The matter of a name has been and continues to be significant to the human race. What is so important about a name? It appears that God Himself places great emphasis on names. Let us consider a few examples from the Bible for illustration.
In Genesis 2:19,20 and 3:20, we read how Adam named God's creatures and even the woman. We notice that names in the Bible were determined by events of the time (Gen.30:8), prophetic position (Gen. 25:26,30), fondness of hope (Gen. 29:32-35), change of character (John 1:42), innate character (1 Sam. 25:25), coming events (Isa. 8:1-4), and divine mission (Matt. 1:21). God warns His people not to take the name of YAH in vain (Ex. 20:7). In Revelation 2:9 Jesus speaks of a people who take a name which is not rightfully theirs. "A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches...(Prov. 22:1). A GOOD name is better than precious ointment ...(Eccl. 7:1)". One's "name" is intimately connected to one's reputation. When the reputation is blemished, the "name" suffers loss.
It is no wonder that Calvin Rock wrote the following in the Adventist Review, June 9, 1988:
"The name Seventh-day Adventist carries special meaning. If its significance is to be retained, the church must protect it from those who would misrepresent it."
In Ministry, December, 1988, the article "General Conference trademark policy" contains the following:
"Questions have been asked regarding efforts by the General Conference to protect the name of our church through the use of the trademark laws . . .
Q:Is it true that the General Conference has federally registered trademarks for the name 'Seventh-day Adventist'...?
A:Yes. The General Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists, on behalf of the ENTIRE DENOMINATION, has registered under the United States trademark laws the name 'Seventh-day Adventist' and a variety of the church's programs and services..."
What was the original reason for needing "protection for the name"? We cannot be certain, but there are indicators. For example, in the March, 1991 edition of SDA Kinship Connection, Ron Lawson reports in "The General Conference of Seventh -day Adventists vs. SDA Kinship International" that the General Conference "purpose in proceeding with that case [prosecuting the little "Congregational SDA Church" in Hawaii] was to give the GC legitimacy in its attack on us [SDA Kinship]". (Brackets supplied.) Notice how Lawson, a practicing homosexual, responds to the GC vs. Kinship lawsuit:
"Our church, which claims to believe in religious liberty (when its own liberty is threatened) here chose to attack the religious liberty of some of ITS OWN MEMBERS. Its leaders, whose prophetic interpretation identifies the United States with the lamb-like beast of Revelation 13 that will someday 'speak as a dragon,' were THEMSELVES FLEXING THEIR MUSCLES AND BEHAVING AS A DRAGON."
Let us digress for a moment and establish an historical
back-drop. It is very
likely that the Adventist Denomination reaped a "trademark name for
protection" as a result
of sowing homosexual church membership in the United States.
Let the following
citations lend credibility to my suggestion:
will be surprised to know that in China we are not aware of
homosexulality as a social
problem; much less is it a problem in our church . . . Because
of this background, you can
perhaps understand my shock when I first heard the term
"homosexual Adventists". It
offends me that the name of our church should be associated with
homosexuality. What if
another group should call itself Seventh-day Adventist adulterers?..."
"The first significant action [of responding to the
Adventist homosexual issue] was General Conference approval of Adventist scholars
and pastors meeting with homosexuals for a special "Kampmeeting" organized
by Kinship in the summer of 1980 . . . The Adventist Review,(May 21, 1981),
published a statement by the GC Spring Council that said although it was not
possible for the church to condone practicing homosexuality, they
felt it necessary to develop a ministry that will meet homosexual needs...Kinship, as stated in their 1981 Statement of
Beliefs, thinks people of the same gender can be Christians and at the same time have a positive
and healthy relationship."
"Even in the late 1970's, when the gay liberation movement had thoroughly
intruded on the consciousness of the general population, few in the church gave any thought
to the possibility of homosexual SDA's. After all, they assumed homosexuality was
antithetical to Adventism . . . had always been sin . . .
In assessing what subsequently happened and what did not, it is helpful to keep in mind that in 1980/81 homosexuality was not the only
problem facing the church. Places and names such as Glacier View, Desmond Ford, Walter Rea and
Dr.Donald Davenport were much in the minds of administrators as well as the laity.
In addition, the unofficial Adventist press attacked the church leadership for having
'recognized gay lifestyle.'. . .
The equanimity of the church leaders was shaken. . .at the time of the 1983 Fall
Council when the president of Andrews University was arrested and charged
with having propositioned an undercover policeman. Before the full effect of that
development had been absorbed, the associate pastor of "the General Conference church" in
Takoma Park also was arrested on charges of illegal homosexual activity. Both men resigned
their posts. . . .
(The generally accepted estimate [of SDA members with "homosexual problems"]
is about 50,000 to 70,000 gay and lesbian Adventists in the North American Division.) . . .
Accounts of openly gay and lesbian Adventists who remain active in their congregations
are increasing. Contacts by Kinship with Adventist college and university administrators
and teachers have increased . . . The official position of the church has not significantly
changed, but the attitudes of individuals within the church are steadily changing. It still isn't
easy growing up gay and Adventist, but it is generally a much less painful and solitary experience
today than it was..."
