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Should Seventh-day Adventists be Republicans?

I grew up in a mostly apolitical family. I only remember one strongly-voiced political opinion: that John F. Kennedy shouldn’t be president because he would let the papacy take charge of the country, and so would begin the persecution of Seventh-day Adventists. We had a family small business—a farm—and perhaps that’s why my father once told me, casually and without a lot of conviction, that he’d voted Republican, since the conventional wisdom was, and is, that Republicans are friends of business and advocates of low taxes.

It is not by measure that God gives the Spirit

            The four cherubim with their wheels seen by Ezekiel with God’s glory (Ez. 1: 10; 10: 14) were also seen by John the Theologian next to the throne of God (Rev. 4: 6-7). Their faces were that of a lion, an ox, a man and an eagle. Not long afterwards Christians adopted these four creatures to represent the four gospels. According to John was given the eagle as its icon.

Let's Talk

I don’t know about you, but I get the feeling sometimes that I am trapped in an anarchous society. To make it worse, the very people who have been charged with administering the law are driven by their own subjective interpretations that have elevated the flaws in our legal system.

Several years ago, we witnessed the fallibility of the judiciary in three high profile cases.

The Conundrum of Religious Liberty

There are two broad philosophies in religious liberty that are diametrically opposed to each other. The first philosophy is known as accomodationism and is often touted by conservatives. People who subscribe to this philosophy believe that America’s constitutional framework exists to keep the government out of religion and not the other way around. Legislation can be founded on explicitly religious grounds. Religious groups should have totally unfettered rights of free exercise.

Why It Will Happen Again

Last November we learned that a popular coach at Pennsylvania State University was alleged to have had sexual relationships with underage, even pre-teen boys for many years. Exactly who in authority knew what Jerry Sandusky was doing, who was told, and what they did or should have done when they found out, the legal system is still trying to establish.

Salvation is from the Jews

            It is impossible to read According to John and not become aware of its dependence on the Old Testament, on the Torah. In the same way in which it is taken for granted that the reader knows its content before beginning to read, it is also assumed that the reader knows well the stories of the patriarchs and the books of the prophets and the Psalms.

Trayvon Martin and the Adventist Imperative

I’m not surprised that I wasn’t surprised by some of the responses to the announcement that Elder Dan Jackson called for justice in the Trayvon Martin case. I knew he would have an audacious amen corner, but I also knew that those among us who caucus with the raucous right would blast him for taking a stand.

Standing Their Ground

Ends, Means and Adventist Doctrine

Adventists have always been concerned about formulating and preserving correct doctrine.  Pioneer evangelism strongly emphasized that Adventists had a clearer understanding of Biblical truth than other Christian options and consequently enquirers should consider joining this remnant movement – which had been given a central role in effecting the Second Coming.

The Adventist Disconnect

It was camp meeting time in Florida.  Earlier in the spring, the Adventist Review had issued a fiat that there was to be no discussion on certain issues raised by an Australian teacher by the name of Desmond Ford until he had had opportunity to share his views with the brethren.   Of course such an injunction ensured a lively discussion would follow. 

Interestingly, the featured speaker for the evening meetings that year was Smuts Van Rooyen.  Channeling Ford’s theology almost verbatim in his sermons, he was well received by all present.

Remember My Words

            In 1901 Wilhelm Wrede shook the academic study of the gospels by arguing that not everything recorded in the gospel According to Mark had actually happened as described. Wrede identified in this gospel a leitmotiv that he named “the Messianic secret”. It is present in the gospel in two basic forms.

Ray Charles Offers Sight to Myopic Christians

I am not a film expert, but after viewing the blockbuster movie “Ray,” I can see why Jamie Foxx was awarded the Oscar for best actor for his portrayal of music legend Ray Charles. This hauntingly honest biography reveals a journey filled with tragedy and triumph, failures and faith, cowardice and courage, and helplessness and hope. Not long after witnessing his brother drown in a tub of water, the young Ray was to experience personal tragedy when his vision was cruelly snatched away from him.

When Women Break the Bread of Life

I recently attended a funeral for a long time parishioner at our church.  The Pastor had chosen as his text for the homily 1 Corinthians 15:22, “For as in Adam all die, in Christ shall all be made alive.”  A good choice, I thought, for giving hope during a time of grief.

I have overcome the world

            In the gospel According to John the word “world” is, without a doubt, semantically rich. This word appears more than sixty times in the text, and if one does not pay attention it is relatively easy to misinterpret its message or conclude that the gospel contradicts itself. It is necessary, therefore, to do an analysis of its usage.

A Dynamic Theology

 

One of the benefits of studying church history is that it helps you see how much change there has been in Christian teachings through the years. By “church” I mean not just this denomination, but the whole sweep of Christianity that Ellen White reviews in The Great Controversy. In each era there are the faithful and the enemies of the faithful—and of course the whole point of that book is that in the end, the enemies lose and the faithful get their reward.

A Sentence

If woman was indeed created fully human with all the functions, abilities and inherent capacities of man including the desires, dreams and aspirations of same, and if God arbitrarily (for her own good) placed her in subjection, limiting her choices and spheres (either as punishment or more benignly for her protection) then women’s reaction to his restriction could only be submission, (using subjection as an excuse for not exercising accountable dominion) denial, (labeling her natural God-given aspirations and inner callings as evil or temptations of the devil) or rebellion (risking death ra

What Dare We Pray?

Our friend Abbey is dying.

I Finished the Work

            In the synoptic gospels Jesus’ healings and exorcisms are called dúnamis. English versions translate this term as “wonder”, “virtue”, “miracle”. The Greek word means “strength”, “power”. The words “dynamo” and “dynamite” are derived from it.

Old Yearnings for the New Year

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions and it’s been years since I spent hours on the first day of the year calling everyone in my address book. The truth is, the annual resetting of the calendar brings me more pain than joy. I’ve long rejected the samsara influenced myth that sees the first day of January as some sort of magical reset button. Oh, I wish we did have an opportunity to do some things over, but experience has taught me that this is absolutely impossible.

Adventism and the Intersex Problem

The Adventist church, like many conservative Christian denominations, takes an official position condemning homosexuality. The 1999 General Conference Annual Council approved a position statement, found on the church’s website at http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/statements/main-stat46.html  that states:





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Sat, 10/25/2014 | Los Angeles Adventist Forum
October Adventist Forum
Ronald E. Osborn, Ph.D., A 2014-2016 Mellon Postdoctoral Fell ow in the Peace and Justice Program at Wellesley College (Boston), and a 2 015 Fullbright Scholar to Burma/Myanmar, Formerly an Adjunct Faculty Membe r in the Dept. of International Relations at USC, and in the Honors Progra m at UCLA. Topic: "Death Before the Fall?: A Conversation with Ronald Osbor n."

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