Sunday, December 16, 2018

You're Wrong - Marxist Socialism Is Not a Viable Model for Church Governance.

A recent piece in Adventist Today
by Stephen Ferguson | 16 December 2018 posits that
Marxism's governance model has a lot to offer the church.
Ferguson admits that "
...the world is fundamentally corrupt and human nature is a long way from ideal, which is why Marxism has consistently failed from Russia, to North Korea to Venezuela." Yet throughout, he flirts with the idea that maybe the church should embrace a little Marxism, as though the church is immune from the problems of a fundamentally corrupt human nature somehow. It is not.

A link to this article was posted on Facebook and Adventist Today seems invested in defending its premise. No matter what anyone says, in the comments section, if they disagree with the author of this piece on Facebook, they are going to get Adventist Today saying "Please read the article before commenting."

I did read it and once again they pull some nonsense out about how Karl Marx's philosophy is like Jesus'. This guy's final point is that Jesus owned no property in this life. Balderdash! He owned the entire planet and he knew it and he went down fighting for a planet full of real estate and billions of people who were destined to become His. No one owning property was one of Marx's brilliant ideas and all it's every led to is starving millions.

As to Marxism being some kind of preferred style of governance for the church, I don't see it. Marx and Engels wanted to do away with religion altogether and create a human driven Utopia. There is no such thing. Man is corrupt. There is one system that will work eternally and one only. Good people harvested from the hellish challenges we face here on Earth (or spiritual bootcamp as I like to think of it),
serving their God who is Himself, incorruptible. No hierarchy of authority. Just God and his people - one layer of authority. That's it..

The church on Earth will inevitably go the way of the genocidal socialist nations of the 20th century if it adopts a communist collectivist model of governance. We can see it happening in the recent shift of power to the GC administration. At Marxism's core is that somehow if we create a centrally planned and controlled collective, men through their own efforts can create some kind of Earthly utopia.

The truth is it won't. Human beings can't do that. We can be washed clean and transplanted to a place where the only ruler we need is God and where we are free indeed as God promised. There, we won't need to worry about the rich for we will all be rich. Nobody will have to send out jackbooted troops to force us to do right. We will do right because it is right.

Capitalism has a lot wrong with it, but it's one of the only systems on Earth where a good man can make himself successful and even wealthy by providing his fellow humans with something they need or want. He doesn't have to steal it from someone else as Karl Marx claims. He merely works hard and provides something other people want.  There have been communal, collectivist Christian societies, but if you notice something about groups like The Shakers, and other communistic religious societies, they tend to die out. Those who work hard wind up carrying others who have no interest in hard work. In the early American colonies there were groups that experimented with commune living. They disappeared, scattered or died off. Even early Christians did something similar. But that wasn't a permanent thing. It was designed to meet a crisis. Once the Christians scattered away from their persecuters, they went free market capitalist at once.

Are there corrupt capitalists? You bet, but even those guys produce things like affordable goods, four dollar medications, convenient services and jobs to high school dropouts working on their GED's. There are far more corrupt Marxists too and they do far more damage these days. Marxist socialist models always put power in the hands of a few self-proclaimed smart people and therin lies the problem.

No, I don't believe absolute power corrupts absolutely. What power does is attract the corruptible who inevitably seize the reins of control over men and women so that instead of a free society of people doing good things because they want to, it all soon devolves into something like the Stanford Experiment where pretend guards became nearly as brutal as Nazi concentration camp guards. Collectivism in all its form will not work upon the Earth. We are not in any condition to make it work and as Ronald Reagan put it, "Socialism only works in heaven where they don't need it and in hell where they've already got it."

Free Market capitalism with all its flaws in both church and state is still the most effective governance strategy in nations packed to their borders with sinners. I would be very afraid to enlist Marxism as a model for church governance. If it ain't broke, should we really be fixing it. The SDA church is growing faster than anybody. Yes we are losing members, but that's always happening in any church. The point is, we're out there busily spreading the gospel to every kindred, tongue and people and some of us are trying to round up all the sheep and pen them up in some imaginary Christian worker's paradise. Then like the Roman Church, The Soviet Union, China, Vietnam, Venezuela, Cambodia too many others to list here, the leaders of "paradise on Earth" discover they are not gods and not capable of managing the vast proletariat from Washington DC (or Silver Springs for that matter). When it all goes South, then leaders inevitably start purging anyone with the temerity to point out that the system ain't workin'.

