Very interesting article, and a very good time to hear from an historian!
Perhaps you all remember this video, released several months before SA2015, about Ellen White’s 1903 vision:
What Might Have Been
from The Adventist Church (Official)
After the 1901 General Conference Session, Ellen White had a vision in which she saw church leaders reconciling their differences, and confessing their sins against each other.
When she awoke from the vision, Mrs. White realized that what she had witnessed was not a reality. Pride and hardened hearts prevented God’s people from being united.
Deeply grieved, she understood that the Lord could have come in their lifetime, but His people did not surrender their thoughts and opinions to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Regarding Higher Authorities, at about the 9:30 mark in the above YouTube video, the Ellen White character begins to speak:
The light given me is that this people should stand higher than any other people on the face of the earth.
So much pressure on Seventh-day Adventists, decade after decade. The Lord hasn’t come because of us. All the horrible deaths and atrocities of the 20th century, all because of us.
9/11, the Tsunami, the Haiti earthquake. All because of us.
Is Ted Wilson indirectly telling us in that video that if we ordain women at the (then) upcoming SA2015, it will prevent the Eschaton?
Friends, if he is, let’s finally call spiritual abuse by its right name in Seventh-day Adventism.
They bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
Have we so learned Christ, whose yoke is easy and burden light?
I hope David Larson is right that, in all likelihood, a more moderate GC president will follow Ted Wilson, and a schism can be avoided. I hear wisdom and moderation in his latest suggestions, and I truly hope my experience and intuitions are misinforming me.
David Read suggests that this "year of grace: is a mistake and will be used “lawyer up,” but I don’t hear aggression in David Larson’s admonition, I hear leadership, initiative, and concern for the family. Thank God for that.
Perhaps this could also be a year of reassessing what about Adventism is truly relevant personally to each one and talking that over.
If someone jumps the gun and triggers schism, it will be very difficult to heal.
There is much Adventist history already that remains unprocessed and unhealed.
The sad incident that triggered the formation of Regional Conferences–can that truly said to be healed?
And let us not forget that we have a century-old unhealed schism already in our history:
The Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement split from the Seventh-day Adventist Church during World War I, when the official church in Germany voted to allow its members to serve in the army, carry arms and fight on Sabbath. A small minority (2% of members) refused, and so were disfellowshipped.
…the actual point of discord that resulted in the division was the full active participation of the church during World War I and the disfellowshipping of those who refused such participation.
The Reform Movement tried to re-join the main church after World War I, but were rebuffed. Is this correct? Why?
Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement President Explains the Century-Old Church Split
Adventism has already had a (2%!) schism over matters of conscience. I find the reasoning hard to understand in that case, and in the present threatened split.
And, if you’re wondering why I’m saying “our” history, ponder the “great cloud of witnesses” that were once Seventh-day Adventists, and considered part of your family. Your history is our history too, often to a very deep extent. Are we part of your history also?
I can’t verify Tom Norris’ numbers, and, in any case, they are out of date, but:
As can be seen in the figure above, there are only 450,000 (20.77%) active church members remaining in the U.S.; 216,199 (9.98%) inactive members; and 1,500,000 (69.25%) former members.
Such a large accession rate, combined with those who are already moving in that direction (approximately 80%), is an intolerable statistic that must be quickly addressed and resolved. Should this trend continue into the 1990s, the survival of the Denomination much beyond the year 2000 is doubtful. (With such bleak statistics, it is truly a miracle that the Church still survives today).
There is little doubt that dramatic action must be implemented immediately in order to reverse these startling statistics.
Denominational repositioning is no longer an option, it is a mandatory action that must be taken if the Church is to survive.
Christianity Today: Adventists Assess Why 1 in 3 Members Leave the Church
The Seventh-day Adventist Church boasts 18 million members worldwide. But leaders recently revealed the denomination has lost one in three members over the last 50 years.
Additionally, for every 100 people the Adventist church gains, it loses 43 previous members, according to research presented at the denomination’s first Summit on Nurture and Retention, reports Adventist News Network (ANN).
As I said on another thread, this is an opportunity, seen with different eyes.
Maybe Adventist eschatology will not be neutered by integrating it with its soteriology. Who knows what wonderful insights might emerge if you welcome your women into full fellowship!