As the Leadership Committee of the Springwood Seventh-day Adventist Church of Brisbane, Australia, we desire to add our voice to others in sharing our concern regarding the proposal of the GC ADCOM with its document ‘Regard for and Practice of General Conference Session and General Conference Executive Committee Actions’. This document outlines a compliance procedure that concentrates authority in a hierarchical structure and thereby disempowers and suggests mistrust of Unions and the decisions made at Union Constituency Meetings.
We add our voice because not only are we, as local church, part of the decision making at such Union meetings, but also because the proposal suggests the compliance process being potentially implemented at other levels of church structure and we protest to it being the modus operandi that characterizes church practice. We believe it would be detrimental to the following:
- The call of Jesus to love one another and be united in the Spirit (all the while appreciating the important distinction between ‘unity’ and ‘uniformity’)
- The current trust and empowerment of members at the local church level.
- The New Testament theological premise we hold dear of ‘the priesthood of all believers.’
- The keen desire of our local church community (along with that of our Union) to ‘growing young’, and our resultant desire to positively impact our young adults, youth and children as we seek to emphasize things of eternal value in their discipleship. It is our desire to nurture belonging to a church that holds true to its biblical worldview while also contextualizing it to the needs of life today (including that of the dignity and equality of all).
None of the above will be honored should we go down a track of forced compliance.
Our God is a God whose governance is undergirded by freedom of choice. Our protestant heritage leads us to remain convicted regarding our current pattern of church operation. We see that it affirms any needed self-correction under the Holy Spirit’s guidance. We believe this new GC proposal will be detrimental to the robust health of our church-at-large, as together we pursue the Lordship and authority of Jesus in living out the Gospel Commission within our unique local context.
Springwood Leadership Council