26 April 2023 |
The Potomac Conference has asked a church in Roanoke, Virginia, to reconsider a seminar to be presented by independent ministry speaker Stephen Bohr. The church board of the Roanoke Seventh-day Adventist Church invited Bohr to deliver a series on prophecy at May 5-6, 2023. The church is currently between assigned pastors.
Conference policy is that invitations made by local churches for speakers from outside the conference, and particularly those from controversial ministries, should be approved by the conference.
Some denominational leaders have expressed concerns about Bohr. These include:
Questioning Jesus’ divinity: In relationship to his opposition to women’s ordination, Bohr questions the full divinity of Christ. Bohr parallels the headship of man over women in 1 Corinthians 11:1-3 with the headship of the Father over Jesus, claiming that Jesus was begotten into eternity by the Father and born from “His bosom.” While he says that Jesus and the Father have the same “substance,” Bohr claims that “the Father has absolute authority, and the Son has delegated authority.”
This theology effectively downgrades Jesus in order to downgrade women.
The implications for salvation are broad. For Bohr, Jesus’ death on the cross was merely to “fulfill the will” of the Father. He spells this out clearly in a sermon, “The Nature of God the Father and the Son,” where he says Jesus was “begotten” into eternity by the Father and born from “His bosom.”
Advocating for Last Generation Theology: The premise of Last Generation Theology is that Jesus’ return requires a perfect and sinless last generation of Seventh-day Adventists, so pure that they can live without an intercessor at the end of time and thus vindicate the character of God in the cosmic conflict. The implication is that Christ’s death on the cross is not enough to provide salvation in the final conflict, but must be augmented by human beings who, by their effort, have become flawless. Thus, the return of Jesus waits upon a sinless generation and not, as Jesus made clear, the will of God.
The Scriptures say that perfection will only be achieved when we are “transformed” at the time of the Second Coming (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
As of today, the Bohr remains on the church’s calendar for Friday evening, May 5, and Sabbath services on May 6.
Though he’s controversial in many regions, the North American Division’s Michigan Conference has embraced his ministry: he is the main speaker at the Michigan Conference camp meeting in June.