General Conference Answers Questions Regarding Its Leadership


(Johnny Carson) #102

Reminds me of the J. K. Rowling quote:

“Have you any idea how much tyrants fear the people they oppress? All of them realize that, one day, amongst their many victims, there is sure to be one who rises against them and strikes back!”

While It might be a stretch to compare the GC to Voldemort, one would hope that those in charge would be self aware enough to engage in some productive introspective contemplation of their proposals and agenda to see the path they’ve set their feet upon.


(David R Larson) #103

David1: I regret that I left you the impression that I hold that “merely saving face will solve the root cause of the issue at hand” because this is not what I believe. I do contend that giving people whom one believes to be in error a way to change their minds without humiliating themselves makes it easier for them to do so.


(David R Larson) #104

I am. More accurately, I work for a GC institution. Yet what difference should where one works matter in these discussions? Isn’t it better to assess claims on their merits and demerits rather than upon who makes them?


(George Tichy) #105

I ask this question when I see someone coming here with certain statements that catch my attention. Of course it makes a difference, in my opinion. This is why I ask such questions. If a person starts defending the GC in a way that may not even be reasonable, I wonder if they work for the GC and are just on a mission here. Thus, I ask them about it. You may not want to know about them. I do! And when they don’t answer, then I become even more suspicious.

I am glad you are open minded on this issue and tell openly where you work. Not everyone has this openness.


(David R Larson) #106

Thanks! I wonder how many will be watching on their big flat tv screens how things unfold on Sunday. I wouldn’t take a recommendation with 32/30/02 support to the Executive Committee. Seems like a little more time and discussion would be helpful. Should be interesting!


#107

The constant drumbeat of articles on this website for the last year or more about WO do nothing but serve as a distraction from whats really going on. Whats at stake, and what is being debated, is who has authority. Who has jurisdiction. Do the conferences and unions get to do whatever they want, or do they have to follow general guidelines and policies for our beliefs and teachings. Do we wind up as a congregational church where every individual church or region gets to make up its own set of beliefs and policies, or do we have a worldwide standard for these that everyone agrees with? The push from those in opposition to church leadership has been to allow each union to make its own rules as they see fit. We will wind up with a widely varying church around the world if we do this. A church based on culture and the beliefs of the day. Where are the standards and unifying beliefs if we do this? The outcry against the unity push has primarily been from those areas that are already doing their own thing either against agreed upon policy, or against the beliefs of the church in general, and they don’t want to be brought to answer for those actions. Plain and simple. It is this type of thinking that has Randy Roberts comparing Ted Wilson to the pope from the pulpit recently. What a laughable farce. He needs to read Testimonies Vol. 1, page 650. So, for example, we have churches on the west coast with homosexual pastors and active homosexual church members, a pastor that baptized a lesbian couple into the church in northern California, colleges that teach theistic evolution, teachers in our schools that regularly drink alcohol and eat unclean foods and post such on social media for all their students to see, pastors that run churches that don’t even believe our fundamental beliefs, and certainly don’t teach them. None of these things are in line with Seventh Day Adventist beliefs or teachings…not in any way. The WO issue is endlessly debatable, but still against what the entire world church voted upon in a general session.

So what is the GC supposed to do? Just stand by and watch the church fracture apart? Allow everyone to just do their own thing? Those of you constantly complaining about the GC and its supposed power grab are advocating exactly this! This is already occurring with conferences and unions doing whatever they want. They are trying the only thing possible at this point in my opinion. Trying to hold things together. Trying to make people accountable for their actions that are against the church, against the unity of our worldwide brethren, and give them a chance to rectify those situations. They’re actually being very patient in trying to do so as well. Another whole year has gone by. And instead of trying to make amends or even have discussions, those out of compliance are instead doubling down, fighting harder. Ridiculous.


#108

Read this. http://www.fulcrum7.com/blog/2018/10/10/the-real-issue-hint-its-not-ted-wilson

Wow, did not realize that they only make up less than 3% of total church membership! That is heartening!


(George Tichy) #109

Fulcrum7: Listen everybody, visit it at your own risk. One of the weirdest sites I know of. Even worst than Advindicate… Imagine…


#110

This was established more than a century ago and has served the church. The moral panic and cultural tendency to use punitive measures against those who disagree with non-salvation/commandments of God has created an artificial crisis.

If you were to suppose that the current crisis and solutions suggested were entirely new it would be more understandable that confusion and discord would ensue. But it is not new nor is it an issue concerning salvation/commandments of God as some claim. Indeed the issue is about traditions of men and human cultural constructs that trump the Bible principles.

