How The Adventist Church Changed its Fundamental Beliefs in San Antonio

These words from the New Living Translation started the Reformation. Here in lies the final judgment.
Romans 3:21–28

But God has shown us a different way of being right in his sight–not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago. We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, not matter who we are or what we have done.

For all have sinned, all fall short of od’s glorious standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilt. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to satisfy God’s anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed his blood, sacrificing his life for us. God was being entirely fair and just when he did not punish those who sinned in former times. And he is entirely fair and just in this present time when he declares sinners to be right in his sight because they believe in Jesus. Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on our good deeds, it is based on our faith. So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law."
Praise to be God. Tom Z.

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But what if it has been 3 billion years and we have been wrong? How many people have we alienated in our close definition of orthodoxy. I presume you too are disgusted with this celebration of hubris that is GC2015.


Consensus and majority are NOT the same thing. Majority is a vote where 50% plus one wins. Consensus is a looooong process whereby you discuss and work until you find a solution that everyone can agree with. It reauires compromise, personal growrh, care for the minority, inclusion. San Antonio is not about consensus.


If you look at that nice video interview from Sandi Roberts, I’d suggest that rather than be disgusted, I’d rather continue to reach out in love.

I believe that those GC participants who think women should not preach, who want to make sure that we specify that the earth must be only 6,000 years and must have been created in 6 - 24 hour days and who have to emphasis that marriage can only be between a man and woman are doing so because of their passion for this church. That they fear that the church will lose it’s connection to God because of these matters.

I have a different emphasis. I understand that their cultural experience and mine come from different places. But I also believe that my admonishing them about their “error” will not bring about the gifts of the spirit.

Sandi said she wants the SECC to be the model for the church around the world. I stand behind that whole-heartedly.

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It is amazing to me how this group of educated men (mostly men) are able to stick their heads in the sand and deny science.

Yes God is testing is by making the entire universe and the planet an the fossil and geologic record appear to be millions and billions of years old when it is really just 6000 years old. How ridiculous.

Here’s a thought. EGW mentions that there are other worlds out there. Other creations of God who are not fallen. So, assuming there is just one world like us in each known Galaxy and it took 7 days to create each and the creation story started it all here, then that would take about 2 billion years. Just sayin’.


I agree. But there has been some tremendous evil perpetrated by those who have passion of zeal for their church and out of fear, Should we call them on it? Or meekly applaud them for there faithfulness? My disgust is with those who should know better and should represent models of Christian behaviour. The teachers and leaders who subjugate compassion and grace for expediency politic and “truth”.

Neca eos Omnes, Deus suos agnoscet so said one fine gentleman of the church many years ago (the papal legate Arnaud Amalric).

Will Sandi Roberts really be strong enough to stand up to any “grave consequences”. I suspect she is but her strength will be more like the lamb rather than the lion. More like Ignatius of Antioch who praised the Lord as he was taken to Rome and prayed that the lions made it mercifully short. And praised God that he was seen worthy to suffer as his lord. Ted Wilson is a masterful politician steeped in religious rhetoric from infancy. It helps that any division that may occur can be seen as fulfilment of the prophecy of the shaking and ones zeal seen as fulfilment of a mission from God.

So when does Adventism start its purge/shaking? Now that we have redefined reality in our fundamental beliefs there really does not seem to be much barrier to cleaning house for the last generation to vindicate God.


I hate to be picky over what appears to be a very nit picking process at the GC. But Elaine and Jim (below) you both have used the word consensus incorrectly. “Consensus” means: unity, unanimity, a general agreement about something : an idea or opinion that is shared by all the people in a group. Note the ALL. This mistake is typical in the US press and probably derived from the branches of Congress reaching a so called (but incorrectly called) “consensus” to pass a bill. (i’m guessing news(wo)men didn’t want to use the word compromise [re Congress, as it almost seems slimy and unpatriotic] and could not think of anything else!) In the last decades or three, this misuse of the work has greatly increased. The error has also been transplanted to other English speaking countries. Consensus is neither “looooong” nor short, it is NOT about compromise (the Congress thing again!); it’s about the result. When a consensus is arrived at—ALL are in agreement! Not the majority of compromising persons, or most of the people, but ALL.

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What is an Adventist church doing with an official creed anyway? Our pioneers will be turning in their graves.

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EGW 6000 year old earth belief was not an ‘inspired’ one but based on a long held tradiional belief. And so we follow this same traditional belief blindly because??? Is the bible a science book?


