Stan

When Church leaders fail us...

225 posts in this topic
On 10/30/2016 at 4:44 AM, Gregory Matthews said:

 

9)  I am informed that under the provisions of Article XII of the 2012 - 2013 Model By-laws for a Union Conference, it requires a 2/3 majority of the constituency delegates to amend the Union Constitution and By-laws.   Absent this vote, the vote of the GC in session lacks the authority to force a Union to comply, at least as long as that Union remains.   "To dissolve the Union Conference would require under Article VII a 2/3 majority vote of the constituency delegates.

 

I am not intelligently informed to argue on the merits of your claim. Let us assume that you are 100% correct. However, in light of the following  inspired message from God to our church,, why would a union not comply with the vote of the GC in session?  

    I have been shown that no man's judgment should be surrendered to the judgment of any one man. But when the judgment of the General Conference, which is the highest authority that God has upon the earth, is exercised, private independence and private judgment must not be maintained, but surrendered. - Testimonies For The Church, Vol. III page 492 (1875)  {PC 422.2} 

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Jackson said below:

My comments demonstrated that those services have NOT been required for ordination and we have ordained people who have never performed those services either before ordination or after ordination.

Gregory, I was giving evidence .it wasn't sufficient in itself to prove she wasn't ordained, but it was designed to show that she never performed those  services that required ordination.

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Jackson said below:

1)  You are not at fault for your inability to be informed as to what constitutes denominational working policy.  Unfortunately the denomination does not make such easily available.  The result is that most people can not verify the accuracy of statements that are made about our working policy.

2)  The second part of your question as to why a Union would not comply with a vote of the GC in session is much more complex.

a)  The recent vote of the GC in session, in 2015 was to deny the Divisions the authority of determine who should be ordained.  It was not a vote to change the authority of the Unions, as is current, to determine who should be ordained. No vote of the GC in session has ever prohibited the ordination of women.  All votes on that issue have simply been no to take an action that permits such.

'b)  Prior to the establishment of the Unions, the General Conference made decisions as to ordination and/or they were also made by local congregations.  With the establishment of the Unions, that authority was removed from both the General Conference and the local congregations.  You will note that it was EGW who advocated the establishment of the Unions in order to reduce the authority of the General  Conference.

c)  The Union Constitution and By-laws are the official, legal, documents under which the Union operates.  All such have been approved by the General Conference at the time that the Union was established.  All contain language that establishes the process as to how they may be changed is generally by a vote of the constituency.  Such votes had been taken in many cases to amend the respective Union Conference Constitution and By-laws.  The result is that such Union documents are not 100 % alike in how they read.  As an actual fact, they do not all read the same as to compliance with GC policy.  Absent their documents being amended, they are not in rebellion against the GC. 

d)  There is a process that has been established by which the GC and bring a request to amend those documents to the constituency.  There is also a process by which the GC can deal with a Union that is believed to be  rebellion.   There is a process by which the GC can use to determine that a Union is in rebellion.  But, absent that process it can not be said that a Union is actually in rebellion.  NOTE:   This is essentially as in criminal law in the U.S.  One can only say that     another has committed the crime of  murder after that person has been so charged and convicted by a trial in a court of law. 

e)  By the way:  The GC, allows women to be ordained as local elders  The Bible never makes a distinction between a local elder and our clergy.  IOW, if we can validly ordain women as local elders, we can do so for clergy.  This  distinction between local elders and clergy comes from a Roman Catholic background.  In RC theology deacons are a lower level of clergy but are not priests.

 

I am not intelligently informed to argue on the merits of your claim. Let us assume that you are 100% correct. However, in light of the following  inspired message from God to our church,, why would a union not comply with the vote of the GC in session?  

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The following is a Roman Catholic statement at to their various levels of clergy or as they call them, clerics.

It should be noted that the present RC Church does not allow women to be deacons.  However, Pope Francis has stated that  he would be willing to consider allowing women to be ordained as deacons as deacons do not perform the function of representing Christ as do priests.  It remains to be seen whether or not this will happen.

