Regional Conference Leadership Meets with Ted Wilson Concerning His Annual Council Remarks

(David Kendall) #41

In a church of another denomination in which I served as music minister, there were stories of turmoil when a nice new Yamaha 7’ grand piano was procured. Many parishioners were upset about the glossy and extravagant “piece of furniture” that would be placed so near the altar.



(George Tichy) #42

I wouldn’t be surprised if those people drove some expensive “shinny” cars. Or maybe their homes were much bigger then what “Adventist modesty” (:roll_eyes:) recommends. And on, and on, and on…
Hypocrisy never dies!!!

(William Noel) #43

That all are created equal was not a social justice issue for the founders but a simple statement reflecting their belief in God. The problem with “social justice” is how confused people are about what it does and doesn’t mean and how easily people attach meanings that are sometimes contradictory to others. It is so unclear that it can be twisted and manipulated to mean anything so we need to avoid it. Instead we need to speak clearly about specific issues and what is right or wrong based on the teachings of scripture instead of the political whims of man.

(Tim Teichman) #44

Odd. I’ve always been taught exactly the opposite by every history teacher I can remember.

I don’t think I’m confused. But OK, then, what does it mean and what doesn’t it mean?

Why? I feel no need to avoid it and have really no idea why you think we should.

Oh my. Very seriously, I could not disagree more. I live in the US where public policy and religious beliefs are not the same thing. I can believe in God, but it is not important for the government to believe in God. I can believe it is right to go to church, but do not look to my government to tell me what it thinks.

When I think about what is good for my country, what the best policies are, that process and the results have little to nothing to do with the teachings of the bible. If I used the bible as a standard for public life I’d want us to live in a Theocracy led by priests.

Right and wrong today in America (and in many other places) looks really different than right and wrong in the bible. There’s really no comparison. When countries try to use scripture to set up their societies we end up with a giant mess - e.g. the middle east.

(GMCald) #45

I can’t agree with you on this. Any type of justice includes two parties…the perpetrator and the victim. You can’t say that there are groups who are being victimised by society without also defining which parts of society are perpetrating the victimisation. If that is the case, then you are forced to determine which groups are in the right and which groups are in the wrong and you are back to my original point about “corporate guilt”. Justice is a good thing. When you add an adjective to the front of it, it becomes less than it was meant to be.

(GMCald) #46

Hey George,

Feel free to be offended. Offense doesn’t normally kill anyone and based on the number of angry comments you make on these publications, it might make you a better person to wonder why you get offended so easily. On to other things. Your first four points remind me of a kid trying to make points at a high school debate club. I know the definitions of both delusional and social justice.

Okay, but I am pretty sure that is what every delusional person thinks…and being a mental health professional doesn’t necessarily help your case. Just saying. But I will concede the point.

As to your last point, I am pretty sure you have heard of communism. The whole system was based on equality of outcomes and (as your definition noted) the “fair” distribution of wealth (actually, that would be re-distribution of wealth…at gunpoint). Not individual justice, but social justice. People were judged, jailed and executed based on their jobs, the way they looked and their ancestry. That experiment killed a whole lot of people. Unfortunately, the current social justice movement are the same ideas wrapped up in a different way. Instead of the Bourgeoisie and Proletariat, we now have a victim and oppressor narrative. Different words, same song. So to answer your question, about 100 million people in the USSR, Cambodia, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and China would not support such a concept.

You seem like a guy who is pretty caring and compassionate. But remember, a mother bear is the same. That doesn’t mean that she won’t rip off your arms if you get too close to her cubs. The question that the social justice crowd needs to answer is who’s going to pay the price for their compassion?

Have a good day, George.

(Frank Peacham) #47

Your history of music was very interesting. I wonder what a pipe organ cost in 1893?

(William Noel) #48

Can you define “social justice?” Read what different writers say about it. They can’t because they apply it in so many different ways. Maybe you can help them. In contrast, the principles in scripture are simple and clearly-stated.

The modern concepts of “social justice” are based on the Socialist philosophies of writers in the 1800s that became the conceptual foundation for both Communism and the Democratic Party. They are intolerant of any religious practice that is not completely subservient to the secular state. Go read their books like I have. You’ll find it there in black and white. Read the works of the socialism teachers who Barack Obama calls the fathers of his political concepts. They are anti-law, anti-Constitution and anti-God in every way. But you won’t see that if you’re listening to all the things social justice advocates are saying. You have to actually read what they wrote.

In fairness I must warn you that reading what socialist philosophers actually taught risks creating a serious spiritual challenge where you will have to consciously decide if you are going to continue as a follower of Jesus.

(George Tichy) #49

Never heard about it. Thanks for explaining what it is. Very educational explanation indeed.

Actually, in 1948 my parents, with three kids, fled from the communist Czechoslovakia. An amazing story based on the non-negotiability of freedom. So I was very well taught about what Communism is. Communism is NOT based on social justice. Most people know that…

By the way, when you address someone you need to either quote them or write in their screen name, otherwise they will never know that you wrote to them (unless they casually read your post).

