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From Where I Stand: Compelled to Love

Some Adventist members are expressing strong opposition to other members who have shown support of any kind for the black community during the recent months. They say our church shouldn’t be involved in politics. They say support for black people is equal to buying into a Marxist ideology.

Let’s pause the mudslinging for a moment. There are clearly political elements at work in our country today. Having said that, is it political to be human and lift people up when they are oppressed?

Let’s stop a hot second and consider the Savior. How did Jesus deal with situations where people were downtrodden and treated as less than human?

Jesus spoke against injustice and addressed the value of all human life. Luke, Chapter 8, contains the story of the woman healed when she touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. When she reached out to Him, He stopped and intentionally acknowledged her.

As all eyes focused on the woman, Jesus showed her, and the crowd gathered, that she mattered. He noticed her in the crowd before anyone else and stopped everything for her, even to the point of being late for a different miracle He was headed to perform. 

This gospel story reveals the truth, upon every examination, that Jesus noticed people in their pain and oppression. He made special note of the woman, even though every life in the crowd around him was equally valuable. Their lives didn’t matter any less to the Savior. The official's daughter who lay dying didn’t matter any less to Jesus. And yet He chose that moment to intentionally acknowledge this woman in her greatest moment of need. He singled her out. 

As a church, are we not called to follow Jesus’ example? We should be compelled to do as He did for that woman. If we cannot publicly demonstrate our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ — regardless of their ethnicity, creed and lifestyle — then at best we mirror the priest and the Levite who passed by on the other side of the road, leaving one of God's children beaten, left for dead.

From where I stand, showing support and concern when something in our society is broken is exactly what Jesus would do. Does that make me political ... or Christ-like?

Featured in: November/December 2020


Jay Wintermeyer

North Pacific Union assistant to the president for communication and Gleaner editor