Ted N. C. Wilson
Ted N.C. Wilson
|20th President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists|
|Assumed office |
June 23, 2010
|Preceded by||Jan Paulsen|
|Vice President of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists|
August 2000 – June 23, 2010
|President of the Euro-Asia Division of Seventh-day Adventists|
|Born||May 10, 1950|
Takoma Park, Maryland
|Alma mater||New York University, |
Loma Linda University School of Public Health,
Washington Adventist University
Wilson was first elected president at the 2010 General Conference Session, succeeding Jan Paulsen, who had served as president since 1999. In 2015, at the 60th General Conference Session, Wilson was reelected for a second five-year term.
Ted N. C. Wilson was elected as president during the 59th General Conference Session in Atlanta, Georgia. Wilson was reelected to the office of president at the 60th General Conference Session on July 3, 2015, at the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in San Antonio, Texas. During this term Wilson's office was responsible for the initiation of such programs as ‘Mission to Cities’, which focuses outreach on large metro areas.
Wilson returned to the United States to serve as president of the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown, Maryland, until his election as an Adventist world church vice president in 2000. Prior to that he was president of the Trans-Euro Asia-Division from 1992 to 1996. Before that he served in the church's then Africa-Indian Ocean Division, based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, until 1990 as a departmental director and later as executive secretary. He has also been a pastor, director and later an executive secretary and associate secretary, at the Adventist Church's world headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States. He speaks French and Russian. He was reelected at the General Conference session held in San Antonio in July 2015.
He holds a doctorate in religious education from New York University, a master of divinity degree from Andrews University, and a master of science degree in public health from Loma Linda University's School of Public Health. Wilson's leadership emphasizes a biblical basis for church beliefs and policy, and supports the writings of Ellen White. He has tried to steer the church away from the political controversies, and has been commended for a holistic world view.
Views on evolutionEdit
Wilson is against the teaching of evolution in Adventist schools, has stated that Seventh-day Adventists should reject evolution in favour of a literal 6-day interpretation of creation. Wilson recommends that a Seventh-day Adventist in either a teaching or preaching role should resign if they want to teach standard or theistic evolution, as their stance on evolution is contrary to what the Bible teaches. With regards to the role of evolution in science Wilson has said that evolution is not a science, a type of spiritualism and a false religion.
Views on spiritual formation movementEdit
The spiritual formation movement is characterized by such things as contemplative prayer, contemplative spirituality, and Christian mysticism.
In his July 2010 keynote sermon, Wilson said,
Stay away from non-biblical spiritual disciplines or methods of spiritual formation that are rooted in mysticism such as contemplative prayer, centering prayer, and the emerging church movement in which they are promoted.
Instead, he said, believers should "look within the Seventh-day Adventist Church, to humble pastors, evangelists, Biblical scholars, leaders, and departmental directors who can provide evangelistic methods and programs that are based on solid Biblical principles and The Great Controversy theme."
He, along with others (such as retired Adventist pastor Rick Howard), outlined the dangers of spiritual formation to the attention of the Adventist church. Many other Adventists, such as Pastors Hal Mayer and Derek Morris, raised concerns as well. The official church paper, the Adventist Review, published articles outlining the effects of spiritualism coming into the Christian Church through the teachings of spiritual formation. Howard wrote The Omega Rebellion, in which he warned of the dangers associated with the “emerging church” movement. He identified the teachings of spiritual formation, contemplative prayer, postmodern spirituality, the meditation steeped in Eastern mysticism as dangerous.
Church members were also cautioned to use discernment in worship styles: "Use Christ-centered, Bible-based worship and music practices in church services," Wilson said. "While we understand that worship services and cultures vary throughout the world, don't go backwards into confusing pagan settings where music and worship become so focused on emotion and experience that you lose the central focus on the Word of God. All worship, however simple or complex should do one thing and one thing only: lift up Christ and put down self."