Marxisizing the church won't do anything but inhibit the church from doing the work we've been told to do. Marx has nothing good to say for the church. His theories depend on people who do not exist and a severely flawed theory that you can make people good through external force. You can't make people be good through governance systems. The best you can do in this nasty old world is protect the sheep from wolves, protect their rights and freedoms and let them take care of themselves as best they can. Plenty of them will do the decent thing if one of their number gets in trouble. It's what good sheep do and it makes them better sheep because they do it of their own free will and not because some system dictates it.

But Marxism is such a neat idea that our intellectual betters always drift back to it, fancying themselves as just the sort of "dear leaders" to lead the children of God to the promised land. They forget that not even Moses could manage that task. It was left to God to do it His own way.

Tom King - 
© 2018

Friday, July 6, 2018

Jesus and The New Golden Rule

Many, who would minimize the impact of Christianity upon the world, claim that the so-called "Golden Rule", which requires one to treat others as one would wish for them to treat oneself, had its origins long before the time of Christ. While it is true that variants of the Biblical Golden Rule show up in Confucianism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and other religions and philosophies, it is not exactly true that these prior "golden rules" were the same as the one Christ articulated. Christ articulated a new version of the golden rule.

Prior to Christ, a careful reading of ancient texts reveals a uniformly negative construct of the idea. In other words, these prior versions were more about not provoking others. These versions more closely read "Do not do to others what you wouldn't want them to do to you." There is no instruction to do good things to others for unselfish reasons. Before Jesus it was about not poking the bear. After Jesus it became about doing acts of kindness, even towards the bear.

Jesus' teaching, however, goes beyond the negative instruction to avoid doing what one would not like done to oneself. Christ's version was a positive formula that directs His hearers to actively do good to another that, if the situations were reversed, one would desire that the other would do for them. This formulation, as indicated in the parable of the Good Samaritan, emphasizes the needs for unselfish positive action that brings benefit to another, not simply restraining oneself from negative activities that hurt another person. 

The instruction by Jesus to initiate kind treatment of others rather than to simply avoid being unkind emphasized a doing version of love for one's fellow man rather than a mere feeling kind of love. We are to be proactive in loving our neighbors rather than reactive. This idea of actively doing good first to others is unique to Christ's message.

That message of proactive goodness is the thing that undergirds all Christianity. It's why Christianity outstrips virtually every other religion on the planet in doing good. It's why we have missions. It's why we build hospitals, send doctors, nurses and teachers to every corner of the planet teaching proactive kindness. Jesus told us to and in obedience, we do acts of kindness. Because we have a relationship with Christ we cannot help doing good to our we would have them do unto us.

© 2018 by Tom King

Friday, June 29, 2018

Who is Trying to Create a "Religious" State

It's coming and we're looking the wrong way!

An SDA pastor friend of mine who is clearly a card-carrying Democrat justifies his defense of DNC talking points by raising the old Adventist fear of the oppressive religious state and Sunday Laws.
His arguments seem really thin to me - at least Biblically. I don't see it. President Trump and V.P. Pence, if they are creating an oppressive religious state, seem to be doing a really lousy job of it. Trump has been reducing federal power at every turn over the past year and has given Americans permission to believe in God without being jumped on with the full approval of government by an anti-religious or at least anti-Christian establishment. 

There is way more potential for an oppressive government to create a quasi-religious state under progressive principles than under constitutional conservatism. Conservatives, for one thing don't believe in abolishing amendments. Progressive Democrats advocate this all the time - the second amendment repeal would simply establish the clean-up-the-Constitution-by-eliminating-the-Bill-of-Rights principle. This is necessary to prepare government to rule over all during the events of the last days.

 The religion that will dominate, of course, will be an unchallenged twisted cocktail of atheism, spiritualism, Marxism, apostate Protestantism and Catholicism with support from international corporate powers and trade unions. Of course, left-leaning SDA friends say that can never happen with modern progressivism in charge.  That's been demonstrated clearly as progressives chip away at the Constitution and give more and more intrusive power to the federal government.

 Houston's hard left Democrat mayor has already shown open hostility toward conservative Christianity, even going so far as to demand copies of pastors' sermon notes. The justification?  Mayor Anise Parker, the city's first openly lesbian Democrat mayor wanted to see if they were speaking out against her bathroom ordinance that forced all public facilities including churches to allow trans-gender men to use women's bathrooms. This was an illegal "fishing expedition" that even leftist judges wouldn't sign off on. The intent was to use the IRS to end conservative churches' nonprofit status. 

