The Unheard

Many decry riots as simply a product of unruly people. But Martin Luther King Jr. famously described riots as the language of the unheard. Everyone wants to be heard. When they aren’t, they often do things to make themselves impossible to ignore.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11627
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i wonder who raised the expectations of the audience to interact directly with TW…a GC President cannot be expected to solve problems on a local level, even if all local levels have the same problems…i think our church is starting to grab on to the expectations many Americans feel for their President, that he’s their knight in shining armour every time they experience some type of difficulty…first of all, it’s likely that no-one in the audience actually voted for TW…why do they have the expectation that he’s directly accountable to them…

it’s far better to be assertive and active on the local church level…this is where things have a chance to happen…and when things are happening on a local level, it actually matters little what’s going on, or not, on a world level…

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New churches/religions are formed all the time. That’s how the SDA church happened. The existing churches wouldn’t listen to ‘Advent Believers’, so they listened to themselves. Its always a ‘brave new world’ for those brave enough to start over instead of trying to ‘wag’ a dying dog from a ‘tail’ position.

Should they have listened to them? Weren’t the “Advent Believers” preaching a definite time for Jesus’ return? Perhaps the existing churches were following Scripture which says “no man knows the day nor the hour”.

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As a former (now retired) Chief Operations Officer, I know that change usually does come from the top person. That person sets the tone for the entire organization, and although some changes do happen at the local level, the recognized head person has great influence over organizational direction. Mr. Wilson has much to answer for even though his base seems to think he’s doing a good job at holding to the mark. When Autumn Council was held, he was surprised to learn of the high percentages of disaffected SDA’s - his answer was to get The Seminary/ the GRI / BBC/ NPR (sorry, I know those are wrong, but he did list some real church departments…) working on this! He needs to get out more, without the entourage.

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From my own personal experience I know that Elder Wilson TRIES to “solve” (i.e. interfere) problems at the local level (even specific congregations), when that fits his agenda.

he’ll like try to interfere with LGBT acceptance at Loma Linda, a GC institution, if i’m not mistaken…

The biggest safeguard against that is accreditation. Especially the School of Medicine’s accreditation demands that the there be LGBT respect. From close observation I would say that Ted can do very little micromanaging of the University.

i’m not say he’ll be successful…i’m saying he’ll try…

I’ve said this over and over but I will say it again. There are approximately 25,000,000 Adventists in the world and out of that entire number, the only one who we could find to replace our last president was the son of a previous president? Yes, that is a question and a valid one.

And Yes, I am dissatisfied with TW’s leadership. I am older than he is, but I am far more progressive, and I can see what is happening in North America where the church has stagnated for over 70 years,.
He didn’t start the decline, but he has perpetuated it. And, unless he is removed, this church will continue to look older and older. There are practically no youth sitting in my church on Sabbath morning. He is unwilling to grapple with what is happening. With old men at the helm in every leadership position, we are soon going to look like some of those large cathedrals in Europe that are totally empty on Sunday…yes, I know we worship on Saturday. Its an analogy, OK?

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The institutional church (SDA) has lost its currency. It is no longer relevant. Church leaders are living in a state of 19th century, Victorian, misogynistic, homophobic legalism.

Having said that, the problem for most of us who have chosen to stay and not leave, is that we are living in the delusional world of having expectations that something will change…eventually. But current circumstances do not appear promising.

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I’ve got no quarrel with you. Why are you trying to start one with me ?

You are twisting the intended meaning of my illustration to ‘scratch’ your own preferred ‘itch’, just like the early ‘Advent Believers’ twisted the meaning of prophecies to suit their own preference that Jesus would come in clouds of angels to themselves, on Earth, instead of ‘coming’ first to meet with the Father, in Heaven.

Show me any other established religious group of that time in the early 1800s whose leaders even bothered to tackle that ‘Advent’ prophecy, either before – or especially after – the humiliating ‘Great Disappointment’. Instead they chose to heckle from the sidelines those who chose to stay in the Advent ‘game’, from a position safely outside of that same humiliating ‘game’, but from which they themselves could make no forward progress, either. As is said, ‘No guts’ . . . to risk humiliating failures . . . ‘No glory’.

So, as clearly stated as this uneducated, wasted old toot can say it :

If African American SDAs or any other SDA ‘People of Color’ feel they are not being ‘heard’ by SDA GC leaders, then they have every right and opportunity before Heaven to start their own organized, or disorganized, religion and to do a better job of listening to each other, instead of wasting their precious lives quarreling with or bad-mouthing the organized religion they clearly are NOT pleased with, and which has not changed for the better in at least a over a century. (As I recall, that is similar to what you, yourself, did.)

I, for one, would watch with interest to see if they succeed and finally break the obvious deadlock between ‘Heaven’ and anything SDA-related.

2 quotes from more successful humans than myself :

After innumerable ‘flops’ while attempting to perfect today’s rocket technologies, the rocket pioneer Robert Goddard refused to label them as ‘failures’, instead viewing them as sources of, “Valuable Negative Information”.

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill

So, after years of staying away from Spectrum, I see again that such a policy is still the best one, since apparently it is still fertile soil for growing an increasingly prouder and haughtier closed society of progress-murdering hecklers terrified of their own personal humiliation.

I, for one, gladly ‘dump’ the SDA GC since it has become a stumbling block to any forward progress in its own proud devious ways. But I still choose to stick with the long-humiliated SDA doctrines, which they still refuse to develop beyond a state of ‘Great Disappointment’.

If you want to trash those incomplete doctrines, don’t waste your time doing it in my face. Instead, grab your own ‘tools’ and get to work ‘polishing’ them, instead of heckling me from behind enemy lines !

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I’m not sure I’m even following everything you’re saying. So, I’ll just say thanks for your response.

This is an incredible, though typical, copout and dodging of accountability. You are continuing the shielding of Wilson, and additionally painting a brush broad enough to enable leaders past a certain level to dodge accountability. “Even if all local levels have the same problems”? We are talking about systemic issues in the SDA church, especially in the US, for which a leader absolutely should be held to account.
Also, regarding expectations seeming the same as many Americans feel for their US president, it probably has much to do with how the GC president was at least partially modeled after that? Of course everyone by default wants a knight in shining armor; these are the stories we have always told ourselves, both in and outside of church. But even so, it is absolutely reasonable to question the GC president about systemic and emblematic issues, the same as it’s absolutely reasonable for the CEO of a large company to be questioned about why the office culture at their company enables or allows sexual harassment. It is literally the same principle.

But Wilson seems to have played the same game he always plays: aloof, traditional, evangelical leader.

Finally, it is amazing how so many of Dr. MLK Jr’s words are still so true today. Especially relevant to the topic of SDA attrition of young people, from his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, which was sent to White ministers,

But the judgment of God is upon the church as never before. If today’s church does not recapture the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity, forfeit the loyalty of millions, and be dismissed as an irrelevant social club with no meaning for the twentieth century. Every day I meet young people whose disappointment with the church has turned into outright disgust.

Emphasis mine.

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