EDITOR'S NOTE: Jack Bergman, former president of Walla Walla University and longtime champion of religious liberty throughout the Northwest and beyond, died in late October. He is remembered in the following words from Gregory Hamilton, Northwest Religious Liberty Association (NRLA) president.
This year we mourn the loss of H.J. “Jack” Bergman. Jack was a dedicated servant of God with a stellar career in education, both in the public and Adventist academic sector, including the following:
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution clearly lays out prohibitions for the American government to promote or infringe on religion. It specifically uses the indefinite article "an" and not the definite article "the," which might otherwise be construed to apply only to a national or state-sponsored religion. The article "an" essentially means "any." The so-called religious establishment clause begins the amendment, which also speaks to the freedom of speech and the press. The implications of the amendment are unequivocal, not hard to understand.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following statement represents the majority view of the North Pacific Union Conference executive committee, which voted 34-2 for approval at its regular meeting on November 14, 2018, in College Place, Washington.
Our prayerful mission is for each member within the North Pacific Union Conference to be empowered to share the distinctive Christ-centered, Seventh-day Adventist message of hope and wholeness with their communities. We embrace this mission and the scriptural truth of our Seventh-day Adventist fundamental beliefs.
Throughout childhood, I suffered guilt and despair despite sincerity of spiritual caregivers. Church school teachers warned that only perfectly Christlike children qualify for heaven. While God also loves imperfect people, they would be lost in heaven’s investigative judgment — which any moment could determine our doom. "But if you pray every day,” pastors added hopefully, “Jesus will come into your heart and cleanse you from all sin.”
Somehow sanctification didn’t happen as advertised.
This was not my plan for today.
In 1934 George Herbert Mead (and later with the help of Harold Blumer) created a communication theory known as symbolic interactionism. The essential idea is that people assign meaning to objects in the world and that influences how they interact. However, these meanings aren’t static. As we connect with other people we can modify meanings, which in turn change the way we act. And as our actions and responses change, they help shape the way we live.
It seems somehow appropriate on this Reformation Day 2018 to reflect on the current stance of our Seventh-day Adventist Church toward the Protestant ethics of individual conscience in matters of belief and practice.
Adventist Health leadership, staff and employees are ministers for Christ in our Seventh-day Adventist Church. Adventist Health, our partner in ministry, has committed and dedicated itself to be one of the best health care delivery systems in its territory. This lofty goal has pushed the organization to make many changes on its journey toward excellence.