The One Project Final Gathering: Sundown or Mutation?

Reflections on The One Project and its Final Gathering

After eight years of gatherings around the world, The One Project (T1P) met for a final “gathering” on February 11-13 in San Diego, CA with around 900 attendees. 

As an interested observer at this meeting, I could not shake the Bible passage in Romans 16:17:

“Now I beseech you brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned and avoid them.” 

Having said that, I have a deep concern and love for my brothers and sisters who have broad commitments to T1P and who sincerely believe what they are promoting. 

The following vision from Early Writings weighed heavily on mind:

Jesus and all the angelic host and all the saints, with the glittering crowns upon their heads, ascend to the top of the wall of the city. Jesus speaks with majesty, saying, “Behold, ye sinners, the reward of the just! And behold, My redeemed, the reward of the wicked!” The vast multitude behold the glorious company on the walls of the city. And as they witness the splendor of their glittering crowns and see their faces radiant with glory, reflecting the image of Jesus, and then behold the unsurpassed glory and majesty of the King of kings and Lord of lords, their courage fails. A sense of the treasure and glory which they have lost rushes upon them, and they realize that the wages of sin is death. They see the holy, happy company whom they have despised, clothed with glory, honor, immortality, and eternal life, while they are outside the city with every mean and abominable thing.  Satan rushes into the midst of his followers and tries to stir up the multitude to action.  But fire from God out of heaven is rained upon them, and the great men, and mighty men, the noble, the poor and miserable, are all consumed together  (Early Writings, p. 293).

This vision played over and over again in front of me while I was at T1P.  It was sad to imagine the possibility that some of these brothers and sisters who attended and organized this conference could be on the outside of the walls in the very end where sin is no more.  Tears swelled in my eyes during the speeches and the bedlam of noise (worship music) because so many appear to be deceived — even the very elect.

While T1P has claimed to place a focus on “the supremacy of Jesus Christ in the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” there has been a clear and undeniable effort to marginalize the doctrines of Scripture that elevate the true Jesus of Scripture.  It is as if doctrine is the enemy of Christ.  Yet Scripture warns us to avoid those who cause divisions contrary to biblical doctrine (Romans 16:17).

Articles from Spectrum Magazine and Adventist Today on the recent gathering paint a rosy picture of a movement of positive Seventh-day Adventists who simply want Adventism to be more Christ-centered.  However, it is notable that this final meeting was not recorded over the first two days, presumably to allow the speakers to candidly articulate their frustrations with Adventism. 

They frequently referenced secular movies and made negative comments about Adventists who are vegetarian and who avoid drinking caffeinated beverages.  There was definitely a strong thrust to promote women’s ordination.  Those who are in opposition to WO were ridiculed.  The attendees soaked up these overtures and frequently gave standing ovations. Many speakers made it clear that they thought the LGBTQ+ agenda should be promoted and accepted within the SDA Church.

As I listened to the speakers, I sensed anger and frustration as well as defiance toward the organized Seventh-day Adventist church.  There is no willingness to accept the decisions of the world church.  Dilys Brooks, Associate Chaplain at Loma Linda University, identified herself as a “Daughter of Thunder” in comparison to the Sons of Thunder, James and John.  She then quoted from the movie Avengers where the Hulk says that he’s always angry.  She says “Yes, that’s me.  I’m always angry.”   And like Samson, she said “Give me the jawbone of an ass and I will knock them down.”  She also mentioned that one of her favorite classes at the seminary was a class on spiritual formation that taught the students to be reflective (Spiritual Formation is one of the mystical disciplines promoted by the Emerging Church movement).

During this presentation she even stated “We need to stop looking at the signs of the times.” She presented herself as a speaker who is angry at the church and who fits the mold of T1P’s view against the Christ-centered Adventist teachings of the soon coming of Jesus.  While they promote a Jesus, the marginalization of being watchful and mindful of the signs of the times creates the appearance of desiring a permanent long distance relationship with Christ without a longing for Him to return so that they can be with Him in person.  It also reinforces the idea that T1P has little or no interest in the Christ-centered eschatological Adventism of our pioneers.  This is one of the defining aspects of the Emerging Church Movement, where it is cool to seek God, but not cool to find Him. 

Her presentation came to a thunderous social justice close as she railed against racism and gender bias within the church and mistreatment and a lack of acceptance of immigrants and LGBTQ+ individuals.  She asked the attendees if they wanted to be like John, the son of thunder, or John, the beloved disciple.  She received a standing ovation.

The presentation was striking its spirit of rebellion, which indicates an unconverted heart. Certainly we are opposed to racism, gender bias and any mistreatment of immigrants or other individuals.  However, Inspiration does not commend James and John for being sons of thunder.  Speaking of John, Ellen White says:  

By nature he had serious defects. He was not only proud, self-assertive, and ambitious for honor, but impetuous, and resentful under injury.  He and his brother were called “sons of thunder” (Acts of the Apostles, p. 540).

