Adventism: Ethics and Organization -- a Look at the Future

Speaker: Categories: Aug 11, 2001


[1hr, 15min, 6sec / 56min, 25sec]


From your vantage point what issues or concerns within Adventism have gotten your attention over the last decade? Were some/most of these same concerns also getting your attention during the decade before that? Are these concernsjust naturalandto be expectedwithin any denominational entity, Adventist or other?

Earlier announcements of this August meeting bore the titleThe Primacy of the Gospel Committee. Why would the actions of such a General Conference committee be a worthy topic for a Forum discussion? Why is the currently listed title for the upcoming meeting different from the earlier announcements?

Simply put -- the committee (above) was/is Just a part of the whole. There is a larger, more encompassing concern which Richard Marker will address on August 11. He questions:"Do the New Testament ethics and concepts for church leadership function within the context of traditional and contemporary structures within the Seventh-day Adventist church? [Might] organization and structure in practice drive the ethical atmosphere which exists among ministers and administrators in the church? Certainly the secular corporate community during this postmodern age has been developing systems which may perpetrate what may be recognized asChristian ethics?"

"Is it possible that the hierarchical structure, remuneration, and methods of identifying and selecting ministers and church administrators could result in a Machiavellian political system in a community which professes Christian ideals?"

Our August speaker observes:"Methodist writer, Robert Schnase, inAmbition in Ministry, believes that church structure is important to a balanced ministry. Ron Enroth, inChurches That Abuse, argues that the relationship between power and authority is often misunderstood in the church leadership. Growing diversity and subtle racism in church and society give rise to what some postmodern commentators call thenew tribalism."

Dr. Marker will discuss openly issues which are often mentioned behind closed doors, in homes of church members, or groups of ministers in private conversation.


Dr. Richard A. Marker was born and raised in San Diego in Mission Hills where he attended school in Point Loma before moving east for higher education. He studied economics at the University of Virginia under Warren Nutter and George Shul tz. He later joined with his professors as part of the Nixon Administration where he assisted in economic research and speech writing. Leaving politics for a time, Marker entered investment banking on Wall Street. He returned to Washington as an economic advisor and market analyst writing the syndicated columnMoney Talkand four books on business and finance.

After the Watergate debacle (he was not involved), he returned to California and Los Angeles where he completed his J.D. along with a PH.D. in economics. He practiced corporate and antitrust law in Beverly Hills and Burbank, assisted in the establishing of a small private law school in the San Fernando Valley, was Corporate Secretary of Baskin Robbins, Inc. and finally President of the Buena Corporation in Gardena.

As his involvement in church affairs increased during the early 80's, he became convinced of the need to improve professionalism as well as the spiritual atmosphere of the organization. After studying at Fuller Theological Seminary, he moved to Andrews University and earned an M.Div. He is currently finishing his third doctorate, a D.Min., while researching leadership ethics, church structure and organization, and their relationships. * served the church as pastor in Southern California for nine years in multi-lingual, multi-ethnic contexts. As a Department Director in New York City, he wrote eight books on practical Christian living, directed the famous New York Van Ministry, started an adjunct program with Andrews  University to train students in the inner city, and assisted in beginning a unique contextual dialogue with Jews and Muslims.

As he continued his lectures, seminars and research in leadership and organization, he served as Secretary of Southern, New England Conference and currently serves as Treasurer of Greater New York Conference as well as Global Mission Coordinator. He and his wife Bonnie have a daughter, Heather, and two grandchildren who live in the Seattle area.

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