The lid was clearly off the not well progressive hidden agenda in Houston. The left tolerates high-church liberal churches (the ones that have already signed memorandums of understanding with the Roman Catholic Church). Dude, I am not afraid of conservative Christians. In the religious liberty realm, the folk who support Trump by and large have been pro-religious liberty all along. Evangelicals - the prosperity gospel, televangelist crowd - don't really count as conservative fundamentalist churches. They've been picking and choosing Bible passages for years with all the dexterity of a South London pickpocket. Evangelicals of that ilk have already sold out and begun signing on with the new and improved global church movement and have banded with high-church (read "apostate") Protestant churches to reunite with the Roman church which is led by a very very progressive socialist papacy.

Throughout our history most presidents have been open about their religious beliefs. Because Trump has received support from Christian groups doesn't mean he's going to establish a theocracy. Democrats have been trying to lay the charge of authoritarianism at Trump's door since before he took the oath of office, but it doesn't seem to stick. Trump's been busily deregulating and freeing up business. He's allowed religious institutions to freely practice their beliefs. It was the Obama administration that tried to force religious institutions and religious people to violate their own beliefs. Dems even tried to make the Catholics pay for abortion insurance for their nuns and teaching staff at schools. They tried to force Christian bakers to use their art to support practices that run counter to their religious beliefs.

At every turn, Trump is reducing the power and limiting interference by government in the lives of Americans. That's kind of the opposite of the sort of religious authoritarianism leftists have accused conservatives and Trump of being in favor of. I know of no real conservative who favors forcing anyone to go to church on Sunday. I have seen European socialist governments cooperating with high church Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church and trade unions and corporations to pass Sunday Laws. In Germany you can be fined or arrested for washing your car or mowing your lawn on Sunday. Europeans, as Democrats will tell you, are so much more advanced than we are.

If you ask me, they are advancing directly toward hell and American progressives are marching along behind them wondering after the Beast. Let us be careful, then, what mast we nail our flag to.


Friday, June 22, 2018

Has the NAD Joined the Democrat Party?

The NAD just posted a message to all Adventists to basically send up prayers based on Democratic National Convention talking points. The message asserts - (1) that innocent children are being cruelly snatched from their immigrant parents, and (2) the Bible is being used to justify cruelty by a Trump administration official.This is a bit worrisome to me. I think the devil has us looking right when he's going left.
Sadly, the first talking point is based on a distortion of the facts.This is not a new problem. This procedure was instated by the Obama administration. The left excuses this because they say the former president never intended to enforce these rules. One has to ask why then make the rule other than to deceive voters that he actually cared about illegal immigration. Democrats are ultimately responsible for the current immigration enforcement policies that see immigrant families split up after crossing the border illegally. Trump laid out a number of provisions that must be included in any proposed immigration legislation that would be acceptable to him. The ball is in the Democrats' court....
It should be noted that the kids are separated from the adults largely so they won't be running around the detention facility where there are drug mules, sex traffickers, smugglers, drug cartel enforcers and terrorists and in some cases their actual parents but not always. Also remember these are not legal immigrants. Once they make sure the kids are with their actual parents and not some sex trafficker, they will be repatriated to Mexico where they may start immigration applications to come back legally. 
Separating the kids is done for their own safety. The pictures of crying children in cages largely come from pictures taken in 2014 during the Obama administration.
#2 - Jeff Sessions was being castigated by hostile reporters and asked how he could tolerate this horrible situation as a good Christian person. Sessions quoted the Bible with regard to obedience to the law. It's not like he proposed establishing a theocracy. Truthfully, if you check out what Sister White said you will find a much different sort of threat on the horizon.
  • "The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, this country will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience. .."  - EG White
We Adventist must stick together,
unified in our diversity!
She was talking about "apostate" Protestantism. When I was a kid growing up in the church, I was taught to fear Baptists and the Church of Christ - those nasty conservative Christian churches.  But, if you take a look at who is taking the lead on hooking up with the Pope, it's been Anglicans (Episcopalians), Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists and other black-robed "high" churches. These guys have signed agreements with Rome already and have begun inviting Charismatic and TV based Evangelical churches to also join with Rome.

