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Silent No Longer? Arizona Conference of SDA Issue Statement Regarding Bi-sexual SDA “Pastor”

April 26, 2017

 

 

Conscientious Seventh-day Adventists from around the world have been waiting for denominational leadership to confront, or at the very least, acknowledge the apostasies that have flooded into the church and are now rife within Adventism.  When it comes to issues relating to the LGBT community and the support of such as members and leaders, and the push among many pastors, churches and even entire conferences to make SDA churches safe spaces for practicing LGBT individuals, for the longest it seemed as if the approach from General Conference leadership down to local conference leadership would be silent acceptance.  But finally a response— not a response to all of the prior LGBT-pandering—but a response to the most recent incident of a SDA “pastor,” Alicia Johnston coming out as bi-sexual,  which was followed by her resignation.  However, the response was not what it should have been in the sight of God, according to His Words; it was one of conciliation, support and commendation for Ms. Johnston.

 

The Arizona Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists issued a statement, addressed to Arizona pastors, executive committee members and staff.  A portion of the letter reads as follows: “Alicia Johnston, pastor of the Foothills Church in Chandler, Arizona, has made public her decision to come out in support of the LGBTQ community with her own personal announcement that she is bi-sexual. During our dialogue with Alicia, we greatly appreciate her honesty and sincerity in sharing her views. Alicia is a gifted theologian and pastor-and we appreciate and respect her many talents.  Because of her personal convictions, and after conversation with conference leadership, Alicia has chosen to leave her church pastorate and the umbrella of the Arizona Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.”[1]  The letter closes thus, “It is our sincere hope and prayer that Alicia will continue to seek God’s will in her personal life and ministry.”[2]

 

Along with the great appreciation expressed in the letter, it was also stated that Alicia Johnston is a gifted pastor and theologian.  Interestingly, Ms. Johnston in said “coming out” video stated that her theology has changed in order for her to reconcile her lifestyle with her beliefs and subsequently arrive at the conclusions that she has regarding the LGBT community and her own bi-sexuality.  Commending Ms. Johnston as a gifted theologian is an acknowledgment of the same perverted theology that has led that Ms. Johnston down the path that she is on, which commences with an utter renunciation of the Biblical teaching that homosexuality is a sin and also fosters the belief that it is not possible through Christ for men and women to receive complete victory over every sin—both heredity and cultivated tendencies to evil that lead to transgression of God’s laws. 

 

Additionally it was stated  in the letter that “Alicia has chosen to leave her church pastorate and the umbrella of the Arizona Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.” This raises the important question as to whether or not she would have been retained as a “pastor” and employee of the Arizona Conference had she not chosen to resign, especially considering their view of Ms. Johnston as a “gifted pastor and theologian.”   Furthermore, it was, perhaps conveniently, omitted what would happen with Alicia Johnston’s membership as a Seventh-day Adventist.  Would not her coming out as a bi-sexual warrant her being disfellowship? If yes, why was not this stated to the other pastors, executive committee members and staff of the Arizona Conference to whom this letter was addressed?  If not, that means that LGBT-identifying persons who are yet to “come out” or have  already done so, can remain in that immoral, abominable lifestyle and still have their names retained on the church membership list. And if they can be members, the next step is to have them as leaders.  There is currently a “transgender” person serving as an elder in a Seventh-day Adventist Church.

 

The letter closes by offering blessings and well-wishes for Ms. Johnston’s continuance in ministry as she seeks God’s will.  Can God bless that which He has condemned in His Word? God forbid! God’s will is plainly stated in 1 Thessalonians 4:3 and 4, “For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor.” The very next chapter of 1 Thessalonians states in verse 23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  If Ms. Johnston persists in her “new theology” and her lifestyle, she will minister the same unto others, a perverted gospel.  This letter offers full support of Alicia’s lifestyle and wishes her to continue in ministry; it seems as though they are leaving the door open for her to continue to work with the conference. Perhaps she will be invited as a guest speaker to conference functions and will be asked to lead out in various workshops once the dust settles. 

 

Ms. Johnston’s lifestyle likely was no secret to those close to her and probably not to some of her fellow-congregants either.  In fact, Ms. Johnston’s “coming out party” seems to have been planned long before the launch of her video according to Daneen Ackers, who incidentally filmed Alicia’s video, and is arguably the most aggressive LGBT advocate in Adventism.  Ackers in a Facebook post from March 12 penned the following: “Later this month an Adventist church is planning a coming out party for someone who is finally in a place to be honest about who they are. I've been told there will be rainbow cake.” Sadly, this is not one isolated incident and we can expect to see more; the LGBT movement in Seventh-day Adventism is gaining momentum and the voices in support are becoming louder and louder as the knocks on Lot’s door became  It must never be forgotten that Sodom and Gomorrah and the other cities of the plain were destroyed because of the church’s (God’s professed people) complicity with the lifestyle of the sodomites as well their silence in meeting the apostasy. Consider the following statements.

 

            “And Lot went out and entreated his children. He repeated the words of the angel: ‘Up, get you out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city.’ But he seemed unto his sons-in-law as one who mocked; for they had lived so long in Sodom that they had become partakers of the sins of the people. And the daughters were influenced by their husbands to believe that their father was mad."  [3]

           

"While her body was upon the plain, her heart clung to Sodom, and she perished with it. She rebelled against God because His judgments involved her possessions and her children in the ruin. Although so greatly favored in being called out from the wicked city, she felt that she was severely dealt with, because the wealth that it had taken years to accumulate must be left to destruction. Instead of thankfully accepting deliverance, she presumptuously looked back to desire the life of those who had rejected the divine warning. Her sin showed her to be unworthy of life, for the preservation of which she felt so little gratitude." [4]

 

 

 

[1] http://www.fulcrum7.com/news/2017/4/25/arizona-conference-issues-statement-on-bisexual-pastor

 

[2] Ibid

 

[3] Testimonies for the Church, Volume 4 page 110

 

[4] Patriarchs and Prophets, page 161

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