New Adventist Website Announces the Demise of the General Conference

A group of Adventists has created a website announcing the demise of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. "RIP GC: An Adventist Funeral," reads the banner atop the www.ripgc.com web page. The FAQ page declares that the General Conference "acted as the guardian of a movement that promised hope for a broken world" and "was given life and moral authority through its mission to uphold and listen to the will of God." But the site claims the church "did not uphold this mission, but instead chose a path of bigotry and its light was extinguished"

Along with the postmortem of "Our dearly departed GC" the group has planned an event corresponding with "Great Disappointment Day," when the day Adventist pioneers were sorely disappointed at the non-event of the anticipated Second Advent of Christ. The funeral comes two days after the anniversary of the Great Disappointment—October 24, 2015, and will take place at The Lost Church, 65 Capp St, San Francisco, California.

The creators of the page have also created social media accounts to connect with those who wish to share "posts of sadness, frustration, anger, and remembrance" on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Here is the announcement of the General Conference's passing, as written on the RIP GC website:

Dearly beloved, we come together to mark the loss of our departed General Conference (of Seventh-day Adventists). The light of its moral authority has been extinguished. The GC was the guardian of a young movement, but its leadership has divided, censored, and suffocated her. Church leaders have severed vital parts of our Adventist body, including women and LGBTQ Adventists, among others. They abdicated their moral authority by making the Church a puppet for their sexist, racist, and homophobic agenda.

The General Conference was given life through its mission to uphold and listen to the will of God. Its very existence and authority rested on the idea that it would work for the Gospel of Christ. This message calls for the liberation of all people; to stand with the hurt, marginalized, and oppressed. Instead of modeling this liberating Gospel, the General Conference chose to further marginalize many precious voices in our Adventist movement (our sisters and mothers, partners and brothers).

We do not know what will be born out of this loss, but we long for something greater. Until that day, we remain daughters and sons of a strange and lost family, stumbling forward, seeking justice. As children, some of us have long ago walked away because of disagreements. Others have been pushed away by this oppressive authority. Still others are barely hanging on and don’t know what next step to take. We join together now in solidarity.

Many of us have mixed feelings about this passing. Perhaps we need to mourn. Perhaps we need to celebrate. Maybe we feel lost because an institution we relied on led us astray and this betrayal has resulted in its death. Whatever our range of emotions, it is fitting that we gather near the date of Adventism’s birth to share a familiar feeling of great disappointment.

We invite those in the Bay Area to join us for a funeral for the General Conference (space will be limited, RSVP instructions to come).

An event registration page has been posted through the eventbrite event hosting website here.

Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7080
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just write Icabod and walk away. Let the dead bury it’s dead. Imagine taking a great disappointment and creating a fraud to cover their gullibility. Tom Z

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People have been expressing their opinions on a multiplicity of forums like Spectrum for a long time. There have been countless articles written about theology, race, class and gender as they exist and function in modern society. People also express their thoughts in other, less formally constructed forums, such as email threads, Facebook posts, Tweets and in-person conversations (what a concept!). But now we have a group saying that the GC is dead, but significantly choosing not to say who they are.

There exists, however, another group of “conversations” that are happening. I cannot call them conversations in earnestness, though, because this group contains people posting online and on various social media platforms anonymously. All of these different platforms for anonymous commenting have caused a whole host of problems. They have also been disappointingly illuminating with regard to the courage (or rather lack thereof). I am sad that those persons who are proclaiming the demise of the General Conference and inviting persons to join them for a meeting are being afforded the cloak of anonymity by Spectrum. This is not an individual doing this and informing Spectrum, it is a group openly calling for support from readers of this magazine.

Commenting from behind a curtain of anonymity can seem really attractive. You can say whatever you want without any consequences. There are times when anonymity is absolutely essential and conducive to positive consequences. If you are launching a cause, contacting media Spectrum, and calling for a public gathering, and openly declaring the “death of the GC” you should have the integrity to come out openly and identify who you are. But understand that your words, even sent into the nebulous void that is cyberspace, have real-world impacts on people. Impacts that can be life-changing, and not always in a good way. It’s a good beginning to any cause when persons recognize that what they’re saying could be challenged, but this isn’t enough. If you attach your name to your ideas, you are more likely to end up saying something actually productive and demonstrate accountability. Then we might actually be able to get some real dialogue going. Having a dialogue means that you must actually be willing to listen to other people’s opinions and have your ideas critiqued. You get to critique other people’s ideas as well, but please, identify yourself.

