A Letter to the Church

My Beloved Church,

My dear church. We, as Seventh-day Adventists, are living in a time of trouble where the devil is bringing us to his yard so we can be entertained with his toys of destruction. From afar the rest of the world watches how meetings are unfolding and how we are fighting one another. I am sorry to you all but the church is not white vs. black, the church is not rich vs. poor, the church is not men vs. women, this has never been Republicans vs. Democrats, nor Trump vs. Americans. This is the church of Christ we are talking about.

I know we have small fights to fight but we cannot let those small fights take the place of the bigger one. We are just like Moses before killing the Egyptian, trying to free people through our power and we forget that we have none because it is God’s power and this is his people. Or, maybe we are just like the two Israelites that were fighting the day after, arguing about who put the best brick in the pyramid of Pharaoh.

There are thousands of people who no longer believe that the Spirit of God is guiding the Church and I ask: When did God take a back seat and let others guide the Church? We are told in Zechariah 4:6, “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”

We truly believe that when two or three gather in his name, God is there to bless us, to guide us and to unite us. Unfortunately, we are no longer interested in impacting the world but we are instead letting the world impact us. When the church doesn't agree with us we quickly go to Sister Ellen G. White to find a page about Pharisees not agreeing with Jesus, but when the church agrees with us but not with others, we also go to Sister White to find a page about God not agreeing with Satan in heaven.

What has happened to us? I know we can agree to disagree but we can't agree to disunite. One day we want to be Nehemiah against his accusers and another day we choose to be Esdras trying to unite others. We can't be humble one day and arrogant the other. In unity, the church can't be the ball and the bat. So, to all our leaders throughout the church: try your best to put this together and let God guide you.

Ellen White says, “never should the mind of one man or the minds of a few men be regarded as sufficient in wisdom and power to control the work and to say what plans shall be followed. But when, in a General Conference, the judgment of the brethren assembled from all parts of the field is exercised, private independence and private judgment must not be stubbornly maintained but surrendered. Never should a laborer regard as a virtue the persistent maintenance of his position of independence, contrary to the decision of the general body."

We are letting the ordination of women be the permanent headline of the church. It seems that it's not anymore about the labors of the many women that God is using, but about who is right and who is wrong. Sure, Jesus fought back against certain situations but he never let those situations be the headline of his mission, and we must take his example. The headline must be all the time the Promise of Jesus in the book of John 14:1-3. The headline must be the great commission of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20, regardless of what is going on in the church or the world. We should also keep our attention on the commandments in Exodus 20 and the glorious end of the great controversy as depicted in Revelation. Our focus must be JESUS AND JESUS ALL THE WAY DOWN.

Soon our Lord and Savior will come. Revelation 22:20 says, "He which testifies these things said, Surely I come quickly." At all time, we must complete the verse saying "Amen. Even so come, Lord Jesus.”

I love you my dear church.

Jorge E. Jesus Jimenez is a pastor in the East Adventist Association on the Dominican Republic. He and his wife Alida live in Hato Mayor del Rey.

Image credit: Unsplash.com

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9164
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So what do you do? You go to Sister White and find a page:

I do not think that we are letting the ordination of women be the permanent headline of the church, but I do think that it is important. Should we bury our heads in the sand? The Character of God is what is being discussed. The manner in which this top-down discussion takes place is telling. “Punishment with Shame” is revealing a terminal problem within our organization and authority structure.

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If our mission is Jesus all the way down, then we need to make sure we are actually representing his character to the world.

If we don’t understand the problem, we can’t make a logical diagnosis and therefore we might miss the cure. This issue in the church is not about Women’s Ordination–the WO conflict is merely the symptom of high-handed, authoritarian control. Every conflict is the result of someone telling someone else what to do. The question for our time is who is telling who what to do? Should any church entity tell someone how to follow their conscience?

As long as we are using quotes, let’s not forget the last message of mercy to be given to the world is to be a message of God’s character. If the church fails to allow freedom of conscience, we have failed to represent God’s character. The church needs to allow for freedom of conscience in order to spread the truth about God–anything less is a false gospel. If church leaders insist on control, in the words of Jesus, they will be in danger of “making disciples who are twice the sons of hell that they are.”

The controversy over Women’s Ordination is a power struggle over freedom of conscience. The unions who ordain women are just as concerned NOT to force a woman pastor on a congregation if they don’t want a woman pastor, but those who do, those who are blessed by woman pastors and the women pastors who answer the call, should be all allowed to follow their consciences and listen to the Holy Spirit. To deny this is to deny God in the form of the Spirit, and also it breaks a basic belief of Adventism–free moral agency.

