Today, I would like to re-visit a letter brother A.T. Jones
wrote to brother A.G. Daniells in 1906. I believe it
contains more than valuable information as to what was
really going on in those days. So we need to put aside
our prejudices (if there are any) and read the following
letter with a receptive mind so that if brother Jones was
speaking the truth, nothing will stand in the way of our
accepting it. May the Spirit of the Lord be with you as
you follow through to the end of this letter. Thank you
for your attention. God bless!
Battle Creek, Mich., Jan. 26, 1906
Takoma Park Station, Washington, D.C.
Dear Brother:--Your letter of the 17th in answer to mine of the 6th goes so far afield from anything expected or, as I think, called for by my letter, that I am disposed to follow you there, and do all that I can to take away all ground for your having any perplexity about me or my course. Indeed, if you had remembered things that at the beginning I said to you, you need not to have been perplexed at all concerning me, if you expected me to be consistent at all.
First as to the General Conference matters, and my relations to the Committee. Before the General Conference of 1897, at College View, the conditions were such that in that Conference things came to a deadlock. By the Committee and presidents in council, I, in my absence was appointed to read the Testimonies to find the way out. God did lead us out gloriously. A change was made: Brother Irwin being elected president. And I was made a member of the Committee.
It was not very long, however, before the same influences that had produced the situation at College View, were again at work. I saw it plainly enough to satisfy me, and by the time of the General Conference of 1899, at South Lancaster, things were in a bad shape again in some respects--though not near so far along as at College View. In the South Lancaster Conference one day, all unexpectedly, and unintentionally on the part of anybody in the Conference, the power of God came in in a special manner, bringing the whole Conference to its knees at once, and working a great deliverance again.
Brother Irwin stated openly in the Conference that he had "been a coward." The whole matter can be read in the Bulletin of that Conference for that day. On another day in that Conference, the power of God came in specially and carried the deliverance further.
By action of that Conference, I was continued on the Committee. It was not long before the same old influences were at work; and in about a year they had got such a hold again, that, rather than be compromised, I resigned from the Committee.
Then came the General Conference of 1901, in Battle Creek. According to the arrangements I was to report the proceedings of the Conference: and according to the arrangements, Brother Prescott and Brother Waggoner were not expecting, and evidently were not expected, to have even that much to do. But before the Conference actually assembled in session there occurred that meeting in the Library Room of the College Building, in which Sister White spoke on General Conference matters and organization, declaring that there must be "an entire new organization, and to have a Committee that shall take in not merely half a dozen that is to be a ruling and controlling power, but it is to have representatives of those that are placed in responsibility in our educational interests, in our sanitariums, etc., that there should be a renovation without any delay. To have this Conference pass on and close up as the Conferences have done with the same manipulating, with the very same tone, and the same order--God forbid! God forbid, brethren... And until this shall come we might just as well close up the Conference today as any other day. . . This thing has been continued and renewed for the last fifteen years or more, (1901 minus 15 years takes us back to 1886), and God calls for a change."
To be continued
I have been surprised to read a post by Pastor John Parker saying that Sky is the ONLY (emphasis his) person on this forum who has questioned the structure of the church leadership. I did question it too a few weeks/days before the last GC session. I'll look for the post, but Clark can help too. Regardless, I have looked in the Bible and I see no place where there is evidence of the type of leadership we have with the GC. I have no problem with Elder Ted Wilson (in fact I was privately thrilled to hear about his ideas on revival and reformation, coming just days after two brothers and I had prayed and set out to begin a series of revival meetings in our church). But still, that does not mean a one-man leadership structure is good for the church.
True, the GC has had some very good men leading as presidents. But that does not mean it is the best structure of leadership.
My understanding of 2nd Samuel where the prophet describes kings makes me understand that even though David was a good king (even then, not at all times), the manner in which Prophet Samuel describes kings leaves no doubt that God was displeased with the Israelites' rejection of His lordship over them. It's Him they had rejected, no matter what kind or how good the kings they would get later would be.
I'm in a territory where the fight for leadership positions is threatening to break the church apart (if it hasn't happened already). I know of a senior church leader who fought tooth and nail to clinch a major position in the church and in the same manner fought hard to knock out qualified, blessed brethren from getting any post close to him. Is it a reflection of the trappings of power that they see at the GC and in the papal system? I think so.
