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Spectrum’s Top Trending Social Media Posts of 2023

Even with its drawbacks, social media has the power to share breaking news, raise awareness, and start important conversations. Online buzzwords and trending topics are often indicative of the larger conversations taking place among individuals and within communities. Many of the subjects we covered in 2023 prompted online dialogue, digging deeper into what it means to be an Adventist. Here is a selection of our highest-trending posts on Facebook and Instagram.

My Experience Becoming a Deaconess by Julia Alexys Willis

I firmly believe that ordination should never be restricted to men and that it is un-Christlike to discriminate against women. The church needs to eliminate discriminatory practices.

From Facebook:

“The pastor replied “That is the new manual.” . . . I don’t understand how is that even an argument? So? It is new, therefore it replaces the old, therefore end of dispute. What is there to discuss?”

“Maybe the term deaconess needs to be dropped!”

Andrews University Board Faces Presidential Choice by Alexander Carpenter

On March 7, the Andrews University board of trustees votes on the Adventist institution’s next president. Sources close to the university express concerns about one of the candidates.

From Facebook:

“I am not pleased about this choice.”

“AU just announced Taylor. It’s official: Ted’s got his hooks in the university, and we’re about to tumble backwards as a result.”

Ten Weaknesses of Seventh-day Adventist Historicism by David Larson

Every method of interpreting biblical prophecies has strengths and weaknesses. Here are 10 things about Seventh-day Adventist historicism that strike me as weaknesses.

From Facebook:

“I appreciate the honesty. We need to be aware of possible pitfalls due to tradition. You have no idea how many times I’ve seen a community thirsting for God and the Adventist response is ‘Have a Revelation seminar.’”

A “Great Controversy” Mailing in Portland Sours Many on Adventists by Alex Aamodt

After a small Michigan nonprofit once again blanketed a US city with copies of “The Great Controversy,” a local pastor is left to deal with the consequences.

From Facebook:

Is anyone collecting data related to these mass mailings? Is attendance at SDA churches increasing in areas where the books are being distributed? Is any of this being analyzed? Is there any evidence this is a superior method of spreading the gospel? Is there a message in TGC that cannot be found in the Bible? Is TGC thought to be superior to the Bible and the story of Christ found inside?

“Praise God for the Remnant Publications just because one person was not happy that does it [sic] mean the other people enjoy the book.”

General Conference Issues Statement Condemning “Alternative Human Sexuality Lifestyles” by Alex Aamodt

Advocates for the Adventist LGBTQ community immediately denounced the statement.

From Facebook:

“Indefensible. I beg of the leaders that have power to issue such statements to reconsider this naive, bunker-minded perspective. Stop stonewalling. Observe, see, listen, consider, protect.”

Unequally Yoked: Bad Adventist Theology Is Burdening a Generation of Single Women by Shade Henry-Thompson

So many have missed out on people and experiences that would have enriched their lives because of unnecessary angst around choosing a non-Adventist partner.

From Instagram:

“The advice to avoid being unequally yoked is still a relevant warning. I would actually say being an Adventist is not enough to qualify. The concept is much deeper than that. There are multiple Axis to grapple with.”

“On the opposite side, my son married a non-SDA girl almost 15 years ago. She’s a devoted Christian and devoted to him. She has been perfect for him.”

Finley’s “Speaking Up” about LGBTQ Adventists Is Not New by Jonathan Cook

The General Conference has a history of supporting forms of conversion therapy that goes back decades, in spite of documented harm.

From Facebook:

“Helping people overcome sin is important work that the church needs to continue.”

“I’m going to start calling people who don’t want to help the poor ‘Sodomites.’”

Global University Science Ranking Reveals Adventist Weakness by Mihaela-Alexandra Tudor

Unlike ranked religious schools, the Adventist absence may be due to clergy-dominated boards who misunderstand the application of the scientific method to nature, health, and society.

From Facebook:

“In her book Medical Ministry Ellen White asserts that church institutions should not attempt to rival nondenominational entities. ‘Never are we to rely upon worldly recognition and rank. Never are we, in the establishment of institutions, to try to compete with worldly institutions in size or splendor.’”

“The author is right. The intellectual climate created by many years of TW leadership is telling.”

“That’s generational property”: Bahamian Family Alleges $30 Million Fraud Involving 3ABNby Alva James-Johnson

A life-long Adventist and army vet reached out to 3ABN to donate a few acres of his land. Instead, his family alleges, 3ABN preyed on his poor eyesight as he signed away all 300 acres worth over $30 million.

From Instagram:

“Unfortunately, there are a lot of shady deals within the Adventist organizations (including the church system). Unsure when people will realize that the church organization is NOT at all perfect / the remnant they claim to be.”

“Colonialism and white supremacy are alive and well.”

Toward a Factual Concept of Inspiration by Donald McAdams

It is past time to move beyond weak defenses of Ellen White’s inspiration toward a factual concept. If church leaders insist on an irrational concept of inspiration which demands belief in that which can be proven false, we can expect many Adventists to seek another path.

From Facebook:

“It is a very slippery slope to change the theology of inspiration to fit Ellen White. Our theology of inspiration should be based on the Bible alone, and Ellen White and all other claimants should be judged by that, not the other way around.”

“I have been thoroughly blessed reading the writings of Ellen G. White, and my walk with the Lord has grown closer. The excellency of her writings on my christian walk cannot be wrong. Don’t try to convince people with a similar experience otherwise. God bless.”

Andrews University President Disrupts Campus via Diversity Role Change by Alexander Carpenter

With essentially no university input, Taylor abruptly changed the chief diversity officer role. In the middle of holidays and the first test week of his term, he faces an increasingly concerned campus as questions mount about his values and competency.

From Instagram:

“The president should not have that much power. If he doesn’t agree with DEI work, why hire him to run an extremely diverse school?”

“When they show you who they are … believe them.”

About the author

Raquel Mentor is the associate digital editor and social media manager for Spectrum. More from Raquel Mentor.

Title image: Spectrum / Freepik

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