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http://www.thepetitionsite.com/tell-a-friend/7354711



Good Morning,

Please answer the questions below honestly and prayerfully consider signing the petition, then pass this link on to all the Adventists you know while you continue to pray.


Do you feel comfortable with the racial and ethnic divide in the Seventh-day Adventist Church?

As a member of God's remnant church, do you think the present racially designed structure of governance is God's ideal?

Do you think like many others, that the present segregation at the local conference level is hurting our efforts to lead others to Christ?

Are you prepared to do something about it for the salvation of others?
Here's your opportunity to do so.

Please click the link http://www.thepetitionsite.com/tell-a-friend/7354711 and sign the petition to the General Conference in session asking the Church to have an atonement service to reconcile the races and pass a resolution as suggested in the document:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/tell-a-friend/7354711

Let us pray for God's guidance and blessings in this.

Prepared by: Committee on Diversity
Collegedale, Tennessee

In Christ,
Canute Birch, member
Collegedale SDA Church
Collegedale, TN

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Our God is God of love,whatever that is done by love is forgone,He loves us all n lets extend it to all.
I appreciate your comments zilna akinyi and brother Miencha....

Here's my personal experience and why I think this whole thing is a waste of time....

My church is a very multicultural loving church. We speak English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.... However the main languages are English and Spanish. We have our services TOGETHER yet separate for the sermon. We like to get together with other churches for social activities, etc... yet we quit inviting the Spanish church from the town closest to us because they complained very loudly that they hated being in a church where everything had to be translated. So because of this they would rather not have the fellowship with us.

So the point here is that people have to allow God to change their hearts... no conference is going to do this. It is an INDIVIDUAL decision.

I love my church... We don't need the conference to tell us that Americans, Mexicans, Brazilians, Haitians and Jamaicans should love each other....

Sadly racism will exist until Jesus comes... those who truly accept the New Heart that God wants to give us will be ready to live with all races when we are translated to Eternal Glory-

Can you change people's hearts?
I am not advocating for segregation on racial or ethnic grounds, but it is necessary for people of the same race or ethnic group to worship together in their groups which they belong because they understand each other better. So to me its OK.
Hey, no one can change another person's heart, but we could create a loving, caring environment and establish equity in the denomination. America did not change Jim Crow Laws until the Civil Rights Movement marched and got certain other laws passed. People are prone to change their behavior when the system disallows segregation. Besides, the Holy Spirit is working as we make these changes. He's powerful and can change hearts!
(Part 1 and there is Part 2 to follow)

To one and all and the one who prepared this for our consideration.

1st. I have only come across this discussion so I learnt it is too late to respond and have the opportunity to sign if I chose to do so. Yet saying this I will make this comment at this point...

" It is not by might (of our numbers) nor by power (of the conference) but by the Spirt (of Christ in each one) " Zech 4: 6 that will bring about the change that pleases God to have in His church on earth.

A little History if I may, and I stand to be corrected if there are better historians among us, when I relate to this matter and a far wider issue. As far as The Spirit of prophecy goes, which we refer to as the work, writings and visions of E G White, she was not the first person that God chose to do this work. I cannot remember which way round it is but among the two persons Christ moved upon to do this work one was among, the " coloured " (fore that was the language used back then) and asked to do this work and he refused to do it because he saw the he would not be accepted by the " majority " white seventh-day adventist at that time (So God's desire to change things got an early set back) When at the third attempt he said as it were I shall pick " the weakest of the weak " Our sister E G white ( her married name) wrote in what we know as " Early writings of this account and how with great humility she accepted the call to the work to which we know of her today. Now if I remember rightly ad I stand to be corrected, the work in her days was arranged in such a way not to harm the church because of the way the society at large was back then where there was great division between, what was called back then, " The White " & " Coloured " races and she wrote much on the way we were to progress and grow out of these things as far as the " White " & " Coloured " work was to be done.

Today society has changed and before I go on, I remember Paul writing to Christian converts in the times when they had masters and slaves, where if I remember rightly he wrote that the slave/servant was to return to his master. Both paul and Jesus never advocated the over turn of the political state in their days, but maintained that the people of God live as Christians no matter the political situation they find themselves in and in the times of the New Testament, Christians were living under the Roman Empire, who ruled other countries, taxing them for the benefit of Rome. So back to our days, the political climate has changed and in many so called democratic societies, policies are in place that seek to have a quoter or a mixture of peoples from different cultures working within the public sector where there is local and national governmental administrated departments/offices. Now, this is highly regulated by Law and in some countries, if proof can be found that someone or a body acted in a racist way, they could be taken to court and fined very heavily because they are acting openly in such a manner.

