Many folks have contacted Spectrum regarding the "Samoa dilemma." In short, due to an international date line shift to align the island business with New Zealand and Australia, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Samoa has chosen to stick with a strict interpretation of "seven days" and not leap forward with the rest of their community. As a result, Sabbath will fall on Sunday because Sunday is now the seventh day. Their official statement explains:
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/article/alexander-carpenter/2011/12/30/today-did-not-exist-some-adventists
Women’s ordination is not a fundamental doctrine but I believe it is a smokescreen for an issue much more worthy of some San Antonio effort? Ted Wilson, like his counterparts in the South Pacific Division, refuses to talk openly about it.
Many of us here in the South Pacific await an explanation from the SPD and GC leadership regarding Seventh-day Adventist Sunday-keeping in Pacific Islands around the international dateline. Even Spectrum’s blogger wrongly interpreted the dateline realignment in December, 2011 as changing Sunday to the seventh day of the week - see: Today Did Not Exist for Some Adventists
How can the Seventh-day Adventist Church keep preaching the three angels while keeping Sunday?
In reality the Seventh-day Adventist Church as an entity has never kept the seventh-day Sabbath in Spirit and truth, only by Church dogma. This is obvious because when the Church disagrees with local time, as it has in Tonga since the first missionaries arrived in the nineteenth century, it chooses to keep Sunday which it calls “the mark of the beast” in the rest of the world. Subsequently SDA Sunday-keeping has spread to Samoa, Tokelau, Wallis & Futuna, Phoenix & Line Islands (Kiribati). If it were not for the faithful few hundred SDA members in Samoa standing firmly since 2011 against the Samoas-Tokelau Mission decision, to change to Sunday-keeping, the rest of the Adventist world family would still be blissfully unaware of our own hypocrisy regarding this most fundamental doctrine.
If the decision on women’s ordination can be franchised to Divisions, why wouldn’t SPD come to GC Session with a wording adjustment to the Church Manual creating a dispensation for Church entities near the dateline to decide their own day of worship?
If San Antonio is dominated by women’s ordination the SDA Church may be squished by the elephant in the room.
I don’t think that God is all that concerned with any of it personally.
No problem with the Adventist Church observing both Saturday and Sunday, Rohan?
Laodicea comes to mind . . .
Here is a message I received from a government official in Tonga:
“The Constitution declares that:
" The Sabbath [Sunday] Day shall be sacred in Tonga for ever and it shall not be lawful to do work or play games or trade on the Sabbath."
"The Seventh Day Adventists celebrate the Friendly Island Sabbath on the first day and not the seventh day of the week. The Adventist missionaries came to Tonga a little late in the game and were faced with the dispiriting entrenchment of the Constitution [The Friendly Islanders,115p]
So the SDA keep Sunday instead of Saturday because of the Constitution prohibition. However, the mission searched around for a solution and they ultimately found one.
“180th meridian of longitude passes through the island of Taveuni in Fiji, about 400 miles west of Tonga. Tongan time, like that of Samoa, should be about eleven hours after Greenwich; instead of which a decision was made to bend the meridian sufficiently far east to ensnare the Friendly Islands in the eastern time hemisphere. So today, Tongan time is thirteen hours ahead of Greenwich. Far from being the country the furthest west from Greenwich, Tonga is, chronometrically speaking, the furthest east plus one hour. This enabled the Adventists to assert without loss of face that time in Tonga should really be twenty four hours or so after it was no matter what the law said. Sunset on Saturday was actually sunset on Friday. So all was well and still is.”[Ibid 116p]
That is the reason and the only reason why SDA in Tonga observe Sunday. Any other reason from this is a nonsense and a waste of time to talk about. SDA keep Sunday because of fearing of defying the Constitution.”