The recent communication device du jour being used by many voices in our church is the "Open Letter." They declare "Here is what I believe,” “Here is how I am defying,” “And you can't do a thing about it."
This is most troubling because God’s Word teaches us to “let all things be done decently and in order,” (I Corinthians 14:40). Defying order leads to chaos, even to witchcraft. Yes, it does. “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry,” (I Samuel 15:23).
Thus, this article is not an "open letter." This article is not about defiance. It’s about support—a call to laity action.
As laity, most of us have been passively warming pews for nearly thirty years, listening to the endless bluster of influential leaders --- pastors, educators, authors, scholars --- debating, coaxing, mocking, diminishing their opposition. Their voices are loud and louder depending on position and authority.
Their continuous bluster has caused international tremors within our church and created a dangerously widening crevasse – a fearful reminder of the "big one" to come. Just ahead, we see the days of Judges 17:16 and 21:25, when “every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Amid this escalating chaos, we wonder, “Is there anything the laity can do? Can anyone hear our voices? Will anyone listen?”
God’s thoughts about ignoring such a crisis are sobering as revealed through Ellen White:
“If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is of doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God!” (3T 280).
When Moses came down from Mt. Sinai and saw the golden calf and the naked dancing Israelites, he issued a call to action: “. . . Who is on the Lord’s side? Let him come unto me,” Exodus 32:26. The Levites responded, and judgment was carried out. Likewise, in this modern “Israelite” crisis, our action is needed, beginning with open, vocal support FOR the world church of Seventh-day Adventists.
Despite the on-going bluster and "open letter" barrage, there are faithful members around the world who remain supportive of the world church of Seventh-day Adventists. We call these, including pastors, to action.
From the true “grass-roots” level, individual churches can choose to speak in support the World Church of Seventh-day Adventists through their vote – a valid and powerful medium. How?
Please read the following statement:
If you believe this “Statement of Harmony” to be valid and timely, follow these steps:
Copy this statement, share it with elders, board members and pastors, requesting it be placed on the agenda of your next church board/church in business session.
Approve this statement and strengthen by its message by actively promoting it through church publications, church websites, social media, etc.
Share this “Statement of Harmony” with faithful, loyal Seventh-day Adventist members and church entities within your worldwide sphere of influence.
When your local Church Board/Church in Business Session has voted approval of this document, please notify “World Church Affirmation Sabbath” (WCAS) at affirmationsabbath.org. WCAS would like to share the names of supportive churches to encourage others throughout the Adventist world.
Is this action unusual? Yes. These are unusual, even unprecedented times.
Will it take time and energy to accomplish this? Yes. But this is a "case of an emergency." If ever there was a time to press together for the sake of harmony in our church, it is now.
Paul said it best in Philippians 2:2: "Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." Let each of us be an active part of fulfilling that joy!
Janet Lundeen Neumann is retired and lives in College Place, Washington near her children and grandchildren.