ELLA SIMMONS: I call to order the morning business session. [Prayer.]
We will continue our work on the fundamental beliefs.
I call Artur Stele and his team, Ángel Rodríguez and Bill Knott, to join us. The rules of participation on which we agreed yesterday and observed during the session indicate there is a two-minute limit on individual contributions from the floor, and we add an additional minute on contributions from the floor when translation is needed.
The standard rule of order for repeat visits to the microphone is that if no one is in the queue and no one else wishes to speak, you may do so.
BERIT ELKJAER: It is my experience that our new Adventists and our young people in the church have huge difficulty relating to our fundamental beliefs in the present formulation. One reason could be that we are dealing with fundamental beliefs written 35 years ago. In the meantime, we have received several new translations of the Bible.
I move that we set up a committee to rewrite our fundamental beliefs in a modern language.
This committee is not just to change a word here and there, but to work through the fundamental beliefs and rewrite them in a modern language and maybe even shorten them.
ELLA SIMMONS: I ask Dr. Stele to share with you something that is in the making that might be helpful.
ARTUR STELE: These fundamental beliefs are written in such a way that would, in a short way, present what we believe. It might not be the best evangelistic tool.
We intend, after these statements are accepted, to work on a book that will present them in a language that is understandable for the young generation.
ELLA SIMMONS: We have made note of this information and this request, and it will go to Steering Committee.
LARRY BOGGESS: I would request that as these items are presented we listen to the body, because I think that is what we are here for, to give guidance as we move on these various agenda items.
ELLA SIMMONS: We will move to the report from the small committee.
ARTUR STELE: Yesterday, additional work was requested. We have worked hard, and we are ready to present some of the results of our labor.
There are four fundamental beliefs that have been referred back: numbers 1, 6, 8, and 24.
Let’s start with the fundamental belief 24. A suggestion was made yesterday that we replace one word that appears twice in the context of typology. The suggestion was to replace the word “symbolized” with “typified.”
We have therefore made the suggested change, and I move it.
ELLA SIMMONS: We have a second.
RAY ROENNFELDT: I would remind the delegates that the word “typified” is not used commonly in the English language these days, whereas “symbolized” is used. So I would recommend we keep the original wording.
BHAJU RAM SHRESTHA: I prefer to use “typified” because what it is in the context antitype and type. “Symbolized” is a very broad term, but “typified” is specific.
REINALDO SIQUEIRA: I would like to support the use of the word “typified.” The Fundamental Beliefs have a specific purpose for the church, which is to maintain the clarity of our beliefs.
ISTRAHEL SCHOREA: The word “typified” perhaps gives a better meaning. But for us from the Netherlands, English is not our first language, and if we have to translate this word, it may be problematic. And maybe other countries will be dealing with the same problem, so we want to stay with the word “symbolized.”
BERTOLD HIBNER: I would like to ask about translation. If we would were to translate the Fundamental Beliefs into another language, and we have difficulties to find the exact word, how much liberty do we have to adopt another word in such language?
ARTUR STELE: The intent of the Fundamental Beliefs is to present them in the English language as clearly as possible. Every other language really needs to do the best that is possible to present the intended meaning.
STEFAN GIULIANI: The comments seem redundant, so I move the previous question.
ELLA SIMMONS: I’m reminding you that we’re voting to cease debate. [The previous question was voted; debate ceased.]
[The main motion was voted.]
ARTUR STELE: We now go to the fundamental belief 8, “The Great Controversy.” There was a suggestion yesterday to replace the word “worldwide flood” by “global flood.”
We have implemented the change. I therefore move the adoption of fundamental belief 8.
MEGAN MOLÉ: Yesterday I presented a suggestion to the committee regarding lines 28 and 29 that I deemed necessary.
I was just wondering if this was considered by the committee.
ARTUR STELE: Yes, we have considered all the recommendations, and decided to accept only one change.
[Fundamental belief 8 was voted.]
ELLA SIMMONS: Dr. Stele, the next item, please.
