5 April 2023 |
In the 1970s, a defrocked Adventist pastor said he could “cure” homosexuals of their same-sex attraction. The leaders of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists strongly endorsed Cook’s untested program, and authorized financial investment in—and church publicity for—Cook’s gay-change ministry, called Quest Learning Center, located in Reading, Pennsylvania.
Quest was embraced by Christians inside and outside of our denomination, since Cook offered an answer to a difficult theological and behavioral question. Sociologist Ron Lawson, who has done the most complete study of the phenomenon, called him “the dominating intellectual force within the ‘ex-gay’ movement.”
But instead of curing people, Cook abused his counselees, initiating sexual encounters with them. Instead of apologizing, the church doubled down on their support for him.
Ron Lawson, whose research broke the story of Cook’s abusive “ministry,” will tell us the story of one of the church’s most shameful promotions, from his own experiences with Cook and his interviews with Cook’s counselees.
Ronald Lawson was Professor in the Department of Urban Studies at Queens College, the City University of New York, where he taught courses focusing on the sociology of religion and political sociology. He is also the President of the Metro New York Adventist Forum, a position he held for 41 years. He is completing a book, Apocalypse Postponed, that will give a sociological account of international Adventism, the first major study of a global church. He lives in Loma Linda, California.
Loren Seibold is the Executive Editor of Adventist Today,
How to join:
One-click link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82633200667
ATSS starting time depends on where you are. If you’re on the west coast of the United States, it’ll be 10:30 AM. On the east coast, 1:30 PM. Please double-check the correct time where you live.
The class is intended to last about 2 hours, though the conversation often continues to 4 PM (Eastern time).
About our class:
- The AT Sabbath Seminar is intended to be a courteous forum. We discuss and ask questions politely. We don’t accuse, get angry, put people down, or judge the state of their salvation.
- Stick to the topic in both comments and chat discussion.
- Make your comments and questions short—don’t dominate.
- Keep your microphones muted unless you are called upon to make your comment or ask your question.
- Indicate your interest in speaking by raising your electronic hand—under the “reactions” button.
- Please use your name when you sign in! Not your phone number, not your initials. This will help us differentiate you from unwelcome guests who want to disrupt us. You can set your name after signing on by clicking on the 3 dots next to your picture, which drops down a menu.
We look forward to getting acquainted with you!
- Daniel Duda
- Raj Attiken
- Lindsey Painter
- Mathilde Frey
- Austin Archer
- Kevin Burton