A Former Schoolmate Appeals to Dan Jackson

After family visits during the holiday season I finally got back to one of my favorite sites only to read several recent articles.  First, Fulcrum7 Responds to the NAD Attacks,” then The Rest of the story: Harold Butler’s Thoughts on Annual Council.”  

How grateful I am for these two clarifying articles.  I would that every Seventh-day Adventist could read them to be better informed and more fully apprised of the confused, messy state our church is in right now. How well I recall that Annual Council Sunday meeting; I determined not to miss a nanosecond of the livestream.  I had read the “compliance document” three times in preparation for the discussion I was to hear.  My heart was in my throat every moment as I listened to the debate speeches and was dismayed at the fearmongering statements by Dan Jackson and even my Union Presidents’ comments against the “Compliance Document.”

But most stunning of all was that the very speech which held the most substance and sensibility of the entire day was not allowed to be fully given (though many others crying out against the “compliance document” were allowed to go well over the time limit).  I’m so glad to have now heard the rest of Harold Butler’s God-inspired speech.  Additionally, after the second article, I read on in the comment section, first seeing a comment by a retired SDA Pastor of 39 years of denominational service, Douglas Carlson. Since reading pastor Carlson’s and the other comments, I am compelled to add my thoughts. And I do not need a pseudonym.

I too am a retired pastor, with over 41 years of service to my beloved church, all in Canada. My mind goes back to CUC days (the school was then known as Canadian Union College, now it is called Burman University) when I was a ministerial student on Campus at the same time as Dan Jackson. Dan and I were on competing men’s quartets at CUC. Although Dan was junior to me then, one could say he has had a career that far overshadowed mine: Pastor, followed by Conference, Union, and finally Division presidential positions. I have watched from a distance Jackson’s journey up through the leadership ranks, but I sure never saw the present situation coming.

I would not trade places with Dan for “all the tea in China,” as they say.  I can categorically say that he is not my Division president. I refuse to be influenced by someone who has lost their godly-leadership bearings to the extent that he has. I hear the heart cry of conservative Adventists around the world who stand in opposition to his rebellious positioning.

There is no need to be "confused" here. I stand with Fulcrum7 and countless Adventists in the know, who see the truth about this tragic unrest and insurgency. I determined that I needed to hear the issues firsthand to make my own decision based on what I saw and heard, not upon hearsay or second hand information. I appeal to all who love the church to do the same and evaluate matters on the evidence that plainly exists. Thank God for Fulcrum7.com and AdventMessenger.com, who are bringing the FACTS and the TRUTH to the forefront.

It is difficult to imagine where all this is going and will end. I suspect Dan Jackson is a consistent reader of Fulcrum7’s articles, and will see this piece. I, along with an unnumbered host of Adventists around the world, am pleading with you, Dan, to cease and desist from your course of defiance against the world church, and in humility recant your position and seek to correct the damage that has been done. The magnitude of that damage is incalculable, so that would be an immense undertaking.

If you cannot or will not, I appeal to you to resign your position immediately, that it may be filled by someone who will support the actions of the world church in General Conference session. Dan, it seems to me you are not now the "Danny" many of us thought we knew through the years. Though I am not the judge, the current situation makes one wonder what has changed. Is it position, power, pressure from big political players, associates, or a ploy for popularity that has thrown your judgement off course? Deep down you must know. Certainly God knows. If any of the aforementioned, you've got to know this is a pathway doomed to disappointment and demise.

I noted your concern that if you upheld church policy with regard to Sandra Roberts, you’d be torn to shreds by the irate constituents of the SECC. But sometimes, Dan, true leaders are thrown to the lions, just as your namesake Daniel was in old Babylon. These times call for stalwart leaders who have courage to face the "lions" unwaveringly, and not give in to the whims of the enemy of God's truth. Such leadership for the NAD at this crucial end-time stage for the remnant church is one of the big items on my prayer list, as are you and Donna.

This is a long-time Canadian acquaintance reaching out to you with a pastor's heart. I am sure I speak for many Seventh-day Adventists in Canada whom you served for so many years. Please do not relegate us as people with “hooey” opinions, and do not spurn our pleading for you to abandon your present course.

Just for the record, I thank God also for Mark Finley's clear-headed defence of the "compliance document" ("Mark Finley Answers Myths About the Compliance Document”) , which refutes all those claims being made by Jackson and his supporters.

The NAD letter that was sent out to all pastors (being a retiree, I got it second hand) is so tragic. The old adage comes to mind: "Look who's calling the kettle black!" Too many Adventists will be clueless about the meaning or reasons behind this disparagement of Fulcrum7, and will just glibly accept it without investigation. I'm so glad our pastor made reference to that letter by sending an email to all our Church Board members. He made no comment about it, but just notified the board members about it. I am of the opinion now that every SDA Church in the NAD, if not beyond it, should proactively declare itself forthrightly through Board action and duly called Church Business Meeting as to where it stands in this chaos and inform its Conference office of its solid position with God's World Church and NOT the NAD. 

Gradually, steadily, the truth will be clearly seen by all for what it is.  I would like to believe that I am wrong in my understanding of the situation that is playing out in our church right now, but I doubt that I am, considering all I have studied and read on this whole scenario as it has unfolded since San Antonio.  It doesn't really take much to decipher the truth, if one is interested in finding the truth and will take the time to search it out.  It has been worth it to me, because now I have not a shred of doubt where to take my stand. 

Yes, watching every minute of the Fall Council meeting on Sunday only confirmed what I already had come to believe. Thank God the vote went the way it did with a healthy majority, although I wish it had been a 2/3rds majority.

May God help us in the days to come.  I know his true church will emerge triumphant from this crisis, as it has from others.  What it will look like remains to be seen. I can't escape the deep impression that this whole scenario is a proving ground for Seventh-day Adventists, to test their loyalty to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy in preparation for much bigger issues to come over Sunday laws.  I pray we can learn and fortify our faith from this. I pray I will stand by the Truth as it is in Jesus and not be shaken out from among his faithful flock.

Frank R. McMiller is a retired pastor and conference departmental director in British Columbia, Canada. He writes from Abbotsford, British Columbia.