Viewpoint: A Time to Mourn - The Death of the General Conference

There are conferences that ordain women.

I don’t know what your last paragraph meant at all. If the reverse situation were happening (e.g., the GC calling liberal Adventism dead), the theological ramifications would in fact be quite different.


this is an excellent point, one which undercuts ripgc’s preamble vision announcement of the gc’s passing…even in the days of a live egw, women were not generally employed in the church on an equal basis, and i haven’t seen evidence that openly practicing gays were employed in the church, even on an unequal basis…in reality, i think this tendency to link normative homosexuality with wo may have contributed to wo’s defeat in san antonio…the fact of this matter is that wo has biblical and egw support…normative homosexuality not only lacks biblical and egw support, it comes with strong biblical and egw proscription…as i see it, advocates for normative homosexuality would do well to concentrate on this aspect…normative homosexuality isn’t missing in adventism because of inadequate dialogue or an ineffective political strategy…it’s missing because inspiration is what it is…

btw, i may have BREAKING NEWS…i was invited to speak at andrews seminary yesterday and, after talking to a number of the theologians there afterwards, it appears our andrews seminary has joined ranks, somewhat, with norway and sweden…a number of ordained male pastors have handed in their ordination credentials, and are now commissioned pastors, like their female counterparts…

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When I was asked to join the RIP GC: An Adventist Funeral3 team, I understood the undertaking to be one of protest against a church system that now stands in the way of the very essence of the gospel.
And the essence of the gospel is what?


What follows does not represent a definitive stance of the RIP GC leadership team. Rather, it is my understanding of the Seventh-day Adventist administrative body’s delinquency in upholding the gospel,
How so?

I mean that as a vessel of the life given through Christ, as an agent of moral authority to discuss the will of God,
What does the bible say that the will of God is? the General Conference has worked against the gospel’s call for reconciliation and is anti-Christian. Therefore, in a very real way, the GC and its moral authority are dead.

We are called to reconciliation–not with the General Conference, but with the larger body of Christ–those enacting the Kin-dom of God, the community of shalom.
How is that accomplished? Worship on SUNday?

This is problematic for the Adventist Church, in which individuals are excluded on the basis of gender, race, sexual identity, and economic status. Proverbs 17:5 notes, “Those who mock the poor insult their Maker.”
The verse supports economic status only

Anyone who excludes LGBTQ individuals from the church
Attending or book membership?

or women from leadership refuses to recognize their dignity and denies the image of God in them.

The biblical narrative offers a similar scenario. When the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, their captors considered them less-than-human. They denied their dignity. God demonstrated her character by entering into human politics to liberate them.

Only to Let Moses put them under a super oppressive and burdensome system of civil and ceremonial rules…according to many Christians.

Therefore, when we ask who should be liberated, the first answer is, those who are excluded, the people who have been arbitrarily marginalized. It is only then that a true image of God can be seen in the church.

You want LGBT individuals to be part of the SDA family , so they also can constantly be brow beat with the poor , blind, naked, lukewarm Laodicean label like all of the rest?

This also does something to the people who have not been excluded; we are also liberated. It offers us an opportunity to see God and to identify where divinity is being oppressed. It changes our perspectives and opens our eyes to the meaning of the gospel.
And the meaning of the gospel is??

We need pastors and congregations faithful enough to boldly speak the gospel,
Which is?
a narrative with political implications. In this case, liberation requires a dive into church politics. Let those with ears to hear listen to the marginalized, and cultivate and strategically wield the political power necessary to fight for the gospel in practical terms.
Which means?

, we need to be reconciled to God, to each other, and to all of creation. How?

That is the overarching reconciliation intended by the whole of the Christian narrative. Practically, this means understanding ourselves as part of an ecumenical Christian movement and part of the world movement for peace and justice. We must be reconciled to the image of God in the people around us–to the prophets of racial justice, the martyrs of LGBTQ rights, and the saints of feminism.
Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Whatever future we move towards, if it is one of the gospel, And the gospel is what?
it must be most interested in the plight of those on the margins. It must reject oppression and must prioritize Christian service to all.

-I am not a denominational institutionalist…so if the general, unions, local conferences were ZEROED out right now…I would shed no tears or have no anxious thought. My interests and time are at the local church level. What undermines the church more than anything else is irrelevant superficial, obscure, cliché loaded presentations.
Be on guard against Adventitis.


As most of you know I’ve been predicting the demise of Adventism (as we know it) in the developed world and this is just one more movement being bold about the practical death of influence the GC has in the developed world. Formal bodies of the church are working around the GC and seemingly at deep odds with the assumptions people make about the GC’s role. This is not really even opinion. It is simple facts derived from the statistics that the GC itself publishes. Take away the effect of statistical bias and the reality is stark. Walk into any average urban church that is in good standing with the GC and see for yourself. Dying patrons, tiny outreach, no kids, 1/4th of a pastor. This is the reality in most of the country.

“The death of the GC” is overstated to be sure as it enjoys monstrous success in the parts of the developing world where they value papal style leadership, misogyny, literalism, and exclusivity. I do think it is totally fair to say the GC leadership and collective body are now moral liabilities to God’s work on Earth. They have put orthodoxy in belief over orthodoxy in service. They have failed to head the principles of Jesus. They are wasting God’s resources and producing conflict where there is ample opportunity to build unity in diversity. They have squandered the “talents”. In this sense, the GC is dead and cooling fast.

