Introduction (on page ix to xxiii of the 17th Edition) has been changed to
Chapter 1: Why a Church Manual
The previous Chapter 1: Authority of the Church and the Church Manual has been merged into the new Chapter 1.
The 18th edition does not have an Introduction section.
A paragraph has been added emphasizing the importance of order in the church. This paragraph says . . .
God is a God of order as evidences in His works or creation and redemption. Consequently, order belongs to the essence of His church. Order is achieved through principles and regulations that guide the Church in its internal operations and in the fulfillment of its mission the the world. In order for it to be a successful ecclesiastical organization the service of the Lord and humanity, it needs order, rule, and discipline. Appears on page 17 of the 18th Edition
An addition clarifying the differences between the notes and the main manual.
The content of each chapter is of worldwide value and is to be followed by every church organization, congregation, and member. Recognizing the need for variation in some sections, additional explanatory material, presented as guideline and examples, appears as Notes at the end of the Church Manual. The notes have subheadings corresponding to chapter subheadings and page numbers of the main text. Appears on page 18 of the 18th Edition
There is an addition that explains more of the role of the Church Manual.
The standards and practices of the church are based upon the principles of the Holy Scriptures. These principles, underscored by the Spirit of Prophecy, are set forth in this Church Manual. They are to be followed in all matters pertaining to the administration and operation of local churches. The Church Manual also defines the relationship that exists between the local congregation and the conference or other entities of Seventh-day Adventists denominational organization. No attempt should be made to set up standards of membership or to make, or attempt to enforce, rules or regulations for local church operations which are contrary to these decisions adopted by the General Conference in session and which are set forth in this Church Manual. Appears on page 18, 19 of the 18th Edition
There is an addition of a few words explaining the role of the notes section. The few words have been added to the existing text found on page xxi, paragraph 1.
The 2000 General Conference Session authorized the reclassification of some existing Church Manual material, into the Notes sections as guidance and examples rather than mandatory material, and approved the process for making changes. Changes in the Church Manual, except for the Notes and editorial pages, can be made only by action of a General Conference Session, where delegates of the world Church have voice and vote. Appears on page 19 of the 18th Edition
There is a Section titled 'Making Changes' that describes the procedure for changing the church manual.
If a local church, conference or union conference / mission wishes to propose a Church Manual revision, it should submit its proposal to the next constituent level for counsel and study. If that level approves the proposal, it submits the suggested revision to the next level for additional evaluation. If the various levels approve the proposal, it comes before the General Conference Church Manual Committee, which considers all recommendations. If the Church Manual Committee approves a revision, it prepares it for presentation at an Annual Council and / or General Conference Session. Appears on page 19 of the 18th Edition
Added an outline of the method for making non-substantive editorial changes to the main manual.
The Church Manual Committee reports proposed non-substantive editorial changes to the main content of the Church Manual to an Annual Council of the General Conference Executive Committee, which may give final approval. However, in the event the Annual Council determines by one-third vote that an editorial change substantively alters the meaning of a massage, the proposed change must go to the General Conference Session. Appears on page 19, 20 of the 18th Edition
Where to Get Advice ( page 20 in 18th edition )
Church officers and leaders, pastors, and members should consult with their conference for advice pertaining to the operating of their congregation or on questions arising from the Church Manual. If they do not reach mutual understanding, they should consult with their union conference/ mission for clarification.
This was changed from 17th edition, page xxii which said,
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.
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