The Seventh-day Adventist Church’s General Conference Administrative Committee voted on Tuesday, July 17, a document recommended by the Unity Oversight Committee. The recommendations came after nine months of listening and consultation with church entities around the world and outlines a process of addressing entities not in compliance with the actions of a General Conference (GC) Session, the GC Executive Committee, or working policy. The outlined process includes setting up a number of compliance review committees that will address specific issues of non-compliance and will make recommendations to the General Conference Administrative Committee.
The Unity Oversight Committee was informed by quantitative and qualitative data gathered from church leaders worldwide as well as dialogues with the thirteen world divisions, General Conference Leadership Council, and GC institutions. Comments from Executive Committee members during previous Annual Councils were also considered.
The Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research was tasked with developing a questionnaire and administering a survey of all union and division presidents worldwide. All those surveyed submitted a response, even though in some cases they chose not to answer all questions. The results of the survey were published in a previous article, and showed that a majority of the world Church’s union presidents favored some kind of process for dealing with non-compliance.
Following standard process and protocol, the document voted today by GC ADCOM will also be discussed by the General Conference and Division Officers Committee. It will then be sent to the GC Executive Committee at its Annual Council this October for consideration.
The document (Regard for and practice of…) starts wit the sentence:
“A sacred trust exists between church members and their elected Church leaders.”
No, no, no - you couldn’t get it more wrong. Distrust between church members and leadership couldn’t be more apparent.
Furthermore … officers of the church are no longer responsible to or bound by their constituency, but by the next higher level of the organization…. Please tell me … what would you call this, when referring to other churches? It is a clear paradigm shift to a hierarchical structure as has never been before in this my church. I am dismayed at this document!
this approach sounds less overtly punitive than removing the voice and vote of the presidents of non-compliant unions…i think it opens up the possibility that some forms of non-compliance will be tolerated…if this is true, we may not really have a problem anymore…presumably the forms of non-compliance that will be tolerated will include things like WO, which isn’t doctrinal non-compliance, but non-compliance stemming from adaptations to different cultures, or different facts on the ground…
Did you become “dismayed” only now or, like me, when this Unity Committee was formed/announced? I called it “fake committee” on the spot, because it’s not a “study committee,” it’s just a sharp arrow being used by the GC (again) to target those branches of the Church that are refusing to continue supporting discrimination of women.
I only wonder if those people at the GC really believe that they are fooling everyone with this current maneuver? Do they really think that (all) Church members are so dumb that they will not notice all the manipulation being perpetrated? Seriously???
The shift to a hierarchical structure is a process that has been taking place for awhile. Those people are corrupting the structure of the Church, they need to be impeached and/or voted out ASAP! Do we really need to wait until 2020 to stop this abuse of power???
Ellen. White has a wax nose and now the executive committee is a rubber stamp For an ego centric president over a moribund institution. He misunderstands both theology and gender—Let alone the proper role of governance. Shepard/Pastor means to lead gently to green pastures not to a rock pile in chains.
It doesn’t surprise me that I strongly object to this document. The two quotes used to support the ostensible desire for unity speak to unity in the Spirit and unity bringing strength to labor together. In reality, this document would bring division and weakness through infighting.
Item number one says the “perceived” noncompliance is to be reported up the ladder, with the next highest level becoming responsible for reporting if the lower level doesn’t. Effectively, everyone is a member of a rat squad, based on subjective perceptions if not actual noncompliance.
The process described in point number three will take so much time and effort, no one will have time or energy left for evangelism, given the overwhelming noncompliance identified previously the world over. Weren’t we told that 90% of church entities are out of compliance with policy to one degree or another? Or does everyone tacitly agree that this process applies only to enforcement of certain key policies?
The whole process is very top heavy, focusing entirely on administrators and committees to perceive, decide, and act, without mention of we peons in the pews having any involvement or voice.
The very thought of public reprimand brings to my mind the image of a conference president in stocks in the town square with a sign hung around his neck denoting the “perceived” sins of his sheep.
So much for the individual conscience and the priesthood of all believers. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.
Does this imply that when a administrator steals or commits adultery or commits some offence, they will be fired and brought to justice. Also, the constitutency of each conference/union defines what they deem is proper, how the church operates in their area of influence.
They don’t need to fool everyone. I’m guessing that the majority of SDA members know little to nothing about this issue, and probably don’t care that much. As long as the church chugs along, that’s really all that matters to them.
I think the people who are really upset about this document (and WO) are mostly in “pockets” of the church.
