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The Adventist Church has reached a turning point, I believe — or at least some of its members have. Will we continue to participate in an abusive organization?

North American Division

If there is broad support for Women's Ordination in the North American Division, then all NAD Union leaders should bring the matter to a vote in their constituencies. By allowing only two Unions to be the face of the ordination controversy, the remaining seven NAD Unions have inadvertently contributed to the characterization that Columbia and Pacific Unions are rebellious.

Is it the pull of convention? Is it failure to learn? Is it cowardice? In face of Adventist crisis occasioned by administrative overreach, what stands in the way of renewal? We’d better get clear about this, because our Movement’s integrity is at risk, and the fix won’t come from the top.

Consider first these points, each incontrovertible:

1) In declaring all persons (not kings alone, as in surrounding cultures) bearers of the divine image, page one of Scripture affirms all embodied humanity and undermines all hierarchy and status-seeking.

When we have made church in our own image or seek to revive some imagined “golden age” past, we then tend to fit our version of the gospel around that same image.

While we should always strive to create the most Bible-based General Conference we can through votes, and the members installed, we must remember that in the end, the GC has no say in one’s salvation.

campmeeting

Adventist eschatology is certainly a biblical one but this doesn’t guarantee us biblical or historical relevance. In order to make our eschatology relevant and persuasive we need to humbly accept the fact that we don’t automatically possess a complete understanding of the Bible or  a guaranteed accurate picture of what’s happening in our current time.

We have failed to embrace the diverse and amazing creation of God in favor of a small god that we can control and fit neatly into the small box of our human making.

Of course it would be ideal and wonderful if Elder Wilson could sense the impasse and be led by the Holy Spirit to make a radical change in his approach and method of leadership. He is a sincere, godly man and if he could really dedicate himself to leading every grouping in the world church in a fair and even-handed manner it would be to the honor of the Lord.

It has helped me immensely to realize that the world is made up of three types of people: 1) Visionaries, 2) Planners, and 3) Doers. They are expressions of the Spiritual Gifts, in order, of Faith, Administration, and Helps.

split rock

The continual painting of “the Global South” as the enemy of progress is harmful on several levels. And the descriptions of these regions as willing to sell their integrity and votes for material gain is a reinforcement of harmful tropes. We need to work with those who are supportive of progressive ideas instead of ignoring their existence and perpetuating stereotypes.

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