This week will be an important one for the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Many readers will be aware that in 2015 General Conference delegates in session voted to reject a proposal to let each division executive committee to decide for itself whether or not to make provision for the ordination of women. The world church made a global decision, the result of which was to follow the biblical practice and the from-the-beginning-of-the-Adventist-Church until now global practice of only ordaining qualified male spiritual leaders.
After the session, some elements of the church in Europe and in North America continued and increased in their defiance of the world church.
At Annual Council in October 2016 General Conference leadership brought a fair-minded proposal for reconciliation procedures to help the disobedient sections of church leadership be kept accountable and help the church draw together in united practice in harmony with the decision made by the world church. Many NAD leaders aggressively fought the proposal. Nevertheless, it passed and the reconciliation procedures are now being applied. Leaders from the General Conference will meet with North American Division Union leadership in a special meeting to be held this week on January 19. Some NAD leaders have called for special prayer for these meetings. It is a good time to pray for these meetings.
While there were numerous quite contentious comments made by NAD leaders who are advocates of WO at the meeting, The Council of Adventist Pastors thought readers might find it encouraging to recapitulate again some truth-telling comments made by faithful leaders at that meeting held three months ago. For example, Dan Houghton offered the following observations:
“I’m extremely puzzled by this discussion, and I want to speak in favor of this motion. Its seems to me that 90% of everything that’s been said has been re-litigating what happened in San Antonio. . . And I would just like to say, that there are lots of people watching this proceeding, right now, around our country, with different ideas. The question I have, Does a vote in General Conference session mean anything? Does it mean anything? We spent five years, and I don’t know how many dollars, preparing for Indianapolis, and we took a vote. And there was a vote. This is really not about women’s ordination, and cannot be; we cannot make it that. Does this Church have a unity,? And does it have an authority? I would encourage those of my brothers and sisters who I love, they’re my friends, to find a different way to express their frustration with that vote, than undermining the authority and the unity of this Church.”
Some had insinuated that the General Conference, in seeking compliance with the 2015 GC session decision, was exercising kingly power. But Dr. Clinton Wahlen in speaking from the floor contradicted that claim with facts:
“Mr. Chairman, there is a difference between local policies, and policies voted by the General Conference session. The situation before us today, is, in some important respects, unprecedented. That’s why a focused solution is needed. The events leading to non-compliance with the San Antonio vote were not accidental. A great deal of energy was expended on crafting proposals for constituency meetings to act on, and these deliberate efforts have placed some unions and conferences in non-compliance. This situation arises from deep theological convictions that have been held for a very long time. Following the vote in San Antonio, a formal appeal was made on August 17, 2015 by the GC Secretariat to each division, kindly asking every entity to come into alignment with the world church. . . The time has come to take action. I appeal to this body to choose the solution that policy already provides, and that the Secretariat’s recent Unity document suggests. Quoting B05.3, ‘Organizational membership and status are entrusted to entities that meet certain qualifications, including faithfulness to Seventh-day Adventist doctrines, compliance with denominational practices and policies, demonstration of adequate leadership and financial capacity, and responsiveness to mission challenges and opportunities. Membership and status can be reviewed, revised, amended, or withdrawn by the level of organization that granted it.’ Please hear this final appeal from Jody, a constituent of one of the non-compliant unions: ‘I feel that my local church, my conference, and my union are the ones with the kingly power. It is frustrating wanting to be unified with the GC under the layers of three uncooperative kingly powers. I want to be made whole with the world church.’ We need to consider her plea and the cry of many thousands like her.”
Michigan Conference president Jay Gallimore, stated:
“I’m disappointed to hear so many references made that the issue that faced the General Conference in San Antonio is some kind of minor policy. That motion required a vote based on the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. We spent months and years, through all kinds of committees, to get to the place where this Church could vote on that issue. At this point, the issue is no longer that issue. The issue is the unity of the church. And the unity of the church is not maintained by pluralism. If we want to try to find a way that’s painless, to keep the unity of the church, we can go down the road of pluralism, but it will be very, very costly in the end. Redemptive discipline is painful. Its patient. Its full of love. And this document, I believe, gives us the start on that. We cannot as a Church maintain our unity, and allow people who oppose the world church, to simply accomplish what they wanted by default, by the Church never addressing the issue.”
