A letter from the president
Dear Fellow Worker:
Greetings! I appreciate the opportunity MINISTRY has afforded me to communicate with you and our vast force of workers throughout the world field regarding a subject that is on the minds of many just now. I would urge you to read very carefully this entire October issue of MINISTRY, even though some of the material it contains will be found to be heavier than usual.
You are aware of the very serious and significant meetings that were held Au gust 10 through 15 at Glacier View Camp, Colorado, at which more than one hundred of our church's thought leaders gathered. The purpose of the meetings was to consider proposals of Dr. Desmond Ford on the subject of the sanctuary and the investigative judgment, and also the role of Ellen G. White in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In recent years Dr. Ford has developed a prophetic interpretation that differs considerably from the traditional positions held by our church on this subject. Be cause of an expressed concern on the part of many, and questions from the field, Dr. Ford was invited to come to Washington and labor for six months to formulate his doctrinal positions, preparatory to a careful review of his challenge to certain historic doctrinal positions of the church. His finished document, consisting of almost 1,000 pages, plus papers from others of our theologians and scholars, provided the basis for our study at the Glacier View meeting.
Those who were at the meeting clearly felt the Lord was with us. In the daily small-group discussions and then later in the plenary sessions, the Holy Spirit was present as a real guide and helper bringing conviction and unity. There was evidence of kindness, tolerance, courtesy, and patience on the part of every participant, and a recognition that each needed, and could benefit from, the others. The consensus, the agreement, and the harmony evidenced on the part of Biblical scholars and administrators alike was extremely encouraging and reassuring. It was also an occasion that, in my judgment, resulted in great stability for this church! Please know that "we have not followed cunningly devised fables"! As gold grows more pure in the refiner's fire, so it was evidenced that our distinctive beliefs surrounding the 1844 event and the investigative judgment became more and more Biblically secure, not less so. Adventism, my fellow minister, has not been shaken! It is not now being shaken! The solemn and incisive truths that have for many years formed the basis of our evangelistic preaching and have constituted the call of this movement to honest hearts everywhere, resulting in thousands responding to the call of Christ to get ready for His coming, have not changed! They have only been confirmed! They are as a house "founded upon a rock" and will guide us through to the kingdom. In spite of this positive statement I must appeal and urge that there be continued personal Bible study of these great themes, as well as diligent research and exegesis carried on under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by our Adventist scholars.
On the last day of the meeting it seemed that the whole doctrinal picture that we had been considering came together. I am happy to report that the "Fundamental Beliefs" that we reaffirmed during the recent 1980 General Conference session in Dallas stand exactly as we voted them. They constitute the message of God's worldwide prophetic movement.
This meeting has now become history. Let us all look to the future. Without question the biggest event in the future is the coming of Jesus. Let us, my fellow workers, set our minds and our hearts to do our part in the finishing of the work of God on earth. As we do so, we must pray for greater evangelistic zeal and the wisdom to place priority on the work of soul winning. More than ever before, we need the Holy Spirit's power and the selfless spirit of Christ. The Lord is ready. Are we? All heaven waits for us to move forward. God's promises are His enablings. May His blessings be with you in your important ministry for others.
With kind regards, I am
Sincerely your brother,
Neal C. Wilson,
President, General Conference of
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