In 1966-1968 the conf. president and I were academy classmates. I know he knows that LBGT people are LBGT because of birth, harmones, etc, and not choices or are sinners. We had a classmate who during elementary school would spend recess giving the girls in our class new hairdo’s, instead of playing sports with the other guys. Other classmates became LBGT later on in life, no one was surprised. God loves everyone, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. The president knows this , but is involved in a corrupt church, which is why I am no longer a member. Everyone knows the type of members who are putting pressure on the church to expel the LBGT new member, disciple the pastor… Reminds me of the people following Jesus around and complained about his actions.
There is nothing biblically wrong with two people of the same sex loving one another, or even being married. All you hateful homophobes need to look up marriage…It is a contract, is isn’t a sex act. All biblical condemnation revolves around sexual intercourse. To my knowledge, no one has stood in the doorway of the couple’s bedroom and confirmed that anything inappropriate is or has happened. Two men or two women are perfectly within their right to love one another. Jesus loved his disciples, and as I recall, they were all men. When will the loving start and the finger pointing stop. I love my God, but I am sickened to death by my church. I will not leave it, because it would be irresponsible for me to chasten it from outside its ranks.
The issue with the Chico SDA congregation involves several issues as I see it. Included in these are:
• Biblical teachings.
• Standards for membership. E.G. Is the local congregation supposed to be a haven for people who have reached a specific level of belief and compliance in life style? Or is it a hospital for people on a journey?
• Relationships between active clergy who are not employed by the local Conference where they live and that Conference.
• Relationships between retired clergy and the Church to include both the local Conference in which they live and the denomination as a whole.
Today, SDA members are being hired to serve private organizations in pastoral care positions. These positions may not require professional standards and the denomination may not have any authority over the people who fill those positions as long as they do not use SDA trademarks in an illegal manner. In my opinion, up to this point in time the Church has not come up with an appropriate manner in which to relate to these people. The reality is that they operate quite independently.
SDA clergy are also hired by governmental agencies such as military, prison and Veterans’ Administration. Typically these cannot be either hired or retained absent the permission of the denomination and Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries (ACM) has the authority either prevent such employment or to remove a person from employment. I spent about 40 years in such a relationship as a military chaplain and a chaplain for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
In this relationship, I reported directly to ACM as to my ministry as either a military or a VA chaplain. I was expected to comply with SDA standards as communicated to me by ACM. If a question arose about my ministry, it was ACM who investigated. dwelt with me and had the full authority to discipline me if I was out of compliance with SDA standards.
As a matter of common courtesy, any ministry that I might do, outside of my ACM area, was to be coordinated with the local Conference. IOW, If I baptized a military person, that fell under the area of ACM authority. But, I was only to baptize some other local person with coordination and permission of the local Conference. It was made very clear to me that my role in ACM did not give me independent authority to operate outside denominational standards and outside of the local Conference in which I lived.
Speaking on a personal basis, I was always able to develop a close relationship of communication and cooperation with the local Conference.
But, in my experience I have also observed that a similar situation may not exist between the Conference and a retired SDA clergy person. On the one hand, I have sometimes witnessed an attitude on the part of the retired clergy person that they now are independent of denominational authority and have no reason to communicate and coordinate. I have personally witnessed Conferences who understood the value in developing relationships with their retired clergy. But, I have also known of those who either did not have a sense of that value or did not believe that they had ether the time or resources to effect such a relationship. In some cases, retired clergy have been out of the loop, so to speak, as to developing standards for SDA clergy.
I do not intend to comment as to the specifics of the Chico case as I am not privy to all of its aspects. But, I believe that it sends a message that our denominational leaders need to hear. That message is: Steps must be taken to assure that all present and retired SDA Clergy have an active relationship with the Conference in which they live. The Conference will devote the time and resources needed to effect this relationship. The NAD will put in place any policy that might be needed to effect this, to include holding administrators and clergy accountable for such.