Concerning the article titled Diversity University in February 2016 OUTLOOK, I believe some key biblical teachings need to be stated in response.
First of all, the distinction made between unity and uniformity included some false dichotomies. The author said “Uniformity is . . . one orientation. . . . Unity is not. . . . Adolf Hitler demanded uniformity. Jesus of Nazareth propels unity.” It appears the author is suggesting one orientation, heterosexuality, is uniformity, and that Jesus is somehow against that. Is the author suggesting that since, in his opinion, unity is not just one orientation (heterosexuality), it must be two (homosexuality and heterosexuality) or more (LGBT+ and heterosexuality)? If that is the author’s point, then apparently he believes the fall of man through sin elevated mankind from their limited “uniformity” of heterosexuality to “unity” which includes LGBT+. Where is the Scriptural evidence that Jesus propels more than one orientation?
Since Jesus is the Creator (John 1:1-3, 14) whose perfect creation in Eden is described as “very good” (Gen. 1:31), and since He instituted the marriage covenant relationship between one man and one woman in the Garden of Eden as the divine pattern for all future marital relationships, it appears the author is at odds with this radical teaching of Jesus (cf. Gen. 1:27-28; 2:24; Matt. 19:4-6). Furthermore, the author’s argument is divisive since anyone who disagrees with him would be put in the same camp as Adolf Hitler.
To be clear, the General Conference Executive Committee voted an official statement on same-sex unions in October 2012 which includes these two paragraphs:
“Homosexuality is a manifestation of the disturbance and brokenness in human inclinations and relations caused by the entrance of sin into the world. While everyone is subject to fallen human nature, ‘we also believe that by God’s grace and through the encouragement of the community of faith, an individual may live in harmony with the principles of God’s Word’ (Seventh-day Adventist Position Statement on Homosexuality, 2012).
“We hold that all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, are loved by God. We do not condone singling out any group for scorn and derision, let alone abuse. Still, God’s Word that transcends time and culture does not permit a homosexual lifestyle. The Bible’s opposition to same-sex unions/marriage is anchored in God’s plan at creation for marriage (Gen 1:26-28; 2:20-24), in divine legislation (Lev 18:22; 20:13; 1 Cor 6:9‑11), and in Jesus’ explicit confirmation of a permanent, monogamous, and heterosexual marriage relationship (Matt 19:4‑-6)” (https://www.adventist.org/en/information/official-statements/statements/article/go/-/same-sex-unions/).
Secondly, the author mentioned loving as Jesus loves. The Bible defines love in I Corinthians 13, and includes this often forgotten aspect, “Love does not delight in evil [iniquity, sin], but rejoices with the truth” (vs. 6). As we love like Christ loved, we will not delight in evil, but will rejoice with the truth.
Lastly, the false dichotomy of being an “E. G. White Adventist or a Red Letter Adventist, etc.” is troubling. It should not be an “either/or” but instead a “both/and.” Revelation 19:10b says, “The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (italics mine). As I demonstrate in the following paragraph, we can be both an E. G. White Adventist and a Biblical Adventist (since we believe all Scripture, both the Old and New Testament, is inspired, not just the red letters of Jesus).
Biblical unity, according to Jesus, is unity in the truth (John 17:17-23). Ellen White confirms this biblical teaching when she writes, “Jesus prayed that His followers might be one; but we are not to sacrifice the truth in order to secure this union, for we are to be sanctified through the truth. Here is the foundation of all true peace. Human wisdom would change all this, pronouncing this basis too narrow. Men would try to effect unity through concession to popular opinion, through compromise with the world, a sacrifice of vital godliness. But truth is God’s basis for the unity of His people” (Review and Herald, April 12, 1892).
Jared Miller is a pastor and Family Ministry director for the Iowa-Missouri Conference.