Norwegian Union Responds to GC Unity Video


(Spectrumbot) #1

Editor’s Note: The Norwegian Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has responded to the recent video produced by the General Conference and released on November 20, 2018. An English translation of the Norwegian Union’s response is included below in its entirety:

The leadership of the Norwegian Union is surprised and disappointed by the five-minute video Adventist News Network published on November 20th. The video obviously has the purpose of contributing to unity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but for many of our members in Norway, this video has a totally opposite effect. We have noted the many strong reactions Adventists in Norway have had. Therefore, we want to express ourselves clearly about the matter.

The leadership of the Norwegian Union cannot accept either the message of or the methods used in the video. This is based on the following points:

1. We are disappointed with the obvious lack of understanding among those responsible at the General Conference as to how this video would be perceived among many in the church. We are astonished that our international headquarters chooses over-simplification as a method and means of communication in a very complex question.

2. The video is challenging conscientious and faithful Adventists to ignore moral and ethical principles that The New Testament expects us to follow, such as not discriminating against anyone. "My brothers and sisters! Show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory." (James 2:1). As Martin Luther said at the Diet of Worms: "Going against the conscience is cumbersome, harmful and dangerous."

3. The underlying message that we do not belong to the family, if we do not obey everything that is adopted, is a dangerous message. It is a divisive message, from which we distance ourselves. Adventists in Norway are responsible and faithful members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. That does not change, even though our conscience compels us to different solutions than the majority expects.

4. The message in the video does nothing to heal the wounds caused by recent events. Many members are hurting, having a completely different expectation of a religious community whose primary ideological voice is a woman’s voice. Non-discrimination is expected in a church where it has been a priority to present the truth about a God of love, who breaks down human divisions and calls everyone to preach the message of God to the world at the end of time (Acts 2:17; Joel 3:1-3).

5. The video is perceived by many as a provocation. It rubs salt in the wounds of people who are deeply worried about the direction the global church has chosen to follow. We appeal to our world leadership to let us, in our part of the world, concentrate on telling the liberating truth about Jesus without being distracted by such messages.

6. We are strongly critical of the use of children in a video like this one. The children being used have no ability to understand the complexity and far reaching effects of what they have participated in. We believe that this is unethical.

7. The lack of understanding of how this video is perceived by those who are disappointed by the decision reached at Annual Council in 2018 further undermines trust in the General Conference.

We know that the church is made up of people and is, therefore, not perfect. But the video has created so much uneasiness in our territory, that we consider it important to make clear that the leadership in the Norwegian Union distances itself from the sentiments expressed in the video. We are working and praying for unity, but not a superficial unity. Our efforts are focused on true unity, built on Jesus, as our cornerstone. We appreciate diversity and different perspectives, whilst at the same time being united by the call of God to proclaim the truth that He is love in our society today.

We reiterate that the Norwegian Union stands firm on the issue of equal treatment of women and men. We appreciate the work our female pastors do, and will continue to treat them in the same way as their male colleagues. We appreciate all our committed members, who show, not just in words, but also in actions that God is love and in him there is neither force or injustice. As such, we are a prophetic voice. We pray that we all must be actively engaged in giving the message of grace and peace to the people of Norway. It is the task God has called us to as heirs in His kingdom.

Victor Marley, Union President

Finn F. Eckhoff, Executive Secretary

Jóhann E. Jóhannsson, Treasurer

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This statement originally appeared on the Norwegian Union’s website.

Image: Video still

Editor's Note: This translation has been updated (November 24, 11:30 a.m. ET) to better reflect the sentiments expressed in the original Norwegian.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9233

(George Tichy) #2

The Norwegians have expressed it very well: The GC should be ashamed for its behavior and for fomenting division when publishing/distributing this kind of provocative videos. Using children makes it still worse.

The video is full of untruthful statements, thus misleading the audience. Just a few:

  1. The choice against WO was for the sake of Unity.
  2. There was a vote against WO in 2015.
  3. Using the term “world family” is a psychological trick aiming to exploit feelings and emotions, not reason. (We are NOT a family, we are a Church!)
  4. “More prayer and dialogue” at the AC2018? This is laughable.
  5. The style used is based on the brainwashing technique.

There is much more. The video is an offense to intelligent and informed people.

Shame on the former GC, now transformed into KGC!!!


(Clifford Holm) #3

The Norwegian response is right on. Well said. Thank you Norway for stating it so clearly.


(reliquum) #4

I dared not watch this purgative video, till after my Thanksgiving feats, itself a table of unity despite various races, genders, political and religious affiliations.