Another notable presentation was given by Terry Swenson who is Chaplain of Loma Linda University.  He received a Doctorate in Ministry from George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, one of the leading emergent universities.  Spiritual formation is a large part of the training for the graduate students of this program.  In his presentation, he described Peter getting out of the boat to walk on water to meet Jesus.  He then encouraged the listeners to be like Peter and to not be “boat people.”  Swenson compared the boat to the Adventist church, which following his logic, sounded as if he was calling people to leave the Adventist church.  He said “we are not called to be boat people.  Step out of the boat.  Follow where Jesus is. The boat is not the place to be.”  Based on Swenson’s statements, it sounds like he does not believe that Jesus Christ is found in the boat of Adventism.  Consider how this sentiment squares with Inspiration:

"Christ was a Seventh-day Adventist, to all intents and purposes" (Medical Ministry, p. 49).

While there were other presentations that were troubling, a particularly disturbing presentation was given by Chris Oberg, “Senior Pastor” of the La Sierra University Church.  She related her experience while attending a conference about 10 years ago where Brian McLaren, a guiding emergent thought leader (and founder of ConvergenceUS) was a primary speaker.  In this meeting she sat with clergy from other denominations and identified herself as a Seventh-day Adventist.  The others expressed their hope that Adventists would begin to ordain women.  As she explained the difference between commissioning and ordaining, she was told by a Pentecostal minister that the Adventist church was in a mess.  She then made a disturbing statement.  She said that until the church recognizes that heterosexism is related to patriarchy, misogyny, sexism, and bigotry, we will continue to drink from the same poisonous well. 

Undoubtedly, Oberg, one of the leading advocates of women’s ordination in the church, is looking at the acceptance of women’s ordination as a gateway to the acceptance of homosexuality in the Seventh-day Adventist church.  It is likely not coincidental that Trisha Famisaran, an assistant professor of philosophy and theological studies at La Sierra University from 2012-2014, gave a talk at the Hollywood Seventh-day Adventist church on February 23, 2013 entitled “Repenting of Our Patriarchy and Heterosexism.” 

Oberg revealed at least some of the influence behind her ideas by quoting Margaret Atwood, a known spiritualist, to make her points.  See reference below for this source of influence for Oberg:

“To vex her free-thinking parents, she attended United Church of Canada services and dabbled in Unitarianism, Quakerism, and spiritualism.”  Link.

In actuality, it is Oberg and Famisaran, currently and formerly of La Sierra respectively, who are the ones drinking from the truly poisonous well.

It is clear that some of the thought leaders in T1P have a goal to change the church.  It appears that their goal is to destroy the biblical teachings on the roles of men and women, sexuality, and the family.  And it cannot be denied that Oberg and others like her are using women’s ordination as the entering wedge to accomplish a much broader agenda of change within the Seventh-day Adventist church.

These startling assertions by Oberg reveal why the messages were not recorded.  Statements and ideas like these are why a warning must be given to the world church about the unbiblical agenda that T1P is truly pushing. 

I am reminded of the following statements from Ellen White about the Omega of Apostasy that would come upon the church:

Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The omega will be of a most startling nature (Selected Messages, Vol. 1, p. 197).
I am instructed to speak plainly. “Meet it,” is the word spoken to me. “Meet it firmly, and without delay.” . . . In the book Living Temple there is presented the alpha of deadly heresies. The omega will follow, and will be received by those who are not willing to heed the warning God has given (Selected Messages 1SM 200).
The enemy of souls has sought to bring in the supposition that a great reformation was to take place among Seventh-day Adventists, and that this reformation would consist in giving up the doctrines which stand as the pillars of our faith, and engaging in a process of reorganization. Were this reformation to take place, what would result? The principles of truth that God in His wisdom has given to the remnant church, would be discarded. Our religion would be changed. The fundamental principles that have sustained the work for the last fifty years would be accounted as error. A new organization would be established. Books of a new order would be written. A system of intellectual philosophy would be introduced. The founders of this system would go into the cities, and do a wonderful work. The Sabbath of course, would be lightly regarded, as also the God who created it. Nothing would be allowed to stand in the way of the new movement. The leaders would teach that virtue is better than vice, but God being removed, they would place their dependence on human power, which, without God, is worthless. Their foundation would be built on the sand, and storm and tempest would sweep away the structure {1SM 204.2}.

Now is not the time for you and I to sit back while outright error and apostasy are being promoted within our midst.  It is a time to rise up and meet the crisis.  We want the Lord Jesus to be at the heart of our church and our message.  But it must be the Jesus of Scripture, not a paper Jesus---a human theological construct devoid of truth and righteousness.  A terrible crisis is upon our church.  As God’s faithful people, you and I must rise up to meet this crisis.

Why did I write this article?  Because Seventh-day Adventists around the world need to understand the imminent danger from T1P as it seeks to spread its agenda to the local church through a new mechanism of activity.  We will continue our report in part two of this series where more well-known names in Adventism will be shown to promote defiance toward the world church and to continue their unbiblical teachings.  We will reveal what the founders of the One Project are planning now.

Links to the San Diego audio:

Day one

Day two


Operation Iceberg

Stay tuned for part 2 . . .


"For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know them....  That they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments;  And may not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not set its heart aright, and whose spirit was not faithful to God" (Psalms 78:5, 7-8).