I am looking at the August 2016 issue of Adventist World (AW). There on pages 38- 39 is the story of SDAs killing SDAs in Rwanda in 1994. It’s a terrible story.
Twenty-two years after the killings it’s still terrible. In the AW article, I read that even the local conference president turned on fellow SDAs. I see that sometimes the bond of faith fellowship is not as strong as ethnic and political bonds. Let's jump forward, out of Rwanda, into August, 2016. Here in the United States 22 years later, in another culture and another world we have an issue that may test those same bonds inside the SDA community--that were tested in Rwanda .
I have before me an appeal letter from the National Right To Work Legal Defense Foundation, INC, dated July 29, 2016. The letter begins this way:
Dear Mr. Carlson,
“Starting with one quietly filed legal case in a small town in Idaho, union lawyers have launched oneof the most threatening forced-dues attacks you and I have seen in decades.
“The brain child of a former Service Employees International Union (SEIU) legal strategist, now Harvard law professor, this new legal strategy is a “killing shot” designed to wipe out all state Right to Work laws with one fell swoop.” The letter goes on to state that 26 states have Right to Work laws that protect their state citizens from being forced to pay dues to the SEIU. But this new union ploy is designed to, “… turning reality on its head, union lawyers now claim that workers’ wages don’t actually belong to the workers—some portion belongs to Big Labor, and the Right to Work laws “take” it from union bosses in violation of the U.S. Constitution.”
The letter tells how this strategy was “cleverly initiated” “in a forced-dues-friendly Circuit Court district with the goal of rocketing it to the U.S. Supreme Court.” Union leaders are greedily looking forward to the next presidential term with Hillary Clinton when a new Supreme Court freshly packed with liberal judges will certainly revoke all Right to Work laws in the United States as unconstitutional.
And if you know anything about the battles involving the SEIU, do you really believe that somehow, your profession won’t be the target of forced unionism next? What amazes me is that there are many SDAs in favor of Democrat union policies regardless of the hardships forced unionism will impose on their fellow SDAs who want to follow biblically-directed principles and SOP warnings about joining or being a part of a labor union such as this statement:
“For years I have been given special light that we are not to center our work in the cities. The turmoil and confusion that fill these cities, the conditions brought about by the labor unions and the strikes, would prove a great hindrance to our work. Men are seeking to bring those engaged in the different trades under bondage to certain unions. This is not God's planning, but the planning of a power that we should in no wise acknowledge. God's word is fulfilling; the wicked are binding themselves up in bundles ready to be burned” (Counsels on Health, p 273.2)
Or these statements found in Country Living:
“These unions are one of the signs of the last days. Men are binding up in bundles ready to be burned. They may be church members, but while they belong to these unions, they cannot possibly keep the commandments of God; for to belong to these unions means to disregard the entire Decalogue.
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." These words sum up the whole duty of man. They mean the consecration of the whole being, body, soul, and spirit, to God's service. How can men obey these words, and at the same time pledge themselves to support that which deprives their neighbors of freedom of action? And how can men obey these words, and form combinations that rob the poorer classes of the advantages which justly belong to them, preventing them from buying or selling, except under certain conditions?
“Those who claim to be the children of God are in no case to bind up with the labor unions that are formed or that shall be formed. This the Lord forbids. Cannot those who study the prophecies see and understand what is before us?” (CL, pp. 11- 12).
In spite of such statements, many SDAs are more than willing to turn a deaf ear to the pleas of fellow SDAs who desire freedom to follow their consciences and be allowed to work free of forced unionization of any kind. For the sake of ethnic or political bonds, some SDAs are completely indifferent to the hardships that forced unionism will impose on their fellow brethren. If we follow this hardness of heart into the end time events, we see through the prophetic eye given to us that in the future many SDAs will turn on their ‘former” brethren and become their strongest accusers--the Rwanda experience all over again.
What happened to us? When I was a boy growing up in the SDA church I heard many religious-liberty sermons on the spiritual dangers of labor unions. Many SDA's suffered loss of jobs and livelihood instead of submitting to being part of a labor union. As a denomination we prayed together for relief from forced unionism; and Right to Work laws where the dreams and prayers of all SDA leaders and many laymen. This was back in the 1950s and into the 1960s. Now, many years later, we have 26 states with Right to Work laws. What an answer to prayer! Praise the Lord!
But in the coming election, are these gains to be lost? Many men outside the church deeply fear that will indeed happen. We inside the church have even more insight than those non-SDA men and women have. We know that forced unionism of any kind is a tool Satan used to bind men and women into bundles for burning and will be a prominent factor in end-time events.
Yet sadly, many SDAs in this coming election may--by voting for Hillary--be enough to turn the election over to Democrats and bring about the end of all Right to Work laws and create much suffering for many of their SDA brethren. Is such a spirit really that far away from the spirit that inflamed passions in Rwanda in 1994 -- SDA killing SDA?
"Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17).
[Fulcrum7 does not endorse any political party. We identify threats to our Christian freedom, and we often expose cultural trends that threaten the hearts & minds of believers as we "Occupy until He comes." We endorse the Return of Christ as the only hope for human hopelessness.]