From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Adventist Church President Calls for Primacy of Family Values

From "Christian B. Schäffler" <>
Date 01 Oct 1998 05:09:53

October 1, 1998
Adventist Press Service(APD)
Christian B. Schaeffler, Editor-in-chief
Fax +41-61-261 61 18
CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland


Foz do Iguacu, Brazil (APD/ANN) Speaking at  the opening of 
the Seventh-day Adventist Church's Annual  Council, world 
Church president Robert S. Folkenberg called for a return to 
the primacy of family values, particularly in the "family of 

Identifying the Church as a real family, Folkenberg said 
that members needed to recognize the implications of what that 
meant, for example when writing letters to Church leaders.

"I'm amazed sometimes at the acid that drips from some of 
these letters from people who claim to love their church!  
Obviously, there is a place for constructive dialogue between 
brothers and sisters, but we must do so in love, in the spirit of 
Jesus. I'm bewildered at how some who claim to love their 
Lord and love His Church-His family-can manifest such an 
unloving, hostile, fault-finding attitude toward other family 

The primary characteristic of God, Church, said Folkenberg, "is 
the love that exists between the members, one for another."

Such an attitude of love makes actions such as racism 
impossible, he continued. "Spiritual unity rejects any form of 
discrimination within the body, whether it is ethnic, cultural, or 

The greatest need for the Church is to be true children of 
God, he affirmed. "We are God's children-now! We belong to 
His family-now! But a day is coming soon when we will see 
our heavenly Father face to face! The family of God on earth 
will be merged with the family of God in heaven," he 

The Church president's address opened the Council's theme, 
"Experience the Fellowship of His Family." The so-called 
message and mission theme will be featured by special 
presentations at the outset of each day's deliberations of the 
Council. These presentations serve as spiritual emphasis to be 
later shared with the local Church communities around the 
world. This year's theme responds to the Church's interest in 
sharing a better understanding of the Church as a faith 
community and its role in the world.

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