Catholic deacons, priests and bishops are all clerics; each receives in ordination the sacrament of Holy Orders.

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Earlier, in responding to Jackson, I said the following quoted below:

I could, at that time have said more.  But, I chose to limit what I said.  I will now expand upon it.

1)  Even in recent times, people who have been elected/appointed to some denominational offices have been ordained as SDA clergy, if not already so ordained.  This has been done, in part, due to the fact that SDA membership often expects people who hold certain administrative offices to be clergy.

2)   In actual practice SDA organizations often, on all levels from the local congregation to the GC itself, operate on an exception to policy that may violate established denomination rules and regulations.  As an example of this, denominational Divisions and  the General Conference itself have ordained people as SDA clergy without obtaining the approval of the Unions, who under policy have the right to decide who should be ordained.

3)  While I am not going to give details, there are some attempts being made at the present time to put into formal policy the authority, in some cases, to do what I have mentioned in # 2.

 

Quote

Well into the 1900s the SDA denomination ordained males who had neither pastored a congregation nor baptized nor married couples.  And, in addition following their ordination they never pastored a congregation nor did they ever baptize nor marry couples.  Many of these were physicians.  However, I could give you an example of a person who was not a physician.

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All that this boils down to is: THE MATTER OF AUTHORITY
 
"The Testimonies themselves will be the key that will explain the messages given as Scripture is explained by Scripture." Selected Messages, vol.1,42.

"In the kingdoms of the world, position means self-aggrandizement. The people are supposed to exist for the benefit of the ruling classes. Influence, wealth, education, are so many means of gaining control of the masses for the use of the leaders. The higher classes are to think, decide, enjoy, and rule; the lower are to obey and serve. RELIGION, LIKE ALL THINGS ELSE, IS A MATTER OF AUTHORITY. The people are expected to believe and practice as their superiors direct. The right of man as man, to think and act for himself, is wholly unrecognized." E.G. White, Desire of Ages, 550.

So it is that for many years, in the professed church of Christ, things have come to the place where God has been put aside for the devisings of men.

"God declares, 'I will be glorified in My people.' But the self-confident management of men has resulted in putting God aside and accepting the devisings of men. If you allow this to continue your faith will soon become extinct." Testimonies to Ministers, 481.

"In matters of conscience the soul must be left untrammeled. No one [or no committee of men] is to control another's mind, to judge for another, or to prescribe his duty. God gives to every soul freedom to think, and to follow his own convictions. 'Every one of us shall give account of himself to God.' No one has a right to merge his own individuality in that of another. In all matters where principle is involved, 'let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.' Rom.14:12,5. In Christ's kingdom there is no lordly oppression, no compulsion of manner." E.G. White, Desire of Ages, 550.

"The church is God's fortress, His city of refuge which He holds in a revolted world." A.A.11.

"The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress which He holds in a revolted world and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan." Desire of Ages, 324.

"The head of every man is Christ. The church is built upon Christ as its foundation; it is to obey Christ as its head. (1 Cor.11:3; 3:11; Col.1:18) It is not to depend upon man, or be controlled by man [through resolutions by vote]. Many claim that a position of trust in the church gives them authority to dictate what other men shall believe and what they shall do. This claim God does not sanction. God declares, 'All ye are brethren.' All are exposed to temptation, and are liable to error. Upon no finite being can we depend for guidance. The Rock of Faith is the living presence of Christ in the church [in the soul]. Upon this the weakest can depend, and those who think themselves the strongest will prove to be the weakest, unless they make God their efficiency. 'Curse be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.'" Desire of Ages, 414.

Therefore,

"In the commission to His disciples Christ not only outlined their work, but gave them their message. Teach the people, He said, 'to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.' The disciples were to teach what Christ had taught. That which He had spoken, not only in person, but through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament, is here included. Human teaching is shut out. There is no place for tradition, for man's theories and conclusions, or for church legislation. No laws ordained by ecclesiastical authority are included in the commission. None of these are Christ's servants to teach." Desire of Ages, 826.
 