Agree. I know plenty of other moms who are satisfied so long as VBS is good this year, everyone shows up to help with communion, and our minister seems like an OK guy. That’s pretty much their level of consideration.
Question. Does anyone live in Mexico, and can explain how the new sections of Seventh Day Adventist administrations function.The government has splinted the Adventist church into independent section, so a conference is called section’s, and each is considered by law as an independent religious organizations.
Jeremy…, you are not a neophyte, what are you talking about? Look at this again,
Do you see it? For a simple problem they created one committee. Now the Committee recommended the creation of “a number of committees.” The manipulation never ends!
Since the $1million+ TOSC’s results were rejected and permanently “archive,” we already knew what would happen, right? An incessant politicking maneuver to, in some way, rob the Unions from their prerogative on the ordination process, trying to transfer tit to the GC - at ANY cost!
Niccolò Machiavelli’s malevolent strategy is becoming pale compared to what is happening now at the highest administrative level of our Church!
I would strongly suggest a mental health professional such as Dr. George Tichy @GeorgeTichy to be involved in GC grievance resolution particularly to ascertain various infant, childhood or adult psychodynamic factors that would or could influence a church leader’s perceptions.
Roll in the couch George! They really do need us at the GC headquarters.
george, in case you missed it, here it is again: the General Conference Administrative Committee voted for a process consisting of several compliance review committees that will make recommendations to the General Conference Administrative Committee…
what does it sound like to you when the GC creates committees that will report back to the GC…obviously it’s a way of granting tolerance without being blamed for granting tolerance, or not inflicting punishment…remember, even the GC’s 50-page A Study of Church Governance and Unity, released less than a month before Annual Council 2016, called for a procedure for non-compliance to be granted tolerance through consultation with either the GC or annual council…in that document, the problem with non-compliance wasn’t non-compliance…it was independent non-compliance - big difference…
what we are seeing now is clearly a throwback to that initial suggested approach, which i think makes sense…what this really means is that non-compliant unions will be granted tolerance on the issue of WO, and the church is going to avoid a split…i suspect once a non-compliance committee recommends that WO in PUC be granted tolerance, sandra roberts will be listed in the year-book…
i think you should be celebrating, george, not whining…
I am open to it Jeremy.
Let’s do this, according to the development of this issue, if it goes the way you see it, I will buy you dinner when we meet, maybe in Calgary or here. It if goes the way I see it, you will get the bill, OK?
Remember what happened when TOSC reported back to the GC?
Get ready, I will be ordering Salmon with steamed vegetables and brown rice!!!
i’m not the betting type, george, although i could have been persuaded to put something on justify in this year’s triple crown…let’s just see what happens…
the reason i think what this article hints at is going to happen is because it’s the path of least resistance for all concerned…i’m quite sure that TW heard a mouthful from constituents that san antonio was ignoring the dual-policy solution outlined in Acts 15…the fact that he ruled out the nuclear option, but still focused on some kind of punitive action for non-compliance, simply means he hadn’t read A Study of Church Governance and Unity, and likely no-one else in annual council had read it either…obviously one of his advisors or lawyers has now briefed him since last year, and we’re back on track with unity in diversity through consultation, which was the main theme in that document…
i’m pretty sure now, as a result of this tiny, but important, article by ANN and UOC, that we won’t see a split in the seventh-day adventist church…instead what will happen is that san antonio will stand, but more and more entities, and ultimately divisions like NAD, will receive exemptions…our church lawyers have figured a way out…or maybe they just read some of our comments here on spectrum from two years ago…
My dad was a builder. As such he was on a train with a conference president, and treasurer. It was a Pullman train with a dining car… For breakfast the church men ordered first. oatmeal, postum, and wheat toast. then dad ordered, Two eggs over light, Toast and coffee with cream. Immediate the rest quickly changed their orders to include coffee.
@GeorgeTichy, I was only referring to the document. If I would add all my dismay over the last three years … you would give me a full blown F 33 on the ICD-10 (probably even 296.34 on DSM IV) … and we wouldn’t want that, would we now? Yes, I am naive, but just a little bit.
“PERCEIVED NON-COMPLIANCE” shall [Note – the word SHALL is a VERY STRONG WORD!!].
Witch Hunts. Informants. Letter writing campaigns.
WHERE does this all STOP???
PERCEIVED – is a Very Insidious Word. It opens the doors for the Middle Ages Inquisition
Techniques. Middle Ages Consequences!!!