We accept the decision at San Antonio, and we believe the Church needs to move forward united. Our prayers go up for church leaders to be resolute in helping the NAD Unions come into the harmony that Jesus desires. Most members in North America want to move forward united as a world church. We are not going to ordain women to the gospel ministry, because to engage in that new practice would mean to abandon the correct understanding of Biblical interpretation that this church was founded on.
The prayers that go up this week ought not be for permission to disobey the leading of God’s Spirit but for courage to surrender a pet idea rejected by the world church at San Antonio. There remains opportunity for NAD leadership to come into harmony with the world church. For this our prayers are ascending.
20 replies on “GC to Meet with NAD Regarding WO”
My greatest concern about this meeting is that GC will effectively dispell the notion that those against WO are against any women in leadership in the church. Remind the WO proponents that women are free to do evangelism, teaching, prophesying, Bible study groups, home visitation, raise up church plants, do congregational and community programs for inreach and outreach, perform administrative tasks, etc. Nothing is withheld from them except the positions of oversight of the work by men ordained to that capacity. Before discipline is discussed, these misconceptions should be dissolved. What more is necessary for a healthy church than every member involved in witnessing activities? Many in North America have looked to the pastors to do the work instead of realizing he is to be the overseer and motivator. But God has chosen men to that position as is consistent throughout all of Scripture.
Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 1 Cor 14:34
Linda how I agree with your observation. There is a misconception of women in ministry.I keep praying for the reconciliation efforts. We are Hur and Aaron holding up the leaders’ hands as we pray for them.
The actions of the NAD President, immediately following the October 11, 2016 Fall Annual Council Vote on the 3 page document, has made it clear that there will be no capitulation on the part of the NAD; and therefore no meaningful counsel will be given the non-compliant Unions within the NAD. The NAD President’s sermon, preached with a week of the Annual Council meetings at Andrews University, was a divisive sermon and was, to my dismay, was re preached before the leadership at NAD Year End meetings a month later. To boot, the video response by the NAD to the discipline vote at Fall Annual Council made it clear which direction things are going; there will be no turning back!
Let’s cut to the chase…
We’ve got two tiers, if you please, associated with this issue:
Tier #1. Women serving as Ordained Elders & Unordained Pastors
Tier #2. Women serving as Ordained Pastors
We have been sitting at Tier #1 since the 1975 (Spring Meetings), arriving there by what can safely be described as “the back door”; meaning the decision was arrived at and enacted without the benefit of the input of the World Church in Business (which convened a few months after that meeting). It was ratified in 1984 by Fall Annual Council, and was again kept from discussion and vote of the World Church at the GC of 1985. So we have been stuck in limbo since 1985; between “Tier 1” & “Tier 2”.
Let me just say that “Tier 1” should never have been implemented if “Tier 2” cannot also be implemented. (Read this fully…) Women should be allowed to be ordained if they are allowed to serve as Elders and Pastors; its a logical “next step”. However, should women be allowed to serve in either capacity? According to God’s Word.. the answer is no! As a church, we seem to have a tough time just saying “No”. Our problem is we are trying to manage a totally unbiblical idea from the start. We’re trying to be true to His word (no WO) while not being true to His word (Women serving as Elders and Pastors). Hence, we teeter-tooter between Tier #1 & Tier #2. The longer we take to eradicate Tier #1, the more impassioned and emboldened proponents of Tier #2 will be to see WO come to fruition.
Amen brother, straight from scripture. God is our guide, the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth, so therefore we can not have 2 completely opposite sides regarding doctrinal issues.
Let us all humbly fall at the feet of Jesus and ask for the Holy Spirit’s indwelling so that we can finish the work that God has put us here to do and stop disobeying God.
Well that comment hit the nail square on head.
