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Gregory Matthews

SDA Church in Poland

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Gregory Matthews    3,281
Gregory Matthews

One of our members has posted a thread commenting on a developing relationship that is going on between the SDA Chruch in Poland and the Roman Catholic Church, to include the Pope.

I have removed that thread from view and I have engaged in conversation, in private, with the member who posted that thread and with others.

As a result of that conversation, I am considering opening up a revised version of the thread that actually contains more information about the situation as to what is happening in Poland than was included in the original post.

This is a progressive process which is not finished at this point in time, as I must shortly engage in some other activities.  For that reason, I am locking this thread and ask that people not post responses now.

 

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Gregory Matthews    3,281
Gregory Matthews

The following is a  link that gives foundational information that has stimulated adverse comment about the SDA Church in Poland.

https://news.adventist.org/en/all-news/news/go/2000-02-14/adventist-church-cannot-be-treated-as-a-sect-say-adventists-and-catholics-in-poland/

The following is an abstract of the above document:

“The Seventh-day Adventist Church cannot be treated either as a ‘new religious movement,’ or as a sect,” declares a joint statement drawn by the Roman Catholic Church and the Adventist Church in Poland.

********

Recognizing each other’s autonomy and independence, the document was issued following 15 years of dialogue aimed at better understanding of the teachings and practice of the Catholic and the Adventist Churches, as well as improving relations without compromising each other’s identity.

The document cites the fact that “relations between Catholics and Adventists have not been best in the past.” The statement was signed by representatives of the Churches, including Pastor Wladyslaw Polok, president of the Adventist Church in Poland, and Archbishop Alfons Nossol, chairman of the Polish Episcopate’s Commission for Ecumenical Affairs.

“With regret we recognize cases when the different religious and civic circles have denied the ecclesiastical status of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, even refering to it as a ‘sect.’ Such an approach is unacceptable and, we believe, it is highly detrimental for the mutual relations,” the document states. 

“This document affirms religious liberty. We are regarding it as an important development not only for our Church in Poland. Religious minorities are too often regarded as less than what they are,” said Pastor Polok.

The statement recognizes that though the Churches can refer to similarities, they also see difference between each other’s “doctrine, practice and church policies.” However, both sides affirm a need to cultivate respect for each other and learn to understand each other. The dialogue was “conducted on the basis of partnership, care to uphold a full identity of both sides, as well as their autonomy and independence, in the spirit of mutual respect and Christian love, and in recognition of the ideals of tolerance and religious freedom.”

“This is an important turn of events for our Church,” says Prof. Zachariasz Lyko, who for many years was responsible for the Polish Adventist Church’s public affairs. “This development is not a result of criticism, public attacks or confrontation, but Christian kindness toward each other and respect for dignity of a human person.”

********

The document does not deal with doctrinal and theological issues.  During the years of meetings, both sides presented their theological views and doctrinal positions in the interest of better understanding between both confessions. “Our Church recognizes that such dialogue cannot be a dialogue of compromise, but one of cooperative spirit and common understanding,” Lyko explained. “We are doing nothing different except what the early pioneers of our Church supported and advocated. It is always better to engage in a respectful conversation than in a confrontation that often prevents achieving desired changes,” he said.

Lyko commented that “as a Church, our side was not interested in compromising any of our fundamental beliefs.”

“Over the years, however, as the exchange of information between us took place, we noted many confessional similarities but also differences.  The Catholic side recognizes in the document the Christocentric character of our beliefs, and especially our belief in the Trinity, as well as ecclesiological identity of the Church, a status affirmed by an act of the Polish Parliament. On our part, we spoke of a need to change attitudes toward our denomination and recognized the openness of the Catholic Church, especially in recent times, toward the Bible,” Lyko explained. [Ray Dabrowski]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gregory Matthews    3,281
Gregory Matthews

In looking at the above referenced document, it should be noted that this took place in February of the year 2000.  IOW, this issue is 17 years old!   Why bring this up at the present?

Those who criticize is should be able to tell us how in the past 17 years the Advent message has been compromised.  They do not.

This document has been of value in giving the SDA Church in  Poland opportunities that it never before had.  In the years that  have past, the SDA Church in Poland has been able to conduct it affairs with more freedom than it previoiusly had.

It has a TV prorgram, at the present as an example.

It should be noted in the document that the SDA Chruch does not compromise its beliefs.  Rather, the RC Church agrees to treat the SDA denomination with respect, as one that holds to some central Christian beliefs and in addition is not a sect.  The importance of recognizing it as not being a  sect can not be under stated.

Should we not treat all people with respect, even while we disagree with them.

 

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Gregory Matthews    3,281
Gregory Matthews

I am going to unlock this topic so that people can comment.  However, I am going to establishe boundaries.  Violations of these boundaries may result in removal of the post,, editing out of the objectional material (I will state such if I do so.) and potentially locking of the thread or even the removal of the thread.

Here are the boundaries:

* Comment as you will on what you think of this situation, as applied to Poland.  E.G.  Should the SDA denomination have entered into such and is this a compromise of our central message.  If so how has our message been compromised in the past 17 years?

*  Do not use this thread as an opportunity to bash either Roman Catholics or any other group.  I will act quickly if you do.

*  Do not cite EGW in the manner of bashing Catholics.

*  Be positive, rather than negative.  NOTE:  One can be positive and still critique something.

*  Be current as to the situation in Poland.

* As this is a year 2000 document, feel free to state from a positive position how this was an important document in the year 2000. 

To those who have responded to me with advice:  Thank you.  Feel free to continue the private  conversation on this subject.

 

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B/W Photodude    446
B/W Photodude
1 hour ago, Gregory Matthews said:

* As this is a year 2000 document, feel free to state from a positive position how this was an important document in the year 2000.

Some of the linked material referenced year 2000 material, but the original link also discussed a future (Oct2017) event. What caught my eye in it was a statement that SDA reps would be there along with other Protestant reps to "end the Protestant movement and apologize to the papacy for their protest." Unfortunately, Tony Campelo will be unable to be there to savor the moment. He was the one appearing in many videos say the Protestant reformation is over. Apparently, Kenneth Copeland is also part of the movement to heal the division between Protestant Christianity and Catholicism.

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Gregory Matthews    3,281
Gregory Matthews

My question is:  What was the source of the original link?  Was it from a critic?  Was it from the SDA Church?  The source  makes quite a difference.  IOW, who said who was going to apologize?

 

 

 

What caught my eye in it was a statement that SDA reps would be there along with other Protestant reps to "end the Protestant movement and apologize to the papacy for their protest."

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Gregory Matthews    3,281
Gregory Matthews

As background:  Photodude and I have had a number of private e-mail conversations on this subject.  All have been civil and much appreciated on my part.

He has supplied me with the web source for what he has called the original link, and I appreciate that.  That link is to a document that was written by a source that is very critical of the SDA denomination.  That critical document cites a person, who is not named, who is alleged to be a SDA pastor who is informed on the issue.  The document then alleges what this in-named person is claimed to have said.   

I can not consider the above to constitute a reliable source.  To substantiate a claim such as has been made, I need to go to an original source and not some probable 3rd hand source, that does not quote exactly.

In my research on this subject, I have provided a link to the best documentation that I can find, so far.  I have cited a link so that all can review it and come to their own conclusion as to what it means.

I suppose that some reading it may come to a different conclusion than that which is mine.  O.K.  I am fine with that and do not expect all to agree with me.  My int3ent is simply to give you some level of valid documentation.  I feel that naming people and their positions is much better than 3rd hand, un-named sources.

 

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