June 13, 2022

Delegates Reaffirm Role of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy

Voted resolution and statement underline pivotal place both have in the Adventist Church.

Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review
[Photo by Mark Froelich]

Delegates to the 2022 General Conference (GC) Session in St. Louis, Missouri, United States, voted a Resolution on the Holy Bible and a Statement of Confidence in the Writings of Ellen G. White. Both votes took place during the eleventh business meeting, on the afternoon of June 9.

Resolution on the Bible

The resolution on the Bible states, in part, that delegates to the GC Session express their “conviction that the Bible is the inspired and revealed Word of God.” It also states that “through the Holy Scriptures, God has revealed Himself and His will to humanity,” adding that “the whole Bible is inspired and must be understood as a whole in order to arrive at correct conclusions as to the truth on any revealed topic.”

In another part of the resolution, delegates emphasize that they “believe that the Bible is the prophetic Word of God,” and add, “We commit ourselves to prayerfully study and follow the Bible, the living and effective Word of God.”

In the last two paragraphs, the document states in part that delegates “also believe that the Bible leads … to a living relationship with God through Jesus Christ,” and adds, “We express our deep gratitude to the Lord because in the Scriptures we find hope to live amidst the challenges of the world.” It ends up by stating that “the Bible tells of God’s plan,” including when He will “put an end to sin and sinners forever and establish righteousness in the new earth.”

Statement of Confidence in the Writings of Ellen G. White

Likewise, delegates voted to approve the Statement of Confidence in the Writings of Ellen G. White, which, among other items, emphasizes the connection between the Bible and her writings. In it, delegates state that they “express … deep gratitude for God’s prophetic guidance of the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” adding, “we believe that the writings of Ellen G. White were inspired by the Holy Spirit and are Christ centered and Bible based.”

Delegates also state that they commit themselves “to prayerfully study the writings of Ellen G. White with hearts willing to follow [her] counsels and instructions,” adding, “we believe that the study of her writings brings us closer to God and His infallible Word — the Scriptures — providing us a transforming and faith-uplifting experience.”

In the final paragraph, delegates state that they rejoice for what has been accomplished through the circulation of her writings “in both printed and electronic formats.” It adds, “We encourage the continued development of both worldwide and local strategies to foster the circulation and study of her writings in as many languages as possible.”

The statement ends by saying, “The study of these writings is a powerful means to strengthen and prepare God’s people to face the challenges of these last days as we approach Christ’s soon return.”

The Votes

The positive votes came after a lively debate, which included, among others, motions to refer back the Resolution on the Holy Bible, to table the motion on the Statement of Confidence in the Writings of Ellen G. White, and to reconsider the first referral.

Delegates who approached the microphones on the floor stated they did not have a problem with the documents themselves but with some specific phrases or words that, they thought, could be replaced or expressed better.

After an animated back-and-forth, delegates passed a motion to reconsider the referral on the Resolution on the Bible, and finally voted to approve it by 88.8 percent. After delegates approved to take the Statement of Confidence on the Writings of Ellen G. White back to the table, they approved the document by 84.9 percent.