Wilson's Message on Day One: It’s Our Fault, But We Did a Great Job.

At about 10:30 Thursday morning, delegates watched a video produced by the General Conference Revival and Reformation Committee.  A fictionalized enactment of conversation among Adventist leaders in 1901, and based on an Ellen White letter from twenty months later, the video addresses the delay of the Second Coming.  The startling thesis, put into the mouth of George Irwin, the General Conference president who Arthur G. Daniels predecessor, is this: “It is our fault that the Lord has not come; as leaders we have let the Lord down.” Following the video, Ted Wilson approached the podium and endorsed that thesis—as true and applicable today.  

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2015/07/03/wilsons-message-day-one-it%25e2%2580%2599s-our-fault-we-did-great-job

In the 1901 video reenactment, the response of leaders to their sense of the delay was confession of personal shortfalls. Wilson’s remarks did not go to the same place: it is the community that must humble itself, the community that must undergo revival and reformation.

Well…No surprises there.


To me, this is a declaration of war, not love. It is pure apocalyptic hubris, from a man running for another five years in office… If this kind of fundamentalism takes root in Adventism, it is a tragedy. I’m not a member anymore, so I can speak up without being afraid of “grave consequences”, but TW is certainly not my prophet! I’m saddened to see the Church I grew up in and spent many years of my life in, develop in this direction!


“personal” or “community”… makes no real difference. The basic problem is the same… blaming what is seen as a “delay” on the waiting people rather than on Peter’s statements about the “long-suffering of God”… not being will in that any human … in any generation… including those yet to come… not having the chance to respond in love to the overtures made to them by God’s Spirit.

All in all, it seemed to me to be a carefully orchestrated production … set to the background music of “How Great Thou Art”… but… as with the “1901 video reenactment”… a “slight” change of words… reiterated each time the volume swells in the repeated accolades of “How Great We Are!”… and we hear the echos ring… “How GREAT… We… Are… … …!”


Mhmm… what did historians say about the video and its content? I seem to remember quite a few inaccuracies were pointed out. Never mind the theological implications on the sovereingty of God.

Doesn’t TW read Spectrum? How much clearer could it have been demonstrated that nothing was gained with NY13

When politicians make these kind of statements I often mumble to myself “despite, not under”. Were there any words on how much he polarized the church? Just wondering.

Last but not least - at least this report did not leave a sense of humility. But then, to be fair, that’s probably true for any president’s report.


That man makes tears of sorrow run down my face!!! He is so wrong for our church! Shaking my head!


Hubris and error personified. This is the opinion of many that he addresses. He is not my leader nor my minister. He is simply a voice that is calling a failed organization to go backward and become less relevant and less valuable to this world. He is calling tragedy love and putting Adventism at the position of influencing God. What a shame.


We have been taught that the reason for the delay
in Christ’s coming is that
"He not willing that any should perish".

Since EGW penned the Great Controversy
there are BILLIONS more people on the planet
–billions MORE to “perish” than if Christ
had come 150 or 1500 years ago.
Christ through John the Revelator,
circa AD 90, said He would come SOON.
Is this not untruthful,
if we believe the 1844 sanctuary prophecy.
Surely one time frame contradicts the other?

The demographics show that one million
new births occur EVERY WEEK.
(In the last 19 weeks, as many as the
nineteen million Adventists Ted boasts about,
baptized over many decades).
Many of today’s newborns enter non-Christian
families, in conditions of utter squalor,
—shanty towns in Africa. and sordid slums
in Rio and Calcutta.
Many will die of dysentery or starvation
before reaching the age of five,
and most will "perish"eternally,
being born to “heathen” mothers!

The “misery index” on our planet rises exponentially
—a miasma of misery mantles our globe.
– drowning, starving desperate migrants,
on several oceans, millions of war refugees ,
Ebola epidemics, earthquakes
in the world’s poorest locales–Haiti and Nepal,
ISIS atrocities ad nauseum.
It is difficult to STOMACH the evening news.
I cringe with each new calamity!
And we are still to expect in the future,
“a time of trouble such as never was?”

