General Conference Executive Committee Rising

With a new website, newsletter, and commitment to livestreaming of its sessions, the Executive Committee of the General Conference is amplifying its voice within the denomination. The website launched just in time for the Committee’s Spring Meeting this week on April 11 and 12, and is where the livestream will be carried. It is also where one can read the newsletter and see the agenda for the meeting.

Posting the agenda and livestreaming the sessions demonstrate a refreshing new openness by the committee. It also makes attendance possible for members who are unable to travel to Maryland. As listed in the agenda, the committee has 202 members.

Mark Finley, assistant to the president, welcomed committee members to the first issue of the monthly newsletter in January. He said the GC Presidential Team encouraged readers to circulate the newsletter material widely — “Feel free to e-mail it, post it on line or publish entire articles and excerpts in your denominational journals.”

If it is the Presidential Team encouraging readers to share the newsletter, perhaps a member of that team edits the newsletter. No credit is given for the editorial and design production.

Each four page issue, thus far, features one major article by someone from the General Conference. Finley kicked things off with an article about unity. In the second issue, Elias Brasil deSouza, director of the Biblical Research Institute, covered the biblical basis for church governance and authority. Myron Iseminger, undersecretary of the General Conference, provided a history of church working policy in the third issue. With 28 references to church authority in these articles, the importance of agreeing with the General Conference has been clearly made.

Finances are the major reason for Spring Meetings, and audit statements top the agenda, including an auditor’s report on compliance with policy. There are several positions open for election. The Nominating Committee will bring names to the larger body for Director of Sabbath School and Personal Ministries, Director of Youth Ministries, and a Field Secretary Position chairing Adventist World Radio. Earlier in the year, it was announced that Duane McKey would be leaving the Sabbath School and Personal Ministries Department. In January, the Board of Directors for Adventist World Radio elected McKey to be the new president of the organization, which, according to the agenda, is a position that must be voted on by the Body. McKey also retains the title Assistant to the President for Total Member Involvement.

Also noteworthy is that a “Statement on Transgenderism” will be considered. There is no listing for a report or update from the Unity Oversight Committee that was created at last fall’s Annual Council to deal with the unions in the NAD that have voted to ordain women.

Ganoune Diop, the church’s emissary to the United Nations, will give the 8 a.m. (Eastern Time) devotionals on Tuesday and Wednesday, with justice as his topic on Tuesday and “God’s Insights into the State of our World” on Wednesday.

The meeting will close, as has become a tradition under President Ted N.C. Wilson, with an extended reading from the writings of Ellen G. White. The selected passages this time come from Great Controversy pages 518-530 on the “Snares of Satan”.

Bonnie Dwyer is Editor of Spectrum.

Image Credit: Screen capture of Executive Committee Newsletter March 2017.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7957
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Hopefully the statement on " transgenderism " will be authored by the psychiatric and pediatric departments of Loma Linda Medical School.

If so it will be an authentic document.

If authored by non scientific pastors/theologians/church administrators who are just “winging it” without competent medical knowledge in this very complex field, it will be an abysmal waste of tithepayer money.

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From the EARLY 1840’s to the beginning of the 1860’s it the group considered themselves a “Movement”.
Even as LATE at the early 1870’s James White published a VERY SHORT LIST of Beliefs that were “generally held” by the believers.
On through to the 1900’s BOTH men and women were preaching. It was published that WOMEN were much more successful than men in starting the development of groups of “members” here and there. I would venture to guess these were “house churches” to begin with.
This is WHY Ellen attempted to “beat the couple of men running the church over the head” to put these
women on the Ordained List and to put them on the Official Payroll of pastors.
BUT, men being men, REFUSED to do so, even when THE GREAT PROPHET with the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY requested them to do so. When the Need arose, these great men of the church would treat Ellen with Distain, just like they did all other women of the church after James White died.
Talk about LONELY YEARS!!! [one of the volumes’ title about her life.]
Things have NOT changed since her death. The SDA church is no longer a MOVEMENT. It is a Denomination mirroring all the other Denominations – top down control. Numerous doctrinal lists. Distain for women pastors.
In a way we have lost preaching Jesus. Traded Him for Beasts, Images, reputations in our evangelism.
We are preaching God’s Kingdom in the Future. Instead of what Jesus preached – God’s Kingdom is Near, God’s Kingdom is Here Already. Rules and Regulations have taken the place of Relationship and Fellowship with the Father, Christ, the Holy Spirit.
Our health message has become Institutionalized into edifices that we are highly proud of. Our health message teachings are NOT part of the ALL the Local worshiping groups. Local worshiping groups are NOT taking our health message to their communities to promote Disease Free Living among their neighbors. We are NOT bringing healing of BODY, MIND, SPIRIT to our neighbors.
NO! What we WANT to bring to our neighbors are Beasts, Images, Rules and Regulations.
NOT improved health, Fellowship with Jesus. NOT Relationship and Fellowship with the Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
YES! We lost the Advent Movement at long time ago.
YES! We replaced it with Denominationalism. No different from any of those that we call “Babylon”. there is no need right now to make the call “Come out of her my people”. It is just trading one Empire for another Empire mentality.