ARTUR STELE: Now we go to the fundamental belief 1. Yesterday there was a request to reconsider the word “final” since it has a chronological aspect to it. We revised that word and also made two other changes. The word “final” was replaced by “supreme.” We also changed the expression “holy men” to “inspired authors,” and the sentence “God has committed to man” we replaced with “humanity.”
ROGER ROBERTSEN: The committee has been working hard to find a better word, but for me it’s still not good enough. I would like sola scriptura within the document. So we should use the word “sole” instead of “only.”
ARTUR STELE: We have considered many words, and this is the one that we have retained.
JIM HOWARD: Thank you, Madam Chair. I too would like to speak to line 22. The terminology “the uninspired authors” is, I don’t believe, what we would want to do to reflect what the Spirit of Prophecy uses when referring to those who wrote the Bible.
GERARD DAMSTEEGT: I appreciate the efforts for inclusive language. But as I reiterated yesterday, inclusive language is being used if you can substitute “male” and “female.” In this case you cannot, because there were no females that wrote any of the Bible.
If we want to maintain the sola scriptura principle we have to go back to “men.”
ARTUR STELE: Because a number of speakers have pointed out that this is a direct biblical reference, we should stay with the Scriptures.
This is exactly what we have intended to do. The reference comes from 2 Peter 1:20, 21. There Peter uses the Greek word anthropos.
[In 1 Peter 3:1-5, speaking to wives about adornment, Peter says in verse 4: “let the hidden person . . .” or “hidden man . . .”; the Greek word there is anthropos.]
When we go to 2 Peter 1:20, 21, Peter uses anthropos. But he doesn’t say that men have written the prophecy. He speaks that anthropos have spoken the prophecy. And the Bible states about at least 10 women prophets, and a number of prophecies are really presented as they were spoken; for example, by Anna, by Miriam, and others.
And so to be biblically correct, here the best way to interpret, to translate, the word anthropos is to be gender-inclusive. And so we believe that if you want to be biblically correct, this is the way to go.
JOHNG HAENG KWON: Mrs. White made a distinction between authors and writers. Back then God was referred to as author of the Bible, and the men who wrote the Bible were referred to as writers.
Mrs. White, in Selected Messages, book 1, page 25, says, “The Bible points to God as its author; yet it was written by human hands.” And in Selected Messages, book 1, page 21; “God, as a writer, is not represented [in the Bible]. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen.”
PASSMORE MULAMBO: On line 22 we use 2 Peter 1:20, 21, but we tweak it. And I would suggest that instead of tweaking what we want to represent, could we not state the verse as it is within Scripture? I believe this fundamental belief is foundational to scriptural authority, which influence all other fundamental beliefs that we have.
I move that instead of tweaking the language of 2 Peter 1:20, 21, we actually state the verse in quotation marks.
ELLA SIMMONS: Or suggest it.
ERIC HENSEL: I would rather see the word “sole” instead of “definitive” in line 26 in order to make it clear that SDAs stay on sola scriptura ground.
KWABENA DONKOR: My comment has to do with the replacement of the word “final” with “supreme.” I think we are dealing with a fundamental belief that has to deal with the use of Scripture in the church and in theology, also. I’m wondering whether you’ve considered the word “normative.”
I hear talk about sola scriptura. It means that we are looking at the Bible as a source of revelation but also the normative source.
Would you consider the word “normative” instead of “supreme”?
EDISON SAMRAJ: In understanding truth and keeping the Reformation principle sola scriptura as our foundational principle, I think it would be in order for us to give focus that there’s nothing beyond or above it——it’s the final word.
The word “ultimate” is more contative of finality than even “supreme.”
L. JAMES GIBSON: I speak to line 22 on the word “authors.” The use of the word “authors” on line 22 does not exclude the concept that only men were involved.
We could substitute words such as “writers” or even “people” and accomplish the same thing.
JUAN BOSCO VANEGA: When it comes to line 22, it refers to “authors.” Especially in Spanish, it would be a bit of confusion, taken in mind, with Ellen G. White. She presents God as the only author of the Bible. This is why the apostle Peter says that the doctrines are already explained. It would be better to leave it as it is, as Peter says, “men of God.”