And, mind you, "The doctrine that God has committed to the church the right to control the conscience, and to define and punish heresy, is one of the most deeply rooted of papal errors." E.G. White, The Great Controversy, 293.
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I think all parties don't have lack of understanding on this issue of WO.. It's obvious and clearly about the unprecedented escalation of fake jewels that EGW cried about.. No matter how right, correct and convincing.. There will always be concealed unyielding stubbornness to rebel.. (very similar if not exactly the same as with mentioned militant stubbornness of the gay movements) Amazing these times are.. Ofcourse all times have their particularities.. 

Once again, the entirery of the Bible shows regular constant leadership of men, while revealing sparce and very rare occasions of women leadership.. The current limitations upon woman ordination that only allows ordination to those extremely out of the ordinary particularly blessed (that includes EGW) and the forbiddance of mass (production and employment) regular leadership of women is already correct..

But looking at how seemingly eternally die hard gay movements are.. One can expect the same of this WO movement..

Squashing WO effectively is one thing while handling the unprecedented scale of fake jewels driving this WO and I'm sure would also easily be the source of other troubles in the organization and church is another entirely different matter..

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38 minutes ago, Raphael said:

It's obvious and clearly about the unprecedented escalation of fake jewels that EGW cried about...

**************

Squashing WO effectively is one thing while handling the unprecedented scale of fake jewels driving this WO ... is another entirely different matter..

Fake jewels??  What fake jewels?  You've lost me.

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16 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

The following is a Roman Catholic statement at to their various levels of clergy or as they call them, clerics.

It should be noted that the present RC Church does not allow women to be deacons.  However, Pope Francis has stated that  he would be willing to consider allowing women to be ordained as deacons as deacons do not perform the function of representing Christ as do priests.  It remains to be seen whether or not this will happen.

 

 

I attended a Catholic Mass recently in the small town where I now live,  with a friend and it was a Deacon (male) that conducted the communion service, or whatever they call it. I did not go to the front and kiss the cross, like most of the people there who were members, but for 'the bread" I went up with my friend. I just thought it was the right thing to do at the time, but I remember being surprised when I found that it was a Deacon, (actually 3 of them) up front, conducting the service. I don't know exactly what their rules are regarding what duties Deacons perform in their church, maybe they also go by the rule of "exceptions" at times too? I dont see any real harm with that kind of thing in our church, or other ones.

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28 minutes ago, The Wanderer said:

I attended a Catholic Mass recently in the small town where I now live,  with a friend and it was a Deacon (male) that conducted the communion service, or whatever they call it. I did not go to the front and kiss the cross, like most of the people there who were members, but for 'the bread" I went up with my friend. I just thought it was the right thing to do at the time, but I remember being surprised when I found that it was a Deacon, (actually 3 of them) up front, conducting the service. I don't know exactly what their rules are regarding what duties Deacons perform in their church, maybe they also go by the rule of "exceptions" at times too? I dont see any real harm with that kind of thing in our church, or other ones.

When I was at Desert Shield/Storm on Christmas Eve we put on a Protestant service in which I gave the sermon. Then one of the nurses was a deacon in the Catholic Church so was going to offer a Midnight service for the Catholics and he asked me to preach my sermon again and to help him with the service.