This horrendous video may undoubtedly be “the straw” that fractured the camels spine.
You know, that camel, contortiously squeezing itself through the aye of the needle.
Yeah, that camel doing spiritual calisthenics.

I sense two things were clarified here with shocking clarity, and it will, sadly or not, not be lost on a once blind laodicean laity.

Needs several edits, particularly in last 30 seconds.

GENERAL CONFERENCE IN OBSESSION is first faux pas.
Second, the “MY CHURCH” mantra needs say “NOT YOUR CHURCH

I fear I hearJesus muttering sadly there in the garden of discontent,
“NOT MY FAMILY”, if it claims that I must accept its ongoing discrimination against truth, dialog, conscience.

“YOU KNOW WHERE I STAND”
(pope wilson the 2nd, standing as the “VOICE OF god”, san antonio, 2015)

A predetermined outcome via a heads I win, tails you lose vote
is not a search for truth no matter how artfully you carve that tofurkey.
Round and round, like π. Never forward.

“Want some VegeWhip or Ice Scream with that grandest feast I am so humbly serving you?
Whats that, PeptoDismal…? You ingrate, show me your invitation to my spellbinding wedding/unity feast of feasts! Sir, you aren’t wearing the correct 3 piece suit to be here-you need to leave now!”


(C.B.S.) #5

The leadership of the Norwegian Union is surprised and disappointed by the five-minute video Adventist News Network published on November 20th:


(C.B.S.) #6

Unbelievable that the so-called ANN has produced such non-qualified misleading video full of falsity… and taking it in the public arena! This is part of a the “paid” damage of church reputation. Where are our so called Communicators (GC COM/ANN) going next?


(reliquum) #7

They are there, in the back vege-smoke filled room, congratulating themselves for another exemplary coup. They patted each others backs so long and hard soon they will be found in a chiropractors chair next.


(C.B.S.) #8

Unfortunately, I can really imagine it this way!
In their rooms - at Silver Spring - I have stayed several times in the past!


#9

It’s never a good sign when Adventists start taking cues from Westboro Baptist.


#10

Invitation to the feast…

And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”


(ROBIN VANDERMOLEN) #11

The disinformation propaganda spin in this video is breathtaking for its brazen boldness.

The good YIDDISH word CHUTZPAH comes to mind.

Trump has already coined a phrase for this sort of deliberate disinformation:
FAKE NEWS.

The NORWEGIAN UNION is to be congratulated for their scathing and incisive analysis and dissection of this flagrant fake news.


(Jeffrey Kent) #12

Outstanding, very courageous response.


(Kim Green) #13

Kudos to the Norwegian Union for stating the obvious…especially for involving innocent minors in propaganda (a new low).

I hope/pray that the GC is listening with a spiritual ear to what they are saying. Otherwise, all is lost.


#14

And women where not exploited by some ?
When all this emerged with certain movements and politics.
Women are used as human shields for a religious view.

Untill we unravel the real issues in love.
There are some points of view in video that also ring alarm bells .

George ?


(George Tichy) #15

Good luck on this one!!!
It never happened, won’t happen now that their crusade is about to start!!!


(Kim Green) #16

If not possible to listen in Love…then there is no chance that the World church will make it all together. Schism may be the best and only choice.


(Steve Mga) #17

Simon –
One will HAVE to say this for the Video, whoever COACHED the actors did a great job!
I wonder how many retakes it took for them all??
The EXACT tone of voice for the “one words”.
The exact facial expressions of the WOMEN.
The CRYING facial features of the WOMEN.
NONE of these Women probably EVER felt the Call of The Spirit in their lives to do
something BIG, HUGE in their lifetime.
So these WOMEN would have no idea as to what they are calling against.


(Tim Teichman) #18

Not just in Norway!

This is a better effort. Teachable moments here!


(Tim Teichman) #19

As silly as this video is, there is more truth in it than in the GC Unity video, and perhaps a clue as to how it is we came to have such a video.

Imagine the characters in it as characters in the GC and it gets even funnier! Ted is the king…


(Eric Webster) #20

I feel led of the Holy Spirit to add my voice of appreciation to the Norwegian Union for their clear statement of opposition to the video put out by the General Conference Communication department. May the Lord give strength, grace and courage to all our members in Noway.
The General Conference has loved to promote the program of “Revival and Reformation”. Is it not time for the leadership at Silver Springs to apply this program to their own hearts? It might be very fitting for the GC to call for 10 days of prayer for headquarters leadership for a radical change of heart in order to re-establish unity in our church.