Views on Last Generation TheologyEdit
Wilson is a supporter of traditional Adventist beliefs (such as those in the Great Controversy theme) which inform Last Generation Theology. He presented LGT principles, in his first address to the 59th GC session in Atlanta on July 3, 2010, and in his Divine Worship message to the GYC convention on January 1, 2011. p. 85. In Wilson's sermon at the 2014 Annual Council he stated,"Time on this Earth is short. Probation is closing soon. Preparation to see God face to face by repentance and forsaking of sin needs to be done now. The Great Controversy, page 425, explains that: 'Those who are living upon the Earth when the intercession of Christ shall cease in the sanctuary above, are to stand in the sight of a holy God without a mediator. Their robes must be spotless, their characters must be purified from sin by the blood of sprinkling. Through the grace of God and their own diligent effort, they must be conquerors in the battle with evil.' However, do not misinterpret this quote and think for a minute that you do not need Christ and that by your own works you will gain salvation. Seventh-day Adventists believe that only through the grace and righteousness of Christ do we have eternal life. However, when probation closes, the work of mediation is over. Your character will be set and your destiny eternally decided. That is why every day we need to be revived and reformed through our Bible study and prayer connection with Christ. We must receive His all-encompassing righteousness through justification and sanctification as daily, through His power, we become more and more like Him."
Women's ordination controversyEdit
A decades-long debate over whether or not to ordain women as Adventist pastors came to a head, at the General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas, in July 2015. The General Conference, in 2013, had commissioned a Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC) to arrive at a consensus on the issue. The committee came up with three different positions: (1), that women's ordination was unbiblical; (2) that it was biblical, and (3) that women could be appropriately ordained, wherever culturally acceptable. The policy prior to that session was to ordain men, and commission women. A proposal to allow divisions of the world church to ordain women was rejected by the GC delegates in San Antonio. Wilson proclaimed that the vote meant "we maintain the current policy" (male pastors ordained, women pastors commissioned). Several union conference presidents and constituency sessions maintained that the vote did not prohibit their level of church leadership from ordaining women, and proceeded to do so. The General Conference then began discussing how to deal with these 'non-compliant' unions. A "Study of Church Governance and Unity" was written in 2016, and later rewritten to modify certain language, which was regarded by some church members and leaders as demonizing conscientious supporters of women's ordination. At the 2016 General Conference Annual Council, it was voted to give the unions a 'year of grace' to comply with the 2015 San Antonio vote (as interpreted by the General Conference). A Unity in Mission Oversight Committee was created, to coordinate discussions between union conferences and the GC. At the 2017 Annual Council, a proposed loyalty oath, for GC Executive Committee members, was referred back to the Unity in Mission Oversight Committee for another year.
- Oliver, Ansel; Kellner, Mark A. "Ted N. C. Wilson Elected General Conference President". Adventist Review, Online Edition. Archived from the original on October 18, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2012.
- Chaudhary, Felix (February 8, 2011). "Pastor blesses site for new college". The Fiji Times Online. Retrieved Feb 12, 2012.
- Sheila M. Poole. "Wilson; Ted Wilson elected new president of Seventh-day Adventist Church". Atlanta News.
- Wilson, Ted N.C. "'God's Authoritative Voice'". Adventist Review Online Edition. Adventist Review. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Dwyer, Bonnie. "GC President Opens Bible and Science Conference". Spectrum. Adventist Forum. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Wright, Jared. "Ted Wilson's NAD Year-End Meeting Sermon". Spectrum. Adventist Forum. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- The Latter Rain prepares the "last generation, Early Writings, "At that time the Latter Rain, or refreshing from the presence of the Lord, will come, to give power to the loud voice of the third angel, and prepare the saints to stand in the period when the seven last plagues shall be poured out." Also, "Early Writings, p. 71. "I saw that many were neglecting the preparation so needful, and were looking to the 'time of refreshing' and the latter rain to fit them to stand in the day of the Lord, and to live in His sight. 0, how many I saw in the time of trouble without a shelter! They had neglected the needful preparation; therefore they could not receive the refreshing that all must have to fit them to live in the sight of a Holy God. Those who refuse to be hewed by the prophets, and fail to purify their souls in obeying the whole truth and who are willing to believe that their condition is far better than it really is, will come up to the time of the falling of the plagues, and then see that they needed to be hewed and squared for the building. But there will be no time then to do it, and no Mediator to plead their cause before the Father." and Testimonies to Ministers, p. 506. "The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain and prepares it for the sickle. The Lord employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward from one stage to another the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God's grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ."