Elder Dan Jackson, President
North American Division of Seventh day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600
Dear Elder Jackson:I was truly disheartened when I received the news of the NAD’s decision of October 31, 2011 in response to the Annual Council’s rejection of your request to allow “non-ordained” personnel to be candidates for positions such as conference/mission president. The stage had already been set for this move some years ago when the ministerial credentials of the pastors were diluted in order to present the same credentials to women. So the spirit of rebellion has already manifested itself years ago. Now we are witnessing the fruitage of that spirit of rebellion.God’s faithful people have been ridiculed, slandered, accused of being unkind and legalistic for attempting to bring serious issues to the attention of their beloved church, seeking reform. In many instances, these people have been disfellowshiped. There have been many self-supporting institutions established because the leading brethren have turned a deaf ear, and voice critical responses to their concerns. These institutions and those who support them have been considered “Independent” ministries.These faithful Adventists people are not “Independent”; they are faithful church members who are attempting to bring about revival and reformation to the church they love. They are faithful to the beliefs of the SDA Church and are not prepared for compromise.About 19 years ago a book was published called: “Issues: The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Certain Private Ministries” … A book that was published by unknown authors and yet authorized and sanctioned by NAD officers and Union Presidents. The book was made available and distributed by the NAD to its membership in 1992, and has brought about much confusion and division. Churches have split as a result. The NAD has incorrectly placed blame for all this tragedy on the very ones who object to this unfortunate publication, that accuses faithful believers of anarchy.Let me refer the NAD officers to this book that they, themselves compiled in 1992. On page 14 of the book it reads that those considered to be “Independent Ministries” are “……attempting to create a new standard of Adventism beyond what the church has seen fit to adopt. But no members or leaders have a right to do that. The standard of Adventism must be a decision of the united church in General Conference Session…..(These groups) .. do not have the right to insist what the church must be and to set themselves up as the standard that all must follow.”I wish to comment on several points in reference to these statements:The NAD division standard is set forth as the right standard, even though it now has endorsed divergent views and practices within our churches that are not congruent with established doctrine, teachings, and practice. This raises the obvious question: Who is “Independent”?It is the NAD that is attempting to create a ‘new standard of Adventism’, not the concerned brethren. Again: Who is “Independent”?The charge is that the concerned brethren are attempting to go “beyond what the church has seen fit to adopt. These faithful believers do not wish to go “beyond” anything the church has adopted, but rather to bring about a retreat from this new form of “Adventism” the leadership has so eagerly embraced, and a sincere reformation involving that which the church has already established and of which they have lost sight. And I might add, they “DO” have a right to object. God’s Word tells us that we are to “cry aloud and spare not”… 2SM370 – The Lord has faithful watchmen on the walls of Zion to cry aloud and spare not, to lift up their voice like a trumpet, and show His people their transgression and the house of Jacob their sins.These faithful believers are not setting themselves up as the standard to follow. Their only desire is for their beloved church to follow the standard already set by God in His leading of this most wonderful end-time remnant movement. They are crying out for the leaders……
- to bring our educational institutions back to the divine blueprint;
- to bring reverent, Godly music back into our church services;
- to lead and instruct our young people in wholesome, God-ordained activities and music;
- to lead them in soul-winning endeavors rather than frivolous activities, sports, and movies;
- to return to the marvelous truths of the Three Angels’ Message and all the messages that make us a very unique group; a group of people that the world would recognize as the template for Bible truth.
- To cease going to the fallen churches and their teachers for instruction, when we have been blessed with our own God-inspired and God-ordained instructions which we should be taking to those churches rather than embracing Babylonian concepts and traditions.
- To cease from promoting the eastern mystical exercises, better known as “Spiritual Formation” in our publications, on our radio/television media, from our pulpits, and in our ministerial training seminars.
William G. Johnson, Editor of the Adventist Review in May 14, 1992 issue wrote the following words in his editorial article (which was included in appendix of “Issues”):“Long ago I concluded that Hollywood isn’t in the business of building up God’s kingdom. But only recently I learned, to my hurt, that some videos produced by Adventists can be as deadly to the spiritual life as anything coming out of the movie industry….. the makers of these videos brought heavy charges against leaders of our church without contacting them. They propagated their allegations on video, bypassing Jesus’ instruction.”This sounds like the pot calling the kettle black. God’s church is directed to build up God’s kingdom by upholding truth and standards of lifestyle that is representative of God’s people. I would respectfully suggest that Brother Johnson consider the error and blatant teaching, preaching, publishing, and educating that has been rushing into our beloved church for decades, and recognize the concerns of faithful, tithe-returning, active members of the church as they are witnessing the erosion of our standards and message from week to week. Faithful Seventh-day Adventists consider this as more “deadly to the spiritual life” as anything coming out of the movie industry.What do you expect these faithful believers to do? Sit like dumb dogs, while their beloved church is methodically dismantled into a meaningless organization worse than that of the fallen churches of Christendom?Brother Johnsson also stated that the leaders have not been contacted in regard to this sad state of affairs in our church. He charges that the concerned brethren bypassed Jesus’ instruction. This accusation is blatantly groundless. These leaders and administrators have been contacted again and again; with sincere entreaties and pleas to take this issue to task and bring about reformation. The responses from these leaders and administrators to these faithful pleas have been demeaning, disheartening, and cruel. There does not seem to be a single listening ear to the requests of these sincere concerned brethren. If the leadership will not expose that which is destroying our beloved church, the people of faith and concern must do so before it is ever too late. We must experience a revival of true Godliness as we swiftly enter the cataracts of end-time events.The ministries spoken of in “Issues” are not “independent” ministries. They are very dependent upon God to lead and sustain their efforts to bring about reformation in our beloved church. They are faithful Seventh day Adventists who are contributing, tithe-paying members of local churches.The NAD had been operating in the spirit of an “Independent Ministry” for some time now. I well remember commenting at a church business meeting, with the Conference President and Ministerial Secretary present, that we need to be concerned that the North American Division has become an “Independent” ministry, and that our college has sued the State of Maryland for Government aid, and that in the process had to be declared a “Secular” institution.As of October 31, 2011, the North American Division is officially “Independent” of the world church. They have defied the decision of the General Conference Annual Council.The NAD urges us not to support “Independent” ministries. As of October 31, 2011 the North American Division has officially become an “Independent” ministry. Should we follow their own counsel in not supporting an “Independent” ministry?I appeal to you, Elder Jackson, to reconsider prayerfully the decision that you encouraged at the NAD meetings. I plead with you to lead this Division back to a faithful adherence to God’s plan and will for His people. Let us return to the divine blueprint. When you finally humble yourselves and listen to the earnest pleas of faithful Seventh-day Adventists of the North American Division, we will then be in a position to finish the work which God has given us to do. You will be supported by these faithful believers who have been maligned and ostracized for so many years.It is my prayer that you will do the right thing.Respectfully Yours,
Pastor Dan Shafercc: Elder Ted Wilson, President General Conference of SDA