University Chaplain Releases Call for an Adventist Revolution

Isn’t this an act of “preaching to the choir”? This appeal is to North American youth who are already on board. The North American division, by and large, is on board:

  1. We must become intolerant of institutional injustice. (We already are. That is why we are already ordaining women and will continue to do so.)

  2. We must value and maximize the power of our influence. (The fact that we have done so is why we are currently in crisis)

  3. We must take a renewed interest in the role and responsibility of our investments. (We are currently intensely interested and all of our investments are currently in jeopardy because of that interest).

You will find no ideological argument, by and large, from North American youth and no matter what they do, they will be opposed by those in geographic areas of the work where there is overwhelming popular support for GC policy. A revolution among North American youth has been in progress for several years and it is expressed in the attrition statistics. One must make the case to these young people that engagement (which they view as complicity) has value over whatever else they might find to do with their time and energy.

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So? And why? What if they did nothing? That’s the wisest thing for them to do.

I found this in my pictures folder. Seems appropriate and describes why we should resist:

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What happened in 2013 for goodness sake?!! If the fairly consistent spike had been 2003-4 I would have said “been there, done that”.

Which Division are you referring to?

Across 7 of those shown in the bar graphs.

I’m from Perth, Aus and SPD. A “barely survivor” of 2003 shit!!

…and I’m sitting here listening to this, KNOWING that nothing the GC or anyone for that matter can hurt me!!!



It’s so true. No fear, no angst, no thought to the burdens and lies others try to place on me (or others).


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@linc Thank you for sharing the video. Gorgeous.

I am glad that you survived, but off-hand, I do not recall what the situation was. I have a cousin that lived in Perth, probably during those years, but I don’t recall what you might be referring to.

I did go check the annual statistics report for those years, but the documentation of members leaving is a newly added statistic measurement. Math can be used to determine change in membership, though and it looks like just under 200,000 down 2002 to 2004 for SPD.

Red, Des F WILL one day be given the status of Sainthood, but not by the SDA church but unfortunately he will have passed away by then.

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For some reason @linc, I thought that was earlier… in the 1980’s.
Yes, I agree with you, DF is a Godly man. There will be an accounting someday for all involved in that travesty. The crime was led by TW’s father. The apple, they say, does not fall far from the tree.


Yea, 1983. wrong decade, sorry.

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Thanks Red!!

It is really difficult to understand what he is meaning here exactly! Are ‘communities’ our congregational communities or are they the wider communities to which we all belong? In which case, he may be talking of our congregational outreach into our wider communities.

Yes, not all SDA churches are well established.

I too was the pastor of a company of believers who met in a Methodist church over many years. We were finally able to purchase a RC church building which was surplus to parish requirements. We put the new men’s toilet in the confessional (the priest suggested it first). It was actually very fitting because men usually write their confessions in the small room.

Yes, I know how much it costs to build church buildings today - usually multi millions! And I also understand something of local congregational budgets, being currently an Associate Treasurer of my local congregation. Few members give systematically to the local congregational budget, at least in my part of the world. (More return a faithful tithe)! Yet many anticipate money to drop down from somewhere miraculously.

Yes, I have little doubt that there are issues of accountability and transparency connected to tithe usage in many countries of the world.

The SPD has been rather more conservative in its financial operations in our mission territories than have other Divisions. This has often mean employing expatriate CFO’s of our Union Missions instead of nationals from the mission territories. It also has meant a much slower transition of our mission territories from Mission status to Conference status. The SPD takes its role of administrative leadership development very seriously.

Red, I have not served in Africa. I do however have strong ancestral links to Africa. My father’s second cousin went as a Christian missionary from London to Central Africa in 1916. She made her home there and returning to England in the twilight years of her life only because of war in the Congo. Many of her descendants have made their home in Africa as Africans of English descent. Many of them are still engaged in missionary enterprises there. In 1971 she was crowned a Chiefess of the Lunda tribe, when she was given the name Chiefess Nwamwaana - Mother of [gospel] daylight. A cousin of hers was crowned in 2015 as Chief Nwamwaana, a good African of English descent who is very much involved in mission to the people of his Lunda tribe.

