White Adventist America End Your Silence

It is time for white Adventists in America to speak out. Continued silence in the face of avalanching injustice is complicity. It is violence. It is death. The time for being silent has passed.

We must speak. We must say clearly, loudly and insistently that Black Lives Matter. The time for being silent has passed.

We must protest state violence against black citizens. We must speak out against racist policing that results in needless deaths. We must stand with grieving, weeping, screaming families. The time for being silent has passed.

A voice is heard in Ramah; Rachel is weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they are no more. The time for being silent has passed.

How many of her children must be slain before her weeping is heard? How many black bodies must be buried before we admit our sin of silence? It is unpardonable. We must speak. We must act. The time for being silent has passed.

We must let the echoes of their voices reverberate deep within our souls:

“I can’t breathe.” “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting.” “I want to go home.” “It's okay mommy. It's okay, I'm right here with you.”

Until the White Seventh-day Adventist Church has the moral fortitude to confess its complicity in the systemic murdering of black Americans, and until the Church repents of its sin, there is only condemnation; there is no absolution. The time for being silent has passed.

Our message must be clear: We condemn the unjust killing of black Americans. We condemn police violence. We condemn racism in all of its manifestations. I stand with my black sister. I stand with my black brother. (S)he must become greater; I must become less. The time for being silent has passed.

Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter.

Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7546

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

It’s about high time that our “brothers and sisters” from the majority who share our beliefs in prophecy and last day events also share my belief that I don’t deserve to be shot in the head like a dog at a random traffic stop. It does my heart good to hear someone of influence in the SDA church taking an opportunity, not to count my tithe dollar or decry the existence of the regional conference to which I belong, but rather to simply say “We worship and fellowship and will one day go to heaven with people who look like Gamal Alexander. Stop killing him”. Bravo!

Once again Spectrum, thank you.


Thank you, Jared. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. Our silence has existed for too long. The time isn’t just passed, but never should have been. Jesus was never silent when it came to social injustice. I never understood our heads-in-the-sand behavior. Then again, maybe I do understand it. I just wish it weren’t so. As a Black woman, I’ve seen stuff, experienced stuff. I want to get to heaven. Sometimes, our apathy makes me wonder if all of us want to be there … living together in the same neighborhood!


Why is it that I only silent white Adventists are Considered complicit. Any Adventist who sits on the sidelines while this goes on is equally guilty, be they black, white, purple or blue. What are black Adventists as a group (since white Adventists are being called out as a group) doing about this problem? Nothing. So why should white Adventists alone be called to action. Some black people who are Adventist have gotten involved and exprssed outrage just like I’m sure some white people who are adventist have gotten involved and expressed outrage. But black Adventists as a unified group has done nothing (that I’m aware of) so white Adventists as a group should not be condemned for being equally inactive. And for the record I am a black Adventist.


I am on vacation and I have not watched the news so when I got back to my cabin on the ship I had to go to Google News to see what innocent black person had been shot this time. I was not just embarrassed but disgusted to find not one story but two different shooting, one in Louisiana, not exactly the bastion of tolerance, while the other is, of all places, Minnesota, not exactly a red-necked, sheet hooded state. I guess this demonstrates the closeted racism that seems to be lurking under the surface in many of us. I wonder how man Adventists are secretly racists but won’t admit it publically because they are embarrassed by their own prejudices?

I was horrified to read some of what Sr. White wrote in her early writings about minority origins, although she was a very major supporter of the abolitionist movement. Once again, the church has a long way to go.

Gun restrictions will not resolve these killings. These killings are being carried out by people who are paid to carry guns. Even increased training procedures will not satisfy this problem. The call for increasing racial profiling by Mr. Trump is certainly not helping. It, very well, could be that these mindless comments he has been making, with never and apology, are giving people license to react at the slightest increase of their heartrate? He has certainly stirred up the level of fear.

It has to stop. It’s sinful to be an Adventist and remain silent.


Prophets didn’t have “solutions,” or easy formulas for a better world. They just said STOP, or DO JUSTICE.

I’m not certain of what the writer is contending for, but the words “Please, let Adventists tell it these are a sign of the times and must happen before Jesus comes” do bring to mind a conventional self-deception among us.

