Twenty-Six Years under Wilson Leadership: A Review (2 of 2)

via @Jaray


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"Above the local conference level Adventist polity is strictly hierarchical. There is no provision by which church members or congregations can express preferences or participate in the process of governance. The local conference executive committee appoints delegates to its union session, the union executive committee to its division session, and the division executive committee to sessions of the GC. Each delegation to the next higher level consists primarily of members of the hierarchy. Lay persons appointed by each executive committee, which is part of the hierarchy, thus represent the hierarchy, not the members or their congregations.

"Instead of the three Adventist administrative levels between the local congregation and the GC, most Protestant churches have only one, or in some instances two, between congregations and their highest administrative authority. Through their congregations the members collectively constitute the supreme authority. Congregations participate in the election of officers for each of their higher administrative levels. Ultimate authority thus flows up (rather than down from the top, as in a hierarchy). Fewer administrative levels, and participation in the election of officers and in the formation of policy at all levels thus bring leaders and grass roots members closer together.

“In two major respects the polity and governance of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are essentially the same as those of the Roman Catholic Church rather than Protestant churches. Both are hierarchical rather than democratic. Both are universal (‘catholic,’ with a lower case ‘c’) rather than national. Official awareness of this trend was reflected in Neal Wilson’s jocular reference to his vice presidents as ‘cardinals’ at the 1985 session of the GC in New Orleans, and references to him as ‘pope’ at the 1987 Spring Meeting of the GC. The Adventist hierarchy is a self- contained, self-operating, self-perpetuating system remote from, and immune to, members and congregations.”

— Raymond Cottrell, “The Ethos of Adventism” (1998)



Or, more pragmatically, leave.


So if enough people are fed up with Pope Ted, we still can’t get rid of him. That is why we need God to step in. Enough anger and rage expressed to God (don’t worry, He can take it) and maybe he will bring about the change.

if TW’s presidency ended just now, i’d say this is certainly true…but he’s got two yrs left - 7 yrs, if you count a 4th term…i think it’s quite striking that the compliance committees seem to have been quietly dropped, and San Antonio seems to be an almost long-forgotten saga…maybe this is just a calm before the storm, given the intervening pandemic, but maybe it’s a real turn around…maybe TW has realized that headship can’t really be defended biblically, and however strongly he may personally feel about it, this isn’t an issue to take a Custer’s last stand on…as i see it, this would represent important growth, which i think we want to see in leaders…

i don’t think we can say what TW’s legacy is quite yet, but i think he’ll always be remembered for being a strong proponent of traditional adventism…traditional adventists are loving every minute of his presidency… :slightly_smiling_face:

And there’s the rub. Traditional Adventism is just like traditional Americanism. It is filled with bigotry, misogyny and hate and totally unjust. In the South, they still have their boots on the necks of minorities, and women are little more than cattle. The Adventist church isn’t so blatant, but just a bit kinder and gentler form of bigotry and misogyny. And we have a leader that wants nothing more than to keep things that way. The system is totally rigged…the only one who can truly fix it is God.


Perhaps I am overly cynical but I suspect that his attitude has not changed, he is simply looking for a way to get a guaranteed win on which to build a fourth term.

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…There is that.


i think we just are seeing the adventist church from different vantage points…today, my Church was packed with i’m guessing well over 1500 members and guests - many Whites, many Blacks, many S. Americans, many Filipinos and a few Asians, etc…in fact we were packed so tightly in the pews, there was standing room only…we’re having international day next week - i’ll be wearing my gold dashiki, to emphasize my African roots - and the Pastor, a Russian, announced that our membership now hails from 54 countries around the globe, if i’m remembering correctly…we don’t have bigotry going on, from what i can see…everybody’s friendly to everyone…nobody’s sitting in their own particular area…

