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Pacific Press Publishing could merge with Review and Herald

(from the Adventist in the News thread)

United States, June 27, 2013

The boards of Pacific Press Publishing Association, located in Nampa, and Review and Herald Publishing Association, located in Hagerstown, Md., agreed to consider a yet-to-be-developed merger proposal...As the next step, a task force with representation from the General Conference, the North American Division and each publishing house will prepare a blueprint for merger. That report is expected to be presented to the boards by late September, and each board will then have the opportunity to determine a response...

http://www.idahopress.com/news/local/pac...1a4bcf887a.html

Observations:

1. The decision has been made in late July, rather than September.

2. Apparently such a merger was contemplated when Ellen White was alive. She specifically advised against it. Thus, to merge, even today, would probably be viewed as going against that counsel.

3. To examine her counsel regarding merging, this separate thread is begun.

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Study of publishing house restructuring ends without merger recommendation

Jul 31, 2013 Silver Spring, Maryland, United States

Mark A. Kellner, Adventist Review

A commission announced June 19 to consider a merger of the Pacific Press Publishing Association in Nampa, Idaho, and the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown, Maryland, will cease its work, officials of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and North American Division said today. The General Conference owns the two organizations.

Pictured: Mark Thomas, president of the Review and Herald Publishing Association, addresses employees July 31 at the Review's campus in Hagerstown, Maryland, United States. Both of the Adventist Church's publishing houses in North America will continue operating as separate institutions. [photo: Kim Peckham/RHPA]

Citing “differing perspectives as to the interpretation” of Spirit of Prophecy writings about the independences of the two units, a statement issued by church leaders said: “It is felt in the best interest of the publishing work of the church at this time for there to be no change to the governance of the two institutions.”

However, the statement noted that leaders of the General Conference and its North American Division have “requested that the two publishing houses continue to operate under their current structures but that they try to find ways to realize economies through closer cooperation and possible shared services.”

Additionally, “The publishing houses are also encouraged to work very closely with and respond to the North American Division's mission-driven publishing needs and cooperate in developing more division-oriented and efficient delivery and distribution systems,” the statement indicated.

As noted in an earlier report, “Review and Herald Publishing Association is the successor to the first publishing house, The Seventh-day Adventist Publishing Association, incorporated in 1861. The Pacific Adventist Publishing Association, established in California, was organized in 1875. It was renamed as the Pacific Press Publishing Association in 1904. A third General Conference-sponsored publishing house, Southern Publishing Association, merged with the Review and Herald Publishing Association in 1980.”

In the July 31 announcement, church leaders asked Seventh-day Adventists to “please pray for the public sharing and personal use of printed and electronic materials as we lift up Christ, proclaim His three angels messages of Revelation 14 and announce His soon second coming.”

http://news.adventist.org/archive/articl...-recommendation

Emphasis supplied

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The "not to merge" statement issued by church leaders

Quote:

STATEMENT TEXT:

On June 19, 2013 the General Conference and North American Division administrations forwarded to the boards of Pacific Press Publishing Association and Review and Herald Publishing Association a request for the two organizations to consider a merger in the near future. A taskforce was formed to study the matter and prepare recommendations to go to the two boards and to their constituencies.

The taskforce has been diligently meeting, earnestly praying and carefully studying the matter. While there are differing perspectives as to the interpretation of the specific Spirit of Prophecy statements regarding the Review and Herald Publishing Association and Pacific Press Publishing Association in this current setting, all support the importance of the Spirit of Prophecy and the need for a strong publishing ministries involvement in evangelistic outreach. However, the differing perspectives on Spirit of Prophecy statements merits further reflection and the nature of a restructured relationship in whatever future format that may develop requires deeper analysis and modeling. It is felt in the best interest of the publishing work of the church at this time for there to be no change to the governance of the two institutions. Because of this the General Conference and North American Division administrations have requested that the two publishing houses continue to operate under their current structures but that they try to find ways to realize economies through closer cooperation and possible shared services. The taskforce will not continue but the General Conference and North American Division administrations will work closely in conjunction with the publishing house boards and administrations in a cooperative way to facilitate the closest working relationship possible for the accomplishment of the evangelistic, witnessing and nurturing objectives of local churches and members in the North American Division and the world field. The publishing houses are also encouraged to work very closely with and respond to the North American Division's mission-­‐driven publishing needs and cooperate in developing more division-­‐oriented and efficient delivery and distribution systems.

The Church cherishes the Spirit of Prophecy counsel indicating that the publishing ministries are a vital part of the fourth angel's message of Revelation 18 until the end of time. Let us work together for a continually expanding emphasis and use of the Church's print and digital evangelistic and witnessing materials by church members, local churches, church organizations and all of us. Please pray for the public sharing and personal use of printed and electronic materials as we lift up Christ, proclaim His three angels messages of Revelation 14 and announce His soon second coming.

