By Alexander Carpenter
Here's what's happening in the Adventist world beyond the glossy covers of the Adventist World. (What? Still not up after four months?)
The Rwandan conference president convicted for genocide died at 82 this
week after being released from jail. Africa-based Spectrum reporter
Alita Bird has a final story in the saga: A Prisoner Is Released. Here's a story on it from the Hirondelle News Agency and allAfrica.com.
Speaking of the ministry, here's a pastor whose obit recently appeared in the Redlands Daily Facts. I thought that following paragraphs were particularly revelatory of the unfortunate way that pastors have been forced called to move their families around in our system.
"In 1965, he was called to the Clairemont
Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Clairemont section of San Diego,
where he remained until 1969 when he was called to be associate pastor
at the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church in Riverside.
In 1970, he went to the Chadron, Neb., Seventh-day Adventist
Church district which consisted of four churches, and his wife taught
at the Chadron Seventh-day Adventist School.
In 1973, they moved to Scottsbluff, Neb., where Carroll
pastored the Scottsbluff Seventh-day Adventist church district and
Elaine taught in the Scottsbluff Seventh-day Adventist School.
After that, they went to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1975; Brownsburg,
Ind., in 1977; Evansville, Ind., in 1980; and in 1983 to Indianapolis
(Southside), Ind., from where they retired in June 1989."
By my count that's 8 churches in 24 years and four different states. When
the pastor is only around for a few years, it's no wonder that we
haven't been good at building local community relationships. Not to
mention how a local church responds -- and what about the family?
And what exactly is this conference president thinking? According to the Jamaica Gleaner,
the head of the West Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
recently attended an International Conference on Restorative Justice
and called for his country to return to its practice of hanging
In light of the recent two botched hangings in Iraq, how can anyone,
much less a leader in the Adventist church advocate that kind of death
for a human being. Plus, as the final paragraph of the article notes,
and most experts agree, most studies of the data suggest that capital
punishment does not deter murder as most murders are caused by passion
or poverty. But hey, at least he gets Jesus' message of do unto others
as they have done to you and also if they cut off your ear, fight back.
Hey church leadership, maybe we need to take the Old Testament less literally and take Jesus, the revelation of God, more literally. Because if I recall my gospels Jesus did that too: You have heard, but I say. . . .
And that may just be a significant reason why Christianity and not the OT faith (six-day creation, lex talionis) changed the world. The revelation of God in living humanity or in the text -- which one gets us closer to the divine NOW?