Why We Should Reform How We Elect General Conference Presidents

Churches are man made sand castles that will be eroded away by the wind, or erased in the next high tide.

So the question of whether the edifice is ruled by a king or a queen is as immaterial to god as is the matter of who built the castle to the incoming waves.

To my mind, the call of Revelation to come out of Babylon is as obvious as is the message of the vote in SA. Taking refuge in a church is like trying to ride out a hurricane in plastic play house and staying in a denomination that doesn’t treat all of god’s children equally is at best a joke and at worst, is an affront to the creator who, like a doting grandparent, finds all of his offspring adorable!


The GC executive committee includes an African GC VP, 3 African division presidents, and several African union presidents. Do they ever get together for counsel (caucus) so they can take a united stand (consensus) on issues such as LBTQ+? On WO, I guess.

I’m curious. African leaders seem reluctant to express disagreement with their own countrymen. I could be wrong. Privately perhaps, but not openly. Is it taboo to call them out for wrongdoing? How about those who write for Spectrum and AToday? Matthew? Ncube? Others.

To achieve meaningful reform would require the church as a whole - all levels of administration from GC all the way up to the local conference, clergy in the field, and laity, to abandon the childish notion that decision-making in the church is guided by the “holy spirit” or any other supernatural force and recognize that the decisions are those of fallible humans. Pre-vote prayers have never moved or influenced a vote; conference, union, division and GC presidents have never been selected by the holy spirit, God does not preside over the sessions, and there is no supernatural force guiding the votes at the GC or anywhere else.

Until this acknowledgement of reality has occurred, reform is impossible as many believe the process is unimportant due to their childish faith that God will make sure the right decisions are made. The administration and clergy are generally unwilling to make this acknowledgement since many enjoy making the spurious claim that they are “god’s anointed” and using that subterfuge to insulate themselves from criticism and to claim that God is in agreement with their own opinions.

US secular democracy has been so successful since the founders recognized and accepted the perfidy of man and sought to establish a system that could work when run by scoundrels - and there have been some serious scoundrels occupying high office. The church won’t admit that their leaders can be scoundrels and therefore intentionally establish a system without such protections.


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Too funny! I suppose some actually think the HS was involved. For example the contentious 2015 San Antonio vote went 1,381 no to 977 yes. So did the HS give different instructions to these two groups of voters? Did the HS only influence one side? How do we know which side the HS favoured? Is the HS automatically on the side of the majority? Did the others refuse the guidance of the HS? Or why didn’t the HS just make a public proclamation and settle the matter?

The more likely explanation was that the HS didn’t show up to the meeting, didn’t respond to the invocations, and doesn’t really care about the petty power politics of the SDA church.


I don’t think God, or the Holy Spirit intervenes in our human decisions. I think that if a person asks the HS to give them guidance and honestly allows this member of the God-Head to direct their decisions, that the person will be led by the Spirit. But how many of those in the WO vote truly asked God to direct their vote? How many, even if they asked God, were willing to follow His direction? I am 100% sure that the vast majority simply voted according to what they wanted, believed, or how they had been directed by their local leadership to vote. Humans notoriously are unwilling to give up control, and I must admit, that includes me.

It may be sacrilege, but I believe some passages in scripture were penned because the author had been schooled in a particular understanding and not because they were inspired. There was another factor, they simply did not have the information, the data, and the concrete evidence that we have today. That is certainly true of the hatred of the LGBTQ community. Jesus, who was the only one who saves me and the only one that I totally trust, said in Matthew 19:12 that He does not disallow the eunuchs, the ones altered or born that way, from entering God’s kingdom. I think that term eunuch is all encompassing in that it speaks of those born this way. Remember, Jesus words were quoted by humans, not written directly by Him. And those authors had no clue as to the nature of who or what they were describing. Jesus never condemned this community, and neither do I.


The lesson this week touches on this. Who do you think is Babylon and who is the pure woman of revelation?

Thanks for the quotes. Appreciate it.

I agree, I think the argument from some of the divisions is that ordination is already granted at the union level. But if this was really what then believed they should have refused to vote. Accepting a vote meant accepting that you don’t already possess this right and you are accepting that you need the authority of the voting body to gain that right.

My union (pacific union) voted to ordain women before SA. So it was kind of ridiculous to me that they even participated in the vote because it was obvious they had absolutely no intention of abiding by it.

It’s tough when so many good people have very strong and differing opinions, but voting then not respecting the vote only made things worse

Eunuch = “not apt for the common marriage” I(one contemporrary German translation)

I’m willing to do what billions of other purported Bible scholars-almost none of whom agree with each other-seem able to do and say, “I don’t know.”

Even more importantly, I’m pretty sure that’s there’s not gonna be a pop quiz on judgement day or that this question will be asked by St. Peter at The Pearls Gates.

BTW, I do agree with you and @vandieman that people who advocated for WO shouldn’t have voted at SA.

If the question had been “Is murder okay?” and you knew even one person in the arena was going to vote “Yes.”, much less that a majority would do so, a reasonable person should have immediately voted with his feet and left, lest he be seen associating with those whose morals he considered outrageous and despicable.

