Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Perspectives

Harriet Langley, a member of Allegheny East Conference’s Pisgah church in Bryans Road, Md., could never forget the Jefferson family. As a long-serving member of the church’s Adventist Community Services (ACS) team, she had helped many, many people, but this family was different. “The father had gotten hurt on the job and couldn’t work,” she recalls. “When they couldn’t pay the bills, he and his family were put out of the trailer they were living in.”

Where does our church stand on some of today’s most talked about issues?

Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders have advocated for religious freedom for well over 100 years, but what about other important societal issues, like the sanctity of marriage, capital punishment or conscience protections for physicians in the recent healthcare debate? Certainly, the church is in a unique position to offer sound and ethical advice to policymakers, but should we follow the example of early church leaders who intensely engaged policymakers over prohibition and dietary health reform?
 

If you’re not actively engaged in telling others about God’s love and sharing His Word, then you really can’t call yourself a Seventh-day Adventist,” warns Lillian Torres, the Pennsylvania Conference and Columbia Union Bible worker who has dedicated her life to drawing people to Christ and training others to do the same. “Our goal as Christians should be to tell every person we interact with each day about God’s love.” She further explains, “If I’m not intentionally engaged in personal evangelism, I can’t claim to be an Adventist because we believe in the second coming of Christ and proclaiming it. And, being a Christian means to believe in Christ’s teachings and gospel, and showing it in character and practice. If I’m neither, then what am I?”

Looking back, Josephine Benton, now 87, knows exactly where her desire to minister came from. Her father was a Seventh-day Adventist evangelist who frequently moved their family around the country. “I would sit and listen to my dad’s sermons, and I always knew that if I had been born a boy, I would have been a preacher,” she said. “But that path didn’t seem open to me.”

If the referendum on Maryland’s Civil Marriage Act passes, the state would join six others and the District of Columbia in legalizing same-sex marriage. As they head to the polls this month, Seventh-day Adventist Christians are wondering what passage of this law and two others could mean for Bible-believers. In 1999 and again in 2004, the world church released statements upholding the biblical view and fundamental belief that marriage should involve one man and one woman.