Source:

http://news.adventist.org/images/uploads/documents/STATEMENT%20TEXT.pdf

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Consolidation of the Publishing Work, the Paulson Collection

Quote:
Consolidation of the Publishing Work

The Lord has presented before me matters that cause me to tremble for the institutions at Battle Creek. He has laid these things before me, and I shall not be consistent if I do not seek to repress the spirit in Battle Creek, which reaches out for more power, when for years there have not been men who were qualified to preside, with Christian faithfulness, over the charge they already have. (Paulson Collection of Ellen G. White Letters, p 353.2)

The scheme for consolidation is detrimental to the cause of present truth. Battle Creek has all the power she should have. Some in that place have advanced selfish plans, and if any branch of the work promised a measure of success, they have not exercised the spirit which lets well enough alone, but have made an effort to attach these interests to the great whole. They have striven to embrace altogether too much, and yet they are eager to get more. When they can show that they have made these plans under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then confidence in them may be restored. (PC 353.3)

Twenty years ago, I was surprised at the cautions and warnings given me in reference to the publishing house on the Pacific Coast, that it was ever to remain independent of all other institutions; that it was to be controlled by no other institution, but it was to do the Lord’s work under his guidance and protection. The Lord says, “All ye are brethren;” and the Pacific Press is not to be envied and looked upon with jealousy and suspicion by the stronger publishing house at Battle Creek. It must maintain its own individuality, and be strictly guarded from any corruption. It must not be merged into any other institution. The hand of power and control at Battle Creek must not reach across the continent and manage it. (PC 354.1)

At a later date, just prior to my husband’s death, the minds of some were agitated in regard to placing these institutions under one presiding power. Again the Holy Spirit brought to my mind what had been stated to me by the Lord. I told my husband to say in answer to this proposition, that the Lord had not planned any such action. He who knows the end from the beginning, understands the matter better than erring man. (PC 354.2)

At a still later date the situation of the publishing house at Oakland was again presented to me. I was shown that a work was to be done by this institution which would be to the glory of God if the workers would keep his honor ever in view; but that an error was being committed by taking in a class of work which had a tendency to corrupt the institution. I was also shown that it must stand in its own independence, working out God’s plan under the control of none other but God. (PC 354.3)

The Lord presented before me that branches of this work would be planted in other places, and carried on under the supervision of the Pacific Press, but that if this proved a success, jealousy, evil surmisings, and covetousness would arise. Efforts would be made to change the order of things, and embrace the work among other interests at Battle Creek. Men are very zealous to change the order of things, but the Lord forbids such a consolidation. Every branch should be allowed to live, and do its own work. (PC 354.4)

Mistakes will occur in every institution, but if the managers will learn the lessons that all must learn to move guardedly, these errors will not be repeated, and God will preside over the work. Every worker in our institutions needs to make the Word of God his rule of action. Then the blessing of God will rest on him. He can not with safety dispense with the truth of God as his guide and monitor. If man can take one breath without being dependent upon God, then he may lay aside God’s pure, holy, word, as guide book. The truth must take control of the conscience and the understanding in all the work that is done. It is to direct in all temporal and spiritual actions. (PC 354.5)

It is well pleasing to God that we have praise and prayer, and religious services, but Bible religion must be brought into all we do, and give sanctity to each daily duty. The Lord’s will must become men’s will in everything. The Holy One of Israel has given rules of guidance to all, and these rules of guidance are to be strictly followed, for they form the standard of character. No one can swerve from the first principles of righteousness without sinning. But our religion is misinterpreted and despised by unbelievers because so many who profess to hold the truth, do not practice its principles in dealing with their fellow men. (PC 355.1)

To my brethren at Battle Creek, I would say, You are not in any condition to consolidate. This means nothing less than placing upon the institutions at Battle Creek the management of all the work, far and near. God’s work cannot be carried forward successfully by men who, by their resistance to light, have placed themselves where nothing will influence them to repent or change their course of action. There are men connected with the work at Battle Creek whose hearts are not sanctified and controlled by God. (PC 355.2)

If those connected with the work of God will not hear his voice and do his will, they should be separated entirely from the work. God does not need the influence of such men. I speak plainly, for it is time that things were called by their right name. Those who love and fear God with all their hearts are the only men that God can trust. But those who have separated their souls from God, should themselves be separated from the work of God, which is so solemn and so important. (PC 355.3)

E.G. White

Emphasis supplied

Source:

https://egwwritings.org/

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Further study can be done regarding the prophetic call for Pacific Press to remain independent of the Review and Herald. The Review and Herald, located at Battle Creek, represented the power of the leaders there. Power corrupts. The Pacific Press had freedom and vision which Ellen White seemed to treasure.

Of course, the circumstances are not the same now. But, it is quite possible that the general counsel of independence as opposed to consolidation is still valid.

A related topic is what some have called "Kingly Power." It seems that humanity is prone to oppress their own. The way to put a check on this tendency is to decentralize and allow for many points of control rather than one main point.

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  • 3 weeks later...

While attending the SDA Theological Seminary the name was changed to Potomac University seemingly to prevent it from moving somewhere else. Our president, Elder Dick, read to us quotations by Ellen White about Tacoma Park as an ideal place for an educational institute. Another argument was the vicinity to the Library of Congress, essential to training our pastors.

Then suddenly Dr. Rittenhouse was elected president. He had quotations about Berrien Springs being the ideal place, so he accepted the presidency on the condition that the school would merge with Emmanuel Missionary College, where he already was president.

That's how we got Andrews - a merger with quotations for and against.

Review and Herald was then next door to our school - as well as the General Conference offices. Another reason why we should remain there.

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