Adventists and Causes
Chris Blake wrote a good and interesting article about social justice in his article, “Adventists in Freedom Park
” (Apr. 20, 2006). He wrote: “Working for justice, peace, and dignity (by fighting oppression, poverty, and corruption) is a spiritual discipline just as much as prayer and fasting.”
The inequity, injustice, and violation of human rights is indeed staggering in this sinful world. The question becomes, as we try to dig ourselves out of a pit of guilt induced by the well intentioned author of this article, what portion of our time, means, and effort do we spend (individually and corporately) in the pursuit of these noble goals? The gracious attention of the Savior to the needs all around Him seemed not to include placards, a-frame signs, protest marches, causes, projects (Habitat for Humanity), etc. This was so even in the midst of slavery, the demeaning of women’s rights, and the injustices of the Roman government.
Ellen G. White, referring to the Salvation Army, wrote: “This is not the work that the Lord has given us to do” (Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 185). It seems that our work as a special people with a special message has quite clear parameters for us to focus upon.
Thank the Lord for the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), Adventist Community Services (ACS), Dorcas societies, church builders, Maranatha, and all the other help that is administered by dedicated members of the Seventh-day Adventist community.
I wish Chris Blake had elaborated on his own efforts in this area, and how he felt that the denomination should respond in these areas of social concern. This might have helped us to better relate to his well-written concerns.
Philip W. Dunham
Yes, we Adventist Christians sometimes become overly parochial and invested in our own frame of reference, and I appreciate Chris Blake's efforts to shake that frame.
However, in the article, “Adventists in Freedom Park,” he writes: “Global issues have morphed to personal issues. How a pharmaceutical factory is treated in Muslim Sudan affects how a Christian mother is treated as she flies in a plane over Pennsylvania.”
Blake seems to imply, and not too subtly, that the Clinton Administration’s mistaken bombing of a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory (in the belief that chemical weapons were being manufactured there) somehow justifies the brutal hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001. In other words, if only “we” would not engage in such provocations, “they” would not retaliate in kind.
I hope this is not what Blake meant.
Thank you for the cover feature, “Adventists in Freedom Park.” I appreciated Chris Blake’s thoughts very much, including the section, “Adventist Freedom Park,” and the areas of concern that included organizations dedicated to working for those concerns in the sidebar “In a World of Hurt.” I find much that is inspiring in the Review.
Peru, New York
Regarding, “A Walk to Remember
” (Apr. 20, 2006): Joelle Chase did well! How can a mature adult not shed a tear reading this touching story?
Some bizarre Adventist thinking caught my attention in the April 27 Review
First, in his editorial, “Wise Dogs
,” Roy Adams bemoans that his life is too busy to immerse himself in the Bible, which is “the most important stuff of all.” But Paul tells us that it is in Christ that we “live, and move, and have our being” Certainly being aware of our immersion in Christ’s presence and experiencing the joy and sorrow of everyday life with Him is more important than Bible study.
Then in “Adventist Life” section of Give & Take a woman prays not to run out of gas on Sabbath. How is it right for her to pray for God to put gas in her tank, but it isn’t right for her to go to the gas station and do it herself? It is presumptuous to needlessly put herself in a dangerous situation. How can God be expected to answer such a prayer?
Why the Silence?
I am concerned that the Seventh-day Adventist church (as far as I know) has not addressed or become involved in the immigration issue that has captured the attention of American media and those of us around the world.
Immigrants play a major part in the church, its administration, its finances (tithes and offering) its spirituality, it education (many immigrants make sacrifice to send their kids to Adventist schools).etc
It would be encouraging to see our church making its voice heard on behalf of the many valuable members who are in this situation.
God’s Plans and Ferraris
Regarding “God's Plan and My Ferrari
” (Apr. 13, 2006): I really enjoyed the vivid details about the cars, lights, and speed. The 550 Ferrari Maranello is my favorite. I liked how the author used the car to illustrate how God wants our lives to be. It inspired me to remember that God created us, and He has a plan for us all. The “icing” in life isn’t as important as God is. Thank you for this article.
Green Bay, Wisconsin
It’s true that it’s hard for people to surrender their dreams and let God take control of their lives. That’s probably why some people don’t give their lives to Christ. It may also explain why surrendering to God is so hard.
I like how the article was based on cars, because so many young people my age are interested in them.
Captivated By Love
I enjoyed the article, “Scandalous Love
” (Feb. 9, 2006). It really caught my eye.
God is so wonderful, how He always helps us through everything we get ourselves into. Just like the prodigal family, where the son was selfish and wanted the money from his dad right then and there. Since his father wanted to make his son happy, he gave HIM the money. The son went off and spent it all on partying with so-called friends. But the moment he started to lose it all, his friends left him.
But the father took him back as his son, and treated him as if the whole situation with the money had never happened. It used to be one of my favorite stories, and it still is. Jesus wanted to let people know that we shouldn’t feel left out because we are prodigals.
Green Bay, Wisconsin