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Letter to Church Manual Committee - June 9, 2015
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Three sentences missing in Church Manual (18th edition)
Letter to Secretary of GC Church Manual Revision Committee
 
                                                                                                                           Message  # 3
                                                                                                                           June  9, 2015
Dear Harald Wollan:
         Associate Secretary of General Conference,
         Secretary of Church Manual Committee
 
While I am waiting for you to reply to my response to your message on June 7th I think it may help if I explain how I was able to find out that three sentences of the Church Manual are missing.
 
Your response on June 7th pointed me to page 28 to 31 in the Church Manual to find the missing part.  And I read these pages carefully looking for anything like the words in red that appears in the 17th edition about Self Appointed Organizations.
  
Self-Appointed Organizations - The church in its organized capacity is God’s instrumentality for preserving order and discipline among His people. Its God-given message is borne to the world not only by the personal testimony of the individual member but in the corporate witness of the church as the body of Christ. Such corporate witness requires the recognized administrative structure that has been established with all duly elected officers and all properly organized channels of work such as the Sabbath School, Personal Ministries, Youth organizations, et cetera. It also acknowledges such self-supporting institutions whose activities contribute to the attainment of the church’s objectives.  Therefore, although all members have equal rights within the church, no individual member or group of members should start a movement or form an organization or seek to encourage a following for the attainment of any objective or for the teaching or any doctrine or message not in harmony with the fundamental religious objective and teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Such a course would result in the fostering of a factional and divisive spirit, in the fragmenting of the effort and witness of the church, and thus in hindering it in the discharge of its obligation to its Head and to the world.
Church Manual,  page 190   (17th edition)
 
The words after Therefore, do appear on page 59 in the 18th edition with nine changes.  But since the words in red have been removed the word Therefore became unnecessary, so it was removed. The removal of Therefore implies that the part which now appears on page 59 has less meaning because it no longer clarifies the pre Therefore part which is missing entirely. The "witness of the church" now found on page 59, is not understood as "the corporate witness of the church as the body of Christ" because this connection between the pre-Therefore words and the after-Therefore was removed. And I should add, the section titled 'Self-Appointed Organizations' is not found in the new edition.
 
 I am concerned about these things, however, I am most concerned about the God given message borne to the world “in the corporate witness of the church as the body of Christ” and what “such corporate witness requires”
 
‚ÄčNow for my story how I found these three sentences are missing
 I have been promoting the church on the internet since 2001 and was webmaster of a church website from 2000 to 2005. The Lord convicted me to do another website as an independent ministry and I launched www.diggingfortruth.org on June 22, 2010   ( my profile on LINKEDin )
 
One way to bring traffic to this new website was to have a section about the Church Manual and the extensive changes made by the 59th GC Session to the Church Manual.
I followed the session and a transcript of the discussions and votes was published in Adventist Review http://archives.adventistreview.org/article/3510/  which prints out onto 77 pages.  Past experience showed me that it took six to eight months for the new church manual edition to be printed and distributed through the ABC stores.
 
 Therefore, I created a page in the Church Manual section and I organized the changes to the church manual in July 2010.  This required me to study the transcript very very carefully in order to present the changes on this page of my site, see http://www.diggingfortruth.org/article/63/  The changes were presented in a way that made it easier for someone to find the changes than by reading the 77 page transcript published in Adventist Review. 
 
  In the eight months it took to print and distribute the 18th edition, this page was the best resource for those interested in the changes to the church manual and it continues to draw traffic five years later. www.diggingfortruth.org  now has almost 3,900 pages and gets over 20,000 visits a month. Most of the traffic goes to the SoP section, but I credit The Lord and the Church Manual section He inspired me to create for establishing this website and for bringing so many people to it every month.
 
  Of course, I plan to do it again with the new changes made in San Antonio and to write articles about how the GC Session dealt with the two mistakes that the Lord has revealed to me. I have still not described the second error to you in detail.
 
  Before I tell you about the second error,  I’d like you to help me to find the message borne to the world  “in the corporate witness of the church as the body of Christ” and what “such corporate witness requires” – this is the part that I claim is missing, and if it is some where in the 18th edition, I am hoping you can show it to me.  The Lord allowed a situation at my church about what the corporate witness requires which caused me to carefully search the new Church Manual for what was written in the 17th edition. So when I came to you about three sentences are missing, it is because they are missing.
 
Your response to my first message referred me to pages 28 to 31,   [ Attached to your reply ]
In the review and rewrite of the Church Manual certain paragraphs from the previous Church Manuals were not repeated word by word, as it was felt that the concept was dealt with in shorter sentences.   I believe that the paragraph you indicate is missing on page 190 of the 2005 CM  is covered through what is written on pages 28 - 31 in the 2010 CM.
 
I found nothing about the "corporate witness of the church as the body of Christ" or about what "such corporate witness requires"  in the pages you referred me to. My second letter, made it very clear exactly what I claim is missing, and therefore, if you can’t show me where it is in the 18th edition or that it was removed by a vote of the delegates, I’d like you to confirm I have a valid concern.  Then we can talk about the importance of what has been removed so that I can present a case why it should be restored to the church manual. Other than the obvious reason, that there was no vote to remove it.
 
According to the transcript Gerry Karst is Chairman of the Church Manual Committee, but that was in 2010. When you confirm my concern is valid, then I’ll ask you about the process to restore what was removed from the Church Manual without a vote that authorized its removal.
I hope to hear from you soon
In God We Trust
Mario 
Return to page about three sentences missing from the Church Manual
 
 
 

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