Reflections of a First-Time GC Session Delegate

The reach and significance of the 61st General Conference (GC) Session will not fully be clear for years to come, but I offer some immediate reflections on the business sessions from my experiences as a first-time delegate.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11839

A positive review!

  • by the executive vice president and chief legal officer for AdventHealth:
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Thank you so much for this veiw of a concerned witness on the GC - session

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Yes! What’s up with the sing song voices? I found it really annoying. Is that really how they talk or did they ham it up for the session? It’s seems to be the new form of “AdventSpeak” as I’ve seen it more in recent years. Maybe trying to sound thrilled about whatever boring thing they’re talking about.

Preachers often talk in strange ways while giving sermons that they don’t normally do. Overpronouncing certain syllables, etc. I’d love to see them order at a restaurant that way. Is that taught at seminary?

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Nice essay, interesting and insightful. Thank you, Jeff, for your service.

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Mr. Bromme,

A wise older gentleman stated more than once that “sometimes it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission.” IMHO, as a member of a congregation/conference/union that openly ordains women, initially no permission was requested. We just did it at our local church level over 25 years ago. For the time being, let WO continue where it is welcome and not be an issue where it is not. Let’s leave the GC out of it.

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That’s a good point. Why should there be special dispensation from the GC when a woman seeks a pastoral position. There are no physiological standards to be a pastor. “With God there is no male or female.” It says so, in the Bible. Traditional SDAs believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, you can’t get more clear and literal about this issue. Just do it - like it’s already happening in some conferences - so they get upset. “Upset” is the standard condition of conservative religion when it comes to any change that keeps up with social needs.

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Indeed, a fair, but very kind reflection on the GC session. The essay informs us in a very polite way that for the most part it has been a boring event, run by a very well oiled machinery. I concur - though somewhat less polite. It has been a waste of time and money - but most of all: a missed opportunity. A good start with referring to pentecost and the Holy Spirit unusually frequent … I only felt the air conditioning blowing.

In sum, the hierarchical restructuring of the church continued, the controls were tightened, the ever present emphasis on the “Spirit of Prophecy” made us look like a cult, pre-occupied with self and us and no one else (certainly not for serious dialogue).

As to the frequent prayer… this is a clobber argument later on: “we prayed about it, therefore it must be right.” Such an instrumentalization is unworthy of a tough process where delegates actually dealt with theological arguments … but simply were voted down by majorities. (To be sure - majority votes are foundational to democracies; at the same time … how we deal with minorities may even be more telling).

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