The Fourth of July, Ellen White, and Social Justice — Adventist Voices

This week I talk with Stephen Allred who's been on an interesting Adventist journey. A graduate of the self-supporting Hartland College, he then got his MDiv from Andrews University and worked on the same pastoral staff as Doug Batchelor. In 2012 he received his JD from the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law and now works on religious liberty cases for the Pacific Union's Church State Council.

In this episode we talk about racism, social justice, and Ellen White, as well as some of the tensions surrounding Adventist displays of patriotism and church/state separation.

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Alexander Carpenter is a board member of Adventist Forum, the organization that publishes Spectrum.

Image credit: SpectrumMagazine.org

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9704
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Great interview with Stephen Allred and thought to make some comments to a great time well spent.
If we had been allowed to view Jesus ascending into the heavens above with His disciples we might have seen draped over His right arm the red, the white and the blue American flag.
“The Lord has done more for the United States than for any other country upon which the sun shines. Here He provided an asylum for His people, where they could worship Him according to the dictates of conscience. Here Christianity has progressed in its purity. The life-giving doctrine of the one Mediator between God and man has been freely taught. God designed that this country should ever remain free for all people to worship Him in accordance with the dictates of conscience. He designed that its civil institutions, in their expansive productions, should represent the freedom of gospel privileges.” EGW
The interview brought up racism and I have been wondering for quite sometime now about slavery in America.
This question comes to mind, would America have been a greater nation had we not imported black people from Africa?
That would have kept America mostly white and racism would have been at a minimum though we Americans of the past had some type of it still in us. Irish and Chinese people experience racism when they migrated to America.
Jesus knew this would have been so, slavery in America and He also knew that they would be treated in so UN-Christian like behavior by those who claim to be Christians.
But in time the African people would eventually “Steal Away.” and find Jesus as their personal Savior.
That is a terrible way to be introduced to Jesus but when we read Biblical history?
Should not African Americans today think on this to have found religion greater than always bringing up past mistreatment?
Look at what Jesus went through for us and He does not hold this against any of us.
I see racism today is more political than fair.
If anyone should want to be a repairer of humanity in our country it should be the Christian African America people. For they know, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not envious or boastful. It does not put on airs. It is not rude. It does not insist on its rights. It does not become angry. It is not resentful. It is not happy over injustice, it is only happy with truth. It will bear anything, believe anything, hope for anything, and endure anything. Love will never die out.” 1 Corinthians 13
Getting ready to celebrate the 4th in just a few days I am reminded on the last sentence in our Constitution that we should take to heart not only as politicians but as Christians.
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
Happy Fourth of July!

one of the points that allred makes that i think is so true is that egw was very attuned to the big social issues of her day…she did talk a lot about the collective responsibility of whites towards blacks, given the history of slavery, even though she wasn’t by any means an advocate for forced integration…i don’t think it’s a stretch to think that she would be in favour of the kind of reparations advocated by not a few of today’s dems…for that matter, i don’t think it’s a stretch to think that she’d be a registered democrat, were she alive today, which is such a disconnect from what today’s conservative adventists tend to assume…the reality is that very little in her writings coincides with today’s GOP, with the exception, perhaps, of abortion…it would be fascinating to read her output could she live in our world for a year’s time…so much has changed, and yet so much is related to what she concerned herself with…

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