So the world as moved on and God's work is not to stand still, yet we have not moved in the same way as Jesus and Paul in their day. Most of us as Christians live in a democratic society, where we have the opportunity to vote and choose who represent us in both local and national government and we are told that this is a matter of conscience for each of us and the church (SDA) is not to suggest which party each one is to vote for. We speak of religious liberty and know that also political liberty is ours and yes in general SDA Church is modelled on an USA Model.

We have Presidents and even our General Conference President is treated like the head of State, like the USA presidents, who have body guards to assist them as they go about their duties, especially at GC Session. Our Leaders are Pastors, elected to be President as the fist leaders in our mission/ conferences, Unions, Divisions and General Conferences, where back in The times of The writing of the New Testament (N/T), the leader were not elected, BUT APPOINTED BY CHRIST CALLED TO BE APOSTLES where even Paul said that God has appointed Apostles to be first as leaders back then. So if were were to speak of the N/T in today’s terms, The Apostles were the General Conference Presidents of heir day and today we do not call our leaders Apostles, though at the highest level they are known among themselves as " Elders" and we hear this during GC sessions when they refer to each other.

So while the world has moved on, politically and in some counties are even prepared to have women as leaders of their state, we the church instead of moving forward appear as if we are dragging our feet and unprepared to reflect the general change that is also reflected in society and government. Before Christ came among the Jews, when it came to worship, it was the men who in the main were expected to attend the feasts and they worshipped separately from the gentiles converts. While God used Paul, to be an apostle to the Gentiles, because he as a Jew grew up more among them also knowing a wider variety of languages, he was better able to be all things to all to win some more than the disciples that walked with Jesus in the days of His flesh for when the persecution came all the Jewish believers fled Jerusalem and only the Apostles, being Jewish Christians, remained there (See Acts 8: 1) they were not commissioned to leave Jerusalem, yet their influence among the church was to have a world wide effect. Paul who was called to be an apostle, was called by Christ to work mainly among the gentiles and it was as he worked among them, he was separated to the ministry as Missionary a few of them gathered together for ministry and fellowship while fasting. (See Acts 13: 1 -3)

Today, some countries their head of state is called a President, in the country where I live the elected head of state is called a Prime minister and since some form of government has been devolved to Scotland, Northern Island and Wales, these leaders are called, First Ministers, yet the queen acts as the figure head of state for the United Kingdom. In other democratic countries, the is an elected President and an elected Prime Minister, a upper and lower house for the government of the country as a whole. While in the USA if I understand it correctly, there is an election for President (now) a maximum of 2 terms (min 4 years and max 8 years) for the highest profile person of state, now President Obarma. Yet our church is based upon the USA model to some extent, yet unlike the election of their head of state, there is no limit to the amount of times the President of our GC, Divisions, Unions, Conference/missions are elected. (All this and I haven't begun to speak of the way the local conferences, especially in multi-cultural/tribal/lingual societies are inn place today)

As a church we tend to look at unity, more along the line of " Uniformity" where we all have the same Lesson Quarterly, the same Hymn book and the same formate as outlined in the Manuel (those it suggests it is a guide, we have for comfort and ease taken it to be almost like the law of the Medes & Persians - that cannot be changed) So if The truth be told, the church today is the American way of seeing the gospel throughout the whole world. If I read and reflect into the way the church was administered in the times of the writings of the N/T the church was organized and administered more along the line of spiritual gifts, of which The Spirit of prophecy (Fresh and new revelations) was very much at work with the word of God (then The Old Testament) and for this reason John and the church suffered persecution, not just for their faith in the O/T in seeing Christ there but also their faith in Christ as he unfolded new things to them, which we find written in the N/T which was not written in the O/T (See John 16: 12 - 15 with Rev 1: 9 with Rev 19: 10 & Rev 22: 8 & 9)

Today, our leaders and administration from head to toe, are not chosen along the lines of spiritual gifts as it were, for leaders are chosen because they have been educated in our institutions, even up to the level of Doctor of Divinity and in some areas of the work, unless one is educated to the level of MA, they will not get an appointment as a minister to the local church. In Paul's day, there was no such structure, those called to be ministers we trained in the mission field, they did not go for training as it were, they were training as they went, it was on the job training (This is how Christ trained his disciples. He did not take them away from society for 3 1/2 years taught them apart from the masses, then sent them to minister, no, they did not go to school, but with a Master, Disciple relationship, they worked with Christ in his mission field.)

