Adventism’s Shocking Fulfillment of Prophecy

‘It is not in the order of God that any man, or any class of men, should assume that God has made them conscience for their brethren, or put forth their finite hand in a patronizing manner to control the Lord’s delegated workers, thus endangering the safety of the Lord’s heritage as well as their own, and retarding the work of God. God does not confine Himself to one man, or to a set of men, through whom to accomplish His work, but says of all, Ye “are labourers together with God.” This means that every believing soul should have a part to act in His sacred work, and every individual believer in Jesus Christ is to manifest to the world a symbol of Christ’s sufficiency, to represent to His church the higher laws of the future immortal world, and in obedience to the mandates of Heaven that are without a parallel, they should reveal a depth of knowledge independent of human inventions”. {TM 208.2 February 19, 1895}

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“Shouting, sometimes extensively, at those who refuse to follow the party line.” --George Knight

I wish Knight had further elaborated on this point, in which he describes Wilson’s “dictatorial” behavior. I have heard directly about Wilson’s verbal abuse from someone who was the victim of it, and I have no reason to believe that the report was false or exaggerated. I have heard that others have also fallen victim to Wilson’s tirades and that this is well known in certain church leadership circles. If true–and I have no doubt that these reports are credible–I am uncertain as to why they have not been more thoroughly documented and addressed. There can be no room for such behavior in the office of the General Conference president. It is abusive, unacceptable and actionable.

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We know that Ted Wilson is an anti-Trinitarian. His opposition to women’s ordination is undergirded by male headship theory, of which the principal component is the anti-Trinitarian heresy of Eternal Functional Subordinationism, otherwise known as neo-subordinationism or the complementarian doctrine of the Trinity. No Seventh-day Adventist opponent of women’s ordination has ever publicly and unequivocally denounced this heresy. All Seventh-day Adventist opponents of women’s ordination have expressly or unwittingly embraced this heresy. And some like Ingo Sorke and Daniel Mesa have logically followed through with their convictions and unabashedly explicated what others, including Wilson, dare not reveal.

The key to understanding Wilson’s authoritarian and beastly impulses is recognition of his anti-Trinitarianism. The principal issue in the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan is not the Sabbath, spiritualism, or whether Christ will touch the earth when He comes again. The principal issue is the Trinity. The counterfeit trinity’s principal end-time deception is to corrupt our understanding of the Trinity. Everything else set forth in the Seventh-day Adventist literature is secondary to this principal issue.

Here is a quick historical overview of the Great Controversy. Lucifer subordinated the Son to such a low level that he thought that he rather than the Son could take part in the Creation. The incarnate Son was subordinated as a criminal and nailed to the Cross. After Christ’s ascension, Satan’s agent Arius hierarchically ordered the immanent Trinity and eternally subordinated the Son to the Father. And only through one miracle after another did Christianity prevail over Arianism. But the ecclesiastical machinery of the medieval church, with its exaltation of priests, prayers to Mary and the saints, and the marginalization of Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary further subordinated the Son. Satan was able to limit the impact of the Protestant Reformation with the anti-Trinitarian influence of the Socinians and the indifference of the Reformers to the importance of the Trinity. Satan almost derailed the Advent Movement, but God’s longsuffering patience with Ellen White resulted in her presentment of herself as a Trinitarian in the latter years of her life. Questions on Doctrine in 1957 was the pinnacle of Trinitarianism for Seventh-day Adventists, but there was a strong backlash and numerous independent ministries were formed as a result. And in the last forty years, opposition to women’s ordination has catalyzed anti-Trinitarianism, and anti-Trinitarianism, which remains part of the DNA of Seventh-day Adventism, has catalyzed opposition to women’s ordination.

The subordination of the Son throughout history has naturally been accompanied by authoritarian and beastly impulses. If one is willing to subordinate our precious Lord and Savior, then he or she will have no qualms about subjugating others. Wilson is doing what we would expect an anti-Trinitarian to do.

Many Seventh-day Adventists have been deceived by the counterfeit trinity during the closing days of earth’s history. We are witnessing a tragedy of cosmic proportions. I find Dr. Knight’s essay to be appropriate in tone and content.

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It appears that some posts have been removed (or modified/edited) by the
moderator. Is this correct?
The comments made references to, or comparisons with aspects
of the 3rd Reich.
It is not surprising that discussion should venture into this area of history
regarding the “compliance” topic.
One reason perhaps being that a GC leader at the last Annual Council (2017)
gave considerable prominence (with visuals) in his opening presentation to
comparing ‘dissenting voices’ to the perpetrators of Auschwitz. and the lesson
the Church should learn.
Presentations and comparisons of this nature are indeed a sad commentary
on the nature of debate utilized by GC leadership.

