Editor’s Note: On October 2, 2018, the Executive Committee of the German-Swiss Conference of Seventh-day Adventists voted to support the joint statement made by the North and South German Union presidents in September. An English translation of the German-Swiss Conference’s statement is included below in its entirety:
This is the clear voice of the people of our Church being spoken against this abuse of power being perpetrated by Ted Wilson and his minions at the GC. Just outrageous.
I hope several other Unions and Conferences around the world will still lift up their voices this week, telling the GC that they do not support this Machiavellian plan that TW wants to have approved at the incoming AC.
I have the feeling at this point in time that the Southern Union will be compliant with whatever
Silver Springs wants to do.
In all of this discussion of Issues within the church – They have been quiet.
Not even making Snoring Sounds while they ALL sleep.
[Although a couple of years ago I did hear that my Conference personnel were friendly
to ALL Women.]
Don’t know what Tom hears from Calhoun.
C.S. Lewis has an apt description of what the GC brethren
are up to:
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims
may be the most oppressive.
It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral
busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity
may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good
will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own
conscience.” (God in the Dock, 1948)
having read both the three-page Regard for and Practice of General Conference Session and General Conference Executive Committee Actions (Regard for and Practice) and the one-page Terms of Reference for Compliance Committees (Terms of Reference), i don’t agree with this letter’s point, or any of the previous union and conference letters’ point, that these initiatives represent “a threatening development towards a hierarchical church structure”…i definitely don’t agree with the assertion that the compliance review committees represent the church’s lapse into the papacy, the beast of revelation 13, or the FBI…
point 3 of Regard for and Practice specifically highlights a non-compliant entity’s prerogative to appeal its non-compliant status directly to a relevant compliant review committee, with its appeal being considered part of the work of that compliant review committee, meaning it cannot be ignored; and point 5, subpoint 3 of Regard for and Practice highlights a non-compliant entity’s prerogative to appeal through processes that already exist in the GC’s Working Policy…point 8 of Terms of Reference reinforces this appeal process open to non-compliant entities…
but as important as any appeal process, point 4 of Regard for and Practice explicitly states that the use of the compliant review committee process can be waived by an administrator at his or her or their prayerful discretion, with “existing General Conference working policies and guidelines” being used in its stead…this optional use of the compliance review committees, together with their built-in appeal process, using every means available, and with the object being christian reconciliation, while exercising “christian due process”
(Regard for and Practice, point 3), removes any suggestion of a top-down power grab on the part of the GC…
this is a far cry from coercion, or anything remotely akin to what martin luther saw…the compliance review committees, and related documents, represent a collaborative, comprehensive and OPTIONAL attempt to harmonize all parts of our church with “officially voted beliefs, policies, statements, and guidelines of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists”…the GC would be derelict to not seek to protect our beliefs and practices from erosion within a secular world…the stated purpose of Regard for and Practice “to
regard and honor the constituted decisions made by fellow church members and leaders” cannot be objected to by anyone who has any regard for the principle of the priesthood of all believers which, among other things, must mean coordinated respect for collective decisions…
but having said this, there is still the important question of whether san antonio was legitimate, given
GC WP B 05 and its provision of “final responsibility” on the issue of ordination to unions…this cannot mean responsibility for any scraps that are left after the GC has dealt with the issue…we either have a division of powers in our church, or we don’t…someone needs to look past the side show of the compliance review committees and lay this question squarely on the table at AC2018…we cannot talk of compliance when we don’t know whether the division of powers principle instituted at our restructuring more than a century ago still applies, and if so, what each church entity’s responsibilities really are…
jeremy v. - The tactics of the GC (WHAT they do) in regards to the issues
in question is exacerbated by HOW they do things!
Their lack of transparency is alarming, to say the least.
For instance, how were the members of the various CC’s chosen/co-opted?
as i see it, the fact that these members have been named, as opposed to being shrouded in secrecy and sprung on a non-compliant entity only at the moment of meeting, means these members’ views can be researched and understood beforehand…obviously the GC has gone ahead and named members to these committees, which naturally means they’re going to select people they know…but the interactive nature of the CC’s mean that it really doesn’t matter who’s on the CC…the so-called non-compliant entity will obviously be free to select its own panel of experts, and any conclusion will need to factor in what is presented by the non-compliant entity…from the publicly available description of these CC’s, i don’t see any possibility for someone being railroaded or shafted by a pronouncement from a CC that hasn’t been assessed and countered by the noncompliant entity…
keep in mind that the CC’s are not going to be going out and looking for someone to haul in for an interrogation…i realize that this is the picture that’s been conjured up…but the reality is that the CC’s are merely one option that can be chosen, for instance by a union, if it sees one of its conferences is non-compliant in something…there may be a decision to resolve things without going the CC route…
well, this is double-talk that i don’t see as double-talk taken straight from the Regard for and Practice document itself:
“4. With sound judgment and prayerful discernment, administrators may use existing General Conference working policies and guidelines as tools for resolving matters of non-compliance.” Regard for and Practice, p.2.
keep in mind that on p.1 of this document, ADCOM “may” (not “shall” or “must”) refer a non-compliance matter to a compliance review committee only after a “conference and/or union and/or division and/ or General Conference” essentially requests it…your apparent notion that the Regard for and Practice document “commands” a compliance review committee interogation simply isn’t the reality…
Thanks for your reply Jeremy.
All of these CCs (at ascending levels) appear to be a defamation
exercise where ‘the devil is in the detail’, with evidence gathered
by willing ‘informants’.
That is much like what the apostle Paul had to contend with during