How has God arranged for His church to be governed? He is the head. Authority flows from Him to His people. He distributes this authority to every member, who in turn delegate it to the various entities of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Thus, the church operates via the consent of the governed.

Rapid developments continue in the Methodist Church. In the lines which follow, the Council of Adventist pastors updates that situation because, as has been observed, schism over women’s ordination in the Adventist church is closely mirrored in the Methodist schism over LGBTQ.

Thomas Lambrecht, a UMC Pastor, describes the current situation in his denomination:

It has become strikingly evident over the past several months that a significant part of The United Methodist Church no longer gives its consent to be governed by the church, despite those vows. German and Scandinavian church leaders have declared they will investigate becoming autonomous churches rather than submit to the decisions of the St. Louis [February 2019] General Conference. Several bishops in the U.S. have announced that they will ignore what the General Conference enacted and operate their annual conferences as if the One Church Plan had passed. Up to a half-dozen practicing homosexuals have been ordained or commissioned in U.S. annual conferences in defiance of the longstanding prohibition in our Book of Discipline. Over a dozen U.S. annual conferences have passed resolutions rejecting the decisions made by the St. Louis General Conference. . . . Influential mega-church pastor, the Rev. Adam Hamilton, has stated, ‘We are going to live and be the kind of church we want to be, regardless what the denominational rules says [sic].’ (Good News Newsletter, June 28, 2019, The Consent of the Governed, by Thomas Lambrecht,
http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1108936514096&ca=11baa616-3bdf-4e3e-982d-f7a3f340d24c

Since the UMC February 2019 Special GC Session the situation has descended into stark insubordination.

This spring, in response to the General Conference decisions, the moderate and progressive wings of the church in the U.S. and parts of Europe have decided to revolt against the government of the church and to establish a different foundation on principles amenable to the majority of church members in those parts of the church. We see this in the examples of disobedience cited above and calls to ‘resist.’ (Ibid.).

Even if the 2020 General Conference continues to affirm the traditional definition of marriage and sexual ethics, progressives have stated they will refuse to abide by the church’s policies. Based on apparent success in electing progressive and moderate delegates to the Jurisdictional Conferences, they believe they will have the votes to elect at least a dozen bishops who will refuse to enforce the church’s standards and will carry on the revolution (ibid.).

Further information on these denominationally “illegal” ordinations can be perused here:

California-Nevada has 6 new LGBTQ clergy, kathy L. Gilbert, UM News, June 25, 2019
https://www.umnews.org/en/news/california-nevada-has-6-new-lgbtq-clergy

And here:

US elections see shift in GC2020 delegates, Heather Hahn, UM News, June 27, 2019
https://www.umnews.org/en/news/us-elections-see-shift-in-gc2020-delegates

Indeed, the pages of UMNews.org on any given occasion include numerous mentions of LGBT clergy ordained—all in rebellion against the numerous GC Session votes affirming that LGBT practice is incompatible with Christianity.

Then it is no surprise when Lambrecht points out, “Our church is now unquestionably in a constitutional crisis, where our ecclesiastical framework appears to be unable to resolve the conflict. We have two irreconcilable positions, and one faction is willfully choosing to violate the constitutionally established processes of the church.” He observes, “We have one part of the church government (some bishops and annual conferences) choosing to willfully violate church law established by another part of the church government (General Conference) operating under its constitutional authority.”

Lambrecht’s conclusion:

[W]e must accept the fact that a separation must occur in our church. That separation can be done amicably or it can be done contentiously. One way or another, however, it must happen. We can no longer think that unity under a single church government is possible.(Ibid.).

Seventh-day Adventists need not follow the Methodist path to separation. In the Methodist Church, an impassible chasm developed between Methodist clergy and administrative leaders trapped in their ideological bubble, and the broader church membership, a majority of whom reject the cultural descent into sexual depravity. Although the mechanisms of representative church government, with constitution and bylaws documents and administrative bodies voted into place and functioning between GC Sessions was present, division continued and became permanent in the denomination. The clergy and administrators trapped themselves in their own bubble, while the broader church membership tended to blindly trust their leaders, anticipating that in the end everything would work out. There was never an effective intervention where everyone came back onto the same page.

All of which urges the question: What steps can the Seventh-day Adventist Church take to bring our broader membership together with our clergy and administrators on the platform of Bible truth? The sharp schism in the Methodist Church warns us that there is grave danger in failure to move proactively.