We read in The Great Controversy, page 48 (near the end of the chapter and Im going from memory) " That if there is a revival of the religion of Christ and The Apostles, the fires of persecution will be rekindled " You that revival will affect the way the church operates in these modern times, from country to country I do not know, only God will reveal, yet when it comes, we are told that things will not be the same, for we are also told, that revival and reformation are two different things.

What seems to be proposed here is a reformation of things as they are, but unless The Promise Revival comes, there will never be a reformation. It seems to me that according to Isaiah 57: 14 & 15, only God can produce a revival when hearts are broken and humbled before him. It is not in us to seek a revival, nor will be desire it. We cannot get it by Conference vote at any level of the church, nor will looking at our local churches produce God's long awaited revival, that only he alone can bring alive.

So first things first, we need to meet God each one for ourselves as never before, so that God will see fit to bring about such a revival, then the changes that we need will fall in place. He will pour out His spirit until he sees we are ready to receive Latter Rain Power, where one interest will swallow up every other, " CHRIST OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS! " (According to The Spirit of prophecy upon our Sister E G White) Christ will become THE ALL CONSUMING PASSION in every area of our Church, for all who have been revived by His Spirit and The Promise to The Disciples will be reproduced all over again according to John 12: 32 & 33; 16: 13 - 15; Matt 28: 18 - 20; Acts 1: 8 and Rev 14: 6 & 7.

(End of part 1)
(End of part 1 and the beginning of part 2)

Reflecting on an action taken at The GC Session back in 1990 or in 2000, a plan was introduced based on a people to people model for witnessing, in other words, “ Whites were to witness to Whites”, “ Blacks to Blacks”, “Asian to Asian”, or summed up this way “ those from the same background were to witness to others from the same background” . This model idea must have come out of the American field, who have in place “ Conference ” and “ Regional Conference” in place, with the net result that as each win their own and form churches of their own, they will also have Pastors of their own, so we should not be surprised that over a period of time each people group will also desire a conference of their own and why should we stop there, it could lead that such group will desire a Union administration of their own and why should it stop there a Division and if it was taken to the ultimate limit a General Conference of people all from the same back ground. If this idea was widely circulated now, almost everyone will be opposed to it and may be there will be few that will seek to push for such an idea to be set up in place.
Now the work is growing rapidly and there is of course more SDA Christians members outside of American than there is within America and rightly so. In the early days of the advent movement there were more SDA Christians in America than there were outside, Jesus like in the early days of Christianity, there were more Jews as Christian, in Jerusalem, than there were outside of Jerusalem and it was under the great persecution that we read of in Acts, that the gospel spread more widely among the Jews outside of Jerusalem, until there were more Christians of the Gentiles back ground, than there were Jews for which Saul who became Paul was greatly influential by The Spirit of God in enlarging the message of Christ more widely among Gentiles. Looking at our N/T only a few books were written to Jewish Christians where most of it is written to the Non-Jewish Christians, by Paul and even the last book in the Bible, The Revelation of Christ was addressed to the seven churches outside of Jerusalem within the Asian region. (Rev 1: 11)

It seems back then that the Apostle, the first leaders of the Church were not too bothered about organisational structure as we are about it today as long as the gospel spread within the local area gaining converts, where in the example of Paul, he would plant himself with his fellow missionary in a given area of the gentiles, first looking for Jewish brethren, this is why he states, “ to the Jew first and also to the Greek ” (Romans 1: 16) but would not limit his ministry among his people, but would be comfortable among the non-Jew as he declared, “ I was all things to all that I may win a few ” (Read Romans 9: 18 – 22) Herein lies our problem I think, Paul who lived among the Gentiles, observed their ways and customs, so that he could reach them and by this he desired to win a few, while we today unlike Paul only plan t be all things to those from our own background looking to win many.

