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Church Manual Clarifications
Church Manual Clarifications
Church Manual, page xxii
·         "Churches should look to the local conference for advice pertaining to the operating of the church or on questions arising from the Church Manual.  If mutual understanding or agreement is not reached, the matter should be referred to the union for clarification."
List of Church Manual texts that have been clarified by the 59th GC Session

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List of Church Manual texts that have NOT yet been clarified, but could be improved.

Church Manual texts that have been clarified by a Union Conference.
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   The text above allows for churches (including members) to ask the local conference for counsel regarding the operation of the church or questions about the Church Manual itself.  If the church does not agree with the interpretation provided by the local conference, the matter should be referred to the Union Conference level.

   This system works only as well as the individuals involved allow it to work. For example, the Union Conference can interpret this text to mean that only the local conference can refer a question for clarification.  They may feel that the local conference is capable to answer questions and provide sound advice to the church level, they may also feel that if the local conference has a problem it will bring the matter to the Union for clarification.

   This works fine when the local conference has given sound advice or has a correct interpretation of the church manual, the flaw in the Union's interpretation is revealed when the local conference thinks it is right and actually they are in error.  The local conference will see no need to bring the matter to the Union - and the local church is left without an appeal.

   The injustice is compounded when the division will not consider an appeal from the church or clarify the church manual text in question because they look at the above text and say, it is the duty of the Union to do this. Bring your question to the Union Conference.

  In cases where the Union Conference, interprets this text in the church manual, to be only the local conference can refer the question to them for clarification - a flaw in the system has resulted.  It is not the church manual that is flawed, it is the understanding of what the text means by the people entrusted with the work.

  The church even has a system of checks and balances that clarify the proper procedure in cases where the church manual does not specifically address the situation in question. This is called the Working Policies.  The Working Policy that will apply to this situation is
B 45 30 Appeals The Seventh-day Adventist Church makes provision that every agency in the work, from the individual in the remotest station to the responsible committees at every stage of the organization, is assured full privilege, without prejudice, of representing opinion and conviction, and asking consideration and counsel in matters affecting life and service.
General Conference Working Policy, 2009 - 2010
  The Church Manual and the Working Policies go hand in hand to clarify what is the proper way to deal with a misunderstanding or disagreement between the church level and the local conference level.

  If you know of any situation where the church has failed to provide clarification, please contact us. We will investigate and present all valid situations on the pages of diggingForTruth.

We will present a situation at Atlantic Union Conference, NAD soon.