Garrick Augustus, May 25, 2014 (Originally published on my old blog)
My heart is further saddened today, as my research has shown that the parent organization of the Altadena Seventh-day Adventist Church, where Dr. Eric Walsh serves as the associate pastor, has disavowed and essentially disowned him! I have been following this topic, because the decisions made on this case, can affect the life and livelihood of many Seventh-day Adventist Christians who work in the public arena.
Read my previous blog on this topic here: (originally published on my old blog) http://gaugustus336.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/pastor-dr-walsh-lost-the-job-offer-because-he-preaches-the-bible/
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is considered the world’s bastion of hope for religious liberty. Our church has dedicated a large part of its mission, for over a century, to advocate on behalf of the religious liberties of her parishioners, as well as the liberties of others, not of her faith. Whenever church members get caught in difficult places on the job, the Office of Religious Liberty is contacted, and generally, they have been able to defuse the situation to the mutual benefit of the employer and employee. But in the case of Dr. Eric Wash, our church has literally thrown him under the oncoming train! Let’s analyze the press release issued by the Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (SCC), also located here: http://www.scribd.com (You owe it to yourself to click on the link and read this document prepared on denominational letter head).
Can you really imagine that the above statement (press release) came from a people who profess to hold the Bible as their only rule of faith and duty! What does this tell us of our chances of getting legal representation by our Church when confronted and bullied on the job for our faith? Is this a friend or a foe? is the question we ought to be asking ourselves.
My Friends, this is not the movement which began in 1844, and organized in 1863; what we now have is an ecumenical movement bearing the same historic name given by its founders, but not holding to much of their historic teachings! Even as recently as October, 2012, the General Conference (GC) went on record regarding the question of human sexuality, and made this definitive statement, which also supports the theology of Dr. Eric Wash on the charge for which he being assailed:
“Seventh‑day Adventists believe that sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman. This was the design established by God at creation. The Scriptures declare: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Gen 2:24, NIV). Throughout Scripture this heterosexual pattern is affirmed. The Bible makes no accommodation for homosexual activity or relationships. Sexual acts outside the circle of a heterosexual marriage are forbidden (Lev 18:5-23, 26; Lev 20:7‑21; Rom 1:24‑27; 1 Cor 6:9‑11). Jesus Christ reaffirmed the divine creation intent: “‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,” and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?” So they are no longer two, but one'” (Matt 19:4‑6, NIV). For these reasons Seventh-day Adventists are opposed to homosexual practices and relationships.” — http://www.adventist.org (Emphasis with italics are mine.)
In spite of this position statement by the General Conference (GC), the Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, on May 6th, 2014, issued a press release in the wake of the uproar surrounding Dr. Walsh’s 8-year old sermons, excerpts of which are quoted below:
“Dr. Walsh serves the congregation of the Altadena Seventh-day Adventist Church as an associate pastor on a part-time basis. However, he does not hold ministerial credentials from the Adventist Church, does not speak on behalf of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, and as far we know, does not represent his views as anything other than his own.…The Seventh-day Adventist Church believes that all people, regardless of race, gender, age, creed, and sexual orientation, are children of God, whom he loves equally. As a Christian community we are called to reflect and spread this love to all of His children.” — http://www.scribd.com
Clearly, the GC and SCC are not speaking the same message; they are not singing the same song, and they are certainly not reading from the same proverbial sheet of music! In light of this fact, the question is clear: will the real Seventh-day Adventists please stand up! Will the real Christians in the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination please stand up! Will the real Christians around the world, who hold to the Protestant creed of Sola Scriptura (the Bible and the Bible only is our rule of faith and doctrine) please stand up!
I urge you today to join with me and send your petitions to: Public Health Commissioner Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, The North Georgia Health District Human Resources Director, the respective Counties (Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield) Boards of Supervisors, asking them to do the honorable thing, in compliance with their standing policy on unlawful discrimination practices, and give Dr. Wash the job he is fully qualified to lead, and has been issued an offer letter to hold.
Here is their policy statement, most recently updated in 2010, and posted on their website:
“The County Board of Health (CBH) is an equal opportunity employer and promotes an employment environment free from all aspects of unlawful discrimination.
“POLICY: The CBH and its employees are subject to the provisions of federal law prohibiting unlawful discrimination on the basis of age, gender, color, disability, national origin, political affiliation, race, or religion. CBH is also subject to the provisions of the Fair Employment Practices Act as administered by the Commission on Equal Opportunity.
“It is the policy of the CBH to administer a personnel management program in compliance with the equal employment opportunity laws, rules, and regulations cited above. The CBH is committed to employment practices which afford opportunities for employment and advancement based upon merit and job-related criteria.” – http://www.nghd.org (italics with emphasis are mine).
