Norwegian Union President Victor Marley Speaks at Takoma Park SDA Church

On Sabbath, October 20, 2018, Victor Marley, president of the Norwegian Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, spoke at the Takoma Park Seventh-day Adventist Church in Maryland about Annual Council 2018 which wrapped up earlier this week.

Victor Marley’s father is a member of the Takoma Park church and Marley was invited to do an interview with John Nixon II, who serves as lead pastor. Nixon told the congregation that he had decided to change his sermon, based on the number of concerned phone calls he received about the Annual Council vote on Sunday, October 14. Because of the comments he received and the conversation he was seeing on social media, he felt it would be irresponsible not to discuss the Annual Council decision with the congregation. Nixon began that discussion by interviewing Marley about the compliance document, voted action, and where we go from here.

President Marley spoke out strongly against the compliance document during the discussion period on Sunday, saying it strikes at the very essence of authentic unity.

WATCH Victor Marley’s 2-minute Annual Council speech:

In his 20-minute Sabbath interview with Pastor Nixon, Marley expanded on his sentiments from Annual Council, saying that though of course we all agree with the necessity for policy, there are sometimes instances where policy comes into conflict with the mission of the church. “We have to realize that policy is a good servant of mission, but not a good master of mission,” said Marley.

How do we move forward now when so many feel so passionately against this document, asked Nixon. Marley replied that he’s spent hours on social media this past week answering questions and concerns in response to this issue. “There’s a real danger of people leaving the church in my territory,” he said. He continued saying he’s been trying to reassure church members that there is hope. Forty percent of the executive committee voted against the document, and that number represents millions of members.

Marley told Nixon that he’s noticed there’s a lot of passion now back in Norway about this vote. He continued saying he would have been more worried if people had simply not reacted and instead just voted with their feet. “But what I’m seeing is that people are really upset...and that gives me hope because it means that people care about their church.”

In his final thoughts, Marley concluded that no matter which side of the issue we’re on, we all have to remember that “this church is built on Jesus Christ” and that God has led the Seventh-day Adventist Church through disappointments, arguments, and crises in the past, and He will lead us through again. “Jesus is seeing us through, and I don’t think we should give up on Him or His church.”

WATCH Pastor John Nixon II interview President Victor Marley (interview begins at approximately 1:02:20)

Alisa Williams is managing editor of SpectrumMagazine.org

Photos by James Partlow IV. Used with permission.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9125

Thanks Victor for the positive, upbeat tone to your interview while at the same time acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead for the Advent movement.

My dearest wish is that many, many unions within the world field may move together to a credentialing system for our pastors that breaks from the ordination theology that so many in all parts of the world find difficult to understand and that is less than biblical.

From one Old Newboldian to another I salute you.

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(Citation): Forty percent of the executive committee voted against the document, and that number represents millions of members.
It would be very interesting if someone could make a statistical account on how many millions are behind the no-voter members of the EC, - And how many behind the YES voters… Perhaps with the help of IT specialists?

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Since it was a secret ballot an IT specialist ought to be of little help…

More telling - in my view - is the 32-30-2 vote to have the document presented on the floor…

And the “millions” don’t make an argument in and of themselves. But it may be as comforting, as the thousands have been to Elijah, when he felt utterly left alone.

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You’re completely right. Millions don’t change anything. (Humour) Maybe NSA or some secret ballot hackers could deliver us more details …!

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What about a good ‘motivator of mission’ ?

A motivated young SDA couple who were formerly Bible Workers in our area once told me of an instance where they knocked on a door to find a Catholic who told them, “You people keep the right day. Don’t give it up! There are a group of us Catholics who meet secretly to study the Bible because we are disturbed by what is going on in our own religion, like ‘Black Masses’ . . . .”

Well, that young couple also told me that as Bible Workers for the SDA church they were hesitant to invite such people as they found to be interested, TO an SDA church, until they had prepared/warned them about the poor condition of the membership ! VERY TRUE ! The young couple was later fired, taking the knowledge of where that secret group is located, with them, and church attendance dropped to about 4, leaving the bullies to themselves.

If we can not safely invite motivated non-SDA people to an SDA church that is in constant internal battle over food, chocolate, sex . . . then SDAs have not only lost with ‘policy’, but have also lost their direction of ‘mission’, and have failed to motivate their own motivated members in any clear direction other than ‘out the door’.

. . . Somewhere in one of the wealthiest most Catholic areas of Michigan – still secretly, freely and unitedly – meets a group of motivated, Bible-studying, Seventh-day-Sabbath-believing Catholics . . . who could not be invited to the SDA church of those SDA Bible Workers . . .
for their own good !

I’ll vote with my feet, thank you, before I waste and lose the motivations of those
‘better angels of our nature’ of which even Abe Lincoln once spoke.

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Why in the world was it ever brought to the floor? Only one answer: The President insisted despite no unity at the highest level.

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Sounds like they are doing just fine. Why would they need to attend the SDA church? (Rhetorical question alert! :grinning:)

If they believe they should gather on Saturday, they are certainly free to do so, according to the New Covenant.

