The October 5, 2018 Issue of Faithpoints
October 5, 2018
Seventh-day Adventists in the Ohio Conference of Seventh-day Adventists receive the emailed newsletter, Faithpoints on some Fridays. In the October 5, 2018 issue of Faithpoints there was a link to an article in the Visitor magazine titled "Official Statement: an Appeal from the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee." The author's concern was that the "General Conference Administrative Committee's proposed new system of committees to assure compliance and uniformity within the global church will not result in the unity it seeks. The author said this matter was of "grave concern" because it would "centralize even more authority and control in the hands of a relatively small group."
The author quoted from the Desire of Ages page 826 as follows:
"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 (see Matt. 28:20, NKJV).' The disciples were to teach what Christ had taught. ... 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."
I have no controversy with what Ellen White wrote in the above quotation. I do have a controversy with it being quoted as such, as there is NO reference to the New King James Version (NKJV) in the Desire of Ages. You would think that everyone would know that there was no NKJV during Ellen White's lifetime but I don't doubt that some being uninformed concerning the history of bible translations will not know that. The use of a NKJV reference in a Seventh-day Adventist publication is also an endorsement of that corrupt bible. In addition, the referenced text in the King James Bible is easily understandable and the very next verse in the NKJV contains a corruption. Instead of saying "end of the world" it says "end of the age."
According to the New Age believers, we are in the Age of Aquarius or will be in it within the next few hundred years. They don't believe the world will end but that it will just keep on going until the sun peters out in a few billion years. At one time I went through texts that were "end of the world" in the King James Bible and compared them to those texts in the NKJV. Verses containing the phrase "end of the world" where the meaning was the destruction of the earth, were all changed to "end of the age."
The author states "it is our prayer that we would test it according to the Bible, the very foundation of our faith and what primarily guides all that we stand for, say and do." I thought we stood on sola scriptura (only Scripture). Scripture should be the ONLY thing that guides us and not what "primarily" guides us. We also need to use what really is Holy Scripture and not a corrupt bible.
In the same issue of Faithpoints there is a link to an article titled "ADCOM refers to Compliance Committees." It says that "According to the September 18 ADCOM action, the two areas to be considered by the subcommittees are briefly introduced below." One of the areas to be reviewed was "non-compliance to the same financial core policy (S 90) for several years." I would like to know what that was about. The other area was that it had been "brought to the attention of the General Conference Administrative Committee" that some unions haven't complied with what was voted on in the General Conference Session of 2015, i.e., not to permit the ordination of women to the gospel ministry.
How it would take the General Conference OVER THREE YEARS to learn that there had been rebellion against what was voted on in a General Conference Session is a mystery that should be explained in detail by General Conference dignitaries. The North American Division, the Columbia Union Conference and the Ohio Conference have been in rebellion against that decision. In fact, the wife of the Ohio Conference president is an ordained (or maybe the more sneaky commissioned) minister.
While I don't think it right that a few men should be entrusted with mandating policy for the entire church, it is also not right that a few men representing a Division of about 1,100,000 members should be rebelling against a decision made that represented 20,727,347 members (internet statistic obtained on the day this was written). The pot is calling the kettle black.
In short, I don't think the plaintive protest from the Columbia Union Conference is because of their conviction that a few men shouldn't be mandating policy but rather from the fear that they will not be able to mandate their own policies.
There is a justified call for "unity." One way to get unity is to use the King James Bible (which is the sole uncorrupted English Protestant Bible commonly available) ONLY as the guide to faith and practice and to stop finding inventive ways to wrest Scripture to advance personal preferences.
From the The Great Controversy pages 45 and 46 regarding the division of the "faithful few" from the "apostate church" it says, "If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth and righteousness, then let there be difference, and even war. Well would it be for the church and the world if the principles that actuated those steadfast souls were revived in the hearts of God's professed people."
October 17, 2018
On October 13, 2018 in church we were shown a video of our General Conference President, Ted Wilson, discussing the system of committees to ensure compliance in the global church. Ted did look different with his new beard but I didn't think in a bad way. I thought his presentation was quite reasonable but it's apparent there is a Seventh-day Adventist faction that doesn't think so.
I went to the web site of Adventist Today and found a wealth of information. The Executive Editor of Adventist Today is Loren Seibold, the current pastor of the Athens Seventh-day Adventist Church in Athens, Ohio and the former pastor of the Worthington Seventh-day Adventist Church. Both he and his wife Carmen Seibold (an ordained or perhaps commissioned minister) are on the Board of the Adventist Today Foundation.