and i’m not seeing sexism, either, even though we’re a strong headship Church (i think i’m probably the only person who approves of WO)…we just had yet another male elder ordained this morning, this time a Black African who’s very friendly, and always all smiles…everybody, men and women and kids, are OK with what’s happening with our male leadership (four male pastors)…our main Sanctuary SS is usually taught by elders, but also regularly by two very talented Black women, who are generally interesting and knowledgeable, and very good at passing the mike around…today the intro to our actual Church service, which is generally heritage time, was on the birth of Adventism, and the origin of our two signature doctrines, the Sanctuary and the Sabbath…everybody was watching the video streaming from several screens quite intently…in fact our Church is gearing up for a Voice of Prophecy series soon, and invitations are being sent to all communities in town (our population is 1.5 million)…

also today, our Church service was basically taken over by young people from our Academy and University…these kids were dressed to the hilt, and their choir and band received rousing amens…the sermon was preached by a 20-something kid who grew up in our Church, who I believe is originally from Africa…today he was in dreadlocks, and looking quite hip…nobody batted an eyelash, and everyone was happy to see him…in fact he preached, believe it or not, on male headship, and why it was God’s plan for our Church and world…he says he received inspiration for this sermon after recently visiting his sister doing med school at Loma Linda…he received several very vocal amens, from both women and men…

we just don’t have people disappointed with the Church, burned out over egw, or upset with TW or the GC…everybody’s cheerful, energized, and our song services are thrilling to listen to and be part of…from my vantage point, the adventist church is where all the action and energy, happiness and joy are (non-adventist churches i visit are definitely dead compared to my Church)…everybody looks forward to meeting each week, especially since the pandemic isn’t so far in the rear-view mirror…i think if my Church were mainly empty pews, with a lot of older, unhappy people, where there was no energy or kids or younger people, where evangelism wasn’t happening, and where there were barely any ministries, maybe i’d feel the way you do…but my Church just isn’t, and so i don’t…

it’s hard to say, actually…i think there’s the distinct possibility that TW is planning to retire in 2025, and so for the remaining time in his Presidency, he’s trying to be less confrontational in order to be remembered well…i’d be surprised if he pulls another San Antonio…

i suppose you know that extreme conservatives are upset with him because he’s not enforcing San Antonio…

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And they were all singing at Waco before the big day…


Why should we expect God to do something that we, humans, should be able to do but refuse?

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Ignorance is bliss.


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Because you haven’t the votes. Africa, alone, has several times the constituents that the NAD has.
So you can say we refuse, but that has little to do with it. We are stuck with a very minority position and the very legalistic 3rd world are in charge and Ted is thrilled…and so it goes.

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Gonna disagree with you on this, Lindy.

I’ve joined the vast majority of humans who:

-Don’t care about SDA’s legalism,

-Refuse to allow TW to cause them one moment of lost sleep and

-Will not permit EGW to induce any PASD (Pre- or Post-Adventist Stress Disorder.)



When asked I always say, Ted Wilson? Never heard of her…


If enthusiasm is any indication of veracity, North Korea also seems to be on the right track:

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Who nominated Audrey Andersson to serve as VP under Elder TW?

The first local conference constituency session I attended when I was a youth left me quite shocked to learn that every single conference employee, from the pastors, to the administrators to the department directors to the office staff were ex officio “delegates” to the constituency session with voice and vote - and unlike the delegates elected by each congregation, who ostensibly represented their congregation, the employees represented themselves only. And for the board of directors (aka “exco”), 50% less one were conference employees.

Church government of the clergy, for the clergy and by the clergy.


Based on what I’ve seen, it doesn’t appear that God takes much of an interest in the goings on at the SDA General Conference, and He doesn’t appear to care who occupies the office of GC President. I doubt He’d bother to intervene.


That’s because you’ve left. You’ve thrown in the towel. I am not leaving, I am staying to be the person standing up from the back screaming out what is wrong and needs to be fixed. The Adventist Church is worth saving. There isn’t any other body out there I would want to join. And I would rather be dead
that join any Baptist or other “Evangelical” lying, hateful, homophobic, misogynistic, right-wing garbage denomination. The Evangelicals are the scum of the earth…so where else would you go?