This is the cry of those who are depicted in Revelation 5:10, as petitioning the God of heaven for justice. I also ask how long will a constituency of over 20,000 strong continue to blame a comparatively small cadre of salaried workers for the state of affairs in our conference? Sitting in the seat of the scornful is an easy task, to act as Monday morning quarterbacks and professional critics. Paul admonishes us examine ourselves in 2 Corinthians 13:5. Could it be possible that we are all too hasty in using the microscope and the telescope rather than the mirror? How long will the cradle of Adventism, The North American Division, continue to win a tiny influx of members while our overseas Divisions are experiencing exponential growth?
How long will it be before we realize that our greatest need is for an outpouring of the Holy spirit in Pentecostal showers upon a lethargic and slumbering church? Remember that it was not the fault of Moses that the Israelites took a forty year detour in the wilderness, but of the congregation that he led. A plan of action is only as good as those who implement it. Presently requires ninety-eight Seventh Day Adventists to win one convert to the faith in the United States. We are all about planning, structure, and vision statement; but not about work. These gloomy statistics prove my point conclusively. We are like the residents of a castle under siege. We widen the moats and pull up the drawbridge so that no one can enter or leave. How long will we equate ministerial caution with cowardice? Our ministers have neither whistle blower safety nor witness protection: What our ministers need more than anything else is for our members to stand up with us and assure us “I’ve Got Your Back.” I cannot recount how many have been labeled as malcontents, trouble makers, and exiled to some spiritual Siberia without a dissenting voice. When this kind action is about to be taken, more often than not, it was a courageous pastor who spoke up on behalf of a fellow worker.
Remember when Saul was about to have Jonathan killed because he ate some honey in opposition to his father’s command, the people rose up to save him from the death decree. “The Easiest Way For Evil To Triumph Is For Good Men (And Women) To Do Nothing.” “Power To The People” is a wonderful slogan but it means nothing if the constituents refuse to take action. It should be recalled in 1997, that the constituents of our field voted down the term limits proposal with a resounding thud. I love transparency as well as anyone else but this will avail nothing as long as our constituents are contented to do business as usual. I have witnessed an entire department closed and its assets placed in the general operating fund: A clear violation of financial fiduciary responsibility. This action was approved by the entire conference committee with only one dissenting vote. I have seen ingathering funds raised and used a slush fund. Because of my protest against this practice, the General Conference handed down rules as to how these funds can be spent. We should remember that when it comes to “Get Back” the crips and bloods could borrow a page from our modus operandi. How long are we willing to take God’s work into our puny hands without allowing him to lead us? How long are we going to continue to treat the shepherds of the flock with with disrespect and contempt when they have walked in integrity, baptized thousands, built churches and schools as well as served us faithfully through every life crisis? “The greatest sin of which God’s people are guilty is ingratitude” how long will it be before we realize that the growth and prosperity of this conference will depend upon our moving concertedly together as a might army under God and the unction of the Holy Spirit. How long?
~An Insightful Contributor