There are thirty-three other members of said Foundation Board and I haven't yet had time to research all of them but did research Trisha Famisaran of Claremont, California. There was a short paper by her in Spectrum (with a copyright date of 2018) that Trisha had presented at a March 12 Loma Linda University School of Religion meeting in which she says, "As for myself, I am agnostic about belief in God, which emerges from my views on language and the limits of knowledge."
In one of the articles of the aforementioned Adventist Today some rancor was directed at Ted Wilson. For instance it said:
"It must have been quite a sight to hear the Sabbath morning sermon being recited by Wilson, dressed in full pioneer garb! As he often does, but this time bolstered by the authority of long beards, austere attire and holy dresses all around, Wilson robed obscurantism and the old Adventist landmarks in the cloak of holiness and legitimacy."
I am not in favor of all the General Conference has done but I don't know that Elder Wilson is responsible for all or even any of it. If people have to lower themselves to criticize him for than having a beard and reciting (i.e., he prepared for his sermon) a sermon, the criticism is pretty lame. I don't find brother Wilson being dressed in "pioneer garb" at all offensive. I did find it strange and a bit offensive when an Ohio Seventh-day Adventist minister decided to preach attired in ecclesiastical vestments.
The big concern in the article was "the way the Wilson administration has been attempting to enforce 'compliance' on the issue of equality in ministry." In other words, there are certain princes of our church who are unhappy that Elder Wilson is attempting to obtain compliance with what was voted on by members of the World body at the General Conference session of 2015.
There was also a message from the North American Division in Adventist Today to the "Dear Sisters in Christ" assuring them that the goal to have one thousand female pastors in the North American Division had not been abandoned. In other words the North American Division has pledged to remain in rebellion against the decision made by the World body of Seventh-day Adventists. I don't think there has been much clamor among the trusting sheep of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the North American Division for female pastors but rather the proverbial "few men" in the division, unions and conferences have been pushing the feminist agenda.
I found the answer to my question about the finance issue. Apparently certain entities have not been following the guidelines they're supposed to follow to account for finances. Why would the conferences have an issue with accounting for the way money was spent? Maybe they have something to hide? Embezzlement has happened before in Seventh-day Adventist entities. Are they so arrogant to think church members don't have the right to know how their donated funds are spent?
There was a church of which I was a heavily supporting member. On one occasion when some statistics were presented, my wife and I were in the top three percent or so of contributors. This was a church that was going through $26,000 (yea, twenty-six thousand) U. S. dollars a MONTH. I was curious about how the money was being spent and asked to see a copy of the budget. There was no response to my request until about three months later when my wife asked again for it. Not only should Seventh-day Adventist churches and institutions be audited, some of them should probably undergo forensic audits.
One reason there is rebellion and apostasy in high places is because church members have been too trusting and/or apathetic regarding how the church is being run and how money is spent. After my experience with budget foot dragging, I decided to no longer support entities that were in opposition to the pure Seventh-day Adventist message. That means I'm not going to support a conference or division that is in rebellion and I'm not going to support a conference by tithe that chooses to hire ministers who are undermining belief in the Spirit of Prophecy and the uncorrupted Word of God.
In national parks you may see a sign that for good reasons says not to feed the bears. If you don't want raccoons around your house, don't leave dog food outside. Similarly, if a conference chooses to be in rebellion and hires apostate ministers, send your tithe and offerings to the General Conference or to some independent ministry you believe you can trust. Keep in mind that the North American Division is a part of the General Conference. The scholarly "few men" who believe they can dictate policy to the sheep would go away or comply with voted church policy if the sheep would stop aiding and abetting them by feeding and housing them. The only way most of us sheep have a vote is with our money. The princes of our church do not care what we sheep think until the money stops coming in.
One more thing. The General Conference, World body, division, union, conference or a Seventh-day Adventist minister have no authority to contradict the plain teaching of the Word of God. That of course would be the real Word of God and not one of the plethora of counterfeits being promoted by the princes of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Before I will ever accept as legitimate the office of an ordained (or commissioned) female minister there will have to be MUCH better BIBLICAL evidence than things like the ridiculous allegation that Eve was a priest because God clothed her in animal skins.
© Martin J. Lohne 2018. First written 10/6/18.