Elder Ted Wilson Holds Q&A Session At Pioneer Memorial Church

Ted Wilson spent Sabbath (March 2) in Berrien Springs, Michigan. He presented the morning sermon at the Village Church, and participated in a live Q&A Session at Pioneer Memorial Church at 3 PM.

He was accompanied to Michigan by Jim Howard, Gina Wahlen and others. Andrea Luxton moderated the Q&A Session at Pioneer Memorial Church in front of a packed house. Link.

Q&A Session

Andrea Luxton:  We received many questions, and chose a percentage of them.
Q: You were a student at Andrews.  What did you learn there that helped you?

TW:  Andrews played a critical role in my life.  The biggest areas of impact at Seminary was the opportunity to be a student under fine teachers.  They took the time to talk to and encourage me, to correct me.  The Dean was W. C. G. Murdoch.  They showed a genuine interest in the students.  The mission of what the church represents was taught there in those days.

The core of the Three Angels’ Messages is the righteousness of Christ.  It is living it in our lives.  The Three Angels’ Messages is to call people back to the true worship of God – to the origin of life and Creation.  Babylon is fallen – there is so much confusion in our world.  People are hearing subjective truth and the Bible is the antidote to this confusion.  The Sabbath, for instance, teaches us about loyalty to God.  This helps people find freedom in their lives.  Again, Babylon is fallen.  God is calling for us to truly represent the Three Angels Messages – most relevant message around.   Our Message involves the Papacy, the United States, the future etc.

This country will turn on the foundation it was built on– we will lose freedom.  We must use  the freedom we do have to share the truth.  In our current Church situation, many are focused—many are distracted.  Many are distracted by social media.  But social media is not of eternal consequence – the Bible is.  Young people in other countries realize this.  The Church is exploding in Africa and the Indian ocean.  Young people are on fire for the lord.  Pray for latter rain of the Holy Spirit, and let us humble ourselves before each other and before God.

 Q:  Some say our church is discriminating against gender, against race etc.  How do we deal with those feelings?  What can we do to address social justice issues in our church?

TW:  First, everyone should be treated with respect and fairly.  People perceive challenges differently, but we should be responsible to help those in need.  But all of that needs to be done in context of the Gospel.  Our ultimate goal is not to right every wrong in society.  Our goal is to bring people to Jesus.  The world is getting worse.  It’s not getting better—until people meet Jesus.  Then—and only then—Jesus can change YOU. 

Matthew 25 says “I was hungry and naked...”  That is an understanding – with the view of leading people to the foot of the cross.  Social Justice doesn’t change lives the way Jesus does.

One aspect of social justice is LGBTQ.  Let us understand where they come from and then ask God to help us serve them.  This (LGBTQ) is a societal trend in opposition to this book  (Bible).  Now, aberrant heterosexuality is wrong too, whatever leads you away from God is wrong.  The solution?  Go back to the Word of God!  The Bible will help us find ways to relate to people who feel discriminated.

Another discrimination is SDA’s must stand for the sanctity of life.  The abortion issue.  Now we cannot be conscience for people, the church cannot force  people, of course.  But abortion challenges us as SDA’s.  We ought to go back to Scripture and be the strongest proponents for sanctity of life.  Each one of us should humble ourself and ask God to live within us.

Q:  Abortion.  It’s not either/or.  Don’t ignore SJW issues.  That should never be separated from the Gospel – in fact that (social justice) is the gospel [this is the progressive Adventist narrative].

TW:   We have the goal of helping people come to the One who can restore.  Helping them to Jesus.

 Q:  Quoting a girl’s question “I believe God has called me.  How do I respond to people who say our Church is against women?   Then she refers to China and growth that has occurred there.

TW:  This subject is complex and we are working with it.  In general, everyone is called to ministry.  Nothing prevents a woman from nurturing and helping people in spiritual nurture.  Women have a role in ministry.  Regarding ordination, our church has decided that ordination is for men—we get that from the Bible itself.  Some disagree.  That’s where our differences come from.  Compliance has become a nasty word but here’s what it means.  It means we all agreed to function under the rules that we have voted.  There are times when I wish God would speak to us from a cloud today (we don’t have a living prophet).   But we have discussion – prayer – listening – collectively making a decision based on the Bible.  Some don’t like the decision.  I remember decisions in Annual council that I didn’t like – I chose to abide.

