Dan Jackson, former NAD President, Passes Away

Earlier today, the North American Division reported that Daniel Jackson, its former president, passed away from health complications, Dan, as many Adventists called him, led the Seventh-day Adventist denomination in Canada, the U.S., Guam/Micronesia, and Bermuda, for about ten years from the summer of 2010 until he retired on July 1, 2020. During the NAD Year-end Meetings in 2019, Spectrum reported his retirement announcement: 


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11902
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that hooey speech is something only Dan could have given…he really was one of a kind…he was originally from the Edmonton, Alberta area, and people up there are famous for speaking their minds, and telling it like it is…you’ll never find people with bigger hearts, or more hands-on helpfulness…

i’ve often thought that Dan would have made a great GC president…but it wasn’t meant to be…

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here’s the youtube hip-hop version of Dan’s hooey speech…one memorable line: “If you’re as mad as a hornet, buzz off!”…

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oops, wrong feed…here it is:

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I do not agree with some of the approaches he took regarding the controversies surrounding women’s ordination. However, I don’t question his love for God’s remnant church and his love for the Lord. My condolences to his family.

that’s interesting…i, on the other hand, think Dan took exactly the right approach…he said the same thing after San Antonio as before and during San Antonio, and he had the backing of the majority of our scholars, in addition to our Andrews Seminary…he took a lot of flak from other Divisions, and in fact parts of NAD, especially after San Antonio, yet he never wavered…

as was the case in parts of egw’s day, i believe the GC had ceased being the voice of god to the church, given all the politicking and maneuvering leading up to and following San Antonio…the point is we had clear biblical guidance on the issue of unity in diversity in Acts 15, and that should have been the end of it…but TW and others were obviously counting on the church to fall into lock-step with a GC vote, and so used the levers of power at their disposal to force what they personally wanted to see for the church…but they underestimated Dan Jackson, and many other leaders and members…

there is a time to unify and coalesce, namely when clear biblical/egw counsel is available…but when these are set aside, and political manuevering and rank manipulation take over in order to advance cultural biases like headship, our GC cannot expect the church to respect a GC vote, because it won’t…

Jeremy,

Do you mind developing your statement?

sure…in Acts 15, in the Council of Jerusalem, we see the world church gather together to consider the question of non-circumcision…what we don’t see is James setting up a vote so that the Jews, who he knew outnumbered the Gentiles, could force circumcision onto the entire church…instead we see a broad, contextual interpretation of the bible used, not to do away with what the traditional Jewish part of the church believed, but to open the door for the less traditional Gentile part of the church to do as it saw fit in its own jurisdiction, even though it differed from what the traditional Jewish part of the church believed and practiced…as a result, the church was unified in diversity, and not uniformity…

if delegates at San Antonio could have understood this lesson, they would have voted yes on the issue of WO…this would have allowed traditional headship areas in the church to continue in their traditional ways, while opening the door for less traditional WO areas to do as they saw fit in their own jurisdictions…the church could have been unified in diversity, and not uniformity…

to me, all of this is so clear, i still can’t believe our leaders and delegates got it all so wrong…

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From their perspective they didn’t get it wrong. They had Conservatives believing WO was stopped in its tracks. They had Liberals believing the deciding rested with the Unions. The ambiguous nature of the question was akin to asking a politician " Have you stopped beating your wife?" There is no right answer because it can be implied the politician used to beat his wife or he still does.
The ambiguous nature plays into the hands of the administration, who wish to do nothing but be seen by both sides as doing something.

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whatever their perspective, they weren’t following this example in Acts 15, so by definition they got it wrong…and we see the fall-out…i don’t think any conservatives think WO has been stopped in its tracks now…and liberals, like PUC, CUC and now Mid-America Union, were thinking unions decide, even before San Antonio…the whole situation has been a mess…it didn’t have to be…

I am not sure that we can compare what happened during the council of Jerusalem to the San Antonio meeting situation.

First of all, when we consider what Paul said about circumcision, we can see that he didn’t say, “Do whatever you see fit in your own jurisdiction concerning circumcision. If you want to do it, that’s fine, and you don’t want to do it, well, that’s fine too”. No, he spoke strongly against circumcision. His language shows that circumcision was not a subject of local preferences or circumstances.

Going back to Acts 15, we can see that the decision to do away with circumcision was not taken just because the brethren thought that it was time to give the different “juridictions” more freedom to do as they saw fit. The decision was made based on what the Holy Spirit showed them through the experience of Peter for example. In Acts 15:8, 9, we see Peter saying:

8 And God, who knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.”

(Read also Acts 10:44-47 where we see the Gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues)

So, Peter was saying that God made no difference between the Jews and the Gentiles anymore in matter of election.

In the Old Testament, Israel was considered the firstborn of God (see Exodus ) and it was the symbol of Jesus who is also the Firstborn. Israel was supposed to be a blessing for all the people in the same way Jesus is a blessing for all the people.