Conspicuously absent from this policy is the phrase “sexual orientation,” yet a local media outlet reports that “The Health Initiative, an LGBT activist group in Georgia, sent a letter to Public Health Commissioner Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald on Thursday asking her not to hire Walsh.” — http://onlineathens.com/breaking-news
What were their supporting grounds for retracting the offer letter of employment? His Biblical views on a range of topics—his religion, with biblical beliefs on homosexuality being the leading offender! It was not the Evolutionary Scientists, nor the Muslims, nor even the Roman Catholics that petitioned the Commissioner, rather it was someone from an LGBT activist group! Apparently they now have the authority to hire and fire the Public Health Director on behalf of The North Georgia Health District.
There are certain guarantees in the US constitution, and freedom from religious intolerance is one of them. Here is the first amendment to our Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” – http://www.ushistory.org
The United States is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and the office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission clearly states the following, regarding religious discrimination: “Religious discrimination involves treating a person (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her religious beliefs. The law protects not only people who belong to traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs.” http://www.eeoc.gov (Emphasis with italics are mine)
To protect other Christians in the workplace, I am personally appealing to Dr. Walsh to take up his case with the EEOC. You may go here to start the proceedings: http://www.eeoc.gov Your case exhibits all the characteristics of unlawful discrimination based on your religious beliefs—a protected right for every American citizen and resident alien of the United States. Even terrorists who are within the domicile of the USA, are also accorded these inalienable rights. Please be aware that there is a statute of limitations (6-months) during which to file, so get the ball rolling now, because time is of the essence. While you petition the EEOC, the rest of us will be vigilant in the closet of prayer to our Redeemer and King. Be aware that yours is a precedent-setting case, which can have far-reaching in America, and around the world where same-sex marriage laws have been adopted.
My outrage, however, is not with the LGBT group, because they are avowed and sincere sinners, and sinners will always do what sinners do best— they commit sins with impunity and reckless abandon. My real outrage is with the Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, who have essentially disowned a child of theirs at a time when he needs their motherly love and protection the most!
At this point, it is important for you to see Dr. Wash’s summary bio, posted at the Altadena Seventh-day Adventist Church where he is the legitimate Associate Pastor:
“He [Dr. Walsh] is currently the Director/Health Officer for the City of Pasadena Health Department in Pasadena, CA, as well as being the immediate former President of the California Academy of Preventive Medicine. Dr. Walsh is on staff at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in the Family Medicine Department and lectures for multiple programs at Loma Linda University. He is also an adjunct Professor at the University of California Irvine.
“Dr. Walsh served under the current and previous White House Administrations on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He has served on committees with the Centers for Disease Control and has worked with many grass roots organizations in Southern California to improve the health of at-risk populations.
“He is also an associate Pastor, here at the Altadena Seventh-day Adventist Church in Altadena, CA. Dr. Walsh is a much sought-after speaker with his ministry taking him all over the world. He is dedicated to serving the Lord through his preaching and medical ministries.” – http://altadenasda.org
With this proud bio of the Associate Pastor for this church, no one from the SCC distanced themselves from him, when he preached and converts were won to the faith coming with their lucrative tithes and offerings, he was considered “one of us.” But now, that the rebels against YHWH’s laws have raised their voices for his social and economic destruction, the church leaders scurried for hiding, like frightened mice before the prowling cat, and offered Dr. Wash to the marauding crowd as the sacrificial lamb, instead of standing with him in honor of truth and righteousness. This is an insult to the cause of truth and a slap in God’s face. Looking down the pathway of time He declared, “(14) And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. (15) Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.” Isa. 59: 14, 15.
The above verses are self-explanatory and needs no further elucidation. Here further, is what the Bible says: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.” Isa. 49: 15.
The Bible uses a “woman” to symbolize a Church system (Jer. 6: 2), a pure woman (Rev. 12: 1) represents the true church (body of true worshipers), and a vile lascivious woman (Rev. 17: 3- 5) represents an apostate church (body of false believers). This woman in Isaiah, in this connection, is a symbol of the Seventh-day Adventist Church who does not “have compassion on the son of her womb!” Yet, the divine promise is that we should expect more of this to go on: “yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.”
Friend, Christ has engraved your name in the palms of his hands, and he did this when he hung on Calvary’s cross for your sins and mine. When he looks in his hands, he sees your face there and mine. Truly did He say, “I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls (faces) are continually before me.” Isa. 49: 16.
