Confounding Conundrums: A Response to Mark Finley’s ‘Mystical Myths’ Article

On October 9 I published an analysis of what I believe was a problematic question and answer article from the General Conference communication department regarding the compliance document then soon to be voted at Annual Council.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Watching Mark Finley attire himself in scarlet and purple has caused me great sadness. As our precious Lord and Savior continually looks toward Mark’s direction, imploring him to say at least one word to counter His debasement by the Seventh-day Adventist neo-subordinationists who stand opposed to women’s ordination, Mark remains noncompliant and mute. And as the millions of Seventh-day Adventists in the Third World look toward Mark’s direction, with uncertainty about what the inalienable right of personal conscience is, Mark miseducates and misleads them, making the task of education much more difficult for the rest of us. Don’t worry, Mark. After you and Ted Wilson are long gone, we will clean up your mess and the Seventh-day Adventist Church will survive.


Even though Mark [I first met Mark when he was a young man, out of the ministry program, and providing Spiritual care and teaching at Wildwood Institute in N. Ga. It was evident then he had possibilities for great service to God] attempts to make
this document appear like a “pleasant one”, the FACT IS the Words are still there
on the pages.
The Document takes all prisoners. It DOES NOT allow for the Perceived Needs of
a particular area of the world by the members and the Leadership in a particular
area of the world field.
IF the GC sees something it “Perceives” is out of compliance, and NOTICES that
NOBODY – church, district, conference, union, division – is addressing it, then the
GC has the RIGHT to step in and call the Inquisition to order. With the GC TEAM as
prosecutor, jury, judge, jailer, executioner.
The local RIGHTS of the Unions have been DISSOLVED by this Document. Yes! The
Unions, by this Document, no longer have their Local Rights. GONE!

At least this is HOW I see the Document reading. Even though Mark says differently.


An excellent analysis of Mark’s confused defense. There is no myth in the the fact that the compliance committee will, after prayer and discussion, recommend discipline unless the constituency of the conference or union committee votes by a simple majority not to allow the ordination of women as pastors. Also Mark does not resolve the disagreement among advocates of MH regarding the ordination of women as local elders. Some advocates of MH claim that ordination of women as local elders is not in the church manual because it has not been voted by the GC in world session. Pastor Ted Wilson says in his personal column on questions that it was approved by the GC executive committee during the presidency of his father, Neil. How will the committee establish unity on this issue? Prayer and discussion?


I am so glad that someone raised the voice of reasoning and responded to Finley’s atrocious statement, one that was nothing but a disrespect to the readers’ intelligence. Does he (and the rest of the GC crowd) really believe that ALL Church members will just bow down to their sometimes infantile rhetoric and distorted presentation of facts?

It’s time for those people to understand that there is a big crowd out here who knows exactly what their maneuvering and manipulating methods are. Or do they really believe that we are not seeing what is going on, what they are doing, and where they want to take the Church? Seriously???

In my opinion this problem has no solution. Things cannot be “worked out” with this GC administration.They have to be “repealed & replaced” before this mess can start being cleaned up. All of them have to go home. In the meantime, let’s see how much damage this KGC task force will cause to the Church.

Thanks Pastor Randy Harmdierks for taking the time to deal with the inconsistencies that Pastor Finley wrote in his “myths article.”


10/27/18 - # 1

Avondale College ResearchOnline@Avondale Business Conference Papers Avondale Business School 7-2014

Freedom of Religion and Eternal Accountability: Internal Auditing and its Implications within the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Keith Howson
Tom and Vi Zapara School of Business
La Sierra University, California USA

Jonathan Langton
The Faculty of Business Federation University Australia

Brian West
The Faculty of Business Federation University Australia

Maner & Costerian

I looked up Maner & Costerisan and couldn’t see any SDA ties.

The 2014 Avondale study indicates that the “independent” auditors must be drawn from church members.

Does anyone know more about this?


The firm was, i believe at on time, 33 1/3 to 50% Adventist (i suppose like being ‘almost’ married’!). Floyd Costerisan, now deceased, was one of the 3 CPAs that founded the firm, Manor, Costerisan & Ellis PC. How this is somehow ok, i don’t know (i suppose just so that a ‘Philistine’ doesn’t peek at the books!!!). Floyd then retired from the firm to go work for the Michigan Conference as a trust officer. Maybe Mr. Nyquist is a Adventist, i really don’t know.


Finley’s response here shows an “ignorance”, willful or otherwise, of the role of an auditor. The role of an auditor is to give an independent opinion that the books meet legal standards of accounting. In a public company this provides an assurance to shareholders of the financial state of the company. Auditors do not care how you spend your money as long as it is accounted for properly. Auditors reports give no assurance that money is being spent judiciously or with any form of accountability, only that it is being written up legally.


