By AT News Team, September 7, 2014
A professional counselor who serves as an advocate for victims of clergy abuse with The Hope for Survivors, an Adventist organization, has released a statement detailing why Dr. Samuel Pipim was not properly eligible for rebaptism. She was assigned by the organization to work with one of at least three young women that Pipim has victimized to facilitate healing and speak on the victim’s behalf.
The statement details Pipim’s victimization of a young woman who has been give the name “Nandipa” in 2011. It states that officials of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination in Botswana, where the incident happened, have accepted Nandipa’s allegations as accurate because of a recorded telephone conversation in which Pipim admitted his misbehavior.
The statement was released in response to a news story in Adventist Today earlier this year which reported that an Adventist church in Columbus, Ohio, permitted a visiting minister to rebaptize Pipim while their pastor was out of the country on a mission trip. Adventist Today has received many comments on this event.
“My opposition to [his] rebaptism has nothing to do with being judgmental or unforgiving or want to ‘cast the first stone,'” stated Jennifer Jill Schwirzer, a licensed family counselor in Pennsylvania and well-known Adventist writer, speaker and seminar leader. It has “everything to do with wanting to protect the integrity and reputation of my church, and protect the purity of young women the world over.”
The statement points out that the Ann Arbor, Michigan, Seventh-day Adventist Church, where Pipim was disfellowshipped, and the denomination’s Michigan Conference which withdrew his credentials as an ordained ministry, have not changed their view of Pipim’s status. They did not approve of his rebaptism and evidently agree that he was not eligible for rebaptism.
The statement quotes Ellen G. White, a cofounder of the denomination, that “true confession is always of a specific character and acknowledges particular sins.” (Steps to Christ, page 38) “From what I know, Samuel Pipim has never engaged in this work of specific confession. [And] beyond the confession he owes to the victims … he owes to his followers an admission that he has fabricated a much more flattering picture of himself than was true.” Pipim continues to operate an independent ministry, publishing books and other materials on spiritual and theological topics, and continues to be referred to by some Adventists as a source of Bible truth.
Adventist Today has published the entire statement here: