Thursday, October 25, 2012

How Adventists Vote....

Survey Explores How Adventists Will Vote in the 2012 Elections in the United States
Submitted: Oct 24, 2012
By AT News Team

A random sample of faculty and staff at Seventh-day Adventist colleges and universities in the United States reveals that they are about as divided and confused as the general public. Adventists clearly do not have a well-defined political view, at least on the hot issues of this election year.
About 28 percent of the respondents identify with the Republican Party, 38 percent with the Democratic Party and a third are independents. Asked how they voted in 2008, 59 percent said they voted for Barack Obama, 36 percent for John McCain and five percent for other candidates. Not much different than the overall voting outcome for the nation.
Nine out of ten respondents indicated that they intend to vote in November. Asked about the most important issues that will shape their vote, 71 percent picked health care, 69 percent the economy, 56 percent education, 55 percent jobs, 50 percent the Federal budget deficit and 45 percent taxes. Several other issues were important to smaller numbers.
It should not come as a surprise that a sample of Adventists expresses concern about health or that any group of Americans are concerned right now about the economy and jobs, or that a sampling of educators lists education as a priority. Some of the questions probed more specific views which may give a clearer picture of Adventist opinion.
A total of 77 percent oppose any law that would allow churches to campaign for political candidates and that view reflects a long-standing Adventist position on separation of church and state. Perhaps more surprising, 72 percent oppose the continuation of the tax cuts for the wealthy introduced by George Bush when he was president. And 69 percent oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A majority (55 percent) oppose government funding for social services provided by faith-based organizations, despite the fact that the institutions that employ them all get significant amounts of education funding under similar arrangements.
Of particular interest are attitudes on the historic Adventist positions regarding military service. A slim majority oppose Adventists serving in combatant roles in the military, while 22 percent actually favor it. At the same time nearly two-thirds (64 percent) support significant decreases in military spending by the U.S. government. Ask specifically about the moral justification for war, only eight percent said they think most wars are morally justified, while 68 percent said they are rarely justified and 15 percent said they are never morally justified. It appears that the views of American Adventists have migrated from the peace church (Mennonite) position held at the founding of the denomination, to a position closer to that of the Catholic theology of “just war.”
Health has long been an important focus for Adventists, including advocacy by Ellen G. White in books like The Ministry of Healing for health widespread public health measures which leads logically to the strong majority (59 percent) who favor extending health insurance to all Americans. It may also be related to nearly two thirds (63 percent) favoring government funding for medical research using stem cells. Asked specifically about Obamacare, nearly half (48 percent) support it, a little more than a third (38 percent) oppose it and 14 percent have not made up their minds.
Asked if it is the responsibility of the Federal government to make sure that all Americans have health coverage, 54 percent answered “Yes” and 38 percent said “No.” In response to a question about the recent Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare, 56 percent said it was a good thing, 27 percent said it was a bad decision and 17 percent have no opinion.
Abortion is a hot issue among Christians in America and Adventist opinion is clearly influenced by some of the debate they overhear around them. A third believe abortion should be entirely up to the woman’s choice, 52 percent believe it is acceptable in cases of rape and incest or when there is a threat to the mother’s life. Another nine percent oppose abortion under any circumstances and five percent are still not sure what to think on this topic.
Asked about how to reduce the Federal debt, 45 percent favor tax increases, 43 percent are opposed to any tax increases and 12 percent are not sure. Spending cuts are more popular, favored by 82 percent, opposed by only nine percent, with another nine percent unsure.
The respondents to this survey have high levels of civic involvement. In the last year, 60 percent worked on a community project of some kind, 48 percent were members of a service club or other civic organization, and 30 percent contacted a public official about some issue or concern. Three out of four respondents favor Adventists running for office.
The survey had a sample of 617 respondents and included all of the Adventist colleges and universities in the United States. It was designed and conducted by a team of professors from Andrews University and Washington Adventist University chaired by John Gavin, who has an academic appointment at both institutions. A complete report is being published in Spectrum, the largest journal for Adventist academics.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Peeking Out of the Door of Adventism

They seem so strange to you---everyone who is non-Adventist.  To you, they are uncomfortable to be around or perhaps scary, or deceived or downright evil and rebellious against God. You are supposed to go out and tell them about the Sabbath, but you can't really let them past your spiritual force field because they have some type power to deceive you. You pray for them, you might even go door to door slipping Revelation Seminar pamphlets behind their front screen. You see them on a daily basis at work, on the road and in the stores, but there is something inside you that always keeps them at a distance.

They are not safe. They are not Adventists and they twist things to make good bad and bad good.  You listen to everything they say through the skepticism of Adventist ears.

You see every authentic Christian as Adventist or perhaps on the way to being an Adventist when you tell them about the Sabbath and the everlasting gospel.

Bad things happen in the world, not in Adventism--well, and if something happens it is because the Devil targets Adventists because they have the truth. And if a SDA leaves the church or just simply quits attending church and something tragic happen to them--it's because they left their faith.

You subconsciously judge everyone you meet: Are they smoking or drinking? What are they wearing?  If its too stylish or if a woman is wearing too much make up or if she is wearing jewelry.... they are not safe.

Adventism is a safe subculture. You are not the world. The world is Protestants who lived in a semi-knowledge of truth. And Catholics... well they are the ultimate betrayers of Truth and house the great antichrist.

I think one of the greatest barriers between you as an Adventist and me as a former Adventist is that you have been taught to mistrust anyone who isn't in your church. As wonderful as they may be, as kind and as much as they love Jesus, they had one foot in the evil world and one foot in Christianity. And it is all that darn Sunday's fault. (That Constantine! That wayward 4th century church!)

You might be even scared to read this, for you think I might be a great deceiver out there to pollute your mind or confuse you.

This is where I ask you to be strong in the Lord. "Fear NOT!" Jesus says, "for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God." Take a very frightening step out in faith and know that God is strong and will not allow you to be swept away into annihilation of you peek out the SDA front door.

God is strong and He goes after His straying sheep. He is a God of love and mercy. He is a good God and will not allow you to be deceived if you consider other interpretations of scripture. This is where your faith must be used. I promise that I will not grab you and jerk you out of Adventism. I just want to "reason together."

People who are not Adventists see scripture in a different way than Adventists. Most know all the scripture Adventist think we ignore. I assure you, we are not ignoring it. We just read it differently. Adventists read scripture through the prophetess Ellen White. But there was a time before Ellen White and Christ gave His truths to all peoples, and all nations and all tongues.

Is it possible that Adventists are wrong and they are not interpreting scripture correctly? Maybe Christians out here didn't actually give up any scripture or truth, but just read scripture with a more ancient and universal interpretation.

Perhaps there is no bad guy here--no bad people out to deceive you, but true Christians who simply understand scripture a different way.

You see, I know what you're thinking. You are immediately thinking that your church was given Ellen White to interpret scripture the right way. Think of the visions? The good people in your church... Adventism has fruits that prove it is the true remnant. They have the Sabbath.


Christianity is more than one day. Christianity is about Christ. We have really solid biblical and historical reasons we do not believe the Seventh-day Sabbath will be the test of Christianity. If you believe only Adventists can be trusted, then you will never ever accept anything I say as in any way truthful.

But why are you reading this? I know a whole bunch of Adventists are torn with cognitive dissonance in their belief system. Something isn't right and you know it but you are afraid to find out.

Pray and then read other mainstream Christian interpretations of scripture. God is strong, God is good.

And He will never let ANYONE snatch you from out of His hands.