I am relieved to learn in another Spectrum article that the president of the Michigan Conference was NOT elected to infect other state unions with his sense of what might better be described as 'ownership' of 'God's church' !
Is he 'God' ? Is he that 'Creator', or 'Author', of that 'creation-story' he claims to support and defend ?
Of course not.
Yet, in 2006, I personally witnessed the public testimony of that very same man as he confessed to having ordered that all the canoes at the SDA 'Camp AuSable' in Michigan -- God's canoes, at God's camp, in God's Creation -- be locked up on Sabbaths. The SDA church in Traverse City, Mi was full of witnesses that day. One of them was my father-in-law who had advanced Parkinson's Disease, yet he insisted on struggling to church to see and hear that 'President' speak.
It seems that some of the visitors to the church camp -- meant for ALL of the SDAs in Michigan to enjoy -- had been seen horsing around in the canoes . . . on the Sabbath. So, the 'President' denied Sabbath canoe access to all, even to the greater majority of those SDA patrons who had no intention of misbehaving. Yet, God the Creator, did not 'lock up', even Cain, the first murderer. So, which god was the 'President' taking cues from, and which god's Sabbath was he defending ?
But, this was not the worst of the humiliation of the Creator God and His Son to be very publicly delivered from the President at God's Sabbath pulpit that day. In order to publicly defend his private decision to rob all of God's children of Sabbath canoe access, he then partially quoted the story from Mark 3 about the healing of the man's withered hand in the synagogue on a Sabbath day, by Jesus. I say 'partially', because he failed to finished a sentence, and therefore failed to recognize that he had just publicly condemned himself as a 'Pharisee', and therefore as a persecutor of Christ and His true church. Not merely that, but he committed the same sin as Moses did in publicly misrepresenting the whole character of God-in-Christ as merely 'partial', merely 'angry' toward the 'sinner', and not, simultaneously 'sympathetic' and 'merciful' for 'the hardness of their hearts', as well.
("Then, looking them over and feeling both anger with them and sympathy for them at the stoniness of their hearts, . . . .” Mark 3:5, excerpt from the Complete Jewish Bible).
Referring only to the part of Mark 3:5 --
“And when he had looked round about on them with anger, . . . .” --
amazingly, that President stopped short and insisted, 'See, it's OK to be angry about the abuse of the Sabbath day . . . .' But, if he had merely and fairly finished the sentence right before him, he would have enlightened himself AND GOD's FLOCK to the fact that he was editing and twisting GOD's WORD -- as well as twisting the roles within the context of the event Mark described -- to defend his own un-GOD-like actions, even while raising himself to an equality with God in the eyes and ears of the 'people' -- a sin which condemned and prevented Moses from leading God's people into the Promised Land, even after 40 years of better service.
But, it gets worse !
The ruse worked !
All I heard in response to the 'angry' President from the Traverse City SDA congregation that strange Sabbath morning was a loud and sickening, "AMEN !"
Had the congregation even bothered to, 'Turn in your Bibles, please, to . . . .' ?
No 'Berean' spirit was evident, let alone a 'Holy' One, that Sabbath, in that place, just worship !
But, worship of whom ?
. . . of the invisible God ?
. . . or, of just the good-looking, charming one, standing right before their eyes and spouting partially-true lies at the pulpit ?
I have been a resident of Michigan for 59 of 60+ years, but my SDA membership is NOT now in that state's Conference, nor will it be, as long as such an out-of-control rebel combination seeks to 'rule' in place of God in the hearts of the 'people'. A few powerfully wealthy and/or influential ASI members who are partial to GC partialities seem to have much more influence than the Creators Themselves do, in Michigan -- a 'dark state'.
I refuse to support anything regarding the Michigan Conference except a call for either the repentance or removal from SDA membership of such 'partial', 'partisan' and highly-divisive 'bullies' and their evil influence. Until then, they remain free to lock or unlock whatever material possessions of God's they choose to, but they cannot win my heart for their President, or their god -- little 'g'.