The Michiana Adventist Forum Presents:
Time to Speak Out:
A Presentation and Question and Answer Session
William G. Johnsson
Saturday afternoon at 3:30 pm
September 29, 2018
Chan Shun Hall
Berrien Springs, MI
About the Speaker:
Born in Australia, Johnsson earned a degree in chemical technology before attending Avondale College, where he met his wife Nolene. Johnsson earned his Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from Vanderbilt University. In addition, he has received honorary doctorates from Andrews University and Loma Linda University.
He has served as a missionary in India at Vincent Hill School and Spicer College. From 1975 to 1980 he taught New Testament at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. In 1979 Johnsson was elected the first president of the Adventist Society for Religious Studies. From 1982 to 2006 he was editor of the Adventist Review. Johnsson was also a member of the Ellen G. White Estate board of trustees.
He has written more than 25 books and 1,000 articles, including Where Are We Headed?: Adventism after San Antonio, published in 2017. His most recent book, Authentic Adventism,published in August 2018, is available in paperback on Amazon. He currently is retired but remains active writing and speaking.
About the Subject:
I have been a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for some 70 years. For more than 50 of those years I served as a minister, an employee of the church. It has been a wonderful ride. But now I find myself increasingly troubled over certain developments in this fellowship that I love.
In two matters I find a glaring disconnect between official position and what I personally witness of the Spirit’s activity. The first matter concerns The One Project, a revival movement initiated and led by a small group of church pastors and chaplains. Its stated aim was to place Jesus at the center and head of all our activities, including preaching and teaching. Who can argue with that? Sadly, it turned out, a lot of people, including some church leaders. The pastors found themselves subjected to criticism and vilification. I cannot support, far less defend, the stance adopted toward The One Project.
The second matter concerns the ordination of women to the Adventist ministry. We have had this question before us since the General Conference session of 1881 voted that qualified women may be set aside for the ministry by ordination. The item was referred to the GC committee, where it died. In our times hundreds, of women are serving in Adventist ministry.
During the past 40 years we have debated endlessly the issue of women in ministry. After all this expenditure of money and time, I must ask: Have we been listening to what the Spirit has been saying to our church? I am appalled that church leaders seem embarked on a course to shut down women in ministry.
But this personal sharing cannot and must not end on a note of gloom. The divine reality is that Jesus, not man, gets the last and decisive word.