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That is what I call "The Holy Spirit at work!" Thanks for sharing that! :)

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I'm sorry Raphael, but I find the Biblical Texts used for "Headship Theology" have alternative understandings that appear to fit the linguistics/literary structures; archaeology and culture better than the twist that the "headship" interpretation gives them.  Second I find too many texts where either the actual text would have to be a contradiction in the Bible is headship theology was true, but do harmonize with the other understandings of the texts used for headship theology. Besides the direct passages there are also possible understandings of texts that also contradict "headship" theology interpretation. So thus two sets of texts that I cannot reconcile with "headship theology." Sadly I have not found among the "Headship" people an attempt to deal with the alternative understandings of their texts nor the strong and not as strong texts that contradict their thesis. Also I have not seen attempts by headship people to explain why our early Adventist leaders tended to be for women's ordination. Especially the fact that (and this was out in the more unsettled territories out west, but John Loughborough would ordain either women or men to pastor those churches, depending on who he thought would do the best job,  as he moved on to start churches elsewhere. And that in the early 1900s when Conferences decided to start ordaining women and the Unions agreed, we would have been ordaining women. the only reason why we didn't was because Elder Daniels, while believing that women should have been ordained was concerned that too many of the members thought that the ordination of women was not Biblical and he requested the church to wait until these members could be educated that it is Biblical to ordain women. Now these are two people who were in Mrs. White's inner circle who supported women's ordination and she never corrected them for it. There is even some evidence that she may have supported these views. And since they were in her inner circle, their views could have been a reflection of Mrs. White's understanding. So why did God raise you up to correct Mrs. White's mistake if she made a mistake by supporting those who supported women's ordination instead of stopping them as she did on other topics.

But any way with this issue, there are two understandings of the Bible. Both groups are trying to follow the Bible. It is unfair and unkind, and merely superficial to just summarize "Headship is what the Bible teaches, I follow the Bible and those who don't agree with headship are therefore rejecting the Bible" and thus you can ignore the evidence that you are wrong.

 I believe that the church needs to accommodate those with your understanding. That both sides should be free to express what they understand, allow others to listen and study and to follow the dictates of their conscience in how to understand the Bible. I believe that every church district should allow someone who had problems with women's ordination to be able to attend a church with a male elder without having to drive unreasonable distances. But too many headship people want to FORCE their understanding upon everyone else. The same spirit as Sunday laws. Enforcing your understanding of the scriptures on the rest of us. Too many headship people are making the church into a liar. Mrs. White gave us a few landmarks on which we are to agree. Too many headship people are saying "Mrs. White is a liar, because we need to also agree on headship theology and if you don't accept that then get out!" Due to the freedom in Adventism to follow the Bible according to the dictates of our conscience, the church would make (and revise from time to time) a statement of beliefs which was to clarify what we tended to believe pretty much as a whole vs. beliefs among us that members were free to believe but were minority beliefs that we were free to believe or not believe. Our current list is the 28. And the were purposely written vague enough to allow for different understandings and applications for our different sub groups. The Seventh-day Adventist church has offered a contract: the landmarks and the 28. We have accepted this offer, and therefore have a binding contract. But headship people want to breech this contract and again turn the church into a liar by saying that besides the Landmarks and the 28 that we have agreed to, that we have to  accept something that is not in our contract and demands us to from our perspective reject the Bible for a false teaching.

Both you and I are fully unified on the landmarks and the 28. This is why we are both Seventh-day Adventists. I have no right to force you to give up headship theology. I have every right to share why I believe it is no more Biblical than going to heaven at death, and if you find reasons that you find convincing then you are free to change. But without that happening I have no right to force you to my understanding of the Bible. I as believing that headship theology would still welcome you and those who believe like you as brothers and sisters in the faith because we are agreed on the landmarks and 28. On the other hand you have no right to force me to give up my honest understanding of the Bible and Mrs. White and have to accept more than the landmarks and 28 to be a Seventh-day Adventist. This is where the issue is. And it is only a superficial wimping out and refusal to really deal with the Bible to just summarize "The Bible teaches headship theology so all you who don't believe this are rejecting the Bible and that settles it for me and you who don't accept it either shape up or get out!" 

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I will respond to both the Wanderer and Kevin who have stated that they have attended services in which a female deacon took part.

As I stated earlier, Pope Francis has stated that the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) does not allow females to be deacons, but he is willing, for the reason that I stated to consider allowing such.

