either ultra conservatives individuals (is this church or GC policy) or debates of the mans philosophy of world like women’s ordination
we have a church vote in session
either ultra conservatives individuals (is this church or GC policy) or debates of the mans philosophy of world like women’s ordination
this sounds like quite an organized, well-grounded campaign, and by individuals who have votes in NCC constituency meetings, or influence to sway constituency votes, or access to deep pockets, or all of the above…i suspect there also must have been an additional, credible threat to involve a higher level of church governance…and given other LGBT issues elsewhere in PUC, and NAD’s awkward statement on the chico baptism (https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2017/02/13/nad-issues-statement-chico-adventist-church-baptism), a reasonable inference is that that additional threat, if it occurred, deliberately bypassed ricardo graham and dan jackson, and was perhaps centered on TW, especially given the atmosphere surrounding the now postponed, but pending, intent to discipline PUC over WO…
i think this means this group has considerable backing and good reason to be so brazenly confident, and that it possibly has ties to amazing facts, secrets unsealed, CAP, prophesyagain.org, or some other influential conservative group, or combination of influential conservative groups - in fact the henriqueses have called for firings in the hollywood transgender case, which is a similar MO to the group’s ultimatum to NCC (https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2016/01/17/seventh-day-adventist-church-and-transgender-people)…of course i don’t think we can overlook the possibility that this group may have been commissioned by TW himself, in a perhaps new, more covert bid to achieve compliance, at least with the fundamentals…the threat to not re-elect officers if the group’s demands aren’t met sounds a bit like a mini nuclear option…it also has the same focus on punishing leadership that the returned phase 2 document from AC2017 had…
all of this suggests that the targeted coordination of this effort may have been triggered by the realization that WO is a lost cause, and that the aim now - and on a custer’s last stand level - is to prevent LGBT from gaining a similar wind in its sail…i think the tactics of this group imply a belief that raw politics is the way to go…and because it appears to be working, we’ll no doubt see more of it in the future…
The underlying message here is clear. No gay person is safe in the SDA church. Unless you either stay in the closet, like I did for 50 years, and suffer all the emotional consequences of living a lie, or if you come out, and you publicly embrace a belief that being gay is an abomination and you swear an oath on a stack of Bibles to a life of celibacy , you will always be suspect if you try to be your true self even if you don’t have a same sex partner.
The SDA church as an institution is hopeless to try and convince otherwise. This was clearly demonstrated by Wayne Blakeley, the church’s poster child claiming for “redemption” from homosexuality, being chosen by Ted Wilson to give the closing sermon at autumn council. For a more progressive leader like Jim Pederson to send out this letter is the last straw. I am appalled that he would cower to the threats of reactionaries in the NCC. He stood up to them in 2015 by inviting John Henderson to be a speaker at Redwood campmeeting when these same witch hunters wanted Henderson fired as chaplin of PUC for his sermon on homosexuality he preached during the week of prayer.
It will basically force affirming churches, few that there are, to tow the line or suffer the consequences. Pastors who may be affirming will most likely keep quiet in a CYA (cover your ass) mode for job security. Enough is enough. The frozen “chosen” can keep their theological “purity”. Like the Pharisees of old they sacrifice the wounded on the altar of church policy. Jesus said, “AS you have done it unto the least of these you have done it unto me”. You can’t get much less than the least of these and be gay in the SDA church.
Between 1982 and 1984 there was a “rich man” living around Southern University. The professors in the School of Religion were teaching “Bible”. He thought they should be teaching Ellen White. He used his money as a weapon to get all but Blanco fired. It decimated the School of Religion, many fine men lost their jobs. The aftermath of this was that even the President, who was a fine man, also lost his job.
FEAR of the RICH is a HUGE PROBLEM in the SDA church. The RICH see themselves as POWERFUL Movers and Shakers in the SDA church.
There was a LOT OF FEAR on the part of this President about his job security, and his friends.
FEAR OF MEN is a dishonor to God.
RULES before MERCY – in this case the Rite of Baptism before God, the acceptance into the Kin’dom Family of God – is a dishonor to God by this President.