DAVID RIPLEY: Perhaps it is the word “authors” that may be tripping us up. If we make this gender-exclusive, then we have to be saying that the words of Miriam were not inspired or the words of the mother of Jesus, Mary, or those of Elizabeth were not inspired. We need to say that those who spoke and wrote were all inspired.
JEROEN TUINSTRA: The Bible originated as an oral tradition, so the stories of the Bible were told and therefore prophesied, and God has never been gender-exclusive with prophets.
Today and yesterday it was claimed that the Spirit of Prophecy has authority over the formulation of doctrine.
Ellen White says that we are not to use her writings to settle doctrinal issues. The testimonies of Sister White should not be carried to the front.
“The Testimonies are not to take the place of the
Word. . . . Let all prove their positions from the Scriptures and substantiate every point they claim as truth from the revealed Word of God” [Evangelism, p. 256]. “But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. . . . Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain “Thus saith the Lord” in its support” [The Great Controversy, p. 595].
We’re dealing here with the Bible. Let’s stick to the Bible.
ELLA SIMMONS: Bill Knott will tell us the background information that would assist the body in understanding the motion. It is a clarification.
BILL KNOTT: The committee is fully aware that we live in charged and contentious times, when others who mishandle Scripture attempt to read into it various agendas of social or political or cultural consequence. I can tell you, as someone who has functioned with this committee for the past four and a half years, that we have carefully, prayerfully worked to exclude those other social and cultural agendas from the work in front of you today. Our focus has been and continues to be one of integrity with the meaning of the Word of God and doing it in a way that Seventh-day Adventists around the world can wholeheartedly embrace and affirm this central understanding of the Scriptures at the heart of our faith.
Many others, perhaps, have sometimes assumed that other agendas were creeping in. As someone who’s been with this process throughout, I can assure you, we have made every attempt to exclude those.
ELLA SIMMONS: Thank you. It is clear, it is carried.
[The motion to accept the fundamental belief on creation as proposed was approved.]
ARTUR STELE: We will give some introductory remarks so that our delegates will understand the work that was done in order to accomplish fundamental belief 6, “Creation.”
We have received a number of suggestions yesterday. We have considered them, taking into consideration also that our work on the fundamental belief 6 assignment to harmonize fundamental belief 6 with the statement Affirmation of Creation.
ÁNGEL RODRÍGUEZ: We made an effort to exclude, as much as possible, terminology that was ambiguous, so that intentionally the statement is rejecting evolutionary thinking, theistic evolution, or any way of interpreting Genesis 1 along evolutionary lines.
That is my first point. I want to make two more comments. The second has to do with the use of the word “recent.” This word was found in the document Affirmation of Creation. We took it from there. We put it here. The word is not used to date creation. In other words, the intention of the use of this word is not to date the divine act of creation. If I’m not mistaken, the church has never officially dated the divine act of creation as recorded in Genesis 1.
The intention of the word is to help establish the belief that the creation itself took place not too long ago.
We acknowledge that the genealogies found in the Bible are not complete, but they provide enough evidence to indicate that creation took place not too long ago.
My third comment is about the emphasis on the literal reading of the creation narrative. It is a historical description of the event of creation.
BILL KNOTT: You will note that the initial sentence that had been proposed in the document as of yesterday has been removed, the one that says, “God is the creator of all things.” It is not because we do not believe in God’s creative activity in all things. But one helpful comment identified that there were certain things in the material world formed by human beings that should not be laid at the charge of God; thus that sentence is removed. Now the beginning sentence is: “God has revealed in Scripture the authentic and historical account of His creative activity.”
Next we heard from a number of respondents on the floor that we needed to identify carefully the historic Adventist understanding that God, at an earlier date, created angels and other portions of the universe before moving to the creation of Planet Earth. And we sought to embrace their contributions in the sentence that now begins: “He created the universe, and in a recent six-day creation the Lord made “the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them,” and rested on the seventh day. The recitation of Exodus 20:11. The many comments made yesterday identifying the need for an understanding of sequence are embraced in what is now the second sentence of the document.
