orlando horror, have been deplorably disheartening.

From general comments on these sites pre-Orlando, a casual reader would infer that the ONLY sexual sin existing in the Adventist community was homosexuality.

The Bible is replete with stories and remonstrations of a wide variety of heterosexual transgressions: lust, rape, adultery, fornication, divorce, polygamy, prostitution ( harlotry in the KJV ). Yet on Adventist blog sites, generally, none of these heterosexual short comings are ever mentioned.

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Rubber meets the road Christianity and sound leadership displayed by Dan Jackson.

Actions speak louder than words. (or no words…)

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Thank you, Elder Jackson, for mentioning the LGBT community specifically. Please let us remember the families of all those affected in Orlando. And let’s not forget all LGBT persons and their families, many of whom suffer from various forms of hatred, aggression and marginalization everyday. They, too, need our compassion and support, along with those who are grieving so deeply at this time.Let the word go out in our churches and schools: “LGBT Lives Matter.”

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Thank you Dan Jackson!

This is the message we needed to hear from you - and it conveys an empathy and a warmth that was missing from the “official pronouncement” a week or so ago.

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What a. Refreshing message, a deep contrast to what is coming out of the evangelical right. Tom Z

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Is anyone able to report IF there were any Homosexual funerals conducted in any SDA churches?
Is anyone able to report on the funeral services?
I do know from other sources that a number of other denominations volunteered their church settings.

Sabbath evening at 7pm here in Macon a local college Gay-Straight Alliance put together a candle lite service in a small park in town [the Rosa Parks park]. 3 gave prayers. Dr Ahmed Yusuf of Islamic Center of Macon. Rev. Cassandra Howe of High Street Universalist Unitarians [where World’s Aids Day is celebrated], Rabbi AAron Rubenstein, Congregation Sha’arey Israel [where I attend Friday nite services with my friend Israel].

I felt “sorry” for the Islamic pastor. He read words of peace, quoted from Koran. But there is 2 Islams. His of peace. Then there was the Imam going around Florida saying that the way to be kind to homosexuals was to kill them. And then there is Isis who are killing Jews, who are going around slowly cutting of heads of Christians and filming the events, filming in slow motion the pushing of gays off tall buildings or the hanging with their bodies lifted high by cranes. Islamic groups of men kidnapping little Christian girls and forcing them to be sex slaves.
We ended by lighting the small candles. To hold them up. But we had a strong wind blowing. It became a group effort to keep them lit. Would blow out and another person would attempt to relite many others again. But I think that was better than what was planned. It showed that it takes a group effort to keep individual candles lit and burning. Strangers helping strangers. Community.

Pastor Dan, others from the Florida churches, saying nice words. But what about the GLBTIOS who are related to members of the SDA church in the rest of North America? Those living, breathing, listening to the rejection of their persons that goes on in their local churches. The ostracism they feel when not allowed to participate.
THIS is like having 2 SDA churches. One group giving words of Peace. Other being militant against their personhood. Unfortunately, most see that the SDA church is the militant, rejecting church. Not the church offering peace, offering love, offering Welcome Home.

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Pastor Dan thank you for your caring words they are appreciated!!

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Dan Jackson demonstrates pretty courageous leadership in the context of a very entrenched conservative political organization. His statement last week was the political voice. His actions this week demonstrate a fearless spiritual voice. I’m impressed again and again with his forward thinking stance.

Thank you Elder Jackson.

I can’t help but Imagine where NAD would be if it were freed from the political shackles of the GC.

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this is a very good statement by dan, who, in typical edmontonian fashion, comes across as wearing his heart on his sleeve…i’m not sure anyone can replace him if and when he retires…

i’m certain that the question of how to reach the gay community has been thought about and discussed in NAD meetings…but has the case of marginalized muslims in our midst received any attention, and do we have a strategy in place to combat the pull ISIS seems to have on them…how is it that omar mateen was able to conclude that the best investment he could make for his eternal future was to mow down innocent gay individuals…why are we not being perceived to offer relevant and desirable choices to individuals like this, who are obviously falling though the cracks of our strategic planning…is being an aggressive alternative to ISIS not part of our mandate…

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Very refreshing to see Dan Jackson vocally embrace the LGBT community after this massacre. A shift from the NAD’s initial statement. Many people, including myself, were surprised to see Mr. Jackson send his support. And to see local Orlando area churches open their doors to families and friends who needed funeral services in the wake of this tragedy. It was surprising because seeing the SDA church support the LGBT community is an exception to the rule, certainly not the norm. That is sad. I am optimistic that this can change. If ever so slowly.

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I don’t understand. Why is Jackson is so sympathetic over this specific disaster. Where was he when on Dec 23, 2015 in Holly Springs, Mississippi 9 people died in a tornado and hundreds were homeless? Did he issue a public statement when 31 people were killed in floods in Texas and Oklahoma in 2015?

This makes me wonder if this is just political correctness, seen standing next to prominent civil and religious leaders. Perhaps showing sympathy for Gays and support for further gun controls is the reason why Jackson made a significant public comment.

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It was the biggest mass shooting in American history. Every death in a flood or storm is tragic, but this is on a much larger scale, both in terms of the event and in terms of visibility.

No so. Have you forgotten the unwarranted massacre of innocent Indians, including women and children?

Another disappointing article and action from the leader of our North American division. We are to shun all appearance of evil. Pray - yes. Making this tragedy a public platform is inappropriate. Just one more incident which makes me glad I do not support the Omega spirit here within the NAD.