On Thursday, January 29, a panel discussion including Mark Finley, Nicholas Miller, and Sherine Brown-Fraser, was held in the lobby of the Howard Performing Arts Center at Andrews University. The panel answered questions centered on the topic: “The Role of Seventh-day Adventists in Social Justice.” Questions included: What social justice issues should the SDA church be or not be involved in? Are ethnically separate conferences a social justice issue? What social justice issues do you (directed at the panel) find pressing? Brown-Fraser, being the Chair of the Department of Public Health, Nutrition and Wellness, stressed food disparity. Miller, a professor of church history, noted that Adventists were once vocal on topics such as abolition and temperance, but lost their social gospel message and became silent on issues such as Civil Rights. Now, Miller mentioned, Adventists say little on race, torture, immigration, and sex trafficking. Finley, Assistant to the General Conference President with regard to global evangelism, pointed to creation as the basis for social justice. Finley pointed out organizations such as ADRA that do such works as digging wells. When a woman who walks three miles a day to get water sees a well gushing in her own village, “that’s social justice,” Finley said. Education seemed to be the preferred method of fixing social injustice, but the overall appeal of the panel to the Andrews University campus was that each person would find the issue that “gets their heart beating” and work towards justice.
By Łukasz Krzywon, AU APF student leader