Study of Church Governance and Unity by GC Secretariat |
published September 25, 2016
Policy and Unity Ultimately, of course, it is the power of the Holy Spirit that holds us together, but the Holy Spirit works through human instrumentalities and avenues. Policy is one of a number of factors that promotes unity in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. (39) We are united by our:
► Commitment to Christ
► Common biblical beliefs [ end of page 9 ]
► Shared passion for mission to the world
► Joint weekly study of the Sabbath School Bible Study Guide
► Interdependent worldwide organizational structure
► Mutually agreed practices and policies
What binds Seventh-day Adventists together, ultimately, are our shared beliefs and our common mission “to call all people to become disciples of Jesus Christ, to proclaim the everlasting gospel embraced by the three angels’ messages, and to prepare the world for Christ’s soon return.”(40) Church policies strengthen all the other unifying factors. They are tools to enable every member to become ever more effective in fulfilling our prophetic mission and to become ever more united in “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” (2 Cor 13:14). Upholding the provisions of denominational policy does not, then, denote legalism (with all the negative connotations that holds); rather, it reflects a desire to draw closer to God and to each other, and to most efficiently lift up Jesus Christ before the world.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church takes seriously the doctrine of unity and unreservedly echoes Christ’s appeal to God in John 17:23, praying that the Church “may be brought to complete unity” as a witness to the world.
Footnotes: 39 to 40
39. Cf. “An Appeal and Appreciation to all Church Entities and Members from the General Conference and Division Officers Regarding the 2015 General Conference Session Vote on Ordination,” recorded (not voted as an action) by Annual Council, Oct. 11, 2015, in GCC Minutes, 2015: 102–103.
Continue to III. Diversity, Unity and Authority
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