A Committed and Concerned Church Executive Responds to the General Conference’s New Declaration

Nor did I identify the early church as living in halcyon days of total agreement. Paul argued strongly in Galatians for no other gospel than that which justified people by faith alone for precisely the reasons I gave above. The church was the community that was held together by nothing else than faith/ joining up with Christ alone, and expressing that faith in an inclusive and sacrificial love that looked out for the good of one another.

The false teachers in Galatia were teaching that Gentiles had to become Jewish, in addition to faith in Christ, if they were really to achieve full belonging to God’s covenant people. This was built on religious and ethnic superiority, as well as a literal reading and application of the terms of the old covenant to Gentiles.

Paul argues, just as the Jerusalem council affirmed, that Gentile believers were to be accepted just as they were on equal footing with Jewish believers. Hence, " There was neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male nor female, but all are one in Christ Jesus." Thus, the new creation of God was to be built on nothing but faith in Christ and expressed in love for one another. Paul condemned any other gospel that added conditions to this, built on favored nation status, prejudice, and religious/ ethnic division. IOW, Paul’s gospel was inclusive and he condemns any different gospel that wasn’t.

Paul did not set up a list of propositional doctrines to exclude people, as we continue to do, and as this covert creed does.



Only 99%???
I won’t stop until 100% of the respondents here have agreed with my beliefs… :wink: :innocent: :smirk::roll_eyes:


Well, re #4, what option do the church leaders have since they feel they are “saints” already, and representing God to “the rest of us.” :wink:

The LGTarians have no reason either to have any doubt about their views being “perfect.”…:roll_eyes:

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Something went wrong on this site, I guess. I couldn’t find the statement above that you attribute to Jeff Kent @ProfessorKent . Can you please help and show where he said that?
Thank aheads for the help.

It sounds like a paranoia about “liberals.”


Dear George,


I’m happy you asked me that question. It was a good question. The statement you quoted was in the context of a more general response to a specific issue raised by Prof. Kent about Question 7 of the document this article is about, the question of gender dysphoria.

He said, inter alia, “To accept that disease and infirmity have taken hold of our bodies, but that gender-related tissues remain immune to defects, is simply ludicrous.” That is true. Prof. Kent and I think alike on that point.

But then he continued on boldly, “If official church doctrine denies the biological reality of changes to gender, including its expression in the brain, then our church denies the power that sin has over us and the very need for the atonement.

What atonement was he speaking about? Well, it turns out that Prof. Kent’s perception of the atonement with regards to gender dysphoria is strikingly unbiblical. For him, it means loving embrace of homosexuality in all its rainbow expressions; with assurances to those who practice such things that God was able to cleanse their conscience from any guilt and that they could begin proceedings against God for making them the way they have found themselves to be.

That’s an amazing atonement and I’m beginning to think it could come in handy for me in times of weakness.


James Peterson


Speaking of trust in God, why is it that JSKMD is not willing to place his own name into the public eye on this debate?

You and I don’t get to be judge and jury of another’s faith in God in any respect, but especially while you are unwilling to post using your own name, so put that criticism aside and focus the actual issues at hand.


Perhaps J. N. Loughborough’s words are apropos here:

“The first step of apostasy is to get up a creed, telling us what we shall believe. The second is, to make that creed a test of fellowship. The third is to try members by that creed. The fourth to denounce as heretics those who do not believe that creed. And fifth, to commence persecution against such.” - J. N. Loughborough.

It seems that the church is fast devolving into the very thing that its founders feared. Christ established two basic rules during his ministry. When challenged on the rules he boiled it down to these two: Love others and love ourselves. That was it.

In the religious realm, rules are the weak man’s method of establishing his strength. As long as there are rules he need not think, he need not struggle, he need not do anything but obey whilst he looks around at others, pointing to them as rule breakers, thus elevating one’s own sanctity of rule keeping as the ultimate in religious development.

Bottom line here, according to our Savior is that we have too many rules, be it seven or twenty-eight, when what we really need are two.


Actually, what this General Conference statement demonstrates is the exact opposite of what you claim. It demonstrates that the world leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church fully recognizes the brokenness in gender roles and identity that sin has produced, and is therefore determined that this brokenness be resisted, not accommodated, in the practical experience of those claiming to be members of the great Advent movement.

You seem not to understand the Biblical doctrine of atonement. Atonement in the Bible means reconciliation between God and humanity, which can only take place when sin is expelled—through the power of divine grace—from the choices and lives of God’s people. That’s why the outcome of the Day of Atonement as described in the Old Testament is depicted as follows:

“For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins before the Lord” (Lev. 16:30).