The third sentence, “Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His creative work, performed and completed during six literal days that together with the Sabbath constituted the same unit of time that we call a week today.” This merely conjoined the ideas that we had been mandated as a committee by the session of 2010 to bring together the Affirmation of Creation and the previous language of the fundamental belief “Creation.”
And from there, the document reads, as it did yesterday, “The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was ‹very good,’ declaring the glory of God.”
I hope that short rationale for the changes that the committee considered and is bringing back to you today will underscore the point that throughout this five-year process we have been listening intently to those who are offering positive suggestions for improving the language of this fundamental belief.
ARTUR STELE: I would like to move this suggested wording of the fundamental belief 6, “Creation.”
TED N. C. WILSON: We appreciate the opportunity to share about this particular fundamental belief, and I want to thank you for the wonderful way in which you have progressed through these fundamental beliefs.
This particular item was voted to be brought to the General Conference for discussion and refinement. I personally very much endorse it.
There is an interesting observation about the word “recent.”
We have come to the point where we need to clarify that this process was not old. So “recent” is supposed to mean “not old.”
Personally I firmly believe in what the Spirit of Prophecy has indicated and with what we have understood in terms of biblical historicity that the earth is approximately 6,000 years old.
ELLA SIMMONS: We are ready for comments.
JAMES STANDISH: We heard in our discussion that there is some confusion over what “day” means in Exodus 20. “For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day.” If the first six days weren’t literal days, why do we rest on a literal seventh day?
MARVIN WRAY: I am troubled by the inclusion of the word “recent” in there because it does not clarify. To me this makes it more ambiguous. It’s not a biblical term.
When I go back and teach my congregation, who’s going to monitor whether I’m teaching it according to a formal definition or according to my understanding and my interpretation?
ROGER ROBERTSEN: I really don’t believe in in a six-day creation week. I believe in a seven-day creation week. The Bible says that God finished His creation on the seventh day. The Sabbath is not a symbol; it’s reality. And we, as Sabbathkeepers, Seventh-day Advent-ists, we should use the phrase “seven-day creation week,” because the Sabbath, even though it is invisible, is still reality.
ARTUR STELE: We felt that the reference to the Sabbath several times down below in the statement takes care of it. If you take the statement as a whole, it raises no question.
KATHRYN PROFFITT: There is confusion with respect to science versus what the Bible says. God does not have to operate in terms of how empirical science humanly defines creation. It really is important when we talk about such words as “recent” or “literal days.” “Even to even” means sunset to sunset.
If God could not speak our life into existence, how can He re-create us instantly?
It is important that we as a church clarify, for not only the world, but also for our teachers and professors, so they know clearly where we stand. There is confusion as to what our church teaches, and this motion clarifies it according to the Bible.
CLIFFORD GOLDSTEIN: There have been some comments regarding why we need to be so specific with the language, and yet it’s very important. This issue didn’t arise in a vacuum.
For decades now there has been an attempt, one way or another, to try to bring into our church an ideology that is completely, totally foreign and alien to biblical principle. We are doing this purposely to exclude evolution.
On line 35 I would suggest putting “and then” in a recent six-day creation the Lord made the heaven, the earth. I do think we want to be clear that we do not believe that the universe is 6,000 years old. Just adding one word there would help make this distinction clear.
FLOYD MORRIS: My understanding in terms of the church’s position as articulated by the president just now is that we believe that the earth has been created 6,000 years ago, approximately. Now, if it is that I’m to go by the English language, it does not accord with the use of the word “recent.”
I have a suggestion that because of my visual challenge I’d like my wife to read.
MRS. MORRIS: “He created the universe and in our understanding of the six-day creation,” eliminating “recent.”
BILL KNOTT: The suggestion was made from the floor and had been considered as part of the committee’s deliberations last evening about how to indicate the concept of sequence in the second sentence. We concluded, after a lengthy discussion, that the clause “He created the universe,” with a comma, and a subsequent clause that begins “and in a recent six-day creation” in fact illustrates the sequence that Adventists have historically believed about God creating the angels and other portions of the universe and then at a later date moving to a six-day creation of the planet. However, the insertion of the word “later” seemed to us unnecessary given the two clauses separated by the comma.
