There’s a debate raging in the Seventh-day Adventist Church about creation vs. evolution, particularly as its taught in higher education, e.g. La Sierra University. I am not about to get into that issue here.
The irony is that those American churches that protest most vocally against the teaching of Darwinism in their schools are often, in their public policies, supporting a kind of economic Darwinism, the survival of the fittest in world markets and military power.
So my question: If the church won’t “flinch” in our stand for creation, will we be consistent? If we stand against Darwinism, will we stand against it in all forms, even social Darwinism? If not, it seems to me our convictions about creation have little real world significance other than a house of cards, propping up our beliefs.
Apparently it’s been around for awhile, but I like this video titled The Girl Effect. I discovered it on Garr Reynold’s blog, Presentation Zen, who discovered it on Dan Heath’s blog, Made to Stick. Check out the video and then see my comments afterward:
You can learn about the organizations behind The Girl Effect at http://girleffect.org. One of the reasons I like this video is because of CARE, a humanitarian organization I support. CARE fights global poverty by helping poor women around the world. As they say, “women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty.” Read more here.
I am honored to be part of a Public Service Announcement titled “I’m a Social Justice Christian.” The PSA was produced by New Name Pictures, a film production venture co-founded by my friend Ryan Bell, pastor of the Hollywood SDA Church.
You can learn more about the project at www.socialjusticechristian.com. There’s also other resources for the “I’m a Social Justice Christian” campaign on their website. I’ve included the PSA in this post, as well as Brian McLaren’s response. Please pass the word about the project. Good work Ryan!
“The issue is figuring out how to live in the suburbs and still have a heart for the city. This was the place of Nehemiah in the Old Testament. It broke his heart to know the city of Jerusalem was in ruins, and he took some of the responsibility for why this was the case. We must acknowledge the systemic issues behind urban violence and take responsibility as well. Those living outside the city must take responsibility and work with those in the city to be salt and light.”
Within a few miles from my office I can leave the idyllic community of Loma Linda, California, where people live to be a hundred, and enter San Bernardino, once ranked the 16th most violent city in America. Truthfully, I can go about my life, rarely venturing into this urban community in my backyard.
When you live in the city its on top of you, you can’t run from the needs, it’s in your face. But suburbia can anesthetize you to suffering and injustice. You can build a safe life (or so you think), a secluded life, where the world can be shut out. Not so in the city.
There’s lots of challenges to living missionally in the suburbs, but one of the most problematic for me? Complacency. I find myself too comfortable with nice sub-divisions, tidy neighborhoods, and picturesque streets. The Rev. Smith challenges me. I am responsible too. And here in my town I can’t escape the fact there’s enormous needs across the street. So what am I doing about? Sadly, the usual, not much. What challenges do you face trying to live faithfully in Suburbia?
Jesus, have mercy on me. Remove my complacency. Compel me to action. Let me not forget the city in my backyard. Amen.
The Suburban Pastor is the personal blog of Jeff Gang. I’m pastor for the Anaheim Seventh-day Adventist Church in Anaheim, California. This blog is a place for me to share my thoughts about ordinary life as a Jesus follower, pastor, husband, father of three, friend, and triathlete in my spare time.