It is the “deterministic” view of the future: things are bound to stay bad or get worse. Not one jot or tittle of holy writ supports this conveniently downbeat view. The Bible announces the arrival of the Kingdom, then predicts difficulty ahead. But such fearful hearts as bury their money instead of investing it (in the here and now) are, in Matthew 24, pronounced “wicked.”

Like every white American male, I feel my emotions knotting up whenever someone suggests my blameworthiness. But it’s time to get over this: we have a responsibility to say Black Lives Matter when white lives seem, on the whole, to be a lot more secure.



I do not think it is appropriate to get involved with the this issue… The issue of the “progressive thinkers”… This issue is a distraction to the three angels message… Do the writers of this article and comments really want to derail the message of the church in times like these??? Notice… only black lives matter… what about white lives? Yellow, red, ones too… Is this discrimination at its finest hour? When white lives are cut short by black cops, do the “progressive thinkers” or writers get just as vehement in their attitudes or are they victims of the media influencing them to focus on only a particular color of skin… Yes white lives have been snuffed out by black cops in the recent past… but unless you are following what any cop shootings have taken place …the media ignores this and wants you to only look at black color…


What is the greatest commandment? This question was asked of Jesus long ago. We know what Jesus answer was then and the answer remains the same. First - love God. Second - love your neighbor as you love yourself. Implied 3rd - love yourself.

That is what should drive this conversation and exchange for followers of Christ. Are we actively engaging in loving our neighbors? Are we making sure they know love, feel love, believe in our love. Not an ethereal and abstract love. A love actionable and concrete.

Silence is not actionable, but it is an action. Silence is not love. Silence and solemnity only leave room for interpretation and dissonance. Let’s make our message and love clear. We love all Creatures of our God and King. We value their lives and will actively engage in protecting and advocating for their lives. Why? Because we were commanded to do so. God established human rights long before the United States. Love your neighbor as yourself. We may not always agree with one another, however we are always called to love one another.

If love seems an abstract thought for anyone reading this, please not; “for God so loved the world he GAVE his only Son.” Until we have model God’s blueprint daily of what love is and does, we have not yet met the command on our lives. Speak up for love. Speak up for justice. Speak up for life. The three Angels will hear you and God will too.

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I grew up Adventist, but chose to leave the denomination quite some time ago (full disclosure here). Since I come from an Adventist family, I have remained somewhat involved, but not intimately lnvolved. In those years I’ve had cause to mull over Adventist culture. My opinions and questions are obviously my own–I present them for whatever they’re worth:

First, Adventism as I knew it was culturally and doctrinally exclusivist–we were not only not supposed to marry non-Adventists–we weren’t even supposed to have non-Adventists for close friends. All activities had to be arranged around our Adventist beliefs. We were taught that the Adventists had “God’s last word for these end times.” Adventists were the best–not just anybody got to join. You had to prove yourself. And you had to keep on proving yourself. Those who didn’t (take, for example, those who divorced and remarried before their partners did, thus engaging in “adultery.” They got disfellowshipped. As I remember it, this was the worst thing ever, because one people had been told about Adventism they HAD to join, or risk hell for not “living up to the light they knew.” As I knew it, Adventism was all about exclusion, and seeing to it that it didn’t happen to you.

While I hope that things have changed a bit in the years since I was a church member, I have to admit that expecting Adventists, who as I knew them were very comfortable with ranking and including or excluding people based on their ranks to understand the nuances of not just white hoods but institutionalized racism and that deep racism of the gut–that instant response that even those of us who are horrified to read of these killings–can experience. I had to face up to that myself this last year. I am a vocal supporter of Black Lives Matter. I absolutely believe in instutionalized racism–and I found myself dancing around the issue recently in a class, trying not to offend my students of color in a discussion that was all about something many of them face every day.

There is a racism that doesn’t use a white hood–but still sees people in terms of “us” versus “them”–how can “we” talk to “them” about something so deeply ingrained in our world that “we”–even the most enlightened of “us”–can have a hard time seeing it? I think it’s here where we are failing–and that means Adventists and non-Adventists–every person who cares enough to engage in the conversation but balks at the idea of activism. Adventist culture makes an “us” versus “them” world easy and comfortable–much of the philosophy is built around that very thing. Are you the Remnant? Am I? Are they?

So here’s the challenge–how do we break down those barriers, and find common ground? How do we engage in conversations with others of all hues about something in our world that benefits the paler of us, and disadvantages the more melanin-enriched? How do we learn to see that this is far more than just ensuring the right to vote–it’s about how we stand before the law, how we define beauty, even how we talk about good and evil? (Sins are “black;” purity is “white.”) White is good; black evil.

