The January issue of the newsletter published by the Adventist denomination’s Michigan Conference includes an editorial by Pastor Jay Gallimore, Michigan conference president, in which he expresses concern about “websites and internet magazines [and] their gossip blogs.”
Gallimore writes that these unidentified media have “mercilessly slandered” the leaders of the denomination’s General Conference “cooking up … character assassination.” And, “some of these same online magazines and/or their blogs have supported … the teaching of evolution in our schools and gay marriage. In addition, just about any teaching in the church manual on Christian lifestyle is sneeringly pictured as legalism. And the world church is scorned as being inferior to western culture.”
Gallimore admits that “discussing differences of opinion with a Christ-like attitude and civil courtesy is part of church life and should be,” but expresses dislike for “nauseating contention” and “cooked-up ‘truth’ … used to intentionally malign and tarnish those who disagree.” He refers to a recent “Annual Council [where] someone shared leaked sensitive information … concerning the process that brought a particular motion to the floor.”
Because Adventist Today reported extensively on the Annual Council meeting, a number of readers have contacted the editors asking if this editorial is referring to Adventist Today, and asking for a response.
“I am not sure which specific media Gallimore has written about,” said Pastor Monte Sahlin, the chief executive officer of Adventist Today. “He makes a plural reference and he does not identify any specific publication. But I don’t think this is a critique of Adventist Today,” stated Sahlin, “simply because we do not have any blogs and we do not publish any gossip. We have not taken any editorial positions on the issues he expresses concern about. We do provide a wide range of opinion. We are one place in the Adventist community where there is freedom of speech for views that are not permitted elsewhere, but the Commentary section is clearly labeled and does not necessarily express the position of the Adventist Todayorganization.”
“I agree with Elder Gallimore about the need for disagreement to be Christ-like,” Sahlin said. “That is why Adventist Today has guidelines governing opinion articles, the Comments feature and published Letters to the Editor.”
“Some news does reflect poorly on some leaders as well as some independent ministries,” Sahlin continued. “We don’t make the news; we simply report what happens. A major purpose of Adventist Today is to provide an independent, professional source of news and information about the Adventist movement. Our readers have made it very clear in repeated surveys that this is what they most want from Adventist Today.”