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A Response to the Action of the Pacific Union Conference Constituency Meeting on Sunday, August 19, 2012

http://www.adventistreview.org/article/5625/archives/issue-2012-152...

 

The 17 million members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are united through the Holy Spirit in a common commitment to Christ and the truths of His Word, an urgent end-time mission, and a divinely inspired church organization. A threat to any one of these places at risk the unity of the church. It is for this reason that the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church affirms the Pacific Union’s action not to change their Constitution and remain in harmony with the world church. This represents a step in a positive direction. The General Conference leadership is seriously concerned, though, with the Pacific Union’s subsequent action to preempt the collective decisions of the world church regarding ordination. Unilateral actions contrary to the voted decisions of the global church seriously threaten the unity of the church.

The world church recognizes the vital role that women play in the life, ministry and leadership of the church and encourages their active involvement. Because the General Conference Administrative Committee has already voted and commenced the most comprehensive study in our history on the subject of ordination, which will include the study of the ordination of women, the action of the Pacific Union to grant Ministerial Ordination “without respect to gender” preempts the process voted for the current study of ordination theology and practices by committing the Pacific Union Conference to a particular outcome before the study-and-discussion process is completed. It also expresses a lack of trust in the integrity of the general process accepted and voted by General Conference administrators and personnel, division officers, and pastors and lay members from all the world divisions who serve on the General Conference Executive Committee, which includes the presidents of the 125 unions representing the world church, regarding how we approach common challenges.

Further, the action is contrary to General Conference Working Policy and sets aside the 1990 and 1995 decisions of the General Conference in Session respecting the practice of ordination. The action taken by the Pacific Union Conference represents a serious threat to the unity of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, and thus, at its next meeting in October 2012, as indicated in another recent public statement by General Conference officers and division presidents, the General Conference Executive Committee will carefully review the situation and determine how to respond. In the spirit of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the officers of the General Conference appeal to all entities, organizations, and individuals, including the Pacific Union Conference, to refrain from independent and unilateral decisions and from implementing any such actions.

It is our prayer that the “oneness” Jesus prayed for in His great intercessory prayer in John 17, and that which the disciples experienced in Acts 2, will be manifest in His church today. We pray that the result of this “oneness” will be lives transformed by His grace, united in His love, and empowered by His Spirit to proclaim His last-day message in all of its fullness to a perishing planet, hastening the glorious return of our Lord.


Ted N. C. Wilson, President
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists


G. T. Ng, Secretary
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists


Robert E. Lemon, Treasurer
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

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Ronald, remember that it is in the Bible that a man could have more than one wife and that most women could not own property or speak publically, let alone int the temple.

I agree that the government can't tell us who and who not to ordain as a pastor. The problem that I was pointing out was whether or not women can still be educated in SDA theology and divinity programs with no expectation of receiving pastoral employment after they've finished. I'm not the expert of jobs that a person can get with a Bachelor's in Theology, Master's of Divinity, and Doctor of Ministry. But I do believe that it's the expectation of most people attending SDA schools, men and women, to be able to receive some sort of pastoral postion in the SDA Church when they begin these programs, if they don't hold one already.

I personally don't believe that it's right to continue to allow women to continue to enroll in the programs, only to have it come up later that they won't be offered a job. It begs the question though, if women can't be ordained as pastors, why let them go through the programs? This is where the lawsuit part in my OP came in. 

At the very least, there should be some type of full disclaimer to all women entering, beginning, or enrolled in these programs now (I'm not sure how informed everyone is on this, or how informed the schools will make women on this) that this under consideration by the GC. Women entering the programs for the first year should be able to take all of this in to consideration when deciding whether to stick with their degree program.

I'm assuming that all people attending these SDA schools want some type of pastoral employment with the SDA Church. This impact of not being able to get the employment for women in these programs is something that the GC must take into consideration as well as each SDA institution. It really can't be ignored.

D Shephard

 

A very good point.  For the GC to take the biblical stand that women are not to be ordained, then allow Andrews et. al. to train women with a job expectation is quite unfair. 

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

That has been one of the issues--and it has been stated on this forum before by Teresa. 

I have exhausted reading all the posts since last on.....

Let me pose a simple question......

Actually, I have 2 questions to pose, but will pose them 1 at a time....

What is 1 Timothy 3:1-5 actually saying?

Here is is again....

3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

We have discussed scripture and/or the lack of scripture as a basis for/against WOPE.  But my question is....what is God conveying in this passage of scripture?.....

Brother Ronald,

I would like you to explain various aspects of what you just wrote....

1.  What do you mean when you say, "the passage, obviously written in Paul's own words, not God's"......  

2.  What do you mean when you say, "presupposes that the candidates will all be male"

3.  In your statement, "or might women also qualify, as they are expected to be managers of their own household"...... on what basis do you establish that women are "managers of their own households?"

4.  What do you mean when you say "this doesn't exactly fit our present day"?

5.  Why do you say "how do we adapt the underlying concepts to our present circumstances"?

I have comments for all your points, but I would rather reserve my comments to make sure that I am understanding what you are saying.  However, I will comment on question #4 that I posed to you.