The current crisis is not new but was also present 130 years ago and in the 1890’s caused EGW and others to lose a lot of sleep over it. Much was written and available regarding the admonishments to the GC leadership from many including the messenger of the Lord on this matter. In particular is the false assumption that policy is the same as the commandment of the Lord and is a universal principle. The Statements by GC and even in yours in idolatrous fashion argues that “faithfulness to Christ” and obedience to the GC’s policies are one and the same. Such statements are illogical and purposefully adversarial in nature which have the effect of creating artificial crisis where none is warranted.

(a quote from another commentator)
To argue that the Church is somehow divided because of diverse ordination practices around the world is shrill. Such an argument elevates policy up to the level of biblical teachings and the Church’s Fundamental Beliefs. This elevation of policy conflicts with Sola Scriptura. There is much diversity in policy throughout the Church. What unites Seventh-day Adventists is biblical teachings as expressed in our Fundamental Beliefs, not policies.

If we reject the GC’s proposed massive oversight committee system, that does not mean that we are ignoring “decisions that we make as a global body.” As many have stated on other occasions, the GC can uphold the San Antonio vote of 2015 by simply declaring that the ordinations of women as ministers are not valid outside of the particular unions in which such ordinations are conducted. Such declaration would be the most accurate responsive action the GC could take.


#111

@frosty I assume that you are referring to the reporting published here of news and information? News that is never published by official church sources.

This isn’t a “push.” It’s what EGW initiated at the turn of the 20th Century providing unions with decision-making power to appoint those to be ordained.

Are you referring to hearsay? What do these undocumented things have to do with authorizing Women to preach the Gospel of Jesus?

Are you saying that you fully support the discrimination against women, deny the Priesthood of ALL Believers, and want our Adventist institutions to be in legal hot water from discrimination of their laws for equality?

Are you an anti-trinitarian?

Now that, my friend, is the major crisis–trying to finagle institutional discrimination by denying that Jesus is a full member of the Godhead. Talk about a Fundamental Belief!


#112

harppa, they have nothing to do with WO. These other issues are not hearsay, but rather ones that simply are not addressed by the leadership in those conferences and unions. They remain unaddressed, and yes they do exist. The straw man WO argument is apparently the only issue for so many on here, but its not the real issue. The real issue is one of authority. No I dont discriminate against women, and personally don’t care either way on the issue of their ordination. Suggesting that I do because I support the church’s chosen and voted upon position is ridiculous. Yes, voted upon…by the whole worldwide church. Personally I think we should just do away with ordination all together to simply put the argument to rest and take the wind out of the sails of this ridiculous distraction.
Anti-trinitarian? What on earth are you talking about?
Stop the victim and identity politics. Leave that in the political realm where its already destructive enough. The church doesn’t need it too.


#113

Could you give more details?

Why do you bring them up in the context of women’s ordination?

Can you explain this? Are you suggesting that the ordained Adventist women pastors in China are operating in destructive politics?

@phil has posted an important article describing the growing trend of anti-Trinitarianism (eternal subjugation of Jesus to the father) as a “proof” that women must be exactly subjugated in the same way to males in the Adventist church as a theological argument This is taking the church by alarming storm and is being embraced by those who wish women to be fired as pastors, women to be eliminated as ordained elders, and there is even a group that calls the support of women pastors Type 2 Spiritualism.

You’ve got some catching up to do…


(Phillip Brantley) #114

frosty, here is a link to the essay I wrote: https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2017/12/13/no-longer-neglected-biblical-doctrine-trinity.

You should also read Matthew L. Tinkham Jr.'s essay, which identifies all of the Seventh-day Adventists who have advocated the anti-Trinitarian heresy of Eternal Functional Subordinationism, otherwise known as Neo-Subordinationism, otherwise known as the complementarian doctrine of the Trinity. https://www.academia.edu/34969929/Neo-subordinationism_The_Alien_Argumentation_in_the_Gender_Debate.

We have witnessed a surge of anti-Trinitarianism in the Seventh-day Adventist Church during Ted Wilson’s presidency. This surge has been catalyzed by opposition to women’s ordination. No Seventh-day Adventist opponent of women’s ordination has ever publicly and unequivocally denounced the anti-Trinitarian heresy of Eternal Functional Subordinationism. I am sorry to break the bad news to you: Wilson and his like-minded colleagues are Neo-Subordinationists.

Opposition to women’s ordination does not cohere with what Scripture teaches regarding the Trinity. Most Seventh-day Adventists, on both sides of the women’s ordination debate, do not understand the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. If we study together this neglected doctrine, we will become more united on the issue regarding women’s ordination. What the Church needs is not draconian compliance measures but fervent and faithful study of the Word of God.


(George Tichy) #115

Interesting that it’s under Wilson’s presidency that the heretical LGTarian movement has picked up speed as never before. Past GC Presidents immediately denounced the heresy of perfectionism when it popped up in the Adventist’s barracks. Ah, but not this President!