The New Testament gives the same description of history’s final generation of believers, who have experienced the antitypical Day of Atonement (II Peter 3:10-14; I John 3:2-3; Rev. 3:21; 12:17; 14:5,12).

No one, in other words, is denying the brokenness with regard to gender of which you speak. But the Biblical atonement process involves the expulsion of sin, not the accommodation thereof.


As I recall, the woman taken in adultery was dragged before Jesus in the hopes that he would also resist rather than accommodate. In the end they all snuck off with their holiness robes tucked in around them when he resisted them.

And no, don’t even begin to quote in the pharisaical way it is always done, “Go and sin no more”, to us because people who do that have missed the whole point of the writing in the sand, and how that particular phrase was meant only to pass between Jesus’ lips and her ears.


Des asked me to post this for Elmer. I struggled with the Greek, and only had a modern Greek keyboard, so it may be wrong—Gill

Leon Morris “The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross,” pp. 62–63, and it continues on:

It seems likely that the preposition here conveys a substitutionary thought. It is true that the word usually signified “on behalf of,” but this is not all the story. It can convey the idea of substitution. For example, in Euripedes’ Alcestis, where the plot centres on Alcestis’ death as a substitute for her husband, the prepositions αντί, ύπέρ, and πρό (anti, super or pro—Gill) are used practically interchangeably. ύπέρ in such passages clearly means substitution. Again, the very existence of verbs like ύπέρθγήσχω and ύπέραποθγήσχω shows that the preposition can denote substitution.

Just as this is true in the classics, so is it the case in the more popular language of the papyri. Thus E. Mayser says, 'Tolerably widespread is the use of ύπέρ = instead of, in the place of, in substitution for someone, exclusively of persons, yet generally in such a way that it is not a simple, external, mechanical substitution, but there predominate the basic meaning, “in the name, in the interest, for the benefit of someone”. Yet there also occur cases in which ύπέρ stands completely in the sense of anti. We see this, for example in papyri wherein the scribe says that he is writing super someone else. However we choose to translate it, this cannot mean anything other than that he writes in the place of the that other.

The New Testament use is such that Karl Barth can link αντί, ύπέρ and περί (peri, Gill) as pointing to Christ’s activity as our Representative and Substitute’. He says, “They cannot be understood if — quite apart from the particular view of the atonement made in Him which dominates these passages – we do not see that in general these prepositions speak of a place which ought to be ours, that we ought to have taken this place, that we have been taken from it, that it is occupied by another, that this other acts in this place as only He can, in our cause and interest, that we cannot add to anything that He does there because the place where might do so is occupied by Him, that anything further which might happen can result only from what is done by Him in our place and in our cause.” This argument is apart from any one particular passage. Barth sees the force of the prepositions throughout the New Testament.

C. Hodge has a worthwhile comment on 2 Corinthians 5:14. He points out that ύπέρ ‘may have the general sense, for the benefit of, in behalf of, or the stricter sense, in the place of’. He further says, “In all those passages in which one person is said to die for another … or in which the reference is to a sacrifice, the idea of substitution is clearly expressed. The argument does not rest on the force of the preposition, but on the nature of the case. The only way in which the death of the victim benefited the offerer, was by substitution. When, therefore, Christ is said to die as a sacrifice for us, the meaning is, he died in our stead His death is taken in the place of ours so as to save us from death.”


Kevin, the expulsion of sin takes place IN US at glorification. The glory of the gospel is that Christ took our place. 2 Corinthians 5:21 New International Version (NIV) "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

You can read that two ways of course, and you and I do. I read it as the great exchange. Christ takes our sins, we receive his righteousness. I.e., If you are right with God today, you are right if Jesus should come today. This gives us assurance.

John 5:24 New International Version (NIV) “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.

Jesus has accomplished the work of salvation. I accept it by faith. Sanctification results, but it is not good enough to make me acceptable to God, and it is not meritorious. It is evidence that we have accepted his work.

Yours is about a small, future group who will “make the grade.” It doesn’t help the rest of the world.


I agree with you that transgender/gender diversity/intersex should be left to those you mention from science, medicine and phychology.

With that said, there is no reason for ignorance on the part of theologians and administrators on the science, medicine and psychology of gender diversity, transgender and intersex. If they are ignorant it is by choice and nothing else and I can say that from direct knowledge.

It is sad that they are choosing ignorance and isolation in the face of science, medicine, psychology and love.


