Berrien Springs, MI — Andrews University Associate Chaplain, Michael Polite, launched a stirring video campaign, calling for a denomination-wide revolution. The two part series is a direct and forthright response to the controversial General Conference Annual Council vote which established the proposed Unity and Compliance document as institutional policy.
Since the landmark vote on October 14, 2018, multiple employees (including high-ranking administrators) within the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventists have released statements expressing their disapproval of the General Conference’s recent decision. However, Polite makes an appeal to Adventist young professionals, asking them to “reengage [Adventism] with a renewed fervor.” Released on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, the video series, hashtagged #AdventistRevolution, attempts to galvanize young members to lead a revolution “that within ten years’ time will change the status quo.”
Part One of the series outlines the Biblical and ideological framework for the revolution. It leverages Adventist history as well as Early Church history to build a case against “the current trajectory” of the General Conference. Polite grounds his call by reflecting on the passion of the young-adults who founded the Seventh-day Adventist church. Polite also highlights the work of the “revolutionary named Jesus” and calls for Adventist members to note how Jesus never acquiesced to the oppressive “hierarchical administrators of His day.”
Part Two of the series more practically outlines three ways in which viewers can join this Adventist Revolution.
1) We must become intolerant of institutional injustice.
2) We must value and maximize the power of our influence.
3) We must take a renewed interest in the role and responsibility of our investments.
The second installment ends with a call for unifying our revolutionary efforts in order to “completely transform the culture of [Adventism]...on behalf of our local communities.”
Chaplain Polite hopes these videos will motivate other young, Adventist revolutionaries to join the conversation and “activate their voices.”
Although Michael Polite is an employee of Andrews University, the views and opinions expressed in the two part series are to be interpreted as his personal views and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the university.
WATCH Part 1:
WATCH Part 2:
This press release was provided to Spectrum. For more information, please contact Joy Chikwekwe by phone: 678-823-1790 or email: email@example.com.
Image: Video still.
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It would be nice if there could be a civil way to resolve the problem presented by the elephant in the room, aka WO.
But, is there a civil way when one group already decided to do whatever it takes to maintain discrimination of women as the Church’s status quo? Just look at the absurdity of allowing people from a certain culture to vote in determining what has to be the procedure in other cultures!
No wonder some people are becoming extremely irritated. The abuse of power (now officialized by a vote at the AC18) may silence some, but not all people. I don’t think that rejecting this obsolete manipulative machine is rebellion. It’s rejection instead.
From now on, before visiting a new SDA Church I want to know, “Do they support discrimination of women?” If the answer is YES, than goodbye, I am out. And if anyone visits a Church and I am attending there, one can be sure that that Church does NOT support discrimination of women. Actually, the senior pastor may well be an ordained woman!!!
Thanks for the beginning of THE ADVENTIST REVOLUTION!
There is much that is useful in your video messages. Your call to engage more in doing the ministry and mission of Jesus and not disengage is superb!
I do take issue with one big feature on your video presentation. And that is with your third practical strategy by which to join the revolution - by taking a renewed interest in the role and responsibility of our investments.
Tithe in the Adventist scheme of things, was from the beginning intended to be for the extension of the gospel. It was not initially designed to cushion the expense of operating our already established congregations.
Thus it was to be used to pay our ministers who in the beginning were spearheading the work in new areas. It was also to support the missional initiatives that did this. And finally to support the needs of our various administrators who were overseeing this advance.
You see, church planting, by which I mean the establishment of new congregations through ministry, mission and disciple-making is still the prime form of kingdom growth available to us. Adventists must redouble our efforts on this front globally.
Your call to divert tithe monies in support of well established congregations is a total misunderstanding of the nature of tithe and its use.
Please think again and refine your call for engagement in the revolution!!
Well, Mike is entitled to his views and passions, unfortunately his views run into some problems, which young people is he adressing, coz if one were to look at nad and the European church, young people are a minority compared to the old. If one were to look at Africa and Latin America, young people are way much a majority compared to old folks, problem is Latin America and Africa voted no at gc 2015, so his revolution might make hype in some quarters at nad but oh well, that’s all it will be.
Michael is calling for the Local church communities to become
– Visionary regarding their Communities and Community needs.
– Become PROACTIVE in formulating plans to ACTIVATE the Vision.
– Total member involvement at ALL Levels of planning and implementing.
This is ALL members – Men and Women in EQUAL status. Including the Pastorate.
Michael says this Vision and Activation requires the Local Community to evaluate
financial fiscal responsibility with all the monies going through the Treasury for local needs
and monies passed on to the next level of Collective Church Community needs in
what is called a “Conference”.
– Michael says we need to study the life of Jesus as given in the Gospels and His
example of relating to the then Organized [Jewish] Church of the times and to the
Political Systems of His times. We also need to study how Jesus related to the
proclaiming of the Good News and what methods He used to begin the ushering in
of The Kingdom Of God when He said 1. It is here! 2. It is near! 3. It is within you!
— Bringing it into the Church Community, bringing it into planning and implementation
of the Vision, bringing it into the lives of the Local community church members.
I agree with him on one thing though as you say, it’s time we seriously questioned the budgetary support allocations we send to institutions like Andrews, loma Linda etc. we need some sort of vetting exercise before sending our money there
Michael is NOT concerned with the NAD Level, NOR the European Division Level.
His message is to the Local church youth – those late teens, 20’s, 30’s. Calling them
to envision the possibilities of developing a “Jesus” program in their Local church.
Doing the Works of Jesus as He told the Disciples — “You will do GREATER WORKS
THAN THESE [what I am doing]”.