In general what the RCC allows is contained in their Canon Law, of which  I have such a book in my library.  However, as I am a former military chaplain, I look for the standard of practice for RCC priests to come from the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA (AMS).  The AMS publishes a Priest's Manual which   is posted on the Internet and may be accessed at:

http://www.milarch.org/atf/cf/{1AF42501-01D5-4EF8-BA48-4450AC27EF98}/Priest's Manual.pdf

The following explaination will help you to understand RCC practice in this area:

Cleric:  A RCC Cleric is what we would likely call clergy.  Clerics are limited to Deacons, Priests and Bishops.  Presently these are only males.  These are all considered to be "Ordinary Ministers."  Only Priests and Bishops are allowed to consecrate the bread and the wine and conduct Mass.  NOTE:  A Cardinal and the Pope meet the requirement to be a bishop.

Deacon:  A RCC Deacon is presently only a male.  Keep in mind that Pope Francis might decide to allow females to become Deacons.

Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (EMHC): These may be males and they may be females.  The may not conduct Mass.  They may not consecrate the bread and the wine.  What they may do is distribute previously consecrated bread and wine.  They are not Clerics.  They may distribute communion to people in hospitals and in their homes.  They may distribute such at a Mass, or the priest may be the only one to so distribute at a Mass.

Catholic Lay Leader and Catholic Representative:  These may be males and they may be females. They may conduct RCC services that do not include Communion.  However, proper RCC authority may grant them the authority to conduct a RCC service that includes communion but they cannot consecrate the bread and the wine.

 

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Thanks Gregory. That was informative. I think you are right about the concecration of the bread. I did not see their Deacons do that. And some of the members. I talked to said they have a Preacher come every 4 weeks because he also pastors other nearby churches in small town Alberta

Edited by The Wanderer

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Oops, the nurse who was the Catholic deacon was a male nurse...

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On 11/4/2016 at 5:13 AM, Gregory Matthews said:

Jackson said below:

 

2)  The second part of your question as to why a Union would not comply with a vote of the GC in session is much more complex.

a)  The recent vote of the GC in session, in 2015 was to deny the Divisions the authority of determine who should be ordained.  It was not a vote to change the authority of the Unions, as is current, to determine who should be ordained. No vote of the GC in session has ever prohibited the ordination of women.  All votes on that issue have simply been no to take an action that permits such.

'b)  Prior to the establishment of the Unions, the General Conference made decisions as to ordination and/or they were also made by local congregations.  With the establishment of the Unions, that authority was removed from both the General Conference and the local congregations.  You will note that it was EGW who advocated the establishment of the Unions in order to reduce the authority of the General  Conference.

c)  The Union Constitution and By-laws are the official, legal, documents under which the Union operates.  All such have been approved by the General Conference at the time that the Union was established.  All contain language that establishes the process as to how they may be changed is generally by a vote of the constituency.  Such votes had been taken in many cases to amend the respective Union Conference Constitution and By-laws.  The result is that such Union documents are not 100 % alike in how they read.  As an actual fact, they do not all read the same as to compliance with GC policy.  Absent their documents being amended, they are not in rebellion against the GC. 

d)  There is a process that has been established by which the GC and bring a request to amend those documents to the constituency.  There is also a process by which the GC can deal with a Union that is believed to be  rebellion.   There is a process by which the GC can use to determine that a Union is in rebellion.  But, absent that process it can not be said that a Union is actually in rebellion.  NOTE:   This is essentially as in criminal law in the U.S.  One can only say that     another has committed the crime of  murder after that person has been so charged and convicted by a trial in a court of law. 

e)  By the way:  The GC, allows women to be ordained as local elders  The Bible never makes a distinction between a local elder and our clergy.  IOW, if we can validly ordain women as local elders, we can do so for clergy.  This  distinction between local elders and clergy comes from a Roman Catholic background.  In RC theology deacons are a lower level of clergy but are not priests.

