On November 6, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of Greece v. Galloway, which tested the constitutionality of prayer as a component of government meetings.
Before his retirement from denominational employment in 2011, James Coffin served for nearly 36 years as a youth pastor, senior pastor and editor for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He currently is executive director of the Interfaith Council of Central Florida. His executive committee has representation from an array of faith traditions: Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian (both Catholic and Protestant), Hindu, Jewish, Muslim (both Sunni and Shia), Sikh and Unitarian.
As an Adventist minister, I’ve followed with more than casual interest Dr.
A couple of years ago I presented a study on the doctrine of the Sabbath to a young man who was interested in joining the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I explained that the reckoning of the 24-hour day in Bible times wasn't the same as our current secular reckoning. Instead of the day being calculated from midnight to midnight, as we do now, the biblical day commenced at sunset and continued until the next sunset.
When I read the Spectrum article “Ted Wilson Takes Appeal to 3ABN Audience,” when I watched Pastor Wilson’s presentation in front of the Pacific Union Conference (PUC) constituency, when I perused his statement of response following the PUC meeting, and when I examined the associated materials posted on the Adventist News Network, I was hit by a wave of nausea. Literally.
Prologue and Disclaimers
Over many years I’ve noted a surprising penchant for defaming the victim and defending the perpetrator. Which makes me wonder: If the Gethsemane story had taken place in, let’s say, 2012, what kind of support would Judas get in readers’ comments when news of the betrayal first breaks on Spectrum a couple of hours after Jesus’ arrest? I can only imagine . . .
The Columbia Union Conference's Special Constituency Meeting to determine whether or not women will be allowed ordination into the gospel ministry is tomorrow. Spectrum will be live blogging the event as it happens.
As the North American Division discovered to its chagrin when it had to reverse its decision to modify its constitution and bylaws to allow for the ordination of women, the church’s governing documents can be a hard taskmaster. I’m not certain the union conferences are going to find it much easier. In other words, it’s not over yet.
According to a Religious News Service report available on the Huffington Post, “Seventh-day Adventists have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of two ordinances in an Alabama city that the church says bars it and other religious groups from door-to-door solicitations unless they first register and pay license fees.