At the final outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the proclamation of the final message of mercy brought to view in Revelation 18:1-4, thousands of individuals will be wrested from the grasp of Satan and the primary agencies that he is working through, namely Babylon and her allies. Before this glorious event, which is not far distant, Satan will be on the ground trying to match his power against that of God’s, and will endeavor to so poison and prejudice the minds of the masses against the loud cry message of the three angels (Revelation 14:6-12) and the message of the fourth angel (Revelation 18:2-4), as well as against its messengers. Many are the strategies that Satan employs to accomplish the same end. On one hand, he presents the faithful remnant in a false coloring as being extremists, fundamentalists, divisive, odd, singular, members of a cult etc., in order to prevent individuals from joining their ranks; and to a large degree he has been successful. But on the other hand, through national and even international attention being given to Seventh-day Adventists’ worldly conformity and gross immorality, some individuals will be led to believe that the denomination represented by such reprobates cannot be God’s called out, chosen ones, and thus they will be prejudiced against the true message being presented by faithful Seventh-day Adventists. In this manner, Satan is also experiencing success.
Seventh-day Adventists identifying themselves under the label of LGBTQ, have been making waves in Seventh-day Adventism over the past months and show no signs of slowing down, but this “seventh-gay activism” is rather gaining momentum. News broke the last week of April, of a SDA woman “pastor,” Alicia Johnston, who came out as bi-sexual in a video that she posted, which made national headlines and was circulated by NBC News, The Christian Post and a litany of LGBTQ sites. Within two weeks, NBC picked up another story of a professed Seventh-day Adventist identifying as a transgender, who is the son of a so-called “conservative” pastor. Under the headline “Conservative pastor overcomes struggles to accept his transgender daughter,” this is what NBC had to say about the story: “Pastor Kris Widmer is a fourth generation Adventist and has been a pastor for the past 32 years…Pastor Widmer has been ministering at his current church in Antioch, California, for seven years. But a letter from their child turned everything that the Widmers thought they knew upside down.‘Timothy sat down with us on a Friday night and read us a 10-page letter…And that was the way Timothy came out to us as being transgender…’Pastor Widmer speaks frankly about his struggles in the video, and discusses the challenge of supporting his daughter while adhering to the teachings of his church.”1 The article ends with a statement from the Widmers, “‘We would like the church to continue to grow and change and to become the community of Christ, where love is more important than law and people are more important than policy.’”
Again, NBC News was not the only news media outlet that publicized the story; LGBTQ Nation also ran the story and provided additional and even more startling information about the Widmer’s child, who now goes by Teagan, and his parents who have become LGBTQ activists. “If their daughter’s name rings a bell, it might be because Teagan Widmer is the developer whose first app, Restroom Refuge, became a huge hit in the trans community immediately upon its release in 2014… ‘In some ways, the closet door is kicked wide open with this video,’ the pastor told LGBTQ Nation in an email. ‘It is a big step to telling our greater church community,’ he wrote…We also ‘uncloseted’ ourselves by attending 2 PFLAG meetings and by attending a Pride parade in San Francisco (as observers from the crowd)…Widmer and his wife said that they have become activists of a sort, speaking at religious retreats, school board and summer camp administration meetings, participating in conferences and counseling seminars about transgender issues, and inclusion…The pastor revealed he worried he might lose his ministry over his acceptance of his daughter and her transition, for about five years. But no more; he told us he plans to step down from his church in Antioch, California, this Saturday, resigning on good terms, and plans to channel his energy into becoming a health care chaplain.’In truth,’ he wrote, ‘I am seeking this change mostly to no longer deal with the administrative stressors of ministry: difficult committee meetings, interpersonal member conflicts and the continual 60+ hour work week. Chaplain work will allow me to minister to the person, without any other expectation other than meeting human need.’”2
Oh how much Satan exults and delights in such publicity being given to these kind of stories, especially the ones coming from pastors and individuals who belong to a group who were formerly known as “people of the book” and at one time were highly respected for their strict and unwavering adherence to every particular of God’s Word. For a supposedly conservative Seventh-day Adventist pastor to hold the sentiments that Widmer does concerning the acceptance of the LGBTQ community and placing what he considers to be love above God’s law is a disgrace to what Seventh-day Adventists stand for and what the Bible teaches. Love and God’s Holy law are inextricably bound as brought forward in John 14:15 and 2 John 1:6: “If you love me, keep my commandments;” “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments.” These sentiments concerning love superseding God’s law are described by Ellen White as spiritualism (See The Great Controversy page 558.1). It must also be noted that Spiritualism is what lays the foundation for Sunday observance (see The Great Controversy, page 588.1).