Intimidation of Men of God, called by the Holy Spirit,by de-frocking, recinding their Ordination is an affront to God, Christ who died for these 2 who were baptized, and the Holy Spirit who prompted them to want to become part of God’s Family.
ANOTHER THING – What is so BAD about a retired pastor baptizing someone???
There is a lot of EVIL working in the offices of this President. He and his staff have a LOT to confess and do penance for in this issue.
Perhaps he DOES need to lose his job. His letter is certainly not representative of the Christ of the Gospels, OR the Christ in the Letters of Paul.
He initially should have told that other Church Congregation to Shut their Traps!! What OTHER congregations do is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS.
Does every one recall when the Disciples complained that some person, not in their group was Baptizing in the name of Christ??? He told them, “It is none of your concern, none of your business [he was being polite in his response to his disciples].”
Both Jesus and Paul argued against EVILS of These THREE things –
WE ARE SEEING ALL 3 OF THESE ISSUES IN THIS LETTER!!!
NOTE— It was THE MEMBERS OF THE CHICO SDA church who LOVED THESE two persons. WHO has the RIGHT to tell them – YOU Cannot LOVE these two persons [children of God] any more.
All THIS is beyond my ability to understand — the neighboring church, the President of the Conference. The President of the Conference is SUPPOSED TO BE the Representative of God, his actions are more in line with the Accuser Of The Brethren.
11/8 edit –
Several years ago I met 2 women from one of the Virginias. They were older lesbians who met each other in mid-life. Lived rural on a small piece of property. One SDA, the other not. The one NOT SDA decided she wanted to become SDA. They were both attending a small SDA church in that rural part of the state. But the pastor would not allow the baptism or the membership.
SDA Kinship helped that to become a reality for both. I saw them both baptized in the Atlantic Ocean, by an SDA pastor from another Conference. They became MEMBERS of THAT SDA church. NOW they are true Seventh day Adventists, both women are joined in joy in this world, and joined in JOY in Christ, the Father, the Holy Spirit. YES!!! WE who attended that service and that week-end had a joyous celebration with these women that week-end. Wish we could have heard the Trinity singing with the angels.
IT IS SAD, AND MAKES ONE ANGRY, THAT ONE HAS TO break the rules of the church IN ORDER TO CARRY OUT THE COMMANDS OF GOD!!!
I have just begun reading your articles more. I would like to know if you your publication is a church sanctioned publication? Because it does seem that you are all about being on the other side not supporting the church. At least that is the impression I have gotten from reading the last two articles. I’m not sure if you are voicing support for the pastors and members who supported the baptism of the person who was baptized. That is what I am getting from the article. Along with that you seem to be saying that the Conference should not interfere with the baptism. But I’m more concerned with the lack of coverage for those who informed you about the members who were trying to get the wrong righted for the baptism of this member in question, and seeking to make sure this trampling of biblical truth is not taken seriously by other members and pastors. I will say that the gossiping members appear to be in favor of this baptism. Which means they don’t seem to realize the importance it is for members ti not misrepresent the truth of the Bible. Although there are sins that aren’t public and may not be made known by the person getting baptized, there are sins that are public that, when others see that this person has become a participating, honorary member of a church, then that casts a favorable or unfavorable opinion on that church. And since we are desiring to not let God’s standard to be let down in any way. The church, and its officiating pastor along with the scapegoat pastor, should never have allowed the baptism until they were sure that the lifestyle of the person, had been dealt with. We have done similar actions with possible members who wanted to be baptized but they were living with someone who they were not legally married to. They were both given studies and most of the time they were married and then baptized. And I think this is the impression that you should be leaving with your readers, and not trying to villianize the conference trying to stave off satan using this to use this to once again cause error to be used as truth in what is supposed to be God’s church. Loving them into the church does not mean lowering the standards to be able to do it. We need to let everyone know that God loves us out of sin. And sets us free from sin. He does not coddle us while we make up our minds.
Unless I read it incorrectly, the elders voted to let the person be baptized and they would take responsibility ; a non-pastor baptized him or her; and the pastor is threatened with firing? Since when do pastors (unlike they are the GC or some other presidents) control their members? Why should he even be threatened, let alone fired? Incredible.