Get rid of both #1 & #2
Yes, we need to back up to the 1975 unbiblical action. You pointed out the inconsistency as it is. Again, this is for leaders to work through. Let us encourage with prayer, emails, letters, phone calls as God impresses us.
I totally agree with you Dwayne. This is a serious matter which should not have been decided by Annual Council. We have opened door too wide to realize we cannot close it anymore.
Wherefore, having left the word of the beginning of the Christ, unto the perfection we may advance, not again a foundation laying of reformation from dead works, and of faith on God,
of the teaching of baptisms, of laying on also of hands, of rising again also of the dead, and of judgment age-during,
Does anyone know when one could learn about “of laying on also of hands” in Adventism?
If “GOD” did not give us an example; and “JESUS CHRIST” did not leave us one. Then why is Daniel Jackson, President of the NAD trying to create a Headship, of Women as Overseer’s, in the “World Church” and Headship in the family? Reversing “GOD’S” Divine order. It is obvious, That the Prince of this world has come into the World Church in the same like manner in Disguise when the sons of “GOD” came to present themselves before the Lord, written in the book of Job! Like an angel of light! …and the proof that we have, is that some of the “Brethren” of the NAD, have enjoined themselves with the Prince of this world, advocating for Equalization, of both “Genders,” Male and Female, to be “Equal” as overseers of the Bride, of “JESUS CHRIST”! Proclaiming that Equalization makes no difference with “GOD”. Joining in with the world. Completely Disregarding the Commission “JESUS CHRIST” Bequeathed to the “MEN” “HIS” Father gave to “HIM” to “Preach the Gospel”! Written in John 17: 6. I have manifested thy name unto the “MEN” which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were and thou gavest them me; and and
they have kept thy word. However, here is the reality of the plans, President Daniel Jackson, of the NAD, revealing his disrespect of the 60th General Conference Session, that voted for the third time against “Women’s Ordination”. Including the President of the General Conference; and Re-Elected again, President Ted N.C. Wilson. Determined to go forward, on his OWN, in the Apostate Spirit, that has taken control of him. Openly challenging the General Conference Working Policy!
Here is the statement to the Women that Daniel Jackson made and promised, saying!
“I want to give you the assurance that the vote yesterday (at the 2016 Annuel Council Meeting, 10-12-2016) did not affect your status as a pastor. Furthermore, as stated in our press release yesterday, the North American Division remains committed to empower and establish our “Women” in pastoral ministry.
We will not give up on this ideal and goal. We are grateful to God for your committed service to Him. I recognize that there may be, in the coming days, significant rumor mongering and conspiracy theories that predict dire outcomes, etc. My encouragement to you is to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. My dear sisters, God will work things out in His time.
His purposes will succeed. Please keep holding on. God bless each of you”.
Is this not open Apostasy? Here is a Man that have decided to go his own way, because he couldn’t get his way; and he has purpose in his heart, on taking with him as many, that will listen! This kind of Spirit, is very alarming, for we all know, that this is the same kind of Spirit that possessed Lucifer, when he was in the kingdom of heaven, that caused the “Split”, and there was “WAR” Lucifer was Defiant; and Deliberate! This is the Same Spirit, that is going against, the Commission of the Lord “JESUS CHRIST”given only to “MEN”, to preach “HIS” Gospel? “WOMEN ORDINATION” is of Satan, and is “Not of GOD”! …and the “World Church”, is out right being “Challenged”
Is this where this come in And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matthew 5:30
It gives me great comfort to listen to the voices of all who contributed to the comments above. It is equally a blessing for the GC Leadership to be addressing these matters as they are doing. We can pick up courage and support our leaders as they steer this ship of Zion. God still has voices and clear heads in this church and they are loud and clear. Thank God. This has been such a battle for the soul of Adventism and many a brave warrior have been casualties. As we pray for our church, let us pray to the Lord we do not lose a soul over this mischievous matter.
