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  1. Bill Garber
    22 August 2016 @ 5:15 pm

    What an inspiring report. This topic reminds me of Herbert Blomstedt who was recognized as a ‘devout Seventh-day Adventist’ by the New York Times when he became music director of the San Francisco Symphony in 1986. Blomstedt ‘refuses to rehearse on Saturdays (which his church regards as the Sabbath)’ the Times noted.

    “In San Francisco his refusal to rehearse on Saturdays meant canceling the San Francisco Symphony’s traditional Saturday rehearsal. At first there was resistance, but eventually the orchestra and unions went along. ”Rehearsal,” he explains, ”is intense, draining work. But a concert is a celebration, a spiritual communication. So I see no problem in performing on the Sabbath. Music communicates some of the most wonderful things I can imagine. God created the Sabbath for the repose of man and spiritual refreshment. And what is there more spiritually refreshing than music?”

    Despite the wonderful, Oscar-winning movie ‘Chariots of Fire,’ telling the story of Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who ‘runs for the glory of God,’ but not on Sunday, I find it easier these days to muse with some doubt whether the day can determine whether one is running for the glory of God.

    That said, Eric Liddell and others who choose not to race on Sunday or Sabbath for spiritual reasons are no less spiritual for not running.

    • Hansen
      22 August 2016 @ 8:22 pm

      Bill, I’m not sure I get the accolade. Usain chose to become a Baptist rather than suffer the consequences of Sabbath observance. Maybe he could have become an SDA academy P.E. instructor if he kept the Sabbath; instead, he chose to become a Baptist and became a worldwide phenomena. I’d rather not read this kind of “news.”

      • William Abbott
        23 August 2016 @ 2:08 am


        A Catholic friend of mine, an irreligious type, told me once in conversation, “You’re basically a Catholic.” To him, the similarities between serious Christians made them basically the same. I asked him, “Are you basically a Catholic?” With consternation he paused; he was unable to answer.

        We live in the age of celebrity. Religion is relegated to curious trivia. Trump’s comment. “Seventh-day Adventist; I don’t know about that, I’m a Presbyterian.” Wouldn’t you like to ask Donald Trump: “What is a Presbyterian?”

        We have such vigorous discussions here at about; “Who is, what is, a Seventh-day Adventist? I find the footnotes about Ted Cruz’s wife, or Warren G. Harding’s mother, or Usain Bolt’s mother quite helpful in forming an opinion about our little kaleidoscopic corner of Christianity.

        I always want to know if a celebrity is Jewish, not because it tells me much about the celebrity, but because it tells me a little something about Judaism.

        • Hansen
          23 August 2016 @ 6:13 am

          Speaking of Judaism, I saw Jerry Seinfeld live in Sacramento about 15 years ago. Issac Singer gives a fascinating view of Judaism in “In my Father’s Court.” “Satan in Goray” is also worth a look. My Hebrew tutor supervised Chaim Potok when he was a youth counsellor in a Jewish holiday camp. Potok’s books about friendship such as “The Chosen” and “The Promise” are also in the rich vein of Jewish storytelling.

          Israel Zangwill’s “The King of Schnorrer’s” is in a class of its own.

          • Marygrace
            27 August 2016 @ 1:16 pm

            I loved Potok’s books. They are very rich in telling stories. I treasure them. It is always good to learn about different cultures.

  2. Elaine Nelson
    22 August 2016 @ 7:42 pm

    It should always be a very personal decision for someone how to practice his beliefs. But, recognizing that their early tradition about proper observance of a special day is largely influenced by early teachers, whether parents are pastors.

    For those who choose to practice beliefs based on their personal decision, they should be respected, regardless that others may disagree. “Judge not….”

    22 August 2016 @ 10:33 pm

    Agree, Usain Bolt up to now has not only brought prestige to his small country but has lived a healthy clean life. What better role model can you ask for the youth of the world. Let your life shine. He was nurtured and called, trained from early childhood for this great experience.

  4. Serge Agafonoff
    22 August 2016 @ 11:07 pm

    And as if this superlative-defying ‘triple triple’ athletic phenomenon was not enough (pundits doubt it will ever be repeated), it turns out that Mr Bolt has SDA roots. But he chose to be a Baptist. Hey, its amazing in itself that an athlete of Bolt’s stature, fame and prowess would ‘choose’ any religion. Whichever way he chose, he got it right.
    Rom 14.5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
    6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it… and giveth God thanks.

    • Allen Nash
      26 August 2016 @ 8:48 pm


      The fully persuaded statement refers to disputable matters of the ceremonial days.

      It does not refer to that which is written in stone by the finger of God.

  5. Bill Garber
    23 August 2016 @ 9:24 am

    As you noted, Hansen …

    “Maybe he could have become an SDA academy P.E. instructor if he kept the Sabbath; instead, he chose to become a Baptist and became a worldwide phenomena. I’d rather not read this kind of “news.” ”

    Me too …

    So what do you suggest …

    Should Seventh-day Adventism’s journalistic endeavors quarantine information about a world-famous person’s Seventh-day Adventism connections?

    Or, should Seventh-day Adventism’s journalistic endeavors support exploring how to possibly fully embrace and in turn fully welcome people who’s spiritual witness includes Sabbath performances of their creative expressions?

    The later raises the matter of just how to interpret the assurance of Jesus, whose spiritual finger arguably engraved the Sabbath commandment on stone, that the Sabbath was made for Bolt, and Bolt was not made for the Sabbath.

    The end of Babylon in Revelation 14, is the end of hybrid salvation–almost totally God’s gift but in some modest way an essential personal contribution is required to ennoble and make worthy the human. The everlasting gospel is the truth that before God we bring nothing and as such we fear, yield glory, and worship God in a state as naked as Adam and Eve.