The pastor is certainly accountable. He could have taken a stand in opposition to the elders. Nothing compels him to blindly follow them.
It is certainly fair play to inform elected officials that you may not support them in the next election due to how they are performing in office. Why have elections if our vote is not supposed to count? Why have representation if unable to hold accountable those representing by the represented? Elections and representative government are nothing more than facades and charades if the vote is not actually available to the constituents.
Furthermore, if the conference officials desire to support the issue that is concerning to their constituents and not listen to those whom they represent, then it is only fair play that they can reap the consequences of such a decision. If they feel strongly about it, then they should feel fine with their stand. If, however, they are reminded that such a disposition imperils their re-election, and they take corrective action to realign the situation, then the representative process can be seen as working properly. Such words as “blackmail” to describe this rather common practice in democracies and representative governments is very over the top and reveals how deeply the bias here goes.
It is sanctioned in the same way that AToday, Advindicate, Fulcrum7 and others are sanctioned. They are not. That doesn’t stop them from being able to report on what is happening within the church. They attend church meetings such as GC Sessions, Annual Councils, NAD meetings and the like, and are given seats in the media boxes, just like church owned publishers of news.
And where would we be without the independent press. While the official press toe the official line, they have historically shown themselves as reluctant to share bad news that reports poorly on the organisation. Nowadays, they are more likely to report it, as they know it will get out, and they want to get the official spin put on it.
The name Spectrum pretty much sums it up. Freedom to get your thoughts out there and discussed. Honing one’s thoughts through debate (somewhat limited, unless you are in the lounge). Being challenged to think at another level, or seeing another person’s point of view.
It was an Elder who did the Bible study and baptism. The members who left the church were behind the complaint. I think the event could have been handled better as it blind sided us. A ex-member came to my place of employment and asked me to sign a petition. I refused, even though I don’t agree with what happened, I didn’t feel that was the proper way to handle the dispute. I did not see anyone miss treating her and she was welcome to attend any Bible study or event of her choosing. As with all institutions there are rules and regulations to become a member. You don’t have to be a member of a church to attend.
Seems SDA Conf. leadership has quite the opposite viewpoint. There is a line at the foot of the cross and there are sub-sections designated by sin. I’m envisioning the biblical line “and the first shall be last.” Based on that passage, I have this picture in my mind of the complaining members who objected to baptism and membership of LGBT individuals being invited to membership; they might cop to a minor sin or two here and there (spoke unkindly to a sales clerk, shaved a little off their Fed taxes, maybe even committed a Jimmy Carter (private lust). Given these minor sins in the light of all the major sins, they are going to appear at the cross, expecting to be first in line. And then they find that their greatest sin, for which they will be shunted to the rear of the line will place them behind the banners that read: hypocrisy, selfish possession of God’s love, judgmentalism, superiority, and others. And there at the beginning of the line, will be those whom they have disdained, abused, and marginalized regardless of the challenges life has placed in their paths. I know this is a crazy sort of mental picture and I’m so glad that we all come to the cross as equally blemished sinners and our God is a loving God who makes no such differentiations in who comes for salvation, forgiveness or redemption. “Lord, give me patience, give me forgiveness, heal my wounded soul.”
I dont like snitching. The SDA church is full of it and it ruins peoples lives. I dont care who it is done to…it should not happen…I hope they approached the pastor themselves first.
But this all could have been avoided however if the pastor did not consult the elders in the first place…why did he need to…it was cut and dry?
The church does not condone same sex marriage for members…end of story. The pastor would have known this quite clearly from his training. To draw down a wage from tithe of the Adventist church is to declare you are on board with its beliefs.
Sadly there are many in the employment of our church who dishonestly take a pay-cheque while secretly holding to apostate views…a very dishonest and low position to hold…
I hear sin after sin after sin in attitude and behaviour taking place in the mean spirited actions of the antagonists. Nothing like the spirit of Jesus in any of it. I hear nothing about care of the individuals in this case.
The actions of too many in the church when compared to the heart and way of Jesus is that “they have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.”
I am seeing so little of the spirit of Jesus in the ascendant groups and leaders in adventism who seem determined to not make it a safe place and to rule with a heavy hand and by rule based religion. It sure doesn’t resonate with the Jesus I know and sounds far more like the pharisaical dominant religious leaders of the day.
