Update: Unity Oversight Committee Continues to Gather Data

The General Conference (GC) Unity Oversight Committee recently provided the following update to members of the GC Executive Committee through its Executive Committee Newsletter. The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is comprised of 13 world divisions and one attached field.

The process of gathering qualitative and quantitative data from the world church is currently underway. Last month, surveys were sent to all division and union presidents, and to the president of the attached field. Of the 150 surveys sent out, 144 were already returned by mid-February. The deadline for submission is March 15. Each recipient received the survey in his native language. The survey was designed by the world church’s Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research (ASTR), and is being administered by its staff.

Dialogue meetings with world division leaders are currently taking place. During these personal visits, division leaders talk with various members of the Unity Oversight Committee (UOC) and are asked to offer written suggestions to the committee on how to address the issue of compliance with voted actions of General Conference Sessions and of the General Conference Executive Committee. In addition, Division leaders are ­­invited to submit any other suggestions or comments they might have.

Dialogue meetings have already taken place with Southern-Asia Division, Euro-Asia Division, and Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division, and others have been scheduled and will soon take place.

Both the qualitative and quantitative data will be used in helping to craft a document that will be brought to the 2018 Annual Council for approval.

This article originally appeared on the Adventist News Network. Image courtesy of ANN.

Further Reading: General Conference Re-asks the Questions of 2017 Unity Oversight Committee Releases Statement Regarding Way Forward

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/8600

Facing dire consequences how would most respond.?


An example of how a theological dispute has escalated because of pride and lust for control. This is not the gospel. I am ashamed of our general conference president who keeps stoking the fire in the name of the Lord. Look at what the apostles did in the book of Acts when the church faced a theological crisis. They layed no burden on the Gentiles. When will our eyes be opened and this foolishness end.



99+% of Christianity is deceived on major doctrine.
Most preachers even warp the basics of gospel , grace & salvation.

A clue is OSAS and how the basics (HEB 6:1) are not followed.
Coming from a SUNday, Sabbath trashing, evangelical background, I have seen how interpretation of ACTS 15 is warped/corrupted.

Since you included ACTS 15 in your post about the “burden”, it is apparent that you are misled on it as well.

Most preachers omit or warp ACTS 15:21
"For since ancient times, Moses has had those who proclaim him in every city, and every Sabbath day he is read aloud in the synagogues."

Will you make up your mind?

Says who and/or where?

History counters this statement in many places.

Most preachers are like primary care doctors, not specialists. Specialists on the 4th commandment including those who are Sabbath abrogationists have written words that would disagree with that.

ref: “From Sabbath to Sunday”, “From Sabbath to Lord’s Day”, “Sabbath in the New Testament”.

Most SUNday preachers are not specialists & just parrot what other associates or seminary teachers tell them

No… I am busy with the gentiles

I went through this stuff in 1975.

In the first century 5 of the 7 churches in Revelation were already messed up and the early church fathers were victims and/or proponents of syncretism of pagan and pure Christian doctrine.

You can follow people or God/Jesus ACTS 5:29
Most follow preachers. That is why 99% of Christianity=deceived.

8 got on the ark
Elijah & 7000
Most went with the counsel of the 10 spies instead of the 2

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Do you post in the Lounge area?

I can’t remember seeing you in there, but it would be nice to be able to have a conversation regarding the thoughts you post here. Do you post there? Would you be interested?


Really? How do you define gentile?

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“Dialogue meetings with world division leaders are currently taking place. During these personal visits, division leaders talk with various members of the Unity Oversight Committee (UOC) and are asked to offer written suggestions to the committee on how to address the issue of compliance with voted actions of General Conference Sessions and of the General Conference Executive Committee.”

Submission or compliance? Why settle for compliance when the idea of being equated with “the voice of God” is in play? What does the General Conference Executive Committee really want? Compliance is: the act or process of complying to a desire, demand, proposal, or regimen or to coercion Another word for compliance. Noun. compliance, submission - the act of submitting; usually surrendering power to another. abidance, compliance, conformation, conformity - acting according to certain accepted standards.

