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SDA Racially Divided Conferences

The Lingering Evil in SDA Racially Divided Conferences (Jude 1:18-19)

A more developed statement may or may not be made here on this blatantly ungodly,
unbiblical, and self-evident issue lingering in the Church, however for now it should suffice to say that: since racially divided conference were, due to “hardness of hearts” (Matt 19:7-8; cf. Mal 2:16), ultimately created in order to meet the spiritual, and other various pertinent special needs, of then marginalized and ignored SDA African-Americans (see a most infamous, “watershed” extreme manifestation related here), and certain South Africans (see in SDA Historian, Crocombe’s Blog below), then this cannot possibly still now be a problem/issue/excuse, for either “side,” especially in now 2017 (cf. AR 02-21-08 article...(but AR 07-24-08 opposition by Calvin B. Rock) in here).
            Therefore, there shouldn't be any problem to reorganize such affected conferences, euphemistically known as “Regional Conferences” (cf. here), according to geographical boundaries, as other conferences rightly are, and that will take much more than mere “Talk[1] Unless, of course, the desire to not expend money towards effecting this due resolution, and/or to have to then share revenues amongst different races who mainly, discrepantly “contribute” to such collective resources (due to sustained/enduring/entrenched discriminatory societal discrepancies in income matters), is really still the underlying issue here. ‘The love of money is indeed the root of all sorts of evil.’ 1 Tim 6:10 (cf. 1 Tim 3:3; Heb 13:5) The fact that, in some cities, one can go to one SDA church, and then walk less than ten blocks to another SDA church, and suddenly find themselves in another conference(?!?), as it can also be observed by the contrasting change of ethnicity/color between (most of) these churches, is telling enough of the whole absurdity of this sanctioned mess. 

            Talk about a “concrete” monument and shrine[2] in the Church to the days of Racial Segregation, Apartheid and Slavery!?![3]  ...And these are the people who think themselves to be the ‘light of the world.’ Better keep that ‘light of bad works’ under a bushel! (Matt 5:16; cf. Mark 4:22)

            As repeatedly quoted from the Spirit of Prophecy in sociologist David Williams’s excellent presentations below on this issue (among many other great pertinent SOP quotes also given): 

“Harmony and union existing among men of varied dispositions is the strongest witness that can be borne that God has sent His Son into the world to save sinners. [1 John 4:7-14]. It is our privilege to bear this witness. But, in order to do this, we must place ourselves under Christ's command. Our characters must be molded in harmony with His character, our wills must be surrendered to His will. Then we shall work together without a thought of collision.” (8T 242.3)

            Hopefully/Ideally any racial reconciliation in the Church will be done out of no other motive (such as budget savings) than actual, unbiased and genuine love of the other brethren. Even a unity based on a motive to have a better witness in our evangelism is really not ideal for it does not deal with the problem at the root. (cf. James 2:1-10). Still, if such a unity is done so that a much better witness is given to the world, void of any self-interest motive such as Denominational pride or even to try to hasten the Second Coming, it can be reckoned as a self-sacrificing love for the billions of people who need to hear the other truths that we have to offer before the end, without such valid objections/distractions as this entrenched racial segregation. 


More discussion on this topic is found in the associated comments. See also some discussion comments here.

For more background and detailed information on this issue see in the following blogs, sites, and presentations: 


Separate Black and White Conference (Samuel K. Pipim) - Part 1, Part 2
The Beginning of Regional Conferences in the US (Jeff Crocombe - H0bbes’ Place Blog) Part 1, Part 2 and in South Africa Part 1, Part 2

See the, indeed ‘probably angelic’ object-lesson experience about this issue of Walter Veith in South Africa during its Apartheid Era here [24:08-31:34].

Audio Presentations
The Racial Divides - GYC 2009 Seminar (David R. Williams

-Individual/Societal Biases & Stereotypes: Part 1, Part 2 
-Historical & Modern Race Relations in SDA Church: Part 3, Part 4 
-John 17's Unity & SDA Witness: Part 5, Part 6 (Cf. SW 11.1 ~ 10C (GC 639.1) = Matt 22:39-40; John 13:34-35; 15:12-13, 17; cf. 1 John 3:11-12)

Who Stopped the Movement? (Num 12) - Was EGW a Racist??? - (Eric Walsh) {Cf. here}

World's Problems and God's People - Ethnicity and Nationalism - SEYC 2009 (Mindi Rahn)

(An Appeal to the Youth) - The Truth in Black and White - Andrews University|Pioneer Memorial Church 2010 (Dwight Nelson)
-See also Nelson’s pointed statement on this issue, in relation to the outpouring of the Latter Rain, in his GYC 2011 sermon [01:17:41-01:20:31ff]. (= Acts 5:32).[4]
-Also his January 17, 2015 sermon in the past light of the Ferguson, MO Event and an upcoming MLK Day March, -more pressingly and tangibly appealing to the (immediate) next generation to effectuate this change (cf. Num 14:26-30a, 32-37; 15MR 292.2-4).