It may be difficult to understand how anyone can be misled into supporting superfluous motions and strange ideas that have nothing to do with the discharging of our duty, but it can happen to any of us. Human nature is fickle. We can all be seduced, taken off guard, deceived, ungodly at different times over different issues. Only God is Holy and consistently right and good. The brothers and sisters who have been deceived on this point may be faultless on others. What we all need is to pray for is that God can turn their hearts to that which is in their own eternal interest and the good of the work: His clearly revealed will. May the Spirit of God prevail in all hearts as He reveals the truth. How gentle God is with all of us and our hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil. I have yet to find a soul who can cast a stone but there are many who have been recipients of GRACE. This is just one among many matters that test whether we have grace within. On the other hand, how painful it can be to witness rebellion and stubbornness in the face of a clear Divine instruction. 1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. May the Lord roll back the stone and resurrect His life in all of us: the same simple faith in the Bible as it reads that gave us birth. Dear Lord, save us all as we navigate this.
Thank you, Noel, for your expression of charity. We need humble understanding of the battle our brothers and sisters are caught up in. Charity as described in I Cor. 13 needs to be matched in perfect union with deep resolve to stand on God’s Word as our authority in all decisions.
To the OT Editor. Kindly edit the two comments before the last one as it was an attempt to correct a typo. Thank you.
I agree with you, this is very inconvenient when you cannot correct some mistakes in your comments.
A sound message and direction needs to be set by the GC.
Daniel Jackson needs to be removed/fired from his position immediately. With him the princes that sided this rebellion for the last 10+ years that are still in a position of authority across the NAD.
Three times this issue has come up for discussion and a vote at the GC. It is time not just to knock down Goliath, but to separate the head from the body. Otherwise we will see this issue again at the next GC meeting.
The same goes for the Scandinavian and Netherlands unions.
This action might be interpret as punitive, but I hope it is also seen as redemptive. That a separation from the local church is a hint that this attitude of rebellion will not be accepted in heaven either. And that by it they will reconsider their stand with the body of Christ on earth for the end of time.
It may be difficult to understand how anyone can be misled into supporting superfluous motions and strange ideas that have nothing to do with the discharging of our duty, but it can happen to any of us. Human nature is fickle. We can all be seduced, taken off guard, deceived, ungodly at different times over different issues. Only God is Holy and consistently right and good. The brothers and sisters who have been deceived on this point may be faultless on others. What we all need to pray for is that God can turn their hearts to that which is in their own eternal interest and the good of the work: His clearly revealed will. May the Spirit of God prevail in all hearts as He reveals the truth. How gentle God is with all of us and our hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil. I have yet to find a soul who can cast a stone but there are many who have been recipients of GRACE. This is just one among many matters that test whether we have grace within. On the other hand, how painful it can be to witness rebellion and stubbornness in the face of a clear Divine instruction. 1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. May the Lord roll back the stone and resurrect His life in all of us: the same simple faith in the Bible as it reads that gave us birth. Dear Lord, save us all as we navigate this.
“Committed to Scripture // Subordinated to Jesus // Called to Unity”
“Committed to Scripture . . .” :
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: . . .” Exodus 20:11
“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people Saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.’” Revelation 14:6,7
“. . . Subordinated to Jesus . . . ” :
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” John 1:1-3
“During the first twenty-five hundred years of human history, there was no written revelation.” GC, page v, ‘Introduction’, by EGW
“In the beginning, On the beginning God was revealed in all the works of creation. It was Christ that spread the heavens, and laid the foundations of the Earth. . . .
Now sin has marred that perfect work, yet that handwriting remains.” DA, page 1
“Since He (the young Jesus) gained knowledge as we may do, His intimate acquaintance with the Scriptures shows how diligently His early years were given to the study of God’s word. And spread out before Him was the great library of God’s created works. He who had made all | 300 limit
I saw no announcement of a ‘300 limit’ when I wrote and submitted my reply.
Please either restore the remainder of my reply, or remove my whole reply, not just the ‘Point’ at the end, without which my reply is meaningless . . , as you already seem to have judged it to be anyway. DENNIS HOFER