Should the Church in North America be Independent from the General Conference?

(Kim Green) #263

"Right so you don’t have miscellaneous people claiming to be a pastor for the SDA when they in fact are not."

This made me laugh this morning. :slight_smile: I imagine that there probably isn’t many (if any) where we live. However, there might be some in places where being an Adventist Pastor might confer upon them some special status. It is much more likely that you find people masquerading as Doctors then a Pastor here! lol

(Robert Lindbeck) #264

The early missionaries of all persuasions had a vested interest in having a non-relational god - it help sustain their power. For the same reason the catholic church has a non-relational god. If God is relational, then anyone can talk directly to Him - you don’t need a clergy or missionaries to intervene (or lead you in worship). A relational God also means that you don’t need to adopt Western worship practices to be Christian. A relational God can work with you where you are.

Most of the “classical” practices of christianity are designed to maintain power in some way, shape or form. Starting with the Latin Bible, Latin church services, only having a Bible in church, not printing Bibles, not translating Bibles, ordination, clergy, specific service order in church plus many more.

Jesus came to earth so that He could say “Everything you are going through, I have been through it before.” Preaching a non-relational god strips away hope and perpetuates a reliance on the system.


Here’s where i shout: BINGO!!

@Dartom :slight_smile:

(Robert Lindbeck) #266

In theory, it was public recognition of the calling of the Holy Spirit to a particular task ie. Paul and Barnabas for a missionary journey, the seven deacons.
I current practice, it is admission to an exclusive club. Membership in this club opens up job opportunities, allows you to perform specific rituals not available to ordinary or “associate members”. This may not be the intention, but this is the reality. Sort of “freemason” without the secrecy and secret handshakes.

The crux of the issue around ordination in general, not just WO, is the gap between theory (what it is supposed to be) and the way it is practised.The calling of the Holy Spirit should be recognised and acknowledged by ALL believers, not just those previously admitted to the club. If you take the exclusivity out of the practice, and all that it implies, you remove a lot of the sting.

(Patrick Travis) #267

I will quickly answer Cassie because this wasn’t a strand about soteriology. Yes, these are both metaphor and imagery. We are buried and resurrected in the sense that we are not under the bondage of sin as before without the kindness and intervention of God in Christ… (Eph.2.)
Yet growth in holiness/sanctification/ hagios is a never ending process of redemption in this life. Not something we can say we have obtained. And yes, we have left the old priesthood concept of SDA Dan.8:14 and Christ with His on blood entered the heavenlies at His ascension and sat down “on the ark/throne of God” where he now is King/Priest for His people since His ascension having fulfilled all things for His people with His own blood.

(Beverley Joseph ) #268

For those who think that the NAD should become independent of the General Conference, remember that this is God’s church and, in my opinion. the ordination of women is not more important than the unity and love of the church. To Jesus, it was more important to demonstrate love for His deciples than to stand up for His right to be respected as their Master. He demonstrated this during the Last Supper. So if the opposition love this church, such an idea should not be an option.

There are thousands of members of the NAD who are in agreement with the actions of the General Conference and would not agree to this separation. Those who want to separate would have to form their own church/denomintion.

In times like these, it is comforting to recall the words of Sister White, that the church will appear to fall but will not.

(Nkosi) #269

Dear pastor, thank you for your near honest position on the matter, I deliberately say near honest not as banter but because I think you and almost everyone in the church are trying so hard to avoid the elephant in the room. truth is the problem is not what you term cultural and geographical difference, the problem is simply racism and a superiority complex. this is and has always been the problem and no one has been bold enough to tackle it.The brothers in nad are racist and feel they’re superior to those in Africa either by so called civilisation or by birth which is race. this is what fed into the arpatheid policy in south africa and all the racist incidents you refer to in America, all the countries that were evangelised during the colonial era suffered the same to a lesser extent. Like you rightly said nad imposed it’s culture in dress worship monogamy liquor etc which really have no scripture backing but are mere western tradition or an attempt to control abuse in the western world, now the tables have turned and Africa having studied the bible are challenging these traditions, demanding clear scripture for doctrine. if nad which is the birthplace of Adventism had scripture to support their views they wouldn’t be complaining. if they had the numbers to support their position, but now power is changing hands Africa has the numbers and hence the power the slave master has to take instruction from the slave and they’re having non of it. This is about race, white brothers will have the last word or no policy will be made. this still is the status in south africa, where whites have the numbers they will not subject themselves to black leadership, that’s why up until now all the church leaders have been whites, because the day black takes leadership the church will split. So yeah I think it’s time that nad stopped playing hide and seek and came out with their true selves. This is about racism period!

