General Conference Updates Compliance Document and Clarifies Committees

Editor’s Note: On September 18, 2018, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists released two statements: The first concerns updates to the GC’s document “Regard for and Practice of General Conference Session and General Conference Executive Committee Actions” which will be voted on at Annual Council in October. The second statement clarified questions regarding the GC’s compliance committees that were officially announced last week. Both statements follow in full below:

Administrative Committee Continues to Refine Unity Document

Following its vote on July 17, 2018, of a preliminary document outlining a process addressing non-compliant entities, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s General Conference Administrative Committee (ADCOM) voted updates to the document during its meeting at the church’s world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, on September 18.

This latest action of the committee follows the regular process of vetting and refining a document before being presented to the General Conference (GC) Executive Committee at its Annual Council in October.

“The updates came as a result of responses suggesting clarification and defining time frames for the voted process,” according to Hensley Moorooven, ADCOM secretary. “These suggestions are for clarification and improvement, as time has taught the church that this vetting process produces a better document.”

Standard Church procedures inform the Church that the updated document voted today is subject to further refinement, including by the GC and Division officers (GCDO) before reaching the floor of the Annual Council, where it is still open for revision before a vote is called.

“Transparency always facilitates contribution and input. It is important to have as wide input as possible on a document such as this,” Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, stated. “As a body of believers, we work together, developing mutual understanding and agreements applicable to the church worldwide. We hope that through this process, this movement will become stronger in its God-given mission of sharing the Three Angels’ Messages and bringing the good news of Christ’s soon return.”

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ADCOM refers to Compliance Committees

During a discussion of the General Conference Administrative Committee on Sept 18, 2018, it was recognized that a procedural oversight was inadvertently communicated, which stated that an in-house General Conference committee would be established by the General Conference Executive Committee, and that committee would report directly to the General Conference Executive Committee. In the normal course of establishing General Conference in-house operational Committees, those committees are established by and report back to the Administrative Committee of the General Conference. The General Conference Administrative Committee established and determined the terms of reference and membership of the five Compliance Review Committees. The Terms of Reference for the Compliance Review committees state that these committees carry-out their responsibilities and report their findings back to the General Conference Administrative Committee. The General Conference Administrative Committee will then consider the report and may recommend through normal processes actions to the General Conference Executive Committee. The General Conference Administrative Committee regrets any misunderstandings that may have resulted from this oversight since the ADCOM members understood, at the time of the voting, that it was a Committee appointed by and reporting to ADCOM.

During its regularly scheduled meeting on September 18, the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s General Conference (GC) Administrative Committee (ADCOM) voted to ask two of its newly created compliance review committees to look at some areas of perceived non-compliance.

In line with their terms of reference, the subcommittees will explore perceived areas of non-compliance and will report their findings and recommendations to the GC Administrative Committee.

According to the September 18 ADCOM action, the two areas to be considered by the subcommittees are briefly introduced below:

1. It is vital for the Church to have an exemplary conduct in financial matters. It has come to the attention of the GC that some entities have had noted non-compliance to the same financial core policy (S 90) for several years. GC ADCOM has voted to request the General Conference Compliance Review Committee with General Conference Financial Core Policies – S 90 to exercise their Terms of Reference regarding entities that have exhibited a pattern of repeated non-compliance. The committee will use existing policies and structures to recommend to ADCOM how to lead these entities toward compliant behavior.

2. The 2015 General Conference has taken an action ‘to not allow division executive committees, as they may deem it appropriate in their territories, to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry.’ It has been brought to the attention of the General Conference Administrative Committee that some unions have not complied with this General Conference in session action. ADCOM voted to request the General Conference Compliance Review Committee with Doctrine, Policies Statements, and Guidelines for Church Organizations and Institutions Regarding Issues of Ordination to exercise their Terms of Reference exploring solutions and assessing the reaction of the church in relation to ordination policy and guidelines.

Today’s action was predicated with a season of prayer and was approved with unanimous support from the GC ADCOM.

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These statements originally appeared on the Adventist News Network. Find statement one here and statement two here. Image courtesy of ANN.