Once again.... you said, "This doesn't exactly fit our present day, where women are being recommended for the role.  Perhaps you have just answered your own questions and the questions of others who are in favor of WOPE; as articulated in previous posts.  Paul's writings in 1 Timothy 3, in fact,  doesn't fit our present day!!!  I hope that you will greatly consider your own words.  We are trying to find a basis to expand Elder and Pastoral Ministry beyond the criteria of 1 Timothy 3 which becomes an "extra-biblical task".  The question is, will be try to make the Bible fit our "present day desires" or will we just accept it as it reads.  You have correctly stated that Paul writings presupposes a male-only leadership scenario.  Implied in your writing is that their is no consideration of a "female-inclusive" leadership scenario.

Bro White, what makes our day and time so special that the Bible must conform to the 21st Century?  In fact, I would think that, according to scripture, there is very little good about our age; since it is comparable to the times of the Flood, which drew the judgments of God, not the admiration of God.  Even God's Church last day church (Laodicea) receives no commendations or accolades.  The Bible is timeless..... It doesn't matter when Paul wrote what he wrote, it was for our day and time, as well as those who read it 200 years ago.  How much of Scripture will have to be thrown out if we play the "culture card"?  I am very full on this topic of WOPE.....hence, I write extensively.... but I do want to stick to my original questions..... 

Ronald

This is all of the instructions that God saw we needed.  If it is not included here, it is not God's will.  How hard is that to understand?

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

Dwayne

In this passage, God is giving the new criteria for the leaders of the New Testament church.  You can also add verses 6 to the end of the chapter as well as Titus 1 to what you have quoted.

In Isaiah 66:21, God prophesied that a change would be made in the selection specifications for spiritual leaders, no matter what they are called.  The only significant change was that there was a change in the criteria for being a spiritual leader, in that they no longer had to be of the tribe of Levi.  So, with this change that was prophesied in Isaiah 66, the new instructions were given in fulfillment of that prophecy, to Paul, who has given them to the church.

No further changes have been prophesied, so no further changes are approved of by God.  In fact, in Revelation 2, God has made it clear that if those in the last days returned to the practices of Jezebel, He would destroy them.  So, as with the old testament priesthood, the new order still would be led by a married male who met other requirments. 

This effectively eliminates females from apply for the position.  For just as a "STOP" sign does not have a tag line saying: "Do Not Go," so too it is not necessary to say that men, not women, should be the spiritual leaders.

Maranatha :)
Ray

tersa

You posted:

"I have an honest question.  If we are to take that literally, are we also to take the 10th commandment literally?  Or are we to  understand the principle of the messages?"

There is, in fact, no law for a New Covenant Christian.  Note this statment.

    "The Ten Commandments, Thou shalt, and Thou shalt not, are ten promises, assured to us if we render obedience to the law governing the universe. "If ye love me, keep my commandments." John 14:15.  {FLB 86.6}

The New Covenant is fulfilled for us when we allow the instructions of God to be written in our hearts.  Then we do not need a "law" because we will only want to do what God would have us to do.  See Hebrews 8. 

The "Ten Commandments" are only for the unconverted and those who are working under the Old Covenant of: "All that the Lord has said, we will do."  Exodus 19:8. 

So, when a person refuses to acknowledge God's  instructions in their life, then they will be judged by the Ten Commandments, and as mentioned in a previous post, if we break the tenth commandment, we have in fact broken them all.

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

 

 

teresa

ROFL.  OK, you got me on that one.  I thought you were being serious.  Oh, well, with women, you can never know. TIC LOL

Yes, the point is well taken.  Using that same logic now, let's look at some other texts too and see what happens when we apply it to them too.  This could get interesting.

     "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (ESV) 

Since this is addressed to the "world," it does not apply to those in the church. So all Christians are outside of this promise.

Or, how about this passage?

    "But he answered, "It is written,
    " 'Man shall not live by bread alone,
        but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.' "  Matthew 4:4 (ESV)  

This only applies to men, so women do not have access to the bread of life, using your train of logic.  Or how about this passage?

     "And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also."  Matthew 5:40 (KJV) 

However, if a woman sues you, fight her to the bitter end, right?  Or how about this passage?

    "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."  Matthew 6:24 (KJV) 

So, using your approach, it seems like only men have to submit to a master, women do not have to, right? 

 

See what "way out" conclusions one can come to when they do not use reason and common sense?  Unless the word "man" is identified in the context as a male, it refers to the entire human race.  Therefore, the tenth commandment refers to everyone who has not allowed God to take complete control of their life.

However, if a person has been born again and entered into the New Covenant relationship with God.  The tenth commandment does not apply to them.  For, when we allow God to be in control of our life, He will take all covetous thoughts out of our life, so we will not even want to covet.

See, under the New Covenant, God is the one making us good and the Ten Commandments are Ten Promises which describe the kind of a person God will make us into.  These become a "check list" to help us know what God is doing in our life.  So, if we see that we are still coveting, then we have the right to ask God to take that out of our life.  This is the Christian way.  We will not even want anything that God has not openly given to us.  For we know that He will give us everything that is good for us.  If He has not given it to us, it is becasue it is not good for us.

Maranatha :)
Ray
 

 

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