Also, the other member of the alliance are spiritualists including Mother Earth worshipers, radical environmentalists and progressive socialists who also favor creating a powerful global government. The papacy has already released two major encyclicals proposing a global world government (with teeth as Pope Benedict suggested) and even suggested it be organized by trade organizations, Labor Unions and international political parties (and there's really only one of those - the Communist Party).

Anybody else creeped out by that?
Yet, our church leaders seem to be bound and determined to support leftist talking points at every turn. I've seen talk from the top about supporting environmental initiatives that turn ever more power and authority over to central governments. I'm concerned that the upper echelons of our church are drifting into the arms of that threefold alliance.

This is why I'm really concerned by moves from the administrative levels of the church toward centralizing authority once again in Silver Springs.
It makes it a whole lot easier for government authorities to decapitate and cripple the church than it would be if we were diversified in authority and decision-making. The devil is subtle and devious. We have been told what to watch out for in the end times. It mystifies me that our church leadership seems to be missing the real danger that progressivism poses to the church. Progressivism operates as much like a religion as anything. It's especially obvious if you deviate from the progressive "faith". Progressives immediately want to end free speech, freedom of the press and even to gag ministers in the pulpit. Attempts have already been made in places like Houston, Texas where the Democrat mayor demanded that Houston pastors hand over their sermon notes to investigators to see if they spoke against her open bathrooms law. Not only is such "fishing" illegal and a violation of free speech, but judges won't even allow cops to search a car or home if they don't have evidence of probable cause. 

We need to look for the signs of Christ's soon coming.
Jesus said we'd see them. We just need to not be like the leaders of the Sanhedrin in Jesus' day and convince ourselves to expect to see something rather different from what the prophets have told us to expect.

I love my church and I will never leave it. I will, however, speak up when I think there's a problem. That's just being a responsible "member". The church is a fellowship, not a dictatorship. We work together. We obey Christ, not man.

Tom King

Friday, June 8, 2018

Violating the Third Commandment

Once in a while someone pops up to take a shot at the kind of Christian witnesses who proclaim the message that we are "...saved by faith in Christ, not by works lest any should boast." Why this message makes some brethren angry, I will never understand, but it does.

We keep rejecting the message of righteousness by faith. 1888 was the first time and there has been resistance every time since to it's proclamation.
I saw it int the 60s and 70s. Righteousness by faith was always a little too loosey-goosey for some of the brethren, preferring the stick to the carrot a little too fondly I think. The authoritarian wing of the church has never quite trusted God to keep the troops in line simply through the power of a deep relationship with him. Like the Roman church, they think we need to insert some "leadership" between ourselves and the Almighty.

They need centralized power and strict rules with strict enforcement or they fear all sorts of rule-breaking horror will break out. They measure hemlines. They tell us how deep could be the water we could wade in on Sabbath. Any deeper than the knees and we'd be considered swimming which would be a sin, I was told. They had big discussions about whether it was moral or not to roller skate to music.They didn't just give a hard time to champions of righteousness by faint like Morris Venden. They tried to run Ron Halvorsen Sr. out of my little town. The same sort of folks even criticized HMS Richards Sr. for being too excited about righteousness by faith and felt he should spend more time preaching on the law. Even poor Del Delker was attacked for singing with young men with guitars and banjos. They went after anyone who placed any emphasis on righteousness by faith or who questioned church authority or encouraged young people, thereby endangering their authority.

Ron Halvorsen Sr.
What a group of Keenites from the church I grew up in did to Morris Venden was Satanic and these people believed they were doing it all for Jesus. As though Jesus needed them to act as some kind of security force. For the same "crime" of not emphasizing the law, they also went after Ron Halvorsen Sr.. Both those men filled the church to the rafters. I never left a sermon by either of them that I didn't feel that I was going home to heaven one day. This group of "saints" hated both men. Why? I believe it was because both men appealed directly to the members without deference to that good old boys network of power brokers. I fear that what one dear saint said to me once is true, "What we need in this church is a visit from the Grim Reaper." 

James and Ellen White
We have a serious problem in the church and it isn't with the likes of Morris Venden. After the manipulation by Elder Butler at 1888 GC meeting to suppress the message of righteousness by faith, James and Ellen White wrote that they no longer had confidence that the GC administration spoke with authority for God to the church. Shortly after James died the GC wrangled an invitation to Ellen to go to Australia. She did, but when she came back, she was no less the warrior for Christ. God had already burned down the GC's power base in Battle Creek and forced it to move to Silver Springs. On her return, Sr. White led a minor revolt at the 1903 GC and the members of the church created the union conferences to divest the central administration of much of its power. Ellen said angels walked the aisles at that conference. With this new "unity in diversity" model the church spread around the world like wildfire until our tiny church had the second largest parochial education system in the world, a huge medical work, a massive publishing work and the largest mission work in the Protestant world.

