Surveying the comments here, I am reminded of what happened in Acts 15 at the worlds’ first general conference of Christianity.
They were facing a matter of orthopraxy that is biblically backed as required by the words the bible attribute to God, rather than by some offhand comment by a biblical author or two.
What possibly could trump God’s personal demand as recorded in ‘The Law.’
Well, as it turned out, the proper question for Christians then was, How are non-circumcised new Christians working out in the congregations across the Empire. Turns out, they were blessing and being blessed in the congregations, which James took to be the endorsement of the Holy Spirit, and in turn Present Truth … to borrow the name of that ‘little paper’ that is the progenitor of all Seventh-day Adventism’s journals.
And on the basis of this report, James as the consensus leader of the Christians, listened for several days to discussion including quite the commotion by those converts from the sect of the Pharisees, before summarizing what he believed to be truth and the path forward. And having stated his summary, he paused for consensus, and moved on to write the letter ending circumcision as a requirement. And that was the end of circumcision, though I heard there are actually a Seventh-day Adventist congregation or two that to this day inspect visiting preachers to confirm they are circumcised. True story.
The takeaway in Acts 15 is that the decision was made not on the basis of what should be based on The Law, but on the basis of was proven in the the congregations to be working out well.
The introduction of Union Conferences in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination included the acknowledgement of the church that all such decisions of orthopraxy were to be distributed away form the General Conference in the spirit of Acts 15. And it is useful to keep in mind that there were in the beginning 15 Union Conferences and 1 Union Mission established in 1901, when the denomination had 69,000 members world wide.
Let’s see how it is working locally seems the ideal approach today, as well.