February 1, 2019

Grassroots Campaign Seeks to Engage About Church Governance Issues

Berrien Springs, Mich.—A campaign calling for denomination-wide changes was launched by Andrews University associate chaplain, Michael Polite.

In light of the 2018 General Conference Annual Council vote, which established the proposed “Unity and Compliance” document as institutional policy, Polite is directing the campaign known as “Adventist Revolution,” by asking those who are opposed to the trajectory of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination to reengage the discussion. “We need unity in harmony,” he said in a video released last fall, and not “unity in uniformity.”

Since then the group has filmed a series of short videos hash-tagged #AdventistRevolution and shared on social media outlets such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. In one video, Polite suggests three ways to “activate this Adventist Revolution” by:

  1. Becoming become intolerant of institutional injustice. This includes the current struggle of women’s ordination within the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
  2. Valuing and maximizing the power of the church’s influence, suggesting that Adventist churches are not having the impact they should within the local community and that it is time to “reclaim the Adventist movement for local communities.”
  3. Taking a renewed interest in the role and responsibility of investments, which includes primarily investing monetary resources at the local level churches so that the local communities can be the first beneficiaries. 

Polite believes that if members of the Seventh-day Adventist church embrace these three points that this will “completely change Adventist culture within the next 10 years.” 

Using Jesus as his prime example, Polite says, “It is time that we stand up and activate our voices just like the revolutionary named Jesus. It is time that we stop waiting on the validation of this institution, its structures, its bylaws or its constitution.”

On March 22, the group comprised of many Andrews University students and staff are holding a rally in Indianapolis. Named “Zeal 19,” the promotional video bills the rally as geared toward those “who are activating themselves to be culture-shifters within our denominational structure. Like King David in Psalms 69:9, attendees are allowing their frustrations to motivate action instead of indifference.”

Organizers want to make it clear that Adventist Revolution represents their personal views, not necessarily those of Andrews University. For more on the organization, visit: https://www.adventistrevolution.com/