21st General Conference in Sibiu, Romania 2011

:: The 21st General Conference Session

Bulletin #3, August 31, 2011

The morning worship was presented by Br David Zic, the outgoing Welfare and Stewardship Department Director, entitled "The Counterfeit Revival". A full copy of this worship is available in audio at: http://gcsession.sdarm.org/media_devotions.htm

Following breakfast the delegates assembled outside the Conference venue for photographs. A full frame photograph of all 176 delegates present proved a challenge. One row was seated, one row stood at ground level, a third row stood on benches and about a dozen or so delegates crouched in front of the fourth row for the shot. Photos were then taken of each group of delegates by region. Not to be left out of the photo session, all the ancillary staff, including the entire kitchen and cleaning staff, administration staff, and translators, were invited for a group photo. Their help has been appreciated by all present. Finally, a group photo was taken of the current and ex-General Conference Presidents present at the session.

African Region

Asian Region

Central American Region

Eurasian Region

European Region

North American Region

Pacific Region

South American Region

As the procedure of the session mandates, the delegates then assembled region by region, and with the help of the Session Chairman and Assistant Chairman, elected a candidate for Regional Secretary or their respective region. The following names were put forward to the nominating committee for consideration.

Regional Secretary

African Regional Secretary: Manuel Henda, John Bosco (assistant)

African Regional Secretary/Manuel Henda

African Regional Secretary Assistant/John Bosco


Asian Regional Secretary: Samy Doss, Alwyn Vedhasingh (assistant)

Asian Regional Secretary/Samy Doss

Asian Regional Secretary Assistant/Alwin Vedhasingh


Central American Regional Secretary: Segundo Guzman

Central American Regional Secretary/
Segundo Guzman


Eurasian Regional Secretary: Petru Mangul

Eurasian Regional Secretary/Petru Mangul


North American Regional Secretary: Liviu Tudoroiu

North American Regional Secretary/Liviu Tudoroiu


European Regional Secretary: Farenc Matyas

European Regional Secretary/Farenc Matyas


Pacific Regional Secretary: Rolly Dumaguit

Pacific Regional Secretary/Rolly Dumaguit


South American Regional Secretary: Romulo Borges, Samuel Diaz (assistant)

South American Regional Secretary/Romulo Borges

South American Regional Secretary Assistant/
Samuel Diaz


The Nominating Committee presented this list to the Delegates to be voted upon as a whole. A vote was taken by show of hands and the above names were accepted to their nominated office for each region respectively. We noted a significant mark in the regional development of the work in Africa with the election for the first time of indigenous African brethren to the Office of Regional Secretary and Assistant Regional Secretary to oversee the interests of the Lord's work in that Region.

The Doctrinal Committee then presented their second report addressing questions on Incest, Cremation, and Euthanasia. A recommendation was also put to the Session to accept the book, "Fundamental Christian Beliefs of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement" as an official explanation of our main points of faith. After some discussion by the delegates on the floor, the a vote was taken on each recommendation put forward by the Doctrinal Committee and, with some minor amendments, they were accepted by more than three fourths of the delegates present. A full copy of these resolutions is included at the end of the evening worship text below.

The Session adjourned for the day.

Evening Worship

Prior to evening worship, we were blessed to hear praises in song offered to the Lord by the children attending the nearby Summer Camp organised by the Romanian Union. The choir included children from the local neighbourhood.

The evening worship was presented by Br Sileshi T. Teklamariam, President of the Ethiopian Union Mission, entitled "Presumptious, Careless Delay" based on the daily reading found in the book, "Maranatha". We were privileged to hear Br Teklamariam preach for the first time in English. Following is a the text of his presentation.

Presumptuous, Careless Delay
By Sileshi Teklemariam

There is a big difference between my country and Romania. At this time of the day it is very dark where I come from. I am so sad I cannot understand the songs (Romanian children sang a special item). But I believe it is praising the Lord so I can say Amen. The language barriers are here but soon the barriers will be removed and we will be praising the Lord in one language. So we must say with John in Revelation (22:20) "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." When we say that, He will come if we prepare ourselves.

Before I present my message, I would say my greetings from Ethiopia and take your greetings back. I request prayers for Ethiopia, not for the country of Ethiopia, but for the work of the Lord in Ethiopia.

The topic which I present now is taken from the Spirit of Prophecy in Maranatha, p. 34. The topic says Presumptuous, Careless Delay. I tried to find these two words in the dictionary. It has many different kinds of meanings but I selected some.

Presumptuous is being rude or arrogant, disrespectful or overconfident, especially in doing something when not entitled to do it or qualified to do it. That is the meaning of presumptuous.

Careless delay is not giving careful attention to the details of something. Showing no concern—disregard; not carefully nurtured or practiced, but done or assumed easily or naturally. The fourth definition is having no cares or worries. The fifth, is offering or getting no care. Giving or receiving no care or attention.

When I read the Spirit of Prophecy and my Bible, it says carelessness is not just affecting us, but affecting others also. How? Our light may be small but we must remember that it is what the Lord has given us and that He holds responsible to let it shine forth. Someone may light his taper from ours and his light may be the means of leading others from darkness. You see, whether we believe or not, we have followers. This will lead them to life or to death.

