Changed Proposed to Fundamental Beliefs at Annual Council

(system) #1

SILVER SPRING - Delegates considered and discussed several changes to the Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Beliefs during Sunday's afternoon business session at the 2014 Annual Council. General Conference Executive Committee members heard proposed changes to several Fundamental Beliefs that would change language to be more gender inclusive. Among the most significant proposals, the committee tasked with reviewing the beliefs recommended inserting the word "literal" and the word "recent" to close perceived loopholes that some felt left the door open to theistic evolution in Belief number six on Creation. On Belief number eighteen on the Gift of Prophecy, the committee proposed removing the words "As the Lord's messenger" and "authoritative source of truth" describing Ellen White and her writings. The rationale, according to General Conference Vice President Artur Stele, was to maintain the Adventist belief in "Sola Scriptura"--the Bible as the only authoritative source of belief and practice.

A full report on the deliberations will follow in the fourth installment of Spectrum editor Bonnie Dwyer's daily Annual Council Diary.

Meanwhile, updates in 140 characters from the discussion is available on the Spectrum Twitter account: @spectrummag. Follow Spectrum's twitterfeed for up to the moment updates, especially as discussion turns to women's ordination on Tuesday.

Wiklander notes that the word "recent" injected into FB6 on creation is not in the Bible. This concerns him. #GCAC14

— SPECTRUM (@spectrummag) October 12, 2014

Another gentleman, from Africa this time, asking why "persons" and not "men" be used in FB1 on Scriptures. It was OK with "man." #GCAC14

— SPECTRUM (@spectrummag) October 12, 2014

Stele says the word ἄνθρωπος (anthropos) refers to humanity, not men specifically. #GCAC14

— SPECTRUM (@spectrummag) October 12, 2014

Trim wants to avoid opening a loophole that some would "drive a horse and carriage through." #GCAC14

— SPECTRUM (@spectrummag) October 12, 2014

Wilson tells people to read White's "Patriarchs and Prophets" which has chapter called "The Literal Week." #GCAC14

— SPECTRUM (@spectrummag) October 12, 2014

A PDF version of all the proposed revisions to the Fundamental Beliefs is available here.

Jared Wright is managing editor of

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Phillip Brantley) #2

I recommend that the proposed change to FB 24 replace the words “symbolized” with the words “typified.” There is a significant hermeneutical difference between a symbol and a sanctuary type.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #3

The word change is admirable but it doesn’t change the references, Ellen White’s take on any particular scripture will still hold, for at least another generation past glacier View. far too many have taken a protective stance. Tom Z

(Jan Long) #4

Re proposed changes to FB #6: “Wilson tells people to read White’s “Patriarchs and Prophets” which has chapter called “The Literal Week.” #GCAC14

Perhaps along with this advise, folks should balance their reading with 1T. Page 131-132, written in 1856 which states as follows: “I was shown the company present at the Conference. Said the angel: ‘Some food for worms, some subjects of the seven last plagues, some will be alive and remain upon the earth to be translated at the coming of Jesus.’” The point is, if an “I was shown” statement is unreliable, should we, in 2014 consider “The Literal Week” reliable? I have a high regard for EGW, and have great respect for her accomplishments, but it may be time to stop the idolatry and start using our God endowed brains.

(2nd Opinion) #5

Reviewing the feed from today’s session on changes to the statement of fundamental beliefs did not leave me encouraged about the process by which these are handled. Can the beliefs of 20 million people really be driven by committee process and last-minute comments from the floor? I’m particularly concerned with Trim’s studied effort to close “loopholes”? Is that what this is all about? As if you could root out heterodoxy by doctoring official language? These guys all need a good course in the sociology of religion to help them see the wooden nature of their efforts, over and against the dynamic nature of beliefs as they are actually held and practiced by people in everyday life. By making a statement like this more rigid, they only make it more fragile.

(George Tichy) #6

You mean, shutting the door on HER???

(Tongkam) #7

Mrs. White accurately recorded the angel’s words. We, however, are often guilty of misinterpreting them. What do they mean? There are times when something is not revealed in its true sense without prayer and fasting. Remember, too, that ALL of the prophets in the Christian dispensation have expected Jesus to come in their own day. For whatever reason, God never chose to correct their mistaken understandings. Paul said “then we which are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the air…” Is Paul still alive?

Please don’t be misled over something like this. Seek God and His enlightenment through the Holy Spirit.

EDIT: Changed a sentence to passive voice to mitigate the Satanophobia present on this board.

(George Tichy) #8

So you too are starting to “Satanize” those who disagree with you or have a different understanding of a certain issue?

(Kevin Seidel) #9

I wonder if there is a something similar to Godwin’s law for religious discussions that mention Satan.


I was curious as to what you meant, so did some checking. They must of heard you recommendation, Phillip.

It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement.