I appreciate your gracious spirit, Gill, but I am constrained to point out that Scripture differs dramatically from the position you articulate here.

In no way does the Bible teach that the expulsion of sin takes place at glorification. The apostle Peter exhorts the church, regarding preparation for the return of Christ, “Be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (II Peter 3:14). This is the same language used by Peter to describe Christ Himself, “a lamb without blemish and without spot” (I Peter 1:19).

Notice also that Peter says the saints must be “FOUND of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless” (II Peter 3:14). In other words, God won’t make them without spot when Jesus comes; they have to be found this way when He gets here.

The apostle John says the same thing:

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
“And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure” (I John 3:2-3).

Notice that we are to purify ourselves “as He is pure” while we still have the HOPE of His coming. It won’t happen when He appears in the clouds. Rather, it must happen while His coming is still a hope.

Christ indeed took our place, but only for our past sins. I thank God for this reality every day. But His forgiving righteousness is only a part of the righteousness which saves the believer (Rom. 3:24; Eph. 1:7). The other part of saving righteousness is regeneration and sanctification, as the following Scriptures make plain:

“God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (II Thess. 2:13).

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).

Notice that both of the above verses speak of regeneration and sanctification—the work of Christ in the believer—as an integral part of the salvation process, not its result. The latter of the two verses explicitly contrasts the “works of righteousness which we have done” (obviously in our own strength) from “the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

The works-righteousness condemned by Paul, in other words, has nothing to do with regeneration or sanctification being a part of our salvation. Rather, it is about human beings endeavoring to fulfill the conditions of salvation in their own unaided strength.

The New Testament is clear that Spirit-empowered obedience, in addition to God’s forgiveness, constitutes the condition for gaining eternal life (Matt. 7:21; 19:16-26; Luke 10:25-28; Rom. 2:6-10; 8:13; Heb. 5:9). To be “in Christ” is to be a new creature (II Cor. 5:17), and to be obedient to His commandments (I John 3:24). There is no Biblical assurance of salvation apart from these conditions.

John 5:24 cannot be read as teaching that the Christian is not required to come into God’s judgment, as this would contradict the words of both Solomon (Eccl. 12:14) and the apostle Paul which make it clear that all of us, Christians included, must appear before the judgment seat of Christ to answer for our deeds (II Cor. 5:10).

You claim that what I teach is about “a small, future group who will ‘make the grade,’” but that this supposedly “doesn’t help the rest of the world.” Again I must differ with you, on the basis of God’s Word. The apostle Paul is clear that the entire world awaits the demonstration of God’s character in His saints. In the apostle’s words:

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
“For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:18-19).

Geoffrey Paxton stated more than forty years ago that “the doctrine of the perfecting of the final generation stands near the heart of Adventist theology” (The Shaking of Adventism, p. 114). Whatever differences I have with him, he was right on this point. The perfecting of the final generation is the heart of Adventist theology because it is the heart of the New Testament message regarding God’s end-time church. Borrowing from the prophet Zephaniah (Zeph. 3:13), John the Revelator affirms the glorious hope of a victorious remnant who through heaven’s power will keep God’s commandments (Rev. 12:17; 14:5) and be found guileless and “without fault before the throne of God” (Rev. 14:5).

There, by the grace of God, is where I plan to be.

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Yes, Kevin, this helps the group to see where you are coming from. But I find that those who believe it are often not as gracious as you in judging others. And they want a purge to purify the church, which is in my view the spirit of the Pharisees and not of Christ. Christ’s followers are usually in trouble like their Master. I congratulate you for your good spirit. We don’t agree, but I salute you for your faithfulness to what you believe.


Gill, let me again thank you for your spirit. I hope that observers of this exchange can find evidence that a frank discussion of these differences need not be synonymous with rancor and unkindness.

But you’ll pardon me if I again differ with you, this time in your apparent assumption that for the church to hold men and women accountable for doctrinal and/or moral variance from Biblical teachings is somehow a concession to pharisaism and a departure from the spirit of Christ. After all, Jesus Himself was clear that under certain circumstances people must be removed from the fellowship of faith (Matt. 18:15-17), as was the apostle Paul (I Cor. 5:9-13; II Thess. 3:14-15).

Such actions must always be undertaken in love, to be sure, but this doesn’t alter the fact that at times they must be undertaken.

