Jonathan Martin 0

No Unity Without Transparency

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While acknowledging that local conferences of the Seventh-day Adventist church have a duty to protect the pulpits of the churches under their administration, we the undersigned affirm that the Seventh-day Adventist church is a world-wide movement and not a loose association of like-minded local conferences. For this reason, all ordained Seventh-day Adventist ministers are presumptively fit to preach from any Adventist pulpit in the world and local leaders who wish to exclude any such ministers from preaching in their churches must only do so by providing thoughtful reasons, supported by cogent, credible, and persuasive evidence, to support their claim that such a minister will harm the unity or mission of the local churches if permitted to preach from their pulpits. We the undersigned further affirm that Biblical unity is not built on the exercise of power but on trust and persuasion. For this reason, lack of transparency from church leadership causes greater harm to unity in the church than inadequate guarding of the pulpit since lack of transparency from church leadership opens the door to the possibility of church office being used to advance private agendas. While the devil has always worked covertly to advance his schemes, Christ has always worked and taught openly and has thus given the perfect pattern for true servant leadership. Finally, we the undersigned affirm that although we may all have different roles in the church, we are all fundamentally equal in Christ as a priesthood of all believers and no governing body is authorized by Scripture to make decisions about who is or is not fit to preach from Adventist pulpits without carefully explaining their reasons, subject to legitimate privacy concerns.

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