Adventist Newsline Panel Discussion - General Conference 2010 (June 25,2010) (19:44-20:39) [video] (David Person) - ‘(New) SDA GC President should ‘visionarily and Biblically’ leading the way to end the segregation in SDA weekly worship.’

Unity in the Church - Various Issues that Divide - GYC 2011 (Valmy Karemera & Daniel McGrath) - Five (pertinent) Parts [-Indwelling Part I is a study on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit]

Various pertinent statements by Clarissa (Worley) Sproul here (mp3) [03:47-11:31 & 24:39-37:37] on: the Gravity of the (U.S.’s) Sin of Slavery; Martin Luther King Jr.; Race Reconciliation; SDA Black Conferences[5]; SOP on U.S. Civil War; EGW’s Tithing “Activism” Towards African Americans, etc.

Jonathan Henderson - Advocating ‘Intentional Diversity’ in SDA Churches - (Alberta Conference Campmeeting) (mp3) [08:23-11:50ff; 13:30-15:13ff]. See, more protractedly, from him on this here [07-19-2014] (mp4) [at 25:53-41:36-{blasphemy}-42:32-43:26ff]. In a 09-06-14 sermon (mp3) [22:50-25:45] (=(11-08-2014) here[03:20-13:41]) relates ‘racial confusion’ incident while preaching during a weekends-racially-segregated Canadian Conference Campmeeting.

Union Delegate Statement - (Mark Sorenson - Pennsylvania Conference) - during Columbia Union Conference Special Constituency meeting on Women Ordination (“notedly”/positively welcomed, (though “technically”, but indeed not spiritually, off topic), by CUC President Dave Weigley [whose Union does have, since 1967, two Regional Conferences (=Allegheny East and West)]) [video] [02:45:29-02:46:17]

David Asscherick (GYC Europe 2012) - See his ‘for the record’ statement here [28:42-30:21ff].[6]

Columbia Union Conference - Youth Ministries Conference Uniting Initiative (e.g., Steve Carlson, {Joel Johnson}, and Mackenzie Kambizi, et. al., with Dave Franklin (host) See report on event here.)

Advent Voice Blog PostsAdventist Segregation ("Contact the NAD on this issue." -See their full blog posts listing on this issue here)[7]

Sebastien Braxton - (Campus H.O.P.E. Church at University of Michigan) - Civil War [24:52-27:43] - Call for laity’s resolution & cites example for Conference unifications.

Justin McNeilus - GYC Europe 2014 Seminar comment [22:26-22:50]: ‘(redundancy) wastefulness of U.S. Regional Conferences’.

Barry Black - on UK Hope TV -(Free to Worship Festival - August 16, 2014) sermon [20:42-22:21-22:40ff]: Decryingly testifying of having grown up a SDA-segregated environment for the first 16 years of his life.[8] (See a similar testimony here[23:57-24:38])

See also this “Proposal for a Resolution on Racial and Ethnic Reconciliation in the SDA Church

and this “Adventist Desegregation Coalition” Facebook page.


See also some additional resource links in this C.A.M.P.U.S.  P.R.E.S.S “Be Informed” web page.

AUSA’s Forum & Request: On March 7, 2015, the Andrews University Student Association held a Forum (video) to expose and discuss the issue of (the NAD’s) Regional Conferences, and then made a formal request to the NAD on the issue; to which the NAD formally responded by sanctimoniously, and really Satanically-blinded, defending its current racist divisions. -Seriously what else is the actual problem with the SDASS and its deluded leadership!!? (Btw, any placating/compromising “solution” which vacuously maintains these inherently grossly overlapping Regional Conference structures while claiming to have resolved the racial divisions, is just pure wishful thinking.)

February 25, 2017 - The special sermon by Dwight Nelson entitled: “A Path Toward Healing: They’re Right.” [9] [“Naturally”, (i.e. 1 Cor 2:14ff), formally rebutted & opposed by South Central Conference of SDAs President Benjamin Jones.]