China is a marvelous opportunity for growth.  Chinese Union is part of the GC.  There are 450,000 members in China.  Many are working for the ongoing mission of the church.  Some are women.  Upon learning of the Church’s position regarding leadership, many have refused to be ordained.  People,  give a generous spirit to this. 

Six weeks ago – we requested the NAD officers to come spend time with GC.   We all came together in the Committee room.  There was Dan Jackson, Alex Bryan, Randy Robinson, Magdiel Perez, me, and Juan Prestol.  The meeting started in respectful way.  There have been tensions – God wants us to lessen that tensions. 

We all prayed.  The table seats ten. There were four on one side, and four on the other.  I sat at one end.  After prayer and consideration of 2 Cor. 5:18-20, we focused on reconciliation.  Then we prayed.  When it was my turn, I prayed for the Holy Spirit, prayed for angels to stand around us, and for Jesus to sit in the vacant chair.  We saw something encouraging in that meeting. At the end, Dan Jackson said we need to meet more.

We don’t agree on everything.  Mission must take precedence.  We must bring our gifts together and prepare people for Christ’s return.

There are thousands of people for whom WO is not a great concern.  In areas where the Church is growing wildly – they are not consumed by these issues.  I ask people to look at the big picture.  I believe God will help us work through some of these issues.

Q:  The spirit in which we approach things is important.  But for the sake of those who don’t agree this will be an ongoing conversation.  There is nothing that says a woman can’t minister.  What do I say – how do I evangelize in a world consumed by equality – when my church isn’t?  How do I speak about my church in confidence?

TW:  First of all – the Church’s mission is to take the gospel to the world.  That is salvation.  You may not agree how that is accomplished.  You may be embarrassed.  But our message transcends societal issues.  We are talking about the salvation of souls!  There is no other way to shoehorn ourselves into heaven.  To people that think the Church doesn’t do exactly what they think it should do—go help people realize their great need of a Savior.  Prayerful humility and service will help the person who is embarrassed find meaning again.

QUnity and uniformity.  How do we decide which one?  The Church has taken structural actions.  We have doctrinal issues.  How do we decide if this issue is unity – or do we allow diversity?  Are we being forced into uniformity?

 TW:  The only way to achieve unity on something is a majority of the church agreeing we are going to allow it or not.  If a majority doesn’t  allow it – the rest of the group needs to recognize that.  The real mark of Christianity is humility.  I am going to stay with this because I believe in the corpus of what the Bible presents.  There is diversity – but it must not be in contrast with what was voted.  The Methodist Church recently voted on various proposals regarding LGBT.  They voted down to allow gay marriage and gay ordination.  The vote was not a huge majority, but it passed.  Wherever you go – there are regulations — and you need to abide by those rules.  Here is a SOP passage that is special to me,

Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works, with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand {GC 612}.

It is unbelievable how some individuals will accuse people without having information or knowing them.  If some people don’t like someone in the Church they call them a Jesuit.  Even internally I have been compared to the Pope.  And Hitler.  Preposterous.  Every so often a rumor goes around that the Pope called the President and said were going to have Sunday law.  Then the President called me (Ted Wilson) and said we are going to have Sunday law. People.  It may come someday but let’s not imagine things!  Be humble and work together.  Let us not exchange the patience of the saints for the panic of the saints.

SDA black justice revolutionaries, lining up to protest Ted Wilson.

SDA black justice revolutionaries, lining up to protest Ted Wilson.

During the Q&A Session, a long line of SDA black justice activists formed in the center aisle, to protest that their voices matter. They brought their own microphone and stand and planted it in the front. Andrea Luxton ignored them and carried on with the Q&A as planned. On Facebook, one of these SJW activists wrote this yesterday:

And yet Wilson, while talking the talk about the importance of young people in the church, refused to acknowledge the presence and the message of the young people right in front of him. This was indicative of the greater problem that exists in our church. We are Seventh-day Adventists and we will not be silenced. We will not comply. We will declare that women are equal to men, that God has called women to pastoral ministry, that social justice is the gospel, that our worship styles matter, and that we will not violate our conscience in order to comply with unjust policies. We will keep our leaders accountable and we will not allow their actions to go unchecked.

