Inter-European Division President Responds to Annual Council

Following October 14’s vote on the document “Regard for and Practice of General Conference Session and General Conference Executive Committee Actions,” many of our church members and leaders have been conveying their deep disappointment and apprehension, mainly on social media and in addressing their Conferences, Unions, and the Division.

“We would like to call to the attention of all our distressed brothers and sisters that there are solid reasons for us – members of the worldwide Adventist family – to be confident and hopeful regarding our future as a loving and united family,” said Mario Brito, President of the Inter-European Region of Seventh-day Adventists (EUD), “after the last decision taken at the Annual Council of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists held in Battle Creek, Michigan on October 11-17, 2018.”

“If we carefully read the New Testament, and study the history of Christianity and of the Adventist Movement, we will easily realize that the early Church and our pioneers were confronted with similar challenges, which they managed to successfully overcome,” affirmed Pastor Brito. “Led by the Holy Spirit, they came to a point in which they concluded that a perplexing situation as described in Acts 15, for instance, could be converted into a blessing for the Church. Although the text doesn’t explicitly mention it, we can easily infer that their decision was based on some fundamental scriptural teachings to which we all should pay careful attention:

1. Not to judge another’s motivation and sincerity. That is, to consider that a person who thinks differently from us is not an honest and faithful believer. This is a temptation to be firmly resisted.

2. To treat others as we would like to be treated. For that to happen, we need to attentively listen to each other – individually and collectively – trying to understand the worldview, needs, frustrations, and expectations of the other. The attentiveness ought to be even higher, wider, and deeper if the communication is done in the larger context of culturally different people-groups.

3. Open and courteous dialogue help us to get to know and trust each other better and to come to consensual decisions.

4. Respect and careful application of the decisions agreed upon. The decisions of a body duly appointed are to be respected (to be taken seriously) and applied in the best possible manner.

5. Yet, it is important to have in mind that a vote, as any other human decision, may always be restudied and reconsidered.

6. To learn how to remain together and united, in spite of our differences. It is not always easy, but it will greatly help us grow and testify that we are Christ’s disciples.

7. Led by the Holy Spirit. If we truly want the will of God to be done in our lives and in our churches, we need not only to listen and to respect each other, but to unceasingly pray that the Holy Spirit guides us. If we really mean it, He will definitely show us the way to follow and will empower us to do so.

Thus, this is a time for us to pray as never before! We do need to be united, as never before, for the Mission that the Lord has entrusted us!”

This article originally appeared on the Inter-European Division’s news website, EUDNews.

Image Credit: Flickr.com / Brent Hardinge / Adventist News Network

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9169

Are SDAs to become worshippers of each other ? . . . or of God ?

Let’s reword the above quote and see if it makes sense to anyone:

  1. To treat GOD as we would like to be treated. For that to happen, we need to attentively listen to GOD – individually and collectively – trying to understand the worldview, needs, frustrations, and expectations of GOD. The attentiveness ought to be even higher, wider, and deeper if the communication is done in the larger context of culturally different people-groups.

Interesting change in perspective, huh ? With just one 3-letter word.

Happily, this is exactly what was taught to SDAs at the 1895 GC session:

"For He is our peace, who hath made both one." Made both who one?–God and men, certainly. “And hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us, having abolished in his flesh the enmity . . . for to make in himself of twain [of two] one new man, so making peace.”
{February 17, 1895 ATJ, GCB 193.13}

“Let us look that over again. “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity.” Now omitting the next clause (We are not studying that in this lesson.), what did He abolish that enmity for? What did He break down that middle wall of partition for? Why? “for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace.”
Does Christ make a new man out of a Jew and a Gentile?
No.
Out of a heathen and somebody else?
No.
Out of one heathen and another heathen?
No.”
{February 17, 1895 ATJ, GCB 193.14}

"God makes one new man out of God and a man.
And in Christ, God and man met so that they can be one."
{February 17, 1895 ATJ, GCB 193.15}

"All men were separated from God and in their separation from God they were separated from one another. True, Christ wants to bring all to one another; He was ushered into the world with “Peace on earth; good will to men.” That is His object. But does He spend His time in trying to get these reconciled to one another and in trying to destroy all these separations between men and to get them to say, “Oh, well, let all bygones be bygones; now we will bury the hatchet; now we will start out and turn over a new leaf and we will live better from this time on”?
{February 17, 1895 ATJ, GCB 194.1}

"Christ might have done that. If He had taken that course there are thousands of people whom He could have persuaded to do that; thousands whom He could persuade to say, “Well, it is too bad that we acted that way toward one another; it is not right, and I am sorry for it. And now let us just all leave that behind and turn over a new leaf and go on and do better.” He could have got people to agree to that. But could they have stuck to it? No. For the wicked thing is there still that made the division. What caused the division? The enmity, their separation from God caused the separation from one another. Then what in the world would have been the use of the Lord Himself trying to get men to agree to put away their differences without going to the root of the matter and getting rid of the enmity that caused the separation? Their separation from God had forced a separation among themselves. And the only way to destroy their separation from one another was of necessity to destroy their separation from God. And this He did by abolishing the enmity. And we ministers can get a lesson from this, when churches call us to try to settle difficulties. We have nothing at all to do with settling difficulties between men as such. We are to get the difficulty between God and man settled and when that is done, all other separations will be ended."
{February 17, 1895 ATJ, GCB 194.2}

"It is true, the Jews in their separation from God had built up extra separations between themselves and the Gentiles. It is true that Christ wanted to put all those separations out of the way and He did do that. But the only way that He did it and the only way that He could do it was to destroy the thing that separated between them and God. All the separations between them and the Gentiles would be gone, when the separation, the enmity, between them and God was gone."
{February 17, 1895 ATJ, GCB 194.3}

. . . but be careful ! According to a modern SDA historian the former SDA historian who spoke these words had ‘character defects’, and we wouldn’t want to lead the SDA church astray . . . any more so, at least.:point_left::point_up_2::point_down::point_right:

This one and number 7 give me the most hope.

It’s always time to focus on how to move forward and do this. Open discussions, transparent, around the globe to find common ground. Can we even do this?

Pushing the TOSC document aside doesn’t give me much confidence in the sincerity of the administration for openness. Perhaps we could start there and rewind. Bring out the TOSC document–the last best place we were for finding a way to move forward.

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If Battle Creek is any guide then all the Church needs to do is ordain only bearded ladies.

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LOL. Oh my, you made my day!!!
If that ever happens, what do we do with the bearded elephant in the room???..

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JOBS BEING CREATED AT THE GC

After the AC/18, it is obvious that the GC is creating lots of new jobs.
Just imagine how many new “konrades” will be needed to go after those noncompliant rebels that are popping up so quickly everywhere around the world.

Just training the new people to do inquisitive work may be a big job. Are they going to use waterboarding as well???

This GC has to be “kindly but swiftly” discontinued, dismantled, dissolved. For the simple reason of being irrelevant and actually causing too much distress everywhere!

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