The ‘Matt 18:17’ Stage Proposition and Resolution:
            In all Biblical/Spiritual/Theological reality, as seen throughout the Bible: (1) any Achan-like sin, and also an indifferent covering up of it (3T 267.1-268.3), is considered by God to be serious enough to detrimentally affect the whole Camp, and (2) the mandate of God is to radically cut out such hinderance and sin from the Camp. (cf 1SM 124.2; 3T 265.1ff) And so, the only way this Church is going to resolve this issue, at least in the near future (i.e., within the next 20-30 years) is to have, at least, the North American Division, as normatively done in other similar divisive issues, representatively, or even referendumly, vote on whether or not it wants to continue to maintain such Divisions. (A decision based on the Truth of the Bible, which unequivocally is against such racial/socio-economic divisions, would avoid any need for, at least, a referendum.)
            Of course that will likely/naturally result in a drastic separation/schism between those who want continue with those unGodly ways and those who don’t, even within these Regional Conferences themselves. So be it!! That is, sadly/ironically enough, the cost of Biblical Truth (Luke 12:50-53; yet Eph 2:14). If the Regional Conference movement is so in harmony with God’s ideal and will as professed by them, then they will not only survive this schism, but actually flourish and thrive, for God will surely not allow such an ‘uncalled for injustice to win out’. (in fact they will no longer have to give any money to the GC, and thus will have more funds to further their supposed (still) “special cause”!!
            In every such major issues of entrenched evil in the Church, which moreover are claiming to be God’s Will, there comes to be, of necessity, a Mount Carmel showdown to clearly demonstrate what God actually thinks. (1 Kgs 18:21)


Notes
[1] Also in a “Let’s Talk” session (New York), now former GC President Jan Paulsen claimed that he/the General Conference had no mandate to make changes in regards to Racially divided conference, claiming that it was the directly implicated Local Conferences that had to initiate this change (!?!). That is a completely incorrect view of the Divinely Ordained organizational structure of the SDA Church; one which wrongly, merely views it as an administrative entity. The actual role of each organizational level is (or at least, inherently/logically should be) primarily a spiritual one, and that in order to ensure that the entities under these oversights remain Biblical in all of its various dealings. (Not understanding this is why many people flippantly complain, and that for mainly financial expenditure reasons, that ‘the Church has too many administrative levels.’)
            Thus when a Church engages in wayward activities, the first spiritual oversight level to step in, address and correct the problem is the Local Conference. If this is not done, or cannot be done, by the Conference, then the Union Conference has to step in,... then, if it is still necessary, the Division... and (hopefully), if these others have also failed to Biblically correct the issue,... the General Conference. So at the very least, the General Conference, which is obviously clearly aware of these Racial Division issues at these Local Conferences, should have already begun to make the implicated Division leaders address and seek to correct this lingering problem. In fact they should have been instrumental in preventing them from taking root in the place, so this is indeed, from its start, a still enduring, Denominational failure.
            It therefore can be seen why those who come to occupy these higher organizational levels should have demonstrated a fitting, and even “higher”, spiritual level, and thus why the selection/election of such officers is to be out of purely spiritual consideration. If solely “bureaucrats” are needed to fill these positions, or these positions are solely to address business-type issues, then might as well hire secular recruiters who surely will find the best available Chief Executive, Financial and Operational Officers out there for, respectively, a Conference President, Treasurer and Secretary, even if this is limited to SDAs and/or SDA (business) graduates!


[2] E.g., Reynolds, Louis B. We Have Tomorrow: The Story of American Seventh-Day Adventists With an African Heritage. Review and Herald Pub. Association. Hagerstown Maryland. 1984. pp. 291ff - Chapter Entitled: "Separate Conferences - A Road to Fellowship".

[3] 
See a most pathetic attempt in 2005 to justify Regional Conferences by various leaders within these conference, including {-the now-2016 late; cf. here[19:01-22:56]: MemorialC. D. Brooks*, and the late E. E. Cleveland, in a video (
original link) of a Panel Discussion still being posted on the Regional Conferences website (cf. here). Again, I won’t waste my time debunking point by point the invalid and vacuous (and mainly derisively contemptuous) arguments made there (=Jude 1:18-19; versus 20-23), or at least whichever ones actually had any semblance of validity, however I summarily make the following overarching counter points:
* I Want My Church Back!![??!] {cf. 24:27-26:54}

1. It is quite telling of the unbiblicalness of your position when you do not, as you cannot, cite even a single Biblical text to support your view. As seen in this present blog post, and in the sermons and articles linked from it, there is an overabundance of Bible text which condemn such divisions, especially racial and economic-based ones amongst God’s People.

2. It is also quite telling, and also quite sad, that you have to delude yourself to believe that you are still living in the days of condoned racism and institutionalized slavery and/or segregation to continue to believe that these conferences are still “needed”. E.g., ‘They don’t accept or reject applications at SDA Institutions based on race/skin color’!??

3. So called “White Conferences” do not ‘only focus on members/people living in rural areas or around SDA Institutions.’ That is inherently an outright lie. And only the enemy of Truth needs lies to support his views. (~John 8:44)

4. The fundamental argument here that ‘black people are needed to reach out to other black people’ is most easily debunked by the fact that the first person to reach out to black people in the SDA Church was James Edson White, a white person!!