In an attempt to use this space in Spectrum intelligently we should welcome critique. You can’t improve as a human or as a church organization, if you’re not challenged, and you can’t be challenged if you don’t give people the opportunity to do so openly. The Declaration of Independence would have had very little impact if it had been signed anonymously. And you’re doing everyone else a disservice by automatically shutting down any potentially productive conversation many might have had with you when you don’t attach your name to what you obviously feel so strongly about. These people in the Bay Area who contacted Spectrum feel strongly about their views. They undercut their ideas by not identifying themselves by name.

And to the people that are about to comment on this anonymously, thanks for proving my point. My name is Samuel Geli, because, in the interest of creating a more open and inclusive culture, of course, I’m all about that dialogue and you can reach me by commenting in this space and probably in cyberspace too.
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What a refreshing perspective, i support this idea, and I’m glad we are finally admitting the GC is functionally dead, and i fully understand why they need to remain anonymous. To move forward out of this mess we must admit where we stand is wrong, i hope this will open our eyes.

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The GC is similar to a booster rocket used to launch a spacecraft beyond earth’s gravity. However, as we have just witnessed in San Antonio, the fuel of the booster rocket is spent, and if not released will endanger the momentum of the mission. Like a multiple warhead missile, each division needs to move toward their respective targets. It’s not that the GC has not served a useful purpose. It’s just that it’s purpose has been fulfilled. Good job. Take a bow. Exit stage left.

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Yes, Sam! The chief need of Adventists at this point in time is global dialogue promoting education on important issues and resulting in unity.

This will not be achieved through anonymous websites. The GC was established in 1863 to further these aims. If they prove unable or unwilling to do so, then other global channels for dialogue, education and unity will come on stream.

What saddens me is that this website which has so much potential to give voice to major players and the most qualified voices among us, rarely does. When was the last time we heard from major voices within Adventism as to how we can move to a more united Adventist hermeneutic? Does this website even know how to encourage truly global participation in dialogue of substance? Often this website engages in “a dialogue of the deaf!”

I suspect that within the next month the GC will roll out a major course correction dealing with ordination. There needs to be major voices among Adventists prepared to critique such pronouncements, but more than that, to outline constructive counter proposals designed to achieve real global dialogue, education and unity. May God help us all to this end!!

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I had a similar response to this, but I was at a loss of just how to articulate it. Thanks for that. The only thing I might add is that I think that the posting of this article, in this manner, erodes the semblance of journalistic integrity that was carefully crafted by those who founded Spectrum. In addition to all of this, the owners of the advertised website (the website itself appearing to be a sort of virtual Guy Fawkes mask) also claim to have no affiliation with the Seventh-day Adventist church (see bottom of the homepage), yet the title of this Spectrum article implies that the website is “Adventist”.

You misread. The creators of the site are all Seventh-day Adventists, but they are stating that they do not represent the Seventh-day Adventist Church. -Jared Wright

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The melodrama could be quite entertaining if it wasn’t so nauseating. One would think this is the first time they awoke and smelled a faint whiff of coffee

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  1. Why has Spectrum chosen to post an anonymous website’s wishful rant against the church? This reminds me of the groups that sprouted up after the Ford affair. How has that reaction worked out? Where are they now?
  2. Oppressive authority? Were these folk listening to the debate?? I received several tracts favoring WO from the NAD, paid for by the NAD. Not one con, except by DB, and at his expense. Then a very lively discussion, fair to all parties concerned occurred at the GC, and a vote of recognized representatives, agreed on by all parties (WO advocates tried to influence the proceedings in various legitimate ways) was taken. WO advocates lost in an honest vote. And that is authoritarianism??
  3. Women can still pastor, baptize, evangelize with all the authority they had before, but still cannot organize a church, be a conf. prisoned and one other thing. And this cause for a wake?

Is this a joke? If things go as they usually do, the group behind this little blurb will have disappeared within a decade, nay 5 yrs., and the GC will be going as strong as ever.

I don’t even find it funny. Perhaps it struck a chord. But it is just clever nonsense.

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When Hamilton, Madison and Jay were seeking to promote the ratification of the U S Constitution they wrote the series that became known as The Federalist Papers in the prominent publications of the day under the pseudonym Publius. Others who sought to counter their proposals used pseudonyms such as Cato and Brutus. It was the points to be made and discussed that were important and not the authors identities apparently for the time. I’m sure that they had reasons to protect their identities. There are various reasons for anonymity. Judge the issues presented.

