Of Myths and Men

(C. Evans) #41

Kim I for one stopped giving to the Church a long time ago. My wife and I have chosen to give as the Lord inspires us. If the true mission of the Church was to spread the everlasting gospel to a broken world I could see us giving again to the SDA organization. Growing up my dad used to say that our role was to give and Gods role to determine how that money is used. I disagree with that statement for two reasons. 1. Being a good steward means knowing just how that money is used. 2. Those who profess the loudest that this is what God expects comes from those who have the most to either gain or loose from this type of philosophy. Why is that I ask? I have been convinced for many years that the SDA Church is a structured business just like IBM or Cheveron. The stock holders, ( individual members ) pay their union dues for the false sense that somehow it assures us of salvation and reduces the guilt associated by not giving.

George has explained several times that we do have the choice of keeping our giving local. For the most part I would agree that that provides a option. However, the system has a bit of a loop hole. That loop hole is that the GC controls what percentage is returned to the local church, conference, and or union. If in the great wisdom of GC leadership not enough money is being sent up the ladder then that percentage is reduced to reflect the initial giving. So there is a large barrel that is kept ever present. A large church such as LLU or LSU could function just fine if the pastors and support staff were Independant " congragationalism ". That can not be said of a very small church. This barrel gets even larger should the small local church refuse to meet the compliance committees expectations. Leverage, even if subtle, places young pastors in a most difficult position. I can see how pressure is brought to bear to support male headship and other theological differences. Going so far as to label the GC corrupt is certainly not my place but it creates a relationship far from being trustworthy. And it’s even further from the stated mission of spreading the everlasting gospel.

(Kim Green) #42

I cant disagree with all you have said…”hold on to your seats- it’s going to be a bumpy road!”.

I know ultimately that He is in control…but things may turn out less than expected for many people.

(Martin H Weber) #43

I don’t see end-of-world discussion as a scare tactic. In fact, many thoughtful observers outside our church (and Christianity in general) wonder how long this world can survive its problems, not the least of which is coercive and/or unstable leadership.

I do believe God will shine though His people (including sheep not of this fold) into this present darkness–SDAs do not have an exclusive, irrevocable franchise on truth for our time. History’s lessons instruct us to expect non-ordained stones to cry out (per Christ’s own warning), amid parochial arrogance of organizations originally called by God. Witness the Jewish nation of Christ’s day and successive Christian movements since. God is free to find a new wineskin as His final remnant depository of grace and truth.

That said, I continue to be an Adventist puritan rather than a separatist, confident there are many within our church God is building with—heroic leaders like Dan Jackson with his team, plus other American and overseas administrators. They are counseled theologically by trusted and insightful thinkers like Randy Roberts, Mike Tucker, George Knight, Bill Johnsson, and many other men and women. (Can we hear from Jan Paulsen again, and more from Gary Patterson and David Newman?)

Moreover we have amazing educators like Jiri Moskala’s Andrews Seminary faculty, and Jon Paulien’s religion team at Loma Linda. The new Pacific Union-sponsored publishing initiative will supplement non-muffled denominational outlets (North Pacific Gleaner and some other union magazines, with strong conference communicators like Oregon’s Dick Duerksen). And of course there’s Spectrum and Adventist Today.

Summarizing: I rejoice that God has many, including at world headquarters, who have not bowed the knee at the altar of compliance coercion.

(Martin H Weber) #44

No mandatory retirement age or term limits!


As I read, two thoughts arose. One was “is this just smoke and mirrors; not to be taken seriously” and will simply blow away, but the other - far more disturbing - image was of Nazi era Germany and Communistic regimes with their “secret police” and not informing people why they were being arrested with “crimes against the State” being cited.

The book “1984” by George Orwell/Eric Blair also comes to mind. I am thinking in respect with the protagonists unable to determine truth from imagination, or hallucinations.

My genuine concern is that, when our General Conference decides to have ratification of the votes taken last month from all Divisions - how will the choice be presented? I can perceive that the words used could reflect either or both a negative and a positive spin on what October’s meetings voted as a majority.

Although the vote has progressed, prayers are still required for the ratification process before these policies are formally adopted.

Delegates need educating to understand the difference between going along with global leadership and exercising their God given conscience to carefully consider ramifications.

Otherwise, it could be as everyone else in my Sabbath School class apparently thinks: that our “conscience” is fickle, cannot be trusted, so it is somehow “better” to agree with leadership/committee recommendations.

(Spectrumbot) #46

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