I know the media response at the time, if there were any reports any where, was the same as that of most of the world’s population which was, and is, to lump SDA’s in with those other so-called Christian fringe cults whose antiquated, sexist and immoral theology is considered a joke.


i think San Antonio was a learning experience for everyone, actually…i don’t think anyone thought of Union prerogatives before the WO vote, and certainly, rank and file members had never before been so engaged in GC politics…but now that it’s all behind us, we can see how little a GC vote means on a practical level for most members…what really matters is a personal connection with God, in addition to what may be going on on a local level…

San Antonio is going to go down in adventist history as worse than a waste of time…headship is never going to be able to be enforced in NAD or Europe…i think it will be awhile before GC leaders think to put something so divisive, where there isn’t real scriptural or egw support, up for a GC vote again…the only thing that’s been gained is a lack of respect for the GC, and leadership in general, not to mention deepened internal divisions…

San Antonio really was a bad mistake…we just don’t have the ability to be as innocent and trusting as we were before the vote…

They’re called Evangelicals. They are the same people who are willing to tell people who they consider sinners, which we all are, that they have the light and everyone else is condemned to the flames. Then they go and vote for the (blank grabbing) liar, traitor, narcissistic racist because “he was put there by God”. Yah Right! And Pigs can fly.


That seems to be a fair and accurate response.


In reading the play-by-play of the African church, I realize just how awful they are. I remember many of these events, most covered here on Spectrum, but to see it all in one place - it’s amazing (not in a good way).

The African church seems to be the cudgel Ted is happily using to drag the entire church back into the 19th century - an effort he seems consumed with. It’s ironic that the church teaches the “present truth”, which implies progress over time, and yet Ted wants nothing of it. His truth is from the 1800’s - and it seems Africa is already there, happily hoping the rest of the church will join them.

The North American church felt compelled to take their message to the world for over 100 years. They surely made mistakes but they also tried to accommodate various cultural norms along the way. The north has been repaid for this effort with misogyny and intolerance and corruption from the south - all antithetical to the recorded teachings of Jesus. Their majority gives them a bully pulpit which they apparently enjoy using.

Yes, the Pope has certainly done more to encourage Christians to abandon the rampant misogyny and intolerance of the LGBT community being expressed in Africa than Ted ever has (Ted has done literally nothing to promote such Christian values). Maybe the Pope is not the Antichrist after all? If not, then who is?


It may be useful to remember what question was voted. Prior to San Antonio, ordination decisions were made at the union level. The proposal in 2015 was to give responsibility to the dictions and allow each to make provision for ordaining women. The vote was “no” meaning that the status quo continued, which was to leave ordination decisions at the union level. The San Antonio vote did NOT forbid unions from ordaining women. The San Antonio question only referred to divisions. While the vote was spun by both sides as a referendum on male headship, the vote was only on the question posed.

Claiming that unions are not respecting the vote is simply not true.


The GC appears to be trying to “Hoover up” all the authority of the Unions and restrict their ability to function effectively and independently in their own territories.


Accept my apology for my attempt in tryingt to correct some views :
Usually the gender (man / woman ) classificattion for an individusl at birth is taken from the aspect of the “private parts” .

Now embryology shows that - so to say - the “female” folds up to the male form in the prenatal period. An incomplete development results in a quite “female” looking genital - - -

The worldwide known Austrian ski champion Erik Schinegger born in a rural comunity and parish ( see Google !)- - was notified and baptized and raised and socialised as - - a girl and then in the Nations skiing league ! - 1968 in Olympic Gernoble the boss of another National team demanded a genetic test - “Erika” - then at once was “Erik” - -

Erik in TV interview long afterwards : He/she with thirteen got in panic, then developing an unknown intense interest in - the girls of his/her group ! - fearing to get lesbian !! While all the other girls only had an eye for the boys !!

The genetic "“attraction” was the one of a normal human male.

please see :

Anatomy at birth = female
Emotion at puberties begin = male
After some surgery = A real He - Man (Before : “emotionally” - sex attraction - a male !! )

    • and please draw your conclusions now !

No way all that effort went into arguing in favor of women’s ordination if unions already had the authority to do so. I know some made that argument but it makes no sense. Why would a division ask for authority to ordain women if each union already had that authority? If they truly believed unions already had the authority there is no way on this earth they would have spent all that time and effort to give divisions the authority. What would this do? What good would come from giving divisions the authority if the unions already have it? Unions are a more local authority so it’s be actually better for those in favor of wo because you could have individual unions approve it even if a division wouldn’t.

The Bible presents Babylon as deceiving the whole world into being unfaithful to God and ultimately being lost because of her deceit. So yes it does matter because those who can’t identify her will likely be fooled by her.

I don’t believe a God who truly loves us and wants us to remain faithful to Him would leave us no objective way of knowing the truth or make His teachings so obscure no one can decipher them.

Babylon is a false religion that speaks in the name of God but make alliances with governments to force worship on the world on Penalty of death. She deceives them with her false teachings.

Yes I believe those who are alive at the end better know who Babylon is or they’ll be fooled into following her.