At the General Conference sessions of 2013, the delegates passed, as a first reading, an amendment to our Statement of Belief with the intent to share Seventh Day Baptists’ common belief in the return of Jesus Christ for His people and that the timing of this return is not known by humanity. This process sets up a vote by churches, as a second and final reading, at the General Conference sessions of 2014.
In January of 2014, a mailer from the General Conference office detailing this process along with the proposed addition of words to the section of our Statement of Belief titled, God the Son was sent to all member churches. Upon hearing feedback which included both lack of receipt of this January mailer and issues of conscience (but not intent) concerning the proposed amendment to the Statement of Belief, the General Council has decided to propose a change to this amendment at our General Conference sessions in 2014. The new sentence would then read, “We believe that Jesus Christ, in keeping with His promise, will return suddenly, personally and visibly, at a time known only by God.”
We have sent a letter by certified mail to every member church outlining our change to the amendment and the reasoning behind it, as well as including a copy of the January 2014 mailer. These letters are included on the main page of our Conference website, under resources and titled, Amendment to the Statement of Belief as well as linked to in this blog.
Please be aware of this change as you instruct your delegates or send your vote into the General Conference office. If you are already in favor of the amendment as currently worded, this should not change your vote. If you have issues of conscience over the current wording of the proposed amendment but concur with the intent, we believe that this change to the amendment should help address your concern.
It is our eager desire to serve Seventh Day Baptists and to communicate the Gospel and our beliefs as clearly as possible. If you should have any questions, or need any clarifications, please do not hesitate to contact the General Council or the General Conference office.
Serving SDBs and the Kingdom,
The General Council
Read the January 2014 mailer here.
Read the General Council letter outlining the change to the proposed amendment here.