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About 9 years ago here in Central Ga I became aware that there are LOTS of Sabbath
Keepers, but they are laborers and have to move with the jobs.
At that time there was a Sabbath Church in Dublin, Ga that I attended a number of times
when they had afternoon services, but changed to mornings.
I gave them a set of Uncle Arthur’s Bible Stories for their kids to read. [One little girld
squeeled – Just like in the dentist office! and was very excited.
I tried to get the Dublin SDA church to connect with them, but the only thing the Pastor
did was have a member [who turned out to be a fellow I had known for quite a few
years in TN, and knew his children] come over, and he brought some Steps to Christ.
The pastor had grown up in Pikeville, TN so knew a lot of SDAs who I knew for years.
Said he would pass them out.
Many of those Sabbath Keepers in his church were wonderful black members.
I was sorry the SDAs were not more interested in the group.

CFowler –
I answered your List. Steve

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The President has an agenda that is kind of broad. Apparently he wants to make history therefore he is messing up with several fronts. And successfully, with the full support of the Church in some regions abroad.

Ted Wilson knows what he is doing. He lived overseas for many years, and learned those people’s thinking process. Now he can easily exploit it for his personal benefit because those people feel that he speaks their “language.” This combined with their ultra conservative beliefs creates a perfect scenario for him to take advantage of the situation and manipulate the whole Church worldwide because he will always count on the votes from Africa, South America, and a few other regions.

I am curious how the Scandinavians are going to deal with this situation. Will they budge to the pressure from those other places?

And the NAD???

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it’s pretty hard to start a church on your own…i suspect NAD will do what it must to stay in the fold, but look for it to vote to reduce funding to the GC this time…

however, i do expect NAD to close ranks and stand up for PUC and CUC, especially if Sandie Roberts and other are threatened with loss of employment…i think all of this will be settled in various secular courts if the compliance review committees really materialize…

the good thing is that TW doesn’t actually have an army…what can he really do if people refuse to leave…

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Why? Plus, maybe the group doesn’t want to be SDA’s? Maybe they are perfectly happy as they are. :wink:

'Cause next thing you know, they will be telling them what to eat/not to eat, what to do, and not do, regarding so many things that are considered normal activities and lifestyle choices for people. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Re. the last sentence of #12
Agreed Jeremy. Furthermore, “the emperor has no clothes.”

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Let’s just give up and only allow women to do what is found in the church manual. Also men should lead out in all the children’s SS so that boys understand their role.

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Makes me proud of the courage of Takoma Park’s pastor, right there under the nose of the GC. I grew up in TP, though attending the San Church and then Sligo. It certainly demands courage to hew to one’s own conscience in such an environment. But courage breeds strong backbones and love of God breeds regard for all His children.

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The writer of Hebrews 8 in the ‘New Testament’ times quoted Jeremiah 31 from ‘Old Testament’ times. If you click on the BLB link and scroll down to the end of Hebrews 8:12 in the NKJV version, and click again on the ‘[fn]’ found there, you will see the verses quoted from old ‘Jeremiah’ regarding the ‘New Covenant’:

Those SDA leaders who cast their votes for ‘compliance’ and ‘committees’ to enforce human ‘policy’-laws do not believe in the ‘New Covenant’ either, or they would not try to replace Christ as the ‘Head’, or ‘Husband’ of His own family by ‘hedging’ about His own promises (‘covenant’, ‘laws’) with their own, and imposing their own adulterous headship over His family in order to ‘keep’, even, the ‘New Covenant’ for Christ, just like Cain.

So, yes, according to the ‘New Covenant’, those who believe they should gather together, or ‘keep’, or ‘observe’ or ‘remember’ . . . – not ‘Saturn’s Day’, not ‘Moloch’s Day’ . . . – but the every seventh day Sabbath memorials of both Creation (‘Behold, it was very good.’) and the Re-Creation of hearts (‘It is Finished’), are free to do so, or not.

But, on the other hand, God, ‘in Christ’, is NOT FREE to change the terms within His ‘New Covenant’ promises, without becoming an adulterous liar. These terms include the appointment times He has promised to especially-bless with His own creative-healing presence. These times are just as stated in His 10 Promises, which too many of His ‘Old Testament’-era family also refused to let Him keep. Instead, they insisted on keeping them, or not, themselves, their own way – as ‘Saturday-keepers’ taking delighted ‘rest’ in the accomplishment of their own works, not as ‘Sabbath-keepers’ taking delighted rest with God in the accomplishment of His own works. This they chose to unfaithfully do, even though He, on His part always ‘was a Husband to them’, even until the time of the ‘law hedging’, policy-dependent Pharisees who hated Him for claiming to be their ‘Head’, their ‘Husband’, too. ( Yet, the sceptre was even then departing from ‘David’ and ‘Judah’ to the mysterious line of ‘Melchizedek’.)

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (The writer, Saul/Paul, the former Pharisee, well-knew about the cheating, empty, deceitful ‘tradition of men’, ‘hedging’, ‘policy-making’, etc.)

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. . .” ( Even of policy-making Pharisees.)

