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Unseen Heroin Behind Title IX Protections Making Good Trouble
'22 Conscience Calendar
New Study Series: Built to Last Your Biblically Informed Legacy
November/December 2022
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Attorney Pamela Price knows what it’s like to be victimized by the legal system and to fight the legal system for other victims.
Making Good trouble

by Ruthven Phillip/Move over, Scrooge. Watch the power of these shrewd moves.

by Carl McRoy/History’s indictments of unchecked power, and the power of a stand.

by Patrice Conwell/You may not know her name, but her case protects you.

by Marquis Johns/How has this erroneous, racial Biblical interpretation survived these millennia?

by Shaun Brooks/The triumph of unity is within reach.

by Pete Palmer/If You Don’t Know Me By Now: Samson’s Relationship Revelation

Fiery asteroid in space heading towards earth
Cover illustration provided by Pamela Price
Blue tinted old photograph of people holding picket signs
Black and white photo of man staring off into the distance on red background
Up close view of what looks like a rusty metal tool on fabric



by Carmela Monk Crawford/Big Lies, and the Prescription against “Wokeness”

by Orlan Johnson/How to Protect Your Religious Rights, and the Rights of Others

by Carl McRoy/Three that Got Away

by Donna Green Goodman/Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

by John and April Nixon/Bridging the Orgasm Gap


by Debleaire Snell/don’t look up

by Ellen G. White/Come as You Are, but Don’t Leave That Way

by Adrienne Rowe-Saulsbury/Mapping MaTThew 22:1-14

Cover illustration provided by Pamela Price
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Carmela Monk Crawford
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© 2018 by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, Maryland, 21046, U.S.A. Address editorial correspondence to MESSAGE MAGAZINE, 9705 Patuxent Woods Drive, Columbia, MD 21046-1565 U.S.A. All subscriptions are prepaid. If you did not order MESSAGE, it is being sent as a gift from a friend. You will not be billed. To subscribe, mail payment to MESSAGE, 1350 North Kings Road Nampa, ID 83687, U.S.A. or call 1-800-456-3991. Subscription price: one year, $19.95 U.S. currency; single copy, $4.00; overseas, add $10.00 per year for postage. Prices subject to change without notice. Periodicals Postage paid at Nampa, Idaho and additional offices. Vol. 88 No. 6 Nov/Dec 2022. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to MESSAGE, 1350 North Kings Road Nampa, ID 83687, U.S.A. Printed in the U.S.A.

Unless otherwise noted, Bible texts in this issue are from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Statements in this issue attributed by an author to other speakers/writers are included for the value of the individual statements only. No endorsement of those speakers’/writers’ other works or statements is intended or implied.

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Love, Not Force

Classic cover of The Message magazine - a man in a boater hat and woman decorated with medals
“If Christ is the rightful king of the world, why does He not come and reign in righteousness? Many have pondered this question, and it is often asked. During His earthly ministry many attempts were made to induce Him to start an insurrection and accept the crown. Many saw the advantages that would belong to a nation whose king could control nature, perform miracles, heal the sick, and even raise the dead. In time of famine He could multiply the loaves and fishes. But Jesus rejected force and would have nothing to do with limited authority. His kingdom must be based on love and harmony with the principles of righteousness. His mission was to bring a lost world back into harmony with the rest of God’s universe. Only then would He rule the earth in righteousness.

. . . The kingdom of Christ will be built on love, not force. There will be no draftees in His army and no aliens among His citizens. He will raise the dead who in their lifetime chose Him as their King and Lord. He will change those who love Him from mortal to immortal in the twinkling of an eye.”

—“Christ–The Hope of the World” by Leonard C. Lee, Message, July 1963

Phillip McGuire Wesley, jr.

Media That Takes You Higher

This is a new day of listening and reading. I pray that each book, music tune, or app will make an impact in your life as it has in mine. Please let us know by emailing me.