Thank you again for this opportunity to make my position clear.

jeff, i get the feeling that you think LGBT’s are some grand exception in the spectrum of humanity - that everyone is whole, and able to obey the bible, but because LGBT’s are genetically broken, they can’t be expected to obey the bible, and therefore the church should be more accommodating…

but did you know that heterosexuals are also broken…the truth is that everybody’s genetically broken…this is what the doctrine of original sin teaches us…if we are going to say that LGBT’s are entitled to sin because science is showing us that sexual orientation has a biological component, what about everyone else…are you saying that everyone is entitled to sin because we’re all born biological sinners through no choice of our own…

have you considered the possibility that in the same way all sinners can overcome sin even though they still remain sinners, LGBT’s can overcome LGBT even though they still remain LGBT’s…

the fact that we’re all biological sinners even when we stop sinning is why we are saved by the imputed righteousness of christ…that is, we’re all saved through justification, regardless of the level of sanctification we achieve through the combination of the holy spirit’s power and our own diligent efforts…this is in fact most of what jesus is doing in the heavenly sanctuary right now…that is, he is adding his perfection to our necessarily imperfect efforts, even though they are inspired and enabled by the holy spirit…

so even though what we’re born with detracts from the holiness we’re able to reach in this life, it doesn’t matter…the perfection of jesus is all god is looking at…we’re being accounted perfect because jesus is perfect, even though in reality we’re all biologically broken…this reality won’t change until glorification…

the bottom line is that we don’t indulge our biological sinfulness just because jesus doesn’t take it away when we give ourselves to him…this would be presumption…what jesus is in fact adding his perfection to is our imperfect efforts…that is, he is justifying our unavoidably faulty sanctification…we don’t receive jesus’ perfection outside of our necessarily faulty efforts…we aren’t justified apart from our sanctification, whether that sanctification occurs over a few short moments, as with the thief on the cross, or whether it occurs over centuries, as in the case of enoch…

but i agree that the church could be more merciful with LGBT’s…we could also be much more understanding than we are…

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Clifford Goldstein has no power. He has a bully pulpit from which to shout, but in the scheme of things, he has no power.

Ted Wilson himself has very little formal power. He admitted that at the last Fall Council. Let’s not act as if he does. His lack of power is why he keeps searching - so far unsuccessfully - for a path to get his wishes to act punitively. He is probably a very frustrated man, which often leads to mistakes in judgment. We should pray for him.


Kevin, I have to go out, but in this house sanctification is ultra important, not a minor item. As you would know. But it doesn’t save us. I have to say I came into the church at age 18 and never learned what you teach. When I had been in about nine years and was married to Des (he was not responsible for what I initially learned) the 1973 SS Pamphlet came out on the Nature of Christ, written by your friend and mentor, Herb Douglass. I was teaching a class for young marrieds, and I had never heard these teachings of conservative Adventism. I genuinely thought they were an aberration. Thus, I wrote The Soteriological Implications of the Nature of Christ. And I unwittingly offended people without planning to and possibly started a war. An eye-opener to me. But there must be many like me who came into the church under a progressive regime—I must say my pastor was sanctification embodied, nothing lawless about him. Those not thinking like you are now in the difficult position of being told they should leave. I find that very, very arrogant. A rightwing takeover. I am not talking about you here, but some think we should leave. I must also say the only person I know who might be capable of fulfilling the sanctification you hope for is Roy Gane, a very good friend indeed, despite differences. I have seen a great deal of very unsanctified behaviour from some who present these ideas. I hope to see a great improvement in the future or their theory will fail.


I appreciate your acknowledgment, Kevin, that Cuisinart-like mismatches exist among the sex chromosomes and various reproductive tissues (gonads, ducts, genitals, brain). But as you well know, many defenders of Scripture insist that gender is strictly binary, and they flat out deny the existence of intersex conditions. Such claims are nothing short of ignorance at best, and delusional at worst.

The big difference between you and me, Kevin, is that you insist God applies the “eye test” in judging someone’s gender, and with it, their “acceptable” gender identity and sexual orientation. In essence, you don’t really care what the chromosomes, internal ducts, and internal gonads might be; it all comes down to whether the person" looks" to be a male, or has a penis for external genitals. You are cocksure (no pun intended) that God see things the same as you do, and you eagerly label individuals who act contrary to your eye test and your understanding of Scripture as sinners.

I take a different view. I don’t trust the eye test–especially the way you and I might see things–and I think God cares much more about gender differentiation, identity, and orientation of the brain than he does the gender characteristics of the chromosomes and other reproductive tissues–especially the external genitals–that our eyes seek to make sense of. I’m not talking about accommodating sin; I’m talking about letting God do the judging–not you or me.

As a wise individual put it: “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7.