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Bad times for the church.

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I agree with the analysis, but it need not be true. I say the next thing not lightly, and am quite serious. This trend will have to be proactively, vigorously, and publicly blocked. I know union presidents who have been taking a wait-and-see approach, thinking things will work out somehow. But the gnomes of Silver Spring keep escalating. So those who see the danger to the nature of our fellowship will have to go on the offensive. If they don’t, nature will take its course. They will have to become protestants. Really. And we will have to support and help them and make our voices heard.

The nearest thing we have to princes are the union presidents and conference presidents. I hope they will take seriously that they have separate constituencies who hire/fire them. I hope they will publicly acknowledge that they will not participate in the the inquisition process. l hope that if they are called before one of the five compliance committees, they will just say, “No!” Gentlemen and lady, be our protesting princes. The GC has precious little real ammunition to use against you. They keep firing blanks. I for one support you in your protestant princeliness.

Great precedent for what needs to happen now in our midst. If those princes had not done that, where would we be. I pledge to do whatever I can to stop this dangerous drift in its tracks.

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I disavow and distance myself as far as possible from introducing into this discussion in any way the Mark of the Beast, Mao, Stalin, Hitler, FBI, Curia or anything similar. I find all use of such language to be unprofessional, irresponsible and unworthy of Adventist Forum and Spectrum. I think that what we write should hit the issues as hard as possible but never strike people and we most certainly should not land blows beneath the belt.

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Someone has to call a spade a spade. I am grateful that George Knight is willing and able to speak the truth.

It is a spiritual gift that allows a person to know the appropriate time to be frank. God followers, who have a measure of influence, must evaluate and pray to know when the time is right. For must of us, who have limited influence, the quest is different. For me, the question is “how must I live?” Of course, the answer will include living with integrity and kindness. But, there are more difficult and subtle tensions, such as grappling with cognitive dissonance when a group that one has loved disappoints on such a foundational issue. The foundational issue to which I refer is the notion of respect for conscience.

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Thank you very much, Dr. Knight for your courageous and forthright perspective. I appreciate your summary of all that has occurred and what it could mean.

Because one of the areas that will come under close scrutiny affects me directly, I will be anxious to see how people like me will be treated by our church.

I have little doubt that the North America Division will come under GC censure for it’s publication of “Guiding Families Of LGBT Loved Ones.” While in this booklet, not one iota of Adventist teaching has changed, this document appears to me to signal a potential change in the direction of our denomination. To me, one of the most important points of this booklet is the admission that nobody appears to know why people are LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Intersex), but whatever the cause, it was not choice. The second important point of this booklet is the admission that “change” is extremely rare , if not unlikely. That is quite an admission, considering that it was not that long ago our denomination was helping to finance the ministry of Colin Cook. Our denomination quickly ended its support and went eerily silent in the wake of scandal. So it is no small admission on the part of the NAD that orientation change is unlikely.

A couple of weeks ago, we had a guest speaker at my local church. As the speaker was nearing the end of their topic, they drew the attention of the congregation to one the sure signs of the end. That sign was the presence and increasing acceptance of homosexuality. It is extremely painful to silently sit in the pew as the speaker asserts that it is people like me who are a sure sign of the end.

I suspect that the booklet has put the NAD in an awkward position. If homosexuality is not based on choice, and orientation is unlikely to change, then it seems to me that the days of scapegoating of the LGBTI community must come to an end. Whatever our denomination may ask of the Adventist LGBTI community, whether it be celibacy or anything else, we should cease immediately the shaming and denigration of LGBTI Adventists.

Dr. Knight, the point I have raised was not directly mentioned in your article, but this is one of the issues over which the “top” intends to exert its force and I believe the issue of women’s ordination is at least one other.

Real lives are affected by what the GC leaders appear ready to do. That is why, regardless of how you may feel about the issues I have raised, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your perspective on the larger issue: leadership’s apparent attempt to coerce compliance.

Coercion is never of God.

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I respect your view, David. But I disagree and I’m disappointed. I believe the crisis / threat has now become so intense that those who are leading it must be held accountable.

One reason is that I perceive no sense of genuine compassion for the immense personal pain to people, children of God who will be hurt by what is proposed. Catastrophic financial loss, undeserved shame, disillusionment, alienation. Where is a manifestation of genuine Christian love over the love of doctrinal conformity?

I’m sad to say, but it appears that one person is doing more to damage than to heal right now. And I don’t believe God has called them to that role.

Thus I’m grateful that Dr. Knight has courageously spoken out. Now is not the time to step aside (“disavow”) in my humble opinion. Remember, please, that Hitler got where he did in part because of people who did not adequately inform themselves or speak out.