5. Seems to me that EGW’s looked for “better way” has long come, and that since, at least, the ‘better/bettering day’ of the enacting of the most comprehensive of U.S. Civil Rights Acts in 1964. Oddly enough, particular in/for the SDA Church, 6 of the 9 Regional Conferences [with one formal RC in 6 of the NAD’s 9 Unions Conferences & involving ca. 26% of the United States’s SDA membership] were formed after that year (actually 3 in 1966 & 1967, and the other 3 after 1978!!).

6. If someone (at least in our days) needs to hears the Gospel from someone of like race in order to believe, then (a) they have much deeper problems, and (b) they would still be not be ready to be baptized by being racially biased/partial.

7. Programs such as AY & MV do not necessarily need to be imposed at/from a Local Conference level (if that is even the case), but can be done on either a single Church basis or a cooperation of a nearby Local Churches.

8. As part of a normative conference, the groups of churches currently in these Regional conferences would be contributing the same amount of money, and probably more, to the General Conference.

9. Judging by the general and running condescending, even mocking, tone in that Panel Discussion towards their own audience: i.e., ‘If you had lived through what (some of us) had live through, you would not be speaking against Regional Conferences’, it seems to be the case that many members in those conferences are calling for an abandoning of them, as, at the very least, being now completely irrelevant. This Panel Discussion indeed seems to have been called for to address these opposing outcries.

[4] While that pointed call was indeed, in itself, most commendable, and, as seen in several echoing statements made afterwards by other seminar presenters, soundly resonated with many, the also stated call to (preferentially) place this burden for change upon a generation of late teens and young adults, is Spiritually most troubling. That is because it, sequiturly, realistically/tangibly, i.e., non-glibly, implicates that such changes will only begin to occur when enough of such (willing) young people are selected/elected to the needed offices and committee positions in, at least, the NAD, in order to formally carry them out. However it is almost a certainty that, as customarily, the elderly persons presently in those positions who are actually indifferently or resolutely maintaining these divisions, are not planning any time soon to voluntarily relinquish their position to these youngsters. Therefore these hindering changes will be in place for at least, another ca. 20-25 years....Yes and: “Jesus is still coming... tomorrow” -is the maintained, spiritually mindless, and, mission-wise, indifferently dismissive, SDA mantra.
            In reality, those leaders who are preferring to, falsely so-called, “peacefully” (=Ezek 13:10) live out their days, of at least Church employment, and are really just watching out for their salaries and pensions, and are indeed not seriously intending, indeed not themselves/their generation, to do what is right, and that zealously so (contra. Rev 3:19), are therefore, as pointedly prophesied in the SOP, merely “seeking a position in the Church”. Good Luck with that preferred unbiblical course!... And God is never looking for a generation that ‘does not know better’ [cf. e.g., conversely Jonah 4:11], but rather one that ‘knowingly does better.’ (I.e. starting with Gen 2:9b, 16-17)

            And in regards to David Gates’ ambiguous/generalized, yet manifestly allusive/related, call/prayer (see here [01:04:17-01:04:40]) for ‘God Himself to remove obstructing leaders from their post’, I can only presume, ‘by suddenly striking them dead,’ it seems to me, upon cursorily recalling the history of God’s Israel, that God only takes such actions himself when the Capital sin in question is concealed and/or covered up (by a third party) from the objectively adjudgeable perception of others (E.g., Num 5:11-30; Acts 5:1-11; Lev 10:1-2), or in cases of manifest total apostasy (Exod 32:7-10ff), thus then an outstanding sin towards (an already knowing) God Himself!! In the opposing cases, (as it is in this post’s issue of ‘explicitly maintained racial divisions in the Church’), when the rest of the leadership and/or people of God became aware of condoned sinning amongst then, then as e.g., in the case of Israel’s due Capital Punishing (e.g, Num 15:32-36; cf. PP 409.1), and pertinently, most notably in the case of those who impenitently wanted to persist in their Golden Calf idolatry (Exod 32:25-28), then it is, indeed in such cases when the leadership, (i.e., here Aaron), is not taking any correcting action, the people themselves who are to do this work of physically eradicating such capital/rebellious sin/sinning from God’s Israel. (And the descendants of Levi (Aaron’s own kinsmen) then were indeed just another tribe of “laypeople” (cf. Num 3:10) and it was this righteous action which made them fit/honorable to be the ‘religious guardians’ of/for God’s People. (cf. Num 3:5-12, 45).
            And for a “Church” that ‘adamantly believes” that ‘the Second Coming is less than 24 hours away’ it/its members are really experts at condoning even most blatant sins in their midst, -as long of course as they are financially profitable. It must indeed be part of that popularly pervasively, equally-employed, prevailing, sanctimonious, Capitalistic/Individualistic, self-justified, “hateful”, self-(foremostly)-looking-out-for base conditioning/mentality. (=Gen 4:9; cf. 1T 113.1-115.2).

