By D. Eric Williams
It is my deep concern for the stability, growth and well-being of the church that has moved me to address this matter. I am kindly asking the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventists Church to address this matter before it causes serious fracture among the church membership and damage the reputation of the church that the pioneers spent decades building.
In this 21st century, politics has become more polarised than it has ever been in our history, and the church should be a place of refuge from the divisive politics that rule the day. Knowing this, the leadership of the church, president and pastors especially has a responsibility to refrain from discussing politics outside of their homes/family circle, being representatives of God and the church. Their actions should be unambiguous and beyond reproach.
It troubles me deeply as a lifelong Seventh-day Adventist Christian, what has been communicated to me about the involvement of the church in politics. When the church cuddles with a particular government/party, the church becomes compromised and is unable to speak out against injustice or wrongdoing committed by that party/government. The church should be unbridled and free to speak for the cause of justice and fairness at all times. The church’s moral standing then becomes undermined by such association.
The church’s mission is to make disciples of ALL men. Not some men, or those who support a particular political party, and we do that through evangelism. Considering the nature of our politics today, how can we a church evangelise everyone when it is perceived that the church and its leadership in the tank for one particular political party? It has been brought to my attention that the President of the SDA Mission in SVG appears to overtly promotes a particular political party and has appeared on that party’s platform at political events. I was also reliably informed that some SDA pastors are following suit.
These actions are against the church’s policy and position regarding politics. The church is not to be used to promote politics in support of one party over the other. It is the pastors’ and leaders’ responsibility to make this clear to their congregation. Members should only be encouraged to exercise their civic duties in casting their votes, and that is where it should stop.
With general elections on the horizon, I am appealing to Pastor Dermoth Baptiste, the president and leader of the church in St. Vincent, to communicate in writing to all the churches, the position of the church regarding politics, and cease from appearing on any political party platform or functions, and instruct the local pastors and other leaders to refrain from doing the same. A public statement should also be published in the local papers also, stating the church’s position concerning matters of politics, since the church has published statements in the past on other matters including homosexuality. The church’s reputation and the unity of its members are at stake. Do it for the good of the church!
The church’s presence predates us all and will remain after we are gone. Governments come and governments go, but the Church of God shall remain.
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