The Bringing the Kingdom of God to their Communities, to their Towns, to their Cities.
The Bringing of the Kingdom of God to their Local SDA church.
Understandable but not effective, in fact counter productive. God works with a still small voice. For sure President Wilson is over his head but rants tend to valid rather than challenge. The President of the North American Division seems to have a clear head. Let those in office respond in proper fashion.
Actually, Chaplain Polite may be a little ‘lite’ on describing ‘one accord’ as merely ‘harmony’.
The online Blue Letter Bible has an interesting note attached on the definition of the Greek word ‘homothymadon’ translated ‘one accord’ in Acts 2:1:
“with one mind, with one accord, with one passion”
“A unique Greek word, used 10 of its 12 New Testament occurrences in the Book of Acts, helps us understand the uniqueness of the Christian community. Homothumadon is a compound of two words meaning to “rush along” and “in unison”. The image is almost musical; a number of notes are sounded which, while different, harmonize in pitch and tone. As the instruments of a great concert under the direction of a concert master, so the Holy Spirit blends together the lives of members of Christ’s church.” ~ Blue Letter Bible
. . . and ‘-thymadon’ comes from ‘thymos’, meaning:
“1. passion, angry, heat, anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again
2. glow, ardour, the wine of passion, inflaming wine (which either drives the drinker mad or kills him with its strength)” ~ Blue Letter Bible
We listened to the same video. I did not hear the call to use money to cushion the operating expenses. I did not hear the call to divert tithe monies to support well establish congregations.
His call was to invest in our communities. Not all of our SDA churches are well established. I worshiped with a church that was paying rent and meeting in Methodist church. Finally we were able to buy property with our building fund monies and start our own building. Do you have an idea of how much it costs to build a church today? No help from the conference (though they would soon own the building and land). I was a volunteer for the youth. The youth ministries operating budget was $74 for the year. We are “starving” our local US ministries for the world church. I understand sacrifice and sacrificial giving, but I also know that squandering of tithe monies happens abroad.
And I have experienced… in a very small way …how tithe is spent without accountability and transparency in other countries. Tithe goes for Mission. Not for missions to spend as they like.
I served in Africa. The building site of the new mission was about a quarter mile (0.4 km) from the pastor’s house via a direct and wide hard dirt path. He owned a bicycle, the path was flat and straight. Every morning and sometimes again in the evening, he chose to hire a taxi to come to the job site to see the progress. The taxi ride cost US$10 each way five miles through town, on a narrow dirt road. When I asked why he did not ride his bicycle, he stated that he wanted the workers to see him arrive in a manner becoming a SDA pastor. The monthly transportation “budget” was $800.00. That may not sound like much to you, but two months into the project all building had to halt and workers released because the mission had “run out” of funds. The pastor continued to travel around town in a taxi. He still had monies that he had withdrawn “early” from the bank and kept at his house for his own dispersal. It took four months for the funds to be replenished by the Union. Meanwhile, construction for the new mission had shut down completely.
Could it be that I witnessed the only misuse of tithe funds incident in the history of missions?
Tithe goes for Mission and there is still Mission in the US.
I am not going to explain the data, the article did not provide enough details to define the information scientifically. But in my few days of reading the posts on Spectrum, I have gathered that there could possibly be a similar percentage of posting participants that are former church members. To assume that a “former church member” has rejected God would be an incorrect assumption. I suggest that they have rejected the “SDA Systematic Abuse”.
The NAD has closed hundreds of its schools and put many pastors on stipend rather than a living wage in order to fund Third World missions. If the NAD does not strengthen itself, it will not be able to continue providing the funding that is needed to evangelize the entire world.
This excellent call to action from Michael Polite is what the Seventh-day Adventist Church should have heard in Battle Creek. Instead, what Ted Wilson offered is an antiquarian clown show steeped in the long-discredited prejudices of the past.
What Michael understands as a campus chaplain is that the strongest indicator of whether a Seventh-day Adventist young person will remain in the Church is K-12 attendance in our Seventh-day Adventist schools. 75 percent of our students in the NAD who attend college attend a non-SDA school. And many of the graduates of our schools who settle in the various communities in the country, step foot for the first time in a pathology-ridden dying church, and encounter mostly old people, white nationalists, and losers, understandably choose to make that visit their last.
Thank you, Michael, for not giving in to apathy and for inspiring our students to make a difference.
And how many of our students attend public high school and public elementary schools? What is the SDA church doing to support our NAD students in their mission field?
There is the AMiCUS ( Adventist Ministry to College and University Students) but no effort to support those students in their earlier years. Where are the SDA public high school chaplains?
The SDA academy students get to participate in Prayer Retreats and Bible Conferences during their school year and enjoy “kumbaya” moments, but why are there not similar opportunities for the SDA public high school students?
Who is standing with our students, supporting them at “See You At the Pole” events?
When I first wrote this, two hours ago, I wondered what the breakdown was in regards to Divisions of the GC losing the most members. I did a little research and found the 2018 Annual Statistical Report, 154th Report of the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists for 2016 and 2017. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Statistics/ASR/ASR2018.pdf
The report graphically documents the “Members Leaving the Church”. Be careful when you look at the first page of graphs. Each graph does not have the same vertical axis (y axis) value
The graph is showing the South American Division leads in members leaving the SDA church. 200,000 in 2017, which is much lower than the 575,000 that left in 2008. Combine the SAD with the InterAmerican Division (IAD) and there is a loss of 300,000 members in 2017. In that same year, 416,349 joined the church in those divisions by either baptism or confession of faith. We certainly hear about the baptisms but not about the losses of members.