It is not the WO that is splitting the church, it is Ted Wilson. He wants to make Adventism in his own image. If he were a wise leader, he would diffuse the conflict, but he doesn’t because he is committed to the mindset of Last Generation Theology and the majority of those educated in our higher institutions disagree with him on this. If he was wiser, he would find a way to make a bridge and allow Adventists of all persuasions to follow their conscience and allow for the fruit of their work to reveal if what they choose is from God.

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LOL… Caught!!! This was funny indeed.

Regarding the Church’s headlines, it’s helpful to keep in mind that this GC admin decided long time ago to keep the WO issue making the headlines. If they had stopped promoting/perpetuating discrimination of women, the topic would have died long time ago.

And now, at the AC18, they made it still worse. Now the headline is “Centralization of Power in the Hands of an Abusive GC.”

And soon it will get still worse, “Heads Rolling Down the Streets victims of the Kompliance Komrades’ Kamaraderie”…

Stay tuned!!!

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There are injustices that, when practiced in the church, serve to misrepresent God and profane His name. Women’s ordination is not simply a political or social preference, it puts a face on the church that exists to be the hands and feet of Christ to the world. How can we preach justice and not do justly? This is the heart of the matter. “He that knoweth to do good, but doeth it not, to him it is sin”. We cannot tie one another’s hands and forbid them to do what is true and just and right.

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“God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority. The error that some are in danger of committing is in giving to the mind and judgment of one man, or of a small group of men, the full measure of authority and influence that God has vested in His church in the judgment and voice of the General Conference assembled to plan for the prosperity and advancement of His work. {9T 260.2}
When this power, which God has placed in the church, is accredited wholly to one man, and he is invested with the authority to be judgment for other minds, then the true Bible order is changed. Satan’s efforts upon such a man’s mind would be most subtle and sometimes well-nigh overpowering, for the enemy would hope that through his mind he could affect many others. Let us give to the highest organized authority in the church that which we are prone to give to one man or to a small group of men”. {9T 261.1}

It seems a lot of NAD SDA’s to not want to abide by the vote in SA. The vote is the voice of God speaking through HIS representative body which is that body when in GC session. It’s liken unto the Urimm and Thummin for God’s remnant people. We had a vote and that vote said that Divisions shall not confer onto woman authority reserved only for qualified men.

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To be elected to office means to be given a position of responsibility not one of power beyond those responsibilities. Culture and history demands room for accommodation. In western culture competence and fidelity not gender are the criteria for ordination, which simply means to occupy a pulpit and to Shepard a defined group Of worshipers. Pastoring while being known as a called occupation is not gender bound. The Gospel is an Expansion of the Good News that Jesus, the Christ is risen. Mary was the first to be given that role. Furthermore of the two walking to Emaaus was a woman who ran back to inform the disciples gathered in the upper room. The return of Jesus is never more than one’s life span not a final generation. Last generation theology is nothing more than a perversion of JohnWesley’s private belief even after Aldersgate.

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ALL the Divisions, including the NAD are abiding by the vote in San Antonio. Nothing changed with the Working Policy and the authority and organization protocol.

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Headline: November 1, 1517, Wittenburg Times (Germany) Luther Protests Indulgences with 95 Theses But Says He will Comply with Church Policy.

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“…when two or three gather in His name…”

As a pastor, I trust that you will appreciate the significance of God’s name - ie, His character. And I trust that you will appreciate that the foundation of God’s character is Agape love (1 Jn 4:8). And I trust that you will appreciate the depths of what Agape love entails (I Cor 13).

And I trust that you will appreciate that the Great Commission is to reflect and represent God’s name/character to the world - through deed as well as through word.

Agape love is motivated solely to advance all that is healthy for others. That is it’s nature. When something is unhealthy, true Agape love takes a stand in righteousness to restore things to ‘as they ought to be’ - even if such unfortunately results in disunity. Where two (or more) parties are involved, any party that is not motivated by Agape love at it’s core will be out of harmony and therefore disunity will occur. This is inevitible and cannot be avoided. This is why there is disunity between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Darkness. Genuine unity that Jesus prayed for in Jn 17 is not a goal. It is as this week’s lesson rightfully hilighted on Wednesday: genuine unity is an “outgrowth”.

While Agape love takes a stand when harm to others is at stake, it does not make personal attacks. Rather, it focuses on and deals with the issues. Where personal attacks are being made, where vilification is taking place, that should definitely cease as it too is out of harmony with the name/character of God. At the same time, there are significant issues that need to be attended to for the sake of God’s name.

What is at stake? An institution which has adopted the claim to be part of the body of Christ - and it is only a part of His universal ‘church’/remnant - is utilising methods that are consistent with those used by the Kingdom of Darkness. Coercion/punishment is not a method of God’s Kingdom.

The Jerusalem council of Acts 15 faced similar challenges in terms of diversity of practice in regard to non-essential salvational issues. It supported diversity of practice and in so doing retained and further fostered a deeper unity than the superficial unity of conformity (uniformity) of practice. This is the only way a world-wide body of believers can operate harmoniously because of cultural and sub-cultural nuances.