“Though the heavens fall…”, Ellen White said. Many of us see too high a likelihood that this is about to happen.

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The piece shows very weak thinking. If the author is to be believed…everyone was just going about their buisness and the world was all peaches and cream and then the mean old GC just went full dictatorial and started inventing ways to control people for the fun of it.
A elementary student could realize the steps being taken are a response not a stimulus.
Congrats Spectrum and George Knight. You have gone full Fake News.

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Thanks Dr George Knight!

Adventists will never arrive at unity via enforecement and compliance measures. The gospel is powerful to challenge error and to bring unity. Adventists must commit themselves to educating people and discipling them with truth.

What is needed now is for heavy hitters to come from within the GC Executive Committee and to lay it on the line in a similar fashion.

Lat year is was Jan Paulsen. I would expect him to stand against the latest documents too. But a chorus of other committee members are needed, all singing from the same hymn sheet.

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To compare the Adventist secretariat to the Curia is not at all a punch below the belt. It is a very capacious, useful metaphor that opens up the horizon. As has been pointed out, the president operates within a culture that supports him. I have read somewhere that his curriculum vitae does not include much pastoral experience. As the grandson of a potential GC president who had been president of five different divisions and the son of a former GC president he was railroaded into administration sooner than most other ministerial interns. He was shaped by the corruptions prevalent at all levels of the church’s administrative structures. I am afraid that the very needed reforms are to begin with giving the members of the local churches real voting powers. The elections of local conference officers are a sham. The results of such “elections” have already been determined by those who control the platform in those farces. It is a sad thing to have come to the conclusion that the corruption of the Adventist Curia is so pervasive that it will take direct divine intervention to restructure it with high ethical standards and willingness to dialogue with the faithful.

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Thank-you, George Knight, for having the courage to write this article. Some of your sentiments regarding the type of leader Ted Wilson is and what he has been doing in his term of office has been echoed here in comments through the past few years. One of your sentences stood out to me:

"But, I must say, it is a wonder to me that a person who loves The Great Controversy so much could take the path he is creating."

He has studied it well and there may be belief that it is he who is to usher in the “Shaking”. In other words, be responsible for the Second Coming. If it sounds too far fetched…so has many other events and corporate behaviors in this Administration which up to this space and time would have been viewed as an impossibility.

The Seventh Day Adventist Church deserves so much better than what it has gotten through the “reign” of Ted Wilson. Instead of the Church being a beacon of light in Christendom in how to deal with difficult issues such as Women’s Ordination, making a place for the LGBT+, etc., it is punitive and small-minded.

So much for being a “Light to the World” and an example of Christ’s ministry to the suffering. I see that Adventism has been losing it’s grasp of the “Great Commission” and is becoming a laughing stock to the rest of the watching world.

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Denis Fortin has written an excellent essay about Seventh-day Adventist Church governance. I think this statement is interesting: “This dissonance is significant: Adventist lay members think they are involved in a presbyterian governance structure, while the leaders function within an episcopal structure.” https://atoday.org/church-governance-in-times-of-conflict/. This statement, too, is thought-provoking: “In my opinion, the episcopal model is the dominant one in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and one cause of our current crisis is that we have not clearly recognized this.”

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This is as you say not limited to a single person in the church. In addition yourself, I and many others have commented on our direct observation of abusive, vindictive and petty behavior of people in leadership positions. It is something that requires constant vigilance to monitor raise a voice when such leaders betray their trust as stewards.

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We need the straight talk! Thanks for this essay!

Everyone thinks (or so it seems) that Elder Wilson wants a third term. When he is so authoritarian and so out of tune with the one who said that Gentiles “lord it over” others, and true disciples serve, how can he have a chance?

If our membership, and its leaders, are dead in their pews, he does!

Chuck

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It appears that Dr Knight has a sizable chip on his shoulder.

Let me remind all that though you may disagree with the vote of the world church, the vote was cast by delegates from the entire world church, after several years of weighing matters on all sides. Though the outcome of the vote may indeed be, in the eyes of many, tragic, comparing the representative process through which it was derived to the operations of the “Pope” and “Curia” is ridiculous at best and at worst, a vindictive attempt to undermine and discredit the structures of the worldwide church.

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Dr. Knight, As always your poignant, thoughtful and thorough examination of the subject reveals much that we as members need to bring to the steward leadership. It seems time to remind our advent brethren that this is where things are now and how we have fallen and reform the governance and stewardship roles to prevent the usurpers from continuing their selfish, petty, and Roman’ish practices.

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Thank you Dr George Knight for this excellent essay and for doing your part to keep this topic at the forefront. Surprisingly, there is no mention in the Adventist Review although the lead news story is “Australian Food Company Builds Nursery Garden in Fiji”.

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