Florida Conference Calls Doug Batchelor a "Polarizing Influence," Discourages Speaking Appointment

The Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has discouraged one of its churches from inviting Doug Batchelor to speak during a week-long revival meeting planned for the Fall. Batchelor's vocal opposition to ordained women at any level, whether deacons, elders or pastors, elicited a firm response from Florida Conference President Mike Cauley. Cauley issued a memo explaining that Florida Conference Administration advised the Spring Meadows Church in Sanford, Florida to reconsider inviting Batchlor to the October 2-10 meeting, citing the Amazing Facts speaker's divisiveness:

Recently Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists recommended a change in programming to one of our local churches. Doug Batchelor, Speaker for Amazing Facts, had been scheduled for a one-week meeting this fall at Spring Meadows church.

However, the Florida Conference Administration views Pastor Batchelor as a polarizing influence in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This concern revolves around the subject of women's involvement in ministry, both as local elders and pastors, and that the position that he has taught openly for several years is not in harmony with the policy of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

Florida Conference continued to support the 25- to 30-year old position of the General Conference of encouraging women to use the gifts God has given them for ministry, both as local elders and in pastoral leadership and ministry. Therefore, we discouraged Spring Meadows church from following through with the invitation of Pastor Batchelor.

Mike Cauley Florida Conference President

On Monday, Cauley wrote on Facebook, "The power of social media is arresting. On Friday, we responded to four emails about our concern with the Speaker/Director of Amazing Facts coming to speak. Today, that reply is everywhere. Disappointing. It was not our intent to make a public thing of this." Batchelor has thus far not commented publicly.

Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7035

I agree with Mike on this. Unfortunately, Doug has become a lightening rod on this issue. I find it increasingly difficult to recommend his ministry to others, which is not a position I like being in.

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This report raises an interesting question:

If a Conference President feels constrained to counsel a church to withdraw a speaking invitation because the teachings of the minister in question are not in harmony with those of the church, what if any should be the implications for the ordination credentials of that pastor? I would have thought this should automatically trigger a review of his credentials, by his home Union Conference.

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I think it is about time to make this public. Doug Batchelor is a polarizing influence, and rather than revival he is promoting fanaticism. How long will it take before DB’s own conference starts calling him on his behavior? I think it is long past time.

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If Doug Batchelor is against GC policy in his position on women elders/ministers etc and Florida Conference wants to shut him down, then how much more so should the GC and every other conference, union and administrative entity remove everyone who blatantly teaches big bang/evolution as the correct view on origins. I’d say that needs to be done before Doug is shut down, as at least Doug’s view is biblical. Big bang/evolution is not.

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Jesus and John the Baptist were very polarizing. The leaders didn’t like them; but the people loved them–until it became dangerous to show support for them.

Here is a man who heads an organization which has brought thousands to a knowledge of the truth, and they don’t want to hear him speak? What do they want, pablum? We mustn’t have sermons which prick our consciences–too stressful.

Doug can’t speak, but a pastor who doesn’t have a problem with homosexuality can give a week of prayer at PUC, and that’s not polarizing? Beam me up!

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Amusing action by the Conference. I wonder, if the local church doesn’t agree with the conference leadership and still brings Doug, what else can the conference do? Does it have power to do anything else?

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so true were egw’s words:

“A new life is coming from heaven and taking possession of all God’s people. But divisions will come in the church. Two parties will be developed. The wheat and tares grow up together for the harvest.” 2SM:114.

as i see it, egw is the only thing that can be depended on now - a correct understanding of her inspiration is the only thing that isn’t crumbling…the no vote in san antonio on the one hand, but also the push for deep time evolution and normalized homosexuality on the other, says to me that very large parts of our church simply cannot understand the bible…faith - true, intelligent faith - is in short supply, whatever the numbers say, however strongly either “party” stumps for their pet positions…no wonder jesus implied he would barely find faith in the world when he returns, luke 18:8…

i find mike cauley’s characterization and course of action with respect to doug batchelor, given the climate in nad alone, incredibly myopic…putting a lid on something that’s simmering only causes it to blow up in one’s face…far better is the long range vision that allows all voices the full opportunity to implicate themselves over time…

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Amazing. What a powerful example of the spirit that would have reigned had the vote been Yes. So thank you Florida Conference for not only being willing to take this history-making risk, but for beautifully confirming the justified concern of so many!