There is a short story in one small town. There was a clock in a jewelry window that stopped at a quarter to nine. Many citizens have been checking this timepiece every day to keep them on time. On this particular day this business man noticed that it was 15 minutes to 9. He thought they had plenty of time to get to his place of business. So he stopped to visit a bit. Children on their way were surprised to find they had plenty of time to go to school. So they loitered. A man who was hurrying along to catch the train slowed his pace. Many persons were late that morning. Why? Because one small clock in the jewellery window stopped.

You see with our position in this world—we may not be aware of it—someone may be patterning his life or checking his spiritual progress by our lives. We must be true to our profession. The is illustrative of us. The pendulum guide for the people around us also shows our unsuccessful service.

According to the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, the Lord formed the Israelites for a purpose. So we are formed for a purpose. Also, the Advent Movement is true. We need to pray actively to fulfill our part which we have been assigned. If we forget this holy purpose will be presumptuous and careless. This is why this warning came to us from the Lord. "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." Revelation 16:15.

We need watchfulness in order not to be ashamed. Jesus used a parable of servants (Luke 12:42-48). The elder servant says "my lord delays his coming." He does not say that Christ will not come. He does not scoff at the idea of His second coming but in his heart, by his actions and words he declares that the Lord's coming is delayed. He buries from the minds of others the conviction that the Lord is coming quickly. His influence leads to careless delay. He mingles with the world. It is in a careless assimilation with the world that he is taken in the snare.

We remember the history of Israel's first king, Saul, in the time of the prophet Samuel. He prepared everything for the sacrificial offering and waited for the prophet but the prophet didn't come according to his appointed time. Then we remember what he did. He took an action in his own way because he thought that the people will leave him and he would lose his kingship. But you know the history. What was the result?

Dear brothers and sisters, are we in the same problem? Let us remember the words Jesus said in Revelation 3:3: "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee."

Our Lord will come soon. We must prepare! Unless we prepare ourselves to meet Him in peace, we will not be in heaven and in His kingdom. May the Lord help us to have watchfulness till He comes. Amen.

Doctrinal Committee Report
Resolutions approved by the Delegates in Session

Point 1 Incest

"Whereas the matter of incest was considered, it was resolved that incest (committed with consent or not, among relatives of the first degree), is one of the worst types of immorality, and in some cases also involves paedophilia, and is a crime before God and man. Church members found guilty of this sin, shall be disfellowshipped from the church.

It was further Resolved that, for the sin of incest, reconciliation and restoration to church fellowship is possible if the following steps are taken: repentance, conversion, and confession. 2 Confession is to be made to all parties involved. If it is more widely known, then as many as possible that already know need to hear such confession. 3 Before acceptance into church fellowship by rebaptism, the individual also needs to make all attempts at reconciliation and restoration to the injured party. 4

If restored to church fellowship, such persons shall not be entrusted with any leadership responsibility within the church.

It was further Resolved that, in the cases of incest involving paedophilia or rape the injured party needs the support and comfort of the church in order to survive the physical and emotional trauma of such abuse.

It was further Resolved that those who persist in the refusal to repent, or if there is repeated transgression, in order to protect the name of the church, such individuals may never be accepted into church fellowship. 5

Definition of Incest

Sexual relations or marriage between a parent and their child, a grandparent and their grandchild, the siblings of a parent and the parent's child, or between siblings of the one family, including legally adopted children. 1


1 Leviticus 20:11,12,17,19,20,21; Deuteronomy 27:22; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5; Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 167-168; 738-739.

2 Acts 2:37-38; 1 John 1:9; Review and Herald, November 15, 1898.

3 James 5:16; Steps to Christ, pp. 37-38; Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, pp. 645-646.

4 Ezekiel 33:15; Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 646; Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, p. 249.

5 Leviticus 18:6-17; ―I was shown that you had been wrong in sympathizing with E. The course you have taken in regard to him has injured your influence, and has greatly injured the cause of God. It is impossible for E to be fellowshiped by the church of God. He has placed himself where he cannot be helped by the church, where he can have no communion with nor voice in the church. He has placed himself there in the face of light and truth. He has stubbornly chosen his own course, and refused to listen to reproof. He has followed the inclinations of his corrupt heart, has violated the holy law of God, and has disgraced the cause of present truth. If he repents ever so heartily, the church must let his case alone. If he goes to heaven, it must be alone, without the fellowship of the church. A standing rebuke from God and the church must ever rest upon him, that the standard of morality be not lowered to the very dust. The Lord is displeased with your course in these things.‖ Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, p. 215.

Agreed that paragraph five of Point 1 in Appendix 1 to the Delegate Package, pg 231, regarding the question of whether ordained persons guilty of incest can ever be restored to church membership, be referred back to the incoming Permanent Doctrinal Council for further study.

Point 2 Cremation

Whereas we received a letter requesting the church's position on cremation, after some consideration, since there is no direct evidence in the Bible or Spirit of Prophecy about cremation, it was Resolved that we recommend burial, which follows the Christian custom to bury their dead according to these Bible verses: Gen 49:30,31, Matt 27:52, Luke 23:53. However, in circumstances where burial is not possible, or the will of the deceased specifies cremation, cremation may be performed as an exception to the custom.

Point 3 "Fundamental Christian Beliefs of the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement" Book

Whereas there was need for a more detailed explanation of the main Principles of Faith and maintain them as Principles, it was Resolved to adopt the "Fundamental Christian Beliefs" as an official explanation to the Principles of Faith.

Bulletin Committee: Peter D. Lausevic, Paul Chapman, and Daniel Lee

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