The Church We Love, Serve, and Lead

The Church We Love, Serve, and Lead

The word “lead” is a mistake to the extent that leaders think that it means “control”.


Since SF @sufferingsunfish was allowed back on this forum, after a “long vacation,” he keeps often picking on the ad hominem issue. It seems that he wants to denounce to the WebEds anyone who could be “indicted” and maybe suspended as he was. Kind of an unconscious (or is it conscious?) revenge to vindicate his frustration. Since day one, and unbeknownst to me why, he made it clear that I am one of his main targets. Since I don’t do the ad hominem business, he has not been able to really accomplish anything.

What he does not understand is that evaluating and even criticizing someone’s actions, or behavior, or administrative style, cannot be characterized as ad hominem comments.

But let’s see how he answers your questions…


@sufferingsunfish does not have to answer any of Tim’s @timteichman questions that we would not already know as it is reflected in his name. If he were to change his name to @happysunfish then that would great and a positive step.



In the last few days I’ve begun to doubt, for the first time in my life, that this problem can be resolved amicably. Whether or not Ted Wilson is despotic is not the problem, IMHO. Even if he has the best of intentions, I believe he is making a tragic mistake to ever think that the entire world church is going to think/believe exactly alike. That is no more likely than insisting that the entire world speak one language.

Consider this:

There are multiple “Presbyterian” churches/denominations.
There are multiple “Episcopal/Anglican” denominations.
There are multiple “Lutheran” denominations.
Same for Baptist, Methodist, Congregational, Catholic (Roman, Greek, Russian, et.) denominations.

“Empires”, like the British Empire", have divided, too.

I fear that Ted Wilson’s failure to bring harmony to the “world church” may mean that Adventists could find it necessary to divide like these other denominations. Some are in “fellowship” (“communion”) with each other, many not.

Sadly, the world church could suffer significant loss without the North American Division that many seem to resent. However, Africa and South America cannot successfully expect that North America will be driven by their decisions (my opinion).


I couldn’t agree more, Tom! The whole idea of church is distorted around cognitive assent to a package of beliefs to determine one’s standing, and an almost exclusively individualist gospel that is concerned with going to heaven as the highest aim. Community in Christ and loving one another are viewed as nice add ons, but not the essential glue. How wrong! We should read the Pauline letters with new eyes, and see what he emphasized… and what we need to.




Yes, I am with you on this one.

I personally do not fell comfortable having certain rules being forced upon the churches in our area by some leaders in South Africa, or Africa, or the North Pole.
If in other parts of the world Adventists are comfortable with discriminating women, with keeping them under the men’s lid, fine, none of my business. But you know what? They have no business in our territory either. Period.


Allegations of despotism on the part of Elder Wilson is an ad hominem argument, whether or not it’s true; it’s a fallacy because it’s irrelevant to the issue of gender discrimination. Since we already have commissioned women who pastor local congregations, commissioned women chaplains, commissioned women university/college presidents and religion teachers, commissioned women hospital C.E.O.'s and commissioned women VP’s at every level of church organization, will it satisfy W.O. proponents if the GC were to pass a resolution striking out the ministerial ordination/credential eligibility requirement for all presidents of conferences/missions, union, division and GC? Shouldn’t we discontinue discrimination across cultures regardless of whether one’s home division is first or third class?

So, why couldn’t Elder Wilson pray for a woman in Australia at her commissioning? A simple prayer of blessing for one of God’s faithful workers and an employee of the very church he loves engaged in the work of winning souls for Christ? I’ll never understand the rationale for refusal of a simple prayer from our leader. And what message did this symbolically send to all the workers, men and women, and young future workers in God’s vineyard?


Joselito –
The ARGUMENT since PRIOR to SA2015 General Conference of the World Church has
been THIS.
MALE pastors are Titled ORDAINED. With the rights and privileges which that title brings
with it.
FEMALEs are ONLY ALLOWED to have the Title COMMISSIONED [NEVER Ordained].
This brings FEWER rights and privileges which the title of Ordained brings with it,
even though a Commissioned Female may be doing the SAME JOB ACTIVITIES as
the Male Ordained person is.
FEMALES to be NEVER ALLOWED to have the “Ordained” title for the SAME EDUCATION
and the SAME JOB REQUIREMENTS as the “Ordained” is blatant discrimination.


I’d go farther and say that the church should show these cultures something better than their status quo, should teach the best version of Christianity, should push for social reform to help enable the helpless or disadvantaged.

In other words, the exact opposite of what they are doing.