[5] I actually do not at all agree with her effective “caveat” which ‘deferentially’ supports separate Black Conferences [33:16-35:17-36:33ff], evidently to/through this present day. Similarly endorsed here [01:00:47-01:02:24] by 2012 NARLA presenter Timothy J. Golden (an associate professor of Philosophy at West Chester University of Pennsylvania). The Biblical Truth on this issue is that nothing that is literally built up on a unGodly foundation can ever become God’s ideal. That would in effect be excusing, rationalizing and justifying failure and sin. God does intervene to justly balance a skewed situation, however by it being inherently contrary to His perfect will, it will never be without its detrimental consequences. Pertinent perfect case in point the Hagar-Ishmael matter. Though God compensatorily made Ishmael a great, separate nation (Gen 16:10-12; 17:20-21), the consequences of that faithless, disobedient =sinful decision are most tangibly still being felt today in the globally engulfing Israel-Palestine disputes.‘An enemy has done, through willingly disposed SDAs (=Matt 13:28; 38b-39a), this “racist apartheid disunity” in the Church, and it, as presented above in Part 5 & 6 of David Williams seminar, indeed falls well short of the John 17 glorious unity that Jesus desires, even pivotally needs, for His Church/People. (RH, June 18, 1901 par. 1-3ff|21MR 346.1-3ff = 5T 79.4-81.1ff = EW 270.3) Indeed it is the grand and specific plan of Satan for SDAs to have such, especially tangible, standing disunity in the Church. (=TM 409.2)

[6] However, and pertinently related to the rest of his defensive sermon’s thesis that: ‘God can still pour out His Spirit on an imperfect/defective Church’ (which is outrightly contra e.g., LDE 191.5-196.1), although the early Apostolic Church had similar ungodly issues amongst them, including racial tensions (cf. Acts 6:1ff), not only did these freely/sinfully (i.e., out of their free will choices) manifest themselves after God had sent the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2), indeed as they freely could despite having previously obtained that blessing from God, who moreover probably did not expect them to later do such things, unlike the SDA Church today, the members of the Apostolic Church did not reverringly, “institutionally” enshrine those sinful sentiments and waywardness. Usually sooner than later, they came to a Biblical reconciliation on those things and for that righteous reason alone, God was able to continue to work with them, -also unlike the SDA Church today who want God to bless it while they unashamedly and indifferently persist in their sinful course.
            ‘God’s promises are always upon condition of obedience’ and, furthermore, just judging by the many things that Paul had to rebuke and reprove in his letters to later established Churches (cf. the messages in 7 letters of Rev 2-3), God was evidently not able to “Finish the Work” (i.e., by 70 A.D.) which had started to be Finished (cf. Acts 2:17-21) in those days, and as a result the Second Coming of Christ had to be prorogued.
            So contrary to Asscherick’s implied claim, God is not at all obligated to a sin-persisting Church/People. They’ll have to fully conform themselves in order to receive His (actual/full) promises and blessings, because it is only then that any “trust in their Saviour” can ever have any efficaciousness.
[7] I would not actually endorse/recommend going to see the Lincoln movie in theater, as implied here, particularly as there is actually nothing outreachingly evangelistic, nor redemptive in/through that process/action itself (cf. Matt 11:16-19), but more pointedly here, simply for the also applicable wider principle of stewardship as it is both more costly and also less cost efficient to watch a movie in theater than renting it. (Buying the DVD would even be more cost effective all things considered). Not to mention the “appearance of evil witness” as someone seeing an SDA walking into that theater will not know exactly which movie, out of several available ones then, they are going to see. But I gather that such counsel, of even not attending movie theaters at all (see e.g. here), is deemed as completely passé in most SDA circles...And Advent Voice is supposed to be a ‘Shaking Time Ministry’!?? On this racial/ethnic segregation point, SDAs don’t need to ‘see a movie (in theater)’... they instead need to read/study their Bible and SOP and obey the Holy Spirit.