Israel, as the firstborn, was supposed to be dedicated to the Lord as all the firstborns were dedicated to the Lord (Ex 13:2) and Jesus also was dedicated to the Lord.

Israel was the special people of God and in order to be part of this people, you had to be circumcised. The raison d’être d’Israel was to be a kingdom of priests (see Exodus 19:6) and to glorify God (Isaiah 49:3). By rejecting Jesus the Jews dishonored God and forfeited their mission as priests and were not special any more (that is, there was no difference, spiritually speaking, between a Jew and a non Jew). Their service in the temple became meaningless as testified by the fact that the veil of the temple was torn down (Mat 27:51). And after pleading with them for three and an half years, the apostles finally turned to the Gentiles who, they, were glorifying God and receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:46-48).

So, Israel having rejected Jesus, being a Jew according to the flesh had no importance any longer. So, circumcision, which was a sign in the flesh that you belonged to the Israel of God, had no meaning any longer either. This is why the Gentiles didn’t have to be circumcised (and it was not due to an arbitrary decision by the apostles who, anyway, didn’t have the authority to change, on their own, a rule that God had commanded for thousands of years). But there was another sign that showed that you belonged to God: baptism. This is what is required now (and Jesus, as the son of Israel, was circumcised in the flesh but, as the son of God, and belonging to God, He was baptized as well).

All of this to say that we cannot take Acts 15 as an example where juridictions were allowed to do as they saw fit. Like I said before, if it were the case, Paul would not have spoken so strongly against circumcision. He would have said something like, “Ok people, do it if you feel that it fits the situation in your jurisdiction”.

If there is a lesson that can be drawn from Acts 15 it is that the reason the church was (relatively) unified was that they submitted to the decision of the elders of Jerusalem. In San Antonio, the majority of the delegates made a decision but a minority of people decided that it was not according to their taste.

Also, a big problem with WO is that one side is saying that it is a theological issue whereas the other side says that it is just a traditional issue.

And, to add to the confusion, the church, as an organization, is not really consistant. Why is a woman allowed to do a pastor’s job (as a commissioned pastor) but not allowed to be ordained? It doesn’t make sense. If the church decides that a woman is qualified enough to do the job of a pastor she should be able to be ordained (according to me). But if a woman cannot be ordained as a pastor why is the church giving her the role of a commissioned pastor in the first place?

This.doesn’t.make.sense!!!

(By the way, this distinction between “ordained” and “commissioned” doesn’t exist in the Bible as far as I know.)

I met Mr. Jackson after a camp-meeting presentation in 2020, just before he retired. I shared with him my growing angst about the SDA denomination, and the directions it was taking (in addition to the endless EGW idolatry and anti-science perspectives at the highest levels) - he encouraged me to “hold on”. I appreciated his candor, and while I was able to “hold on” for 2 more years, I recently joined the Episcopal church.
image. Sorry, Dan!

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Nymous, i think you would have a stronger point if Paul’s was the only voice the church, as a whole, was considering…but this wasn’t the case…Paul was dominant among the Gentile churches, no question, but we don’t need to think he was equally dominant in Jerusalem, among traditional Jewish christians…even in Antioch, which had first ordained Paul and Barnabas for their Gentile ministry, Jewish christians, who were fearful of eventually being outnumbered by Gentile converts, and anxious that the religious ceremonies that had indicated their separate, chosen status were dissolving into oblivion, where not fully on board with Paul’s teachings - they were in agreement with the Pharisee christians from Jerusalem, who came to Antioch and taught that salvation depended on circumcision and Jewish law, AA:189…the reason for the Council of Jerusalem in the first place was because the teachings of these Pharisee christians were gaining traction, Acts 15:1-2; AA:190…

i think we need to understand that the Council of Jerusalem, recorded in Acts 15, wasn’t discussing non-circumcision for the general church…that is, it wasn’t discussing it for the Jews living in Jerusalem (or anywhere), even though to read Paul, it is clear that his message against the requirement of circumcision was directed towards Jew and Gentile alike…instead the judgement delivered by the Council was directed to Gentile converts…we know this because Acts 15:19 tells us this…and well after the Council - again in Jerusalem - when James and Jewish elders sought to persuade Paul to submit to purity rights, they clearly indicated their understanding that James’ judgement at the Council had been directed towards Gentile christians, but that because Jewish christians were zealous of the law, it was necessary for him to submit to their expectations, Acts 21:20-25…

