Responding to the General Conference’s Latest Document

In “An Invitation to Uplift Jesus: A Statement from the General Conference Executive Leadership and Division Presidents,” the One Project is used as an example of organization of whom questions should be asked regarding their stand on certain matters of church doctrine.

Asked for their response, two of the former leaders of the One Project replied. Japhet J. De Oliveira, senior pastor, Boulder SDA Church said,

“I do believe that the General Conference Executive Leadership and Division Presidents have been, once again, tragically misinformed. I will press on. I will preach in season and out of season. When it is acceptable and when it is not acceptable. I will always unabashedly lift up the name of Jesus.

“‘Indeed, I count everything loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ…’” Philippians 3:8

Paddy McCoy, pastor for young adult ministries, Kettering SDA Church, said,

“For 7 years, my life has been changed by a deeper focus on the Jesus of Scripture. During that time, with the support of brothers and sisters and leaders in the Adventist church, I have had the incredible privilege to minister to 2,000 university students a year, teaching them about a walk with Jesus and trying desperately to keep them active members of the Adventist church. We have gone on mission trips, cared for the homeless in our community, sung to the elderly, raised 100s of 1,000s of dollars for projects around the world, many with ADRA and Adventist hospitals, we have baptized young adults into Jesus and His church, and we have worshipped the God of the Bible. We have also gathered together with Adventists and non-Adventists from around the world to talk about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, with great joy and celebration in our hearts.

“For those that wonder about our ministry, I agree wholeheartedly that you should check the fruit. What fruit is there from our ministries or gatherings like the One project? Countless people I know that were on the verge of leaving the Adventist Church found hope in Jesus and our church again because of our gatherings. People nearly ready to give up on faith found Jesus again. There are more stories than I can include here, but one more. This one, on a very personal note, involves my own daughter, 9 years old at the time. Inspired by what was happening at a One project gathering, two years later gave her life to Jesus in baptism because she realized that the most important thing in her life was for “Jesus to increase, while we decrease.” (She wrote those words, quoting John the Baptist in John 3, on a postcard at the gathering and turned it in without my knowledge until I found her card in a stack of other cards with people’s dreams for their church. The only reason I knew it was hers was because in the top right corner she wrote her name and age). She embraced the words of Ellen White who once wrote that if we only had one passage in Scripture, John 3:16 is all we would need. And today, she is living a life devoted to Jesus. What more could a parent hope and pray and dream of?

“So please, if you are to judge what we do, please judge us by our fruits. “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit…The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of the evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” Luke 6:43-45. And friends, after journeying with my brothers and sisters for 7 years in the Way of Jesus, our hearts of full of Jesus. Not perfect, but full. That is all I have to say.”

William Johnsson, a frequent speaker at One Project meetings said, “Incredible— you can be a racist or spouse-beater, but you’d better be straight on the little horn!”

Bonnie Dwyer is editor of Spectrum.

Image: Ted Wilson at Spring Meeting, video still of live stream, April 11, 2018.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/8694
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How much are INDEPENDENT MINISTRIES behind these “questions”?
[Sorry for being so pessimistic.]
Somebody with a lot of influence – a Ministry, or Money got it all started.
I would begin with BOTH of these.
REMEMBER it was MONEY that decimated Southern in '82,'83,'84. Their
Religion Dept and eventually even Southern’s President.

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It’s a crazy scenario: The “discriminators of women” fighting those who decided to work on a project aiming to focus more intensely on Jesus as the ONE who really saved us.

I wish the same ONE could save us from those discriminators. But again, He is not going to do it for us; we can do it by voting those people OUT in 2020 - hoping the Church will not be already fatally divided by those “fake saints.”

Divided Church

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I believe what Bill Johnsson discounts by raising questions about our Protestant understanding of prophecy and misunderstands is the fact that “the gospel of the kingdom” is certainly a prophetic message about Christ the king. Thus the good news of the kingdom our Saviour established by his teaching and ministry will always come from within a prophetic mold.

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I think his response falls far short of what the GC leadership is looking for. Instead of affirming they are in harmony with all the Fundamental Beliefs, they point to the fruits of their labor. This is exactly what the GC leadership is fearful of. A movement that minimizes key SDA historical theology, in favor of a general spiritual experience and strong social action in community projects. Armed with a sense of closeness to God and the love of Jesus, the Little Horn & 1844 seem irrelevant.

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By the time one gets to this level of performance, 11 out of 10 psychiatrists will agree to a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

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“Incredible— you can be a racist or spouse-beater, but you’d better be straight on the little horn!”

Correction, brother. The same Bible which forbids racism and spousal abuse identifies God’s great Antichrist enemy in both history and the future. If we truly desire to uplift the Jesus of Scripture, we had best follow His admonition to live by “every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).

That includes the beasts as well as the Beatitudes, Daniel 8:14 as well as John 3:16, Revelation 13 as surely as First Corinthians 13.

What is both tragic and telling about these responses to the well-crafted, Biblically-based, Christ-focused General Conference statement is that none of the questions asked by the GC statement have been answered. None of the questions regarding the doctrinal and moral faithfulness required of supporting organizations have at all been addressed by the responses here found.

Most revealing.

