In the midst of this year’s camp meeting, I was made aware of George Knight’s public address at the Unity Conference that took place in London. The conference was organized by various leadership from four world divisions and with the support of 10 unions affected by the recent GC vote in regards to ordination.
After reviewing his statements in the address, the decision was made to continue to make his books available at the ABC at this time. However, his speech at the unity conference and published address have raised serious and troubling questions. Not questions about ordination—everyone is certainly free to have and express their opinions—but rather the questionable comparisons articulated that appear to undermine the leadership and integrity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The question should be raised as to whether we should carry authors who position themselves against the leadership of the General Conference, and equate themselves to Luther standing up to the Pope of the medieval Catholic Church. Is it appropriate to suggest a comparison between the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the persecuting medieval church? Or should unions be urged to stand against the world church in the way that people were urged to defy Nazi Germany in WWII?
Are these proposed equivalences much different from the authors and speakers who compare the church to Babylon? A case could be made that these comparisons go beyond simply voicing constructive differences or concerns.
We understand, support, and respect Christian dialogue and the exchange of differing opinions. Perhaps the author was simply utilizing hyperbole. If that is the case, is it a responsible use of hyperbole? And if the author meant what he said, shouldn’t that be a concern?
Finally, we’re talking about the ministry of the Adventist Book Center, not a secular bookstore. We have the expectation, without apology, that Seventh-day Adventist authors, whose works are sold in the ABC, be supportive of their church and its representative form of church government. Let me say that these are spiritual issues with spiritual ramifications that need to be considered.
In closing, I want to say that we have only kind wishes for all the various authors, including George Knight, whose works are found in the ABC.