Study of Church Governance and Unity - Sept. 2016

               Study of Church Governance and Unity   by GC Secretariat               
                           published September 25, 2016 
 ( PDF file )

 

                         Table of Contents

     I.  Introduction .............................................................................................. 1      read  Introduction

    II.  Unity and Policy ....................................................................................... 2

         1.  The Biblical Doctrine of Unity ................................................................ 2

         2.  Unity in the Writings of Ellen G White ................................................... 4 

         3.  The Role of Policy ................................................................................. 7

             a.  Adventist Policy Documents .............................................................. 7  

             b. The Character of Working Policy ....................................................... 8 

         4.  Policy and Unity ...................................................................................  9

    III.  Diversity, Unity, and Authority ............................................................. 10

         1.  Diversity in Inspired Writings ............................................................... 10 

         2.  Decision-Making and Diversity in the Early Church ............................ 12 

         3.  Diversity and Authority in the Seventh-day Adventist Church ............. 13

             a.  Delegated Authority ......................................................................... 14

             b. Tacit Diversity .................................................................................... 17

             c. Active Diversity .................................................................................. 17   

         4.  Acting Collaboratively, not Unilaterally  ................................................ 19

   IV.  Authority in the Spirit of Prophecy ....................................................... 20  

        1. The 1875 Testimonies ............................................................................ 20

        2. Developments in the 1890's ................................................................... 22   

        3. The 1901 Statements ............................................................................. 24

        4. Kellogg and “Kingly Power” .................................................................... 26 

        5. Later Pronouncements ........................................................................... 26

        6. Analysis .................................................................................................. 28

           a. 1875 (i) ................................................................................................ 28

           b. 1875 (ii) ............................................................................................... 28

           c. 1909 .................................................................................................... 28 

           d. 1911 .................................................................................................... 29 

    V.  Unilateralism   ........................................................................................  29

       1. Biblical Principles ................................................................................... 29

       2. Ellen G White’s Warnings ...................................................................... 30

   VI.  Application  ...........................................................................................  34

       1.  Representation and Decision-Making ................................................... 34

       2.  Invalid Practices .................................................................................... 35

            a.  Invalid Ordinations ........................................................................... 35

            b.  Credentials and Licenses ................................................................ 35

       3.  How Then Should We Live? ................................................................. 39

   VII.  Conclusion  ..........................................................................................  41

         Conclusion    .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     41

         End Notes   .............................................................................................  43

          See  Unity in Mission document  which was approved on Oct. 11, 2016

                        Return to Church Manual section

Related Information

Church Manual Chapter 1 - 18th Edition with changes shown Church Manual Changes Study in Reinstatement of Membership Working Policy L-60 section 15 Writings of EGW in the Church Manual 3. Role of Policy II. Unity and Policy III - Diversity, Unity and Authority Introduction IV. Authority in Spirit of Prophecy V. Unilateralism VI. Application VII.  Conclusion