8 thoughts on “Post-GC Rebellion Bodes Methodist Separation

  1. If one follows what happened: first the progressives began ordaining women to the clergy then the natural progression of ordaining LGBT folks followed. Both are linked. All you have to do is observe what other denominations are experiencing. If only people would follow the simple instructions of Scripture, the problem would be solved in five minutes. 1 Tim 3:2 “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife. . . .” The verse is gender pacific. And, by the way, God only made two genders, Male & Female, not dozens as some now claim. What needles and unnecessary confusion!

    Reply
    • My brother, you are so right. I noted the passage taken from GC 268 in the side bar above right. If it was not intended to be linked with this report, it surely should be. The “writing is on the wall” and in the GC, loudly proclaiming many are called, but few are chosen. And if among the number not chosen we shall have no cause to blame God.

      Let us pray we are among those who sigh and cry that we may be found faithful.

      Reply
    • The next problem to hit the church is pedophilia which is in the pipeline and prepped for deployment. I am adventist Christian who grew up with a baptist background and this not biblical. The ordination of women was a big smoke screen to allow the more damnable apostasies to enter the church based on cultural conformity. In other words they becoming spiritual Babylon. Stay prayed up, studied up, and put on the Whole Amour of God! Stay blessed.

      Reply
  2. Those on both sides of the issue who have strong convictions are frustrated by church leaders who seem to be inept to lead and guide.

    It may be God’s way of forcing individuals to consider the moral issues and make a commitment to truth and not just wait for some church decision they can accept.

    The church may not make the right decision. Then what. Individual accountability always transcends any corporate decision. This is true bible Protestantism. Any other position is neither Protestant nor biblical.

    Reply
  3. The end of the article presents an idea that is intriguing: if only there is a meaningful intervention, then we can all come together in unity. Now here is the issue with this type of thinking – such an “intervention” was put together in the form of the TOSC. Instead of bringing folks together, it simply introduced further confusion as the pro-WO faction managed to split the anti-WO group further through the “third option.” Thankfully such tactics did not translate into disaster at the 2015 GC Session.

    But what is the real issue here? Pro-WO thinking is based on a hermeneutic (method of interpreting the Bible) that is contrary to the hermeneutic practiced by the founders of Seventh-day Adventism. Further, it is contrary to true Protestantism. How is a change of heart effected in those who are following a contrary spirit to Protestantism, all the while claiming to be Protestant? Maybe the authors of Ordination Truth see a path here that they will share. As for me, I see that the fissure that exists in Methodism already exists in Adventism. The church has talked about this issue for decades. It’s time to vote a biblical, doctrinal position on ordination (and fix the female elders loophole), and finally be done with this sad, indecisive chapter in our history.

    Reply
  4. The problem has never been “Women’s Ordination”. To approach this problem focusing on Women’s Ordination is a tacit (though unintentional) acceptance of the root cause that makes Women’s Ordination a possibility; that being “Women Serving As Pastors”. Failing to deal with “Women Serving As Pastors” continues to make “Women’s Ordination” a legitimate and logical “next step”. True reformation of this problem demands that we roll back “Women Serving As Pastors”; a step we just don’t want to talk about. The Bible does not deal with Women’s Ordination, simply because it does not authenticate “Women Serving As Pastors”. “Women Serving As Pastors” has never been voted at a GC Session.

    Reply
    • The liberal agenda is “all traditional values are out the window.”

      This is both in the political arena and the spiritual agenda. With a little evaluation, this is so obvious “that wayfaring men, though fools, need not err therein.” Isa.

      So traditional marriage, civil government, church government, home government and briefly any and all traditional authority is cast aside for the “new morality and civil law”.

      We could have expected it in the world and the false spirituality of both Catholicism and apostate Protestantism, but to see this take place in the SDA church is both shocking and frustrating.

      Basically it means the bible is thrown out and the values clearly revealed and proper authority stated, and the new spirituality is a “Spirit ethic” (the Holy Spirit is leading) that transcends the written word.

      Notice this article at Spectrum that is a classic example of this reality.

      Let’s Delete the Words “Evangelism” and “Witnessing” from Our Vocabulary
      Written by: Kim Allan Johnson

      It may sound innocent enough, but the underlying principle is clearly revealed in this article that condemns words like “Evangelism” and “Witnessing”.

      The author don’t like these words because of their obvious meaning and notice the responses that agree with the author.
      Take care

      Reply

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