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One of my favourite quotes of all time is: “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity”. We may not always agree on what the essentials and non-essentials may be. But charity in all things must be embraced by all.

The Bible defines charity in 1 Corinthians 13:4 as: “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up”. I pray our leaders will allow the Holy Spirit to direct and show us the way forward in this not-so-ideal situation.

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I wonder how many of the female elders in Florida Conference have been ordained in harmony with the General Conference? Specifically, which reads in part

A clear majority of the voting members of the local church must be in favor
of the action. The matter should be considered at a specially called church business
meeting. Every church member should be given the opportunity to vote on this issue
rather than only the few who might be present at a regular meeting where routine items of
business are on the agenda. Although preliminary study could be give to this question by
the church board, any final action should be taken by the church in a business meeting.

I’d wager that under 50% of female elders in the state of Florida have had their ordination after an specially called church business meeting where people had the right to state their reservations. Perhaps Mike Cauley is a polarizing influence in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and should resign.

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I was at campmeeting this year where both Doug Batchelor and Jon Henderson spoke at the same time, but at differing locations. The theme was “Christ’s method alone.” for this year’s camomeeting. I listened to Doug one night and he wasn’t even on topic, but instead launched into an hour diatribe against the Pope. It was most unfortunate, but Doug was unapolgetic.

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Power in the SdA denomination flows bottom up, except when a congregation has voluntarily chosen to have the local conference own the building etc. that the congregation uses and employee the pastor that nutures the congregation. Once those two steps are taken, power begins to flow the other way.

However social media makes it possible for the actions of the local and union and general conferences to be seen by the average member.

This increase in light is causing and will continue to cause a change in the behavior of said organizations, just like it has forced changes in the behavior of the Roman Catholic organizations.

He uses Facebook. I doubt he was really surprised.

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Chances are that Dough Batchelor has brought more abiding converts to Adventism than all the converts brought in by the the members of the Florida Conference Committee that voted this decision. Chances are that he will continue to do so. Chances are that the attempts to marginalize him will fail. I am not a fan of Doug, but we stand on a slippery slope when a Conference president becomes the decision maker on which SDA ordained minister can speak to a constituency congregation. Truly, men hoisted on a pedestal of temporary advantage, forget their mortality and believe themselves gods.

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It is interesting that they would want to bar Batchelor from speaking and yet their headline speaker at the FL camp meeting this year has been closely associated with spiritual formation. He may want to clean up his own backyard before casting stones at others. I wonder if “polarizing” speakers such as Alex Bryan are speaking in Florida any time soon.

Funny. In this day and age, any and everything remotely newsworthy is made public. You would think that a conference president would be acutely aware of this possibility. I know that they habitually warn their staff to be careful what they electronically submit, as it has a way of coming back to bite you.

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One word: Florida. Article should have been titled, “Florida Man Calls Doug Batchelor a ‘Polarizing Influence’”

Like it or not, Batchelor does represent the official view of the global church on Women’s Ordination. The fact that this conference president or whatever thinks he doesn’t is purely delusional. That ship has sailed. I was a huge supporter of WO and gay ordination and I’m no fan of Batchelor because he hasn’t been so kind to my people either, but I’m not going to pretend that the GC didn’t vote the way it did.

This conference president deserves whatever blowback he gets from this.

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Past Due

The time to take action against DB’s divisive preaching/teaching is past due.
A preacher that so emphatically preaches in favor of discrimination of women should not be invited to any church at all.

It is mind boggling that a person who has a parallel ministry gets a big support from the Denominational leadership, including monetary support. And then diminishes the human value of ca. 65% of the members (women).

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It’s seems to be ok when extreme fundamental beliefs are expressed so why the backlash if one disagrees and expresses a concern with those views? I applaud the Florida Conference for being vigilant. Why would we expect them to not speak up to defend the maligning of God’s character? I wish more conferences and unions would be so brave.

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I do not know DB, I just have heard of him. Against WO - OK, his opinion. But the rest of what I heard is not so that I do not fear some of the Dr. Veith - Asscherick . Coming Out Ministries - - - admirrers would invite him to Europe.

O Lord, plese come soon,be it for stopping this big Show Biz within the SDA beievers !

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