Before this session, I was mostly afraid of one thing: that it would ‘go ugly’. My fears have come true.
The day began fairly well, with a very accomodating proposal from the bylaws committee, which would, in effect, give the two church plants the representation they were denied yesterday. In the end, though, the referendum came 10 votes short of the 2/3 needed for constitutional changes. This continued a sour mood set in the afternoon’s discussion.
On the agenda was structural change. A very well-prepared proposal had been presented by the structural commission that was initiated at the last session. Some comments were on the proposal itself, and several were valid. But a lot of the discussion centered upon other themes.
The church in Denmark is split. Between those who fear apostasy and those who fear exclusiveness and stagnation. Between those who regard everything new as coming from the devil, and those who see natural changes as a healthy sign. Between those who view any revival as a false revival, and those who joy in the salvation that comes from methods they may or may not agree with.
Talking about effiency, structure, and the need for having a vision and a goal does not make us less Christian, or less SDA. If ‘united in diversity’ is to become more than just a catch-phrase, it is essential that we are willing to be inclusive and open to other people with other ideas and other tastes.
People on several fronts voiced the need for seeking God’s guidance. Isn’t that the essence? If we do that, what are you afraid of?
Tonight, the agenda has been cleared, and an extraordinary meeting called to open up for the frustrations, worries, dreams, and questions that many of our members have. This will be open to the public, not just delegates. I am afraid, though, that the issues will not be resolved, and the split will only grow deeper.