In November 2014, Smithsonian Magazine included Ellen White, the co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in the top 100 most significant American personalities of all time.
The separation between church and state is greeted with enthusiasm by those who appreciate freedom of conscience. However, this separation can also have less fortunate ramifications.
"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings… And overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice." (Nelson Mandela)
The dissonance between what church representatives say and what they do, the crises caused by sexual scandals, tolerating sin, not taking responsibility for mistakes and hiding them, and selling spiritual gifts for money, are just a few of the reasons why people say they’re disappointed in the Church.
When a visitor walks into your church, what will they see? What will they hear? How will they feel?
Recently, my wife and I got hooked on a TV show. We’d wait in anticipation for the latest episode each week. The show was Old people’s home for 4-year-olds. The basic premise? Take a class of cheeky, energetic, curious four-year-olds (some of who lacked a filter) and have them spend a significant amount of time with the elderly residents of an aged-care facility.
In the case of the well-known tension between the church and the younger generation, only one conclusion is possible. It’s not hard to figure out what we’re missing, it’s just hard to accept—on both sides.