15 October 2018 | More than four out of five Adventists said in a poll conducted over the last two weeks that they disagreed with the “compliance” proposal that was voted by the General Conference executive committee yesterday. The survey of people in the pews, and including some pastors, found that only seven percent agreed with the proposal.

Respondents were given five choices to this question: “What is your opinion of the General Conference proposals for ‘Compliance’ in the Seventh-day Adventist denomination?”

5 percent indicated “I agree fully with the proposal”

2 percent indicated “I generally agree, but have reservations”

5 percent indicated “I disagree with some aspects”

77 percent indicated “I disagree with the proposal”

11 percent indicated “I do not know enough about the issue to express an opinion”

The random sample of Adventists had a total of 817 respondents. At the 95th percentile of reliability, the standard allowance for sampling error for a survey of this size is four percentage points, plus or minus.

What does this mean?

No doubt a great many readers will have a response to this question, but clearly, after the vote yesterday many people will be disappointed and others will need to be careful how they express their “win” or they will do more damage than good to the unity of the Adventist denomination. The vote does not create unity. In fact, it reveals a significant difference of opinion even among the top leadership of the Adventist movement. It was not a consensus vote; it was a divided vote.

Many are in pain for their church and friends they love in the church, especially for the women in pastoral ministry. Jesus demands a healing touch, a willingness to listen and hear the pain. This will tax the pastoral care resources in many places, but also give opportunity for new leaders to emerge.

Innovative initiatives and local energy will become more important than ever to the cause of Christ in our world as many Adventists become more disconnected from the GC and other centralized denominational programs. Welcoming and celebrating diversity will become more important in the future of the Adventist faith if this is not to become a turning point away from growth and progress.

Adventist Today is interested in sharing innovative ideas and local stories; what are steps forward, signs of hope and ways of bringing healing to the hurting? Please share your plans, ideas and stories by sending them via Email to atoday@atoday.org. Even a few brief ideas with contact information will enable one of our reporters to contact key people and get more information. Above all, actions speak louder than words …. actions that reflect the hope of Jesus Christ in our contemporary world.

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