 

 

 

All the legality aside. What has happened is that the Unions in question have rejected an inspired message from the Lord  and have not surrendered their views to the vote of the world  G.C. Legal  gymnastics do not overrule such Godly counsel, nor does rebellion  in God's eyes not exist because it hasn't been legally documented by the councils of men. 

Or am i wrong on all this, and the Unions have surrendered their views to the GC vote, but the vote had nothing to do with  prohibiting  women's ordination into the gospel ministry? In other words, are you saying that the Unions are complying with the GC vote but are being persecuted for a matter independent and unrelated to  the GC vote?

I have never come across and statement where Mrs White ever recommended that the World Wide General  Conference should surrender any authority to the Unions. What she did say however is that the General Conference Association, run by a small group of men in the United States, was  unreliable:
The enslaving of the souls of men by their fellow men in deepening the darkness which already envelops them. Who can now feel sure that they are safe in respecting the voice of the General Conference Association?......  {PH080 19.2}

As for permitting women to be elders, I have said previously that was a mistake for it is prohibited by scripture. The remedy is not to go ahead ordain women to be church overseers, but to get back in step with God's requirements. 

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Jackson, do you believe in God? 

Do you believe He is dead?

Do you believe He leads humans?

Do you believe the GC.org speaks for God?

Who is in charge, God or Humans?

It matters not what EGW said or didn't say, her claim was not to speak for God and the same goes for the GC.org. If we don't believe that God leads his church/people but only speaks through the ancients, EGW or GC.org than we might as well stop this whole nonsense for we are no different than other humans who created their own Gods. If you claim that everything we know or can know about God has already been given through the Bible or EGW, than you have not truly understood what it means to be God but have put Him in mans image. Which do you want to believe in?

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I read this on facebook last night. I asked for permission to share it here as I felt that it added to this discussion. It was written by someone named Graeme. I hope you find it useful.

Quote
Joy-Marie Butler "Isn't it ironic that at a time when two movies about Adventists are hitting the world and being used by the church to attempt to draw people in, the GC men are marching to a tune that repudiates the very message of these films.
"One film is about a
hero who refused to go against his conscience no matter what and was willing to risk his life for his internalized and externalized faith principles. The other is the in house movie that tells the story of a church with its most prominent human influencer and leader through its history being a woman, about a spiritual community emerging from mostly young people being forced out of their churches because they stood by their consciences and scripture as they best understood it. And at the same time we are being told that if the General Conference of the Adventist Church has a policy then no one is allowed to deviate no matter what their conscience says.
"What an irony. Can they not see it?
"I have always known the church was flawed because of the human element, but this is no mere human mistake: highly placed GC leaders are turning on their head some of the core principles and values that underlie what we were taught from a young age: including that Jesus, the early Christian church, the reformers and early Adventists lived by conscience, would not sacrifice conscience in the face of what any man, leaders or powers said or demanded.
"These administrators act to keep women in their place while uplifting their most famous woman and giving her goddess-like status. They demand conformity and obedience in the present and the future while praising those in the past who conscientiously disobeyed and wouldn't conform.
"I do not recognize this church at the higher level. It's not the highest form of Adventism that I know. If this conformist and punitive mentality keeps up, the church will leave many people - it won't be that the people have left the church.
I'm wondering where the way of Jesus is in all of this. The church faces complex and challenging dilemmas and choices - and to face them in the spirit of Jesus is the biggest challenge and opportunity.
"I don't know anyone in my life beyond Adventism who would have any interest in joining a religious organization that treats women as second class in its DNA and attempts to be dictatorial, demanding and conscience denying. Yet this is claimed to be for enhancing the mission and growth of the church?! I'm thinking that some of what has been coming out of the GC could be written word for word on the Barely Adventist website, because it is barely Adventist.
"The president wants us all to pray for and seek revival and reformation. Revival I understand. But he wants reformation? Does he know what Reformation looks like? It is all about the existing order being shaken to the core, of those in power and control being on the wrong side of it, of the old way crumbling and new beliefs, structures and ways of being emerging. It's not about reshaping an organization from top down with control and a predetermined outcome. A reformation in Adventism is the antithesis of what some key 'leaders' are seeking. I pray for Reformation!
"God help the Adventist church, because no one else can!"
- shared with permission and permission is given to share.