Parenting Teens book cover

Parenting Teens: A Tug-A-War to Adulthood
P. Koffe Brown

Parenting is by far the hardest job any human being will ever have. The teen years can be the most complex of the parenting journey. In this book series, Coach P. Koffe Brown brings together an exceptional group of thought leaders including Gregory Bloomfield’s chapter on Teens and Divorce. This book will be a blessing to readers and the teens they are preparing for greatness. Purchase Parenting Teens & the Tug-A-War to Adulthood at or Amazon (Best Sellers).


My message

Big Lies and the Prescription against “Wokeness”


hen John Poulos, CEO of Dominion Voting Systems talked to“60 Minutes” in an October episode, the man looked weary and close to tears. Poulos and his company seeks billions in damages in a libel suit against media giants Fox news and OAN (One America News Network), purveyors of a conspiracy that claimed Dominion’s voting machines were manipulated online or somehow malfunctioned to advantage Joe Biden during the 2020 presidential elections.

For Poulos, the runaway rumors—though decisively and consistently debunked—still lead to death threats. In testimony to Congress, the nonpartisan research and thinktank Brennan Center detailed how the “Big Lie” has filtered through new restrictive voting rights laws that disenfranchise voters of color. New laws actually use language that incorporates the Big Lie’s talking points. People energized by the Big Lie’s falsity feel licensed to harass or even threaten election workers with criminal prosecution.

eye on the times
Person standing in front of large clock in clock tower
Faith and Basketball
High Schoolers Win Religious Accommodation for Future Games
The Oakwood University Church in Huntsville, Alabama, publicly affirmed the decision of the Oakwood Adventist Academy boys basketball team to stand for the truth and keep God’s Commandment

akwood Adventist Academy (OAA) announced that the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) has adopted a rule that would adjust game schedules to accommodate religious requests, a change that comes in response to a lawsuit filed earlier this year. The case Oakwood Adventist Academy v. Alabama High School Athletic Association arose after Oakwood’s boys basketball team was forced to forfeit a semi-final tournament game scheduled on their Sabbath. The decision by the AHSAA provides lasting protection for religious schools and their athletes and will serve as an example for other states.

How to Protect Your Religious Rights, and the Rights of Others
By Orlan Johnson

If you are an adherent, what should you do in situations where you think your First Amendment rights are being violated?

There are many individuals and institutions that believe that if their religious beliefs create an inconvenience for others, they do not have rights that should be protected. The free exercise clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution allows that one should receive an accommodation for religious observance assuming it does not create an undue hardship on any other party. Any organization denying such accommodations would cause irreparable harm to an individual and therefore would be potentially liable for violation of the First Amendment.
Black from the Past
Henry, Ona, and Hercules: Three That Got Away
By Carl McRoy
Antique Photo

never mean… to possess another slave by purchase, it being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted, by which slavery in this country may be abolished by law.” That’s what George Washington wrote to John F. Mercer on September 9, 1786, according to the book George Washington, the Christian, by William J. Johnson, (Abingdon Press, 1919).

This didn’t mean America’s first president adopted plans to abolish slavery on his own plantation. Washington desperately tried to recapture those escaping his tyranny. However, three got away.

optimal health

The Plant-Based Lifestyle

Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

Photo by Davner Toledo

Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide

By donna green goodman


my work as a wellness coach, I often encounter patients who say:

  • “I know it’s not good for me, but it tastes so good!
  • It’s hard to stop eating it, I grew up this way.
  • I really don’t care.
  • It’s the way my momma makes it; I’m going to eat it anyway.”

Whew! I truly understand where they are coming from! I was a chocoholic and would do whatever I could to get it when I wanted it. I knew it wasn’t good for me, but I rationalized that my exercise could walk away the negative side effects, so I quieted my conscience and kept on eating.