EZ-- it will be WORSE than a waste of money. It will be photo copied and transmitted around the world to all 19 MILLION SDAs. And IT will become part of a WAY OF TREATING the List of GLB"T" and others. GL’s BORN by SDA parents are not accepted by the local church communities now!! Transgendered, Intersexed definitely will NOT be.
There are only a FEW denominations who accept GLTI’s for baptism. these will have to leave the SDA fellowship of friends they grew up with, went to school with. Leave worshiping with their families.
Become an Episcopalian, a Lutheran, maybe something else in order to worship and fellowship with other God Lovers.
YES! Will be WORSE than a waste of Money!!!

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“The meeting will close, as has become a tradition under President Ted N.C. Wilson, with an extended reading from the writings of Ellen G. White. The selected passages this time come from Great Controversy pages 518-530 on the “Snares of Satan”.”

What a curious choice of reading to close a meeting with…and what an uplighting topic at that! :slight_smile:

@andreas
"we would know exactly what that means: they are a cult."

I don’t know how else it could be taken. I think that they need to review what “cult” means because it is exactly what Adventism is devolving to. Strangely it is something that Adventism has tried to stay away from its inception.

Taken from the International Cultic Studies Association:

"Review of Definitions

According to the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (1971), the term cult originally referred to

worship; reverential homage rendered to a divine being or beings … a particular form or system of religious worship; especially in reference to its external rites and ceremonies … devotion or homage to a particular person or thing.

"More recently, the term has taken on additional connotations:

3 : A religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious…
4 : A system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator…
5 a. great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work.… b. a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition, 1994)"

Sounds familiar…

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Oh Kim…heavy groaning upon reading that sentence.

Ellen wrote voluminously about Satan…and Ted follows suit. He does love Ellen, we know that for sure!

This is just so disturbing.

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Communication has been defined as “the transfer of meaning” The three stages of planning an effective communication with a executive committee members are
• Be clear about what you want to communicate (the “type of communication”)
• Be clear about what the communication is meant to achieve (the “message goal”)
• Decide on how you’ll communicate (the “communication mechanism”)
It would be sad if this new resource becomes one sided and the source for administrative lobbying on issues that need to be considered from all relevant points of view. Information can enlighten, but if improperly used it can also manipulate. I wish this publication success in advancing truth, fairness, and administrative efficiency.

This smacks of the continued trend to consolidate and centralize power. On top of that, with this choice of closing reading, it’s clear that this denomination is being moved further towards being a full blown cult… Seventh day Whitism.

Why don’t they read Galatians 3:28, " There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but all are one in Christ Jesus? " Or maybe this simple and far reaching text from the NT would hit too close to home. Or maybe they wouldn’t even see its application to where this denomination has gone before and since SA.

I’m coming more to the conclusion that the underlying ethos of Adventism is off. It is not in line with the truth of the gospel. Taken to its logical extent, with its remnant triumphalism, its co-mingling of covenants and law and gospel, the elevation of an inspired extra biblical authority, conspiracy theory laced eschatology, etc., this is what it seems to produce.

It’s a growing mess of division through the elevation of non essentials as if they are crucial to Christian experience, community, and life. Where we are as an organization is no accident of personality or policy. It is rooted in a distorted belief system.

Frank

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Come out of her My people that you be not partakers in her sins.

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If the JW would end their meetings with a reading from their Watch Tower … if the Mormons would end their meetings with a reading from the Book of Mormon … if a meeting of Scientologists would end with a reading by Ron Hubbard … we would know exactly what that means: they are a cult.

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Yes, read it at the beginning and ponder and pray about it for two days.

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