Werner Dullinger and Johannes Naether, president and vice-president of the Freikirche der Siebenten-Tags-Adventisten in Deutschland (the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Germany), have issued a formal response to recent actions and decisions of the General Conference Unity Oversight Committee. Dullinger and Naether serve also as presidents of the South German Union and the North German Union, respectively. They write, “We firmly reject the documents presented by the world church leadership and the establishment of the “Compliance Committees”, because in them our understanding of church and how a church is to be led is not reflected.”
- “The documents and the work of the Compliance Committees mark a change of direction in the basic understanding of church leadership: Instead of trust, tolerance, respect, conflict ability and dialogue in controversy, pressure, control, monitoring and stigmatization of individuals take place. This significantly increases the split-up dynamics of a church and reverses the effort for unity.
- “The documents and work of the Compliance Committees promote a spirit of distrust, criticism, evaluation and judgment. This is explicitly contrary to the spirit of the Gospel.
- “The public stigmatization of individuals is unacceptable because it damages their dignity. We expressly distance ourselves from this.
- “The rules existing in our Church are absolutely sufficient to intervene in problems or conflicts. The existing instruments and procedures give us a wide margin of manoeuvre for this.”
Write Dullinger and Naether: “Within the framework of our mandates as members of the GC Executive Committee, we will work for the rejection of the regulations proposed in the papers.”
A preliminary English translation of the Statement from the Adventist Church in Germany can be read here.
The original German version can be read here.