These things cut deep–through the very heart of who we are, and how we see not just other people, but our worlds. This is a hard, hard conversation–but perhaps the first step is learning to see ourselves in the faces of those who suffer under the injustice of not just a legal system but a whole culture built on values, traditions, and language that victimize them.

Sorry this is so long, but perhaps a place to start is where I started. Check out the Black Lives Matter website. Read their platform. Check your gut reactions at the door and ask yourself, “Is there merit to this statement?” Do some quick googling. Read some of the statistics. Then ask yourself, “Do these writers have a point?”


Jared’s resounding, clarion call to moral activism is both pragmatic and Biblical(see Numbers Chap. 12) See what God thought about Moses’ interracial marriage. Pragmatically the SDA does not seem to be on a growth path in “White” America. In 2015 someone I knowe told me that during a visit to Dr Andreason’s office the President said that white youth were not flocking to the church in numbers which encouraged optimism as to increase in membership for the future. In fact on one Sabbath only three(3) people turned out for Sabbath School service in a certain church(unnamed). The HEADQUARTERS of SDA will always be in North America, but after that said one cannot be optimistic . The majority white SDA’s in America seem to have internalized images of Africa as a ne’er do well land of savages. This is not what history tells us. In the Egyptian Museum for ancient artifacts objects recovered from tombs which were once once thought to have been models of birds were re-examined and found to be models of aeronautically viable supersonic aircraft. Perhaps thousands of years old. The Pyramids themselves gave even Hitler pause when his racial propagandists could not come up with a “proper” racist argument as to how they were located in Africa. We also know from history that the Priests of the Mystery System trained neophytes who after passing their tests in the Great Pyramid were required to travel to the Sirius B system to do finals in the magnificent ALL DIAMOND cathedral there. Elizabeth Haich gives an astounding narrative in her book INITIATION. Moses , resuued from the Nile was schooled in this system but African scholars say he dropped out halfway(at the level of Hierogrammat ) when called by God to lead the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. As a matter of fact why are modern Jews named Isrzaelis? seems a holdover from Egypt to me . Is this a compound word made from ISIS(Egyptian deity)RA(sun god) and EL (general term for God??? America has adopted many African symbols . See the Great Seal and the One dollar Bill featuring the “eye of Horus” and a Pyramid plus a bald eagle representing the original African RAPTOR. ALL the major Athenian Philosophers Socrates, Pythagoras who learned the the theorem of the square of the hypotenuse in the Mystery Schools so on attended and even had to undergo adult circumcision to be admitted. Jared is an insightful man. He knows ALL of humanity have made their contribution to the betterment of the species. I say BRAVO to his shout out!!!

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Well said, Jared. In order to end the silence, we have to dismantle the things that create and sustain it. White Adventists: it’s time that we educate ourselves. America doesn’t have a race problem, it has a white problem. This is our issue. We created it, and yet we have never owned it. In fact, most of us can’t even see it, and that is why it’s so powerful. We can see a black man being shot or choked to death on YouTube, but we can’t see how our being “white” contributes to that. We can be angry about gross injustices and even agree that the killing must stop, but very few of us can speak in any meaningful way about the systemic issues that have to be addressed–even in our churches–before progress can be made. We’d rather leave it to our black brothers and sisters to raise the issue of racism each February, so we can be indignant one more time about being blamed for something we didn’t do. And yet, we may say and do things every day that keep the systems of white supremacy alive. Why should the black community have to bear the burden for for our issue?.White people must break their silence. But we must not only speak up for black lives, as highly important as that is. We must also speak up about our white lives, in truthful ways that unmask the denial and the falsehoods that have propped up our privileged existence all these years. For whites truly interested in learning more about white identity and white racial dynamics, I would suggest starting with something like Robin DiAngelo’s work. You can view a 20-minute talk by DiAngelo below.Or read this piece by Hannah Adair Bonner, “From White Guilt to White Responsibility.”.

I just saw this posted on-line. It’s a video clip of a former professor of mine at Southern, Donn Leatherman. It’s one of the most helpful explanations of “white privilege” I’ve heard and the illustration of it he gives from a personal experience of it with the police couldn’t be more timely or striking.


