This morning, my devotion took me to consider these words by Mrs. Ellen G. White,
“But I followed the voice of the [General] Conference, as I have ever tried to do at times when I had no clear light myself.” —The Retirement Years, Chapter 11. “Fortitude in Affliction”.
Last year, in the multitude of groups I’ve involved myself, I have come across many a dissenting voice concerning the General Conference. In fact, there is one off-shoot from the main body of Seventh Day Adventists who have formed their own “general conference” believing the one God has determined, ordained and put into leadership has apostatized, even going so far as to call the Church, “Babylon”. There are others, I’ve read, who are so twisted in their thinking, have decided to consider themselves remaining in the state of, “Philadelphia”, in answer to keep from being called, “Laodicean” as if either one of these conditions would be satisfactory. Little do they understand the progression of the Church of Christ realizing we must all go through these things to reach the ultimate goal of salvation.
My concern, this morning, is are we becoming more and more like ancient Israel, just approaching the brink of The Promised Land, yet will fail to enter because of our disbelief: our disbelief in God, our disbelief in the organization which God has established, and disbelief in God having selected chosen individuals to lead in this great cause?
While it is no secret even in the time of the Apostles, there was dissension among them. Why would you think it any different today when they were fresh off the assembly line of Christ’s manufacturing plant! Here we are some two thousand years later and still can’t seem to get it right. While it is true, God often punished the people because of the leaders, He, too, punished the leaders because of the people. The lesson to be learned is, “we are together in this”. God has definitely set up His organization the way which best suit us “IF” we would allow it to work, support it, pray for it, accept it and work within it. As a young man, I, too, fought against many policies of the church. My father’s counsel was, “if you don’t agree with something, don’t try to change it from without. Get inside and become a part of it and then express yourself.” It was good advice, but I see too many people leaving the ordained body of Christ, either because of the people or because of the leaders, and this is not the time to be leaving. COULD IT NOT BE YOU’VE BEEN SHAKEN OUT! This should cause you to re-think your position and the opinion you hold.
I like Sister White’s approach to the matter. Without a doubt, she had that direct line to Heaven and she herself can admit not always having gotten through, not having gotten the latest memo, so what did she do? She listened and followed the advice of the General Conference and went where they suggested she should go, and she went believing the one person who’s always heard from God, was now speaking to her through others.
This year, at the General Conference, there may come news which may not suit your tastes, your belief, however, you need to look at the “bigger picture”. It’s not about, “you”. It’s always about God and we have to trust His leadership when we cannot see past the Red Sea.
January 14, 2015