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GC Control

Gregory Matthews

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The following article provides on view as to the efforts of the General Conference to control lower level organizations.


NOTE:  As a personal opinion, I believe that the above is an example of a rejection of the administrative advice that Ellen White gave the developing SDA denomination. To be clear:  I believe that if Ellen White were alive today, her voice would be raised to call for a rejection of the attempts that some are making to centralize authority in this denomination.


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I "liked" the article because it is relevant.  Actually, it is a disturbing article.  As I read the NT, I don't think Christ ever intended the church to be "centralized".  I'm sure church leadership wants us to believe they want  centralization under the auspices of "unity"; but what they really want is conformity and uniformity.

I read an article in the news today (and watched a 2-hour documentary) on the fastest growing Christian Church in the world.  They have no membership rolls, no buildings, no assets, no organization, no bishops, no elders.  Just disciples.  What church is this?  It is the underground church in Iran.  Average people, are coming in droves; and the vast majority of organizers are women.  People interviewed in the documentary said the greatest evangelists for the church in Iran are the mullahs and ayatollahs.  Through their strict and savage application of the Q'ran, the average Iranian sees what an evil god they serve; and they turn to Jesus.  They say their secret is  discipling people for conversion, rather than the traditional Western church method of converting people to disciple.  They also say that the intense persecution in Iran forces them to lean entirely on God for protection and safety - indeed their very lives.  Having to live your faith under persecution really makes them feel alive rather than fearful.  Everyone is directed by the Spirit rather than a Pope or General Conference President (it's getting hard to tell the difference).

"Sheep Among Wolves": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SAPOLKF59U


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58 minutes ago, JoeMo said:

I "liked" the article because it is relevant.  Actually, it is a disturbing article.  As I read the NT, I don't think Christ ever intended the church to be "centralized".  I'm sure church leadership wants us to believe they want  centralization under the auspices of "unity"; but what they really want is conformity and uniformity.

I would agree, the article is "relevant." But as to the specifics of said relevance, I have a feeling that we are likely miles apart. (which isnt "wrong"), I see you chose to focus more narrowly on this "centralizing power" drama that some are generating online, others too, are following...My comment had nothing to do with did I "like" the article or not. It was more an expression of surprise, because the title specifically said "10 reasons why I stay in the church; yet the first thing out of the author's mouth is a list of conspiracy type allegations, splayed in rhetorical fashion; with an anecdotal approach to the "10 reasons."  So to me, when I read the article; all I saw, or, most of what I thought I was seeing, simply didnt add up.  I think that the "centralizing power" thing has been far-fetched, and way over the top. Even though I was in church "leadership" I experienced mostly drama-ship; (not by the leaders) and I still feel that the "centralizing of power" thing is the "click-bait" of modernity's Big Religion, and mostly by ones who are themselves interested in taking the very "control"  they criticize in their rhetorics. THAT certainly doesnt make said criticism "valid," but it does come across as quite unproven. The author of the article in question, to me, gave a confusing message.

Edited by BlessedMan
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9 hours ago, BlessedMan said:

The author of the article in question, to me, gave a confusing message.

I can understand his confusion. I get confused about the church sometimes myself.   I currently belong to a very small, rather unconventional SDA congregation.  We have no pastor, no Board, no elders, deacons, or deaconesses.  The men take turns on Sabbath bringing the message, and the women take turns making a full nutritious breakfast for the congregation.  Some of us take turns leading out is music. We have service at linen-covered tables instead of  pews.  We meet in a banquet room at the local Comedy Club on Sabbath mornings; so the whole restaurant is witness to our service. (we call it a funny place to go to church)  Sometimes restaurant employees or patrons join us for part of the service.  It's great!  We have found that we don't "need" all the bureaucratic overhead to be a unified, cohesive and safe congregation.

I have also been a member of a large congregation of very conservative (maybe "taliban" is a better term) SDA's where everyone watched everyone else and perfectly towed the Conference line.  Women who wore even a little pin on their jackets or wore slacks to church could not serve as greeters or deaconesses.  Men who didn't wear suits could not serve as elders or deacons.  Quotes from the SoP outnumbered quotes from scripture by about 5 to 1. A teenage girl who got pregnant was dragged through a public "church trial" and publicly disfellowshipped much to the disgrace of her whole family.  That family never came back to church.  I myself was on the verge of being disfellowshipped because of my association with "rebellious" independent ministries.  I left the church because I was not going to be bullied by the denomination.

In looking for another church, I found none. I reluctantly and covertly started going back to the SDA church because of the truth being preached there.  After a few years, I rejoined the church; but as a member of the conference church rather a than a specific congregation.

I may dislike the ever-increasingly top-heavy  bureaucracy and centralization taking place in the denomination; but I cannot turn my back on the ever unfolding truths found in what we as SDA's believe. So I might be tempted to leave the denomination; but I don't think I could ever leave the spiritual truths it teaches or the beautiful people in the church.  So I stay.

I sense a little cognitive dissonance in my statement above; but I'm okay with that.

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The article was a bit disingenuous in its use of the Ellen White quote regarding the general conference. And as usual for those supporting WO, they left out this quote:

"When in a General Conference, the judgment of the brethren assembled from all parts of the field is exercised, private independence and private judgment must not be stubbornly maintained, but surrendered. Never should a laborer regard as a virtue the persistent maintenance of his position of independence, contrary to the decision of the general body." 9T, p. 260.

Given that the church as a whole through the delegates to the general conference convention voted against the WO idea, how else is compliance with the mandate of the delegates to be carried out? While vitriol continues to be heaped on Ted Wilson be even Adventists in some circles, if he disregarded the vote of the convention, what would that say regarding his leadership?

Again, I would say that the NAD, EUR, and the SPD are exhibiting very racist behaviors in carrying on like the rest of the church body doesn't have the good sense to believe what they do. Essentially, the NAD is largely now run by a bunch of beta-males willing to cave to the feminist movement. Truly sad.



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