The Government Must Not Define Religion

It is a dangerous thing for the government to start defining what is and what is not religion. And that’s true whether the government leaders seeking to do so are liberal or conservative. The Obama administration erred when it tried to say religious freedom is merely “freedom to worship,” and sought to restrict the rights…

Chaplaincy IS Ministry

Chaplaincy is under fire from different directions. Some church leaders suggest chaplaincy is something other than ministry — something you do if you “fail in ministry” or (strangely) want a “back door into ministry.” Meanwhile, some in chaplaincy (or, “spiritual care,” as they prefer to call it) want to separate chaplaincy from ministry and turn…

Adventists on Military Service

The Seventh-day Adventist Church was officially organized in 1863, during the US Civil War. The church from the beginning took a stand against bearing arms. When the first draft law was enacted, you could pay $300 and get out of it. The church was small, and few were affected. But the law was changed to…

Comparing Views on Abortion Across Denomination

Interesting PEW survey shows 42% of Adventists said “abortion should be legal in all or most cases.” 54% said it should be illegal. Some denominations that are officially very strongly anti-abortion seem to have a hard time persuading their members — 48% of Catholics and 46% of Missouri Synod Lutherans were for legal abortion. Lutheran…

Fear and Immigration

I recently read a diatribe by a white liberal about the dangers brought by immigrants–especially those who make up much of the growth of our denomination. He was upset, and afraid that they would take our church backwards, in a “sectarian” direction; afraid that they would bring with them conservative beliefs and ways of doing…