Faith Communities Today
New Fact Information
The majority of Adventist local churches report they are not working for social justice. Despite the great diversity among Adventists and the good work of the ADRA and Adventist Community Services, most congregations still seem to fear “the social gospel.”
This information comes from research done as part of the Faith Communities Today (FACT) survey.
For those congregations that ‘do things by the book’ the Adventist Church Manual urges social justice in a chapter on church standards in community relationships (p. 163). “We should support by our service and our means...all proper efforts for social order and betterment [and] maintain an uncompromising stand for justice and right in civic affairs.”
Some Adventists still believe that Ellen White said we should not get involved in social justice. Fortunately recent historical research has revealed that Ellen White was actively involved in social justice herself and if one reads the context of what she wrote, she advocated it for church leaders. To learn more, read Ministry of Healing, pages 183-208.
Some possible discussion questions for your church board, Sabbath School class, Personal Ministries team, Community Services council, or other groups:
1. On a scale of 1 to 5, is our local church visibly working for social justice? (5 is “very” and 1 is “not at all.”) What specific evidence supports the number that you picked?
2. What are some of the most important issues of social justice today, both locally and globally?
3. What barriers lie in the way of doing social justice in your congregation and how can you overcome them?4. What difference would it make if our congregation were more involved in working for social justice?
New FACT Information, Center for Creative Ministry