A new publication began in January which offers great encouragement to God’s Church. It is called the General Conference Executive Committee Newsletter. While the newsletter especially serves the 300+ members of the General Conference executive committee, it is freely available to leaders in the church at any level who would like to read it.

The January 2017 issue of this brief, four color newsletter featured a main article by Mark A Finley, titled “A Divine Movement United in Mission and Message.” Among other thoughts shared, the article points out that “The unity of the New Testament church was based on a common commitment to Jesus’ revealed truth,” “Truth is God’s basis for the unity of His people. Truth unites,” “truth is based on the word of God,” “Church organization and its subsequent policies based on biblical principles play an indispensable role in unifying Christ’s church. Rather than being arbitrary decrees by authoritarian leaders, the church’s policies are mutual agreements based on and through the body of believers as a whole and the leadership established by them,” “No power or authority within the church can claim independent or unilateral legitimacy in view of this model of interdependence established by the Chief Shepherd.”

The February issue carried as its main article BRI’s Elias Brasil de Souza’s article “Built on a solid Foundation: A Biblical Basis for Church Governance and Authority.” A sample from that article is this statement: “A system of church authority and governance is required in order to maintain doctrinal unity and to implement the mission of the church. Thus, compliance with decisions made by the legitimate representatives of the church organization is not optional.”

The March issue carries as its lead article Myron Isminger’s “History and Development of Seventh-day Adventist Policy,” another very informative and useful article helping the church to understand the importance of organization. Each issue also carries inspiring mission stories from around this world church.

You can find the Executive Committee website at this link:

https://executivecommittee.adventist.org/newsletter/

The first three issues are available at these links:

https://executivecommittee.adventist.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ECN-January-2017.pdf

https://executivecommittee.adventist.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ECN-February-2017.pdf

https://executivecommittee.adventist.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ECN-March-2017.pdf

21 thoughts on “Be Encouraged: GC Executive Committee Newsletter

  1. “: “A system of church authority and governance is required in order to maintain doctrinal unity and to implement the mission of the church. Thus, compliance with decisions made by the legitimate representatives of the church organization is not optional.”

    This is true, unless the decisions made are contrary to the teaching of the bible. In which case, everyone must decide to stand on scripture whether “the church” supports scripture or not.

    Those who oppose male headship are convinced “the church” is outside the bible in a church decision. So they are of the mind set they are like a “Protestant Reformation” spirituality with the intent to “liberate the slaves”, (women) who have been enslaved by those who advocate male headship.

    On the other hand, those who support male headship are convinced their position is biblical and non-negotiable. So we see there will be no “reconciliation” between the two parties until and unless one group or the other are convinced of their error, or are persuaded to abandon their convictions for the “common good” of unity as being the highest level of true spirituality over and above their understanding of bible truth.

    Thus, the problem is not going away with political agendas and patronizing platitudes in a call of unity. So let’s deal with the problem for what it is and not try to change the format with the hopes the problem will just go away by and by. Christian tolerance will never tolerate false doctrine for the sake of unity.

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  2. Another reason to be encouraged: The very article mentioned above, “A Biblical Basis for Church Governance and Authority” by Elias de Souza, the director of Biblical Research Institute, is also published in the April 2017 Adventist World. This is what is needed–a fair hearing for this position, which is clearly supported by scripture. If some are convicted that the vote of the world church is outside of scripture, they are not being forced to comply. They may follow their conscience where it leads. No one is being compelled to remain in an institution that they think is making biblically unsound policies. For me and my conscience, I am convicted through Bible study of the ordination topic that the world church vote is the scriptural position. What did the early Christian church members do when the vote was taken at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15? See Elder de Souza’s article, “A concensus was reached, a decision was made, the congregations accepted the decision, and the early church continued to focus on the mission of proclaiming Jesus to the world.” Adventist World, April 2017, p.9. Praise God! The Holy Spirit is leading us to the truth as it is in Jesus through the Word. As we come to the truth, we will come together.

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  3. Once again, Cathy, you are correct. But people don’t take into account that the liberals control the church, not the GC. So any GC vote is negated by non-compliance and will continue until and unless some positive action is taken in the way of discipline to correct the situation.

    The early church vote was basically honored and the Gentiles were not required to keep the ceremonial law. In fact, neither were the Jews for that matter. We do not have this situation in the SDA church where the liberal element is in control and not about to give up their position no matter what the GC has voted. So this is not the same situation and must be dealt with on a different level.

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    • I believe the Lord is in control of His church and in spite of stiff resistance as with Pharoah, all will work toward fulfillment of His will. We were told whole conferences would fall by the wayside; perhaps the GC’s disciplinary actions and the subsequent response from the NAD and others like it will play a part in this, perhaps. We are to stay with the church because it will go through, a we trust in the Shepherd of the church. We were never instructed to leave the body of Christ. Body parts seeking to function without The Head and Heart, without the body’s other members, making it a whole, are grotesque at best and cannot survive long. The moon apart from the sun has no real purpose. As I read from scripture and inspiration I believe those in opposition to established truth, who now hold to belief which contradicts principle, truth, and practice the Lord established His church with, will leave the church. I also believe persecution will be the tool that purifies the church in the end. Half hearted belief will never allow one soul to become obedient “even unto death”. Self is its motivator and worst enemy. God help us all.