Primitive godliness calls us to return to the biblical New Testament system of church leadership. I'm afraid I agree with Sky that the current Adventist leadership structure is a far cry from what the apostles had.
I try John.
You can call me your personal illustrator
I do have Adobe Illustrator. And Adobe Photoshop CS
But this pic was stolen.
I didn't see any name calling.
Can you be more specific with your accusations against your brother?
Let's reason this out.
Good to hear from you Dan. Appreciate your comments.
The post you are looking for is here:
While I agree with the pitfalls of one-man leadership and think we need to seek to avoid those pitfalls at all cost, I don't see the need for the destruction of our church structure. Our church is run by boards of people and not by one man or woman. Perhaps the titles should reflect that fact better. There are checks and balances that mitigate the problems of one person enforcing their will on another.
Organizations without structure perish under the weight of growth. It all works fine when you can fit everyone in the same room. But when that becomes impossible, the structure of leadership and representation is required. Throughout history, when organized, the people of God have been organized with a single leader. From Moses to David to Ted. ;-) And in the Biblical times, these structures were set up by God Himself.
I'm confident that our church is structured to spread the gospel to the world.
Thanks Clark for the link as requested. I appreciate your comments. Is there any evidence in the New Testament where the church was led by one apostle? I think Ted is a Spirit-led GC President. The import of what Sky is advancing is that the Bible does not support the system of leadership we have at the GC. That does not mean we should not respect the GC (David had respect for Saul as God's anointed king even when it was clear the Spirit of God had left him). This is not a call to "destroy" the church leadership structure but to rethink how it could work in the light given in the Bible and SOP.
In my post yesterday I cited the example of leadership in the area I live. I can say without fear of contradiction that the quest for leadership has caused a lot of pain and has worked against the spread of the gospel. In the jostling for leadership, I'm aware that certain persons have been edged out to make room for the ambitions of an influential leader. Those who were edged out were people working for God and being used by Him in the gospel ministry. Their removal as far as I can tell is only because they were perceived to be threats to the person who removed them. I'm sorry that I cannot put down any names as requested by Pastor Parker (it would risk causing great division and may be counter-productive for the cause of the gospel). At the same time, I do not have all the facts except the proceedings during the elections at various church levels.
I've said that it is possible that the trappings of power as seen in the apostate church may be the main motivation for some of these incidents, but at the same time, the events may be a pointer to the need to reflect on the leadership structure of the church and return to the biblical model as seen in the early church.
I'm cognizant of the fact that times have changed. We live in modern times, cellphones, iPads, Twitter etc. There is no significant reason that makes the church to deviate so widely from the biblical model. If anybody has such evidence, I would be glad to see it.
That is the point of these studies.
We need to be joint to the Head, controlled
by the Head, and not by men. Actuated by
the Head we are delivered from the slavery
of men who would lord it over us. This is the
liberty wherewith the Lord has made us free.
"You were bought with a price. Do not become
the slaves of men." 1 Cor.7:23.
Getting to the truth IS about weighing all facts in a balanced manner. It does not mean we ignore all positive posts or all negative posts. We need to prayerfully weigh them all to get to the TRUTH.
As an example, I could write a history of you (or me) and our relationship to the SDA Church. I would stuff it full of quotes from former congregation members, co-workers, and supervisors. All quotes would be honest. And doing all this I could still paint a completely negative picture of you (or me) by only focusing on exposing the negative. Do you agree that this would not be a good representation of you? Do you agree that it would not present the whole truth? I know for a fact that you would indignantly say "That's not the TRUTH!" And so would I. And we would be right. But then some would say, what was said in error? And we could not point to ANYTHING. All quotes were honest. But we both still know that the story presented was not representative of the TRUTH.
Likewise, to show the condition of the church at any one time, you must present all the quotes available, good and bad. That is the only way to expose the TRUTH.
Clark, you are building upon a wrong premice. God's warnings have nothing "negative" in them and they do not need to be counterbalanced with "positive" statements because there is nothing "negative' in His warnings because they are but the breathing of unutterable love.
Like His promises, all His warnings are but the breathing of unutterable love!
"All His promises, His warnings are but the breathing of unutterable love." S.C.35 bottom of page.
I have quoted this statement before. Do you not agree with it?
*So far you have not made any comment regarding this statement: