An Open Letter to Brother Wilson
by Jack Hoehn
1111 South Second Avenue
Walla Walla, WA 99362
John B. Hoehn, M.D.
August 8, 2012
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904
Dear Brother Ted,
I don’t live in the Columbia Union, but as an informed church member1 in North America, I must share with you my objections to the tone and substance of the statement recently issued to that union reproduced on the Review website.2
I find the tone and assumptions of that document dangerous and discouraging for the following reasons:
b. Is this not exactly how the long prayed-for decision to ordain women as equal with men in the Columbia Union was made?
c. Would you ask us to believe that the Holy Spirit only worked to have us appoint you to your jobs, but not to also impel us to move forward with gender equality in Christ?
d. If James and the churches in Jerusalem were not yet ready to freely give the gospel to Gentiles, did not Paul and the church in Antioch first get moved by the Holy Spirit to “open up that door”4? Isn’t this the way God has always acted, moving where He is permitted to advance by the willingness of His people? He taught righteousness by faith first in Bohemia, before it was later accepted in Germany, and then Switzerland.
4.) The charge that obedience to the Holy Spirit’s promptings by the delegates of the Columbia Union is a “threat to church unity”, and that your officers will “determine how to respond” feels threatening itself. May I suggest that you administrators consider noting the action with approval or disapproval, but recognizing the right of the church in session in every country to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit on debatable matters of practice, not central to the faith.
I do not expect to change your mind by my letter, but I do thank you for noting it.
Lines drawn in sand shift and the winds of time will surely blow them quite away.
Galatians 3:286 however will never blow away.
Dan Jackson, NAD Janet.Aldea@nad.adventist.org
D. Weigley, CU email@example.com
Ricardo Graham, PU firstname.lastname@example.org
Max Torkelsen, NPU email@example.com
Bob Folkenberg, UCC BobF@uccsda.org
1Lifelong member, entirely church school educated till graduate school, ordained church elder, four term foreign missionary, I have attended several GC sessions since 1954 in my childhood that I remember as being in the “Cow Palace” in San Francisco and hearing Elder Branson’s Parkinson’s tremor voice at his retirement sermon. I and my wife have been delegates to several General Conference sessions.
3 Matthew 20: 25,26 “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their ‘great men’ exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you…”
4Acts 14:27 “…they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentile.”
5Acts 5:29. “We ought to obey God rather than men.”
6Galatians 3:28. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
7This is a public, not a private letter and may be freely shared.