Why would anyone even want to be an adventist or associated with adventists if this is their way?
" But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?" Hebrews 1:13-14 KJV
I wonder what would happen if God’s loyal angels refused to ‘minister’ to anyone who entertains Satan’s fallen angels ?
Say, for instance to a ‘good’, heterosexual, SDA who gluttonously takes one helping too many at the Sabbath potluck and is deserving of ‘stoning’ according to the Bible they just studied in Sabbath School lesson and sermon. . . .
We are seeing what happens when some in the SDA religion think that they are ‘above’ the need to be ministered to, that because they minister to others – even washing the spotless feet of SDA members of the same sex (only) – they are somehow equal partners with God. But are they equally as humiliated or crucified in heart as God is, by proud, human self-sufficiency ?
Jesus is God. Jesus washed the feet of Peter, who protested, until Jesus explained that unless Peter allowed ‘God’ – the King of the universe – to serve him, Peter would have no part in God’s church. Peter-of-the-filthy-heart said ‘OK, wash my body.’ Peter denied Jesus, and afterward Jesus washed Peter’s heart.
God also washed the feet of Judas. God served Judas-of-the-filthy-heart, knowing that Judas wanted to murder such a God. But Judas went out and killed himself rather than have his proud heart washed by such a ‘ministering Spirit’.
We SDAs sit in uncomfortable silence as we choke down less than a swallow of Welch’s grape juice, after forcing down less than a bite of dry cracker, after washing each other’s clean feet . . . and think that God will smile upon our own humility.
But, was it our own flesh that was represented by that cracker ?
Was it our own blood that was represented by that drop of Welch’s ?
No, those represented God’s own humiliating sacrifice.
So why do we think that ‘footwashing’ is the ordinance of OUR OWN humiliation ?
It can only be the pride of Cain, which says, ‘Look, God, at what I’ve grown in the garden of my heart by the sweat of my own brow . . . and how dare lazy Abel not follow my hard-working example ? !’
Some ‘Abel’ people come to God through Adventism to be served,
to be ministered to.
Other ‘Cains’ come to be cleansing heroes with a ‘mission’,
to create God and other SDAs in their own image.
Peter and Judas were both leading church members,
but only Peter learned to feed God’s ‘lambs’.
Judas disfellowshipped himself
because he wanted no such ministering ‘Lamb of God’.
The sinning ‘lambs’ of the world do not belong to the SDA church, they belong to the ‘Lamb of God, that takes away the sins from the sinning lambs of this world’.
We SDAs are simply asked to take them in and feed them, not eat them.
( For instance:
If, when a heterosexual SDA errs, we favor the explanation,
‘Well, the church is a hospital for sinners . . . .’,
then how in the full view of all those ‘ministering spirits’ sent from Heaven can we deny such heart ‘healthcare’ to homosexuals ? ! ?
Does our God, Who ‘is not a respecter of persons’, of sinners, instead respect some sins over others ?
If so, then Adam and Eve – who merely ‘ate’ fruit, like good SDAs do – should be restored to Eden, and murdering, ‘flesh-eating’, Moses and Elijah should be kicked out of Heaven, pronto ! )
If SDA church policy does not permit such God-Lamb-like-ness,
then SDA church policy will go out and hang itself.
Remember, its not even our fight !
Jesus has already exposed Satan as a self-righteous, suicidal murderer, 2,000 years ago, and won the battle for the hearts of ‘all’ who will be drawn to such a ‘Lamb’.
It would be helpful if we knew with certainty how the God of Love and “righteousness” or “justice” would counsel us on these incredibly complex human dilemmas. We have members who, after a lifetime of suffering and internal conflict about their gender, for example, finally decide to undergo surgery to find relief. While physicians no longer decide the gender of babies whose gender is ambivalent, we used to and many mistakes were made. Are we to tell such members that they are not welcome at the “welcome table” of Jesus Christ? What does one say to a brother, sister, son or daughter who, after fighting for years with a sexual orientation condemned by their church? You are not welcome? Anyone who thinks or argues or teaches that “conversion therapy” is always an option (the position many SDA’s would support), has never seriously engaged with the experience of homosexuals, their life stories, their agonizing prayers for help, all to no avail. I recall at the Seminary in 1962 Dr. Edward Heppenstall confessing to the class that in all his years as a college religion teacher, neither he nor anyone else successfully helped a gay student “change” his/her orientation. This grieved and puzzled him greatly. If it is just a “sin,” a “moral choice,” then why does it not yield to the grace of God as other issues do? If it is not a choice, then what are the moral implications of the “condition” as so many describe it?
