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Courtney Ray

Wrong and Right

Kurtley Knight, Ryan Bell, Alicia Johnston. All young pastors who have publicly left the ministry—each for different reasons. There is plenty of attrition in the pastoral ranks, to be sure. But I mention these three as particular examples because many other pastors leave in a far less publicized way. However, for their exits, each of these former pastors felt compelled to make a declaration about their rationale for leaving. Pastor Knight left for doctrinal disagreements. Pastor Bell left due to a shift toward atheism.

Appetizers and Affairs

By now, people have heard of Vice President Pence’s “policy” of avoiding eating with women except his wife. Many are applauding his stance as “respecting his wife” and “protecting himself from adultery.” To be clear, if you have an affair, you cannot blame that on a chef's salad. The Devil did not make you do it and neither did the lunch.

The Place of the Church Within the State

The First Amendment of the United States guarantees that the government shall not establish a religion. Nor would it interfere with the free exercise of religion. There is a nice bright line between church and state that we who are believers appreciate and respect. That is why we do not ever talk about things that are political. And considering how Adventism was founded in America, it is no wonder that our church has historically avoided involvement in politics.

Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now?

A record number of senior level U.S. State Department career staff are leaving. Additionally, nearly 1,000 employees in that department signed a memo through the department dissent channel.

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Our Love Affair with the RCC

Go to any traditional Daniel and Revelation seminar, and you will hear about our Protestant departure from Babylon, (generally referring to the Roman Catholic Church). We make a significant effort to make sure attendees recognize how complete and distinct our ecclesiastical break was. The RCC’s theology caused Martin Luther’s departure, but we made ours even more complete by rejecting Catholic practices like infant baptism and, of course, the ever large, looming, adoption of Sunday as Sabbath.

Is God in Control? Yes, and Also ...

I rarely critique colleagues' sermons. And this evaluation will be de-identified. I hope it is instructional for us all, including any tempted to answer their friends’ frustrations with “God is in control”.

Adventist Farm

There are a bunch of stories and novels that many people were first introduced to in their middle school or high school reading lists: The Scarlet Letter, The Crucible, Lord of the Flies. One such novel that is emblazoned in my adolescent memory is Animal Farm by George Orwell.

The Love Connection

Threadbare, worn, and obviously too small, I still have the t-shirt I was given as a toddler. Though the words are faded now, childhood pictures testify that it said “Anything boys can do, girls can do better!” It's a cute shirt that was gifted to me with intentionality. I am the youngest and only sister to three brothers. It was a jovial but pointed way to ensure that I grew up understanding my value. I never felt intimidated by boys. I spoke up in classes. My brothers always included me in play. They made sure that I knew I was smart, capable, and worthy of respect.

Wrong Is Wrong! ... Right?

I don't follow celebs like most people I know. I've lived in New York and Southern California, and I can recall meeting a celeb on the street exactly two times.

One Big Tent or Many Little Camps?

Our church has had some major disagreements. We've disagreed on the bounds of academic freedom, had vigorous debates on the role of women, had protracted discourses about race relations, and fervent volleys regarding homosexuality. There have been heated and passionate pleas among all those involved in these conversations. People quote texts and cite personal experience. People get upset, some cry, or even leave. Some become persuaded, some have changes of heart, some become champions for positions they previously disdained.

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Sat, 06/03/2017
Dr Carole Ferch-Johnson

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