by Jim Hoffer, July 28, 2015:    For quite some time now I have been a fairly faithful reader of AT, especially on Friday evenings or Sabbath afternoons. I do appreciate the various perspectives expressed and the healthy exchange of ideas. Sometimes I have posted a reply of my own, but mostly I just read in “silence,” almost feeling that my comments will probably not be read by anyone, or if read, ignored or brushed off. Some responses leave me very cold, especially from those who have left the church and hurl unkind remarks at our theology, or accuse us of “politics.”

Some of these folks think that American Adventists should still rule the church. (Bucks can make people into bullies.)

Yes, I too was disappointed with the way the voting went. But now there are these dire forecasts of the impending downfall or splitting of the church, etc., etc. And yet the church forges on through the years, emerging (and growing rapidly!) from controversies of the Ford or Brinsmead type, financial crises, and like scenarios. And this one will be no different, mark my words.

Look, folks, it is the message of the church that holds us together, not the hierarchy, not glitches here and there, or whatever. After 46 years of ministry I have seen this kind of thing come and go, and I have come to know and appreciate dozens and dozens of our leaders, and find them all to be upstanding individuals, doing their sometimes thankless jobs with excellence. I know Ted Wilson personally and have for many years. The resounding applause that greeted the announcement of his reelection and again at the worship service on Sabbath morning, is a testimony to his faithful leadership. And to charge him with negligence in not openly expressing his personal position on women’s ordination is positively outrageous. Don’t people know that the chairman is supposed to remain neutral? What did you expect—that he swing the vote one way or another by his influence? I am appalled at such a stab in the back!

Many of the naysayers are totally out of touch with the real Adventist church, those who are silently seeking to be like Jesus, to live out their faith joyfully, and to share this wonderful message with others by any means possible. The real Adventists are those who uphold the tenets of the church, and who humbly submit to Jesus, who is the real president of the church. The real Adventists are those who are in love with Jesus, His church, and the Adventist message.

Whatever happened to submission? Whatever happened to living out the words of Jesus when He said we must have the faith of little children? Why is there such arrogance? Whatever happened to love?

And you scientists out there—Sure, it’s great to be curious and have an investigative bent (and I would never suppress that). But why do we think we have to have all the answers now? Sure, perhaps the earth as an inert body existed before the creation of life. But any view that deviates from the simple Genesis account of the origin of life, the establishment of the seven-day week, mankind’s fall into sin, and the beginning of decay and violence and predation in nature, totally destroys the weekly Sabbath and even the plan of salvation itself. Therefore such a belief cannot possibly be right and effectively disqualifies one from being an Adventist.

If you are writing your comments to help the church, and because you love the church, then keep up the good work. However if you are one of those constantly negative, bitter individuals, whether still in the church or out of it, I will pray for you. Because that is not a very good way to make it to heaven!

Your friend in Jesus,

Jim Hoffer, retired pastor

Ringgold, Georgia