Reading and re-reading this article multiple times has frightened me. It seems that when a leadership does not know how to proceed they appear to do nothing. Government leaders, business leaders as well as church leadership (from local church through highest levels of church leadership) “table” the issue until and unless there appears to be no other option, then they “try to fix it” or keep their “head in the sand attitude”.
Roosevelt and Churchill entered WW2 because of “attacks”. Church leaderships try to “turn the other cheek” or “keep their head in the sand” or worse still, use underhanded tactics by compromising their beliefs.
Let me posit that it is because the leaders of churches have not had enough conflict resolution training to make them comfortable taking a stand. In governmental issues taking a stand could result in severe repercussions but are we not told by God to stand firm? Render to Caesar does not mean being a doormat but give tax where due.
Noah did not question God as to any other way to “save only 8 people” and keep the earth from a flood and possibly he became a victim of survivors guilt. Abraham initiated conversations with God and attempted bargaining with God. By asking God for an explanation he was given a better understanding of why the city of Nineveh would be destroyed. God did not create robots but thinking humans who must take the initiative while maintaining their direct communication with God for guidance.
George, I am shocked to see the number of Adventists, mostly Caucasian Adventists in the US, who support king DJT. One even said, “We just plug our nose and vote for him.” Another drove 4 hours to attend one of his MAGA rallies. Seems many have embraced “the ends justify the means” concept.
yes, it is indeed shocking to see Christians supporting an individual so corrupt and so morally depraved as Donald Trump. After all the testimonies given to Congress in the past few weeks we can now see what was actually happening for so long. Russia (Putin) taking over the US with full support from the US President. And now trying to blame Ukraine for what Russia did? Outrageous.
It is all so obvious, isn’t it? But for some reason that so far I could not yet figure it out, there are still so many people supporting this absurdity. Nixon and Clinton, yes they did wrong no doubt about it, but their wrong is nothing when compared to what Donald Trump is doing. Our National Security is totally compromised. Just seeing Trump so subservient to Putin makes me shake. Putin is way more intelligent and savvier than Trump. We better start learning Russian…
We need MADA desperately: Making America Decent Again
Matthew, thank you for such a thoughtful (and troubling) subject.
Some have suggested in the comments that it is the same today with the current political structure (and you could say the same in places like Hungary, Italy, China, etc.). I don’t think that is the case though.
It is difficult for an organization that has to operate in a nationalistic world to balance the needs of it’s congregations versus the demands of the nation/state. It is easy for us; removed by time and geography to condemn those who supported and sometimes participated in these atrocities. I would suggest a better comparison or question is to ask about non-SDA’s in those situations. Why would decent, Germans allow themselves to become Nazi’s who supported the genocide of a race? Or white South African to stand by during apartheid? Or any Hutu who would kill his or her neighbor?
I don’t say that to in any way condone those horrific crimes. Or to absolve Adventists who did not treat their fellow man as Christ exhorts us to do so. But simply to try and understand what would drive groups of people to abandon their humanity.
This has great import for those of us today, SDA and not. Because the world is becoming increasingly polarized between “us” and “them” in a way where “them” become painted as something less than human. The endpoint of that is always the attempt to wipe out the “them”.
The greatest example is Jesus dying - not for us, but for “them”. For those we hate and fear.
For starters comparing the non-SDA’s in those situations with Germans who allowed themselves to become Nazi supporters vs SDA’s who chose to engage in the same actions and who should have known better is an unfair assessment. It is one thing to not know or believe that your actions are correct because that is what you have been taught. It is another to know that your actions are wrong but you are going to carry it out anyway either to be accepted or to gain favor despite the facts to the contrary. 1 Cor. 13:11 tells us " When I was a child, I spoke as a child , I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things". There is a moral, spiritual, psychological and emotional obligation to others once we come to know Jesus. There is no room for excuses of any kind to deviate from those standards unless our commitment is not in the relationship with our Savior. No, Adventists who claim to be the remnant, chosen people of God do not get a pass on this one.
I don’t wish to tear down a church if it’s foundation is built in Christ; but I have to ask: the gospel tells that whether a church is grounded in truth rests on the fruits of it’s prophesy.
If thereby a church produces evil, does this not show that it was a house built upon a foundation of sand?
I think a church rests on the foundation of the individuals who make up it’s community. The apostle Paul exhorted the Corinthians to cast out it’s false prophets. As such, the Adventist Church must there too these teachings where it is prudent, lest the whole be made lost.
This is exactly what I think if when I see how politics often play a role in certain elections of Church officials, e.g., GC President. And worse, the supposed “praying” asking for the Holy Spirit’s guidance in choosing who they already chose prior.
I am also thankful for,
Spectrum and all Spectrumites
Adventist Today and @lorenseibold
LSU Church and its pastoral team
Not living in Russia
Not falling for Trump’s demagoguery
Not supporting Kim Jong-un or King Don-Trump…
Biden being a presidential candidate
Not being a discriminator of women
Manafort being in jail and Roger Stone making it as well soon…
The whistle blower, oh yes!!!
Those who support clean air, etc (Paris Climate Agreement)
All those who do not vote Republican
Ukraine fighting the Russians
Trump’s lies and crimes being exposed consistently in the news
Mexico not paying for the wall…