The GC did not lose moral authority in the ordination battle (although they lost more credibility); the GC lost this decades ago as theologians discovered the errancy of the core theology. This is not really debatable as that generation of theologians will tell you. Morale and ethical disruptions were manufactured by Ted’s father and various support staff. This will never be known too broadly. The years since has been a polite dance between BRI, GC, and the best theologians so that people could retire in their career paths. Fundamentalists have never really been at the dance until now. I have a front row seat to all this and so many have regrets about not addressing this when the opportunity was given.

As such, I think this movement is important and has some strong merit in the metaphor they are using. Some call it bogus and wasted, but those same people don’t understand the importance of metaphor. This is the underpinning of the Bible of course. I will support the efforts if they seek to build ultimately rather then actively destroy.



The whole premise of this article is terribly confused. Who is this GC you are raging against? It is you yourself - in the form of your representatives. If you want to be mad at someone for denying you something you wished for it is your brothers and sisters all around the world who have instructed their representatives differently than you have yours. But of course it is much easier to channel frustration toward an institution or a few individuals than against more than half of your faith community. If the GC is dead and not lead by the spirit, then so is the majority of the individual believers in the Adventist Church. What you call for is exactly the same you would have condemned in conservative believers had the election gone the other way. Try to see things from different perspectives for a change.
Also: Please stop interpreting the actions of others in the worst possible light - People who want to approach people of different sexual orientation differently than you do not necessarily wish to harm them, nor do they deny that they were made in the image of God (and still bear it). Have you considered that you are just in disagreement on how to help them best - not whether to help them (abuse does exist of course)?

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I agree with most of what you ( ZywVal) have said. I would like to add that this type of protest comes with a price, a toll. It seems like a great waste of precious time to build a website for this, light up twitter 24 hours a day, spend all that money for bogus sarcastic cards and flowers that will just end up in the dumpster…clearly people have too much time on their hands and money to throw up into the wind. The one church is not denominational…it’s leader/pastor is in a homosexual relationship.

I mean, obviously you hope to be respected and understood even though your leader is a man who has another man for a spouse, in a church that is independent from adventism. So where is your respect and understanding of those who interpret Scriptures about woman in positions of authority over men differently than you?

And I hope you don’t think that there exists no correlation between your music ministry and your improper criticism of those with sincerely held Biblical beliefs. The more eccentric this protest becomes, the less trusting people will become of the Coyotes. So in a way, you might be shooting yourself in the paw. The result is that your reach is restricted to those who already agree with yourself! That would be a shame, wouldn’t it?


The author calls us to the Kin-dom of God, in contrast to the Kingdom as reported in the Gospels. Yes, we are called to community. But our community is found in the decision we have each made to pledge loyalty to the King, to be members of his Kingdom and obedient to him. We call this turning away from sin and the kingdom of Satan to the Kingdom of God “conversion”. We may share beliefs, culture and politics with other people, but that doesn’t define a shared citizenship; only if we share the same King can we be considered part of the same kingdom. In the same vein, if we share allegiance to the same King, then even if we disagree on beliefs, culture or politics, we are still citizens of the same kingdom, and by definition and purchase of the King, we are brothers and sisters in the royal family. That should make us cautious towards those with whom we disagree; the King paid a ransom for them too.

But let’s go with the “Kin” concept anyway. Who are our “Kin”? Jesus, when told that his mother and brothers were visiting and wanted to see him said: “‘Who are my mother and my brethren?’ And looking around on those who sat about him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brethren! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Mark 3:33-35)." So our Christian community is not founded in family relationships but in shared relationships with those who do the will of God. The problem, then, is that we have different conceptions of what the will of God is.

Those who oppose WO or sexually active LGBTQ lifestyles do so because they sincerely believe those to be against the will of God. Those who have a different perception of the will of God may support WO and LGBTQ lifestyles (or maybe just one of these). How do we reconcile this? By the Word of God, folks like to say. But here, too, we have differences in how we interpret the Bible, or even what exactly the Word of God is. So, this is a tough problem and people of good will disagree, shaped no doubt also by their individual life experiences, the culture they are embedded in, etc. Demonizing people on either side doesn’t seem helpful. On the other hand, Jesus himself said some pretty strong things against religious leaders in his day. Yet, to emulate his approach without a clear understanding of who is right just leads to more conflict (hopefully no crucifixions!). And round and round we go! We may be tempted, like the sons of thunder, to ask Jesus to call fire down from heaven on those who don’t like our way. But Jesus urges us to just keep walking.

Fundamentally, this article seems to be based on a false premise of what the GC is. As others have pointed out, it is “us”. However imperfectly it may represent the membership demographically–and every political system has its faults-- the GC is nevertheless a form of representative church government. The lost vote on women’s ordination (and it was by a modest margin) reflected the will of many members, especially in the developing world. Would the author of this article accuse those members of having lost their moral compass? Can we not understand this as a cultural effect without demonizing those with whom we disagree? Does the author and the RIPGC movement understand that their condemnation of misogyny may be perceived as racist or as residual colonialist and imperialist attitudes towards “undeveloped” countries and their people?

Is GC the Black Sea? Ted Wilson the Moses splitting of the Sea? Are we such derelicts, unbelievers’ waiting to have faith in the Devine and his servant Wilson? Is it not our nature to question the rule – and rules – of human authority? Wilson is splitting the Sea. Don’t we all wind up dead? Not only did he ( Ted) cannot answer the way the derelicts wanted but also he chuckled upon concluding his answer with dramatically theoretical air!