Comment on Review of “The Naked Emperor” by Pastor Conrad Vine by Guy Sciortino.
Thank you for posting an intelligent and appropriate response to Dr. Vine’s video (Also many thanks to ‘the bright’ David Hamstra). The data you prepared is much appreciated, though too easily dismissed by politics.
I am a retired Anesthesiologist who now resides in Naples and I attend the North Naples SDA church, which, for the record, rents the facility and its broadcast equipment from a Lutheran group; and is administrated by a conference approved VLP (so far). I must make a couple of comments on behalf of myself and others in the congregation who are concerned with certain spiritual aspects of Vine’s presentation. The video with our attached label (Naked Emperor) speaks for itself.
Admittedly, Vine presented a well-researched defense of his accusations suitable for a courtroom, but this ‘sermon’ took place during our Divine worship service, exposing children, families, and non-sda visitors to accusations that do not reflect the Merciful God that we worship nor the concepts of brotherhood that I believe Jesus calls us to. Had Satan presented perceived sins of everyone present in the room with his own audio-video feed, I doubt he would have done better. We also had many visitors that morning from surrounding SDA churches, reflecting a significant support for VIne. My wish is that his thoughts would better have been discussed in a town meeting setting, but the horse is out of the barn.
A couple of morning exerpts not on tape: the mysterious ‘black book’ commentary regarding the Working Policy Manual, was quickly exposed by a teenage friend who immediately downloaded the entire 500+ pages from the internet and showed it to me. We did inform Vine after his ‘sermon’ about the easy availability of the document. No comment, but apparent balloon deflation noted. I asked the question, “What if the GC actually approached the Vax issue by the avenue he might legally approve, how many years would it take to produce an appropriate statement (noting in my own mind the ongoing theological issue of women’s ordination).” Again, no comment. Then I asked a more pointed question “If there was absolutely no comment at all by the GC on vaccine, what would no-vax SDA’s say to their employers?” My position is that God in Jeremiah 17:5 says “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.” Wasn’t he (Vine) calling people to do just that, to rely on the Conference and not on God to protect them? Again, no comment except that he felt the Conference statement clearly hurt people more than no statement at all.
One final comment. Prior to ‘worship’ service, Vine was also given the Sabbath School period for informing us about His foreign mission role and the work being done. It was truly a wonderful presentation of the church’s worldwide efforts (especially in the 10/40 window). That video can be seen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pKuMcYl3EA. I have one disappointment with VIne around 38.58 minutes, Vine had been talking about the ‘spiritualism’ encountered in some pagan religions. Those familiar with EGW’s statements regarding the Protestant/Spiritualism combo will understand the question put to Vine, especially in view of the Church’s commission in the 3 Angel’s messages identifying Babylon and our call to educate. The question to Vine was, would he characterize what is going on in the Pentecostal Church as in the same category as Spiritualism? Paradoxically, or so it seems, he produced a cautious look stating that the discussion was being streamed live, wasn’t it? Suggesting maybe we shouldn’t speak openly on tape against another church. I note this because what’s going on in charismatic circles seems obviously contrary to the significant Biblical message our church should be shedding light on about the true work of the Holy Spirit; and he seemed very determined not to make an un-Ecumenical statement. Yet he was so willing to call on our congregation to agree with him that Wilson is a liar. That’s the paradox to which I refer.
Anyway, having personally spoken with him, I was impressed that Vine sincerely feels that he’s doing the right things. I was actually looking forward to hearing him speak, having viewed some of his less political sermons. I’ve spoken my opinion here, mostly so others will know that not everyone at North Naples is happy that this video has our name attached to it. I know that the FL Conference had asked for it to be removed from this Youtube platform. The Church Board decided (and not unanimously) that since the video was already out there, to leave it be.
I’ve said enough. I’m sure I will take flack for my comments. God bless you, Sean. Pray for us as we are praying for you.