It was Pres. Wilson’s own word I quoted which is why I enclosed it with proper pronunciation marks. If he used it incorrectly, he should be reminded

The votes did not show a “general agreement” with such a disparity so you are technically correct. Common usage and correct English is not always recognized as you describe. Read Jim’s comment: he also wrote there was not a consensus.

there was a spirit in S.A. But it was far from holy. Saving Grace is not found in Church Doctrine. salvation is found in the person of Jesus Christ. is He the Creator and Redeener and coming King of King of kings or not? all less is bells and whistles. the trapping of an egotistical few. The negativity of Adventism was shown in all of its ugliness. a tragic joke. Tom Z


Tom, you are aware? that the Dutch Union in the Netherlands has publicly stated they will continue to ordain women? Shoud be proud of your Dutch ancestral spirit? Don’t ever tell a Dutchman what he should do! It’s a new thread that is growing like wildfire with many planning to transfer their membership to the Dutch church!


Great note. We are being taken down a very slippery slope that will bring on the shaking that TW thinks God placed him on this earth for. Its a misguided exercise in motivated reasoning. Lets just keep boxing ourselves into a smaller and smaller set of beliefs, guided by the spirit as we are in all decisions that the GC makes, until only the lentil eating, serious, narrow minded remnant few are left on their own looking into the clouds, while those Christians focused on the important message of Christ will be worshiping elsewhere.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether something is important, true, logical or reasonable but as long as the delegates vote for it, its truth.

I always thought we started off being against creeds and popish infallibility.


The more I read of the reports coming from San Antonio the more the red lights in my head keep flashing brighter and brighter. This narrowing of beliefs hedged about with fear is way wrong. Can this church really be this out of touch and not know it? I have a sinking feeling even more so than during TW sermon in 2010 in Atlanta.


How sad it is that the church has once again chosen ignorance over knowledge! As far as I can tell, every decision that was made was exactly wrong! And yet, perhaps it was inevitable. The church had painted itself into a corner long ago, and it just keeps painting and retreating, farther and farther into blind ignorance. Clearly, the church leaders and most members do not even have the foggiest understanding of what scripture is, let alone, Truth. The SDA concept of God as officially stated is incredible–and can only be believed by the willfully ignorant and deluded.


No. But it can be that out of touch and not admit it.

Consider the JW stance on blood transfusion, the LDS on the history of the Americas, the RC on transubstantiation, and Americans on American Exceptionalism.

Delusions are part of what keeps a club united. TW wants everyone united, so he needs some delusions for them to believe in. (Excessive. - webEd)


“Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of the world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he holds to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion [quoting 1 Tim 1:7].”
― Augustine of Hippo, The Literal Meaning of Genesis, Vol 2


The SDA church survived quite well for it’s first 123 years without an official creed of 28 Fundamental Beliefs. Then in 1980 fundamentalism reached it’s high water mark with the adoption of the Fundamental beliefs as we see here. Well I think the high water mark just went a little higher with the reelection of Ted Wilson and the rejection of WO. Get your snorkels out folks, because the church is under water and sinking.

Here is the letter I wrote to the Adventist Review years ago when Goldstein fired his opening shot on the literal creation issue. You will note that when my letter was posted that the editor, William Johnson, put a disclaimer that Goldstein’s opinion was his own.

Now, after years at the bully pulpit Goldstein wins. But the church does not. People who heard Goldstein speak to the issue last week will testify that he shouted over and over “Can’t we live up to our name?” While intelligent, Goldstein is no scientist. It would have been wiser to leave our belief as is—lifted straight from the Bible.

While there are a handful of loud apologist for young earth creationism( and man oh man we give them voice) most believing scientists have become overwhelmed by the cellular, DNA evidence that points away from literal days. Signature in the Cell. The Language of God. More and more technical evidence for some evolutionary process. We are hemming ourselves with this move. It is somewhat voided by the obvious which occurred in San Antonio. That is a substantial portion of the delegates didn’t actually understand the technicalities which they were voting upon.

The crowning irony is that the most erudite recent SDA scholar on Sabbath—Sigve Tonstad—is disappointed with the new change to the fundamental belief. His book provides broad and deep theology for Sabbath and doesn’t require adding words to scripture. His book—“The Lost Meaning of the Seventh Day” —Guess we have further buried that meaning.


Having read and highlighted much of Tonstad’s book can you summarize what is the lost meaning? When did it begin to have such deep meaning, as for the Israelites it was simply a day free from work with death penalties for breaking. Plus, it was given to them, and no others as Scripture records: “It was not given to our forefathers but to us who are here this day.” Nor was it ever given to Gentile Christians as the seventh day of the commandment. Christians are not under the Jewish Law which Paul makes explicit in many of his letters to the churches.

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