    Perhaps there is more to running nude by the original Olympians than mere lightness of foot.

    So how do we avoid wearing the Sabbath as a garment of our own making, Hanson? Or should we actually seek to wear the Sabbath as a garment?

  6. Hansen
    24 August 2016 @ 6:40 am

    Bill, In my life circumstances, there is absolutely no upside to being a member of any denomination. Seventh day Adventism, in particular has been singled out as an enemy of the State and was the first or among the first denominations attacked during an anti-Christian movement in the not too distant past.

    Some people must be quite desperate for validation if they consider identifying with popular culture stars reason to boast. I find it incredible, even embarrassing. Bob Dylan’s conversion to Christianity was an exception. It brought about his best album, “Slow Train Coming.” Sabbath keeping would have fit his background but I never herd about him becoming an SDA

    Do you want to tell a teen struggling with issues of faith that he can either be a nobody or a famous star but in order to be a nobody, he must not participate in any Sabbath amusement except those provided by the church?

  7. William Abbott
    24 August 2016 @ 8:24 am

    Judaism is so different. You can be a good Jew or a bad Jew, but can you quit being Jewish? Islam tries to help its members not leave Islam (a distinct possibility) the goal is to make your descent into apostasy, if not brutish, short.

    I have always been sympathetic with the impulse to baptize infants, it is so much like circumcision. You belong to our tribe. We are going to mark you forever.

    The Sabbath is kept or broken, not debated, by Jews. Oh they might debate how to keep it or how to break it. But Sabbath marks them just as surely as circumcision.

    They have to deal with their guilt – we all do. They can’t deal with it by deciding they aren’t Jewish.

    • Serge Agafonoff
      26 August 2016 @ 3:00 pm

      William A: “…but can you quit being Jewish? ”

      Yes you can! According to Shlomo Sand. Maybe you haven’t yet read his book, ‘The Invention of teh Jewish People,’ or you missed the part about how the vast majority of modern Jews are the descendants of proselytes. Not descended from Abraham at all. Khazars represent so many of who/what is modern Israeli Jewry. Atheists practically all of them.

      Now Sand has a third book in his trilogy. This one titled ‘How I stopped being a Jew.’ He reasons that if his ancestors opted in to Judaism, then he, as a non-believer, can opt out. He defines Judaism as a religion, one which he no longer believes in, in fact, never did. So-called ‘opting out’ is merely a phrase for identifying his current reality. For him, Judaism is a religion, not an ethnicity. His nationality is Israeli (and of that he is none too proud). This is a ‘must read’ book for anyone who wishes to understand modern Jewry and Israel.

  8. Tim
    26 August 2016 @ 8:46 am

    It would is a mystery why atoday is so intent on proclaiming the connection of someone who used to be an Adventist. It is a reoccurring theme. A little while back it was prince.

    • cfowler
      26 August 2016 @ 10:10 am

      It seems to me that SDA’s love to talk about SDA’ism, no matter what the reason. There was, and is, a lot of “toot-toot” and rah-rah that goes on about themselves.

  9. Newtonez
    26 August 2016 @ 10:33 am

    My name is Newton Evans Ball. I am the namesake grandson of Dr Newton Evans, one of the founders of Loma Linda University, then the College of Medical Evangelists. I am an obscure inventor. Like Usian Bolt, I have recently been very fortunate. Are these blessings?
    In my case, I have been plagued, for years, by important insights that I could not afford to demonstrate. At last, I have one that is both the solution to a famous, century-and-a-half old problem [see “War of the Currents” in Scientific American or Wikipedia] and is simple enough so that it can be expressed in a single sentence, and I can, and am, building a fully functional working model. It is the DC Transformer.
    Are Usian Bolt’s and my “blessings”, direct from a literal heavenly being? Are our Adventist childhoods, a factor? I don’t pretend to know the answer. Indeed, it seems to me that the answer is unknowable.

  10. Jamie Foxx
    26 August 2016 @ 6:54 pm

    I believe that when it comes to our faith, our dreams and aspirations are secondary. Usain could have changed the sport of track and field if he stood for his faith. Now things continue as usual. With his talent, he could have made a difference in the sport. Look at Daniel in the Bible, he stood up for his faith and held one of the highest positions in Babylon, a pagan land. Let us stop saying that we don’t know or that we are judging people when it’s all about us choosing God’s way over our own. God does not want us to break the Sabbath no matter how much we are talented and want to pursue our dreams.
    I want the best for him but would want him to gain the world and lose his soul. Remember Matthew 16:26.

  11. Jamie Foxx
    26 August 2016 @ 7:03 pm

    Sorry. Typing error. I was saying that I want the best for him but would not want him to gain the world and lose his soul.

  12. Allen Nash
    26 August 2016 @ 7:48 pm

    Is it possible that WE are seeking validation in the market place of the world? Is it possible that we rejoice when someone, anyone, who is remotely connected with us SDA believers finds success by world standards? Is this because we, like all humans desire acceptance as regular citizens of this earth?

    I am glad for those from our numbers who find human success. On the other hand it is sad when one knows what is right and chooses what is wrong, unlike Moses who chose rather to suffer the afflictions of being one of the believers rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. Moses resisted and Joseph resisted when women through themselves at them.

    It is of interest to note the SDA connection. It is essential to note the connection with the Ultimate Success story, the story of One who was rejected of men and suffered as a common criminal, stripped of any acceptance and human honor. Because He Lives I can face tomorrow.

    Peter said, no Lord and Jesus did not accept the human appeal of acceptance. Instead he told his dear friend Peter to get behind him and called him Satan because his words were straight from the evil play book.

    In the end each of us will need to answer for our choices and all the gold medallions in the world won’t count at all. Steady as we go.

    I guess all most of us can do is pray for those who have achieved success in this life.