The Board of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Linköping, Sweden has issued a statement expressing “dismay and concern” about “recent developments in the world church” on issues of unity and policy compliance.
The statement was voted unanimously by the five-person board of the Linköping Church on September 20, 2018. The statement lays out three points of concern which are summarized here:
1. The “proposed mechanisms are detrimental for the future of our church and our mission. Our members, young and old, scoff at these proposals, shaking their heads in disbelief…. Enough harm has been done to the unity of our denomination by the very existence of these proposals. More harm will be done if the Annual Council votes these proposals into effect.”
2. The vast majority of the Swedish Union constituency previously voted to discontinue the practice of ordination in ministry “in an effort to both respect the GC Session vote and adhere to our Fundamental Belief #14.” As such, “we, the constituency, are to be held responsible for our actions. Therefore we find it unacceptable that some of the proposed sanctions…are aimed at the Union President.”
3. “We are also appalled by the suggestion that the compliance committee model ‘could also be adopted by other levels of church organization.’ We can not even imagine ourselves resorting to such practices in our local church…. This would likely create an atmosphere of distrust, uncertainty and fear, rather than the loving, open and trusting community we are asked to strive for.”
The statement ends by saying that the Linköping Church gives “the Executive Committee of the Swedish Union of Churches our wholehearted support in clearly authorising our Union President to oppose the proposed measures at the Annual Council. Furthermore, we urge the Annual Council to reject the proposed measures.”
This statement follows on the heels of the Adventist Church in Göttingen, Germany circulating a petition calling on congregations around the globe to support their respective unions in rejecting the GC’s compliance documents and committees. Several conferences and unions have also issued statements including the North and South German Unions, the Pacific Union Conference, the Berlin-Central German Conference, and the Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish Unions.
The statement from the Linköping Church follows in full below, in both English and Swedish. It is also available on the church’s website here.
General Conference Issues Statement on Compliance Committees, Sept. 11, 2018
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