Cheerio, mates! ChurchMouse here to report on something in me own neck o’ the woods. The “London Unity Conference” is currently taking place at a hotel near Heathrow Airport (also near one of me favorite cheese shops).
Turns out the conferees are not much concerned about the unity of the whole SDA Church, but are very concerned about maintaining the unity of those unions and divisions what feels no obligation to abide by the San Antonio vote. Odd sort of unity if you ask me, guv’nuh. I’m afraid this “Unity Conference” is named the way one of our late literary lads, Eric Blair, named things in a novel he wrote back in ‘40s. In fact, this “Unity Conference” is celebrating the coming disunity; it is a pep rally preparatory to firing on Fort Sumter—to use metaphors and history you colonials should understand.
Thursday’s speakers included the noted Adventist historian George Knight, whose paper manages to compare the world church—in its rather timid, languid efforts to enforce the 2015 San Antonio vote—to the Nazis of 1930s Germany:
The so-called nonconforming unions must stand together, come into line with General Conference demands, or go down one by one. Martin Niemöller, a leading German Protestant pastor during World War II, has written a thoughtful piece: “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn’t speak out–because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak out–because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak out.”
So, let me get this straight, guv'nuh: if the General Conference thinks that the San Antonio vote should be respected throughout the world church, they are Nazis and Ted Wilson is Der Führer? Blimey, but that’s remarkably unhinged, even for an American liberal. Is this Knight bloke an historian or an hysterian? Steady on there, mate, try to keep a stiff upper lip!
Knight’s full paper can be read here, and AToday has posted a short precis on its website.
I'd like to be able to report that Knight’s comparison of the GC to the Nazis is not typical of his whole paper. But it is. In a nod to Martin Luther, Knight has produced “9.5 Theses” about the church’s ordination controversy. (Actually, he created 15 “theses,” but Knight’s math, like the rest of his reasoning, is a bit at sixes and sevens.) Some of his other “theses” include:
“7. The so-called noncompliant unions are not out of harmony with the Bible.”
“8. Adventism has moved at times from being a church based on Scripture to one based on tradition and ecclesiastical pronouncements.”
Maybe, maybe not. But instituting female headship would be a colossal step away from Scripture, toward tradition and ecclesiastical pronouncements. Yuge, as your president likes to say.
“9. The General Conference leadership in 2017 is coming dangerously close to replicating the medieval church in its call for the serious discipline of large sectors of the church on the basis of a non-biblical issue.”
Blimey! I think Knight just made Elder Wilson the pope as well as Herr Hitler. We’re going to run short of historical villains to compare that Wilson chap to.
“9.2. Due to the suppression of data and the manipulation of the events surrounding the voting process, I do not believe that the 2015 vote on women’s ordination indicated the voice of God.”
What is it with you Americans and refusing to accept the results of votes? The “events surrounding the voting process” were “manipulated.” The election was stolen! The Russians colluded with the Trump campaign. The dog ate my homework. Why do you Yanks even bother to have elections when the liberals will not accept the results when they lose? Apparently, the only time there’s a free and fair election in America is when the Left gets what it wants.
“9.4. The current atmosphere of confrontation in Adventism has not been brought about by the unions, but by the General Conference leadership and its non-biblical and manipulative tactics.”
So if the side that lost a vote refuses to accept the results, the side that won the plebiscite is to blame for the “atmosphere of confrontation” when it accepts the result?? Makes perfect sense. Bob’s your uncle!
This is all too barmy for me, guv'nuh. Time to scurry back into that hole in the baseboard.