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  4. True, but Bill, hasn’t God’s church “been here” before? As hopeless as it seems, God is able. He will not force anyone’s will, but let’s pray for the heart miracle that is needed. It may not be made by the majority; maybe the split or disaster will not be averted, but God has a thousand ways to redeem and over rule the situation where we see none. Nothing is lost in being hopeful and praying for God’s will to be done. We were just talking about how both sides of this situation are not being published in our church papers–then this article comes out. Don’t miss Pastor Mark Finley’s part II article about unity. These are two examples of truth being published! Let’s support and participate and pray! If we have to go to Babylon (symbolically) or have a drought descend upon us, God will finish His work with those who are willing. We may be surprised who becomes willing before its all over. Courage in Christ!

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  5. If the liberals control the church and not the GC, why has women’s ordination been consistently defeated?

    This newsletter is very positive news indeed, as is the April issue of Adventist World, where the article by De Souza and the second article on unity by Mark Finley are also published.

    Sour and dour words are inappropriate for the faithful at the present moment. Courage and perseverance are imperative.

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    • Women’s ordination may have been defeated in vote, but church policy which the GC is controlling, hasn’t been defeated just as Bill Sorenson states.

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      • The present GC policy remains as it has always been as far as ordination to the ministry is concerned. What Bill is concerned with is that there has not yet been consequences for entities who have acted in opposition to present policy. The GC doesn’t control church policy; the vote of the world-wide membership as represented at the General Conference session does. The GC implements and carries out the vote of the world-wide church delegates, for this is the way policy is changed.

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  6. “If the liberals control the church and not the GC, why has women’s ordination been consistently defeated?”

    Women’s ordination has not be consistently defeated or any other level of being defeated. WO has won the battle over and over, and all the “votes” by the GC are meaningless because there is no discipline or action to back up the vote.

    Like indulgent parents who warn and threaten disobedient children again and again until the children know their parents are “bluffing”.

    Putting our “head in the sand” and pretending we are making headway suits the liberal agenda well. The fact is, the liberal agenda is stronger today than ever before and all the “votes” in the world won’t impress them since they hold the “bully pulpit” with massive affirmation and support by many church members.

    The only thing “inappropriate” is to go on believing things are going in the right direction with the present administration in their “same-o same-o” mode that shows no sign if doing otherwise.

    We can be encouraged if we see some real dynamic action that goes beyond threat and warning. They may be possible, but I am not holding my breath.

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  7. To “GOD” be the glory, for answered prayer! This is what’s been needed!
    It cuts the “Light On” and it flushes out the Spiritual Wicked Issues, and the confusion, that Satan have surrounding our church and it’s “Mission”.

    Starting with “Women’s Ordination” and it’s insistence, to make it a reality, in the letter that came from, out of the North American Division, written by its President; Daniel Jackson being its spokesman and Executor, of this unfounded Spirit of “Women’s Ordination”. That have never existed, either, before the flood, or after the flood; there is no foundation whatsoever!
    It’s what prompted me to write the Commentary JEHOVAH, GOD, YESHUA, JESUS CHRIST, and sent to the General Conference President Ted N.C. Wilson!

    My dear Brethren, we’re in the last days, and we are seriously being challenged, and there are Jesuits that have come into our mist, and they seem to be well hidden; but the fruits of their works is coming to light; just as our Lord and Savior “JESUS CHRIST” said it would. Someone need to explain to our brothers in “TED” Conferences, that There is no such thing as “Gender Neutral”!

    …and then, it’s like; out of nowhere, an SDA church, has Installed a Transgender Elder, in one of our churches, and made them a Sabbath School teacher?

    As if that was not enough, another SDA church, added Married Lesbian Women; Baptizing one of them, as if heaven accepted this Abomination, in the Spirit of “GOD’S” Unconditional Love? Compromising the Love of “GOD!!! Think about that!

    My “GOD” this all sounds so much, like fiction in a horror movie, but it’s not; but it typifies the Evidence, that the “Holy Spirit” is slowly being withdrawn from the earth, Readying for the Second Coming of “JESUS CHRIST” and the question is; what are we doing about it, Are The Members of the SDA churches Really Getting Ready??? Let us not forget; that Satan still comes in Disguises, and he still; only chooses the one that works!

    But in the Spirit of “JESUS CHRIST”, I thank “GOD”!!! …. and I’m so glad in my heart, that the Lord has called on his “Faithful Men” who are willing to stand up to the persecution that our Lord and Savior “JESUS CHRIST” said would come unto those that speak in “HIS” name…. Hallelujah!!!!