[8] At 22:21-22:40ff, Barry Black longs for a “prophetic voice” which will prominently address such issues in the SDA Church. Well on this issue of SDA Racial Segregation, any of the above cited & documented, public statement, surely, easily qualify and would do, moreover as the pertinent statements of EGW are also mentioned amongsts some of them. SO there indeed is such a ‘prophetic voicing’. But along the lines of what was stated here, there is an ironically “spiffy” vulgar saying which states that: “he would smelt it dealt it”, well in such cases of ‘perceived/felt ministry need’, it similarly is: “he who thought it, ought to it”...and with Barry Black thinking to have Charismatic uncontrollable ecstatic [cf. 05:56-06:23; 41:05-42:02; ...-01:02:48-01:03:22; see priorly e.g. here[41:50-45:37]; here[29:20-33:17]; here[47:36-50:47] & here[09:18-11:37]...-(and when you are repeatingly, thus actually scheduling/scripting, “rifts” for the ending of your sermons...then it certainly is not something: “Spiritually spontaneous”, but just a calculated gimmick!! (cf. VSS 292.1-2; -indeed contra. Black’s [actually: “blind spot”-] ‘shifted, fundamental claim/belief’[05:46-07:25]; =here[36:08-37:39]: ‘God’s Holy Spirit giftings actually are not for making one “undignified”’ (e.g. LDE 159.3; 6T 414.1ff)...Exposingly enough, straightly/sequiturly from his own claim/belief: ‘when he is ‘dignified/structuredly/craftedly’ speaking/preaching, e.g. when functioning on Capitol Hill, he then does not have the Holy Spirit’!?? (cf. the commenting description of this clip))] and babbling tongues [e.g. here|here+here (contra. here)] giftings, he easily could qualify to be that (supposedly) still needed “prophetic voicing” for this, unbiasedly “no brainer”, issue...


[9] Of course, that special sermon was given at the end of a ca. Black History Month-long ‘(Historical/Ongoing) White Privilege’ #ItIsTimeAU controversy (“PSA” video) going on then on the campus of Andrews University. By February 23, 2017, the University, led by its President  had issued a/its formal apologizing response (video); see also the University Chapel presentation; and on Sabbath Feb. 25, Dwight Nelson gave his enjoining and expanding sermon.

-I agree wholly with Dwight Nelson Biblical statements on the abolishment of racially separated conferences; but I object on one point which I find generally key and telling in regards to improperly resolving such issue of ‘white privilege’...and that is assigning, or really piling on, fault and blame, i.e. to white people, where there really is none.
            First of all, I can’t speak of how justified the claims in general of ongoing white privilege still existing at Andrews being valid. I attended there from 1997 to early 2000 (last visited in the Spring of 2002, [although my niece currently is a student there], but I would presently surmise based on my own experienced (as a black person) when there, and what I am presently hearing, that the issue actually remains the same....and tellingly it is coming from mostly African/Black-Americans, i.e. not mostly e.g. Africans, or “Black Canadians” like myself. Obviously Black people applying to attend Andrews University and I presume that their acceptance race is on par with any other ethnic group there...or that would be an actual issue of white privilege..But I am willing to bet that Affirmative Action had been copiously applied towards Black applicants to Andrews, -particularly of African-American applicants, meaning that their acceptance rate is deliberately significantly higher than for other ethnic/racial group. But I would find fault of “false white privilege accusation” if/as the real issue here is trying to have proportional racial teacher-student representation....because (a) education, especially Christian education is not about race, either way, and (b) the best teachers and leaders, of whichever ethnic background, should be sought for the AU faculty. If race is the/a issue, then the University has a much larger problem of not being functional as an, especially Christian, Educational Institution.
            I’ll summarize a second objection of mine by simply saying: how come #It Is Not Time for Oakwood University (cf. their #WeStandWithYou supporting video)?????!....Seriously.....
            But what is typical of ‘over-faulting/claiming’ about White privilege from supportive White people is what Dwight Nelson cited as a supposed example of white privilege at 22:17-23:24 of his sermon: where he says that the Black students/worshipers on the AU Campus not having as large a Church as the Whites who worship in Pioneer Memorial Church is White Privilege..... PMC is not a “White’s Church’.... (a) It is the Campus’s Church, and therefore was built to fit all 2000-3000 of the AU students....If a certain group of students and community worshippers rather prefer to meet in separate congregations, and moreover merely according to the false and unbiblical reason of ethnic/racial/cultural differences...then frankly, that is entirely their (self-created) problem, which they cannot blame others, -who moreover are multi-ethnically worshipping together, for.... (b) Since, at least when I was at Andrews, and also attended the New Life Church, they typically started their Divine Service around 11/11:30, then PMC can finish earlier, i.e. at 11:30, and let New Life 'indeed share' the PMC sanctuary for their services. Or (c), since Dwight says PMC has ‘room to spare’, New Life can simply join them at PMC for worship...and they can alternate preachers every week....But the real issue here, as with the Divided Conferences, is that both sides want to be the sole leaders and refuse to share their resources....

            Integrate according to (color blind) Biblical Truths and not Worldly/Societal Culturalism.....

8 comments:

  1. While I do not feel as strongly about the racism comments that have been made on this topic, I too agree that regional conferences are long out-dated, and are working against our churches in reaching their communities.

    In every community I've lived in, it is quite common for Adventists from one conference to be completely unaware of Adventists from another conference who are just down the street or around the corner.

