Iowa-Missouri Conference President Issues Open Letter Regarding GC’s Compliance Documents and Committees

It is wonderful to see those who will stand and be counted! Thank-you, Iowa-Missouri Conference and President for standing spiritually tall for what you see as correct and righteous. Blessings!


elmer, how do you know that the GC issue, as you call it, isn’t a response to conservative constituents’ complaints about their conferences and unions…i tend to think it must be…why would the GC suddenly set up compliant review committees on LGBT, evolution and distinctive doctrines if conservatives hadn’t been complaining about these issues for yrs…look at the situation in NCC…nothing was done about conservative complaints…even discussing them was a non-starter…

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I do not know whether the GC’s issue “isn’t a response to conservative constituents’ complaints.” But if you were to follow the longitudinal progression of the issue the evidence would be more on a personality trait. This all started when CUC decided to ordain women pastors. It was a done deal yet TW personally attended the meeting instead of sending an emissary, hoping to derail the votes and it was during this meeting when he threatened “grave consequences” which was heard around the world. From then on, he only ratcheted the threats. The 14-page document, the promissory notes, the unity document and now the newly minted GC Review Comittees. Everything that followed is collateral damage. Clearly, WO was only a vehicle to display a personality trait.

How would you explain your narrative?


as i understand church history leading up to 2015, TW was begging people to wait to ordain women until after the san antonio vote…i think he knew he’d be forced to impose some kind of discipline if the vote went against WO…

but even before san antonio, i think he’s been receiving conservative complaints for many yrs…he’s now looking to address all the complaints he’s received in one fell swoop before he retires…

that’s my meta narrative…

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I’m not so sure. Look back on what happened at AC17 for an example of potential outcome for AC18. They sprung a punitive document to the floor for a vote. This time they are still presenting a punitive document. The notable difference is that this time it’s not being sprung on the delegates. Will that be enough for TW to overcome the vote against him from last time? I don’t think it is but time will tell.


By putting it out there early TW can say to all delegates “There is nothing hidden, no hidden agenda, we are being transparent.” It also gives him time to lobby any votes he lost from 2015 to 2017. It would not surprise me if some of his supporters in other divisions were not made aware of what was coming before it was launched so they could be lobbying (preaching) the positive benefits to their constituents. Putting it out early tips off the intended targets but the benefit of being able to lobby is possibly greater.
That said, it could all be a giant smoke screen. If he were to push a more moderate line now, he may have the other compliant entities urging him to take stricter measures. It is always more palatable for members if they appear to be the ones asking for stricter measures. This is seen in politics all the time.


This is commonly known as “gaslighting.” Gaslighting is manipulation of the environment with the intent to shift power such that one person assumes control over the other. At its core, it is considered an emotional abuse because it causes you to question your experience and integrity. Gaslighting has no place in a religious setting because it blurs the role of the Holy Spirit.


This is why I have been proposing the immediate dissolution of the GC. Just look a the damage that this administration has done in the past 8 years. I mean, from a pacific administration under Paulsen, the Church was immersed in total chaos under Ted Wilson. So many shameful maneuvers and political indiscretions (like ignoring the $1MI + TOSC) have been used by the GC. How can this still be called a religious or Christian denomination???


As a conservative church member in NCC, I must agree with your assessment of the leadership’s general response to expressed concerns regarding issues that are sometimes in direct opposition to Biblical standards now being accepted and even promoted in our churches. The is little to no response to pleas for corrective action.

Additionally, with the NAD encouraging the Unions and local Conferences to proceed with their own agendas, disregarding decisions voted into existence at the last GC session, I believe that if we’re not careful, it won’t be only the GC being dismantled but a general disorganization of church order in a “congregationalist” mode where each local church, conference, union, etc., decides what they will and won’t allow/encourage. The prayer of Jesus for oneness could come to be seen as dictatorial/Gestapo/Popish or what have you. I’m using an unreasonable characterization simply to make the point that the “unity of believers” is a good thing as long as we stay within the framework of the Law of God as it is shown in the Bible. May God bless our church and its leadership at all levels!


Since you are a self-avowed “conservative” would you give examples of “issues that are sometimes in direct opposition to Biblical standards now being accepted and even promoted in our churches.” I’ve often wondered whether the difference is the result of outright defiance or a matter of personal spiritual interpretation.



What UNIFIES the SDA church is – the Life, the Death, the Resurrection, the Resurrection
with Christ seated on the Right hand of God, the work of the Holy Spirit, and our enthusiasm
for spreading the Good News of the Gospel.

HOW the local churches are organized, their mode of worship, and How and Method of
spreading the Good News has nothing to do with the “Unity” that these churches have
with each other around the world.
What Unites is the belief of Christ lived, Christ died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.


Steve, it seems to me that what really unifies Adventism is the devotion to the the writings of EGW. I know it should not be this way, but unfortunately it is.


Hate to risk losing reverence, but there is a certain quality of joyous expectation that goes hand-in-hand with this solemn crisis that just can’t be faced with a grim emoji. (I have mixed emotions, like those that might be created by seeing a fly land on the nose of a too-still corpse at a funeral.)