Sadly, another Seventh-day Adventist pastor, Kris Widmer, has been won to the LGBTQ movement and subsequently lost to the cause of Bible truth and the proclamation of the everlasting gospel. One can only wonder what he has been preaching and teaching to his congregants over the last few years since his son’s coming out. As pastor Widmer came out of his closest, as he describes it, he has come out of truth and will now go on evangelizing in Satan’s campaign as an LGBTQ activist, converting others and helping them to come out; perhaps he may even encourage those he “ministers” to to attend gay pride parades and organize events and seminars promoting the acceptance of the LGBTQ lifestyle as he himself has done. The Seventh-day Adventist message should be one of calling people out of sin, confusion and Babylon; but today we find pastors and laity alike coming out of Christ to join the ranks of the arch-enemy. But what of those who remain to carry out their work from within, in a more covert manner? What a sad day in Seventh-day Adventism when the very principles of the gay manifesto have found their way in the church, is infecting the leadership and membership and is continuing to spread and deplete the body of its vitality.
Pastor Widmer indeed followed through with what he expressed to LGBTQ Nation making yet another resignation from pastoral ministry, another “coming out,” just like Alicia Johnston’s highly praised coming out. In fact on Saturday, May 13, a celebration of the pastoral ministry of Mr. Widmer was held, as it was his last Sabbath as pastor, in which he conducted 10 baptisms, and microphones were circulated for the members to share their appreciation and well-wishes for Pastor Widmer.3
As of now, no statement, rebuke or public stance has been taken against the encroachment of the LGBTQ agenda within Adventism by denominational leadership. There was however a response given by the Arizona Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the conference that formerly employed Alicia Johnston, which was supportive, appreciative, and even congratulatory of Ms. Johnston.4 It is yet to be seen if an official response will be given regarding pastor Widmer and his views; and if there is, one can only conjecture that it will take on the same conciliatory, sympathetic tone as did Ms. Johnston’s. At Mr. Widmer’s celebration, the Northern California Conference bestowed upon him an award of appreciation for his 33 years of service, stating that he is moving on to a new phase of their ministry and transitioning from being a general practitioner to a specialist. One thing is certain, with these stories continually making national headlines, and the LGBTQ activists from without and within continue to clamor to be heard and fight to have rights within the church and begin taking legal actions, denominational leadership will almost find it impossible not to respond. We can only pray that they will do the right thing, and stand for the right, though the heavens fall; albeit, it should not take legal threatenings to warrant a response.
One more thing to consider concerning the professed conservative class:
“The warnings that worldly conformity has silenced or withheld, must be given under the fiercest opposition from enemies of the faith. And at that time the superficial, conservative class, whose influence has steadily retarded the progress of the work, will renounce the faith, and take their stand with its avowed enemies, toward whom their sympathies have long been tending. These apostates will then manifest the most bitter enmity, doing all in their power to oppress and malign their former brethren, and to excite indignation against them.” (Testimonies for the Church, Volume 5, page 463).
“As the storm approaches, a large class who have professed faith in the third angel’s message, but have not been sanctified through obedience to the truth, abandon their position and join the ranks of the opposition. By uniting with the world and partaking of its spirit, they have come to view matters in nearly the same light; and when the test is brought, they are prepared to choose the easy, popular side.” (The Great Controversy, page 608.2)
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