It wasn’t until the doctors explained to me that the caffeine could change my breast tissue and increase my risk of fibrocystic disease, fibroadenomas, and breast cancer that I was convicted of the need to eliminate it and make better choices.

John and April Nixon


Bridging the Orgasm Gap

“The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife”

(1 Corinthians 7:3-4, NLT).



utual sexual satisfaction is something we should be trying to achieve in our marriages just like we endeavor to improve our communication, patience, and emotional attentiveness. After all, sex is a physical sign of a spiritual reality. Therefore, you should strive for openness, unselfishness, and generosity in the physical aspects of your relationship, just as you already do in the spiritual areas of you marriage.

The sad reality is that many Christian couples are not working on their sexual fulfillment at all. Whether it’s because of shame, shyness or not wanting to hurt their partner’s feelings, many couples simply don’t discuss the topic in their relationship. But make no mistake; this is a prevalent issue in Christian marriages today because so many just don’t see eye to eye in the bedroom.

Top 10 Parenting Challenges, and Radically Righteous Approaches
By Ruthven R. Phillip

any of us can attest that this holiday season will be very different from the most recent years in that the impact of inflation will require us to be more prudent.

Yes, the usual suspects are still at the top of many individuals’ shopping list—clothing, jewelry, footwear and electronics. But, should our gift giving be influenced by the major events of the past three years? For example, Covid-19 changed the way our world will operate forever. More importantly, it also exposed some of the major economic disparities between, the haves and the have-nots, people of color and minority groups, the rich and the poor, entrepreneurs and investors and savers and spenders.

I would posit that if we view our holiday season gift giving through that prism, more finance-related gifts would be on our shopping list.

2022 Conscience Calendar

Trace a historical thread of freedom and the compromise of conscience.


Jews are expelled from France, again. After being banished and having their possessions stolen and auctioned in 1306, Jews were welcomed back to France in 1315—for a fee. Their reentry was also conditioned on them not openly practicing their religion or engaging in usury (loaning money and charging interest). What was it about European Christian theocracies that made them hate and exploit Jews so much?

a black and blue etching of an event from the 14th century

Hussites defeated papal crusaders, sent by Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund and Pope Martin V, at Německý Brod in Bohemia. Hussites, followers of Jan Huss (who had been burned at the stake in 1415), protested against the Church’s power over government. They also condemned indulgences, and advocated for equality between clergy and laity.

a painting from the 15th century filled with figures raising their swords and lances
Making Good Trouble title
Pamela Price headshot with a purple border and her name in a white outline
By patrice thomas conwell
“The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.”
T dropcap
hat famous quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the one that pops into Attorney Pamela Price’s mind as she reflects on her journey as a civil rights activist and litigator. She knows what it’s like to be victimized by the legal system and to fight the legal system for other victims.

Price was 15-years old when King was assassinated, and his death filled her with rage.

“I was both traumatized and radicalized in one moment,” she says thinking back to that day. She immediately became an active member of “the movement” in her home city of Cincinnati, Ohio, much to her parents’ disapproval.

When Chicago police killed Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in 1969, Price responded by organizing a protest sit-in at the predominately white college prep high school she attended. When administrators confirmed her role as the instigator, they expelled her.

close up of mans face with title The Cures of Ham Doctrine
Photo by Lucas Gouvea from
By Marquis Johns
O dropcap
ne of the most consistently used tropes in the African Diaspora—and maybe more so in African American communities—to reject Christianity is, “It’s the white man’s religion.” In times past, one might just rattle that off and keep it moving because very few people had done the research to move this statement from anecdotal to empirical. It has become so easy to turn statements and opinions into “facts” now that 60% of the world—and 90% of adults in the United States—have instant access to the internet via their smart phone. One of the first places African American Christian apologists, looking to defend the faith, and African American intellectuals, looking to denounce it, cross paths is at the very beginning of the Bible with a story often referred to as the “Curse of Ham,” which was actually the curse of Ham’s youngest son, Canaan.

