South Pacific Division President Adds His Voice to Compliance Debate

On October 11, 2018, the Adventist Record, the official magazine of the South Pacific Division (SPD), reported that SPD president Pastor Glenn Townend has added his thoughts to the debate over the General Conference’s compliance measures. According to the article, Townend has stated, “Most Church leaders believe there needs to be consequences for not being compliant, but giving the power to [General Conference] ADCOM to work through the matters is against the elected representative system that we have traditionally worked in.” The article, written by Record Editor Jarrod Stackelroth, and titled “Australian church responds to GC compliance document; leaders call for calm, prayer,” also discusses the open letter recently issued by the Springwood Seventh-day Adventist Church in Brisbane, Australia. The Springwood letter followed on the heels of several similar statements issued by churches, conferences, and unions around the world expressing concern over the General Conference’s proposed document to be voted at Annual Council 2018, and the creation of five compliance committees, two of which have already been activated. Read the entire article on the Adventist Record website here. Further Reading: Responses from Church Entities and Timeline of Key Events, Annual Council 2017 to Present Alisa Williams is managing editor of Image: We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I tried to, “Read the entire article on the Adventist Record website here.”, but my blood pressure spiked when I hit this conundrum, and I could no longer concentrate:

"In light of the importance of these discussions, and perhaps in response to some of the backlash, Pastor Ted Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist world Church, has also released a statement calling for special prayer on the issue between now and October 20.

“In the responsibility I have as president of the General Conference, I am calling for a special season of prayer beginning immediately and lasting through Sabbath, October 20, to ask that there be a gracious, respectful and loving spirit shown by all in attendance as we allow the Holy Spirit to lead in the deliberations as to what the world Church wishes to see accomplished.”

Just who is “lead”-ing ?
. . . President ? . . . ‘Holy Spirit’ ? . . . World Church ?

Just who wishes, to see what accomplished ?
. . . President ? . . . ‘Holy Spirit’ ? . . . World Church ?

Then, toward whom is this ‘special season of prayer’ to be directed ?
. . . President ? . . . ‘Holy Spirit’ ? . . . World Church ?

Then, toward Whomabove all others – are attendees to show
“a gracious, respectful and loving spirit” ?
. . . President ? . . . ‘Holy Spirit’ ? . . . World Church ?

What if these three do not agree
on who is leading whom,
who/what they wish “to see accomplished”,
toward Whom prayer should be directed, or
toward Whom – above all others – to show “a gracious, respectful and loving spirit” ?

The foremost question to be resolved is not, then, that of whether women should submit to men, or men to church authority figures, but that of if, and when, we all – individually – will finally submit to the Gracious, Respectful and Loving Spirit of God, and stop trying to keep God’s promises for Them.

I can’t pray for what God has already given, but what is apparently still recorded in Heaven as ‘Rejected’ by the SDA GC, or the current GC President would not now be ‘calling for a special season of prayer’, but publicly thanking God for Their old answers.

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Perhaps TW could start by showing a gracious, respectful and loving spirit towards Dr Sandra.


I’m happy to see that I’m not crazy – at least not alone – for seeing and admitting the obvious.:thinking:


We have heard from a good source that Australia will give in on this issue. Doesn’t mean it’s true, but we will have to wait and see.


Is neo-colonialism strong Down Under?

What does this mean?

The SPD response does seem quite conciliatory compared with the responses of other Divisions.

Don’t know if it is neo-colonialism or our tendency to a “she’ll be alright, mate” attitude because what happens “over there” in the US seems too far away to have significant impact. We tend to have the same attitude toward what happens politically - what Trump etc does makes headlines on our news, but we don’t pay much attention.

Very little, if anything, has been officially discussed at local church level regarding what is going on over this ‘compliance issue’ and many of the local church leaders I interact with were only vaguely aware of something going on - certainly not up-to-speed.

Well then, Glen DID comply and grow some facial hair in compliance with GC directions…sorry, the Devil made me write it. :japanese_ogre:


Even the elephant that is constantly in the room complied (look carefully!), though his eyes got a little distressed when he heard the words, “compliance,” “centralized authority,” and “you are fired!”… :wink:

Image result for image bearded elephant


So what you are saying is that the call to prayer would really be politics and misdirection in any other context…yep kinda looks that way.

