13 October 2018 |
This morning, speaking to a Sabbath School class in the University Church in Loma Linda, California, Dr. William Johnsson, long-time editor of the Adventist Review, stated that any General Conference (GC) officer who “voted to bring the Compliance document to the  Annual Council should be censured for that action.” The document he referred to is a proposal entitled “Regard for and Practice of General Conference Session and General Conference Executive Committee Actions.”
The document states that it sets out “principles [which] shall apply” in cases where “regard for and practice of General Conference Session and General Conference Executive Committee actions have not been followed.” It contains proposed methods of forcing “compliance” with certain GC policies and particularly with a vote at the 2015 GC Session against allowing the denomination’s 13 world divisions to make independent decisions on ordaining women to the gospel ministry. It has resulted in a number of responses from union conferences and other entities expressing concern and asking for revision of the proposal.
Johnsson’s perspective on the document comes from someone with a detailed knowledge of the inner workings of the denomination as a professor at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, a board member of the Review and Herald Publishing Association, a delegate to GC sessions across several decades, and the well-known editor of the Adventist Review for nearly 25 years under three GC presidents. Johnsson holds a PhD in New Testament theology from Vanderbilt University and is the author of more than 20 books.
The annual business session of the denomination’s governing body, the GC executive committee, begins tomorrow morning in Battle Creek, Michigan, and the proposal is a major item on the agenda. The meeting lasts through Wednesday and Adventist Today has published a summary of the agenda here.