How do God’s nostrils tolerate the STENCH
of so much agony and anguish??

The demographics show, with each passing
decade of delay in the return of Christ.
countless MORE eternally “perish” and
millions more are mired in abject misery.

And we Adventists are to blame because
"we are not prepared"?
What a guilt trip EGW and Ted Wilson
lay on our shoulders!
Are Adventist responsible for the Holocaust,
'Stalin’s Gulag, the Armenian, Pol Pot,
Ruandan, Bosnian genocides, because of our
woeful lack of preparation?
Do we really want to belong to a church
that is “responsible” for such a multitude of calamities?

The price tag for the delay in Christ’s coming
exacted in mankind’s MISERY,
is getting imcreasingly prohibitively EXPENSIVE.

Ted’s explanation for the delay in Christ’s return,
is to say the least DISMAYING.
The longer the time lapse between Christ’s return
and William Miller’s “mistake”, the more
the denomination will embarrassingly
"have egg on its face".


And, thankfully, your opinion is not shared by the majority of the delegates at the GC session, and I suspect it is held by a small minority of church members.

Why does this “failed organization” continue to grow?

The world may perceive the church to be less valuable and irrelevant, but that is only to be expected. They are on a completely different wavelength, with a worldview that is diametrically opposed to what we have to offer… The reality is that our message is a life-saving message. But we’ve never believed that the majority would accept it. Few will accept the narrow way.


Birder, you have a two pronged approach: The church is growing - thus it can’t have failed. But if it should decrease, it’s not failure, but fulfillment of prediction. That’s a little bit like psychoanalysis… If the psychoanalyst is wrong, he will claim the patient displays some defense mechanism - is in resistance. Low and behold, the psychoanalyst is right again. :smirk:

I don’t know, in which part of the world you live - but the growth of our church is limited to very particular areas. There is virtually none in Europe, in North-America, in Australia … and its slowing down in Central America, I have heard. The church is growing where it brings a social upward movement (health care and education being important contributors). What’s your experience?


You are right about the majority which is why this is a proof point of failure. Growth always needs to be in context. When in context, failure is evident. The world is God’s kingdom. If the church is not relevant, it is failed. This is the hubris of Adventism. They mark irrelevance as proof that the message is right. Pretty ironic and prideful as usual.


Andreas, I think Birder lives in Australia where the church has been losing far more people than it has gained over the past few decades. This negative growth is true for all first world countries. We have no reason to sing “How Great We Are” in the South Pacific Division or in any other world division. We will probably get more of the same tired old rhetoric for the next five years. The GC has begun with an American-style Presidential campaign speech that will set up Ted Wilson’s re-election to send us back even further in time than 1901.


Birder lives in the northern USA, I believe. Pago is Australian.


What a thought-provoking and memorable headline, Chuck.


Yes, Pago lives in Victoria, Australia. Maybe Birder can kindly confirm if his location is in Australia or America.

A performance report from someone not seeking reelection, as he sought election five years ago, would have been more appropriate. From where I stand, never has the church been more disillusioned and divided. The secretary will report the statistics; but no one will report the damage. The statistics don’t tell much, they need so much interpretation- but they tell us something. This campaign speech told us nothing about our church. Let’s choose for our next leader and leadership team, persons of God who would never choose themselves. We need healing and encouragement, and a serious reflection on the role of our church and ourselves in the last days of the Great Controversy and our tiny role world.


Wow. That was as much a spin session on the authors personal issues as it was about Wilsons speech. SAD.

“Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you” (2 Thessalonians 1:6).

Your quote is in keeping with the idea presented in this verse…it’s hardly a apocalyptic hubris.

Bronwyn where do you live? I’ll be in Queensland for 5 weeks in August…

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Were any paleontologists present. Fancy being able to see a real living specimen of your specialty.