(Dwayne Turner) #50

Yes… George… in total agreement as to what we should be doing to help those who can’t help themselves in terms of all those things you spoke of… however, the author of this article alleges that James White, Ellen White, and Uriah Smith were all “heavily involved in the social issues of their day.” My question is simple… what constitutes “involvement”? Merely writing about something happening in the world, but addressing your writing to your own church, is not being “heavily involved”. If it can’t be shown where the aforementioned individuals were “heavily involved” then the writer of this article and/or the person she cited is not telling the truth or is engaged in embellishment.

Make no mistake about it… the “social justice” the Conference Presidents are endorsing involvement in is about protests, marching, and establishing and/or working within existing political structures to combat any and all forms of injustices or infringements against civil rights. This prospect is “a bridge too far”… but the transformation of individual hearts is very doable. And so now… we are a people “with a solution” leaving that solution in search of a solution, whose track record is that laws don’t change people’s hearts.

(Tim Teichman) #51

Well, there’s

(David Kendall) #52

I don’t have those numbers ready to hand for the U.S., but I can say in the Philippines at around the same time a relatively small pipe organ would cost about 2000 pesos to build and install, and probably about another 1000 pesos over the next 50 years to maintain and repair. A contemporary harmonium cost between 170 and 350 pesos (depending on the size) with much less maintenance. So you can see where the attitude came from that a pipe organ was extravagant, given that typically cost at least 10 times as much as another instrument that could “do the job”, as it were.



(Tim Teichman) #53

Yea not anymore, right?

Someone should have told PUC. I bet this was / is super cheap though:


I do dig the space. Love the '60’s banners and Star Trek style lighting.

(Tihomir Odorcic) #54

I can’t believe mine eyes!?! Have you really written it? Would you be so kind and read it again:

Do you wanna say that the oppressed ones, the widows and the orphans, the weaker part of the society are guilty of their affectedness? Dear Bro who are you? Are you the priest or the Levite? There lies a wounded man by the road and you ask yourself is it just to help him? Maybe he was the one who has started the fight. How can you know that he fell into a robber’s trap?
And in the end don’t tell me the tales about communism. I grew up in a communist country, then moved west and afterwards in my late teens returned to that country again. I know very well all the bad things about communism, but after all wasn’t Marx a Jew who wanted to infiltrate Isaiah’s Messianic utopia into his idea of a just and equal society? We are not to be utopists like Marx or Isaiah. We are already Christians. The followers of a Man who was victim and helped other victims. We are not to ask why are they victims, we are here just to help. And anyone, you or the president of General Conference himself, who mitigates that commitment has failed on Jesus Christ.

(Dwayne Turner) #55


I have read several of your listed references in the past, as well as other material you have not listed. However, merely referring to these references does not answer the question; regardless of how much material has been written. My question is nuanced in that it gets at Ellen White’s (incl. James White and Uriah Smith) “actual involvement” in social justice. I do not believe that any Social Justice activist or civil right leader would accept the notion that one is “heavily involved” in either movement merely because they write their beliefs about social issues to their own church. How can anyone be credited for being “heavily involved” when they don’t march with the people, don’t address the public or the people they share the same sentiments with, don’t show up for anything that is considered vital to participate in, if you are seriously into the issues you speak about? Take for example the highlight in Atoday for the book "The Enduring Legacy of Ellen G. White & Social Justice. A part of it reads as follows:

The Enduring Legacy of Ellen G. White and Social Justice is must reading for anyone who really wants to know what the key founder of the Adventist faith understood to be God’s will with regard to social issues of her time and today.

Addressing her church as to “God’s will with regard to social issues of her time” does not make her an activist of any sort. The church was born at a time in which slavery existed and would for 2 more years. Many laws conflicted with the churches intention to stand for Christ and His righteousness. Statements needed to be made to differentiate between the laws of the land and the will of God for his Church. However, and this is key… she addressed the church on where it should stand with respect to issues that conflict with the faith. Her writings went into “Testimonies for the Church”! Not “Testimonies for the Civil Rights Movement” or “Testimonies for the Abolitionists”.

Again, I ask… would Activists, who never see you at their events, give you credit for being “heavily involved”. Rather, what I think is going here is taking her words and making them say what they don’t say.

Below is the actual counsel she gives concerning “activism” and being involved in social issues!!!

Desire of Ages pg. 509
The government under which Jesus lived was corrupt and oppressive; on every hand were crying abuses,—extortion, intolerance, and grinding cruelty. Yet the Saviour attempted no civil reforms. He attacked no national abuses, nor condemned the national enemies. He did not interfere with the authority or administration of those in power. He who was our example kept aloof from earthly governments. Not because He was indifferent to the woes of men, but because the remedy did not lie in merely human and external measures. To be efficient, the cure must reach men individually, and must regenerate the heart. { DA 509.3}

Not by the decisions of courts or councils or legislative assemblies, not by the patronage of worldly great men, is the kingdom of Christ established, but by the implanting of Christ’s nature in humanity through the work of the Holy Spirit. “As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12, 13. Here is the only power that can work the uplifting of mankind. And the human agency for the accomplishment of this work is the teaching and practicing of the word of God. { DA 509.4}

It just seems to me that a quote like this should put the matter to rest.


