Unidentified Group Prepares “Loyalty Oath” Certificate
26 November 2018 | A website with a “Statement of Harmony” certificate for congregations to sign on an “Affirmation Sabbath” has been circulated widely among Seventh-day Adventists. The date for Affirmation Sabbath is not given, nor are the creators of the website identified. However, another website, Ordination Truth, which opposes women’s ordination, has announced Affirmation Sabbaths in the past.
The website says:
As laity, most of us have been passively warming pews for nearly thirty years, listening t o the endless bluster of influential leaders—pastors, educators, authors, scholars—debating, coaxing, mocking, diminishing their opposition. Their voices are loud and louder based on position and authority. … God’s thoughts about ignoring such a crisis are sobering as revealed through Ellen White: “If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people are guilty, it is of doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God!” 3T 280
The certificate calls for congregations to affirm, among other things, “that the policies and voted actions of the General Conference shall retain priority in the local church congregation over all Division, Union, or Conference voted policies.” It asks laypeople to bring the certificate to their pastor and elders, and demand that it be acted upon either by the board or the church in business session.
Their website uses the denominational logo, leading some on Facebook to assume that this loyalty oath certificate was prepared by the General Conference office. However, Adventist Today’s queries of GC leaders turned up no evidence that this is an initiative of the General Conference.