(Then true circumcision of the heart, death to self and resurrection in and with Christ, and the humiliation of all merely human and broken hedging-promises, and traditions and policies by crucifixion, and the disarming and humiliation of adulterous hedgers is discussed . . . Then:)

“. . . So let no one (no one ‘other than Christ’, your true ‘Husband’, ‘Baal’, ‘Master’ . . ., is implied by the combined context of both Paul’s and Jeremiah’s explanations) judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.” ~ Paul, in Laodiceans 2

(‘Christ’ is BOTH ‘Head’ AND ‘Substance’, or real ‘anti-type’ of the symbolic ‘types’ listed. Would the actual presence of Christ as ‘New Moon’ ‘Rosh=Head of the Moonth’, and the ‘Substance’ filling the Solar-measured Sabbath times, be less, or more, essential than the often-misunderstood, and therefore relatively ‘empty’ ‘shadows’ ? See Psalm 89:34-37 regarding a ‘sun’-‘moon’ ‘covenant’ to King ‘Beloved’ David, also a shadowy ‘type’ of the Christ. How much more significant, then, are fulfilled ‘shadows’ ? But there is no ‘new Moon’ mentioned in the covenant of 10 promised from Mt. Sinai by the ‘Head’ ‘Christ-David’ to His subjects, just the original every ‘seventh-day’ memorial-visits.)

The individual Christian – ‘in Christ’—has One Husband, One ‘Head’, Who has made a ‘New marriage promise’ to their heart. . . and He alone can wash my dirty feet soiled from the ‘paths of filthy-rag self-righteousness’ where my unfaithful heart has led me astray. Anyone else claiming ‘headship’ of me – including me – is an adulterous Pharisee, hedging about Christ’s big promises they can’t keep with their own little ones which they think they/we/I can, and wishing to ‘Crucify Him !’ because He can change my heart without changing one little ‘jot or tittle’ of the terms of His own ‘New Covenant’ promises to me.

At my age, if there was a doctor who could promise to replace all of the rotting painful parts of me with new ones – painlessly,and for free – I think I’d make sure to be ‘free’ to keep any and all appointments with them and cancel all other potential engagements.

The every 7th-day Sabbaths are the times when the Father and His Son work hardest to restore fallen humanity to Their original purpose in creating us and the Earth: That we should happily reflect Their own self-forgetful image, thereby ‘glorifying’ They, Who refuse to glorify Themselves. This is what Jesus meant when He defended His own self-forgetful work in healing on the Sabbaths, as at Bethesda, where the crippled man was told to raise up his bed and walk home (and did), saying to the murderously-indignant, self-righteous Jews, whose own Sabbath policies He had rejected,“My Father even now works to raise up, and so I work.” (And, He might have added, “Why don’t you ?”) So, at least until all is restored to meet Their original purpose, ‘The Doctors Are In’ every 7th day Sabbath, especially. Just as King Jesus, the ‘Head’, demonstrated.

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Since the vote, I’ve had no calls from members and zero conversations about the AC vote in my district. But then we are in the final week of evangelistic meetings, and most conversations I’m having are with people who have questions about accepting Christ, inquiries about Sabbath keeping, and church membership. I’m worried more about the three or four people who are deciding to join the church than church leaders who are obsessed with policy compliance. The only church worthy of the label remnant and true is the local Adventist church that faithful to mission. All other levels of church governance are, at best, merely facilitators of the local/community mission. In the case of the recent AC, they more resemble a living history exhibit that has lost touch with reality.

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Hi Dennis,

It certainly sounds as if you believe that Christians are required to keep the Saturday/Sabbath.

Have you studied the relationship of Sabbath to the New Moon? That the New Moon was the beginning of the day count for the month, and the Sabbath (7th day) was reckoned from that point? They weren’t using the Gregorian calendar. So…Saturday on our calendar isn’t the correct Sabbath day anyway.

Do you believe that the Gospel would have spread like wildfire if the new Gentile converts in so many cultures would have had the Sabbath issue to contend with? And if so, why is there not one mention of keeping the Sabbath in the New Testament writings, written to the Gentiles? Also, no mention of what to do/not do on Sabbath.

Over and over again in the OT, it is stated that the Sabbath is the sign of the Covenant God made with Israel. The Sabbath was only for Israel.

You may (and probably do) disagree with these points. I’ve studied out the issue of Sabbath, and I don’t think/believe that keeping the Sabbath is for New Covenant believers.

Also, I don’t believe at all that the Mark of the Beast is about Sunday vs Saturday. That isn’t biblical at all.

Bottom line question…if I don’t keep Saturday/Sabbath, do I lose my salvation?

Thanks for your reply…:slightly_smiling_face:

From the first of Genesis, I find that God “RESTED” (Sabbath) on the seventh day. No where in scripture that says we are to “worship” on the seventh day. The only way our denomination got started was because the “Sunday” churches would not let the ‘adventist’ - those who taught the soon coming of the Lord- be accepted in their churches. “Worship” any day you please, but remember the “rest” day to set apart from the other 6. The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Enjoy your “rest” day.