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Appeal to Don King - April 18, 2011
Appeal of Decision by President of Greater New York Conference to

Don King, President of Atlantic Union Conference

                                                                                                               April 18, 2011
Dear Don King:
  Last week I informed you that I would appeal the decision by G. Earl Knight rejecting my request that he give me permission to attend my church. On April 2nd and on April 9th the police were called to arrest me for trespassing if I entered the church where I have been a member for 20 years. The church board or the congregation did not approved of this.
  The police told me that if I attempted to enter the church I would be arrested for trespassing. Elder Knight is President of the Greater New York Corporation of SDA which owns the building, permission from the legal owner would over rule the request from the ‘caretaker of the building’ to block me from attending worship services and all activities in the church.
  On April 11th I asked Earl Knight to send me his decision in writing so that I can appeal it, he could have amplified (or explained) his decision NOT to give me permission to attend my church, but he chose to let his verbal decision stand. Therefore, I am appealing his decision not to allow me to enter the church where I have been a member in regular standing for over 20 years.
The Church Manual allows me to make this appeal:  
To appear in Chapter 3,  Organization and Authority
"When differences arise in or between churches and conferences or institutions, appeal to the next higher constituent level is proper until it reaches an Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee of the General Conference Session. Between these meetings, the General Conference Executive Committee constitutes the body of final authority on all questions. The committee's decision may be reviewed at a General Conference Session or an Annual Council. When organizations review the decisions of other organizations, they do not assume the responsibility for the liabilities of any other organization.:
   Since the 18th edition has not yet been distributed, I don't have a page number    (Editor:  Now on page 31)
To support my appeal I offer the following arguments:
 We are told about the Great Controversy between Christ and Satan and the Greater New York Conference is aware of many complaints and reports that a controversy has existed at my church for over five years. The conference has had difficulty in determining who is on the side of Christ. If they had investigated even one issue they may have a better understanding of who is on which side.
However, this issue is covered by the church manual and there is counsel in the inspired writings in ‘Spirit of Prophecy’ to support my claim that the pastor is in error and Elder Knight can easily correct their error by giving me permission to attend my church. 
Spirit of prophecy tells us that Satan counterfeits many of the principles that God has established. Satan does not create, (see Note at bottom) he counterfeits and he deceives and he corrupts what God has created. What I ask you to consider here is a counterfeit of the church discipline established by the church manual. The genuine discipline is described in the Church Manual pages 193 to 197. Genuine discipline uses the authority of the church at a business meeting. We are admonished to do it properly, because if done properly the decision is ratified in heaven. (CM, page 187 quotes Testimonies, Vol. 7, page 263).  If not done properly, it is not ratified. The genuine discipline has the divine stamp of approval. This counterfeit discipline uses the authority of the police and has no scripture or SOP text to support it.
In the time of Jesus Christ – the Jewish leaders enlisted the Roman authority to punish Christ with death by crucifixion. Inspired writings predict that in the very last days the ‘beast’ power will enlist secular and civil authority to enforce Sunday observance by punishments leading up to a death decree enforcing the counterfeit Sabbath. This is how Satan works to persecute the saints. What the Pastor did is NOT in accordance with how God works and NOT in accordance with genuine church discipline.
The way the pastor is enforcing his counterfeit discipline is to call the police, who then threatens me with arrest for trespassing.   The result of this discipline action is that I can NOT attend Sabbath School, I can NOT attend worship services, communion services, business meetings, elections or any activity that takes place in the church building.   Genuine discipline is quite different . . .

“An erring member may be placed under censure by a vote of the church at any duly called business meeting of the church, provided the member concerned has been notified . . . He/she is not deprived, however, of the privilege of sharing the blessings of Sabbath School, Church worship, or the ordinances of the Lord’s house. A vote of censure must mot carry any provision involving severance of church membership in case of failure to comply with the conditions imposed . . .”
Church Manual, page 194   (17th edition)

In effect, I have been disfellowshiped from my church.
The law is New York gives to the owner of the property the right to ask the police to deal with trespassers. My pastor does not own the property, the church board does not own the property, the owner is the Greater New York Corporation of SDA and G. Earl Knight is the president of this corporation.
The police told me that if the owner gave me permission to be on the property, the matter is over and they would not respond to calls from the church board to deal with me as a trespasser.
Therefore, this counterfeit discipline needs the cooperation of the owner of the property in order to obtain the cooperation of the police. The pastor has no legitimate authority to enforce their punishment of keeping me out of the church.
Just as the Jewish leaders made false accusations against Christ they still needed the cooperation of the Roman governor to find Jesus guilty and punish him. My pastor brought his false accusations to the police, he bypassed the church board and I was not given a chance to defend myself. The church board did not bring any charges to the congregation as required in the church manual. The church manual requires them to call a business meeting and allow me to defend myself from the charges against me.

Church Manual, page 197   (17th edition)
"It is a fundamental principle of justice that every member has the right to be heard in his/her own defense and to introduce evidence and produce witnesses. No church should vote to remove a member from church membership under circumstances that deprive an individual of this right. . .”

