DEFENDING THE FAITH — GC MONDAY JULY 6, 2015

You would think that discussions, presentations and motions on Church Manual policy and Fundamental Belief statements could be dull and boring. Nothing could be further from the truth!

RAY AT MIC

I went quickly to the microphone when the fundamental belief 23 on Marriage and the Family was brought to the delegates, and was the first to speak on this issue. The proposal was to change the wording from “marriage partners” to “a man and a woman.” Over the last 35 years, when the fundamental belief 23 was first voted, the concept of “marriage partners” has changed in the current society usage. When we first formulated this belief no one was assuming marriage partners meant anything other than a husband (man) and wife (woman). In today’s climate, it has an entirely different meaning. I encouraged the body of delegates to strongly support the proposed wording that clearly states marriage is between “a man and a woman.” I was glad that I did, since the next delegate at the microphone was from Holland, and wanted the statement to be retained as “marriage partners” as he wanted to keep that wording in order to accommodate other arrangements than the Biblical definition of marriage. I was glad I could uphold the Biblical view before the world church.

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The next item of interest was speaking to some wording on creation and the world-wide flood. Dr. John Baldwin was a speaker for our PA Conference Camp Meeting, and he and I spoke at length last summer and this summer about more detailed wording on these two beliefs. In regards to the flood, Dr. Baldwin had encouraged that we consider specific wording. The current wording speaks of a “world-wide flood.” Dr. Baldwin shared that the Andrews Theological Seminary was concerned that the wording be strengthened. It seems that some of our Adventist teachers are adopting a similar ideology to other bible teachers, in postulating that when a Bible author/writer speaks of a world-wide flood, that they are only saying, there was a flood over the part of the world that they were aware of. In other words, their use of a “world-wide flood” means “the world around me that I am aware of.”

So, after talking with Dr. Baldwin from the AU Theological Seminary, he suggested we as delegates consider requesting the phrase, “a global flood” be included, either as an addition to the present wording, or as a substitution. Thus, I went to the microphone and urged the adoption of that language to clarify that we as Seventh-day Adventists, believe in a global flood, as recorded in the Holy Scriptures and in the Spirit of Prophecy, and use this language.

Wow! How exciting! Any delegate gets a chance to prayerfully seek to influence the good ministry of our dear World Church.

There were quite a few others comments on various fundamental beliefs. And you can read them in accounts in the Adventist Review.

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In the late afternoon, the report of the Nominating Committee brought back names for many of the Divisions to serve as president of those Divisions. It was a thrill to find that Dan Jackson, our incumbent North American Division president was re-nominated for NAD president. He was re-elected, and after the vote, most of the NAD delegation gave him a standing ovation and nearly brought tears to his eyes.

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Another interesting note, Jerry Page was re-elected as the General Conference Ministerial Director for the world field, and Janet an associate Ministerial Director. We in Pennsylvania have fond memories of them and value their contributions to the world field.

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