GC Blog Intro: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

GC Blog Intro: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Five years ago, I was preparing myself for my first General Conference Session. Our family had recently moved from Salt Lake City to Detroit in order to take up duties in the area of international student ministry with CAMPUS. While I spent most of my time during GC in the exhibit hall working two ministry booths, I left with the sense that a signi

GC Blog Intro: Session Overview

GC Blog Intro: Session Overview

It’s Wednesday here in San Antonio, and final preparations for this year’s General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists are underway. Registration has opened for more than 2,500 delegates and special guests from all over the world who will be serving as representatives of the church. Every day there will be exciting things happening that will affec

Has the Church Misplaced Its Priorities? Why We Need to Refocus in the Wake of the Same-Sex Marriage Decision

Has the Church Misplaced Its Priorities? Why We Need to Refocus in the Wake of the Same-Sex Marriage Decision

In a landmark decision last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of same-sex marriage. The Court has made gay marriage a fundamental constitutional right for everyone in the United States. Writing for the majority, Justice Kennedy said, No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devot

Why We’re Not Ready for a Doctrinal Vote on Women’s Ordination

Why We’re Not Ready for a Doctrinal Vote on Women’s Ordination

I do not enjoy discussing or talking about the question of women’s ordination publicly, as it always seems to stir up unpleasant conversations these days, and I dislike controversies with my fellow believers and friends, with whom I so often agree. Nevertheless, the issue is upon us, and so I’ve decided to offer a few words about why, sadly, I fear

Who’s Representing Me at GC Session?

Who’s Representing Me at GC Session?

If you want to know how the 2,566 delegates for the 2015 General Conference (GC) session are apportioned worldwide, you can wade through the official explanation, which seeks to distill the exceedingly complex formula in the GC Constitution. If you prefer a quick graphical breakdown of delegates’ gender and age and the geographic regions they repre

The Difficult Road to San Antonio

The Difficult Road to San Antonio

As the world church nears its 60th General Conference Session, the subject of women’s ordination keeps getting louder and louder (did we forget about another crucial vote on Fundamental Belief #6, about creation?). A plethora of materials (I won’t even attempt to catalog all of them) from both pro and anti camps are circulating via the mail and the

Curing Sadventism, Part 1: Don’t Laugh

Curing Sadventism, Part 1: Don’t Laugh

Pastor Doug Batchelor, president of Amazing Facts, is one of Seventh-day Adventism’s most popular televangelists. He emphasizes end-time prophecy and champions conservative views on issues such as jewelry and women’s ordination, to the delight of his 75,000-plus Facebook followers. On March 18, 2014, those faithful followers’ world slid off its axi

Clerical Vestments . . . or Revolution?

Clerical Vestments . . . or Revolution?

In his commentary Luke for Everyone, N.T. Wright shares an anecdote, perhaps apocryphal though repeated by many, about the Russian Orthodox Church during pre-communist Russia. Apparently, in October of 1917, a contentious, drawn-out debate broke out among the church’s leadership during its synod in Moscow. What was it about? The color of clerical v