Your comment really hits the nail on the head, Peter. The situation reminds me of the early attempts for all-male committees to discuss the role of women in the church. Not that the addition of some women delegates has made much difference to the balance among the voices–but the presence of some women makes a difference, though much of the progress in consciousness about women has been the result of work by women-dominated groups. The same is true for the importance of what SDA Kinship and the LGBTQ campus groups have done to raise the LGBTQ issues–and the help of supporters like Spectrum and Adventist Today and other allies.
Now, Peter, Spectrum was denied a booth. But they were not denied access to the convention as “press,” right? They will still be able to do the regular journalistic work, publicizing everything that is going on, correct?
This may be be the NAD’s major concern, the fact that the free press is around…
If I am not mistaken Spectrum had a “booth problem” before, was it the GC session in 2010 or 2015? Same thing, first they were authorized, then denied, but at the end I guess they had a booth. Not sure though.
The Adventist administration is just a mess. All this with the NAD would not be happening under Pastor Jackson. I miss him!!!
in particular, i believe NAD has received a lot of flack from conservatives for its position on vaccine mandates, and its refusal to accommodate the demands of anti-vaxxers (this flack is still continuing)…so NAD may be trying to avoid the perception that it has fully sided with the “evil liberals”, which Spectrum, and others, are perceived to be…conservatives, as usual, are screaming the loudest right now, so NAD may feel a need to cater to them more…
Conservatives also generally have more of the S11 ($).
Permit me, if you will, a frighteningly tortured analogy. MeTV just showed a Star Trek rerun called “The Squire of Gothos.” The squire is this powerful yet childlike alien obsessed with war. The crew tries to accommodate his whims, but they more they do, the more impudent he gets. Eventually its parents show up, apologize to Captain Kirk for raising a spoiled brat, and the Enterprise goes on its merry way.
My point here is, first, 1960s TV was hilariously weird at times. But second, you’re right, the SDA Church’s kneejerk reaction is always defaulting to the most hardline position possible, in accordance with the foot stomping of angry hardliners.
But what has placating them for…oh, a century gotten us? Are the ultra-conservatives happy? Have they stopped complaining? Because it sure seems like the only thing they seem to do is complain, while conveniently pointing at everyone else and saying “look at them complain, surely it is the time of the shaking!”
And that’s how in The Year of Our Lord 2022, we have a sizable crowd who are upset the church won’t say vaccines turn you into a 5G cell phone tower. Was it really worth it? Wouldn’t it be nice to listen to literally any other group for a change, and just see what happens? Please?
I know people talk about the NAD vs. the world church, but I wonder. Here in the Southern Union, particularly the rural areas, many of those churches are still traditional (conservative, the 3ABN crowd, whatever you’d call it). And then you see stuff like this from the current leadership. (Aside: I miss Dan Jackson and Jan Paulsen as moderating influences.)
When we talk about the NAD being more progressive, what percentage of the NAD are we really talking about? I’m sure it’s a larger percentage on the coasts, but it feels like a pipe dream sometimes to me.
Great point coming off @plobdell3 Peter’s point. As one of those who does work with a campus GSA, it would seem that if the NAD wanted to know a bit about what it is like to interact with our LGBTQ+ members, they would be interested in talking with me, and it’s not like I have been secretive about what I do. I have even written articles for Spectrum on the topic of LGBTQ+ individuals in the church as well. Not that I am any expert, (and I am only an ally) but you would think someone at some point might have asked me something, or maybe asked me to be on a panel to discuss these issues.
And then there are people like yourself or any number of Kinship members that could be tapped for wisdom concerning what LGBTQ+ members themselves feel they need from the church and what might make them feel more welcome. It is almost as if they don’t want to know what the people who are actually involved on the ground have to say. It’s almost as if they are afraid that if they really heard from such individuals, they might be challenged to change. Imagine that.
Erhman’s research and scholarship, while considered outrageous by the inerrancy folk and defamatory by William Craig types, is fairly “run of the mill” among secular academics.
For example, it’s my understanding that he doesn’t take seriously the claim that there was no such person as Jesus.
That said, it’s not news that there are others who, after considering some of the things the NT doesn’t say, will go a lot further in questioning the “okay-ness” of human sexuality, including that of Jesus, himself:
Please note that this article is 10 years old so given that “he who is silent s deemed to be in consent” Jesus’ lack of any attempt to rebut it’s central argument implies that he, personally, doesn’t have any issue with its premise.
Either that, or his failure to do anything tangible for the past two millennia can be and is seen by some as further evidence to support the argument that Jesus was only ever a literary device.
(In any case, one suspects that Spectrum’s decision to not take down comments such as this-if that is what they decide to not do-will likewise not enhance their chances of getting a booth at the NAD convention.)
Yes, this first confused me as a teenager, then frustrated me as an adult. It’s not just the official church that does this. It permeates all the way through to the members, who understand that the safest position is always the conservative position, is always to look back to the past for guidance on what to do in the future.
If there is a local church topic/issue, for example, and there are proponents of different ways to move forward, the old-guard almost always gets their way.
If a parent of a child in a local church school complains about something, it is almost always a conservative complaining about something that offends them, and their complaint is almost always addressed in their favor. It does not matter that the majority do not agree. And we know it. We mostly just let conservatives have their way because they claim to have the moral high ground if they are challenged, and that claim sees to be honored time and time again.
