Responses from Church Entities to GC’s Compliance Attempts and Timeline of Key Events

(Cfowler) #42

True, Kim. Some of the newer stuff looks very New Age. I’ve noticed that too, but had forgotten about that.

(Kim Green) #43

Since I live in the land of Alternative everything, there are plenty of advertising and signs that use similar or the same graphics. I think that the reason that the graphic artist or manager doesn’t know this…well, it is because they don’t read and look at these publications! I was laughing one day because one of the prominent SDA publications actually used a well-used graphic to publicize a health series. lol

(Johnny Carson) #44

Yeah, I’ve seen this same thing. Adventists can tend to be so insular they don’t know things like this that everyone else knows. It ends up making their well planned promotions look downright sophomorish.

(Kim Green) #45

Agree…I think that it is good to keep current with trends even in markets where you never will be.

(Sam Matthews) #46

Most WO advocates are completely silent about the LGBTQ community who also want to help finish thile work so Jesus can return. At least give us a shout out. Most support us but few speak out. I’ve yet to hear one of these “brave” church leaders who are willing to take the minor risk of supporting WO talk about LGBTQ ordination. They only do what they consider “safe.” No bravery there at all - talking in favor of WO in the first world countries is as risky as standing up from a chair. Take some real risk and bring us along!

(George Tichy) #47

Sam, let’s do a little bit of a clarification, to understand better what you are advocating for.
I assume you talking about LGBTQ candidates to ministry who are not engaged in any promiscuous relationship, correct? People who went (are going) to the seminary for proper training for the job, right?

(Sam Matthews) #48

When you are talking about ordaining men or women to the ministry are you taking about people who are promiscuous? Your question is somewhat offensive. What is a “promiscuous relationship” in your view? Are you saying that LGBTQ people who are actively living their lives are per se promiscuous and therefore not supposed to be working in the ministry? Are hetero women or men in ministry unusually promiscuous?

Obviously they would have to be a academically qualified.

(George Tichy) #49

Any reason for not answering my first question addressed to you? Let’s try again,

"I assume you talking about LGBTQ candidates to ministry who are not engaged in any promiscuous relationship, correct?"

(Sam Matthews) #50

And I asked you what you meant by “promiscuous relationship” so I could answer your question.

(Shane Anderson) #51

Thanks for sharing your comments, Sirje, I appreciate it. But for at least two reasons, I see things a bit differently.

First, while I don’t deny that there have been a handful of heavy-handed evangelists over the years in the Adventist Church, they generally don’t last long. They’re not effective at making converts that last and thus, after a while, no one wants to pay for their (the ineffective evangelist’s) services anymore. Boonstra is still around because he is not heavy-handed or legalistic, but instead Christ-centered (and thus Gospel-centered), intelligent, and thus very difficult for a skeptical world to ignore.

Second, as with you, I care deeply about the issues currently fomenting in the Adventist Church regarding church authority, WO, use of scripture, etc. That’s why I continue to publish about these topics, and occasionally post comments on forums like this one. But I don’t for a moment believe that what administration (at any level of the church) says or doesn’t say–or for that matter what this forum says or doesn’t say–somehow encapsulates all that there is of Adventism. The Advent Movement has always been and will continue to be bigger than its leaders, its critics, and you and me, because it was started by, and remains sustained by, Christ. I believe that the old saying, “Don’t judge a philosophy by its abuse” holds true for Adventism, as well, and thus life will indeed go on after the third week of October 2018.

All of which is to say that your question, “What would be the reason anyone…[would] be interested in joining this not-so-merry band?” has a simple answer: Because Christ called them to do so. Because Christ–in spite of the church’s many imperfections–is lifted up by thousands of Adventists all over the world. And people outside the church, seeing Christ through the Adventist membership and message, want Christ for themselves, and join up.

(Alisa Williams) #52

Thanks, @europeanadventist, we appreciate you bringing this Basel petition to our attention! We’ve updated the article to include this one, too. It looks to be identical to the Göttingen petition, except for the names of the church board members at the end and the dates (the Göttingen one is dated Aug. 26 and the Basel one Sept. 10). If you hear of any other churches circulating this petition (or any other statements), please let us know. You can reach me directly at

Thank you again!

(Shane Anderson) #53

George, I too wish that life were more peaceful at the various administrative levels of the Adventist Church (and I suspect that many of our administrators wish the same thing). But (warning: rhetorical question alert) did you join the Adventist Church because you were deeply drawn to the then-current occupants of 12501 Old Columbia Pike in Silver Spring, Maryland?

