Two days ago, the Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) announced an “Official Position” on the World Church Affirmation Sabbath (WCAS) group in the NAD. From their website:
During a regularly scheduled meeting, December 4, 2018, the Upper Columbia Conference executive committee voted an official conference position banning activities of the group calling themselves the World Church Affirmation Sabbath (WCAS).
Here’s the statement:
That seems like a lot of effort to denounce people who support the World Seventh-day Adventist Church, doesn’t it? Why not just say “We appreciate your loyalty to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and applaud your efforts to encourage other Church members across the North American Division.” Answer. They can’t.
Why not? Because they have pitched their collective tents towards the NAD, and whatever agenda that Division espouses becomes theirs.
This statement is filled with inaccuracies and misinformation. Only in this charged climate of Divisional non-compliance would individuals who support their World Church be considered divisive and disruptive. This is Isaiah 5:20 in social-media technicolor.
“You’re Being POLITICAL”
This is a strange credulity. When someone stands up for the world church that they belong to, they are often accused by supporters of non-compliance of “being political.” Nonsense. Was Elijah being political when atop the Mount, he said “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him. But the people answered him not a word” (1 Kings 18:21). It’s time to answer the call, dear ones.
Was Joshua being political when he said “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve…?” (Joshua 24:15). Nope. He was being a faithful leader, calling the people of God to stand up for truth.
Many churches around the U.S. have hosted a WCAS Sabbath, and are better off for it. Here’s one testimony out of many.
“We hosted a WCAS Sabbath at our Church in Ohio on September 22 of this year. Inspiring messages were shared by Mark Mirek, Dylan Wagoner, and Mike Klintworth. The congregation was encouraged in the Advent hope that we share, and stirred by biblical truth”—Gerry Wagoner.
WCAS Mission Statement
World Church Affirmation Sabbath (WCAS) exists
to affirm the leadership of the General Conference and
the beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church around the world.
We affirm these beliefs in accordance with
the teachings of the Holy Bible and
the writings of Ellen G. White.
We share this mission with like-minded Adventists
who choose to stand for these beliefs and
share the Three Angels' Messages with the world;
that the world may become
of Christ convicted, to Christ committed, for Christ compelled.
World Church Affirmation Sabbath Responds to UCC
“On February 14, 2018, representatives from World Church Affirmation Sabbath (WCAS) met with Upper Columbia Conference (UCC) leadership regarding the aims and purpose of WCAS. The need for mutual understanding was clear then. Apparently, there is still need for ongoing face-to-face discussions to establish a true understanding of WCAS' desire to build up the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, including UCC.
On December 4, 2018, UCC issued a statement alleging WCAS to be a detriment to the conference. More than twenty accusations were offered without supporting details and/or proofs.
WCAS has persistently refused to be an inflammatory organization, seeking rather to educate, uplift and inspire Seventh-day Adventist laity toward a more active, positive role in God's remnant church. Our Sabbath afternoon events have featured topics relating to core Adventism, its history, beliefs, prophetic guidance and hope of a soon-coming Saviour. During question-and-answer periods, we have sought to avoid hot-button issues, much to the dismay of some who are eager to foment discord among the brethren.
Since the recent election of Elder Minner Labrador as UCC President, we have not had opportunity for a follow-up meeting between UCC and WCAS. We are willing to discuss their concerns, and we ask for a thorough evaluation of our actual principles, goals, mission statement and practices. We have attempted to be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves,” (Matthew 10:16). UCC apparently perceives the opposite.
We are thankful to note this UCC statement against WCAS was not voted unanimously. We continue to pray for a cooperative resolution of these tensions. Despite the clash of opinions and practices among God's people, may Christ's prayer be heard, God's will “be done, in earth, as it is in heaven,” (Matthew 6:10). We have no hidden agenda, no mud to throw.
WCAS recently issued a harmony statement because it is our hope that all church entities may work harmoniously at all levels, humbly submitting ourselves “one to another in the fear of the Lord,” (Ephesians 5:21). We solicit the prayers of faithful Seventh-day Adventists around the world, that “we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:29) whether in lay or leadership roles within God's remnant church.
The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has acknowledged and publicized WCAS in its June 2017 Executive Committee Newsletter (see page 4). Numerous church members and leaders at all levels have personally affirmed and encouraged the mission of WCAS. We covet that same understanding, appreciation and cooperative harmony with all local conferences where WCAS is active, including UCC.
“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts,” (Zechariah 4:6).