Friday, September 18 2020 - 11:50 AM

The Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Pacific Southwest



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The purpose of this website is to promote human kindness and grace among all people, regardless of their backgrounds, religious beliefs, race, or political affiliations. We are eager to demonstrate that those who are truly followers of Jesus (not in name only) understand what it means to reflect his ideals. Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen. In fact, sometimes “Christians” are the worst examples of what Jesus believed and taught. Yet, whether you are spiritual or not, civility and compassion are qualities we can all benefit from and appreciate.

In a world where animosities and passions are stoked by radio talk-show hosts who purposely alienate us from each other for the sake of ratings; where racial and cultural divides are exaggerated; where political and religious differences are exploited for selfish ends, it is imperative that we return to the simple approach of treating one another with dignity and grace. It is a sad reality that money and self interests often prevent us from practicing the Golden Rule.

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets” (Matthew 7:12, NLT).

“This concept can be explained from the perspective of psychology, philosophy, sociology and religion. Psychologically, it involves a person empathizing with others. Philosophically, it involves a person perceiving their neighbor as also an “I” or “self.” Sociologically, this principle is applicable between individuals, between groups, and also between individuals and groups. (For example, a person living by this rule treats all people with consideration, not just members of his or her in-group.) Religions figure prominently in the history of this concept.” 1

Clearly, today’s culture is on a different page. Even among proclaimed Christians there is division and discontent. Some believe that the United States should be a theocratic state where religious values are promoted and sanctioned by the government. Other are committed to keeping church and state separate and want nothing to do with legislated morality (which we embrace). Jesus explained before his crucifixion that until he returns there will be discord and trouble. In fact, he said,

“My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36, NLT).

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33, NLT).

As followers of Jesus we are to be salt and light—meaning that we are to bring out the God-flavors of grace and compassion wherever we go. When we treat people with kindness, we are showing that we’ve been with Jesus. Christians who boycott the graves of fallen soldiers and who condemn those who are not living according to their beliefs are not following the example of Jesus. If we truly wish to emulate him we will heed Scripture:

“Do all things without complaining or bickering with each other, so you will be found innocent and blameless; you are God’s children called to live without a single stain on your reputations among this perverted and crooked generation. Shine like stars across the land” (Philippians 2:14-15, The Voice).

This website is an initiative of Pacific Union Conference Creative Ministries, located in Westlake Village, California.

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