This necessity to address the issues at stake is not about taking away the focus of mission - it is to enable mission to be more effective. It is about ensuring that the name/character of God is being represented in deed and word by the representation of His name/character on earth - His body/church (of which Adventism is but a part provided it reflects His name/character in deed and word).

While I can appreciate the hurt you are experiencing, there are unfortunately significant issues at stake. While it is inappropriate for members of the Kingdom of God to be making personal attacks on others, the issues at stake will nevertheless need to be addressed for the sake of the Great Commission. If all parties concerned are anchored in Christ, this will happen and unity will be a natural outgrowth. Time will reveal whether this is the case or not.

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Pastor Jimezez, you make the same mistake of most preachers to make your point. You quote Ellen White, but you don’t give the reference of your quotation. I can give you her quotation that perhaps says something a little different what you are implying.

6 R. King

Yes, another instance of using pages from EGW as a
convenient hammer for ‘nailing’ correct views on perceived
erring, non-compliant believers.

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… for the sake of maintaining ‘unity’.

The EGW quote in question is below. Plus the remainder of the paragraph.

…God has ordained that the representatives of His church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference, shall have authority. The error that some are in danger of committing, is in giving to the mind and judgment of one man, or of a small group of men, the full measure of authority and influence that God has vested in His church, in the judgment and voice of the General Conference assembled to plan for the prosperity and advancement of His work.—Testimonies for the Church 9:260, 261.

Pastor,
I believe I understand the point of your letter to the church to be as follows;
We must remember our God given commission.
We must put our energies into spreading the gospel and “be still “ in faith that God will work out the conflicts according to His will.
We must stop the fighting within the church. Surrender and servant-hood is personal and must begin with ourselves.
Remember “the bread of adversity and water of affliction” comes unto every true follower of God.

During the ministry of Christ, specifically in the upper room for the last supper, Jesus washed the feet and offered the emblems to His enemy. There was no name calling, no insults, no threats, no sarcasm, no retaliation. That is the Biblical example for every person who accepts Christ as His Savior.
May Christ through the power of His Spirit help us all.

As one Adventist pastor friend of mine told me recently - “You can find an Ellen White quote to support just about anything you want.” He uses EGW quotes regularly in his sermons, but sees the danger in using them as doctrine.

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In the words of the NAD President "…God pours out His Spirit on men and women and the church, that is the General Conference of Seventh Day Adventists in its annual counsels has authorized female pastors. It is supported in policy after policy (you can google this yourself RKING). When you hear somebody say or write, as an ill informed person did recently ‘that the GC has decided what kind of pastors we want in the church and it’s MEN’. Hooey!” he cried. “Hooey! the church has NEVER said only men can be pastors! As a matter of fact there has been a lot more female pastors when EGW was alive than when she went off the scene…The fact is friends, let be understood to all who like it and all who don’t like it, we will not be deterred we don’t care what action, we don’t care what body, we do not care. We have a mandate from God to encourage, to enhance, and empower women to serve as Pastors. …before you say you are going against Policy voted…I will give you a black book called ‘Working Policy of the General Conference of Seventh Day Adventists’. I will even highlight the places that you need to read. We are not doing anything contrary to the General Conference. As a matter of fact we never have…To be honest, I’m getting really tired of the baloney that comes through our fake news outlets…”

NAD is NOT out of compliance, such an assertion is a false witness before the brethren and God Almighty.
See the video from 1:36 - 1:41 if you watch nothing else for the remarks above.

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This was used to get a direct yes no answer from God Himself, so to put it bluntly, no the GC body is not the voice of God as you claim. In fact to say so is to transform the GC body of representative to the Papacy and TW as the Pope. Such blatant blasphemy is nothing less than shocking coming from one claiming to be part of the remnant church.

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A current extremely serious problem we see developing is the spreading of fake, false, inaccurate information - especially by the vote in SA15. I am uncertain if it is really illiteracy, or laziness (not reading the materials), or mere blindness. Or, maybe, total cultic irresponsibility???

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In my opinion, a statement like this is actually sacrilege. Yes, sacrilege!

When we know clearly how much politicking has been going on, and all the maneuvering that we are all well aware of, saying that the results we saw are “the voice of God,” is very disturbing.

I am positive that with all those maneuvers, threats, manipulation, God has nothing to do with it - no matter how much prayer is involved.

What we needs is MTCDA: Make The Church Decent Again!!! Then God can be invited to lead us. Until then, let’s stop the demagoguery!!!

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This individual is writing a lot of nonsense. It seems that he is misinformed, or is trying to play us here hoping that we don’t have the right information.

@rking should get his facts right about the SA-15 vote before embarrassing himself posting those fake/distorted facts. No room for “alternative truth” here!!!

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