At a rally in Florida, Donald Trump assured his audience of his mainstream religious affiliations with the Presbyterian denomination. Alluding to Ben Carson, he added, “I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don’t know about.” Well, neither does much of the rest of the world. But that is now changing under unexpected circumstances. All the media attention surrounding Ben Carson has catapulted his beliefs, along with his church, to public scrutiny. (BEN CARSON, THE MEDIA, AND THE MOCKING OF ADVENTISM)
Ben Carson, through his campaigns for the Republican Nomination as the Party’s Presidential Candidate for the US elections, has brought a great new scrutiny to the Church’s beliefs and the biggest problem is that such scrutiny does not include the context. Just as few visible tenets of other faiths have been under scrutiny without context, so is the Adventist faith.
But that is not what scares me the most. Am not too scared that some political clueless author quickly Googled Adventist faith and decided that central to our belief is the Sabbath and the Sunday law. Am not scared that a big media house stated to the world that we believe America will unite with the Papacy to infringe on religious liberties in the name of world peace. I would be scared if that was not true, but it is.
What scares me the most is that our Church, The Seventh Day Adventist Church, is now seen in the person and character of Dr. Ben Carson. Carson is a great man, no doubt and again, if it was as simple as that, him being an ambassador so to speak of the Church, it would be great, but unfortunately he is contesting for an elective political post, and not just any post, the post of the President of The US.
For Dr. Carson to remain at the top and to win the nomination, he needs to win the hearts of the American people and that is where issues become a little tricky. Ben Carson will have to make political statements and abide by policies that do not reflect well with the Church.
For instance, during his initial campaign days, Dr. Carson alluded that people become gay in prison. His reasoning? Most people go to prison straight and leave prison gay. Gayism is central to our understanding of end times. This was something that was happening in Sodom and Gomorrha. There is no proof that the men who demanded that Lot hands over his visitors were prisoners.
Gen 19:4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter:
Gen 19:5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.
Next, he shared a photo with this statement “Not afraid to say Merry Christmas!”
In a country that seeks to ‘fight’ political correctness, his message was probably spot on. A lot of Muslims and Christians are facing prosecution and hard times because of their faith. Americans are getting scared of Muslims in general because of ISIS and his message would seem to say, am Christian and am proud to be one and I will not because of politics stop being a christian.
But on a theological level? This message stinks. With more than 5 million fans, Ben Carson’s message digs deeper than our Church can on social media. And when he makes such a statement, it is clear that he as a person is endorsing the celebration of Christmas. Our Church’s official position is that Christ was not born on the 25th. The Church does not stop anyone from dressing smart and having some delicious meals on that day, but making such a statement for a person like Ben Carson may sound like the Church is now celebrating Christmas.
These are among the few hurdles that Dr. Carson has to navigate to get the numbers required for the Republican party nominations. But does he realize what is at stake? One man has been able to bring our Church to the attention of the world but the same man is doing irreparable damage to the same church more than ever before.
Planned parenthood, abortion, bombing ISIS, home schooling etc are among the many issues in America that are casting a dark shadow on the faith of Dr. Carson. In reality, if Carson were to remain true to his faith, I found little or no political ground for him to stand on in the US. In a country that has legalized gay marriages, Ben Carson will stand at the forefront of seeing what God calls an abomination be sanctioned state after state.
Carson will have to make decisions and choices that will start in contrast to the church, and you know why? Because in politics it does not matter who is right, it matters who has the numbers. At should be get the Republican Nomination, Carson will have to even make more compromises to win the hearts of the Democrats.
My point is, as far as his political ambitions are concerned, that is his personal choice. But the fact that the media has sort of made him an Ambassador of The Seventh Day Adventist Church, it maybe time we relook at our stance as far as his campaigns are concerned. It is only a matter of time before his political opponents start comparing every statement that Carson makes with our Church beliefs and they will find a glaring opposition. It will either be that Carson is right and the Church is wrong, or the Church is right and Carson is wrong. In the later option, I believe Carsons campaign team will ensure his statements are ‘right’ and the church is ‘wrong’.
It maybe time for the Church to relook at the official position as far as Ben Carson’s political campaigns are concerned.