_I don’t like it! Do you? … :roll_eyes:

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Thank you for transparent reporting on the resistance (@reinder as a Dutch person will read between the lines). Refreshing and needed. I appreciate the efforts to have a plan A to

somewhat more secretly I wonder, if there also is a plan B - if A fails (sorry, I happen to be a realist).

And … if I may - one comment on the ad hominem discussion:
While tit for tat certainly doesn’t justify anything - I find demonizing Adventist scholars and church members far more ad hominem than describing a certain leadership style (and again - there may be some who find “you are a tool of the devil” simply descriptive - and in no way pejorative… well …). In other words yes, we need to be careful, not to fall into that trap. Not only because Wilson-bashing is unethical, but because it does not do justice to the phenomena we experience in our church. They are systemic in nature - which is why a need for revival and reformation is not all that far from reality (slightly different from the one propagated, mind you).


OK, where has TW acted as a despot? And if he has not, then it indeed an ad hominem done quite often here about him.

Despot? How could he even do it when it takes votes by groups of people, either the church at large, or part of the executive committee to do things. i just don’t wee how he could do it.

But if he is no a despot, and you call him one, who is that, especially when it it not about a policy, but about a way a person acts. It is an attack on character. Thus an ad hominem.

Do you really think that this culture treats its women better than those do? Women are so used here that it is embarrassing, and even feminists won’t protest against it, as in pornography.

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Your rationale is interesting,

  1. Denying TW’s style of manipulation and work behind the scenes (obvious to those who can see… the obvious).
  2. Then calling ad hominem any comment on his governing style.

Unless you know for good the history of his interactions regarding political maneuvering throughout the years, you probably should be more careful in telling us (“the fools”) much about him. One of my “parakeets” is the son of a missionary who worked abroad in the same place where Neil Wilson worked. The two children, Ted an my “keet” were basically raised together for many years. Then, later on, my good “keet” friend also worked in the mission field where TW happened to be working as a missionary as well.

If you have a better “keet” than mine, then you must certainly be better informed… But I doubt you have. I doubt you have ANY keet. You appear to be defending the man “no matter what” just to contradict the “fools” here on Spectrum. The question is, do you have ANY reliable source of information on the man?

Besides that, just what we all have seen him doing, isn’t it enough? Like, “grave consequences,” the fiasco in Australia, the distortion and misuse of the Cape Town conclusions, TOSC, the “loyalty signature” (mafia style) attempted coup, the mishandling of the Ratsara et al degrees fraud - and these are only a few that we could learn because they were reported in the non-denominational news.

Allen, sometimes I am tempted to believe that you really consider us to be “fools”… which can certainly be considered “the ultimate ad hominem” attitude. Thanks, but no thanks!


Yes, absolutely. ŽŽŽŽŽŽŽŽŽ

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I can’t answer for Elder Wilson. I’m guessing he’s aware of the behind-the-scenes move in the SPD to blur the distinction between commissioning and ordination
Last time I checked the Office Archives, Statistics and Research website entry on the SPD, they omitted the usual list of credentialed employees…

Equality is not questioned in Adventism, simply because it is biblical and profusely supported in the writings of Ellen White. Neither is the priesthood of all believers and the gifting of persons by the Holy Spirit for the work of ministry, in unity, so the Body of Christ, the Church can reach spiritual maturity. When we utilise the NT biblical language all will have a part to play, irrespective of gender, age, ethnicity, etc. The “ordination” of female pastors has been a huge, painful and expensive distraction. It’s time to move on. Ordination as is practised in Adventism is not biblical anyhow. Disciplining of conferences and unions that went ahead with ordaining women will serve no constructive purpose. It will be perceived as an abuse of power, if ever it comes to that. Time to let the Church be the Church and for leaders to get out of the way of the Holy Spirit to gift, equip and empower men and women to build up Christ’s Body.


You have articulated obvious truth that I guarantee a certain poster will attempt to refute to no avail!

Is it me? Please tell me! Please, please!

Honestly I couldn’t make any sense out of the post since it didn’t really seem to respond to my quotes, but went of in some tangential direction.


“We asked ourselves what can be done to steer the church away from this non-compliance trajectory and to ensure that the church will no longer be sidetracked by the power struggle around non-compliance, but can, once again, give all its attention to the mission it is charged with”

Which would be the protection of our church from rogue Leaders making decisions that dont conform to the world church decisions…I dont like all the committees either…they should have just acted as the church policy dictates…then you could take it up with the world church at the next GC to see if you have a case…