The Vintage Views of Erton Köhler

As the new General Conference executive secretary, Erton Köhler holds one of the most influential positions in the worldwide Adventist Church. What do his record and past statements reveal about his thinking and leadership?


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11619
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Troubling. Shows a fundamental misunderstanding in the role of all media in propagating the gospel in a local culture, a disconnect about Christian-based music, and the power of the Christ story in cultural context and the Spirit’s power. Seems to major in minors. One wonders what his influence and power will be in the area of the spiritual gifts of women in the church and empowering them to use gifts the Holy Spirit has bestowed for His glory.

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Much fear! Be afraid of everything! Over all the impression one might get is that the SDA God is not very strong. A person needs a fence around them to keep evil away. Humans are weak even if the believe in God.

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I hope this senior official knows his Bible about the spiritual equality of women in our church:

Godly Women

They taught me that
Godly Women make sandwiches
Like Mary meek and mild
And cheerfully serve humility on rye
And keep silent unless to ask:
“Do you want a pickle with that?”

But then I looked for myself,
(Like Godly Women do)
And found a different story

Godly Women defy authority
Like Shiphrah and Puah
And prevent mass genocide.

Godly Women lead people from oppression
Like Miriam
And raise their arms in song when the oppressors are thrown into the sea.

Godly Women discern who the enemy really is
Like Rahab
And choose to bravely defy empire.

Godly Women are judges, and warriors and generals
Like Deborah
And when they raise their arms, stars stray from their courses and rivers wash evil armies away.

Godly Women refuse to harbor the evil enemy
Like Jael
And might give him a bowl of milk—but also a tent peg through the skull.

Godly Women are often victims of sexual power-plays by untouchable-Golden-Boy-Alpha-Males
Like Bathsheba
And yet they become influential political figures.

Godly Women prophesy
Like Huldah
And offer hope despite having to deliver hard truths.

Godly Women are strong and determined queens
Like Esther
And show us how—even in persecution—that we can survive and prosper.

Godly Women are feminists
Like Ruth
And use their feminine wiles to survive in a male-dominated world.

Godly Women use their words to defy the oppression of empire
Like Mary
And sing at the top of their lungs subversive songs that topple empires.

Godly Women are Outstanding Among the Apostles
Like Junia
And despite being exemplary, have their name and story muted.

Godly Woman author Bible books
Like Priscilla
And her Hebrew cloud of witnesses bear witness to her words, although her name is cancelled.

Godly Women DO make sandwiches, and subserviently stay in their lanes
Like Martha
And Jesus rebuked her.

Godly Women can choose to not make sandwiches and instead become Disciples
Like Mary (and like me)
And Jesus calls it “the better choice” and assures us that “it will not be taken away…”

Tracy B. Dickerson, 2022

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Can we bear another church leader who thinks spirituality is all about behavior and lifestyle? Has he ever read 1 Corinthians 13? Or is the writer just being selective in his examples?

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Seems incredibly doubtful that he does, given his other views. He sounds like an EGW/TW clone.

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Doubt any of us here know him.but the article obviously shows his views are “conservative”. But its really not fair to know someone based on someone else’s hand picked quotes on selected subjects. I’m sure he’s preached and spoken on much more than the dangers of soccer or movies over the years. And one interesting point, The article seems to imply that his style has driven youth for the church. However if you compare the statistics of Brazil with the statistics in North America they are much better. So wouldn’t that imply that the more “liberal” pastors in NAD are doing a worse job at retaining youth?

his influence will likely be what TW’s has been: zilch…power in our church really does reside in the unions…that’s what NAD’s ongoing non-compliance with san antonio is demonstrating…

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Yeah, my first thought was “what else would you expect from the current GC.”

Look, I get the concern that Köhler’s views may be unfairly represented. The author even notes that his views may have changed since these statements were made. It’s possible, and it’s a fair enough point, but…

We’ve had 12 years to observe The Ted Wilson Experience — the last 2 of which he gave himself by fiat. It’s awfully hard to picture him allowing any other kind of mindset into his leadership circle.

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Is there any thought that Wilson may be grooming any of his chosen associates for the presidency?

Good question. Do you think that TW is ready to pass the torch in 2022, or do you think he wants to hang on til '27?

my feeling is that this Zelota synopsis of Erton Kohler is a bit petty…it seems like it’s trying quite hard to find things with which to discredit Kohler’s impending GC ministry…first of all, why should the world church defer to Brazil in its assessment of Kohler’s performance, or potential performance, in his new international surroundings (what else does a past performance evaluation in his home division imply)…maybe Kohler is thrilled to be liberated from this pathetic display of snarkiness on the part of Zelota, and people whose views it represents, and has inspired plans on how to move the world church forward…maybe he sees his new GC venue as a welcome opportunity for a fresh start, free from the baggage of people who are stuck in their own evident limitations…

my impression is that Kohler is a motivated, dedicated, loyal and hard working individual…in addition to pastoral experience, he has extensive administrative experience, including three separate installments as a Youth Ministries Director, a Conference Executive Secretary, and a Division President…these are not easy assignments…they need to count for something…and people who know what it takes to be a successful GC Executive Secretary nominated and ultimately voted for him…does Zelota have any insight in what it means and takes to lead a world church on an international level…i think the people at Zelota need to read and travel more, and develop a more comprehensive perspective…a preoccupation on views on video games and soccer, as if these can possibly predict responses and plans of action to problems that no-one can anticipate, given a pandemic challenged world church forced to deal with
anti-vax civil disobedience sentiment, among many other developments, doesn’t evince any intention of being fair, supportive, or even relevant…

my view is that the world church will develop its own assessment of Kohler’s job performance without Zelota’s condescending and ultimately useless help…

It would be nice to have a one-on-one interview with Elder Kohler by a Spectrum staff regarding his current thinking on various issues impacting the world church.

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If we think that Ted Wilson is leading the church down the road of being irrelevant, Erton Köhler would be much worse. The God he portrays is not a God that many would really want to worship or obey. It is not the God that is demonstrated in the Bible. There is no love or compassion in the God of the religion that Köhler talks about.

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