Are you against social justice?

And what does the Lord require of thee but to love mercy, to do justice, and to walk humbly with thy God.

Practicing the Word of God is to support justice for all. Liberty and justice for all. He came to set the captives free, to give voice to the voiceless, bread to the hungry, water for the thirsty, clothes for the naked, and the Bread of Life for spiritual hunger.

(Dwayne Turner) #57

Harrpa… Social Justice mean different things to different people. There’s feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, helping those who can’t help themselves… And then there’s… activism, protesting, organizing, and participating in and with the political machinery/apparatus available for the purpose. The kind of Social Justice that the Regional Conference Presidents are defending is of the activist, protesting kind. This I am against… and more importantly… Jesus did not participate in this focus. Often the Bible verses used to support being involved in a movement are not related to such a movement. This is the case with the verse you cited.

The SDA Commentary defines the word “Justly” in Micah 6:8 as:

Justly. Heb. mishpaṭ from the root shaphaṭ , “to judge.” The plural form, mishpaṭim , generally translated “judgments,” is used of the additional precepts giving minute instructions as to how the Decalogue was to be kept (Ex. 21:1; see PP 364). To do mishpat is to order one’s life according to the “judgments” of God.

Has nothing to do with social justice.

More importantly… what does the comment mean that I posted from Desire of Ages. Does it not debunk the notion that we should be involved in social justice? Jesus, our example, wasn’t!!


My Bible shows Jesus was a radical activist. His actions showed protest, solidarity with, and participation with minorities, outcasts, the powerless, downtrodden, persecuted, voiceless, and even sticking up for children.

If you think Jesus was a non-protester, you need to observe His methods.


Jesus actively uplifted women in particular and protested against the dismissive, patronizing, and better-than-thou attitudes towards the adultresses, women with five husbands living with a man who wasn’t her husband, women seeking rich spiritual food, a woman who annointed his feet with expensive perfume. Jesus actively rebuked the prejudiced and empowered the lowly.

That is active social justice.

So we agree to disagree. Justly isn’t the word we are discussing. It’s justice, actually.

(Steve Mga) #59

If you WANT RADICAL Listen to John the Baptist!
– To the Multitudes:: "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say we have Abraham for our
Father. God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
– What to do? Have 2 tunics? Give one to him who has none. Have food? Give to him
who has none.
— To Tax Collectors [IRS agents]:: Collect no more than what is appointed for you.
– To Gentile Soldiers:: Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely. Be content with your
– To Herod:: “being rebuked by him concerning Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife. For
the evils which Herod had done.”

Jesus was Radical.
– The breaking down of Social Strata. Various levels of Good to “Bad”. No more
“untouchables”. Breaking down of Gender Strata. Men and Women EQUAL.
– The RE-Interpreting the Torah, the Law.
– The acceptance of Gentiles worthiness of God’s Love, Blessing, Acceptance. On a
par with the Children of Abraham.
– The treatment of one’s “neighbor” whether living in a home or on the street.
– The idea that God is NOT “up there” , but “down here”.
– Jesus Final message was “The Temple HAD to go.”

(Dwayne Turner) #60

Well Harpa… if the Bible shows Jesus as a radical activist, then He misled Ellen White to write DA pg. 509 in His own testmiony… the Testimony of Jesus. The truth is the full scope and parameters of Jesus’ ministry was outlined in Matthew 10:5… which states:

10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into [any] city of the Samaritans enter ye not:
10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The focus on “The Lost Sheep of Israel” indicates that Jesus’ ministry target was “in house”. However, the word “Social Justice” must also include society-at-large; which is beyond the church walls. Beyond the church walls was just not Jesus focus…principally because He began His ministry on time and in sync with the 70 week prophecy that was soon to expire on Israel. He began His ministry in AD 27 (the 70th and final week of the 70 week prophecy of Daniel 9) and was to “confirm the covenant with many for one week” (7 years). During that 7 years He was to “cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease”(AD31); followed by 3 1/2 more years of mercy and grace for Israel (Ending with the stoning of Stephen AD34). Afterwards… the focus of Jesus ministry team + added workers was now going out to Jews and Gentiles alike.

Hence, any of the “radical activity” you mentioned that Jesus was engaged in was limited to in-house issues; which kills any such notion of a social justice warrior. Certainly, you can make a case for Jesus being a “reformer”, but not an activist.

So…to sum up…

Jesus’ activity was all aimed “in-house”
Ellen White’s activity was all aimed “in-house”.

Pointing out the ills of the world to the church does not make you an activist…
Neither does pointing out the injustices done to the poor or marginalized within the church make you an activist.

Speaking out against the ills of the world to the world does, indeed, make you an activist.
Neither Jesus nor Ellen White did that!