My kids went to an SDA grade school with an exceptional the first grade teacher. She had built up a huge library of first-year reading books for them, and some of the favorites were books on dinosaurs. Kids love that stuff. This was just fine for years and years. And then one year a very conservative parent complained. She complained and said that dinosaurs didn’t really exist and any books that said they do were anti-Christian. Maybe she quoted Ellen White. That’s all it took. The books were gone shortly after and never appeared again. There was no discussion as far as I know. Other parents were not asked if they agreed.
Imagine if a progressive, well educated parent complained about the opposite. Complained that there were no books about dinosaurs in the first grade classroom. Or that the science books used in later grades didn’t properly cover natural history? How far to you think they would get?
Thank you for your positive way you showed the Sabbath’s importance for humanity. I had not thought of it this way.
Yet, I wish that Paul, who ministered to Gentiles, with no Sabbath history, had even once encouraged them to honor the Sabbath. It seems to me if we had written a book of the Bible we would have reminded the Gentiles to not forget the Sabbath. But Paul did not, instead he taught that we are justified by faith apart from the works of the Law (Gal 2:16). Not even Acts 15, where some the disciples of Jesus were present, even make mention of the Sabbath’s importance to the Gentiles.
I wonder if Spectrum doesn’t need to rethink who/what its market is…or should be. Who cares that a booth was denied…I doubt that there was much to be gained by having one. And perhaps it would only have made Spectrum more of a target. Why not put together a really provocative and intriguing issue with topics of interest to all Christians and send a complimentary copy out to all Presbyterian ministers. Aren’t we a little tired of maintaining our silo approach? Just sayin’…
Maybe that’s because the NT is getting across the idea that outwardly visible religious observances are not what identify the people of God. That includes regulations of holy time and dietary practices. What counts and does identify them is righteousness/justice, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. What identifies them is a community of people who forgive and bear one another’s burdens. What identifies them is a welcoming of one another in unity with differences of religious observances, instead of dividing over them. At least according to Paul, whose teaching is based on Jesus.
SDAism has made a career of dividing from Christianity at large over making minors into majors.
A career of dividing…an interesting statement, but correct. It seems the .org is/has been more interested in being the sheep/goat divider instead of really delving into what Christ was talking about, His real meaning of the parable. Me thinks that perhaps there is some confusion on who is who! I see that as the warning in the story. According to it, God was doing the decision making, not the humans! All too often humanity has tried to take the place of God, rather arrogant, isn’t it?
The dividing line between those who entered the kingdom and those who didn’t in the parable of the sheep of and goats was not rule keeping. It was how they treated other human beings. It makes not one iota of difference if you keep every law and yet not treat your fellow human beings with dignity, not treat them as you would be want to be treated.
Loren Seibold (does anyone not love him?) had an article about that in Ministry magazine a while back. When somebody rails for a bunch of annoying, unnecessary rules, we applaud their will and self-control instead of calling it what it is: annoying and unnecessary. In the process of accommodating, we hurt both the church, by letting it become so dry and boring that everyone leaves, and the complainers, by not requiring them to mature spiritually.
Although I am willing to to offer a small margin of positive thought, that the topic of LGBTQI+ people and families are at least being talked ABOUT, it seems to me that those of us who have lived experiences and proven records of family and life as Christians, would make for better panels that offer true understanding, not a straight/cis-gender perspective on LGBTQI+ life and Christian experience and witness. I know I’m “overreaching” we have not attained sufficient standing to even be allowed to be a part of the conversation, just a topic of conversations…
I am tired. I am confused.
This world is a strange place. Why can’t we all just get along?
What would Spectrum do if the SDA church just closed its doors and schools and ….?
Probably Spectrum would become the church. And what would be its message? Something fresh and original? Something that would bring us all together? Is it possible?
I am tired and confused.
I don’t know what I am anymore. I guess I better hurry and figure things out. At age 75 I am running out of time.
Hi Dee, always nice hearing from you. Hope you are doing well. Hey, email me, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey Mike, I relate to your concerns, I really do. I will be 72 in August, and I have the same concerns. What happened to all those promises made to us in our youth that have now been proven baloney, intentionally deceitful?
I don’t feel confused, I feel frustrated for not noticing the fallacious trap long time ago. As an organized religion Adventism failed/betrayed me (us) badly, thus I don’t believe they will ever see me again participating in a physical church.
I find comfort and spiritual support attending a few groups on zoom, where I made a ton of new friends around the world and have received meaningful strength to keep on the journey. So far so good. I believe that you could benefit from some group(s) like the ones I attend. I can provide you the links if you email me to email@example.com There are several people here on Spectrum that are part of those groups.
Graduating from a Lutheran university I worked for different flavors of Lutherans for 50+ years. I have envied the faith of very close friends who are LCMS. They live assurance, peace, serenity, and grace. Not long ago I expressed to them some of the regrets of the baggage of my religious training. Their response? “At this point in life rather than converting, find things in your experience that have strengthened your faith. Lutherans have their share of baggage, too. Ultimately it’s about Jesus. How we come by the assurance of salvation isn’t going to be important once we are there.” Who really has the truth? (But to even the playing field, we have a divergence and had more than a few lively discussions surrounding women’s ordination, LGBTQ+, etc… “Not in our lifetime, and possibly never.” And yet they are unfaltering in their consistent practice of love as a life principle.)