    When evangelizing or serving others in our community, we often fail to mention all the possibilities for them (perhaps transportation is an issue and the church in the regional conference is closer to them, yet it is rarely "advertised" mostly because the non-regional churches are unaware of the regional church and its level of activity - this is very true vice-versa as well).

    Is this a barrier that locals should work to tear down? Absolutely, but how many take that initiative? Why should we be working against ourselves in our local communities? And why should these additional barriers even exist? Here we are in 2010 with a system that was more appropriate in 1920.

    Another aspect to this is involvement in the communities, particularly through Adventist Community Services and other such programs in the church. Counties and States could care less that we have 2 conferences in the same region, all they know about, or care about, is that we're "the Adventists." Yet we often alienate ourselves from making any greater impact than we do, because our conferences, in the same county/state, can't seem to agree on how they want to do things. Thus the government and other non-profit agencies may quickly find it too much work to try and collaborate with us. This is particularly true in the Church's Disaster Response work.

    It is no doubt obvious, that multiple conferences over the same acreage of land, is problematic in many ways, particularly when we look at effectively fulfilling the gospel commission of Matthew 28, or when we study the principles of unification and the Body of Christ.

    To Be Continued...

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  2. (PART 2)

    But for a moment let’s take a look at just a few of the very general BENEFITS to combining, or re-organizing conferences.

    1) less wasted money on travel: Think about it - if we consolidated, there would be enough churches/members to support conferences within in a smaller footprint, particularly in the Southern Union Conference, and less time/money would be spent traveling to ministerial meetings by Pastors and Conference employee travel.

    2) Conferences would better understand the local communities in their conference because of the smaller footprint, particularly since the conference office would be located closer to all constituents within their jurasdiction.

    3) More effective use of Conference personnel, and reduction of duplicity of efforts.

    4) LOCAL CHURCHES WOULD BETTER COLLABORATE AND REACH THEIR COMMUNITY. In our community we have recently started a multi-church Community Service center - unfortunately, while 2 of the local regional-conference churches would seriously like to join this organization as their own resources are limited, their conference leadership has not given them the blessing they were looking for. Which leads me to #5

    5) Less competition and more collaboration: When will we all realize that we are all in the same business! The business of leading people to Jesus. While several conferences have made great strides in breaking down these attitudes of competion, we now see the barriers between conferences as our primary hurdles in fostering collaboration.

    ONE OF THE ARGUMENTS: Our church's (in any conference) will lose their identity and their individuality.

    THE COMEBACK: I beg to differ - in the Florida Conference alone, we have Spanish, Portugese, Korean, West Indies, and "generic" churches that worship differently, serve differently, and operate differently. ALl conference have churches that are unique to each other. Our conference structure does nothing to the local church's ability to still remain unique within the greater Body of Christ.

    WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?
    With so many great benefits to consolidating and re-organizing regional-conferences in the United States, why has it not been done yet? I believe our greatest issue is that we are all guilty of being selfish. One conference's constituents can't bear the idea that someone may come in with a different way of doing something. Another conference feels that "they" have worked too hard to gain the fiscal prosperity and ministerial fruits which they have...but they forget that they have done nothing - it is God who has done all things, and our own conference boundries mean very little to him when it comes to saving souls. God will take care of every church and every conference, and protect his flock and His physical possessions if we put our trust in Him as a united Body.

    I truly hope the North American Division will address this situation very SOON, before we miss out on great opportunities to meet the needs of those craving to see and be a part of the UNITED Body of Christ in their community.

    Prayerfully,
    J. Vibbard (layperson)

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    Replies
    1. Yes Bro Vibbard, you have the basic idea behind the concept of unity; but I will go further - people should be willing to let go of even the so-called unique 'ethnic' identity of churches. Be aware that notions of ethnicity, for example, are simply socially constructed and divisive barriers to human interpersonal relationships.

      Friend,
      Luther (Michigan)

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  3. Brother Villard, these are, relatively, well expounded concise views on this topic.
    Particularly helpful is the relating of the concrete harm that is being done by racially-based divisions in SDA Conferences. Hopefully this will also help to make SDA’s ‘come to reason’ on this issue.

    I personally experienced this abhorring racial “phenomena” while living in the State of Florida. Indeed, with Florida being on of the longest (i.e., North to South) states in the United States, it makes no logistical sense for it to be effectively split parallelly into two conferences, and of course, due to, surfacedly, “irreconciliable” racially-based reasons. This may very well be one of the reasons why that Conference Region is experiencing stringent financial constraints. Case in point, along with massive pastoral lay offs, of course replaced by “free-pastoring”, the Florida Conference has had to internally subdivide its pertinent “territory” into 3 geographical sub-regions, namely a Northern, Central and Southern region!

