Michigan Conference vs. LSU – Right Wing Politics or Truth in Advertising?
Since the controversy over the promotion of neo-Darwinism (to the active exclusion of any meaningful support for the “fundamental” Adventist position on creation) erupted at La Sierra University over two years ago, some have accused those who support efforts to actually uphold the church’s position on origins (a literal 7-day creation week) as being fringe ultraconservative right-wing fundamentalists who are just one step away from raving lunacy – if not already there. Some of the more benign accusations liken supporters of this effort, to include the leadership of the Michigan Conference (and their removal of LSU from official recognition as an Adventist institution; Link), to the Tea Party movement in US politics.
“The Michigan Conference is the Adventist version of the Tea Party wing of the right wing of the Republican Party.” – Dr. Erv Taylor
Some forget, however, that this issue is primarily one of transparency and of church order and government. The actual governmental structure of the church is important to the success of its mission. And, one doesn’t have to be a member of any political party to recognize the importance and need for transparency, in particular, from our church with regard to what our children are being taught in our own “Adventist” schools.
If the Seventh-day Adventist Church really does stand for something as “fundamental” to its own identity and mission, or as a primary goal or ideal, it should make that stand very clear and unambiguous… and should call its school administrators and teachers to task to actively support said goals and ideals (which has officially been done by the way). Intuitively, the church should also maintain only those paid representatives who actually represent what they are being paid to represent – as is the case for any viable organization.
Of course, if one or more of our schools is not or cannot support all of the church’s primary goals and ideals, both the school and the church leadership have a moral obligation to inform the membership at large of this situation and work to correct it (as the Michigan Conference is trying to do in this particular case). After all, is it not a moral wrong to give people something other than what they thought they were buying with their hard earned dollars?
In short, Tea-party members aren’t the only one’s who frown on false advertising… Neither Republicans nor Democrats nor independents, nor anyone else for that matter, appreciate getting sold something they never intended to buy.