Yes! The story you tell of the SDA pastor and his monthly travel budget of $800 is almost as obscene as the $1 million annual salary and allowances paid to some Adventist hospital CEO’s.

Your story indicates to me the huge deficit of understanding of so many about ordination. Many Adventists think of ordained Adventist pastors as some chiefly or priestly holy men. This is clericalism at its worst. But we in America and in the global north have bought into a very clerical paradigm for those of us in ministry as well. We may not have chiefly holy men, nor priestly holy men. We want professional holy men. A pox on all our houses. There is enough blame to go round all of us.


Thank you for sharing your stories. It is a powerful thing to see how God has led in your life and helps me understand your perspective.

This is a tip that I will suggest if I am ever on another building team, LOL :rofl: profound concept.

Yes, there is a huge deficit of understanding. I want to learn. Listening to other’s experiences and stories is a good start. One of my favorite parables is a poem by John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1867):

It was six men of Indostan,
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach’d the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!

The Second , feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -"Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear,
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"

The Third approach’d the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” -quoth he- "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee:
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” -quoth he,-
Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"

The Fifth , who chanced to touch the ear,
Said- "E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” -quoth he,- "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

I see this parable as a lesson in the value of GATHERING and SHARING. Each of us has seen how God has moved in our life each day. What I experienced of God may be different than you experience, but when we share, we both have a better understanding of our God.

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Based on analysis of people I have known that left the church it was usually due to their rejection of hypocrisy and the legalism that has replaced the love and relationship with the Savior. I think the church has through its sometimes dishonest leadership and often misguided efforts to indoctrinate that has turned away many. They left because they rejected the misconceptions of God that the church has picked up over the decades and created cherished beliefs that defy Gods authority, scripture and common sense.

Now, after decades of misapplied scripture/EGW, it is so consumed with an idealized past it uses its power, petty cherished beliefs for justifying its actions to divide the church the leadership is incapable of seeing that it serves the interests enemy of souls as a result.

It should be a time of deep reflection on the part of the leadership, pastors, theologians and laity to face the reality of how we came to where we are. Indeed it should repent of its self indulgent/satisfaction of having the label of ‘remnant’ but rejecting the core of its message by adherence to the traditions of men.

As a church it will only be possible to move forward if we like the exiles in Babylon trace back to the source of our apostasy. Now more than ever we must hear and answer the call of the 3 Angels to worship God not traditions of men.


Thanks, Red! (This must be at least 20 characters).

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Although I agree with many of the ideas presented, I feel Chaplain Polite has missed an opportunity to solve the impasse of conflicting ideas over authority and WO. Your suggestions are too far reaching without making every effort, publicly and privately, for dialog and reconciliation.

I suggest, first of all, invite the Elder Wilson or his representatives to an open discussion and Q & A with supports and distractors. Combine one- on-one private dialog with open forum to all students at Andrew U. Remember Martin Luther was given opportunities to dialog with Papal Legates about his 95 thesis.

Maybe Rome was smarter than the GC leaders, as I remember they were responsible for sending the Papal legate to meet with Luther with a safe conduct pass.

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Chaplain Polite knows his audience better than we do. I do not think a 10, 15 or 30 minute video presentation would be as effective as this CALL TO ACTION. The short, direct, and potentially “viral” social media clip has swept through the SDA campuses (and shared on the FaceBook accounts of us oldies).


Oh…, come on! Good luck on this one!
You know who will show up, right? The KGC team, the Kompliance Komrades… - to “solve” the issue by mere execution…
Or don’t we know how things are gonna be from now on after the AC18???



Hasn’t that been done for the last 20 (more?) years?