by Ervin Taylor
by Ervin Taylor and Ron Spencer, November 20, 2014
Over the past six months, as more and more statements and reports about the current GC President, Ted Wilson (aka Wilson II), have been disseminated in the pages of the Adventist Review and elsewhere, additional questions are being posed as we near the 2015 General Conference Session in San Antonio.
These queries have come up recently: "What exactly are Wilson II and his allies trying to do?”” Do he and his supporters have a plan or are these astonishing statements and actions just trial balloons and random talk?” “Are his pronouncements actually his own or are they being composed by others in his immediate entourage, for whom he serves as a front man?” “Does he really believe the statements that are being published under his name?” “Can anyone really be that clueless about the contemporary world?"
The one question that we feel we can address at this time without wandering into some rather nasty territory would be the question of what Wilson II is seeking to accomplish.
There are a number of possible answers. We here wish to begin with our first hypothesis and consider some basis for offering this particular hypothesis. We will consider other hypotheses in later blogs.
Hypothesis 1: Wilson II is attempting to encourage a division in the Adventist Church.
Before providing the basis for offering this hypothesis, it is necessary to clarify the term “division.” First, we do not mean an organizational division as occurred in the Worldwide Church of God or Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. There are a number of political and sociological reasons why this is highly improbable. Second, we do not mean a division involving large segments of the Church. This would involve a relatively small segment numerically, and it would be limited to small enclaves mostly associated with large educational and medical centers. Third, much of this division has already occurred. Thus, we are talking about a more public and visible division. Finally, we are not suggesting that this represents anything new about the agenda of Wilson II. His views have not changed over the last three decades. The only difference is that he and those who agree with him are in a position to operationally carry out this agenda.
The basis for this hypothesis is as follows: Wilson II has stated that he believes we are really “in the last days.” He believes that the institutional Adventist Church is indeed “The Remnant Church,” and that the Adventist Church is going to be the key element in bringing about “The End.” He also believes that before “The End” comes, “The Shaking Time" will take place in the Adventist Church. This is the real purpose of his “Reform and Reformation” ideas. He believes that “The Shaking Time” will cause all of the divisive elements in the Church, i.e., the individuals and ideas that he and his allies do not like, either to leave or somehow be caused to exit the Adventist Church. He believes that only a purified and reformed Adventist Church will be able to deliver "The Loud Cry." “The Loud Cry” will cause persecution of the Adventist Church, as the things Ellen White says will happen will start to come to pass. The only way all of these things can take place “quickly” is to force the split now, as soon as possible.
If even half of these statements are accurate representations of what is going on in the mind of Wilson II, the Adventist Church is in big trouble. One solution would be to stop Wilson II and his allies as quickly as possible, but not later than the next GC Session, before he can carry out his plans. The most straightforward way of doing that is for the Nominating Committee to replace him as GC President. If they will not do it, then let a motion come from the floor to that effect. Do we have any confidence that such actions will actually come to pass at the next GC? Not really, given the lack of political will on the part of those who have covertly previously expressed their true opinions.
We invite comments as to whether our Hypothesis 1 is or is not credible, as well as other opinions of what Wilson II is trying to do. Any and all other thoughtful ideas about what's really going on are also encouraged, as well as what might be done by the ordinary church member.
If anyone wishes to send a confidential message to Ervin Taylor and Ron Spencer with his or her reactions, email firstname.lastname@example.org. All communications will be held in strict confidence.