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SDA Church Headed for Split Over Meat-Eaters and Vegetarians

by 07/12/2012 09:17:00 0 comments 1714 Views
SDA Church Headed for Split Over Meat-Eaters and Vegetarians

DIVISIONS have rocked the Seventh Day Adventist church as congregants are reportedly at loggerheads over who are more holier than the other, between vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

The division which erupted in the lower echelons of the church has spread to the highest level.

A source said a church elder stirred the hornet's nest during a service at one of the church's branches recently after declaring that the church was headed for a split.

"He (elder) made it known to the congregants that the church was going to be ripped apart by the issue. The majority of the worshippers were non-vegetarians and they said they were not going to allow vegetarians to rule over them."

The source said the matter was a hot topic during a recently held conference of the church's leaders.

"It is quite a serious issue and if no solution is found in the short to medium term there shall be chaos.

"We have had problems before with some congregants walking out to form their own churches and this can happen once again if no solution is found," said the highly placed source.

There are allegation that those who do not consume meat are more holier than those who consume meat and as such they should be accorded respect by being given influential positions.

"There are elections for new church board members. Vegetarians want posts ahead of those who eat meat."

"Vegetarians are questioning the faith of their church mates. It is just hypocritical why we should judge each other? Even the Bible says we shouldn't judge," said the source.

The director of information at the Zimbabwe Union Conference, a body tasked with handling the church's administrative issues, Pastor Khumalo referred questions to the church's health department.

"I am not privy to such deliberations maybe the health department may answer that," he said.

Director of Health Ministries at ZUC Pastor Innocent Gwizo had this to say.

"We are not going to deny that there are extremists within SDA. The church is not congregationalist governed. Each church belongs to a larger family encompassing West, East and Central to form Zimbabwe Union Conference.

Pastor Gwizo added that those who envisage splitting should seize being Adventists.

"If the church is going to be divided over that then those who split should seize being SDA because we teach people how to eat meat according to the teachings of Leviticus."

He also encouraged the church members to do what suited them. "If you eat meat enjoy and if you are a vegetarian it's wonderful."

Nonetheless, the church is not new to revolts.

At the turn of the century a splinter group formed what is now Reformed Sabbath which has three branches in the city while a former lecturer at the church-run Solusi University left and created what he termed Advent Hope.

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