(Robert Lindbeck) #270

The use of the word “racism” is getting out of hand in this thread. To the point that any disagreement of difference of opinion is viewed as racism. Differences in opinion and disagreements are NOT racism.

The peoples of Africa, Asia, South America and the Pacific (basically anywhere outside Nth America, Europe and Australia) have legitimate grievances about the way they have been treated in the past. Apologies for this treatment are owed (if not already given). Perhaps the GC, and the three Divisions can offer an apology for this mistreatment. What cannot continue is the process of an “eye for an eye” or payback. The poor treatment of the past does not deserve, nor demand this type of retribution.
The animosity that previously had existed beneath the surface, began to emerge and has been exploited by the current GC President. This is neither moral or christian. I do not blame Africans, Asians and others for getting on board with Elder Wilson, I just fear they will be disappointed when they find out they have been taken for a ride.

(Elmer Cupino) #271

You have very solid points but none as the above. In discussing treatment plans with my patients, I review all recommendations that follow the standard of care but I also realize that every patient can be creative to sabotage even the most efficient treatment plan so I end my interview by assessing the patient’s motivation to get better. If the patient wants to get better, the chances of getting better are great. If the patient wants to remain sick, they will do everything to remain sick.

One can argue successfully that TW and his ADCOMM disregarded what was best for the church to satisfy their egos to compensate for their perceived lack of confidence. TW would have earned more respect by focusing on what was in the best interest of the world church instead of what he perceived as best for the church. But here we are, a church in limbo.

It now depends on TW to proceed with his agenda of shaming and humiliating or he can also table it and refer it to the next president. His next move (perhaps Dr. Tichy @GeorgeTichy can “prophecy” what it will be since he has been 100% accurate) will solidify what kind of personality traits he has and show his true character. I fully agree when you say “We may wish to differentiate between men and women, but we don’t have to discriminate.” After all, attitude is a choice.


(Elmer Cupino) #272

Through the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis it could be argued that “ordination” (by being deluded that he now has “special powers”) would normalize the levels of cortisol, the major hormone involved during stress. Chronic high levels of cortisol is a risk factor for:

  • Suppressed immunity
  • Hypertension
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • Insulin resistance
  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes
  • Fat deposits on the face, neck, and belly
  • Reduced libido
  • Bone loss

So “ordination” can have curative powers by heightening libido. But the same effect could be had by Viagra without discriminating women. And the cost is about $70. a pill and could be covered by Medicare and the results are a win-win situation for both sexes. It’s a no brainer and should resolve the issue of WO :rofl:


(George Tichy) #273

I believe that the NAD will do nothing about anything. They will just support the Unions, which are the ones that Ted Wilson cannot (yet) touch even after this vote.

Although it’s clear that he wants to, but TW cannot depose a Union’s or Conference’s President. He has no authority to do it, though at this point he may, delusionally, believe that he can. His only goal is to exert kingly power, but the Unions have their Constituents, and TW cannot overpower those. Sorry Ted.

(George Tichy) #274

Now we have to wait another year for the AC19 to vote on a recommendation of using Viagra or not. :open_mouth:


Yeah, you are touching on the element of SDA mysticism that pervades much of the church culture and views.

Ordination through the laying on of hands is often treated as it has magical power passed on from those whose hands (often having conditions you describe :wink: touch the ordinatee. This has all the earmarks of a pagan ritual mysticism.

(reliquum) #277

What if the difference is not so much due to cultural differences, but instead something else?
It has already been suggested that Mr Wilson has frenzied the cultural difference into his own spin.

I suggest that it may in fact be worse-that perhaps Mr Wilson has chosen, carefully, leadership in key areas as he wants. Moving to non-voice positions or outright removing those leaders who revealed their hand in 013, during TOSC, and specially in the 015 SAGC (what with the forced “open vote” and pretend “broken electronic voting system”, a claim which has cost the church significant monies and nondisclosure agreements) . Identifying and selecting leadership not representative of those who sit in the pews, but rather representative of the desire and intent of the one now standing high-handed in our vaunted “highest pulpit”.

Were we truly a grassroots bottom up movement, why the rush to close the WO door? (and seeming desire to forthwith begin dis-ordaining women elders as well ministers. I say Ellen is the first we ought posthumously “unordain”, before we continue treating the re-elected SECC president as voiceless/invisible)
I ask, why not take the time to conduct an actual member-by-member vote?

Such an honest vote would then make any split easier, but even more hopefully, might demonstrate a willingness toward unity by affording those areas who prayerfully chose nondiscriminatory practices the grace to do so-and the grace to accept the areas that do discriminate.

I suspect unity based on honest voting might usher far superior results when compared to uniformity coerced via artfully worded and massaged vote, disinformation, incomplete electorate, hand-picked voters, and uninformed electorate.