The story begins in the ninth chapter of Genesis, verse 18 and crescendos in verse 24 with, “When Noah woke up from his stupor, he learned what Ham, his youngest son, had done. Then he cursed Canaan, the son of Ham.”1 The curse is spelled out in the subsequent verses:

“May Canaan be cursed! May he be the lowest of servants to his relatives.” Then Noah said, ‘May the Lord, the God of Shem, be blessed, and may Canaan be his servant! May God expand the territory of Japheth! May Japheth share the prosperity of Shem, and may Canaan be his servant.’”2

Black By Any Other Name
Black on Black Understanding Can Bridge the Divide between African-Americans and Black Caribbean Immigrants
By shaun brooks

Martin Luther King Jr. said that, “We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools.” This sentiment has been my growing conviction as I look at the relationship between African-Americans and the black Caribbean immigrant population. According to the U.S. Census, the black or African American non-Hispanic population is the third-largest racial group in the U.S. at 12.1% of the population. In comparison, Pew Research indicates that “the Caribbean remains the most common region of birth for U.S. black immigrants. Just under half of the foreign-born black population was born in this region (46%). Jamaica and Haiti are the top Caribbean countries for black immigrants in the U.S.”

Through several dialogues with individuals over the years, observations in the context of serving as a denominational pastor and benefiting from the research of others, I have seen the growing need for greater dialogue between these two groups. Yet before I continue, I need to disclose a little about myself which provides context for my viewpoints. I was born on the beautiful island of Jamaica. For many Jamaicans who share an African ancestry, we find that countries like Ghana, Nigeria, and Central Africa were likely places of origin from the continent.

Built to Last Bibilical Secrets to unlocking your legacy
If you don't know me by now typography
Dread locks on gray cloth with scissors
Samson’s Relationship Revelation
By Pete Palmer

this series, “Built to Last,” we are exploring what it means to construct a life that is built to last. Jesus says in Matthew 6:1-21 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:12–13 “Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work.”

"Don't Look Up" title
People looking at their phones while an asteroid hurtles towards earth
By Debleaire Snell
Letter D
uring the 2021 holiday season, Netflix released an original film titled, “Don’t Look Up.” The title solicited my attention for several weeks before I made the decision to sit down and watch. The movie is a blend of science-fiction and hyperbolic satire. The plot revolves around a group of astronauts who make a horrifying discovery. They notice a planet-killing asteroid headed for Earth’s orbit and trajectory. After checking and rechecking their findings, they grow more convinced that the planet is in fatal danger.

They leverage all of the influence they can gather to get an audience with government leadership only to be brushed off as fanatical, offshoot scientists driven by political motives. The president, played by Meryl Streep, shows overwhelming indifference to the warning. She cites the number of warnings they get of planet-threatening occurrences that never materialize. She has heard the warnings, with such frequency, that she refuses to even look up.

You’re family here.
Message is the oldest, black, Christian magazine in North America whose longevity is owing to its critical function of sharing the message of redemption, relationship, and readiness.
Redemption in slab font
We believe that God, recognizing how irretrievably broken our lives and world would be following the influence of the enemy’s lies, sent His Son Jesus in whom we are created anew. He has promised the total righting of everything that is wrong in this world. Seek Him. Reach for Him, and He will in no way cast you aside. He wants you to know Him, and assures that He will be there when you look for Him. No matter who you are, this opportunity is for you.
Relationship in. slab font
We’re here to operate as a set of His hands and feet, to come alongside all who preach, teach, and work with this good news. We fight against the destructive effects sin has had on us, the personal, systemic and perpetual division that plagues this world. In particular, we target and counter the false narrative of who God is. Together we affirm His image found in the black mind and body that has so often borne the brunt of brutality and untruth. Together we seek to align with God’s Kingdom at work in the here and now.
Readiness in a slab font
Finally, we prepare for that day when all of God’s people reunite with Him in person. That preparation includes a complete opening of our minds and hearts to Him, allowing Him to do the work of getting us ready. We’re reading His Word with an open mind, seeking the special blessing of the Spirit especially on His Sabbath, and we eagerly watch for His return!
Let’s walk together, fam.
To receive personal Bible studies, pray with someone, talk with a chaplain or find a church, reach the Message Resource line: 1-855-God-Cares (1-855-463-2273).
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Come as You Are…
Just Don’t Leave that Way
A photographic representation of The Parable of the Wedding Feast illustrating a situation involving a man who did not wear a wedding garment being escorted out by two servants while guests glanced upon the scuffle
“Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’ So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