ADRIAN PLATTS: My problem is with the sentence “He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of His creative work, performed and completed during six literal days that together with the Sabbath constituted the same unit of time that we call a week today.”
We measure time according to a rising and setting sun. When the sun has risen and set seven times, a week has elapsed. The week that is considered the template had a rising and setting sun on only three, possibly four, days, because the sun was created on the fourth day. This means there were only three or four literal days, and not six.
I would ask the committee to reconsider this wording.
ISRAEL KAFEERO: The word “recent” is necessary. And for that reason, I call the question to this motion.
ELLA SIMMONS: We have a second? The motion is to move to the previous question.
This vote calls for two-thirds, and no debate.
All in favor raise your green cards.
All opposed the same sign.
The motion is carried.
Dr. Stele, remind us of the motion.
ARTUR STELE: The motion is to accept the fundamental belief 6, to amend it as was presented.
ELLA SIMMONS: All in favor of the motion, raise your green cards.
All opposed, the same sign.
It is carried.
ELLA SIMMONS: We’re going to item 143, “Statement of Confidence in the Writings of Ellen G. White.”
ARTUR STELE: We are making a special attempt to show that the Scriptures and the writings of Ellen G. White are relevant. So it’s not an attempt to present in totality, but really something that we would like to emphasize.
I am reading “Statement of Confidence” on page 71. “As the delegates to the 2015 General Conference session in San Antonio, Texas, we express our deep gratitude to God for the continuing presence of the various spiritual gifts among His people (1 Cor. 12:4-11; Eph. 4:11-14) and particularly for the prophetic guidance we have received through the life and ministry of Ellen White (1827-1915).
“On the centennial of her death, we rejoice that her writings have been made available around the globe in many languages and in a variety of printed and electronic formats.
“We affirm our conviction that her writings are divinely inspired, truly Christ-centered, and Bible-based. Rather than replacing the Bible, they uplift the normative character of Scripture and correct inaccurate interpretations of it derived from tradition, human reason, personal experience, and modern culture.
“We commit ourselves to study the writings of Ellen G. White prayerfully and with hearts willing to follow the counsels and instructions we find there. Whether individually, in the family, in small groups, in the classroom, or in the church, a combined study of the Bible and her writings provide a transforming and faith-uplifting experience.
“We encourage the continued development of both worldwide and local strategies to foster the circulation of her writings inside and outside the church. The study of these writings is a powerful means to strengthen and prepare His people for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
I move it. [The statement was moved and seconded.]
DENNIS MEIER: For clarity, I would move to amend the sentence to read “Rather than replacing the Bible, they uplift the normative character of Scripture,” and to delete the rest of the sentence. This, I feel, will correct inaccurate interpretations derived from church traditions, human reason, personal experience, and modern culture.
RONALD NALIN: I’m speaking on the suggested amendment.
We should use “she exposes incorrect interpretations, instead of “correct inaccurate interpretation.” The lesser light points us to the greater light.
So I speak against the motion to amend. I’d like to suggest that the word “normative character of Scripture” makes it clear that we stand on the foundation of sola scriptura. The Spirit of Prophecy is simply the lesser light pointing to the greater light.
JIM HOWARD: “I recommend to you, dear reader, the Word of God as the rule of your faith and practice” [Early Writings, p. 78]. Very clearly, the gift of prophecy given to us was for, at least in part, correcting those who err in their understanding of the Bible, and we need to uphold that.
GERARD DAMSTEEGT: There is a problem with the amendment. And I would like to cite the words of the prophet in regard to the relationship of correction. “The Word of God is sufficient to enlighten the most beclouded mind, and may be understood by those who have any desire to understand it. But notwithstanding all this, some who profess to make the Word of God their study are found living in direct opposition to the plainest teachings.
“Then, to leave men and women without excuse, God gives plain and pointed testimonies, bringing them back to the Word that they have neglected to follow” [Selected Messages, book 3, p. 31].
