by Ervin Taylor, July 19, 2015:    Below is a collection of observations and reflections overheard and observed based on actions taken at and statements made by Adventist denominational leaders and others during the 2015 San Antonio General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

1. “An Adventist General Conference session combines aspects of an ecclesiastical council, three-ring circus, revival meeting, political convention, sales pep rally, bazaar, family reunion, and reaffirmation rituals carried out in colorful costumes.”

2. “The voting carried out at these sessions represents the working out of a reaction from former Adventist missionary lands in the global South paying back the homelands of the Adventist global North for 150 years of evangelistic, medical, and educational efforts.”

3. “Despite the many negatives that surface at the GC session, the reports of work of ADRA in many parts of the world and the integrity of the reporting of the research at the Adventist Health Study provide evidence that many positives and much good can, under some conditions, be carried out by some working within the Adventist denominational structure.”

4.  “Some Adventist clergy seem to fear a secret ballot as much as other Adventists fear the secret rapture.”

5. “The revised Adventist denominational statement concerning the nature of Creation means that, for the sake of consistency, corporate Adventism may, in the future, declare that the ancient Hebrew understanding that the earth is flat may well become Adventist Church doctrine.”

6. “When you attend an Adventist General Conference session, you are presented with evidence that, in some contemporary denominations, the spirit of the Middle Ages can be maintained and the Enlightenment can be prevented from intruding.”

7. “Institutional Adventism has created a special Adventist version of Protestant Christian Fundamentalism which denies that Adventism is Fundamentalist while embracing all of the elements of historic Fundamentalism.”

8. “Those opposing the ordination of women to the Adventist ministry need to figure a way to say with a straight face that the female Adventist prophetess was not a human woman but a special creature endowed with superhuman qualities that transcend gender.”

9. “By the actions voted at the General Conference session, the Adventist World Church has demonstrated that it is itself irrelevant not only in the modern world but also in contemporary First World Adventism in the same way that a company that manufactures buggy whips would be considered irrelevant in a modern economy.”

10. “The statements of the current General Conference president reaffirm the accuracy of a dictum of a World War II German political figure to the effect that if you say things that may not be true a sufficient number of times, those things become true to your hearers.”