In assessing what subsequently happened and what did not, it is helpful to keep in mind that in 1980/81 homosexuality was not the only problem facing the church. Places and names such as Glacier View, Desmond Ford, Walter Rea and Dr.Donald Davenport were much in the minds of administrators as well as the laity. In addition, the unofficial Adventist press attacked the church leadership for having 'recognized gay lifestyle.'. . .
The equanimity of the church leaders was shaken. . .at the time of the 1983 Fall Council when the president of Andrews University was arrested and charged with having propositioned an undercover policeman. Before the full effect of that development had been absorbed, the associate pastor of "the General Conference church" in Takoma Park also was arrested on charges of illegal homosexual activity. Both men resigned their posts. . . .
(The generally accepted estimate [of SDA members with "homosexual problems"] is about 50,000 to 70,000 gay and lesbian Adventists in the North American Division.) . . .
Accounts of openly gay and lesbian Adventists who remain active in their congregations are increasing. Contacts by Kinship with Adventist college and university administrators and teachers have increased . . . The official position of the church has not significantly changed, but the attitudes of individuals within the church are steadily changing. It still isn't easy growing up gay and Adventist, but it is generally a much less painful and solitary experience today than it was..."
"The Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church has asked the United States
District Court for the Central District of California to issue injunctions
to prevent a support group for homosexuals from using the church's name . . ."
1980" . . . General Conference hires Catholic attorney to trademark the
name "Seventh-day Adventist."
1981 . . . SDA name trademarked. General Conference remains silent during a "five-year" waiting period: a time when the trademark could have been contested had it been known.
1986 . . . General Conference took legal action against one hundred thirty-five different cases charged with violating trademark laws."
When one examines closely the foregoing references, a picture develops. It appears that homosexuality became a church problem in the late 1970's when in the North American Division local churches allowed the influx of homosexual membership. Before the church realized her condition, Kinship had taken root and become a formidable organization (by 1980).
In 1886 Ellen White warned the church concerning sexual sin in the following way:
"We must as a people arouse and cleanse the camp of Israel... We are in danger of becoming a SISTER to FALLEN BABYLON, of allowing our churches to become corrupted and filled with every foul spirit, a cage for every unclean and hateful bird; and will we be clear unless we make decided movements to cure the existing evil?" (Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, page 188).
More specific counsel was written in Review and Herald, Nov. 10, 1885:
"The Sodomitish practices which brought the judgment of God upon the world, and caused it to be deluged with water, and which caused Sodom to be destroyed by fire, are fast increasing. We are nearing the end. God has borne long with the perversity of mankind, but their punishment is no less certain. Let those who profess to be the light of the world, depart from all iniquity."
If homosexuality "brought the judgment of God upon the world" in Noah's day, and "caused Sodom to be destroyed by fire", is it not possible, or more likely certain, that the "Sodomitish practices" would bring the judgment of God upon the SDA Denomination?! Concerning judgment, read the following:
"In the balances of the sanctuary the Seventh-day Adventist church is to be weighed. She will be judged by the privileges and advantages that she has had. If her spiritual experience does not correspond to the advantages that Christ, at infinite cost, has bestowed on her, if the blessings conferred have not qualified her to do the work entrusted to her, on her will be pronounced the sentence: 'Found wanting.' By the light bestowed, the opportunities given, will she be judged." (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 8, page 247).
And again Ellen White writes in Testimonies for the Church, Vol.5, page 83:
"The [SDA] church cannot measure herself by the world nor by the opinion of men nor by what she once was. Her faith and her position in the world as they now are must be compared with what they would have been if her course had been continually onward and upward. The [SDA] church will be weighed in the balances of the sanctuary. If her moral character and spiritual state do not correspond with the benefits and blessings God has conferred upon her, she will be found wanting...If her talents are unimproved, if her fruit is not PERFECT before God, if her light has become darkness, she is indeed
CONCLUSION: In employing the federal and state governments for church name protection, the SDA Denomination rejected God.
CONCLUSION: The SDA Church under the General Conference has not only made an "image to the beast"; she has become guilty of making void the law of God and exalting a spurious sabbath in place of Jehovah's Creation 7th Day, by her unholy union with the civil government and bringing suit in the civil courts.
CONCLUSION: The General Conference Trademark Policy has assured the triumph of Rome in this country by the alliance of church and state. Trademark laws provide for the control of "religious observances" through the magistrate.
CONCLUSION: The SDA Denomination repudiates the essential idea of Christianity by
punishing Sabbathkeepers through the "strong arm" of secular power.
CONCLUSION: The General Conference of SDA's will not "go through to the end".
She is fallen by her rejection of the truth from Heaven, and Revelation 18 is calling God's remnant out
to the "highway of holiness".
CONCLUSION: The organized body of General Conference SDA's is not the body of Christ any
longer. She allowed Sodomitish Pagan errors to infiltrate by baptizing homosexuals prematurely, and
then, sealed her fall by uniting with the state.
CONCLUSION: THE TRADEMARK SDA CHURCH intends to force Sabbath-keepers to cease worshiping in the liberty of their conscience by freely using the sacred name of their faith-- "Seventh-day Adventist."
SDA Trademark Wars
1988 Hawaii Trademark Case
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