The only things we know about Angels is what we read as “men” related their
experiences with them after the Garden of Eden.
According to the witness of men and women [humans] it is obvious that angels
have different type of bodies than we humans do, and they have powers given
to them that we do not.
We also have mission stories of encounters with angels that confirm that they
are “different” than us human beings on this planet.
Satan and his friends are also angels. And humans tell stories of encounters with them.
CONCLUSION: We have NO IDEA what it “means” when Psalms says we are “a little
lower than the angels”. About ALL we can say is, “We are a little above the animal
The only things we know about Angels is what we read as “men” related their
Historically, countries that composed the Asiatic Division, until around 1918, were under GC supervision through the Australasian Union Conference. Was the kind of traditional, conservative American missionaries that brought the Adventist message to Australia any different from the ones that spread the word to Asia?
The global surveys I’ve seen include Australia in the Asia Pacific region.
More important are the following information regarding religious attitudes toward social issues, among Mainline Protestants and Roman Catholic Christians in particular.
Interestingly enough, Roman Catholic Christian countries such as Brazil and the Philippines are more accepting of homosexuals than the U.S., for example. Why?
I wonder how the data would look if education was used as a pivot point. Are more educated people more accepting? If so, is it because they are more informed or less driven by religious fundamentalist and other ignorant ways of thinking (or not thinking, as it often happens to be the case with fundamentalists)?
I commend you for presenting to us some very interesting material in your post here. I cannot answer your question concerning how similar the missionaries sent out by the Asia Division were or were not compared to those going directly from the USA. It was amazing how many Adventists were out as missionaries from the small churches in Australia, some European countries such as Germany and Britain, and also from the US, in those relatively early years of Adventism. The change form so many full time to relatively few, most of whom are not career missionaries, is a huge question of interest in itself.
Thus I find myself identifying as an “Adventist”, but not as affiliated with the “world church”. And to be clear - I have no intention or desire to be anything other than an Adventist. I have a close friend who was born in Africa, was a 2nd generation missionary in Africa (the last few years in the “Adventist” area near Lake Victoria), and returned in 1990. He will not send financial donations to the official SDA church in Africa because he saw first hand how such donations rarely were used for their intended purpose, having been misappropriated by conference and union officials.
I’m convinced that the chasm between North American and Western European Adventism and “Southern” Adventism is now too deep to be reconciled. Why? The GC has obviously never understood the cultural differences and worked to help the church function harmoniously. Uniformity (too often called "unity) of the church around the world is only serving to fracture the church. It is an unrealistic goal.
I’m sad to say, I see this as Ted Wilson’s failure. He may explain it away by calling it the “sifting”, but there remain thousands of dedicated Adventists in the West who cannot be expected to think and function like Adventists in places like Africa - any more than we can expect Adventists there to think and function like Western Adventists.
My assurance is in my belief that God sees very clearly what Dr. Lawson has described. And it is “God’s” unfathomable mercy and love that will somehow bring us through - though not likely from the same path. This is some thing that I doubt any of us can explain. Some of us will be overjoyed in eternity to see that all differences have been put away and understanding exists I imagine others will be shocked or horrified that God has allowed His Western children in.
I think we could argue that Filipino culture (I can’t speak for Brazilian) is generally more accepting of homosexuality, though I can speak with more authority about attitudes towards homosexuality by the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy and priesthood. I am not sure if this acceptance extends to the SDA church in the Philippines, as I am not in close contact with the leadership of the conference and unions there. Can you speak to that if you have such connections?
Elder J. E. Fulton of the Australasian Union Conference presided over the first Asiatic Division Conference in 1915. With him was Elder R. C. Porter.
Shortly, 3 years later, in 1918, the Asiatic Division was reorganized resulting in the creation of a Far Eastern Division under a GC VP and the change of status to Union Mission of several union conferences. Needless to say this was a reversal of GC 1901 regarding decentralization.
Education for Asians has a secularizing, westernizing influence.
Filipino families are bilineal; siblings carry both mom and dad’s surnames. Among Filipino Catholic Christians, Marian devotion is symbolic and perhaps a natural outgrowth of the cultural importance of women’s role in Philippine society.
Filipino Adventists pray to Jesus; otherwise, they wouldn’t differ from the larger society or majority culture in stressing the softer maternal acceptance of perceived deviance among family members. As to the stance of Adventist conference officials, compliance with GC directive would be the norm.
It is high time for a shakeup! It is nothing new, that GC people are completely out of touch with reality. About 25 years ago I attended a TED youth camp in Helsinki, Finland - and GC had punished the tithe-payers by sending a couple of “Senior youth administrators” from HQ to stay the week and to teach a class on “substance abuse”. Having friends and classmates experimenting with soft-, hard- and smart-drugs I chose to sit in on their lectures, hoping to learn something beneficial. However the GC “experts” couldn’t lecture beyond strong warnings to the youth about the danger of becoming addicted to cake- or ice-cream eating and tea drinking!?! They were obviously living in their own “bubble” far away from a reality facing young Adventists in Europe. TED and the Finnish hosts made the camp otherwise a great time. GC administration is getting out of proportions and a word from Paul comes to mind, namely concerning the subsistence of the clergy: “8 nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. 9 We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”11 We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. 12 Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.” From 2nd Thessalonians chapter 3
Yes, I am familiar with the bilineal aspect of Filipino families; my daughters have both my wife’s and my surnames as a result. What I was getting at is whether the generally more positive attitudes toward homosexuality in the Philippines extends to the SDA leadership and membership in the same way that it extends to the Roman Catholic hierarchy and laity. Do you feel that the Filipino SDA membership would toe the GC line on this without question, or would they generally be more likely to allow for flexibility and acceptance, as the Catholic hierarchy does?
It would be interesting to see how the different faith groups in the Philippines compare on attitudes toward homosexuality, looking at the large Catholic majority and how it differs with other influential faith movements (Iglesia ni Kristo, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ang Dating Daan, SDAs, etc.).
I will give an interesting example, though not a perfect one. In 2016 I was serving as Visiting Professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Music, and I took my PhD class on a field trip to the excellent archdiocesan museum in San Fernando, Pampanga. The museum is not a church, but one of my students, a Jehovah’s Witness, refused to enter the museum because of the images and religious paraphernalia displayed there. The “Catholic-ness” of the artifacts was something uncomfortable and unallowable for the student, and I wonder if there are any parallels with acceptance/unacceptance of homosexuality.
my understanding is that all GC officials are ordained, but i wonder how long they actually served as pastors, and got to know how congregations work…
A relevant question for so many reasons.
I don’t know if Filipino SDA attitude about gender is any different, neither more positive nor negative than the religious majority in the Philippines, ie. Roman Catholic Christians. I’m sure our SDA leadership would follow the directions of the GC. However, since most if not all local congregations are composed of extended families, either acceptance or rejection of perceived deviance would be decided on the basis of kinship.
[quote=“vandieman, post:15, topic:17564”]
…it’s really amazing how one presidency has produced such disgust and disdain…"
Nope, not one. There have been two Wilsons in the works.
As they say, Perhaps over there “blood is stronger than GC rulings.”
Hope so. Every Child of God [and ALL Humans are Children of God since
the time of Adam and Eve] would be accepted as a Child of God. A member
of the Holy Family should be TREATED as one by ALL Children of God.
Perhaps Catholics understand this better than we Protestants or even
Seventh day Adventists.
I’m rather sure they do!
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