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When Sancho Panza told Don Quixote that the dogs kept barking at them, Don Quixote said not to worry and to continue galloping. I think his words were something like, “It’s because we’re advancing, Sancho.” This is God’s church, and it will continue to be God’s church and the apple of His eye until the end of time.

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But Cherie, do you feel that the GC is synonymous with God’s remnant church?

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When one reads the Obituary of the Present Seventh day Adventist church one can sense the sadness, the crying of the loss, the tears.
Person or persons were told through the printed page, the written Word, from human voices, and believed that The Church was raised up to bring the Light of the Glory of God to the world. Triumphalism over the world in darkness. That there was the Gospel of the Three Angels to present. That there was the church of Philadelphia to embrace, the conditions of Laodicea to shun.
The Church was to embrace the world with its message of a God in heaven who loves the world and those in it. God in the form of Jesus came to earth and brought back friendship with God. Accept and respond by being a friend of God.
But The Church has taken the road to Denominationalism instead of being a Movement. It has set up rules and regulations as to WHO and HOW a person can become a member of the Denomination. It has set up 28 and more items on a Check Off List as to who will and can be Approved by the Denomination. There is a List of WHO CANNOT be a member of the Denomination. There is a List of WHO CANNOT announce the messages of the Denomination.
The Announcement is the Obituary of the MOVEMENT. What began 150 years ago as a “Movement” has died. We saw that in San Antonio in 2015. The Obituary is a call to join in the Mourning Wake of its Death.
There can be a Resurrection. But will it rise again, like the Phoenix out of the Cremation Fires?
Perhaps THIS is the hope of those planning on attending and participating in Words of Remembrance, in honoring THE MOVEMENT that was, that could have been, but has now breathed its last time, has closed it eyes, no longer sees, no longer hears, no longer speaks, no longer carries the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God in Triumph. Arms that no longer embrace the world in love.
Yes, the Denomination is alive and well.
No, the Movement is cold and still.
Let us gather together and mourn.

SDAism missed the opportunity of the 3rd Great Awakening of the 1920’s. Pentecostalism took our place and welcomed everyone as Friends of God. Pentecostalism is the largest Christian movement in the world.
We are in the midst of the 4th Great Awakening according to Church Sociologists. Will SDAism miss this one also?
There is a LOT to Mourn about!

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The Church of God are those who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. It has nothing to do with an organisation which, following the lead of catholicism, subjects the laity to monarchical domination and oppression. It is exactly for this reason that John received the Revelation, that we be most wary of building the image of the beast. Perhaps the petulant observation thereof has made it inevitable.

Thus this ‘event’ seems, while farcical, mis-directed as it confirms the existence of the GC, the kings of earth.

Trust BEing!

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There may be social movements that have succeeded though they were led by nameless individuals who remained anonymous, but I’m not sure.

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The General Conference is the victim of a coup, but not an entirely innocent victim. E.g., how many have been robbed of their jobs and/or retirement because they unwittingly studied into a peculiar belief enough to discover fatal flaws? The flip-side of Ellen White’s famous statement could be “Almost-truths can only afford to be almost-fair”.

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Jared,

Doing my best to make sure my comment is germane to the topic, and I remain baffled by how this article can possibly be germane to Spectrum or to building community through conversation.

At their worst, the comments sequestered over in the Lounge rarely have devolved to this article’s level of irrelevance to the goals of Spectrum and the Seventh-day Adventist church that Spectrum endorses. This article isn’t satire. This article isn’t funny. This article isn’t meaningful. This article isn’t relevant.

Please share with us all the Spectrum values and goals that the editorial team pictures the topic of this article itself helping advance.

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Under a very limited set of circumstances I understand the need to maintain anonymity. However, this not one of those situations. Unless someone’s safety or life is endangered, such as in domestic violence situations, I am usually tempted to believe individuals insisting upon anonymity are doing so for dramatic rather than legitimate purposes.
If the persons supporting this STUNT are church employees, and therefore concerned about losing their jobs, then I would conclude they lack ethics or true conviction regarding the issue at hand. If they are just trolling then this sophomoric act will do next nothing to advance their cause.

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I think there’s a need to clarify the difference between insisting upon anonymity (this group has not), and individuals not yet identifying themselves publicly (this group has also not). What this article says is that the individuals behind this effort have not published their names.

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Only my opinion, however, it seems to me their remaining anonymous without insistence is a distinction without substance. To go to the trouble of creating a website, launching social media, planning an event while remaining anonymous seems to be an intentional decision to cloak oneself in secrecy. Just my opinion.

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