Too often the this call to prayer while necessary and true is used to merely buy time to lobby for an outcome and is pretentious at best and dishonest politicking at worst.


Yes, of course !
A ‘sleeping pill’ for any stray fears wandering among the audience.
‘Righteousness by association.’
A prayer for the ‘Holy Spirit’s’ ‘rubber stamp of approval’, even for illegitimate intentions…

There is probably not an SDA pastor or other leading figure who does not ‘pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance’ in a meeting, perhaps too often like a Catholic athlete might make the sign of the cross before competing in an event – as a ‘good luck’ ritual. What then follows in the meeting is the only gauge by which to judge the sincerity of that prayer.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have been present when a prominent male SDA leader, of the anti-WO opinion, has quoted Scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit. But, I was amazed to hear him stop 1/2 way through the complete story of a situation Jesus met, and use that first half, alone, out of context, to justify his own previous actions, when the second half not only showed how unlike Jesus he had acted, but also offered him the sympathy of Jesus for his own hard heart. . . . Can we pray for just 1/2 of ‘the Holy Spirit’s guidance’ ?

A ‘flood of healing grace’ was offered in the beginning of the ‘Latter Rain’ of the Holy Spirit’s ‘teaching of righteousness according to righteousness’ 130 years ago. 4 years later, one of the messengers of God’s own idea of righteousness as revealed by Jesus the Christ, was still trying to get the whole assembled SDA GC to accept the Holy Spirit – by affectionate faith, not fearful demonic ‘faith’ – just as the Holy Spirit then came, without any discounting, or reservations, or even Biblical arguments claiming to present another ‘side’, as if the Gift of the ‘Wholly Spirit’ could be an argument !

Still, today, there are leading figures on both ‘sides’ of the current ‘WO’ debate who either ignore, excuse, or explain away the fact that the whole of the Holy Spirit has already been rejected by the repeated cool, reserved, ‘unfaithfulness’ of the SDA GC ambivalent attitude toward that Most Precious Gift for the last 130 years. It does not make sense, nor is it right, to pray for a blessing for the SDA GC which has already been wholly-rejected by the half-hearted SDA GC.

‘Revival and reformation’ without first confessing past errors and turning away from those errors – ‘repentance’ – is like setting sail in a ship without a rudder or an anchor. Big things may happen, but to what end goal, who knows ?


I’ve just been watching the live stream of today’s meeting in Battle Creek. A teacher from Andrews mentioned Jones, and of course, expressed his belief that Jones’ forceful leadership style was a fault ? But what about Jones’ message ?

Look at Moses, who after 120 years of learning and leading in God’s way, forcefully misrepresented God and struck the Rock a second time instead of merely speaking to it.
Shouldn’t we abandon the 5 Books of Moses, then, because of his last character failings in forcefully misleading Israel ? (I thought that the plea made earlier was to focus not so much at the personalities involved but at how God and the Holy Spirit have led, and will lead ?)

There is a disease of inconsistency too-long bred in the very Seminary at Andrews University which has already infected a meeting for which the Holy Spirit’s consistent presence has been begged. To what end ? Other than stubbornly continuing to ignore the work of that same Spirit among our SDA ancestors in the past?

Where did you get it? The link I have shows only a few parts of the whole thing…

Sorry, I was in the shower during the Treasurer’s Report :cry:

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I bet after watching for a while you became so hot that you needed a cold shower, right?.. :wink:

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That’s one possibility, yes.

But in this case it was more the tense struggle between my distaste for anything ‘financial’, and my amazement at the sheer volume of the ‘extraordinary tithe’ to be discussed. And, also wanting to be ready to hop in my car and run – fully groomed and clothed – when the later discussion heats up, along with my blood pressure. . . . It has been cold and wet enough, outside, here in Minnesota since I arrived a week ago.:cold_face:

Do you know when the AC will start dealing with the CA?
(“Compliance Annoyance?”)

@GeorgeTichy, it’s looking like this afternoon. Secretary’s Report is happening now, and then there will be the lunch break, with business session resuming at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern time).

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