Glaucon, the cynic in Plato’s Republic, told Socrates that people comply and act ethically only when they think they are being monitored, surveyed directly audited. Now researchers are finally putting teeth to this claim. Unfortunately some are willing to press their ideas under the guise of accountability when the program, tasks, faulty male headship theology take precedence over relationships. Will we operate out of compliance under the guise of submission?
Compliance says “You have my behavior. You don’t have my heart.”
Submission says “You have my heart. What kind of behavior can I offer?”
Compliance says “Do what you’re told to avoid negative consequences.”
Submission says “Do what is necessary to honor the authority.”
Compliance says “If I find a loophole, I have a way out.”
Submission says “I desire to exceed expectations for the benefit of others.”

There is a significant difference between the two. One is positional, the other is relational.
When the program, tasks, or projects take precedence over relationships, we will operate out of compliance under the guise of submission.
Compliance says “I better be rewarded for my extra effort.”
Submission says “I am delighted to give of a little extra, and I know my authority will protect my time and my heart.”

It is sad that COMPLIANCE is what the General Conference Executive Committee is working so hard to achieve and settle for.
God is asking for SUBMISSION, total and complete.


I understand that Moses law was preached every Sabbath in every city. James understood that spiritual growth would continue to happen organically through the movement of the Holy Spirit. This is why the apostles didn’t lay any burden on the Gentles other than the items in Acts 15. They knew that spiritual growth would happen in Gods timing.

What do we find in the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists… “if I can get a majority vote on a controversial topic, I can for shove it down everyone else’s throat or else.” This is not the leading of the Holy Spirit. God does not force. The Adventist Church is acting much like the Jews of old who protected their system but crucified the messiah. Let’s be honest


Consider the tremendous pressure placed on our leaders who are NOT in the GC. They are between a rock and a very hard place. It is all very well to say “I would do this or say that” but try walking in their shoes for a while. To underline this dilemma consider how that many of our top leaders on reaching retirement are prepared to speak out without fear or favour… we have developed a culture in our church that is toxic to honesty and truth. Blessings. Jim Bussau


Once the “synagogues” were gone, Christians were restricted from attendance–so was the preaching of Moses and the Sabbath. Christians celebrated the resurrection while Jews celebrated Creation. After 70 AD everything shifted in favor of Gentile type service away from Moses.

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The Problem that I see with this is –
ALL these persons having to fill out this form, and sign their name to it
can ONLY do ONE Thing.
They MUST break the 9th Commandment.
"Thou shalt NOT LIE."
If they DO NOT Lie, they may loose their job, their guaranteed annual income,
all their benefits, and their retirement.
Maybe EVEN their Ordination papers.

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I don’t usually comment - but a few lines from a poem I wrote many years ago “My soul is not for sale” keeps playing in my head
Outside the Box, inside the Box
Who made the Box?
Was it made to keep me in or to keep you out?

If I don’t think the same as you
Will Jesus care? Or will only you?

