Adventist Response to Child Detention & Family Separation

Here are some quotes from the most recent statements released by the Seventh-day Adventist Church regarding the  “zero tolerance” policy that has was approved by the Executive Branch of the United States and implemented by the Department of Justice.

Our role as believers and as citizens is to hold our nation’s leadership accountable to a high moral and ethical standard in the interpretation of our laws…  The same biblical passage that has been abused to justify this policy declares that “love does no harm to a neighbor, therefore love is the fulfillment of the law…   A policy that seeks to accomplish a social and political goal by tearing apart families and harming children is a stain on our national character that will be difficult to erase. Thus, we are compelled to rise up and seek to relieve the suffering of these immigrant children who are languishing in detention centers, torn from their mothers’ arms.  –  taken from the article entitled: “Stop Child Detentions” – A Statement from Pastor Ricardo Graham  President, Pacific Union Conference.   

The Church regards the nurture and protection of children as a sacred trust. – General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Executive Committee on June 23, 2010, in Atlanta, Georgia

We accept our responsibility to… listen and care for those suffering from abuse and family violence, to highlight the injustices, and to speak out in defense of victims. –  General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Administrative Committee (ADCOM) and was released by the Office of the President, Robert S. Folkenberg, at the General Conference session in Utrecht, the Netherlands, June 29-July 8, 1995.

“Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein” (Luke 18:16-17, KJV)… We affirm the right of our government to protect its borders and enforce the law; but it is a moral obligation of this country to protect all who cross our borders.  Romans 13:10 guides us with these words: “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” – Suffer the Little Children …”  An Appeal From the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America.  

“For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.” Deuteronomy 10:17–19 … “Divide the land within these boundaries among the tribes of Israel. Distribute the land as an allotment for yourselves and for the foreigners who have joined you and are raising their families among you. They will be like native-born Israelites to you and will receive an allotment among the tribes. These foreigners are to be given land within the territory of the tribe with whom they now live. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!” Ezekiel 47:21–23  … God calls His people to take an active part in not only welcoming in the foreigner or stranger that is within our gates, but also to make provision for them—treating them as if they are members of our own families…  “When the laws of men conflict with the word and law of God, we are to obey the latter, whatever the consequences may be.” Testimonies for the Church, Chapter 37 (201.2).  – Statement on Child Detention & Family Separation, Michael T. Nixon, vice president for Diversity & Inclusion.

If you’d like to read more about those who are working to support and aid these immigrant families, you can find out more here.

 

Conservative While Revolutionary

Excerpts taken from George R. Knight’s articles, “The Social Function of Adventist Education” *

Genesis 18: 19 – “For I have chosen him, so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the Lord by doing righteousness and justice, so that the Lord may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.” – From <https://biblia.com/books/nasb95/Ge18.19>

Abraham was chosen because God saw that he would be faithful in teaching his household.

Matthew 28: 19-20 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – From <https://biblia.com/books/nasb95/Mt28.19>

Jesus’s parting words were “teach all nations”

The future of any society will be shaped by its current youth. And the direction they will take that society will to a large extent be determined by their education. Thus, the control of educational institutions and the content to be taught in those institutions has been a perennial social issue.

To shape educational policy is to guard the path that leads from the present to the future . . . . – George S. Counts

God’s ideal for Seventh-day Adventist education reflects both a conservative social function and a revolutionary one. It is to be conservative in the sense that it seeks to transmit the unchanging truths of the Bible across time, but it is to be revolutionary as a change agent of a righteous God in a sinful world.

In harmony with the Bible, Adventist education will develop Christians who can relate well to others in this world. But even more important, Adventist schools will educate students for citizenship in the kingdom of heaven.

*This article originally appeared as a chapter in George R. Knight’s most recent publication Educating for Eternity: A Seventh-day Adventist Philosophy of Education (Berrien Springs, Mich.: Andrews University Press, 2016). Reprinted by permission of the publisher. See also the review of the book in the Book Review section. – From <https://dialogue.adventist.org/2325/the-social-function-of-adventist-education>

 

Not by Power…

The bible tells the story of Caleb, Joshua’s brother, after they had traveled for 40 years in the wilderness and arrived again at the edge of the promise land. Caleb had these words to say, “And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming – Joshua 14:10,11. Caleb could not attribute his strength, health and longevity to genes or healthy eating, or great doctors, but because he was willing to be about God’s work.  In fact, right after he said these words he asked for the toughest land to conquer knowing that God would give him the victory.  In your life are you moving forward by faith and in the power of the Lord?

