Annual Council Time Capsule: 1973-74

Holly Joers

Vol 3, No.6

I was so gratified, after numerous General Conference Annual Council pre- and post-meeting discussions, documents and statements regarding non-compliance, unity and harmony, to find a document of a different flavor from several decades ago. In 1973, Annual Council delegates offered an earnest, prayerful appeal to God's people to wake up from their Laodicean state, to rediscover the beauty, power and purpose of Adventism. 
 

As Seventh-day Adventist doctrines and standards wax, wane and waver, depending on one's division of residence, World Church Affirmation Sabbathparticipants long for brighter days, praying for more of God's people, especially in leadership, to fully appreciate and demonstrate what it means to be part of God's remnant.

 

The 1973 appeal includes words and topics such as “third angel's message,” “remnant people” and “righteousness by faith,” that today are anathema to many “Seventh-day Adventists.” It points out the need for improved Sabbathobservance, stewardship, entertainment and dress standards, health and lifestyle practices, moral and marriage practices, mission vs. social focus...and the threat of bringing in the wine of Babylon (Revelation 14:8-10) from outside institutions.

 

The concluding threefold appeal challenges us, faithful Seventh-day Adventists, to live what we profess to believe, to forsake the spirit of insubordination which has long delayed Jesus' return, and to recommit ourselves to reaching the world with the three angels' messages.

 

The following year, 1974, a report was given to the same body, highlighting a positive response to the 1973 challenge, yet encouraging further progress along the same lines. The following year, 1974, a report was given to the same body, highlighting a positive response to the 1973 challenge, yet encouraging further progress along the same lines. The Laodicean message must be continually acknowledged and heeded and the character of Christ reproduced in His people, the report urged. Church leaders must take a prominent role.

 

The 1974 report underscored the need for a well-ordered, godly life, including serious, daily Bible study and prayer, and faithful, systematic study of the Sabbath School lessons and Spirit of Prophecy writings, all of which are so easily accessible with today's technology.

 

Church leaders and members were asked to consider whether they were hindering or hastening Christ's return. Good question!

 

The time has come to reopen this document and heed its message. Will you join me? Click on the green booklet here. Share it with others. “Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” (Revelation 22:20)!