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It seems to me that understanding everything about Daniel and Revelation is of
no use, unless one has a relationship with Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

Jesus said to the Chosen People – I have sheep in other folds. One can have all
theological knowledge like the Chosen People, but unless one has “met” Jesus,
it doesn’t amount to much. According to Jesus, there are a large number of persons
out there having relationships with God, or would if they would be introduced to HIM
first.
It is interesting to think about – the disciples had grown up “in the church”, going to all
weekly and yearly events. BUT, they said to Jesus, “Teach us how to pray”.
As Paul says in 1 Cor 13 – having an experiential understanding of some basic things
is much more important than having “ALL KNOWLEDGE”.

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I think it is also revealing that Ted Wilson, Mark Finley, Clinton Wahlen, and Doug Batchelor have not answered my question about the Trinity. Maybe you can use your influence and elicit responses. I actually think that Wahlen and Batchelor have abandoned belief in orthodox Seventh-day Adventist understanding of the biblical doctrine of the Trinity and embraced Eternal Functional Subordinationism, but I want to give them the benefit of the doubt and a chance to clarify their views.

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Please include also 11 psychologists… :wink:

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Remember that the GC sometimes ask questions, like in this instance, but they never answer questions.
Good luck in your attempt… :wink:

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ted feels the unrest in the institutional church. He thinks mandates and implied threats will be the glue that binds. He should have gotten his degree in history rather than nursing. (A little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down) The Sabbath is embedded in the Ten. worship is embedded in the Cross. However at 93 I need less rest and more action. I have foundThe local SDA Church neitherrest nor worship. I want and need fellowship based on assurance not fear and ego. I find it best in reading I can relate with an author with aGospelmessage.

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Orthodox Seventh-day Adventist understanding of the biblical doctrine of the Trinity falsifies and refutes the theological argument in opposition to women’s ordination. This is why hordes of evangelical Christians opposed to women’s ordination who previously shared in many respects our understanding of the doctrine have recognized the necessity to change their views and embrace the anti-Trinitarian heresy of Eternal Functional Subordinationism. And some Seventh-day Adventists have also recognized that same necessity and have followed along. Matthew Tinkham in his excellent essay published recently in the Andrews University Seminary Studies journal identifies who these Seventh-day Adventists are. You can find that essay online. The Seventh-day Adventists who have fallen into apostasy with respect to our doctrine of the Trinity include the late church historian Samuele Bacchiocchi, homilist C. Raymond Holmes, biblical scholar Edwin Reynolds, evangelists Stephen Bohr and Daniel Mesa, bloggers Kevin Paulson and David Read, and others.

I do not know of any Seventh-day Adventist in the world who understands the biblical doctrine of the Trinity, concurs with our orthodox Seventh-day Adventist understanding of the biblical doctrine of the Trinity, and is opposed to women’s ordination. So the question I pose is very difficult. If Wilson, Finley, Wahlen, and Batchelor candidly disclose that they are confused, uncertain, and still trying to sort out their thoughts and feelings on the matter, I can accept that.

I certainly hope that they do not adopt the following rationale: Because it is so important that women are eternally subordinated to men, we must for tactical reasons be willing to eternally subordinate our precious Lord and Savior. We must be wiling to commit that blasphemy, because the war with respect to women’s ordination must be won at all costs.

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I find this infuriating.The BRI did its “investigation” and came away with nothing to report. So, instead, what we get is “hints and allegations.” Bullying. I’m really, really tired of this.

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I think it is AOK for the above mentioned to have variant views on the Trinity, to openly discuss or not discuss their views as they see fit, and despite this (if they indeed hold variant views) to remain members in good standing in the SDA church. I am also happy not to attach the label “heretic” to them. I am just as happy to allow the same amount of theological wiggle room to the spokespersons and the other leaders of the One Project. It is my opinion that all of us should model tolerance and practice the Golden Rule. My mother’s exasperated admonition to my siblings and me rings in my ears: “Why can’t you kids just get along with each other!”

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I agree that we should not discipline anyone for having honest and sincere questions about what Scripture teaches regarding the Trinity. It is weird that anti-Trinitarians in the Seventh-day Adventist Church have disfellowshipped other anti-Trinitarians for anti-Trinitarianism.

Let us agree with what Mark Finley urged in the sermon he preached before the GC distributed the document, as reported by Adventist Review: Finley, a seasoned evangelist and assistant to the world church president, based his message on Matthew 16:15, where Jesus asks His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” “This is a question for every heart,” he said. “It is a question every one of us has to answer.” https://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/story6028-church-survival-is-guaranteed-because-of-gods-grace-says-mark-finley.

I hope Finley does not feel like he has been put on the spot as we await his answer.

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Is there a short questionnaire available to evaluate if people are subordinationism minded, especially when they insist the Bible says that.

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“Armed with a sense of closeness to God and the love of Jesus, the Little Horn & 1844 seem irrelevant.”

Because they are. Spot on…

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Kevin,

In case anyone has forgotten, the first line of Adventist fundamental beliefs is, “Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures.”

For a peek at general knowledge, note the second line about “28 Fundamental Beliefs” from Wikipedia: “Adventists are opposed to the formulation of creeds, so the 28 fundamental beliefs are considered descriptors, not prescriptors; that is, that they describe the official position of the church but are not criteria for membership.”

Japhet and Paddy respond to allegations, bluster, and creedal coercion by quoting the Holy Scriptures, specifically Philippians 3:8 and John 3:16.

So who is it, exactly, that is going against historic Adventism here? H’mm?

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And this would include belief in the Trinity, not the subjugation of Christ?

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