Impact on society | Adventist Information Network

Joseph Bates and James and Ellen White, founding leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, were radical proponents of societal issues that were divisive in their time; all were active in favor of the abolition of slavery (which led to the American Civil War), and Ellen White spoke to the largest crowds about the abolition of alcohol through the Women’s Temperance Society.

Some Adventists have found a public voice on domestic violence, climate change and religious freedom, in many Pacific countries. It is good to be concerned about what concerns others. Hopefully we can provide a credible biblical perspective on the issues, based on personal action.

Our pioneers addressed issues important to people in society. They supported current causes. Their focus was the last-day gospel message to the world, but they also knew that justice and good living were real concerns that needed to be addressed in practical ways. They brought a Jesus-centered approach based on biblical principles to the problems of slavery and alcohol. Meeting practical needs from God’s perspective is why our denomination has established schools and hospitals.

As Adventists of this generation, what societal issues concern you and your contemporaries? What issues do you donate your money to, actively support and talk about? What issues important to Jesus and the prophets of the Bible could we bring a biblical perspective to? Poverty, domestic violence, climate change, child protection, racial discrimination, justice, lifestyle diseases, prison reform…

When Jesus and the prophets spoke about the problems of their day, it was divisive. They shared their point of view to give an alternative point of view—to give God’s perspective. Could we have the courage and the wisdom to do it today?

Engagement and connection with the community is important. God is interested in things that add value or take away meaning from every life. When we proactively speak up and respond to societal issues, it shows that we reflect God’s heart and are relevant.

This article was originally published on the Adventist Record website

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