I know that today and every day I must choose

I know that today I believe I must stay true; for today, my soul is not for sale


In 1873, at a duly called GC session, a resolution was passed that allowed for non-compliance with GC actions under certain conditions. Here is the resolution.
RESOLVED, That the highest authority under God among Seventh-day Adventists is found in the will of the body of that people, as expressed in the decisions of the General Conference when acting within its proper jurisdiction; and that such decisions should be submitted to by all without exception, unless they can be shown to conflict with the word of God and the rights of individual conscience. The Conference accepted the report of the Committee, and unanimously adopted the resolutions. SIXTEENTH ANNUAL SESSION GENERAL CONFERENCE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS September 20, 1877; FOURTH SESSION September 28, 4:30 p.m.
Notice the word “unless” and the second of the two conditions that follow; “rights of individual conscience.” I assume that this is the reason why some are not following the GC votes on women’s ordination today. They feel that it violates the rights of their individual conscience. So in essence, it appears that they are not in rebellion of GC actions but are actually in compliance with them since the 1873 action gives them the option on non-compliance under the specified conditions. This reasoning can be seen in Ellen White’s response to a GC action taken at the 1888 GC Session. The following is the resolution and Ellen White’s response.
GC Resolution - 1888 General Conference Resolution 23. RESOLVED, That we recommend, as far as reasonable, a practical experience in the canvassing field before persons are encouraged to enter the Bible work or the ministry. (F. E. Belden, Nov. 1). TWENTY-SEVENTH ANNUAL SESSION GENERAL CONFERENCE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS HELD AT MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, OCTOBER 17 TO NOVEMBER 4.
Ellen White’s Response - Another resolution was passed that might have been laid upon the table, i.e. The one in reference to training all licentiates in the canvassing work before permitting them to enter the ministry. This was to be an absolute rule, and notwithstanding all I had to say against this resolution, it was carried. It was not right for the conference to pass it. It was not in God’s order, and this resolution will fall powerless to the ground. I shall not sustain it, for I would not be found working against God. This is not God’s way of working, and I will not give it countenance for a moment.—Letter 22, 1889, pp. 10-11. (To R. A. Underwood, January 18, 1889.) {2MR 62.1 }
Ellen White’s retrospective in 1894 in reference in action taken in 1888 - Let us consider the proposition presented at the Minneapolis meeting. Some who did not receive their counsel from God prepared a resolution, which was carried, that no one should labor as a minister unless he first made a success in the canvassing field. The Spirit of the Lord did not indite that resolution. It was born of minds that were taking a narrow view of God’s vineyard and His workmen. It is not the work of any man to prescribe the work for any other man contrary to his own convictions of duty. He is to be advised and counseled, but he is to seek his directions from God, whose he is, and whom he serves. If one undertakes the canvassing work, and is not able to sustain himself and his family, it is the duty of his brethren, so far as lies in their power, to help him out of his difficulty, and disinterestedly open ways whereby this brother may labor according to his ability and obtain means honestly to sustain his family.—Manuscript 34, 1890, 2. (Testimony 4, August3, 1894.) {2MR 62.2}
Was Ellen White rebelling against a GC session action? No. Why not? Because the action violated Ellen White’s conscience and the 1873 GC action give her the right not to comply if it did. In the same way, those who are not complying with GC actions regarding the ordination of women in a pastoral role also have the right not to comply if those actions violate their individual conscience. The 1873 action would have to be amended or rescinded for non-compliance to be out of order.


More stalling…this was a really bad idea from a fearful leadership to just do what the constitutions says…

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Read the Early Church Fathers for yourself. You will find that Sabbath keeping is not featured. In fact there significant anti-Judism found often in the writing of early church Fathers.


Could there be another fundamental reason as to why this issue continues to simmer? I would suggest yes and offer the strong possibility that some of our corporate church leaders could be suffering from variant of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder the criteria of which is as follows:

(1) recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety or distress
(2) the thoughts, impulses, or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems
(3) repetitive behaviors (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly
(4)The obsessions or compulsions cause marked distress, are time consuming (take more than 1 hour a day), or significantly interfere with the person’s normal routine, occupational (or academic) functioning, or usual social activities or relationships.

Should a complete psychiatric evaluation be required of our current GC leaders to rule out secular vs religious contributing factors?


And we as SDA’s have not already messed up? Look at our hospital system. Where is the Sabbath or anything that is remotely Adventists? I ask you how much of the pattern that EGW taught on education is at all practiced. Just read her books: Counsels on Education, Counsels to patients and teachers, Fundamentals of Education…And I could go on and on…You condemn the early church, members that knew Jesus, where the facts are that we have nothing to boast.

I still find it troublesome that the claim is made to gathering qualitative and quantitative date when in actuality they are asking a relatively few people their opinion about other people’s opinions. Strange way to gather qualitative data.


Intent not to gain any confounding thing as data, qualitative or not.
Only intent is to be able to have plausible deniability if questioned why they didn’t…
the people in the shews, errr, sheeple in the pews don’t know, don’t care.

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Sometime ago, the church in Canada called for entries from songwriters. When I saw your poetry, I thought you might make a good song out of it.

Anyway, about the sentiments you expressed -- I want to share with you the reaction of Isaac when others would not let him be.

Gen. 26:19-22: ¶ “Isaac’s servants dug in the valley, and found a well of running water there. But the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, ‘The water is ours.’ So he called the name of the well Esek; because they quarreled with him. Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also. So he called its name Sitnah. And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, because he said, ‘For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.’

The world of opportunity is huge, but it takes great faith to find peace with yourself when the opportunity lies outside the Box. The SDA denomination itself was sowed in the ground of rejection (as it were, outside the Box); but look what it became after being watered with faith and courage.

Now is the winter of your discontent.