Re-election and marrying someone from another faith

The church recognizes that it is the prerogative of the individual to make the final decision relative to the choice of a marriage partner

Articles May 30, 2022

Can a pastor or a church committee propose the reelection of all the officers for the following year?

The answer is “No.” It is possible that all officers could be re-elected, but we need to follow the steps outlined in the Church Manual, chapter 11.

In the Seventh-day Adventist Church, officers are elected every one or two years (see p. 49) through an appointed nominating committee. This committee brings its report to the church, which then acts on the names presented. This procedure enables the church to give careful study to each name prior to election, and avoids the public competitive element that may arise when nominations are made from the floor.

What is the procedure in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in relation to a member who marries someone who does not profess the same faith?

I invite you to carefully consider the following points:

1. The church does not recommend unequal yoke (see Church Manual, 183). “The Spirit of Prophecy consistently counsels against marriage between ‘the believer and the unbeliever’ and further cautions against uniting with fellow Christians who have ‘not accepted the truth for this time’” (Ellen G. White, Testimonies to the Church, 5:364).

2. The church cannot use authority or constraints to prevent it (see Church Manual, 183). “. . .the Seventh-day Adventist Church strongly discourages marriage between a Seventh-day Adventist and a non-Seventh-day Adventist, and strongly urges Seventh-day Adventist ministers not to perform such weddings.” “The church recognizes that it is the prerogative of the individual to make the final decision relative to the choice of a marriage partner. However, it is the hope of the church that, if the member chooses a marriage partner who is not a member of the church, the couple will realize and appreciate that the Seventh-day Adventist pastor, who has covenanted to uphold the principles outlined above, should not be expected to perform such a marriage.”

Because this is a biblical orientation, a courtship of this nature may disqualify the person from holding church leadership offices, because it might give the impression that the church condones such relationships, and others might feel motivated to follow the same example. However, the church needs to be very careful not to show rejection or discrimination to the non-Adventist partner. This limitation has the purpose of motivating the church member to reconsider the relationship that is incompatible to his or her faith. Thus says the Church Manual: “If an individual does enter into such a marriage, the church is to demonstrate love and concern with the purpose of encouraging the couple toward complete unity in Christ” (183).