• During interview, GC President Ted Wilson said, “Same-sex marriage — God does not accept that. The Bible does not accept that.”
    • Wilson also said that people involved in same-sex sexual activity can not be baptized until they change their lives and stay away from such activity.
    • “What you do is more important than what you say,” said Wilson.

02 November 2021 | The Euro-Asia Division (EAD) of Seventh-day Adventists is the second smallest of the denomination’s 13 world divisions by population, according to the church’s official website. It has 140,000 church members (45 percent of whom live in Ukraine); 2,000 churches across a region that spans 13 countries, Zaoksky Adventist Seminary, plus schools, a publishing house and a media center.

It also has an interesting interview with the denomination’s top administrative official, General Conference (GC) President Ted N. C. Wilson, which was held during their annual year-end meeting on Nov. 1-2, 2021. Titled “Lifestyle,” the interview focused on same-sex sexual relations, cohabitation, divorce, domestic violence and what makes someone a real Adventist.

Below are some transcribed snippets from the video, beginning at the 8:31 time stamp. This is not a complete transcript.

On Same-Sex Relationships

Question: We see how today in society, [its] changing the view of the family. [Shouldn’t] the church change their view of family, following society? For example, myself as a pastor…if tomorrow in my church would come a person of different sexual orientation, transgender or same-sex marriage, what should I do: Stop them from coming to church, or open the doors, or something else?

Ted Wilson (TW): This is a very delicate subject, of course. But we must always go back to the Bible. That is our rule of faith: What does God want? What is the ideal that He set up?…

There is only one type of marriage that is accepted before God. Only one type of sexual…activity that is accepted, and that’s within a marriage between a man and a woman, blessed by God. So anything outside that relationship is not God’s plan, and is not accepted by God.

Someone who is heterosexual but is an adulterer, fornicating, God does not accept that.

Same-sex marriage — God does not accept that. The Bible does not accept that.

Now the practical question is, when someone comes to the church, perhaps they are … gay; God wants to bring all people to a knowledge of complete truth. He wants all of us to be changed by His power… so when you are not in accordance with God’s Word, God wants to change you to become like He wants you to be.

So when someone who is living a lifestyle that is not in accordance to the Bible, but they come to the church, you can welcome them, and you can share with them what God’s plan is.

Now to be very specific, let me explain that we do not baptize people who are actively involved in sexual lifestyle apart from what the Bible says is correct.

So when a person is cheating on their spouse and they are adulterers, we are not to baptize them until they correct that and allow God to change their hearts.

When someone is involved in same-sex sexual activity, we do not baptize them until they realize God can change my life, I can stay away from that and live according to the Bible. Then you can baptize them.

This is a very sensitive subject because the contemporary society is against that idea. But this is not the church’s idea. This is God’s ideal and what He presents to us in the Word. And we share this with God’s love.

Q: What does it mean for [gays] to live [their] life according to the will of God?

TW: It would mean… that individual stops sexual involvement with anyone and simply brings their life into accordance with [a] pure way of living.

And that the only marriage that is accepted is between a man and a woman, blessed by God.

On Cohabitation

TW: When you are holding Bible studies with a man and a woman who are living together but without marriage, you can explain to them that God wants you to be completely whole; God cannot bless a couple who have not been blessed by Him in an official marriage…

[Then] they will commit their lives to each other, and not feel free, “Well, if I don’t like you, I’ll just go here. I’ll just leave.” No. You are committed to each other.

On Divorce

TW: That’s a very sensitive subject also. It’s not God’s plan that husband and wives separate from each other.

On Domestic Violence

TW: You know, the Bible tells us the fruit of the Spirit is gentleness and kindness… When we resort to violence and to force, this is not God’s plan. God does not force us to obey Him.

We should not use force, physical or verbal, psychological violence. This is against the very foundation of God’s character, which is love.

If you yell at people, if you scream at people, if you show great disrespect, you are not demonstrating gentleness and kindness. In essence, you are showing characteristics of the devil.

On What Makes Someone a Real Seventh-day Adventist

TW: First of all, they should be someone who accepts Jesus fully into their life. One who allows Christ’s righteousness to change their life…

Secondly, because of that relationship, you become a Spirit-filled person who is shedding light everywhere you go. You are spending time with the Bible, you understand what God’s will is for your life. You’re spending time… in Ellen White’s writings.

Even the look on your face is different. People can see a difference…It’s not because of what we are doing; it’s because of the righteousness of Christ working in us.

And thirdly, you will become a dynamic witness for Jesus. A humble missionary. Someone really showing God’s love in practical ways.

…You need to walk the talk. In other words, what you do is more important than what you say.

 To watch the complete interview, click here.

(Photo: Ted Wilson spoke about gays, cohabitation, divorce, domestic violence and what it means to be an Adventist during an interview at the Euro-Asia Division’s 2021 annual meeting. Photo via screenshot.)

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