Short Summary of the Situation

Questions, answers, and updates about the trademark lawsuit and related issues
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Short Summary of the Situation

Postby Lucan » July 22nd, 2012, 1:55 pm

Excerpt from an email written 7/18/12:

"To summarize the story as well as I can, Creation Seventh Day Adventists were formed in 1991 in response to the enforcement of the Seventh-day Adventist trademark on other believers, vis a vis John Marik of Kona, Hawaii in 1987-1989. It is our understanding of the Scriptures and early Adventist teaching that when a church uses civil power to persecute over religious differences, it forms an image to the beast necessitating the coming out of the faithful. Because we still hold to the Spirit of Prophecy and our understanding of Adventism, we are obliged to follow the counsels of Mrs. White, including those that declare the name "Seventh-day Adventist" to be a God-given name, the use of which is a fundamental aspect of the faith it represents.

Further, the CSDA Church holds a belief in the continuing gift of the spirit of prophecy to its members. In 1991, two believers received simultaneous visions directing them to take the name "Creation Seventh Day Adventist" for the newly formed movement. The matter was presented to the church, and was unanimously accepted as the instruction of God. Upon formation, we sent out a position paper to every General Conference office in the NAD called "Crucified Afresh!", which set forth our reasons for separation, announced our formation under the name "Creation Seventh Day Adventist," and invited dialogue. No dialogue was received.

Over the next 15 years the General Conference was largely silent. Despite their claims in certain publications, they never requested that we cease using the name "Creation Seventh Day Adventist" or made any attempts to "resolve the issue amicably," and we for a time considered that the trademark was inapplicable since we did not claim to be the "Seventh-day Adventist" church; the name was distinct, and we had never experienced confusion. In fact, from 1991 to the present, not one case of confusion between ourselves and the Seventh-day Adventist denomination has ever been presented; the denomination was unable to produce anything to the court when they brought suit.

At one point, Pastor McGill requested a meeting with Walter Carson, the General Counsel of the church at that time. Mr. Carson neither requested Pastor McGill to cease using the name or stated that he considered it a violation. The first word we received that they considered our name to be an infringement was in 2006 via legal filing. We have yet to succeed in speaking to anyone in the Adventist Church officially, as all communications have been through their lawyers who were hired from outside the faith.

It has been our position from the beginning that while we respect the courts and honor them in all ways possible, we cannot compromise our faith. We believe that God gave us the name "Creation Seventh Day Adventist," and that to alter it in the way that the General Conference demands - ceasing usage of "7th day" OR "adventist" - would be to deny both that instruction and the inspiration of Mrs. White. We have been willing to make whatever changes we can in order to prevent the imaginary confusion that has been cited, such as, for a time, going by the name "A Creation 7th Day & Adventist Church" on our buildings, and "The Creation 7th Day & Adventist Church" as a worldwide body.

Regrettably, this did not satisfy the General Conference, who has been out for blood since the beginning. As early as 2009 - before Pastor McGill's appeal to the Sixth Circuit had been even been heard - the Seventh-day Adventist church was requesting the judge to order Pastor McGill's arrest "until such a time as he comply." Such language is reminiscent of the Papacy in reacting to the reformation, and utterly foreign to a truly Protestant church.

Pastor McGill's recent arrest is only the beginning of the matter, I am sorry to say. Because this is a conviction for us - a matter of obeying God vs obeying men - we are ready to suffer imprisonment and even death before violating the spirit of the Sabbath. Unfortunately, the Seventh-day Adventist church has persisted in denying that this is a religious liberty issue despite the belief in the Divine inspiration of the name "Seventh-day Adventist" being something they themselves hold; at least, if they accept Mrs. White's writings on the matter as authoritative.

In summary, we have never falsely identified ourselves with the General Conference organization, nor, should we think, would we want to. There has never been an issue of confusion between our respective churches, nor have we ever defrauded anyone of money by a false claim to affiliation. A casual browsing of our websites makes it abundantly clear that we are not a part of the denomination. Ultimately this is not an issue about protecting the people from deception; it is an issue about the wicked persecuting the righteous, and a larger, apostate church wielding the civil sword to bring heretics into line.

"During the course of His trial Jesus said, 'If my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight.' It is only when Christians mistakenly come to believe that Christ's kingdom is of this world that they resort to force in defending what they take to be its interests." [5BC 527]
- Lucan Chartier

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Pastor Chick
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Re: Short Summary of the Situation

Postby Pastor Chick » August 23rd, 2012, 3:52 am

It was 1998 when my wife and I met with Walter Carson (Gen. Counsel for the GC) in Silver Spring, MD. Some years prior I had mailed some of my writings to the GC and to Walter Carson for their consideration. Mr. Carson brought the booklets into the conference room where we met and said he had not yet read them but would make a point of reading them as the result of our meeting. He told me that he is bound by the dictates of the "leading men," and that I should not consider it a personal affront if he were compelled to initiate a trademark lawsuit against me at some time future.

We closed with my praying for him and his brethren. My wife and I recall seeing tears in Mr. Carson's eyes at the close of the prayer. We departed with respectful spirits.

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