    Notwithstanding the logical financial arguments that you have made, prayerfully, as money was the underlying reason for these racial divisions in the SDA Church in the first place, it will not now also be the prominent reason why they ‘must be’ abandoned, unless of course, judging by what actually, ultimately, moves this Church to concrete actions, money is really to be the god-like, Final Arbitrator, in the Church, even in such really, purely, Spiritual Decisions.

    Having seen how you feel about this issue of racial divisions, it would be interesting to know the (Biblical) reasons for your stated disclaimer at the beginning of your comments of: ‘not feeling as strongly about the racism comments that have been made on this topic.’ These
    divisions were, spiritually speaking, in fact never “in-date.” Also, echoing here the comments you make on the detrimental impact this status quo is having on our “end-time” witness, I cannot but see these unbiblical divisions as being purely evil. What SDA members need in regards to this lingering issue, especially in the light of the eternal implications present here, is, at the very least, the strong, passionate and self-sacrificing, Godly determination of those who, e.g., set out to end racial slavery, and then racial segregation in the U.S., and that from both racial sides.

    ‘Seeing these things as God sees them’ (i.e., having a “Theological View” here) will be the only true/acceptable reason for reaching, and even having, a thorough, corrective reform on this issue in the SDA Church. Anything ‘lesser view’ is just in-line with the textbook, typical and common Lukewarm Laodicean mentality of, even being, effectively, knowingly/deliberately neither “hot nor cold” (Rev 3:15, 16) and will solely enable this evil to persist!

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  4. [Name Correction: Brother Vibbard]

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  5. [Note: Anonymous comment submitted for posting on January 28, 2010 at 12:33:31 PM, from Green Bay, Wisconsin (ISP: SBC Internet Services) in regards to ‘further Denominational marginalization’ was not published for mainly, lack of any, and/or adequate, substantiation of statements made. Correct and resubmit, or contact me by email (see in profile).]

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  6. I have been a Seventh Day Adventist for just over 2 years. The reason I joined the church is that I found it to be the most biblically accurate, and willing to obey the Word in spite of comfort, tradition, or any other worldy distraction.

    So you can imagine how I felt when I recently learned about the church being divided into a "regular" and a "black" conference. I was quite shocked. I am only 32, and therefore have grown-up in a post-civil rights era. I would have thought God's people would be leading the way in racial unity, not trailing behind.

    I have experienced the conflicts that can arise from having this segregation. I recently moved to Tennessee, where I began attending the local church. I didn't realize it was a "black" church until recently. I just figured the racial make-up of Adventists in that area was primarily black. They were having a Revelation Seminar, and I wanted to hand out flyers to invite people.

    But then the question occured to me... "Am I allowed to invite white people?" And this is a small church, I mean like, 5 maybe 8 people. I thought..."What if I were to win 10 white people to Jesus. Would they be allowed to go to this church? Or should I send them to the "white" church?"

    This just seems so rediculous. These are not dilemmas a Christian should be having. I know that it will be difficult to bring the conferences together, but I believe that the LORD's work is being hindered by this division. Not only that, but what kind of testimony is it to the world?

    People make up enough lies about our church, we don't need to give them legitimate reasons to bash us.

    We can talk about mergers, and administrative boards and all that stuff I know nothing about, but this racial divide is an example of a dark spirit that is in our church.

    My church in Florida had to recently begin sharing a pastor when ours retired. People in our church were so angry and offended. I remember his first sermon, I was in the Choir pews, looking out into the congregation. I never saw a church so dead in their hearts, and this was while the new pastor gave his testimony. Come to find out, the church that was sharing with us wasn't all too pleased about it either. I thought sharing a pastor would have opened doors for the churches to work together, but as far as I know, nothing has happened in that direction. Both churches seem to be content with doing their own thing.

    I think what we need to do to bring the church together is the same as what we need to bring us and God together. Our hearts have to change. And this can only happen on a person to person basis. Even if the "higher ups" made sweeping reform, it wouldn't fix the problem. Because the real problem is our hearts.

    Christ came to free us from our bondage of sin.

    The question is, are you free or not?
    Do you have Christ or not?
    Are you living for Christ or not?
    What's more imortant to you, your job/position/power or Christ?
    What's more important to you, your culture or Christ?
    What's more important to you, having it your way, or doing it God's way?

    We must not forsake the LORD for the church!

    God is calling us now to go into our local communities and speak of a unified brotherhood. If those of us, whom God is speaking to about this, go to our local churches (black and white) and work on the hearts of both churches, God will take care of the rest.

    Beginning this Sabbath, I will be going to both of my local churches every Sabbath, and speak this message.

    Psalm 133:1 - "How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!"

    Romans 15:5-6 - "May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yoursleves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."

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  7. Amen! and Amen! May God bless you in your efforts....and may those to whom you speak obey the sure promptings of God’s Spirit.

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