ELLA SIMMONS: The amendment reads “Rather than replacing the Bible, they uplift the normative character of Scripture,” period, deleting the remainder of that sentence.
[The amendment was defeated.]
VIVENCIO BERMUDEZ: In connection with the Statement of Confidence, if it is proper, may I raise a question as to what is the real stand of our church with regard to the Spirit of Prophecy, or Ellen G. White’s writings? First, is it a test of fellowship? And the second is Is it a test of leadership? When I mean “test of fellowship,” can we baptize a person who does not accept this Statement of Confidence? And can we appoint a church leader who is not a firm believer of the gift of prophecy?
LOWELL COOPER: I have a question about the expression “modern culture” on line 23. And I’m wondering if the use of this expression doesn’t allow room for an interpretation that suggests wrong interpretations of Scripture coming from premodern cultures would not be addressed. It seems to me that if we deleted the word “modern,” we would strengthen the document by including all forms of culture, not just modern. This is a suggestion.
ERIC HENSEL: When we say that the writings of Ellen G. White correct inaccurate interpretation of the Bible, I feel that we, with good intentions, make a mistake with our hermeneutics when we say that we believe in sola scriptura. But with using Ellen White to “correct inaccurate interpreting of the Bible,” Ellen G. White becomes the normative over the Bible and how the Bible should be read. This leads to use of her writings as a corrector of biblical authority, as if everything she wrote were 100 percent what we can understand in the Bible. We would exclude the Holy Spirit for every reader and never grow in knowledge if we take the sentence as we read it.
JOHN THOMAS: I call question on the motion.
ELLA SIMMONS: I see support. All for the ceasing debate, please raise your cards. All opposed, same sign.
Thank you. It is carried. In this case, we do actually move to the original motion. And if we can see that motion as well. Dr. Stele, please remind us, and we will move forward.
[The motion to approve the statement on confidence in the writings of Ellen G. White was voted.
ARTUR STELE: I would like just to remind the delegates that it was stated that this statement is against the fundamental belief about the gift of prophecy. I would just remind that, in the statement that we voted yesterday, we have the following sentence: “Her writings speak with prophetic authority and provide comfort, guidance, construction, and correction to the church.”
So it’s in harmony with the fundamental belief.
ERIC TEO: [Prayer.]
ELLA S. SIMMONS, Chair
JOHN H. THOMAS, Secretary
NILTON D. AMORIM, GARY PATTERSON,
and CLAUDE SABOT, Proceedings Editors
Sixtieth General Conference session July 7, 2015, 9:30 a.m.
VOTED, To call for the vote on Fundamental Belief #24, Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary.
VOTED, To amend the Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists #24, Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary, to read as follows:
24. Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary
There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle
which that the Lord set up and not humans. man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. At His ascension, He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and He and began His intercessory ministry at the time of His ministry, which was typified by the work of the high priest in the holy place of the earthly sanctuary. ascension. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry, which was typified by the work of the high priest in the most holy place of the earthly sanctuary. ministry. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent. (Lev. 16; Num. 14:34; Ezek. 4:6; Dan. 7:9-27; 8:13, 14; 9:24-27; Heb. 1:3; 2:16, 17; 4:14-16; 8:1-5; 9:11-28; 10:19-22; Rev. 8:3-5; 11:19; 14:6, 7; 20:12; 14:12; 22:11, 12.) (Heb. 8:1-5; 4:14-16; 9:11-28; 10:19-22; 1:3; 2:16, 17; Dan. 7:9-27; 8:13, 14; 9:2427; Num. 14:34; Eze. 4:6; Lev. 16; Rev. 14:6, 7; 20:12; 14:12; 22:12.)