#TedWTalks #PresidentTedTalks #SDA #AndrewsUniversity #GC#WomensOrdination #unityisnotuniformity #peacefulprotest #tedwilson#adventism #adventistsforsocialjustice

Q:   There are lots of millennials here.  Relationships are more important to them than organization.  Lots of young people call themselves ‘nones’.  Today, less and less students identify as religious.  How does the General Conference remain relevant to that crowd? 

TW:  It’s a legitimate concern.  Look at history.  There are generation gaps throughout history.  When I was a student, our culture was obsessed with the Vietman war.  We had hippies, flower power, rebellion, and the mantra was “Don’t trust anyone over 30.”  There have always been generational separations.  Today, young people are segmented and told what they should represent.  Now some do represent certain things.  May God help each of us understand each other.  Young people — be part of a witness to other people.  Get in a relationship with the Everlasting Gospel, through prayer and Bible study.  Get young people involved!  You may have an opinion – get involved in your local church.  Unbelievable things can happen.  I get suggestions from around the world and we are serious about listening.  Remember, our real mission is not to fight amongst ourselves.  We have a real mission, the Everlasting Gospel.

Q:  There are a lot of questions about the Trinity these days.  Some say there is subordination of the Son in the Trinity.  What is your view of the Trinity?

TW:  My personal convictions are that we seem to have a movement who want to go back to an Arian viewpoint.  Many of our pioneers initially believed that – but moved past it as truth unfolded.  I challenge anyone here who might think they are an expert on the Godhead.  I can say that they (the Godhead) are working in complete harmony – they do not move in opposition to each other.

Headship understanding is a biblical topic (1 Cor. 11).  The Bible is clear that Jesus was submitted to the Father while on earth.  They work in harmony – that concept is not related to the WO question.  Headship is biblical.  I say to those around the world who are going back to our pioneers earlier viewpoint— James and Ellen White did not hold that view after a certain point.  I don’t know how the Lord is going to help us deal with that situation.  Rumors abound at times.  One Conference president emailed me  “Someone said I was in support of AT view.”  Absolutely not.  Ps.  Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.  And help people who are distracted by this topic.

Q:  We are in an environment that is challenging.  There are factions.  The Internet can be a problem.  Questions of integrity.  Current environment in church (NAD) how do we move forward as a church?  How to move together? 

TW:   Good question.  I don’t have the complete answer.  I lean on the Lord,  that’s what gets me through.  I don’t worry about what people say about me.  Look at Matthew 5, if you are persecuted – leave it to the Lord.  Our biggest challenge for the future is lack of confidence in the Bible – a lack of understanding of the urgency of the hour.  Some act as if we have 100-years.  I don’t know how long this world has, but we seem very close to the final approach of the end.  We must point people to God’s truth.  Make it your role to study and humble yourselves before God.  The answer is not the GC or the GC Excomm.  The answer is the Holy Spirit motivating us as a last day mission and message.  That will help us move through these issues.  Petty differences will be lost sight of.  I truly believe it.

Elder Wilson’s closing remarks

God has an overall plan.  How do we fit into that plan?  I draw your attention to Matthew 28:18.  Jesus came to the disciples and said “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and in earth.”  Spend more time in prayer and an humble reading of the Word.  God has always had his people and He will have a people until the end of time.

In a special sense Seventh-day Adventists have been set in the world as watchmen and light bearers. To them has been entrusted the last warning for a perishing world. On them is shining wonderful light from the word of God. They have been given a work of the most solemn import—the proclamation of the first, second, and third angels’ messages. There is no other work of so great importance. They are to allow nothing else to absorb their attention {9T 19.1}.

Our task is the Three Angels’ Messages – the true worship of God.  No other work is of so great importance.  Allow nothing less to absorb your attention.


 This article is not an exact transcribe due to space limitations; it accurately captures the highlights of the Q&A Session. Please see the video link above for the Q&A discussion.