“For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Matthew 22:8-14, NKJV*
Adrienne Rowe-Saulsbery
The Experience Study heading
The Experience Study heading
What Jesus says about being Ready • MATT. 22:1-14
The Seven Questions:
  1. What about this story/context/verse stands out to me?
  2. How is this different from the life I live now? How is this different from the society and culture I’m a part of? (Luke 12:35-40)
  3. How does this passage challenge me? Are there other verses that speak to my challenge? (Titus 3:1, 1 John 2:28)
  4. Where do I see Jesus, or miss Jesus in this passage? (Matthew 24:42-43) Are there verses that speak to this elsewhere in the Bible
  5. What am I missing in my life that God wants me to have? (Matthew 24:44) What other verses are there to support that?
  6. Is there someone else who could use this in their life? How can I share it?
Adrienne Rowe-Saulsbury is an elementary school teacher and crafter who writes from Columbus, Ohio.
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Did you catch this?
What’s the Message?, Episode 37
A digital webcast screenshot of individuals looking at each other and having conversations as part of What’s the Message?, Episode 37: Healthy at Last with Eric Adams & Donna Green-Goodman

Healthy at Last with Eric Adams & Donna Green-Goodman

“We need to move in the direction of finally dealing with the origin of abusive behavior by law enforcement. Remember, policing was born out of slavery. And so it was never going to move far from its destructive past if we don’t force it to.

So I think there are couple of things we need to do:

We need to offer zero tolerance for officers who are abusing their authority and those who are there and witness the action and don’t do something. But there’s something else that many of us don’t include in this conversation.

When we had medical doctors who were not treating black and brown people correctly, the Howard Universities—the historical black colleges and universities (HBCUs)—encouraged us to go into medicine. Same thing with education. When educators were not treating us fairly, we opened our own schools and went into education.

The only place where we, as people of color, don’t play a major role inside reforming a particular industry is policing. We need to be recruiting black and brown people in all of our colleges into law enforcement. If we want the public safety ecosystem to change, we need to change it.

All of us know conscientious young black and brown people who could be commanders, detectives, and heads of police agencies.

We pay our taxes to have racists protect us. That makes no sense. It’s time for us to say we want to be in charge of our own public safety.

I want that little boy who’s sitting in a pew next to me, that I know is conscientious, to be a cop on my block, because public safety is a prerequisite to prosperity. They go hand in hand, and you can have justice and safety together.”

Bless and Be Blessed
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Find resources near you by going to this link
Atlanta, GA
Berean Outreach Ministry Center
291 Hamilton E. Holmes Drive
Atlanta, GA 30318
 [email protected]
West End Seventh-day Adventist Church
845 Lawton Street, SW
Atlanta GA 30310
Shiloh Seventh-Day Adventist Church
Independence Blvd Community Center
7000 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
Denver, CO
Denver Park Hill SDA Church
3385 Albion St
Denver, CO 80207-1813
Perrine SDA Church
9850 E, 9850 W Datura St,
Palmetto Bay, FL 33157
Montgomery, AL
Maranatha SDA Church
18900 NW 32nd Ave,
Miami Gardens FL 33056
 [email protected]
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Thanks for reading our November/December 2022 issue!