Official Statement: An Appeal From the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee
October 2, 2018
An Appeal From the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee
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. We find this approach to be deeply troubling for it will bypass established policies, protocols and processes and reach beyond longstanding governance practices that have contributed to the amazing growth of our diverse, yet united world church family. The global implications of this process are truly a matter of grave concern. In its present form, it appears to centralize even more authority and control in the hands of a relatively small group.
This is precisely what our early leaders sought to avoid when they created unions with locally governing constituencies. They hoped this would enable our church to effectively establish and develop local approaches to fulfilling the Adventist mission. They prayed it would keep our church relevant and in touch with the unique ministry needs in each area of the world.
Contrary to the vision of those early leaders and the stated goal of our current world church leadership to unify the church, this effort to impose a new global compliance monitoring system would produce confusion, division and further distraction from our shared vision to advance Christ’s mission and hasten His return.
When we consider how to measure compliance, and moreover loyalty, 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. Ellen White says, “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” (Desire of Ages, p. 826.1).
With deep conviction, we submit three appeals:
We appeal to those upon whose shoulders rest the weighty decisions of how to govern and address the needs and realities of a global family of faith, to do so in a way that promotes true biblical unity, healthy dialogue and respect for each and every member of the body of Christ.
We appeal to world church leaders that, rather than creating a compliance structure contrived to keep every member and entity in line, we develop avenues for dialogue, plant seeds of understanding and model Christ-like forbearance in how we treat one another.
We appeal to our brothers and sisters within our union, across our division and around the world, to prayerfully open hearts and minds to possibilities that will free us from this impasse and refocus 100 percent of our energies, efforts and resources on fulfilling the Great Commission.
Be it known that our greatest desire is that, as we truly put aside personal perspectives and earnestly seek to be compliant with the Word of God and the moving of the Holy Spirit in these last days, that we would find plausible solutions to draw us closer to each other and ever nearer to the return of our Lord.
“The church may pass resolution upon resolution to put down all disagreement of opinion, but we cannot force the mind and will, and thus root out disagreement. These resolutions may conceal the discord, but they cannot quench it and establish perfect agreement. Nothing can perfect unity in the church but the spirit of Christ-like forbearance” (Ellen G. White, Manuscript 24, 1892).
- ADCOM Refers to Compliance Committees
- Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee Invites Members to Pray
- Watch a Livestream of the 2018 Annual Council (Scheduled for October 11-17)
Read these stories from the 2018 October Visitor:
We must be united
how do we say to seek for dialogue but CUC is the one that decided to rebel in the first place? I think CUC needs to be in line along with other unions. GC has acted kindly and with much tact. I commend the GC for doing this. Praying for all to go well.
There was no "rebellion" by the Columbia Union - its leadership was acting in accordance with its constituency's duly authorized, voted and approved motions to move forward with the ordination of women as called to the ministry by God. No entity on this earth should stand in God's way - He will call whom he will to finish the work.
We need to pray for our church. May God be with us so that we remain united. May we humble take this very seriously.
An Appeal from the Executive Committee
This is a reasonable, timely, and appropriate appeal. It reflects a spirit of Christian concern, passion, and commitment to the welfare of the SDA Church. The General Conference must abandon its efforts to enforce uniformity and must retract the documents published recently. The proposed actions of the GC are an affront to the values and principles of the Kingdom of God.
I Plead with the Columbia Union Conference
The EGW quotation you use refers to Righteousness By Faith.
The October 6 SS lesson on unity brings clearly that God wishes to revive all things back to the Biblical original. Women's ordination does not meet the original. Nor does the CUC acceptance of other areas ( such as various forms of Yoga & spiritualistic meditation in some of it's conferences ).
In the gentle way of the Holy Spirit, I plead for the Columbia Union Conference to humble themselves in full obedience to all the commandments of God.
I agree 100% with these 3 proposals.
Response to Official Statement of the Columbia Union Conference
What I agree with:
1. It is very troubling that the General Conference is attempting to control the entire Church body by mandates from a few men.
2. I fully believe we should as it says in the next to last paragraph, "earnestly seek to be compliant with the Word of God."
What is troubling about the article:
1. There is the statement that, "When we consider how to measure compliance, and moreover loyalty, 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." Why does it say that the Bible "primarily guides all?" It's supposed to be sola scriptura, i.e., Scripture only.
2. The author is apparently not aware that the NKJV is a corrupt bible. If we are going to be guided by sola scriptura, we should all be using the Protestant Bible and not one of the multitude of corrupt bibles.
Just read the concerns of the Columbia Union Conference on the GC’s approach to assure compliance and uniformity in the world church. I now see what you were discussing.
I found CUC’s points of opposition very centered on EGW views on church governance of which I’m not too familiar but very poignant.
The article was very very well written, Christ centered and respectful. I pray that this leads to an openness of our leaders to follow the protocols set by our church and not get into a brawling match that will rob us of the message and it’s intent. Father please help us!
I believe in the ideas of the GC committee...as SDA we have to believe in and teach the same bible truths regardless of culture or location. But now I realized the way it was set forth, bi-passed the operating protocols of our church government.
The times have changed and now we are exposed to sin and it’s effect more visibly because of the myriad of mediums we have at our disposal. Of a truth, ‘all secret things are coming to light’. We need these committees to guide us into God’s truth, which has never changed throughout the ages. But in all things, done in order and according to God’s will.
Somehow I think of Paul and how great the task it must have been for him, and others, to keep this unity among the churches of the Gentiles as they battled with the converted Jews who held on to tradition rather than the word of God through the prophets.
Father, how easy it is for a good thing to be destroyed because of self. How easy it is for the enemy to distract us.
I pray Lord that if is this idea is of Thee that You will let it prosper and that all involved will be lead by You. Let it go through the proper protocols that are recognized only by You Lord for I know Your way is not our ways.
Please remove all hidden agendas and bless Your people that we may continue with the good fight and press on to work with You for lost souls for Your kingdom.
I recognize that evil has, and will continue to, confuse/ distract us from doing Your will.
But may WE, who are called by your Name, all surrender OURSELVES to You, so the work can go on and we’ll be saved in Your kingdom in Jesus’s Name, Amen.
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