Further Reading:

Massive Oversight Committee System Set Up at the General Conference, Aug. 23, 2018

German Unions Respond to the GC’s Latest Documents and Committee Creation, Sept. 7, 2018

General Conference Issues Statement on Compliance Committees, Sept. 11, 2018

Pacific Union Conference Votes Opposition to GC’s Compliance Committee System, Sept. 13, 2018

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9008
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Well here we go, in the opposite direction of the principles of the founding members of the church…again

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Is that not a contradiction because Divisions are extensions of the GC, hence the division has never had authority on ordination, nor has the GC. It is the unions that ordain individuals, so that make no sense. Unless this statement was taken prior to the 1900’s, which I doubt. Secondly, one does not need a compliance committee on finance, when there is a constitutency that can invoke an audit into a union that has been stealing money, the best way is to report it to the competent authority, example police.

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What??? Perfect example of GIBBERISH,
This language is nonsense.

“During a discussion of the General Conference Administrative Committee on Sept 18, 2018, it was recognized that a procedural oversight was inadvertently communicated, which stated that an in-house General Conference committee would be established by the General Conference Executive Committee, and that committee would report directly to the General Conference Executive Committee. In the normal course of establishing General Conference in-house operational Committees, those committees are established by and report back to the Administrative Committee of the General Conference. The General Conference Administrative Committee established and determined the terms of reference and membership of the five Compliance Review Committees. The Terms of Reference for the Compliance Review committees state that these committees carry-out their responsibilities and report their findings back to the General Conference Administrative Committee. The General Conference Administrative Committee will then consider the report and may recommend through normal processes actions to the General Conference Executive Committee. The General Conference Administrative Committee regrets any misunderstandings that may have resulted from this oversight since the ADCOM members understood, at the time of the voting, that it was a Committee appointed by and reporting to ADCOM.”

Or perhaps, a better term would be GOBBLEDYGOOK
Defined as “talk or writing which is long, pompous, vague, involved, usually with Latinized words.” The allusion was to a turkey, “always gobbledygobbling and strutting with ridiculous pomposity.”

13 Likes

Can someone tell us how much money is being spent on this redundancy? We know how much time, when it comes to WO - almost 50 years at last count. Tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars later, nothing will have changed, but “the powers that be” will have been seen as “working on something”, lest we’re wondering.

In the mean time, the entire focus of the SDA church is diverted to comply with one personal and unbiblical requirement for who is to deliver the “gospel to all the world”; and what the Holy Spirit is now saying to the church. Jesus told the people, at the time, that they were not ready to hear the whole truth, and that He was sending the Holy Spirit to lead them/us into understanding. It seems the church is still, not ready. I guess some of us have to go it alone.

The bottom line, no one can coerce me to believe anything other than what I understand is in God’s Word. Let the inquisition of the 21st century begin.

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The imperious high handed, heavy handed, jack booted march towards autocracy, lurches forward.

It is as if they have blinders on, oblivious to the outcries in SPECTRUM, and from constituent groups.

This paternalistic patronizing Papal pronouncement from the oligarchy in Silver Spring, says “father knows best”, no dissent permitted!

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I didn’t see a stipulation that the work of these Compliance Committees is contingent upon approval of the whole proposal by the Executive Committee at the 2018 Autumn Council. Did I miss it?

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If you’re right, David, it would seem that this is the ultimate power grab for unilateral power.

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because the compliance review committees and the document, “Regard for and Practice of General Conference Session and General Conference Executive Committee Actions” (“Regard for and Practice”), were both voted by ADCOM on July 17, and because “Regard for and Practice” is obviously an agenda item for annual council, i think we naively assumed that the compliance review committees themselves are also an agenda item for annual council…but apparently ADCOM’s july 17 vote to bring into existence the compliance review committees is a fait accompli…this means the german unions and PUC, which have come out against the compliant review committees, not to mention other entities which may have been holding their fire, will have little to object to at annual council…

despite ADCOM’s clarification that the compliance review committees will report to ADCOM, and not EXCOM, which does emphasize their two-way character and the opportunity for appeals, i think the fact that no-one outside of ADCOM had any input into the compliance review committees when they were first proposed and considered sets up the possibility for a real showdown of resentment at annual council in october…it’s so unfortunate that things are negatively tainted before they even start…

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The report states that ADCOM unanimously approved this action. I have a hard time beliving Dan Jackson was in favor. Did the GC lie?