Also under the Spiritual gifts administration of the church, as it was revealed to Paul in his writing to Gentile (Non-Jewish) Christians, the work of administration was not the highest gift regarded by God or the church in the times and writings of the N/T. Reading what Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth we read the following in 1 Corinthians 12: 28...

(CEV) First, God chose some people to be apostles and prophets and teachers for the church. But he also chose some to work miracles or heal the sick or help others or be leaders or speak different kinds of languages

(ESV) And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues

(ISV) God has appointed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then (4th) those who perform miracles, those who have (5th) gifts of healing, those who (6th) help others, (7th) administrators, and (8th) various kinds of tongues.

According to Paul and the operation of the church in his day among the Gentiles he declared that the Apostle, those who are sent by the church to build up the church as missionaries were to have the greatest respect of all the believers for they were by their ministry enlarging the church, while the administration of the church at the local level upwards is mentioned as the 7th most important gift among the saints. Today we view those who are in the administration of our church as the ones to receive the greatest respect, while those involved in enlarging the church receive not the same respect as did those in the times of the writing of The N/T. Can we see the problem? People are chosen to fit into departments, organised around the work, but in Paul's day, the work was organised around the Spiritual gifts of each individual. Then they had the right person, in the right place and at the right time, where today it is possible to have the right person in the wrong position, for we think of the position first, rather than the spiritual giftedness of the individual which Christ by His Spirit will choose, before one is even considered for any departmental position within the Church. In Paul's day, unless the gift was recognized the work in that area was not done, but we today, invent a department then look for someone to fit it and seek to administer the church, where most of our departments is designed to be used among converts to Adventist way of life and thinking, where in Paul's day, those who had the highest respect were those who were more involved in spreading the good news of Christ among the potential Christians like Apostles & Evangelist followed by Prophets, Pastors and Teachers (See Ephesians 4: 11 & 12)

Our problem is that we are seeking to fit the N/T model into our modern day model and it does seem to be working. Though we may have great and rapid growth and count in millions, yet such growth is measured from country to continent more through people by people groups, where in the main especially in multicultural, multilingual areas, the church within a given area never seems to reflect the people living within the area. If the church had followed the vision of Christ those who lived nearest to the church would be the growing majority converts within the group and the church planters will become the increasing minority. This is not the case with many of our churches today, for most of the church membership is outside of the area and if they are within the area, they tend to be of one group of people more than another group of people, where on the streets, roads, homes and flats in which we live unless it is like a ghetto type of living, a greater variety of people will live in a given area. If we had followed God's plan and were at heart so willing to work with Christ, when it comes to the fellowship of the saints, most of us would walk to the meeting place on Sabbaths and it has been said that for almost 300 years the Christian churches, being people focus did not have purpose built churches, for the church is the people on the move, where the work is organised around the people. Sadly today, the people are organized around the church, so a building is purchased or hired in a given area and the home church in the times of Paul and the Apostles is dead and if any were to begin a home church they would come under great suspicion. In N/T times it was The Holy Spirit going to Church, the converted sinner become the Temple Home of the saints, now we go to church where everything is planed the same way all over the world, when in the Corinthian church, there was always variety week by week and all the gifts were put to use where everyone had an opportunity to share both by presence and by voice putting their gifts to work under the leadership of The Holy Spirit, which implies for this to be realistic church gatherings tended to be from larger to smaller and not like our which in the main is from smaller to larger. (See 1 Corinthians 14: 26) In the N/T we had fewer people in many places yet on the whole they were closer together being from different cultures, now we tend to have many people in fewer places from the same culture background and we tend to be further apart. As the Church Body is as strong as its individual parts, the pound is as strong as 100 pennies and the dollar is as strong as 100 cents, so the conference is as strong as the local church and how it does ministry.

So the question is then, where do we go from here? Can we put the N/T model into our modern day model of doing church or will we adopt the N/T model to get the desired effect among the churches or operate the church today without the N/T model, this is the question. Unless this is done, there will never be any change in our church both locally and administratively. Let us pray to God to give us wisdom so that we may know what to do. May God by The Spirit of Prophecy, upon some soul in these modern times show us the way, so that there will be a win/win situation for all believers within the church and it will be seen that indeed, Christ is at the heart of His church (Rev 1 – 3) and that he is no longer shut out of his church (Rev 3: 20) by the way we live and do ministry among ourselves and the world at large. Give us the vision for The way forward dear Lord, Amen!

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