one point to note is that although the Council absolved Gentile christians from circumcision, it imposed abstention from eating food sacrificed to idols, eating meat from strangled animals, consuming blood from animals, and fornication…what’s interesting is that Paul’s subsequent teachings on eating food sacrificed to idols, approximately 4 yrs after the Council, didn’t stress, or even mention, the Council’s directive, but instead boiled the question down to a consideration of conscience, or strictly spiritual considerations, 1Cor 8:4-13…at about this time we see Peter’s dissembling in Antioch, for which he was soundly reproved by Paul, Gal 2:11-14…here, again, Paul didn’t base his reproof on the Council’s directive that had been compromised, but on teachings he assumed, which obviously weren’t assumed by the circle of James…

an additional point to note, in the lead up to the Council, was that Jewish christians appeared to be afraid that not enforcing circumcision on the Gentiles would lead to great immoratily, AA:192…their worry was that many of the Gentile converts were coming from grossly sexually permissive backgrounds, and that if they didn’t submit to circumcision, and other elements of the ceremonial law, they would incorporate their licentiousness into their christian witness, and eventually adversely affect the entire church…i think we can all see that this is the same fear that drove many headship advocates in San Antonio to link WO with LGBT…in fact LGBT was the dominant reason offered by no voters before, during and after San Antonio…

again, when this entire context leading into and out of the Council of Jerusalem, outlined in the Bible, but especially egw, is factored into our thinking, it is clear that there is a direct analog between the question of non-circumcision for Gentile Christians, considered at the Council, and the question of WO that was considered in San Antonio…i think it is abundantly clear that delegates didn’t understand the lessons contained in the record of the Council of Jerusalem…No-voters were intent on forcing their understanding onto the whole church, which is something James didn’t facilitate at the Council of Jerusalem…

the passage you cite is applicable to Paul and Barnabas only…other apostles, like Peter, James and John - hardly lightweights - were working earnestly with the Jews in Jerusalem (Peter also had a spin-off ministry to the Gentiles)…your parallel between the first-born statuses of Israel and Christ is interesting, but it isn’t relevant…the reason why the Gentiles weren’t required to submit to circumcision wasn’t the rejection of the Jews by God…that reality doesn’t appear to have been perceived…the Council was swayed in it’s decision to absolve the Gentiles from circumcision purely by the supernatural evidence that Gentiles, in their uncircumcised state, and having nothing to do with Jewish law, were recipients of the HS, just like Jews in their circumcised state, and having everything to do with Jewish law, were…

again, the Council wasn’t commenting on, or doing away with, circumcision or Jewish law for Jews…it was determining a course of action purely for Gentile christians, and even then, as mentioned, it enjoined minimal aspects of Jewish law onto the Gentiles…i think we have to understand that the transition into the NC at the time of the apostolic church was not as seamless and clean-cut as the writings of Paul and the Book of Hebrews suggest (this particular similarity is still more evidence of a pauline authorship for Hebrews)…we don’t really see any discussion, or advanced understanding, of the type/anti-type relationship between the OC and NC anywhere in the NT outside of Paul and the Book of Hebrews…i think we need to accept the fact that the Jewish centre of christianity in Jerusalem was a fusion of the OC and christianity, and that they were relatively unswayed by the teachings of Paul that inform our understanding today…it is likely that the teachings of Paul gained traction with Jews only after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, well after Paul’s martyrdom…

i think you’re missing the significance of the Council of Jerusalem completely…by not making any decisions with respect to circumcision or Jewish law for Jews, but considering the question of non-circumcision purely in terms of Gentile christians, the Council was effectively allowing the Gentiles a separate course of action from the established Jewish church, on the basis of supernatural revelation, yes, but also on the basis of cultural differences…egw explicitly notes that James based his verdict against circumcision for the Gentiles on the consideration that Gentile christians had made great changes to become christians to begin with - and these great changes obviously included cultural changes - and that it wasn’t wise to bog them down with things that would discourage their christian journey, AA:195…

what San Antonio was doing, on the other hand, was bog down egalitarian sensibilities of the West with scruples from misogynist regions of the world, like Africa and S. America (who provided the winning margin for the no-vote), in addition to scruples from extreme conservatives in NAD, who we know are awash in LGT, anti-vax, The Big Lie, and anti-WO…San Antonio was entirely unbiblical…there’s no reason for any adventist to respect that vote…

and btw, i’m not so sure that the question of WO isn’t exclusively theological, as opposed to a cultural one…the fact is that headship forces a major contradiction between Paul and Moses and egw…it also forces the conclusion that egw, a prophet of god, was the biggest sinner of all time, given that she regularly trounced Paul’s counsels to women not merely once or twice, but regularly during her 70-yr ministry…perhaps we can explore these points on a future thread…

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I think that you are mischaracterizing the situation when you oppose the “egalitarians” from the West with the “misogynists” from Africa, South America, and NAD conservatives.

The church, the body of Christ, is supposed to follow biblical principles, not so-called “egalitarian sensibilities” which are good on the paper but may lead to unbiblical situations.

We cannot participate to a process and then denounce it when we don’t have the result that we want.

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