Ted Wilson’s Gospel Caricature

Caricatures distinguish themselves by taking a feature of someone or something and exaggerating it out of proportion. As such, caricatures can be mean and may cause offense to those who see themselves as their victims. On the other hand, caricatures can also highlight aspects of the truth that have been overlooked or distorted to promote a particular version of reality. While the appreciation of caricatures requires a sense of humor, once their picaresque dress is recognized, they can be a good way of revealing serious issues that require consideration. In such cases, they may bring to light inconvenient aspects of the truth. 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/views/2023/ted-wilsons-gospel-caricature

How would the average person unpack, the Gospel being the “power to give life” (Rom 1:16) if this is the definition? It sounds a bit esoteric. In fact, that is not the words used in Romans. Perhaps we need to understand what the Bible means by “salvation” as used in Romans.

Most SDA churches in the NAD are in hospice care. They have been graying for decades. Now they are about to die. For many young people, walking into a church like this is like walking into a nursing home. Many of these churches will be shuttered in the next five to ten years. We needed to elect in 2010 a GC president who has a passion for church growth. Instead, we elected a church purificationist. Our churches are being “purified” to the point of non-existence. People don’t fight this anymore like they used to. They just leave or become otherwise disengaged. Wilson calls this The Shaking. Others call this a failure of leadership.


Well, you know, if we could just get all the sinners out of the church, all those that don’t closely follow the 28, it would be so peaceful…

See, look how peaceful this is:


A local church (non-SDA, Sunday keepers) took out a billboard with this logo:


Obviously, I can’t attend as they meet on the wrong day of the weekend.



Totally agree…but, we have a problem. The NAD is only a small fraction of the denomination. The 3rd world countries, who are as legalistic as a Hasidic Jew, are their constituents and they are running the church. And TW has installed himself as leader for life, much like Putin.

Why is God letting the devil do this? It’s frightening.


And when the “gray-hairs” have all passed on so does the majority of the money.


That’s what I thought thirty years ago - but there seems like a steady stream of “grey hairs”. What seems to be happening is that as members get older, they revert back to the security of “mother church”, or they don’t show up at all.

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From what I’ve seen, people having children perpetuates Religions.

IOW, children typically fall away, or rebel against, the religion of their parents but when they have kids of their own, things they haven’t thought about for years suddenly become very important. So for some, the knee jerk reaction is “I need to get this kid to church because I don’t have any morals of my own.”

And so it goes….



That’s how I would like to see all SDA churches!


so true…it’s sad how many in the younger generations are struggling financially…

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Maybe there are fewer “gray hairs” than there used to be. I’ve seen (and heard), that the number of people in the pews is maybe 25-30% of the number of people that are listed on the church rolls in a lot of churches.

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Yes, whatever you do…do not attend a church on Sunday. :rofl:


The big problem is not the dying churches but what I call the zombie churches. A zombie church is a church that appears to be successful but is actually dead because it doesn’t grow. A church of about 150 weekly attendees, $300,000 per year tithe base, a good preacher, with everyone happy and not warring against each other appears to be a successful church. But look at the numbers. This may be in all probability a church that hasn’t grown in 75 years, hasn’t planted any churches, and has continued in existence only because it has a monopoly position over a geographical area filled with hundreds of thousands of people. This type of church is actually a failure. The focus of the members has not been growth of the church but personal consumption of religious goods and services.


The numbers are also deceptive when viewed from a total percentage of the world population.

That is, the decrease in members in the NAD, which would seem to be offset by gains in other parts of the world, still show a net loss when considering the entire population.

25,000,000 members, a paltry percentage of seven billion people, is even more so, as we approach eight billion on the planet.

Then, when one factors in the percentage of new members who will eventually be “shaken” back out of the pews, one starts to see what TW does.

The pyramid is collapsing, so send out another few billion books!


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Well, they are paying a 10% goods and services tax…

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TW doesn’t need to sell more books, he needs to pay more recruiters.

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From what I’ve seen the world has enough “Christian Soldiers”!

And people who recruit for that “mission from god” army are particularly scary to me, given my age!


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So we’re admitting that churches are social clubs where the primary mandate is to grow - in order to get more income - in order to preserve itself. That sounds like wheels made for hamsters.

One would think that a “church” where “two or three are gathered in God’s name” would be led there by the Spirit. Campaigns to attract more members are based on “our church is better than yours because we are special to God”.


It’s obedience to Matthew 28:18-20. Making disciples, baptizing, and teaching is what a church is supposed to do. I don’t think the Seventh-day Adventist Church is so far gone as to give up on the Great Commission. But maybe more SDAs than I imagine share your perspective.