VOTED, To amend the Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists #8, The Great Controversy, to read as follows:
8. The Great Controversy
All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe. This conflict originated in heaven when a created being, endowed with freedom of choice, in self-exaltation became Satan, God’s adversary, and led into rebellion a portion of the angels. He introduced the spirit of rebellion into this world when he led Adam and Eve into sin. This human sin resulted in the distortion of the image of God in humanity, the disordering of the created world, and its eventual devastation at the time of the global flood, as presented in the historical account of Genesis 1-11.
worldwide flood. Observed by the whole creation, this world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be vindicated. To assist His people in this controversy, Christ sends the Holy Spirit and the loyal angels to guide, protect, and sustain them in the way of salvation. (Gen. 3; 6-8; Job 1:6-12; Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:12-18; Rom. 1:19-32; 3:4; 5:12-21; 8:19-22; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:14; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 3:6; Rev. 12:49.) (Rev. 12:4-9; Isa. 14:12-14; Eze. 28:12-18; Gen. 3; Rom. 1:19-32; 5:12-21; 8:1922; Gen. 6-8; 2 Peter 3:6; 1 Cor. 4:9; Heb. 1:14.)
VOTED, To not divide the motion on Fundamental Belief #1, The Holy Scriptures.
VOTED, To call for the vote on Fundamental Belief, #1, The Holy Scriptures.
VOTED, To amend the Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists #1, The Holy Scriptures, to read as follows:
1. The Holy Scriptures
The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine
inspiration through holy men of God who inspiration. The inspired authors spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man humanity the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the supreme, authoritative, and the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative definitive revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history. (Ps. 119:105; Prov 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20, 21.) (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.)
VOTED, To call for the vote on Fundamental Belief #6, Creation.
VOTED, To amend the Fundamental Beliefs of Seventh-day Adventists #6, Creation, to read as follows:
is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic and historical account of His creative activity. In six days He created the universe, and in a recent, six-day creation, the Lord made “the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them” and rested on the seventh day. “the heaven and the earth” and all living things upon the earth, and rested on the seventh day of that first week. Thus He established the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of the work He performed and completed during six literal days that together with the Sabbath constituted the same unit of time that we call a week today. His completed creative work. The first man and woman were made in the image of God as the crowning work of Creation, given dominion over the world, and charged with responsibility to care for it. When the world was finished it was “very good,” declaring the glory of God. (Gen. 1-2; 5; 11; Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 19:16; 33:6, 9; 104; Isa. 45:12, 18; Acts 17:24; Col. 1:16; Heb. ١:٢; 11:3; Rev. 10:6; 14:7.) (Gen. 1; 2; Ex. 20:8-11; Ps. 19:16; 33:6, 9; 104; Heb. 11:3.)
VOTED To extend the business session to conclude at 12:05 p.m.
VOTED, To call for the vote on an amendment to the Statement of Confidence in the Writings of Ellen G White.
VOTED, To retain the language in the Statement of Confiden
ce in the Writings of Ellen G White as it was presented.
VOTED, To call for the vote on the Statement of Confidence in the Writings of Ellen G White.
VOTED, To approve the Statement of Confidence in the Writings of Ellen G White, which reads as follows:
As delegates to the 2015 General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas, we express our deep gratitude to God for the continuing presence of the various spiritual gifts among His people (1 Cor 12:4-11; Eph 4:11-14), and particularly for the prophetic guidance we have received through the life and ministry of Ellen G White (1827-1915).
On the centennial of her death, we rejoice that her writings have been made available around the globe in many languages and in a variety of printed and electronic formats.
We reaffirm our conviction that her writings are divinely inspired, truly Christ-centered, and Bible-based. Rather than replacing the Bible, they uplift the normative character of Scripture and correct inaccurate interpretations of it derived from tradition, human reason, personal experience, and modern culture.
We commit ourselves to study the writings of Ellen G White prayerfully and with hearts willing to follow the counsels and instructions we find there. Whether individually, in the family, in small groups, in the classroom, or in the church, a combined study of the Bible and her writings provide a transforming and faith-uplifting experience.
We encourage the continued development of both worldwide and local strategies to foster the circulation of her writings inside and outside the church. The study of these writings is a powerful means to strengthen and prepare His people for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Ella S Simmons, Chair
John H Thomas, Secretary
Myron A Iseminger, Actions Editor
Tamara K Boward, Recording Secretary