In the backdrop of what you’ve just read, now look at what the local media in Pasadena is saying about the SCC’s decision against Dr. Walsh: http://www.pasadenastarnews.com (Please read this news)
It is important to see the timeline: Dr. Walsh was offered the Job on or about May 8th. On May 14th he tendered his resignation with his current employers, and based on various villainous media reports against his Biblical and orthodox Christian beliefs, on May 16th, the offer was rescinded, two days after he had resigned from his current job! There is no remorse in the media for his financial survival, instead, they are all gloating that he has lost the job in GA, and is essentially now unemployed! The bigger problem, however, is to see that his enemies were strengthened by the SCC’s decision in distancing itself from the dear Pastor, on May 6th. The press release of theirs gave the enemies of truth the “green light,” to think that the Legal Department from the GC will cast a blind eye as well, and will not draw them in Court over this despicably unethical and discriminatory act. In other words, by their own actions, the SCC has aided and abetted to, and provided material support for the enemies of our faith, thereby causing injury to Dr. Walsh, resulting in his being out of his job today!
Where does this leave us as Christians, and most of all as Seventh-day Adventists? This is a troubling question, and must not be lightly treated, for discrimination against one is discrimination against all. And while Dr. Walsh might be well-connected, and will survive this season with limited financial scars, that will not necessarily be the same for everyone else who does not have his credentials, and this can hasten a season of great economic and social distress for us! If you are a Bible-believing Christian, even if you’re from a different faith than the SDA’s, don’t think for a moment that you are safe. You are also the target of this illegal and evil rage. Remember the story of Esther? Hayman was not interested solely in destroying Mordecai, rather he wanted to annihilate the entire population of Jewish people who dwelt in the Persian Empire! Similarly today, the LGBT political agenda of intolerance, like Hayman’s gallows, is primarily directed towards those who hold the Bible as their only rule of faith and doctrine, because they know it condemns their lascivious lifestyle. If you think I am the little boy crying “wolf!” think again, and reflect on this news clip below:
“If Dr. Eric Walsh loses his position as the city’s public health department director because of his beliefs, it will set a precedent to rewrite job applications and change hiring standards for city officials, for anyone seeking management jobs and any position of influence, and possibly for anyone seeking a job.” – http://www.examiner.com
This is why you must do your part and contact The North Georgia Health District immediately, and petition them on behalf of Dr. Walsh. You will not just be helping Dr. Walsh out, but you may be securing your present or future job! If this precedent is allowed to go unchallenged, this will be a sad day for the descendants of the Puritans who came to these shores in search of religious tolerance, and instead have heaped unto themselves and their children religious bigotry!
As a student of prophecy, I will tell you where this is leading; it will lead to the “never again!” statement from a vexatious electorate and policy makers. How, you may ask? Currently there are 17 States which have legalized same gender marriages, with two in appeals, which by all indications will be won, and raise the number of states to 19. When that number reaches 34, or 2/3 of the States in the union, then the Federal Government can and will step in to federalize this statute, thereby making it the law of the land. At some time in the future, when polygamous marriages are also endorsed, and marrying one’s pet, or next of kin, etc. with the baleful biological and sociological changes, it will be moved to uproot this evil. The historians will remember a time when things were different, and when the changes became evident, and citizens will lobby their elected official to repeal this “same gender” marital arrangement. This will be an ultra-conservative Christian right-wing movement. They will have control of the Congress and the White House, and they will vow—“never again!” Never again, shall we cave in to this experiment in human sexuality! Never again will we allow unbridled freedoms! Never again will we allow people to break God’s commandments with impunity, hence we must enforce morality! And this will be the dangerous swing of the morality pendulum, which will smite everyone who does not “worship” in conformance with congressional decrees.
This might sound like fictional tales to you, but it’s already written in the Bible for nearly 2000 years now, let’s take a read:
“11 Then I saw a second beast [USA], coming out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb [Republicanism and Protestantism], but it spoke like a dragon [Satan]. 12 It exercised all the authority of the first beast [Papacy of the inquisitorial ages] on its behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast [papal image], whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 And it performed great signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to the earth in full view of the people. 14 Because of the signs it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived the inhabitants of the earth. It ordered them to set up an image [this is how the Papal beast will be worshiped] in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 The second beast was given power to give breath [life—actionable to make laws] to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause [by force of law and will] all who refused to worship the image to be killed. 16 It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads.” Rev. 13: 11-16, NIV. [Brackets were added by me].
I don’t have time and space to develop this subject, but if you tune into my Bible Study on Sabbath afternoons at 5: 30 pm EST, these Signs of the Times topics are reviewed with great details. Join the Bible Conference here: 805-399-1000, PIN: 121929#
From the passage above, you will notice that the central focus of this beast’s tyranny, is on the grounds of “worship.” Don’t be deceived that America and the world, for that matter will continue unabated in their secular, lawless and unchristian cultures. This will give rise to a highly reformative Christian orthodoxy, one which will be forced upon all people on the pain of economic isolation and death.
Let me leave these warning counsels with you:
“11 Do this, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Rom. 13: 11-14, ASV.
Yours for a closer walk with the King, that you may be a transforming blessing.
Shalom in Messiah,