September 9, 2019—Itú, Brazil
A glorious sunny day began by the grace of God. The fresh air, the sun shining through the trees in the forest nearby, the singing of the birds, all testified that our God is great. We thank Him this morning for giving us yet another day filled with blessings and grace.
At 7:00 a.m. all the delegates joined together in singing the song, “Blessed Assurance” to begin the morning worship led by Brother V. Pysaniuk of Russia. Education starts in childhood, said Br. Pysaniuk. God entrusted us with great responsibility to be mentors of our children and youth. Following good advice on this matter is not enough. It is not enough to only present rules to the children and youth by which they can live a godly life. They need to see this in action. We need to show an example that comprehends the practice of temperance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love to God and to one another. There needs to be an interaction between children and adults, youth and elderly, teachers and students.
Abraham’s affection to his children and his household led him to guard their religious faith. He was able to impart to them the knowledge of God. His own example, the silent influence of his daily life, was a constant lesson. Let us be like Abraham, showing a living example to our children and youth around us.
The Start of the Session
The Chairman of the session, Brother P. Lausevic, opened the session today with the message from the word of God. He spoke about doctrine and what "doctrine" really is. He quoted, , “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
He spoke about the difference between doctrine and tradition. We need to differentiate between doctrine and tradition. Doctrine is Truth. Jesus said I am Truth. Doctrine is Jesus. Preaching the Gospel is preaching Jesus. If we leave Jesus out of the Doctrine, we no longer have the Truth. Tradition, on the other hand, is regulation, or agreements that are not doctrines. They are not of vital importance. For example, the worldwide agreement on starting the Sabbath School on Sabbath morning is a tradition. It is important to be united on this matter, but it is not an essential part of our faith. It is not a doctrine. Brother Lausevic appealed to the delegation to study the Truth so we are not confused about what doctrine or tradition is.
The minutes were read by the session Secretary, Brother Eli Tenorio, and accepted by the delegates so the business could begin for the day.
The different committees began their work throughout the entire morning. In the afternoon there were some partial reports presented by several committees.
The Nominating Committee presented the following list of names for the office of 1st Vice President:
- Rolly Dumaguit
- Peter Lausevic
- Matheus Souza
After the delegates voted, Brother Rolly Dumaguit was elected as the 1st Vice President of the General Conference. Brother Rolly gave a very brief address to the delegates, echoing the sentiments expressed in Brother Eli Tenorio, the General Conference President-elect's speech given the previous evening. Bro. Dumaguit expressed his feeling of ineptitude for the office he was elected, but he said that he seeks comfort in the promise of God who is able to empower the weak ones to do the task for which God has chosen them.
A show of hands confirmed the delegates’ support and prayer for Brother Dumaguit in his office.
Temporary Doctrinal Committee
The above committee presented the following resolutions:
- Clarification on the 2003 Resolution #54
- Women in the pulpit
- Communion and celiac
- Communion cup
All these points were tabled for discussion.
The session for the day was closed with the evening worship presented by Brother M.J.R. Cabanas of Peru. The title of the evening worship was “Moral Powers Will Be Tested." Brother Cabanas spoke of the race that we are all participating—the race mentioned in the epistle of the Apostle Paul written to the Corinthians. There is a spiritual race we need to win, and training is needed in order to win the race. We cannot be idle, we need to train every day.
Brother Cabanas continued with the important question, "What does our work avail if we win the whole world, but lose our family and our children?" Our children are like plants, they need to be nurtured, trained, and pruned. They are like pillars, and what is the purpose of a pillar? To hold up the building. If the pillars are weak, the building will collapse; therefore, we need to make sure our children are strong pillars. They need to know how to control themselves, overcome difficulties, and gain the victory. Our responsibility is to instruct them while they are young and pliable, while their character is moldable.
What then is the message for us? We need a revival in the family. Let us make the home what it should be. We are to take time to pray with our loved ones and ask the Lord to work in our families. Then we can serve the Lord and work outside for the world.
May the Lord help us that we and our families will be ready for the events ahead of us, and Christ’s second coming. Amen.