(Red Livingstone) #278

It is overreach by the GC to put it to vote. Any world-wide vote whether it be divisions or member-by-member on the subject of WO or wedding bands or eating at restaurants on Sabbath or numerous other areas that are out of their governance.

The purpose of the GC is stated on their website, “The General Conference coordinates the global ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a body set up under the belief that no man should be governed by the judgment of another, and any decision should be made by an assembly. The General Conference is responsible for the spiritual and developmental plans of the church around the world.”

In this “grassroots bottom up movement” there has been specific guidance to managing the world-wide structure. The Unions and their constituency are responsible for local geographical area issues, including WO.

Do I personally believe that WO should be global? Yes. But it is not a GC mandate option. It would need to become global through each Union, individually. That is how the foundation of our church governance was designed. The GC cannot make a variance to allow them to make that overreach, either for or against WO.

Maybe the real issue is the desire of the GC to bypass their evangelistic missional purpose and create a Position of Control. So that by their dictations, (false) perfection may be achieved. Is that the global ministry?

(reliquum) #279

I do not believe that it should-but i do see many around who seem to feel it HAS.

Since it appears many laity (and even a few clergy) seem to desire the conscience-quelling safety of having someone choose for them, a laity too conveniently willing to give the GC the power over there own moral agencies, perhaps the true and perhaps totally unsurprising failure of GC leadership is too predictably jump into those polished jackboots and co-opt the illicit power.

The GC could do much with just a little straight talk about this,
but it sadly seems loathe to produce any straight talk (and risk even illicit power).

Only one king ever gave his complete power and kingdom away willingly;
we have failed in our testimony of him (and in fact seem to be witness for prosecution…)

(Tim Teichman) #280

The Adventist Church’s teachings on these things are unique and are no longer a part of North American culture, even if they once were. I don’t know anyone who can show they are scriptural.

I’ve never heard of this happening.

Instead, the consistent message here is the the African and South American unions, among others, are most eager to suck up to the GC and comply with whatever their whim of the day is.

Do you have an example of someone doing this, of challenging the church teachings and calling for reform to get back to biblical teachings?

I expect that has been and may continue to be an issue, but they way things are currently operating it is not the case at the CG level, at least for things currently being voted on. Unless of course the southern unions’ representation is largely white, and I have not heard that to be the case.

I don’t think that’s the case. It’s about differences in culture, as far as I can tell. Some cultures can’t imagine following some of what the GC is proposing, and some can’t imagine questioning anything the GC does.

For some countries in Europe, for example, discrimination based on gender is so offensive their countries have passed civil laws that prevent even churches from discriminating when it comes to their employees and the clergy. And they agree with those laws, both the members and leaders of the church.

And then their are countries in the middle east where women can’t even go out in public without being accompanied by an adult male.

And then there is China, where for some reason (can’t remember) most of our pastors are women, and they are growing fast.

What do you mean by ‘true selves’? What are you asking the church to reveal?


It sounds as if you are saying that Africa is holding a grudge about colonialization, missionaries bringing “Adventist” culture with their evangelizing, and eliminating African culture in dress, worship, monogamy, drinking liquor.

It sounds as if you are saying that African voters will punish western culture by voting against women in spiritual leadership because they are still angry about Europeans and Americans bringing Western culture to Africa.

It sounds as if the grudge will be used for whatever Africa sees as threatening to THEIR culture, not what would work in other cultures to further the Gospel.

It sounds as if the grudge is being defended by calling Westerners racists.

It sounds as if you are blaming racism for African sexism.

(Tim Teichman) #282

And specifically racism in North America for African sexism. Seems a huge stretch.

While European colonization of Africa and North, Central, and South America were very damaging to local cultures, sexism and racism are where then and continue to be found everywhere in the world. Literally everywhere. Blaming your local version of these attitudes on others does not seem helpful.

(Nkosi) #283

The Adventist Church’s teachings on these things are unique and are no longer a part of North American culture, even if they once were. I don’t know anyone who can show they are scriptural.

Point exactly. If they were the missionaries taught them as doctrine when they came to Africa, now that is being seriously questioned here. This is just an example of issues in the church leaders in Africa have to contend with. It becomes very difficult for them to come to GC and support certain issues without biblical backup simply coz western govts have made them law. Yes these protestations by the African church might not have reached gc yet largely because of the ignorance of church members on protocol and maybe in some cases because of frustration by the leadership. The way we see it is if you are in an organisation and you put an issue to vote, whatever the outcome of the vote is you have to comply else why bring it to vote in the first place. The gc gathered in a world wide sitting is the supreme decision making body of the church. if not , then nad needs to say, because coming from the oppressed it does smack of power games, racism and a superiority complex.