Noteworthy: 2018 – Week 6

Teens and Social Media

We would never let a young child simply turn on a stovetop and begin playing with it, nor would we hand a 14-year-old the keys to a truck and expect them to have the knowledge, skill and good judgment to handle it. Likewise, we should not hand kids a smart phone or other connected device without first proactively shaping how they think about and interact with this new technology.

Five steps on what a parent can do to provide the knowledge, skill and good judgment to handle social media:

  1. To start, talk with them about the biblical principle of stewardship. (Psalm 24:1)
  2. Then, to keep the conversation going, develop a working knowledge and understanding of social media.
  3. Use that knowledge to monitor and limit their activities online.
  4. Teach safety skills online.
  5. And finally, teach them personal responsibility and godly fidelity in whatever they do. (Colossians 3:23-24)

click for – Full Article


What factors keep members coming back to their congregations week after week.

Results from seven Divisions (three African Divisions, South Asia-Pacific, South Pacific, South American, and Inter-American Divisions) show that the church doctrines were the top factor that influenced members’ decision as to where to attend, these doctrines are the top factor (54%) that influenced regular attendance.

http://www.adventistresearch.org/sites/default/files/Remain%20Graph.png

In the North American Division, the three top factors that attracted members to attend their congregations were:

  • The presentation of church doctrines (41%)
  • Friends (40%)
  • Worship style (35%).

Once again, it is important to note that the main reason that respondents come to (and keep coming back) to Adventist churches is because of strong doctrines; the things that make us distinctly “Adventist,” make us different than other churches – and in this case, that’s a good thing! Our fundamental beliefs are all ultimately different ways of helping people to see Jesus Christ. They need to be integrated into sermons and Sabbath school lessons, but more is needed. Church members should be taught how to apply these beliefs to their lifestyle and personal relationship with Jesus.  Full Article.


Modesty

In our time, it’s more urgent than ever to rebut those who deny that truth is knowable. The intellectual left has long been under the sway of postmodernism, which denies that objective truth exists. Oprah Winfrey reflected this thinking (intellectual trends never remain cabined on campuses; they trickle down) when she spoke of “your truth” at the Golden Globes. In other words, you have your truth and I have mine, which means truth doesn’t exist. The populist right is feverishly denouncing all uncongenial facts as “fake news.”

Truth is not subjective. Water will freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit whether we believe it or not.  – Full Article.


Seventh-day Adventist develops and releases a “meditation app for LGBTQ Christians, their friends, family and allies.” Full Article.


 

Educational Apostasy

As the moral shift in America continues to slide further from its Christian foundations, many are finding, to late, that one of the primary culprits is that of our educational institutions.  And yet what some have only recently become aware, others warned of this very tend many years ago.

 

In an article entitled “Educational Apostasy” William W. Prescott – a foundational educator and administrator of the Seventh-day Adventist Church – shared in 1901 that, “When the full fruitage of this teaching – the repudiation of the basic principles of Protestantism and republicanism [aka popular sovereignty] –  appears, there will be a condition which few now anticipate —[he continues to explain the ultimate result of what he identifies as “this teaching”] a revival of papal and monarchical follies [something akin to the experience of the people in the dark ages] .” He shared only four criteria for this to occur –

 

(1) devaluing of Scripture,

 

(2) the uplifting of a standard shaped by public opinion rather than the law of God,

 

(3) the nullification of societal benefits toward the institution of marriage and approval of free love,

 

(4) and the equality of all men identified as inherently absurd.

 

And his solution to the problem was in his words, “A system of education is demanded which shall build up faith in revealed truth, and which shall make moral character its highest aim.”

 

Revelations 18: 5 – “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues;  for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

 

Today we need teachers, professors, academics, administrators, staff, and any others who will answer the call to maintain the integrity of the divine standard of morals, and who recognize the God-given rights of men.  Only then can the upcoming generation be rescued from the on rushing tide of apostasy, and be prepared for their part in the final events of Earth’s history.