Apparently the LGTarians made it to the SS* central command. :thinking:

*SS - Silver Springs…


(Phillip Brantley) #116

If Athanasius is correct that an Arian is not a Christian and a Christian is not an Arian, (and I believe he is correct), then here is more evidence of Ted Wilson and the GC’s abandonment of Christianity: https://atoday.org/late-changes-to-sabbath-school-lessons-emphasize-pope-minimize-trinity/.

Denis Fortin’s comment is on point:

“The male headship principle used to support the case against the ordination of women leads naturally into an anti-Trinitarian posture with its kindred theological argument of the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father. That same principle is now guiding some Adventist church leaders toward this authoritarian stance on compliance to all rules and regulations the General Conference endorses. This underlying principle of headship demands submission to higher authorities. During the fateful Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC), a number of us on that committee predicted that endorsing the male headship argument (along with the eternal subordination of the Son to the Father) would in time generate an anti-Trinitarian surge in our churches. And it is happening as predicted. We are reaping the consequences of faulty theology endorsed consciously or unconsciously by church leaders and pastors.”


#117

The anti-Trinitarian posture is an ad hoc theological anachronism dredged from the past to justify male headship (another anachronism) in the present.

This suggests the root of the problem lies deeper:


#118

Hi Harrpa, I won’t go into every detail of your comment, but just one or two -

“Has the GC anti-WO leadership gone directly to their “enemies” and directly spoken to them? Is there a report about this? Where?”
I’ve read in AR, Spectrum and elsewhere of Ted Wilson speaking with pro-ordination union leaders and in their sessions pre-2015. You can google that.

“The rationale for this TOSC research was exactly and publicly attributed to get international input from all 13 divisions. Funding was provided for the INTERNATIONAL reports and meetings.”
Yes, but the straw vote in TOSC was for TOSC members only, who were overwhelmingly NAD. Not representative at all.

One doesnt have to include everything in every document. And how is the GC/world church ignoring the gifts of the Spirit on women when countless women are already doing a marvelous ministry in visitation, winning souls, preaching, leading churches, teaching theology in our colleges and universities, etc?
And the SECC and all the unions are praying, yes. So let’s go forward trusting in the guidance of the Spirit.


#119

I agree, David!

And I find myself in substantial sympathy, given your frame of reference, with your 57 remarks here:

(And I very much appreciated seeing you express your self so freely, and with so much vigor and candor. Surely the times call for it!)

Let me add that I find myself drawn like a bee to a bluebonnet to the Maginot Line that has formed between your position and George Knight’s position.

(This is the Sweet Spot that can only be got to if one knows the secret Bee Dance code, I think! :honeybee: :slightly_smiling_face: )

The historic Maginot Line was fortified to, among other things, spare manpower, but, as we all know, it failed.

I must also add that, paradoxically, I also find myself in substantial sympathy with George Knight’s position, given his frame of reference.

Perhaps the time for Maginot Lines, historic and metaphorical, has come and gone? Manpower will have to be spared another way, I trow.

Speaking of Sweet Spots, my mind is drawn to an old paper by Tom Norris on SDAnet:

Although the Traditionalists appear to lack a realistic Protestant soteriolgy, their major concerns are eschatologically focused.

Conversely, the Reformationists, who lack a contemporary eschatological focus altogether, emphasize the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith.

The historic, apocalyptic emphasis of the Traditionalists appeals to many of the members in the Silent Majority, while the soteriological doctrine of the Reformationists has been even more widely received within this major segment.

It is apparent from this analysis that the logical solution would be to combine the strengths of each of these minority segments in an effort to create a new message.

This new message, which will be known as the Fourth Angel’s Message, would include a contemporary Adventist eschatology (which would satisfy the emphasis of the Traditionalists) as well as the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith (which would satisfy the Reformationists).

It is this synthesis of eschatology and soteriology that eluded the Denomination in the 1888 era, and it is still the solution for the parallel crisis that exists today.

However, the creation of such an apocalyptical message must be historically linked to our Adventist past, yet at the same time, must withstand the rigors of modern Biblical scholarship.

This message, which has yet to be formulated, must be rational and realistic and must also include the primary doctrines of the Three Angels’ Messages.

The degree of success in formulating this message will determine the success of the Church’s repositioning effort.

http://www.sdanet.org/atissue/soapbox/Norrisfull.html

This is an organic process, and can’t be worked out on paper, but only in the fleshy tables of our hearts, I believe.

The urgent issue of the moment, as I see it, is to avoid Moral Panic at all costs to spare man-and-woman power, and avoid the Rehoboam Moments—the tragic church splits—happening around us, about which Jeremy @vandieman so cogently warns us:

Breathe and believe.

No need to stampede.


#120

Affectionate greetings to Alden Thompson! @aldenthompson @alden


#121

Come on people, now, smile on your brother…