HMS Richards Sr.
Since then, the authoritarians keep trying to recover their power. They use manipulation, bullying, "working policies" and subterfuge to try and accomplish what they think God wants. And the membership keeps resisting. Why? Because they know Christ and they recognize the enemy when he is among them. We may love our children

I believe it's a clear violation of the second commandment that is happening here at the end of time. There's a reason God put that command early on the list. The second commandent is not about cussing. It's about thinking to speak for God when He has given you no such authorization to speak for Him. To invoke his name in vain just to justify your own ambition and lust for power, is a mighty sin. It's the very sin that brought down Lucifer.

Jesus' followers are the meek, the kind and the unassuming. That doesn't mean they won't get up on their hind legs and fight you when you seek to rule God's church or to turn it into an image of the authoritarianism of the Beast. We imitate Christ. He is our master. When you ask yourself, "What would Jesus do?", remember. That might involve flipping over the money-changers' tables and cracking a few whips. And our role model in that was NOT a member of the Sanhedrin at the time.

God bless us all. Unity in diversity is the way forward! We follow Christ, not jumped up middle managers. No one must place themselves between us and Him. I would not want to answer for that before the judgment throne of God.

Yours in Christ,

Tom King

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Agape - Transformative Love

There is a Youtube channel called "CS Lewis Doodle".
  It offers essays by Christian apologist, C.S. Lewis with accompanying illustrative drawings. It's a fascinating way of presenting Lewis' many essays on Christian theology, history and ethics.  The site recently released the final chapter of Lewis' broadcast on "The Four Loves". I sat down this afternoon and watched the presentation on "Agape", the Christian kind of love - the kind God wants to give you.

I realize that CS Lewis disagrees with me on some points of theology. Be that as it may, I do believe he was a brilliant man and had an incredible ability to make sense of the Christian faith, even for atheists, agnostics and backslidden Christians.

If you haven't seen them, you should listen to all four in order, but the one I saw today on "Agape" or God's love, was stunning. A lot of things I have picked up in my lifelong study of scripture came together in this essay by Lewis. It was one of those rare things where a window to the Divine is opened up. It explained so much about how the natural loves (storge, philios, and eros as Lewis labels them) are incomplete unless transformed by God's love (agape) which is freely given to us if we will accept. 

Turns out what prevents us from receiving it is our own pride. We think we need to deserve it and therefore we think that we must also deserve the other kinds of love and that intern, those upon whom we bestow natural love must deserve our love. This makes love a business transaction and if we don't feel the transaction was to our benefit, then we become angry because we didn't get what we deserved.

Equipped by God with Agape (Godly love), we no longer need to get our money's worth from love. I highly recommend you see the whole series of four broadcasts and pay close attention to the last one on Agape. It's the payoff and it's transformative.

© 2018 by Tom King

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Are Adventists Racists?

My Daughter (top left) with some of her Adventist Youth Group

Once in a while some well-meaning college student (usually white but not always), raises the charge that the SDA church is racist.
They're often already on their way out of the church for other reasons (dress, diet, the Sabbath cramps their style, someone's bony finger, etc.), but on their way out they fire a Parthian shot at the Region Conferences. Region Conferences are a remnant of the Jim Crow South at a time when mixed congregations could find their churches burned down around them by the Klan. It seemed safer to give our black members their own churches. After all, there were a lot of black SDAs in the South since one of the first mission fields Adventist saturated was the antebellum South. We got into a lot of trouble for it. We were teaching black children to read and training black teachers and nurses and Nathan Bedford Forrest and his ilk didn't like it.

