This year's Autumn Council generated much interest with its focus on reconciliation and mission. Yet General Conference President Ted Wilson chose neither unity nor mission, but education as the topic of his October 8 Sabbath sermon. A gift copy of Ellen White's Education had been placed at each seat, and he recommended it as both a complement to the educational instructions in the Bible and a book that could change the direction of our institutions.
On October 11, 2016, the Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee voted to approve a procedure by which the non-compliance of certain denominational entities with world church policy is to be addressed. This procedure will involve a year-long, two-step process in which efforts at reconciliation will be conducted by those strata within the church organization which bear responsibility for those entities—such as Unions and local Conferences—who have lately veered in their practices from the voted decisions of the worldwide Adventist body.
Video of Elder Wilson's Closing Remarks
Transcript of Elder Wilson's Opening Remarks
In the first article of this series, Dismissal of Unfaithful Shepherds, it was seen that unfaithful ministers in the remnant church must be converted or purged out before the remnant church receives the promised showers of blessing through the latter rain, or makes decided progress in the movement of the Three Angels’ messages.
Annual Council 2016 is imminent. Union and Division presidents and other church leaders are arriving at American airports. Some have never been here before; others were present in San Antonio in 2015 or have come at other times. But some puzzle over the Adventist Church in North America. They are told that most American Adventists decidedly favor women’s ordination. Then they discover that many, many American Adventists strongly oppose women’s ordination. They ask themselves, Who should I believe?
Should a Christian have a habit of arriving late to places? Does punctuality have anything to do with representing God? It is possible there are times where maybe we are doing too much during our days, maybe putting too much on our plates?
Our world is a vast lazar house, a scene of misery that we dare not allow even our thoughts to dwell upon. Did we realize it as it is, the burden would be too terrible. Yet God feels it all. In order to destroy sin and its results He gave His best Beloved, and He has put it in our power, through co-operation with Him, to bring this scene of misery to an end (Ellen White, Education, 264).
The prophetic voice spoke in 1861. Organization was the issue. Warning was delivered via the pen of Ellen White: “And now unless the churches are so organized that they can carry out and enforce order, they have nothing to hope for in the future. They must scatter into fragments” (Review and Herald, Aug. 27, 1861). The churches subsequently organized. The Seventh-day Adventist Church was born! But now, after a century and a half, the church faces this question again.
Ellen G. White, in her counsel to writers and editors wrote “ . . . we are now altogether too near the close of this earth's history to keep before the attention of the people a class of books which do not contain the message which our people need. Draw their attention to books treating on practical faith and godliness” (Counsels to Writers and Editors, p.147). Author, counselor, and lay pastor, Omar Miranda has written such a book for people of all ages. The book is titled: Picking the King's Brain: Learning Life Hacks from the Wisest Man on Earth.
The author went on to observe that many times people make the decision to have plastic surgery without fully considering the outcome. The results, however, are permanent. The author feels that this is a result of a culture that is accustomed to having everything instantly and without much work or sacrifice on their part.
The book The Reformation and the Remnant: The Reformers Speak to Today’s Church, penned by a lawyer-turned-theologian currently serving as a professor of church history at the SDA Theological Seminary at Andrews University, seeks to address a cluster of contemporary Adventist issues both from the perspective of Protestant Reformation history and a focus on ideological positioning so far as various convictions in the contemporary church are concerned. References to “liberals,” “fundamentalists,” and “centrists” abound throughout the book with regard to different ideas and their alleged place on contemporary Adventism’s spectrum of thought.