 

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Well the purpose of the G C Sessions was to bring about consensus and define the limits of Adventism. Our pioneers belonged to different churches and were kicked out of them for their love of Millerism. They decided to form a church where the would agree on a hand full of landmarks, and outside of that, as long as it was not fanatical, the members could individually believe what they understood the Bible to teach. The would have the freedom to share what the believed and if someone else liked what they said then ok, and if they did not like what they said that was fine too.

Over time there was some confusion over what we taught. People would hear what brother so-and so over here who was a Seventh-day Adventist believed. Would I have to accept his view on that topic to be a Seventh-day Adventist? So we made a general list of fundamental beliefs on how we generally believed. And with our fundamental beliefs we would try to write them vague enough to include as many sub groups as we could. For example when we formed our latest list, the 27 (which became 28) the part on the atonement was written so that our more forensic and our non-forensic members could both say those words even thought they would be applied in different ways.

A large number of our leaders questioned the trinity. Our pastors were encouraged to preach against the trinity. However there was a wide variety of views about the trinity. So while pastors were pressured to preach against it, our fundamental beliefs did not have an anti-Trinitarian statement. Our members were free to believe in the trinity or be free to question the trinity and still be members. As time went on the trinity became more accepted by the church so Trinitarian statements were added to the fundamental beliefs.

Some Adventists ate pork, other Adventists said that we should not eat pork. The first decision was that if someone did not want to eat pork that was fine but that the should not push that on the rest of the church. You were welcome as a pork eater or a non-pork eater. But as time went by and the Health message became a fundamental belief then the pork eating was discouraged. There were different times we started Sabbath. Some from sunset to sunset, some from 6:00 pm to 6:00 pm, some from midnight to midnight, some from sunrise to sunrise. For about 10 years the General Conference decision was that it was up to our understanding. But as the sunset to sunset became clearer then we went to sunset to sunset.

The General conference was to allow our members to have a lot of freedom in our individual beliefs yet define for other Adventists and people interested in Adventism as to how much of this person who claims to be a Seventh- day Adventist that I have to agree with and where we can disagree.

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Mrs. White tells us a story of a General conference decision. Now this was not an ordinary group of people like our General conference is. The people who composed this general conference membership at that time were as individuals were Apostles, Prophets and Bible writers. Talk about authority. Talk about being the voice of God. The were discussing what to do with the Apostle Paul. They made a decision. Mrs. White in Acts of the apostles tells us that they made the wrong decision. If a general conference that consists of Apostles, Prophets and Bible writers can make a wrong decision, what about our General conferences?

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Anyway, the General Conference tends to be the voice of God by allowing the different voices have a say and see what the evidence lies and come to some sort of compromise where maybe you do not get fully what you want but we work out a compromise that we can all live with. It is then the voice of God. But sadly in San Antonio ideas were pushed through. As the different voices tried to have their say, they were basically told to shut up. This refusal to listen and bulldoze ideas through was basically telling the Holy Spirit to "Shut up" This was not allowing the General conference to be the voice of God. Close votes does not show that we generally believe this thing here, but shows a points that are important to all of us for one side or the other and that some compromise and consensus was to be worked out. The consensus that could have been worked out would have been the voice of God. The bulldozing ideas through was telling God to shut up.

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On 11/6/2016 at 0:56 AM, jackson said:

...the General Conference Association...