I am a white physician. I have spent my entire professional life treating and caring for ALL people who have needed my care as a surgeon/orthopedic surgeon. Many of these years were spent in the Medstar Trauma Center in downtown Washington DC along with several County Trauma Centers in S. Ca.
I would emphasize that ALL LIVES MATTER!!!
What we are seeing currently is “hatred, rage, and downright evil” being manifested in society because of a loss of this country’s “moral compass” due to our loss of an accurate “picture of God” and the breakdown of family, loss of respect for others that is leading to “chaos”.
I lived through the 60’s and the racial tensions are worse today than even then.
As the “picture of God” fades in our hearts and daily lives something “sinister” manifests itself that is “evil”!!
That is how it was in Bible times and it is repeating itself again today!!
Friends this is much bigger than “racism”!! It is Satan’s plan to obliterate a “picture of a loving and caring God that we are supposed to be sharing with the world, also known as the Gospel or Good News”!!
May we as a “church” and as individuals share that “picture of God” and exemplify that in our daily dealings with ALL PEOPLE we touch in this life.
God is LOVE!! Are we a people sharing that LOVE with our fellow “brothers and sisters” in a way that brings healing ??
Elitism and racism have no place in our mission to share that picture of God to the world in desperate need of that message!!
May we as God’s ambassadors bring comfort to those families in such need tonight!!


What these police officers are doing(extra judicial killing) is not one bit different than what the US government is doing with their drone strikes or what was done to Bin Laden.

The USA was founded in the blood of innocents and continues its course.

The actions of the police reflect the values of the culture of the USA no amount of crocodile tears will change it


I listened to a bit of the President’s speech last eve, on the way home from work. it was really divisive, as is this article.

  1. White again black killing is a pittance compared to what blacks do to blacks. Didn’t Jesus say something about addressing a log in your own eye…? The President seems to constantly overlook this fact, but speaks out when there is a video or some other action that he can use politically to encourage division. He has not leaned to stand back and wait for the final verdict before jumping to some racist conclusion. He has gotten egg on his face more than once for such foolishness.

  2. We do not have all the facts on the latest two cases. Remember Ferguson? That police officer was completely exonerated!!! The “Hands up, don’t shoot” mantra was a fantasy!! Remember Zimmerman? Trayvon Martin WAS a thug! Glorifying such individuals only hurts the black cause. So the leaping to a racist conclusion (like the President does) in these two cases can only lead to a further discrediting of the cause for black justice.

  3. Do Black Lives Matter ? I think so. But I take pause when I see that blacks are the ones who overwhelmingly choose to use violence against one another. How am I to take this movement seriously when it seems I value them more than they do themselves?

And white Adventist Complicity? What a joke. I spent 8 years serving Africans in Africa, not even the rather well off Black African Americans here, and now I am complicit? This church has sent hundreds nay thousands to other lands whose people are much less fortunate than African-Americans here in this rich country. In fact those people long for the opportunity that blacks have here.

Is there injustice here? Yes (but it is better here than anywhere else). However, until blacks start addressing their own problems rather than blaming it all on the whites, there will be little progress, and only more division.

One more thing, this church, last I checked, is predominantly made up of people of color. And the last GC, they made their will known, much to the chagrin of more liberal whites. And there were even complaints here about them. Has the “white Adventist church” given power to those of color? Hmm. I think so.

I don’t think the white Adventist Church has to apologize for anything.

I want to answer some of the comments to my post:

Kamanita. I know of some of the problems that blacks in America have, as I have apartment buildings in black communities. I live near Gary IN, and South Chicago. These are troubled places, but even blacks are trying to leave them because of their poor governance. I know more about the situations than you think. My beef is that BLM and the President almost exclusively speak to whites about their problems and racism. Whites almost kill no blacks. It is like 5% or less, and yet that is touted as the big problem, when it is just a small problem. You have said blacks have made great strides. I think you are right. BLM and the President seem to hold to another view.

Kim: Adventists and the Regional Conferences: Adventists have already apologized for the regional conferences, but blacks do not want to get rid of them. Hard to feel bad for something the others cling to. I was at the recent Lake Union Constituency Meeting, and guess where the largest group came from? The Lake Regional Conference. My conference (Indiana) was the smallest, and even it had black members. So, again I don’t think there is much to apologize for.