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The massive oversight committee system has already been put in place and made operational by ADCOM, which is under the control of Ted Wilson. He has already unilaterally changed the entire governance ethos and structure of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The GC Executive Committee has the duty and power to exercise oversight over Wilson and can disband this massive oversight committee system and even terminate Wilson’s employment for cause. But we know that our executive committees have historically functioned as rubber stamps for whatever is desired by church administrators, so most likely there will be no corrective action. If Wilson had sought permission from the GC Executive Committee to implement the massive oversight committee system, his request would have in all probability been denied. He knows that. But he also knows that his unilateral and authoritarian exercise of power places upon the GC Executive Committee the onerous burden of rebuking him, and he figures, correctly I think, that the GC Executive Committee is too cowardly to do such a thing. To even place upon the agenda an item in which the GC Executive Committee can be allowed to consider such a rebuke is itself a bureaucratic feat, because Wilson controls what the agenda is.

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To my knowledge, there has been complete silence from the NAD to date. Do we know whether every member voted? I know, silly question, this is all happening behind the scenes and we are finding out after the fact.

As to a possible lie, there are various ways to be untruthful…

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As it is in every totalitarian system, the parliament (i.e. executive committee) is meant to be a mere ornament of a pretended democracy. Why bother it with questions and issues which can be more accurately resolved by a controlled group of paid employees. If there will be no member of the GCEC who won’t recognise this “coup d’etat”, then God have mercy on them and us.

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At this point the church needs a Daniel or an Esther or maybe both.

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Consider what kind of a man Ted Wilson is. He has witnessed the alarm expressed by many Seventh-day Adventist thought leaders about the massive oversight committee system and his authoritarian governance style. But instead of responding appropriately to those expressions of alarm, he has refused to listen, to learn, and to adapt in a Christian manner. He sees that the problem lies not in his authoritarianism but in ecclesiastical procedures that must be jiggered. We see that he has given much thought to jiggering ecclesiastical procedures, but we see no evidence that he has given any thought to his heart and his soul. He will continue functioning as an authoritarian until he is stopped.

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Lesson 1, divisions are part of the GC, so no division will have any comments. The assumption the the GC in session is the highest authority has just been proved to be a lie. Because ADCOM, and who know else, and implemented a new structure, without the so-called church needing to give a yes vote. Lesson 2, there is no governance platform, because who is monitoring the GC, in theory that is why there are unions.
Maybe it is time to make the church all equal again, no more titles, just functions. No more presidents, only administrators, who are responsible to their constitutency.

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It seems from where I sit that this document has almost another 4 weeks to run before it is adopted. Updates may be anticipated as a result of the feedback ADCOM receives. Updates may also be anticipated when the GCDO (GC and Division Officers) meets in October.

I would not be surprised if the document has a very rapid transition when it reaches the floor of the Annual Council. ADCOM still maintains that revision is possible on the floor of the Annual Council but I would be very surprised if this will be a very deliberative process at that point, since it may easily be argued that people have had ample time and opportunity to have their input already.

It is important to address concerns and suggestions for refinement of the document to ADCOM directly or alternatively to members of the GCDO whom you know are sympathetic to you viewpoint. Whatever is said on this website or other like-minded websites is helpful to a degree. It can stimulate thought. But only a direct approach to the bodies mentioned above will ultimately have influence.

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Nothing we say will influence Ted Wilson, Mark Finley, and their like-minded colleagues. Remember, they are so adamantly opposed to women’s ordination that they have gone to the extreme lengths of redefining the doctrine to God to bolster their position. And as observed by Angel Rodriguez before the San Antonio vote, they have denied the divinity of Jesus. Indeed, if the imminent Trinity is hierarchically ordered and the Son is eternally subordinate to the Father, then the Son does not possess attributes of divinity, such as sovereignty and omnipotence, that the Father possesses.

Ted Wilson, Mark Finley, and their like-minded colleagues are Neo-Subordinationists. Not one Seventh-day Adventist opponent of women’s ordination has ever publicly and unequivocally denounced the anti-Trinitarian heresy of Eternal Functional Subordinationism, otherwise known as Neo-Subordinationism, otherwise known as the complementarian doctrine of the Trinity, otherwise known as Arianism. How can any of our words make an impression on those who have flagrantly and repeatedly debased our precious Lord and Savior?

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If what I say is correct and Ted Wilson uses the guillotine then we need to oppose the proposal now and not rely on the good intentions of many members of the GCAC to speak for us then because it will be too late. At least they will not be able to say that they have not been told.

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Remember this in the GC statements:
“Transparency always facilitates contribution and input. It is important to have as wide input as possible on a document such as this,” Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, stated. “As a body of believers, we work together, developing mutual understanding and agreements applicable to the church worldwide.” Lie? Perhaps. Talk one way while acting in another? Yep. I hope more Unions and Divisions will speak up as the German and PUC have done.

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