(Tihomir Odorcic) #11

I have a bad hunch that the change of FB6 will go through as a deal for acceptance of WO. And after my opinion it will do more harm to the Church and it’s intellectual basis than neglecting the WO issue. Literalism of Scripture in certain areas can raise the question what about the other ones. And then you’ll have again the male headship, which is also derived from literal reading.
FB6 as it is now, is not bad. It leaves room for different interpretations of creation.
I can see that it is very bad situation, that in the same occasion when there is such a big thing as WO, someone has smuggled this literalistic issue in FB6. TW has not much time left and he wants to finish his mission. And we here on Spectrum can do nothing for it. Only pray. So I think that all this rumpus about prayer is a good one. We should pray that they won’t destroy something which is good.

(George Tichy) #12

You missed adding, “before he is replaced in 2015.”

(Dwayne Turner) #13

Good Morning to all…it has been sometime since I have been posting on this site… as to the proposed changes of Belief #18 of the 28 Fundamentals… (removing the words “As the Lord’s Messenger” and “authoritative source of truth”) I am dumbfounded that such blatant attempts are being made to change what we believe… it is time; high time for these leaders who want to change our faith to leave and begin a church reflective of their own views…

I am flabbergasted over this proposal… Understand this Spectrumites… The Seventh-day Adventist Church will never look like you want it to look…because people who are convinced and convicted on the words of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy will not compromise those beliefs in order to achieve surface collegiality and a unity not based on Scripture. Once you believe that God is speaking through the Bible & the Spirit of Prophecy you will believe the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy and proceed to read the words contained therein as “God is speaking”; making significant the words we read and insignificant the source of those words. When you don’t, you get caught up in assessing the relationship between the Bible & Spirit of Prophecy. You become fixated with differentiating between the B & SP. Why would you try and change the language of Belief #18 without extensive, publicized study over the role of the Spirit of Prophecy? What’s changed in our beliefs that would make such deletions necessary? This would certainly make Walter Martin (Kingdom of the Cults) very happy, if he were still alive. This would move the Seventh-day Adventist Church out of the supplemental section of his book; taking us out of his book completely…

(Bille) #14

You seem to forget one of the primary criteria of a “cult” as Walter Martin defines cults… which is the attempt to control the minds of one’s followers. Depending on the intensity… and the success… of such efforts at mind-control, a cult can be merely labeled as such or can be classified as an Abusive and Dangerous Cult.

If you would like a statement from Ellen White’s writings that is in agreement with this attitude towards mind control… take a look at that heading in one of the chapters of Ministry of Healing.

Then perhaps we can also revisit the topic of how Satan is infiltrating the SDA church… as described by both the wife of one of our Seminary Professors and by our present General Conference President as he models the practices that are described in detail in some of Elmer’s books.

(Bille) #15

It cannot be an example of Godwin’s law when the topic under discussion is on the subject of Satan and/or Satanic activity… and/or the sermons that were focused on that topic.

(George Tichy) #16

They have to change the status quo, otherwise soon the Bible will be declared irrelevant. Ar least two people already declared here that the SOP “contains” the whole Bible and actually expands it. This is blasphemy!

If someone wants to follow Sola Scriptura, he/she needs to leave hypocrisy aside and make the Bible the only source of belief and faith. Evidently there are some at the current meetings open to leave hypocrisy aside…

(Bille) #17

One’s concern over Trim’s efforts might be mitigated by the importance to all of us that he retain his position… and we already know what it will take to accomplish that.

(Tony Parrish) #18

I recommend changing the word “fundamental” to “suggested.”

(Kim Green) #19

You are so correct, pastdvt…and the SDA church will never fully look/become what you think that it should either! There will always be “Spectrumites” in the adventist church whether or not it is pleasing to you or others.

(Dwayne Turner) #20

Sadly Kim, there will not always be Spectrumites in the Adventist Church; as you have stated. There will be a separation to take place before the Lord comes; a separation that may happen sooner, rather than later. What is happening to us now is described as “The Shaking”. Unfortunately, one of the issues, that would bring “The Shaking,” as prophesied by Sis. White, was the very issue that we are facing; devaluing the role and place of the Spirit of Prophecy.

This has been and continues to be the tone, tenure, and thrust of many of “the regulars” on Spectrum. The result of such actions are clearly stated in Testimonies for the Church Vol. 4 pg. 211, **“It is Satan’s plan to weaken the faith of God’s people in the Testimonies. Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march to perdition. When the Testimonies, which were once believed, are doubted and given up, Satan knows the deceived ones will not stop at this; and he redoubles his efforts till he launches them into open rebellion, which becomes incurable and ends in destruction.–4T 211.”

So there won’t always be people of vastly differing opinions remaining all together in the church until the end of time. The separation will take place. The thing we all need to determine is whether or not the stances we are taking have put us on the side of obedience or the side of disobedience.

The rank and file of Spectrum has consistently taken positions that has not “caught the prophecies off guard” but has been a direct manifestation of the prophesies; including this current issue.

And Kim… There’s nothing “I think” the church should look like… the inspired writings of the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy do not leave me reeling in “grayism”… It is clear what we should look like… the only question is do we want to look like what the Lord expresses is His desire for His people…