Childofhim: Blacks addressing their own problems: Fathers need to take responsibility for their children. 75% are out of wedlock births. Until that is changed, poverty will continue. The President is an example here. My black tenants have shown me some things. Many work hard, and have to overcome the strikes that are against blacks. They live more violent lives. Those that choose to marry gain great advantage, as there is a stability that ensues. As with anyone, if you take responsibility for yourself, in spite of hindrances, you can almost always succeed in some way.

And I want to tell you that among whites, it is who you know as well. Poor whites have the same disadvantages as poor backs when it comes to influence.


Well stated, Allen. The truth is not popular. Your post may not survive long, given the recent history of deletions and banishment.

All lives matter, but that is, apparently, a racist sentiment. It appears that Spectrum has bought into the whole social justice philosophy, and whites are apparently guilty because they were born white. I heard about a school in Manhattan that teaches that whites are born racist. They also segregate classes into white and non-white (I thought Blacks fought against that in the 60’s). They must know something about genetics that not even trained geneticists know.

The world has gone crazy.

Protestant? This is a problem? White? Whites are a minority in the SDA Church.

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Dead is dead and very sad no matter what color you are! If we had compassion we would understand how things are askew in this country and work to make a difference and be an example. The only way to rise above our prejudice is to study and learn everything we can about the type of love that Jesus modeled and try to practice it. Inborn and taught beliefs are hard to change but we must try! Thank you Jared for being compassionate and calling us out to show more empathy toward each other no matter what color, religion, gender, etc. we are!

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To hear you state it Jared, you’d think this was the 1960’s not 2016. I detest racism and as a white America condemn it as much as much as you do. White Adventists have not been silent, so I think you are going overboard with your “sin of silence” statement. The radical “Black Lives Matter” movement has demonstrated that they use methods and tactics no better than white supremicists.

Look what happened in Dallas at the senseless murdering of several police officers. Our country is rapidly descending into anarchy. The angels holding back the winds of strife are soon to release their grip. The worst is yet to come. Jesus must return soon or our world will self destruct.


I came on this thread specifically to reply to this comment. it is frustrating and annoying when comments like this are posted. It’s even worse when they are posted by people who claim to have lived and worked with minorities.

Social construct is such that people are mostly victims of crime within their communities. So of course the most crime committed against people of color will be committed by other people of color. It is the same in the white community, the Latino community, the Asian communities. The majority of crimes committed by people within these communities is committed by those from these communities.

However this is where this post takes a turn that is dangerously prejudiced.

  1. To imply that some how, being a member of the African diaspora automatically results in creating a crime ridden community is completely erroneous. The average black person walking the street is not a criminal

  2. To state that black people are ‘not helping themselves’ is to ignore the tremendous efforts which have propelled the black community forward in this country. At this point in time black women comprise the largest rising demographic of college educated students. The number of black men in college is more that twice that of those incarcerated. Black people have advanced in terms of entrepreneurship and black businesses are Flourishing. Teen pregnancy is on a steady decline…

  3. To make a choice to pit issues against each other is cowardly. It is okay for me to acknowledge the work that remains to be done in certain black communities and to be angry when innocent black people are killed for no reason. These two issues are not mutually exclusive.

  4. And this is most concerning to me - while people of the African diaspora have made major strides in the US to come from slavery and Jim Crow, as well as horrible and unfounded stereotypes of increased drug use or ‘inherent violence’ or lower intelligence… It seems that people who think like you have not kept up with these changes. For you, black communities remain what society created decades ago. Your image of a black person or a black community does not reflect the current reality. It is exactly this type of thinking that causes innocent people to be shot. It is precisely this perception that all or even most black men are walking around looking for opportunities to be violent or commit crime, that leads to the loss of black men from their families, their communities and their valid contributions to society. There are over 18 million black men in the US. Would you really want to see the country if your stereotypes were true? No! The vast majority of black men are living their lives peacefully, working, and seeing to their families.

As black communities continue to advance, more innocent people will die if the perceptions held by you and others like you do not grow and change. That metamorphosis must happen and the white Adventist church member, as part of a bible-believing community, should be compelled to be at the forefront of this change.

You Allen should be compelled to challenge your own perceptions every time this sort of horrific incident happens. That is the only way change will come.


Ironically, if the quick to comment on political issues Dan Jackson heeds the advice of the author now, it would place white Adventists in solidarity with the Dallas cop killers.

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