The answer is rationally clear, but unacceptable if we insist the Bible unequivocally calls even people who do not choose to be gay "sinful."
A fair amount of research has been done into the attitudes, beliefs and practices of the Greco-Roman world regarding pedophilia, homosexual relationships and so on. It is complex, not simple. Also complex is whether or not the ancient world had the facility to distinguish between being “born” gay and “choosing” to be gay.
As one SDA pastor said to me many years ago: “God is the only one who can judge, not me.”
I Tim 3, : 2 - 5 is - on the special topic - interpretet by some interpreters that the bishop be a man of absolute probity, monogamous - - and obviously this was not applied to every convert… When we look in Mission history, some missionaries forced the newly converts somewhere on the Gold Coast to live monogamous - so they threw out their second, third and fourth wife, destabilizing also the economy of their househild, and keeping the strongest, youngest, most attractive or most useful - the others kickig out into prostitution…
I can confess and demand : I am clearly heterosexual - it`s fun. One wife, no affairs , two sons, my first clearly heterosexual dreams already before schoolage, faithful to my wife, but - - fascinated about young Ms. X cute cleavage, especially when she comes too late to Sabbatschool and is seeking a place to sit down. So nothing to fear coming into this or that SDA church abroad. (In the uS I hope no sister comes into church with a cleavage, US guys seem rather be poor in resisting this temptation !) (Could be another main theme !, The next one !!)
Let me give you a solution : In a country tha sixty years ago constructed the MMPI, a quetsionaire test about personality, and now available also for computerized analysis : So construct a similiar test with items finding out your hidden temptations and orientations and have the questionaires distributed - well - once a month. Of course : Red light for gays, transsexuals, nonsexuals, gender insecurities - - -
I could help with constructing the items.
And do not wonder, when the screen is blinking red =NO ACCESS TO THIS HOLY CHURCH ! - for quite a percentage of church members !
When the Ethiopian eunuch asked, “What prevents me from being baptized?”, Phillip didn’t answer, “Scram, you will never be the husband of one wife.”
First: Thank you for the “backstory.” Human action takes place in the human world of history, society, and politicsIs. Physicians understand the value of a medical history, but politicians often do not, and often, we take only a prima facie assertion or assessment of a situation without doing our homework and looking for the story/ies. The influence some church member s have over others is sometimes appalling—the solution, however, is not a more powerful and centralized government in the name of “unity.”
This is the sort of nonsense pubescents pull—eventually, though, most of them grow up and out of it and learn to be leaders.
Very interesting times we are living in- a church. Obviously, the pastor made a lot of mistakes. He needed to communicate with the conference Even though membership is a matter of the local church we as pastors are the ones who choose to baptize , I am sure we don’t have all the information, as a Pastor if I am going to do a baptism in another conference , I ask the local conference permission, they can say no . So it seems strange to me that the day of the Baptism the local pastor wasn’t there, he ( the pastor )should have never allowed this baptism to take place. The pastor has failed in his roles as administrator as shepherd teaching the church members about baptism ( they threw out the window the part on " repent and be baptized "he has failed about explaining the meaning of baptism. Some Conferences need to do a better job of vetting pastors before Hiring, they would do well and ask the good questions about what they believe. The problem is that with the false idea that " we need to be more open " etc churches control who they want as Pastor, and conferences officials sometimes just try to find “ good fit “ for churches and give them pastors who are a good match and they are not going to challenge the church members on what they already agree with them. what we need is leaders who will call sin by its right name , we need our churches were sinners are welcomed and loved but also who are inviting them to follow Jesus .
That’s pretty much it. The Bible doesn’t really have a place on the list.
What church or group complained?