What Mr. Finley’s remarks fail to address is the fact that, at minimum, 50% of all Adventists are women. We have a work to finish and minimizing the usefulness and value of half the constituency is wasteful at best and arrogantly sexist at worst. All of this tap dancing around the issue of WO when we know that this issue is causing massive hemorrhaging to the body as a whole, is narrow minded. Suggesting that convoluted wording of what really amounts to a top down control of the organization is supposed to be palatable to it’s members, is naive. I’m just waiting for Ted Wilson to say “I’m the president, and you’re not”.

Why we find it acceptable that the majority of conferences which are heavily opposed to WO are from regions where women’s genitalia are mutilated or where women are kept under wraps with clothing that would stifle most men. Where, in some cases, women are just now being permitted to drive cars or vote or walk down the street without a male escort, unveils the subtext to their social bias against women’s ordination. This issue should never be addressed from the perspective of cultural bias. If they were truly interested in the biblical perspective, they should model the solution to this issue after the early churches Jerusalem decision against circumcision. If the Holy Spirit is working in these people, be they gentiles or women, or whom ever, who are we to say it isn’t part of God’s plan.



The WO issue is only the symptom of the real cancer, which is actually discrimination. People who are discriminators will do the unthinkable to impose their ill intentions. They want the Church to go DOWN - Discrimination Of Women Now!.. :wink:


(Quote) I’m disheartened that Finley, a prominent church leader with significant influence — an icon of Adventism — so easily dismisses the heartfelt concerns of a multitude of Adventist members and leaders in various parts of the world who happen to disagree with the direction the church is headed.
Can only say: Me too. He fell in the Wilson trap!


So this social/cultural bias is the root cause and has the effect of an apparent majority of the church to deny the Spirit of Gods choice of spiritual gifts. People use the Bible as a means for justifying discrimination and then end up grieving the Spirit… so then to throw women under the bus they must also throw God as well…yikes this just gets worse and worse.


What do we do when we disagree as to what the Bible and the SOP have to say on a particular issue? We have two options:

1: Allow local church entities to do as they believe God is leading. This is also known as Congregationalism.
2: We escalate the issue up through our organizational structure, and it ends up being voted on in a General Conference Session.
3: We respect the vote of the World Church in Session, OR
4: We choose to go a different way.

The World Church voted against Women’s Ordination in 2005, 2010, and 2015. The leaders of some church entities have chosen to ignore these votes.

Of even greater concern, and little known to many, is that there is a new hermeneutic being employed behind the scenes, and the application of it can lead to the dismissal of any number of Biblical doctrines. For a good explanation of this, see

One final thought: the Holy Spirit will never lead us in a direction that doesn’t harmonize with what God has already revealed.

May God continue to bless His Church as we prepare for the soon return of our Lord!

I still don’t get it, how can an assault on the Unions’ power be voted without the whole Church - I mean ALL members - being informed that as issue like the “compliance policy” will be discussed/voted on?

Yes, it’s the delegates that vote. But, isn’t there a moral responsibility of the GC to inform all members about the agenda? If I, as a member, was not informed of what was being planned to be voted on, whatever the vote was did not represent me. Therefore, for me, the vote remains illegitimate because it didn’t represent me.

I know, the GC will never consider an idea like… informing people ahead of time about what is going to be voted on. There is a danger that the members will contact the delegates and voice their opinions. This cannot happen, right?

Isn’t it time to “drain the swamp” at the GC level yet? I believe so!


Hmmmm… which one (or more) of the 15 Logical Fallacies are you using in this posting? State facts instead of misleading statements for a more enlightening discussion. Thank you.


Information is power and he who controls information can wield great power…perhaps, as bad as it sounds, the lack of timely information and method of distribution is evidence of dishonest/misleading manipulation of power to protect cherished beliefs and power…


10/27/18 - #6

Re: ‘Philistine’: That is what the Avondale study explicitly said—only church members get to peek!

It must be said that ‘legally’ is a vast improvement over the Folkenberg and Davenport debacles, the Merikay Silver shenanigans, and the IRS hanky panky over Ordination.

The Avondale article quoted again below refers to the difference between a financial audit and an operational audit. Is that what you’re referring to?

Is the GC window dressing, with Mark Finley’s collusion, on the audit report? I honestly don’t know.

Wow… Which of my statements did you find misleading?

This one for starters, Don. I am a lateral thinker, so one could assume that I “get” what you are saying, that I understand your skewed subtext. But my spouse is a concrete sequential thinker. Your statement would be read by a concrete sequential thinker as “fact”–that the World Church indeed voted against Women’s Ordination in 2005, 2010 and 2015. But that is not a fact. One must read the actual wording of the motion put before the GC in Session(s). The motion did not say, “Nay or Yay in regards to WO”. So the vote cannot be construed to be “Nay or Yay” in regards to Women’s Ordination. One would characterize your statement to that “fact” as misleading.


Point taken. Would you agree that the votes in the years referenced were generally ‘for’ or ‘against’ the practice of women’s ordination?

Irrespective of that, how would you suggest that we (as a church) resolve our differences?