The King is in Residence: An Interview with Dr. Charles E. Bradford

Like many Seventh-day Adventists, I have watched as church leaders and lay members have struggled with issues that threaten the unity of the church. I know Adventists who have researched these issues prayerfully and who have come to very different conclusions. How do people carefully comb the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy yet come away facing so many different directions? What do we do when convictions become so strong that other points of view are not allowed? 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

This gives hope:
“Finally, there will be, in time, and history, a demonstration of the ideal community. The Spirit’s rule will be unchallenged. Every member of the community will be affirmed and participate in ministry. It cannot be a racial community, permitting racial discrimination and separation within its own fellowship. Class and caste will be unknown. It will not be a male church, tolerating male dominance, nor a national church, tolerating national arrogance. As it nears the end, the community will conform more and more to the liberating rule of Christ — freedom and justice will prevail”


I appreciate this interview- thank-you.

"Isaiah, in a time of great peace and prosperity, lashed out with a gospel of inclusion. Eunuchs and strangers were to be brought to the temple and included in the power structure (priests), their names in the record alongside the fathers of Israel. This took great courage. This kind of preaching could be incendiary! It is a picture of the Spirit-filled church that is yet to be seen. And when it is, Messiah will come."

The “Social Gospel”…Come, Lord Jesus. Come.

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I think his message is that the Christain community is much broader that the SDA Church. His story suggests that SDA should open its doors and hearts, in the words of Jesus come unto Me all ye—-.


The Regional Conference in Illinois was on the South Side in Chicago. they would have frequent requests for hand outs. they would give them ten Life and Health and say these will cost you .25 cents each. you can sell them on the street for a dollar each. when you have sold them all you can pay us the 25 cents and keep the 75 cents. most would just dump them in the nearest trash can. But it did sort out the real from the cons.

Is it me, Doug Church, or is Charles Bradford a mystic?

Or is he just the ultimate political animal? He didn’t seem to answer most of your questions directly, especially the penultimate one: “Do you still see the Seventh-day Adventist Church as the remnant in Bible prophecy?”

It’s a question, the answer to which, I take very seriously. Though I remain a lifelong Adventist in good standing, remnancy is the first SDA belief that I doubted. (This is another one.) It’s also a doctrine about which I’ve written in some depth, while also discussing my ideas with gracious SDA thinkers, like Jon Paulien and William G. Johnsson, among others.

In his answer, above, Bradford seems to be saying that SDAs can become the remnant, if they let the Holy Spirit take over their bodies and minds.

If that’s what he means, I would agree with him. Except, then, I would ask, "If so, why need we the appellation ‘Seventh-day Adventists’? That is, anyone can become God’s remnant if they let the Holy Spirit take over their bodies and minds. Bradford can’t be saying SDAs are more likely, or willing, to let God do this than other people.

So, if not, what is he saying?

Which brings us back to do.



So needed. Tear-provoking.

I think you’re right Harry. He carefully avoided answering directly the questions posed to him for reasons that are probably best known to him.
One of the things that he said which has resonated with me was this comment:
‘How would the apostles have handled it? They would have sought the Holy Spirit in prayer and fasting and coming to consensus would say, “It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us.” This book purports to be a call to the church to study the apostolic approach to matters that affect the whole body of Christ. This one has been before us for more than a century.’
I think that is the best way for the church to proceed at this time, rather than having ,for example documents drawn up to discipline other churches or divisions that may see the issue differently and seek to move in line with their convictions. I strongly believe it is of the will of God that we are studying the book of Acts now for this quarter.Lets look at one of the issues that was raised in the last week’s lesson-the murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
Lets look at the response to the problem:
2Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.

7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

I believe that incident is instructive for us today as regards the ordination of women. Some persons may argue and suggest that God has already spoken in His word about male beings selected to lead etc, but what would the Holy Spirit actually recommend were we to ask Him in sincerity? Perhaps the answer He would give may surprise many or all of us. Perhaps the leadership of our church should have appointed instead people from every division of the church- male and female to assemble together , using the same qualifications by which the seven deacons were chosen to deal with the matter- people filled with the Holy Ghost , wisdom and of good report to deal with the issue.
I am of the view that the way to settle many of the issues which may seem to threaten unity of the church in any way, is by the direct work of the Holy Spirit working through the lives of consecrated believers- male and female. Notice also, that before the Holy Spirit was poured out, there were men and women together in an upper room and they continued in one accord in prayer and supplication. When the Holy Spirit was poured out then, the believers spoke in different languages.I believe the women who were also there who formed part of the group upon which the Holy Spirit fell( the 120 individuals), were also equipped to speak in different languages.

My point is essentially this: We can never go wrong when we allow the Holy Spirit to settle the differences which may arise on account of any issue which can potentially divide or bring disunity to the church.If we try to settle an issue ourselves we can create further tension, which can lead to a greater spirit of combativeness and ultimately polarisation, not to mention complete separation.It us up to us to seek the Holy Spirit in prayer, while we continue seeking for wisdom and living in integrity( of good report- both inside and outside the church. I think this issue can be solved satisfactorily and fairly if we are willing to let the Holy Spirit direct.


There are two things that I would say about this topic.

  1. The truth is that none of us will believe that the Holy Spirit has had His way unless or until the WO Vote is reflecting of our desires concerning this issue.

But we must remember… the Holy Spirit job description is to lead us and guide us into all truth. That “truth” is the word of God. John 17:17 Which leads us right back to the biblical construct of the religious order established and maintained by God throughout His word; that being that spiritually qualified males are to lead.

  1. The “disunity” on this issue is not caused by the church voting (three times) against ordaining women… but rather entities of the church not accepting the vote of the church and showing their willingness to run contrary to the vote; regardless of what damage it does to the church.

In fact… the “damage done to the church” is not accepted by those who “go their own course”, but rather is charged upon those who try and put checks and balances on those who “go their own course”. It’s amazing to me that all attempts at disciplining non-compliant Unions/Conferences are seen as malicious; as if the church and its delegates of 1990/1995/2015 have no concern whatsoever as to whether or not their vote is actually carried out. Supporters of WO believe it is no big deal if Conferences and Unions just ignore the vote of the church. If this issue is really no big deal… why did we have a “Sabbath Morning-sized crowd” attend the Women’s Ordination Discussion and Vote?