Editor’s Note: Alex Aamodt, Roy Branson Investigative Reporter for Spectrum, chronicles the activities of the group World Church Affirmation Sabbath (WCAS) in the Upper Columbia Conference and beyond in this investigative report. “This is the story of World Church Affirmation Sabbath,” writes Aamodt, “reconstructed through hours of interviews, examination of written and digital materials, and the search of public records. It begins as a local story, but soon leads to a secret online network, spread across the United States and perhaps extending to leadership in the highest levels of the Adventist church.”
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/news/2019/supporting-world-church-or-subverting-local-conference
Reads like a modern political scandal, a “subchurch” operating invisibly in the cyber-etherworld.
In any event, it points to massive leadership failures post S.A. G.C. '015.
If “nothing has changed” why is everything not the same?
As we lose ground in the push for gender co-ordination, we lose more relevance, members- particularly youth.
Perhaps we have it upside down, and God is moving to eliminate ordination itself.
It may be about correction of institutional gender supremacy, not gender suppression.
Does the institution need circumcision, to cutoff headship heresy?
at SA2015, THE QUESTION was Deliberately worded as a bunch of
“Double-Talk” in the way it was presented.
It is evident that it took quite some time to get it worded just right.
It was evident that it was planned very carefully to confuse everyone.
And the plan worked. It has confused 20,000,000 people in the SDA
church – members and the children of members.
It has done its JOB well!! It has caused division in many areas of the
world church. It has slowed down the ability of the World Church to
perform its work of presenting the Gospel.
It has called into question the Leaderships of Local Conferences, Union
Conferences, Division Leaderships, and even the General Conference
itself, including its present President.
Perhaps the Doctrine of Headship will bring the effectiveness of the SDA
Witness to a halt among a certain age group of the church.
This is excellent reporting.
The GC should respond to a request for comment. Are GC personnel participants in WCAS activities? Are GC personnel involved in Nameless Network? Does the GC disagree with the decisions of Upper Columbia Conference and Texico Conference to bar WCAS from the use of Seventh-day Adventist Church facilities? Who at the GC made the decision to promote WCAS in the General Conference Executive Newsletter? Does the GC approve of the political methods of WCAS? Is the GC appropriately apprehensive that many of us might perceive that it is using WCAS and Nameless Network to undermine Seventh-day Adventist conference and union leaders in the NAD?
Given that UCC and Texico Conference have decided to bar WCAS from the use of Seventh-day Adventist Church facilities, all of the other Seventh-day Adventist conferences should be supportive of those decisions. To not be supportive is to disrespect comity and sow division. Accordingly, none of the fall meetings of WCAS described in this news report should be allowed to take place in Seventh-day Adventist Church facilities.
Secrecy and anonymity undermine the work of the Holy Spirit. If rebels can be identified, we can confront them, marginalize them, and limit their effectiveness. But if rebels, including certain pastors and GC administrators, cannot be identified, then a Spirit-led confrontation is not doable. And I think the agitators at WCAS and Nameless Network are very well aware of this.
You said it very well, the confusion that that vote caused was immense. Was it intended? I don’t know. What I know is that whoever wrote that question had no clue of what they where doing.
It seems that even Ted Wilson ended up confused and it all ended up backfiring at him. Of course he wanted a YES vote so that the GC would get control of women’s ordination! But everything suggests that God intervened as He did in Babel, and confused everyone so that the absurdity would not happen. Even Ted then acknowledged that nothing changed. The Unions retained their power of decision regarding ordination of ministers.
What is mysterious now, however, is that even after all that manipulation during the AC 2018, and the pomposity displayed by the GC, absolutely nothing has been implemented. Actually, there’s a total silence about those compliance squadrons. What do you think is going on in the back burners, Steve?
Sorry, I don’t have Tarot Cards, not a Crystal Ball.
It is evident that the Evil begun by the SA2015 Question is only now
showing the Forest Fire that it can cause in the church.
Think of Paradise and ITS total destruction.
We do have indications in the OT especially, where God allowed bad
things to happen to His Chosen Church then because of dissention and
division. As Hebrews 11 tells us [readings for this coming Sunday] bad
persons seemed to win, and the good people “died”.
So our Good Leadership personnel may not fare too well. They may end
up working for God in other capacities-- in a “desert” or on a “mountain”.
ALSO – Luke 12:49-56 is the Gospel. Read it from the Living Bible to
get a better understanding than what the KJV provides. Enlightening.
I’m sure we have churches here in GA and E.Tennessee that would be friendly
to the “Affirmation Sabbath” program.
Oh, the irony of it. Historic Adventism expressed concern about secret societies. Modern Adventism has secret societies. Or at least one secret society.
It is not good that a person have idle hands. That, or a quote similar to that, has been bandied around in the past. To what extent has this organisation arisen because people do not have enough to do.
Where there is a void, the devil will fill it. So the void has been filled, the challenges have been made, and the focus now is on supremacy within the Adventist church. Sure beats doing that other work - going out, meeting people that don’t look, feel or smell like you, and picking them up and placing them on a different trajectory.
The devil is happy. People are doing his work for him. Or is it her work.
I’m feeling smug. I left that all behind when I left. Oops, I might be stepping into the same sins. God help me.
Oh, and by the way - excellent reporting.
"HEADS I WIN, TAILS YOU LOSE"
Either result would produce desired effect.