    This Executive Committee News Letter, for members; especially the members, is a “GOD” send; and I just love the way it is explained just how, the General Conference Working Policy came into being, for it truly shuts down this lie Satan has spurned, regarding Kingly Authority! “GOD” Bless you Gentlemen, and it looks like I’ve got my work cut out, spreading this beautiful and much needed News Letter, straight from the General Conference Executive Committee, everywhere I can send it!
    Thank You “JESUS!!!!!!!! Yes!!!!!

    Link to the Commentary sent to President Ted N.C. Wilson

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_fzwHX1ilxYMXJWSFhCY1FIS1k

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  8. Finley’s argument is that in the end, all agreed to the decision of the council. This is bogus. All did not agree and the agitation in the early church continued for years. Neither would the apostle Paul agree to abide by the decision if they had decided that circumcision was a necessary mandate for the Gentiles.

    His use of the lesson in Acts 15 was to convince everyone in the church today to simply abide by any final church decision for the sake of unity, that transcends every other consideration. So, as I said, his argument is bogus and he manipulates this situation to “sell” his agenda and conclusion about church authority as the sole basis for unity.

    The RCC would agree with his argument and agenda. It sounds plausaeble but when evaluated carefully it is “word games” to confuse and distort the facts of the matter.

    The church may make a correct evaluation and decision as in Acts 15, but this does not automatically equate to the idea that the final decision is always correct and thus, the church community should always submit to the decision.

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    • Elder Finley is not saying they all agreed. “Wisely, the New Testament church accepted the decision of the larger body. . . .” The evidence that they “accepted” the decision is that they “passionately moved on with mission.” You can’t do that if you are holding to your individual belief in opposition to the body. It is not necessary to unity that we all agree. It is necessary that we accept our differences as they are and accept the decision of the body. What is important here is that we follow the established rules of the game. The early church did that. Those that accept the vote of 2015 will move on together; those who do not should join up with a plan they can unite on. It is faulty logic to compare the SDA decision making process with the RCC’s method. Ours is a representative method; theirs is hierarchical.

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  9. “. It is not necessary to unity that we all agree. It is necessary that we accept our differences as they are and accept the decision of the body. ”

    This is your problem, Cathy. Like many, you think this is comparable to ceremonial law issue and it is not. It is a moral law issue like Sabbath vs Sunday and thus there must be absolute unity.

    You can not “agree to disagree” and simply move on. There must be a clear and definitive decision in which one side or the other must yield their opinion as false and non-biblical.

    Until the church deals with the issue on this basis, it is simply an exercise in futility that will continue from now on. Neither side will agree to disagree for the sake of unity.

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    • It would seem to me that Finley wad accepting the GC Session vote, right? Ellen White said this was the voice of God, I agree that if u view this issue as a moral question, you can’t unify in false doctrine,. I support the GC sessions decision, I don’t support the council’s decision. I thought that was Finleys position, no?

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      • “. I thought that was Finleys position, no?”

        I think Finley believes in WO but is willing to accept the church decision. So if that is the case, his whole argument is bogus. I assume he also equates it to the ceremonial law issue in the early church. Otherwise, he could not simply accept a church decision on the matter.

        If the church leadership can convince members it is not a moral issue but only comparable to the ceremonial law debate in the early church, then they can “vote” anyway they want at any given time. That is, they can oppose WO today, and endorse it tomorrow. With the idea the members should simply go along with the vote for the sake of unity.

        This is why I have affirmed it is a moral law issue and the radicals on both sides agree, and neither will yield to any “church decision” that is not in harmony with their moral convictions. So a vote for unity is an exercise in futility because it is based on a false premise.

        The hyper liberals claim they are “freeing the slaves” from the male headship “slave masters”. Those of us who support male headship claim their view is a “false dilemma” as no such relationship exists unless male headship is perverted outside the biblical context. So, an abuse of authority does not negate a properly God ordained level of authority just because it may be abused.

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    • I have to ask, Bill: is not committing adultery/fornication breaking the seventh commandment? I don’t understand your insistence that the Jerusalem Council’s decision did not involved moral issues. See Acts 15:29.

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  10. Everyone should read the comment by David Read on Fulcrum 7 in this article. It is time to take the lid off and quit all this “make believe” all will be OK. It won’t. God will create a community of true believers by the bible. Whether the SDA church is instrumental in the final development is not relevant or even known for sure. God raised up the SDA movement and it has been beneficial to a certain level like the Jews of the Old Testament. Whether it will continue in the role is dependent on the responses of both leaders and lay members. And that remains to be seen.

    “Make it Loud, and Make it Proud! Analyzing Chris Oberg’s Sermon”
    This article is on Fulcrum 7 and reveals the depth of evil the church has allowed. You will never read anything like this in the Review. As Herbert W. Bush said, “It wouldn’t be prudent.”

    Reply

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