So, I'd like to 'splain about Region Conferences as best as I know what happened!  Now, I know I'm going to probably get hammered here but here goes. I grew up in the South in the 60s and early 70s. I went to schools with kids of all races, many from the far side of the world. I went to college in my home town. My former college president at Southwestern Adventist University, the inimitable Leroy Leiske, had come from a conference president's job in one of the Southern Conferences. While there he attempted to integrate the administration. Sadly, there was some serious racial discomfort among the white brethren with that idea back then. The Klan was still active then and the SDA church was already in enough trouble with its Bible Belt neighbors. The powers that be feared change. Months into his administration, Elder Leiske got run off for his hiring policies. He then came to Texas to become president of what was then Southwestern Union College. He wasn't an academic. He was a reformer and Texas was apparently ready for some reformation. And even if they weren't, Uncle Leroy was bringing it. In just a few years he almost seamlessly integrated the school. Because the denominations only predominantly black school, Oakwood, was far off in the deep South, Leiske convinced some brave black students to give Southwestern a try. He recruited quite a few black, Asian and Hispanic students and I don't remember any real racial problems on campus. No riots. No cross-burnings. A friend of mine who was half black and half white told me he felt like he didn't quite fit in either the white or black groups on campus, but that was more an artifact of unfamiliarity than of any overt racism. And he was the perfect guy to cross the racial divide, since white, black and Hispanic girls all thought he was awfully handsome. There may have been some hard core racism, but if so I never heard about it and would have been against it if I had.  Much more I remember the student body in general embraced the new students.

Several times in Texas it was proposed that the Region Conference be blended into the Texas Conference. The conference already had a group of Hispanic churches within the Texas Conference and specific conference secretaries who were designated to care for the Hispanic churches. The Region Conferences, however, have resisted blending with the regular conferences, largely for cultural reasons. Also, there was some feeling that blacks, especially during the Civil Rights movement, might lose some control over their churches. Since then blacks have moved freely between black churches and white churches. Whites often attend black churches and lots of Adventist couples intermarry now that racism has let up so much in the South.

When I went to school back then in the late 60s and 70s bunches of us used to go to the black churches pretty regularly - easier to stay awake if you'd been in the middle of mid-terms and not been getting much sleep. We were welcomed in black churches when we came to visit. They used to tease us white kids about not expecting to get out of service at noon. And black people were welcomed in the so-called "white" churches. I'm sure there were some jerks in the white congregations, but mostly there was love. I know a pastor who was a neighbor of mine who had serious racial prejudice all of his life. He lost his minister's license in part because of it. He lived in Keene and ever once in a while, if a black minister preached in the Keene Church pulpit, he would pop up in some meeting to express his outrage. There were always plenty of people of all colors, including me, who stood up and told him he was out of line. Ex-Voice of Prophecy Quartet member John Thurber fully integrated his Adventist Youth in Action teams and nobody said a word. If they did they were marginalized pretty quickly by the rest of us..

Today in the Texas Conference there are Hispanic Adventist Churches, Black Adventist Churches and "Regular" Adventist Churches. I haven't seen a "White" SDA church in 40 years. My 2 home churches in Tyler and Keene are veritable rainbows when you look out across the congregations. The college draws kids from every corner of the Earth to Keene and I grew up in the 60s not knowing how to be racist. My grandmother used to make little comments, but my sister and I didn't let her get away with it. Even she opened up to the idea that black people were okay. As a nurse she had many black co-workers she was friendly with despite her firm non-Adventist racist upbringing.

In Tyler, we had some white people but they were becoming a minority. We had a whole lot of Filipinos, black people, Hispanic folk, and Asians. The rest of us were mutts of one sort or another. We Adventists have astonishingly little racism in our blood, even in the South. It didn't last long when openly challenged. We know better. We were brought up better than that. We sang "Red and Yellow, Black and White" we sang every Sabbath in Kindergarten and Cradle Roll and we believed it. Anything else was a shock to us as we grew up.

As a people, we Adventists flock to do mission work. My Uncle ran mission schools in Hawaii and Thailand for most of his career. I went to SWAU with some of his former students. We watch mission updates every month showing work we are doing in every corner of the work.Retired missionaries occupy honored seats in most of our North American churches, a living witness against racism. Church boards usually look quite colorful. In Tyler we had a black church, a Hispanic church and the Tyler church which took in the overflow from both of our sister churches and folk from cultures not covered by either. Our Hispanic churches are about language mostly. Our Black churches are mostly about culture and worship style. Racism has nothing to do with it. That Jim Crow influenced generation is long gone. It's so rare to find an SDA racist that we tend to swarm them like a righteously indignant flock of Guinea Hens on a rattlesnake.

My church is not in the least racist. It's against everything that we are as a people who expect the soon coming of Christ.

© 2018 by Tom King