Except this way, via ostensible “NO VOTE, nothing changed” there had to be the back channels, the hidden communiques, the nudge-winks. When the President of the World SDA church lionized Mr Amazing (remember the words?) but failed to apologize for the treatment Paulsen was subjected to, it became apparent to me that he was going down the same road his dad did with artful votes. Senior Wilson interfered in a Canadian affair similarily, late 60’s/early 70’s (i’ve shared the story here before)
My initial thought was that it well may have been Mr Batchelor was being thanked for the very artful vote wording.
At this point I have almost no hope that anything flowing down from Silver Springs has any living water in it. I do, however, have hope that the real church will somehow continue to thrive. Perhaps that smug response to the schism that “its just the foretold shaking” will change in time to realize it well MAY be such-but backwards. Whats being winnowed out are not those evil spiritualism type2 womens ordination types, but the malevolent maneuverings by masculinist misogynists.
Pray they get eye salve soon…
Long. Way too long, Alex. Online readers need you to digest and be concise for them.
So, the local churches are disregarding the vote of the union just like the union is disregarding the vote of the world church? And the union is upset about what the local churches are doing and is exercising “kingly power” over their members who support the world church?
Ironically the GC hasn’t done anything about the “compliance committees” but the union brought the hammer down on their dissenters. Who is exactly being unfair here?
What a hilarious mess. The GC action against equality is lamentable but it makes sense that I’d the GC can’t make unions fall in line the unions shouldn’t try to push around their misguided constituents either.
@cincerity. Please read this. Such groupings have been in existence this side of the world for more that 20 years. If you are not troubled by it, you should.
@sdaequalitynow1: I do not know why you think this is hilarious. A nameless organization headed by a nameless face. Even if you do not agree with what the SDA church is doing right now, do you rejoice because of this organization?
Not rejoicing but seeing the irony. By refusing to recognize dissent even if it is grossly wrong and give it a chance to at least speak, the unions drove it underground. For a long time Kinship was similarly forced underground. Eventually Kinship and our LGBTQI brothers and sisters are finding their voice within the church and is now recognized. The same will happen with WCAS in a different direction.
Dissent is a long tradition and the forced undergrounding solidifies and strengthens tbe dissent. The union should permit the airing of differences - it would eventually burn out but forcing it out of sight it creates a sense of mission and purpose and fellowship among the dissent. The Unions and conferences seem to lack a fundamental education in the dynamics of social rhetoric.
Thank you for clarifying. You said it is hilarious. Maybe my understanding of dictionary meanings must be revised, I don’t know.
I agree with you that suppressing dissent is not the best way to handle conflicts in the church. If you are a member like I am, this thing will definitely affect you. Maybe it is time for us to reflect and ask ourselves hard questions.
Are we still prepared to lay aside our preconceptions and engage in meaningful dialogue?
Do we still regard one another as brethren, irrespective of our differences?
Have some of us adopted an attitude of if-they-don’t-do-what-I-want-they should-perish?
Every level is subverting the other levels. I personally gave up on the idea that any hierarchy of the church will inform my beliefs when I realized that the church engaged in systematic discrimination against the LGBTQI community many years ago. And so yes, for me, the internecine conflicts are spiritually void and useless in terms of my relationship with God and its self-destruction is not only predictable but inevitable. I’m just watching it from the sidelines as many others probably are. Sorry if I’m not sufficiently worked-up about the fact that a discriminatory organization isn’t getting along with its even more discriminatory dissenters.
Naturally, you cannot side with “the enemy”. I still think your bystander approach will not help in the long run. A stand is needed, and courage is required for such a stand to succeed. There is no room for fence-sitting or casual observing. My thoughts
A stand for the GC or the Union? I’m not interested in standing for either at this point.
Thanks for clarifying. At first your position was unclear.
That last statement above shines like a bright light.
Catholics, Episcopalians, Seventh-day Adventists independently
began LGBT organizations between 1972 and 1976.
Episcopalians are the only groups who have fully embraced their
LGBT members with Full Inclusion at God’s Table, and have
encouraged them to use their Spiritual Gifts for the Church and the
World. Also since around 1976 women have been encouraged to
use all their Spiritual Gifts, including one elected for many years as
Head of the Church in America.
The Church using the Bible as a reason for discriminating against the
Spiritual Gifts of Woman, is similar to Christian churches in the South
and some in the North proving from the Bible that Slavery was condoned
by the Bible. And millions were killed between 1861 -1865 over slavery.
And the effects of those Bible teachings are still felt today in America.
What-confused minds. Right or wrong, Adventism has the right to exist according to its own postulates.
If not satisfied go build your own Tower of Babel
The problem is the present administration makes the church more vulnerable.
"To affirm:…the working policies, voted actions, and procedures of the General Conference…" affirmationsabbath.org
I am confused. Why would any believer want to sign a “Statement of Harmony” to agree with the thousands of pages in the GC policy handbook? Has a political policy manual become equal with Paul’s letters? Has God spoken in every voted action of the GC, that is often edited and changed? Has anyone ever read all the policy actions of every “Conference Executive Committee of the Seventh-day Adventist Church?”
By comparison, why would any Hebrew believer sign a pledge to obey the verbal directions of David, Solomon or any of the Kings of Israel? Were they not God’s church leaders?
Keep it simple: Instead make a spiritual goal to live in harmony with the Sermon on the Mount? Please NOT the thousands of pages (or volumes) of “the working policies, voted actions and procedures of the GC and/or the GC Executive Committee of the SDA church.” Sounds unbelievable! Maybe this endeavor has been secretly sponsored by an unnamed GC leader.
It is sad that Jesus did not leave us a large volume of church policies to follow. I wonder why He seems to have changed his mind?