What is happening here is that Elder Knight is cooperating with this system of false discipline and he is cooperating with the work of Satan.
Elder Knight is not dealing with this situation the way Jesus Christ did . . .

Satan summons all his forces and throws his whole power into the combat. Why is it that he meets with no greater resistance? Why are the soldiers of Christ so sleepy and indifferent? Because they have so little real connection with Christ; because they are so destitute of His Spirit. Sin is not to them repulsive and abhorrent, as it was to their Master. They do not meet it, as did Christ, with decisive and determined resistance. They do not realize the exceeding evil and malignity of sin, and they are blinded both to the character and the power of the prince of darkness. There is little enmity against Satan and his works, because there is so great ignorance concerning his power and malice, and the vast extent of his warfare against Christand His church. Multitudes are deluded here. They do not know that their enemy is a mighty general who controls the minds of evil angels, and that with well-matured plans and skillful movements he is warring against Christ to prevent the salvation of souls. Among professed Christians, and even among ministers of the gospel, there is heard scarcely a reference to Satan, except perhaps an incidental mention in the pulpit. They overlook the evidences of his continual activity and success; they neglect the many warnings of his subtlety; they seem to ignore his very existence.  Great Controversy,  page 507.3

By cooperating with the work of Satan, Elder Knight has entered onto “Satan’s ground”

In case you do not agree that Satan is the author of this counterfeit discipline, then let’s move on with the appeal to another possibility. That Pastor ______ as the author of this counterfeit discipline.
Therefore, Elder Knight by his decision, is allowing these violations of the church manual and violations of my rights as a member to continue. His decision shows that he has taken sides against the church manual and is now on the side of Pastor _______ .
The Church Board does not have the right to bar my entry to the church and they called the police without valid reason, this is a violation of the church manual.

“The church board may recommend to the church in a business meeting that removal of a member from church membership, but under no circumstances does a church board have the right to take final action. . .” 

Church Manual, page 197   (17th edition)

“An erring member may be placed under censure by a vote of the church at any duly called business meeting of the church, provided the member concerned has been notified . . . He/she is not deprived, however, of the privilege of sharing the blessings of Sabbath School, Church worship, or the ordinances of the Lord’s house. A vote of censure must mot carry any provision involving severance of church membership in case of failure to comply with the conditions imposed . . .”
Church Manual, page 194   (17th edition)

Unless there was a SECRET BUSINESS MEETING, I am still a member in regular standing – therefore – I should be able to attend my church. Even if there was a secret business meeting I should still be allowed to attend my church.
Preventing me from entering the church building upon threat of arrest and time in jail is the more severe than proper church discipline and although my name may remain on the church roll I have been disfellowshiped from my church,

"Removing an individual from membership in the church, the body of Christ, is always a serious matter; it is the ultimate in the discipline that the church can administer; it is the extreme measure that can be meted out by the church. Only after the instruction given in this chapter has been followed, and after all possible efforts have been made to win and restore him/her to right paths should this kind of discipline be used. It would be advisable to secure counsel from the pastor of the church or, if he is not available, from the conference/mission/field president before any action is taken by the church, when such a step is contemplated.”

Church Manual, page 194   (17th edition)

What they have done to me is actually more severe than the “Ultimate in the discipline that the church can administer.” They have gone beyond what is in accordance with the directions given in God’s word and in the church manual and this will not be ratified in heaven. Therefore, the church is operating in opposition to proper procedure.
 I have in effect been disfellowshiped by the pastor who does not have the authority, or the approval of the church to do this. This same pastor has an extensive history since 2004 of ignoring the church manual and proper church procedures and 18 grievances have been presented to the local conference since 2004.
Accusations of misconduct by Pastor _______ have been brought to the Union Conference in May 2009 by ______________ and now six new accusations of misconduct have been registered with the GNYC in the last three weeks. Unfortunately, Elder Knight continues to refuse to follow Working Policy L-60 section 10 which is the policy that deals with accusations of misconduct by a pastor.
Elder Knight has taken sides and should NOT sit in the seat of judgment of all the issues and grievances from me and the other members. He should sit at Pastor _______'s  table and defend him, and someone who is impartial should be the Chairman of the Grievance Committee, when there is one. Someone who is impartial should determine how to proceed with determining a process that these 40 grievances and complaints can be heard fairly and impartially.
Since I intend to attend my church this next Sabbath, I will give you this week to consider this appeal and reach a decision. If I do not hear from you I will send letters to the Executive Committee of GNYC to start the process for accusations of professional misconduct by Elder Knight in accordance with Working Policy L-60 section 15. Of course, if you reach a decision after I send the letters, then the Executive Committee can be guided by your decision and even Elder Knight may reconsider his decision.
Last week I was referred to Ivan Williams by Larry Evans and I called Ivan on Monday; his secretary referred me to Carolyn Forrest in the NAD Secretatiat. She is at the Union Secretaries Meeting this week. I intend to ask her to explain this working policy to me. But the letters will go out on Friday.
I hope to hear from you this week
Name is Withheld at request of Author
This page has been edited and approved for posting on website

Editor's Notes:  Church Manual quotes are from 17th edition (new edition not yet distributed)  
     Error in 7th paragraph "Satan does not create". Satan did create something
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