1. Always speak the truth in love. Truth welcomes fearless examination. Love is the one motivation that matters, the only legacy that lasts. While truth is precious nobody is helped by honesty that is brutal.
2. Prioritize your pursuits. If you answer every call you’ll be like a stray dog at a whistlers’ convention. Don’t try to change the world. Change your world. Then witness the ripples widening.
“I don’t care about the 28 fundamentals,” my young adult close friend confided, “as much as I care about how my church treats people.”
Adventist Fundamental Beliefs often appear like the apparition of Jacob Marley, rattling chains and wagging a bony finger. Our beliefs ought to be more like Jesus of Nazareth, arms wide open in a meadow filled with waving sunflowers, beckoning our embrace. At their core, Adventist beliefs should be liberating.
A few years ago, our son, Geoffrey Nelson-Blake, wrote the following:
Sitting in the stands of the Alamodome Wednesday as the discussion of ordination took place, Chris Blake, associate professor of English and communication at Union College, spoke with several women in attendance to get their thoughts on the proceedings. Ten women's responses are below. -Ed
"What gives you hope this morning?"
Yesterday, an elderly Asian man approached the Spectrum booth and began looking through our pamphlets and DVDs. Alisa, one of our booth staffers, asked if he had any questions.
“No,” he said, “I’m just looking.”
Alisa continued, “Would you like to sign our petition in support of women’s ordination?”
“Oh, yes!” the man replied. “I just decided to be for it last night.”
“So, what made you decide?”
The man’s eyes glistened. “I have four granddaughters,” he said, “and I want them to know they can aspire to their highest dreams.”
* * *
Dreams change. As Stephen Colbert quipped in his commencement address at Northwestern University, “If we’d all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses.”
Maybe you’ve heard. The North American Division (NAD), after 152 years and countless texts saying <We shd break up Aftr lunch?> is moving out of the General Conference (GC) building in the land from which silver springs.
Chris Blake wrote this article for the Journal of Adventist Education, published this summer, about practical ways students can work toward becoming peacemakers. Look at what Union College students are doing. Studying peaceful methods to resolve conflicts - from the personal to the global - can be a useful exercise for all of us.
One week. Every Adventist school. Every year.
This call to action is laid out with astounding directness in an official Seventh-day Adventist Church statement entitled “A Call to Peace.”[i]