On the Least: Singular and the Systemic

Much of what the Adult Bible Study Guide presents this week speaks to the issues of our day. Examples from the stories of Job, Zacchaeus, the rich young ruler, and Jesus all provide helpful lessons on what Christians often call charity. At its core, the lesson draws on Matthew 25 and helpfully applies those whom Jesus calls “the least of these” to our world today.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/sabbath-school/2023/least-singular-and-systemic

Ted Wilson’s trip to Africa is very exciting. His visit coincides with the visit by Pope Francis, as reflected by large billboards in close proximity with each other that advertise these visits, respectively. Francis criticized the economic exploitation of Africa by foreign powers. He also, together with Anglican and Presbyterian leaders, denounced laws in Africa that criminalize homosexuality.

I looked online to see if Wilson also spoke up in opposition to African anti-gay laws during his trip, but I couldn’t find anything. He is so beloved by African SDAs and highly respected by African heads of state. A few simple words from him in opposition to the killing and imprisonment of LGBT+ individuals would be highly effective and would in all probability save lives.

I would be interested to find out if there was a calculus for not speaking up. Or perhaps the thought never entered Wilson’s head. Or maybe by quoting Micah 6:8, which he typically does when meeting with heads of state, or by preaching sermons about Jesus, he might be thinking that he addressed the issue. I am probably over-thinking this; the simplest explanation for something is usually correct.


Why not the broader issue? Because it would subtract monies from the .org, plain and simple. My suggestion, each church find a project it would like to support or an individual could do the same, and then spend the monies there. Long ago we choose to send our monies/tithe to a local church supported orphanage that is totally not for profit in Africa.


I wouldn’t hold my breathe. I have little faith in Ted 's concern for the LGBTQ community or for any raped pregnant teen needing abortion care, or anything else that doesn’t comport to the right-wing agenda. Our church has a wonderful facility in ADRA. It is too bad we don’t put more emphasis into taking care of all those oppressed and disadvantaged and stop the ridiculous distribution of The Great Controversy. The money spent on the printing and distribution would be much better spent on helping and loving people than sending out some hurtful, hateful copy of the GC which suggests that over one billion Catholics are in bed with the devil. We could help millions of God’s people by ministering to their needs and it would make a much larger impact on finishing the work.


It all depends on the aim of the exercise. If it is to “scare” in new members the distribute away… If the aim is to make a difference, then give the money to ADRA. Some how I think the leaning is more towards the former than the later. TW is still filling out the weekly MV/JMV reports of the 60’s and 70’s…How many pieces of literature did you distribute? 1 Billion!

1 Like

I highly doubt he’d ever say anything meaningful to support LGBTQ+ people.


Francis recently declared that the bishops in Africa who support anti-gay bills are in need of “a process of conversion.” “Being homosexual is not a crime,” he said. “It’s not a crime. Yes, but it’s a sin. Fine, but first let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime.” “It’s also a sin to lack charity with one another,” he added. Al Jazeera 01/25/23.

“Pope Francis on Sunday doubled down on his assertion that homosexuality should not be criminalized, saying on the papal plane returning from South Sudan, a country that penalizes homosexual acts, that “to condemn a person like this is a sin.”” NYT 02/05/23.

What are the differences between Francis and Ted, both recent visitors to the continent of Africa, that would lead one to speak out and the other to be silent?


Ted is a politician constantly seeking reelection in order to retain power using regressive ideas that appeal to his best admirers, those from the most repressive & misogynistic cultures represented within the church.

Frances is a leader for life and pushes progressive policies on his entire church, more or less correctly representing them as what Jesus would do.


Reelection - that is it !

We did not discuss the good advices of the “Teachers Edition” - - we dwelt on the matters of helping / respecting for instance the low income - servants to our conveniences, the “attendants”, the “waitresses” , the DPA or Amazon delivery people - - .

Am I right that the society of Barbara Ehrenreichs “Nickel and Dimed” - society still exists ?

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 14 days. New replies are no longer allowed.