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the answer is “no.” :slightly_smiling_face:

So why let administrative challenges in the church today pose a real obstacle to your personal evangelistic efforts?

None of us–not you, not me, neither PUC administration nor GC administration, nobody–encapsulates all that is Adventism. And consequently, I can be a profoundly less-than-perfect worker for Christ (guilty as charged!) in a profoundly less-than-perfect church and still see people come to Christ via the Spirit working through my ministry. I say we refuse to let Jesus be reduced to the conflicts going on in portions of our church. Are those conflicts impactful and important–at times, profoundly so? Undoubtedly, yes. But Jesus is, and always will be, bigger.

So keep inviting people to church!

(Sirje) #54

You are right. Each person of faith is a testament to their beliefs and has been mandated by Christ to spread the gospel. This goes in the face of how the church is showing itself to the world. It has created a tension between its members and its authority. It’s hard to understand how anyone can trust this to be the group that is described as God’s people, identified as having “love for one another”.

(George Tichy) #55

As I understand, promiscuous relationships are those that people maintain with others just for sexual pleasure, in which there is no commitment to a steady long term relationship - there is actually no true relationship. It’s having revolving sexual partners according to the momentary sexual interests of a certain (any) moment.

This is the context of my question .

(George Tichy) #56

Oh, I can for sure do that regarding my local church since it is a safe place. It’s a church where the SDA absurdities are not brought up, one that focuses on the Gospel and other true Christian duties.

But this is not the norm, there are churches that are focusing on peripherals and making them the central pillar of the SDA Church.

Also, I don’t know how could I tell someone, “Hey, this local church is OK, but the Denomination… supports discrimination of women, is now in the middle of an ugly fight for power,” and everything else that I (we) know about Adventist history, etc.

Anyway, would it be honest to invite someone to our church encouraging them to join and not disclosing what is happening in the Denomination at large? Or hiding from them part of the Church’s history? I don’t think so.

(Sam Matthews) #57

Obviously people engaging in promiscuous behavior under that rubric would not be suitable for ordination. I’m curious as to why this suddenly gets raised in the context of LGBTQ ordination but not other types. It is part of the lore that LGBTQ people are overly promiscuous and is along the lines that women should not be ordained because of their hormonal changes during the monthly cycle.

Would you agree that there is no reason to exclude non-promiscuous (under your definition) LBGTQ people from ordination?

(George Tichy) #58

Because for the “other types,” straight males and females, that enter ministry so far this rule has been clearly defined and there is no need to emphasize it.

Regarding the LG… community, I mentioned promiscuity because there is a higher level of “problems” among those individuals. I am not saying that all of them have “problems,” only that there are more issues among them than among straight people. I doubt anyone would dispute this fact.

I wouldn’t have a problem with a LG… pastor that would qualify according to the established rules of the Church regarding professional training and moral standards as currently required from everyone else.

(George Tichy) #60

I just learned about one person who is working as a pastor. And he is actually in a relationship…
Apparently TW knows about it, and became furious when he learned the fact. This according to the pastor’s partner. But the pastor is more engaged in the administrative work at that church, with no major repercussions.

(Johnny Carson) #61

Why would I do that? People in the western countries are intelligent and connected to the realities of real life, including discrimination issues. They’re not going to suffer fools lightly, including the fools in our denomination who wish to limit the ministry and conscience of women.

I think we need to bear in mind that our church or our denomination is not the instrument of our salvation so perhaps inviting our friends and neighbors to church for the purpose of sharing “the message” with them might be the wrong approach.

My view is that we should be meeting them where they are; at the intersection of their lives and ours. We should be meeting their spiritual and/or physical needs as they express them to us, one on one. Then if they express an interest in church we have a relational basis with them that will allow us to explain some of this stuff while also explaining our own deeper understanding of the issues at hand. In this way we still maintain their respect for us and the Jesus we know. That is where the real differences are made in peoples lives. From there they have the opportunity to go to church with us, or not, but in Gods greater plan he’s already reached their hearts through us.

Let’s not make church and the denomination just another idolatry. God calls us to more and better than that.

(Cfowler) #62

Would, or have you, attended someone else’s church (non-SDA) on more than one or two occasions? I would suggest visiting other churches and joining them as well. There are some really great churches out there!