Not sure why you highlighted that particular word. That seems not to be a particularly relevant issue.  At the time that was the name of the organization that was the highest denominational body, the same as now.  If the reason is to highlight it to emphasize its qualitative meaning, the GC always has been an association, that is a collection of persons or organizations associating themselves together for a common purpose under a common name. If you are dwelling on the precise legal structure or meaning as if it was somehow different regarding the key point under discussion, again that is a temporal matter, an artificial distinction for the essential fact that we are still talking about the same fundamental entity, regardless of the legal form by which it is defined or organized.  It is along the lines of those that get preoccupied/sidetracked by the Church as a corporation vs. being an unincorporated entity.  Not really a matter of ecclesiastical significance.  It is a human construct.  A temporal tool by which we function in a civil environment of laws.   

Kevin H and Stan like this

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On 11/5/2016 at 11:03 PM, Kevin H said:

I read this on facebook last night. I asked for permission to share it here as I felt that it added to this discussion. It was written by someone named Graeme. I hope you find it useful.

 

   

The church is composed of imperfect, erring men and women, who call for the continual exercise of charity and forbearance. But there has been a long period of general lukewarmness; a worldly spirit coming into the church has been followed by alienation, faultfinding, malice, strife, and iniquity. {2TT 16.4}
Should there be less sermonizing by men who are unconsecrated in heart and life, and were more time devoted to humbling the soul before God, then might we hope that the Lord would appear to your help and heal your backslidings. Much of the preaching of late begets a false security. Important interests in the cause of God cannot be wisely managed by those who have had so little real connection with God as some of our ministers have had. To entrust the work to such men is like setting children to manage great vessels at sea. Those who are destitute of heavenly wisdom, destitute of living power with God, are not competent to steer the gospel ship amid icebergs and tempests. The church is passing through severe conflicts, but in her peril many would trust her to hands that will surely wreck her. We need a pilot on board now, for we are nearing the harbor. As a people we should be the light of the world. But how many are foolish virgins, having no oil in their vessels with their lamps. May the Lord of all grace, abundant in mercy, full of forgiveness, pity and save us, that we perish not with the wicked! {2TT 17.1}

   

God is Love!~Jesus saves!   :D

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On 11/5/2016 at 10:26 PM, CoAspen said:

Jackson, do you believe in God? 

Do you believe He is dead?

Do you believe He leads humans?

Do you believe the GC.org speaks for God?

Who is in charge, God or Humans?

It matters not what EGW said or didn't say, her claim was not to speak for God and the same goes for the GC.org. If we don't believe that God leads his church/people but only speaks through the ancients, EGW or GC.org than we might as well stop this whole nonsense for we are no different than other humans who created their own Gods. If you claim that everything we know or can know about God has already been given through the Bible or EGW, than you have not truly understood what it means to be God but have put Him in mans image. Which do you want to believe in?

CoAspen,

I think you would be much better served by being a little more introspective. In stead of asking me rather meaningless questions, i propose  you ask yourself the following questions:

1. Why do i think my conscience is more righteous than that of others?

2. Why can I not  substantiate my views with clear , unambiguous  verses from scripture?

3. Why do i think my view is too important to surrender to the vote of the Worldwide General Conference in session., in light of the clear inspired counsel given by God to do so?

4.When Mrs White says she has received counsel from  God on the proper response to the vote of the General Counsel,( by saying  she was shown) why would I doubt her truthfulness in this matter?

5.Is Mrs. White a designated messenger of the Lord, or has He now  designated me for that position?.

6.What would happen to order and unity among the brethren when everyone thinks that their own conscience should have the final say in doctrinal matters?

Possible to Be Conscientiously Wrong.--The idea is entertained by many that a man may practice anything that he conscientiously believes to be right. But the question is, Has the man a well-instructed, good conscience, or is it biased and warped by his own preconceived opinions? Conscience is not to take the place of "Thus saith the Lord." Consciences do not all harmonize and are not all inspired alike. Some consciences are dead, seared as with a hot iron. Men may be conscientiously wrong as well as conscientiously right. Paul did not believe in Jesus of Nazareth, and he hunted the Christians from city to city, verily believing that he was doing service to God.--Lt 4, 1889.  {1MCP 322.4} 

 

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