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General Conference of
Yes, Clark Albritton did call me about your troubles. I was astounded at the usurpation of power by some in the church there and the complete absence of going through regular church channels in what they have done. Just as insensible is that the Texas Conference has joined the suit (if that is indeed the case). Then I looked the conference up in the year book and saw that Steve Gifford is now president there and that made it more clear since he was in So. East California where he lived very near Graham Maxwell, so that probably has something to do with their attitude in the conference office. Gifford was a controversial president there also in that he pushed for ordination of women ahead of the man in church councils.
As you can well appreciate, the irony of this whole case is that the people who are trying to keep you out of the church are the ones who have adopted the non-orthodox views (Maxwell) while you are the one trying to defend standard SDA beliefs. If this gets into the local press down there it will only convince the more 10,000 Baptist pastors of Texas that SDAs believe in a bloodless atonement, which is what they have been saying all along. My understanding of the local church and conference administrations functions is that they are supposed to try to keep this out of the courts and the press, not push to get it in there. It will surely give SDAs a black eye if it becomes more widely known.
I did try a phone call or two on your behalf without much success. I called the Southwestern Union to see if the president was in, whom I know, but he was in the Florida hospital for heart surgery which I had not heard. The person to whom you talked in Religious Liberty, probably was Bert Beach and he was voted out at this GC session. I talked to the Liberty magazine editor about the case and he did not have much interest, surprisingly, since he (Goldstein) is noted for being a defender of orthodoxy. So the final step to which I took it was George Reid, the head of BRI. He taught at Keene for 15 years so he has some influence down in Texas. I told him about your case at the G.C. Session in Utrecht, but he seemed to be too busy with other things at the time. It looks to me like Bro. Green in the Union is your best hope, along with a full and open business meeting of the church. By all means get a lawyer and a good one. In this case I think that a non-SDA who has had some experience in Religious Liberty cases would be the best.
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