I’m thinking of Barry Casey’s recent article in which he described being in a real sensory deprivation chamber. For me that has been my whole life’s experience with the life-dampening, SDA-church-in-limbo portion of its leadership. (Maybe Jesus will cleanse the Temple of such, again, and the little children can dance for joy, again ?) The prospect of better air and light, soon, freshens and lightens – and yet humbles – my heart.

. . . so, how do we hack George Tichy’s little face-circle into Spectrum’s inadequate selection of emojis ?


LOL… what about this one, :upside_down_face:


Yeah ! But it’s probably copyrighted already.


Elmer, @elmer_cupino
The Unions, and actually the whole Church too (we all) are dealing with people with serious developmental problems. Freud gave special attention to the development of conscience. He pointed out that children begin life feeling that the entire world around them is there to serve them. Yes, to provide for all their needs, as an entitlement.

A major problem is presented when such an entitlement is transferred into the adult life, i.e., the person never grows up (does not mature) in this regard and keeps interacting with others pursuing the same goal, to be served by them.

I wonder if this is a major factor in the life of dictators and other people who expect others to just be subservient and “obey them.”

This is why I fully support your opinion that candidates (or mere appointees) to the chair of GC Presidents (or POTUS candidates), should take a battery of psychological tests and be evaluated for fitness to serve in that capacity. Otherwise, we may end up stuck with individuals who, due to emotional under-development, destabilize a whole religious institution (or the whole country).

(“As seen on TV and at the GC”)


as i understand it, our 1901 reorganization established the principle of the separation of powers in our church in order to prevent the GC from exercising kingly power…this important policy, known as
GC WP B 05, spells out that membership decisions are the final responsibility of local churches; pastor employment is the final responsibility of conferences; and ordination is the final responsibility of unions…it may be that dan jackson is following this policy very strictly, and so doesn’t want to encroach on the chico church’s decision to baptize a married lesbian, or PUC’s decision to not only ordain women, but elect a woman conference president…

but what you’re suggesting is that this separation of powers doesn’t work when entire churches, conferences, and unions, or at least their leaders, veer from basic adventism…in this event, obviously a centralizing power is needed to keep things in check…

i get the feeling that our pioneers certainly meant well, and that much of what was adopted at our 1901 restructuring was a response to evident issues that had come up…but it doesn’t look like things were carefully considered in terms of long term development potential in the same way the founding fathers considered the constitution, although in that case, 27 amendments have been added since 1791 (with the 21st amendment repealing the 18th amendment on prohibition), which suggests that even that wasn’t thought through carefully enough…

i think what we’re seeing now is further development in our church structure as new problems are emerging…the proposed compliance review committees do seem to be a response to complaints by conservatives, and probably many other members, that some conferences and unions aren’t being responsive to their constituents…i think this action by NCC to completely ignore what are obviously important concerns is outrageous…obviously there has to be some way for constituents to voice and act on their concerns…


The unity of believers is a good thing as long as we do not use unity as an excuse to trample on the conscience and calling of fellow believers. The book of Acts records a willingness of the apostles to seek a true unity, outside of imposing non-salvational religious practice to all cultures who were followers of “The Way.”


Yes, exactly. I really do respect the rights of all people to worship God in their own way–or even to worship themselves! :slight_smile: But when you join a particular group (SDA) with “peculiar” beliefs you agree to basic tenets. If you disagree with the beliefs you are well within your rights to work toward a stand you can tolerate. But as long as the ruling body of the group you freely choose to belong to (GC) has requirements that do not require you to violate any Biblically-based moral standards, I believe you are under obligation to show respect to the hierarchy and standards until the “non-moral standards” have been changed.

Also, I really do wish that a mechanism was in place that would allow NCC constituents to be heard and that there would be a desire on the part of the leadership to respond with as much forthrightness as HR and other restrictions would allow.

I love our church and I’m glad there are differences among the members…I wouldn’t want everyone to be a clone of me! But I wish that all of us would adhere to the standards and even current guidelines, in a way that Chico and PUC seem unwilling to do.

I pray for myself and my attitude toward others. I haven’t yet met any perfect person except, of course, our example: Jesus.

Yes, JohnCarson, I agree with you that we cannot and must not use “unity” to trample on others’ consciences! I believe I know what you’re referring to in Acts and, of course, think it was a great resolution to what could have been a church-splitting issue.

Chico’s decisions, however, are not trampling the calling of fellow believers. They are opposing a very direct principle of Scripture regarding the immorality of homosexual actions. If someone is attracted to the same sex they deserve our love and friendship as much as someone attracted to the opposite sex. And I am compassionately sorry for them because the joys of monogamous sexual relations are something that they cannot, Biblically, morally experience. We are all sinners and are falling short of the Glory of God. I have NO MORE moral worth than anyone else, but as a church we cannot condone and endorse activities, thoughts, etc. that are specifically banned in scripture.

I hope my response is understood in the way I intended. I don’t feel ANY superiority over anyone. We are all loved by a Wonderful God and we must love each other, eventually, with that same kind of love if we expect to reign with Jesus in heaven!

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