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BREAKING: Annual Council Votes Women's Ordination Question for 2015 GC Session

After a long day of discussion on women's ordination, delegates approved a question to send on for deliberation and vote in San Antonio, Texas.

SILVER SPRING - At approximately 5:37 local time, Annual Conference delegates voted to approve language crafted by The General Conference and Division Officers (GCDO), that will now go to delegates at the 2015 General Conference Session in San Antonio, Texas. The language from GCDO came in the form of a question, posted below.

Delegates will be asked,

After your prayerful study on ordination from the Bible, the writings of Ellen G. White, and the reports of the study commissions, and;

After your careful consideration of what is best for the Church and the fulfillment of its mission,

Is it acceptable for division executive commitees, as they may deem it appropriate in their territories, to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry? Yes or No

The discussion of ordination, and specifically the issue of whether or not women might be ordained as pastors, spanned two business sessions, the first from 9:00 am until approximately noon, the second from 2:00 pm until just after the final vote.

Before delegates voted, they heard three summary presentations that represented the three positions that emerged from the Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC). Biblical Research Institute scholar Clinton Wahlen presented Position 1, which favored denying ordination to women pastors in elders, and supported male headship. Walla Walla University professor Carl Cosaert presented Position 2, which would allow those church fields that support ordination to proceed. Andrews University professor Nicholas Miller presented Position 3, which sought to marry the male headship language of Position 1 with the variability in practice of Position 2.

When the floor opened for discussion, countless delegates spoke to the motion both in favor and against. The final vote was 243 in favor, 44 opposed, and 3 in abstention.

Check back for a full report on the day's proceedings soon.

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You can't prove that Ellen White was never ordained, it is not possible.

Sure, we can.  There would be record of it having been done.  Ergo it did not happen.  Now, if you are saying all things are possible and therefore that a negative cannot be proven, when are you going to start worshiping Odin? Prove Odin does not exist.  That would be a similar construction to your argument.

My question would be why are you so desperate to grasp at straws?  A servant leader is about being a servant, not demanding to be a leader. 

The certificates saying she is ordained would be a sufficient record of it having been done. There is a reasonable explanation as to how the certificates exist without her being ordained, so she may not have been; but it can't be proved. 

I don't know who Odin is and certainly can't prove he doesn't exist.  Why are you guys so desperate to grasp at straws - there is no proof that Ellen White is not ordained, does not and can not exist.

Jason

Never is an obsolute, and this case a matter of semantics. She was ordained by both credentials and practice. And if she were alive today you would not deny her a pulpit to speak from.

 

Leon

Then by having a certificate( which you can view above) that says she is an ordained minister of the SDA church, she ether an ordained minister, or bearing false witness. I would rather believe she was an ordained minister. Regardless we know she was certified as an ordained minister for sure.

Therefore Shannon, the onus is on the proponent to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that she was ordained. Otherwise it cannot be used as positive evidence. It is the same as if they did not exist.

Jay are you purporting that the certificates could not be entered into evidence into a court?  Of course they could.  The evidence would be submitted, the other side would attempt to discredit it, and the jury would decide.

To reiterate, I am not saying that Ellen White was definitely ordained, I don't know. But given the existence of the certificates it is impossible to say for certain that she was never ordained.

As you rightly said, Shannon, it is impossible to prove a negative. That is why in most justice systems around the world the prosecutor must prove that the accused committed the offence and the accused is under no obligation to say a word in defence. The burden of proof is always on the one making the accusation not on the defendant.

If one suggests that EGW (or anyone else for that matter) was ordained then the onus is on the proposer to demonstrate, to "prove", the allegation. Therefore they should come with a date and place at the very least. The issue of the certificates has been dealt with quite clearly by the EGW Estate. If the certificates are assumed to be proof then one must deal with the deletion of the word "ordained" on one of the certificates. As that certificate falls between two certificates that do not have the word "ordained" crossed out one then has to explain how anyone - but especially sis White - could be ordained, not ordained and then ordained again. This introduces doubt and as, in most courts of criminal law, guilt must be established beyond reasonable doubt the certificates would not prove the point. Yes, they would be admissible but they would not be fatal to the defence.

If anyone has really looked into the issuing of the certificates they will have seen the EGW Estate's response to the subject and clarification of why the certificates were issued particularly with reference to various itinerant preachers who were purporting to be SDA but preaching a different gospel.

Sure John, as long as you guys admit you can't prove a negative we are fine. I am not making a case that she was ordained, I am just pointing out that you can't prove she wasn't.

The default position would be the position that has been maintained by the Church since day one: that she was not ordained by human hands.
If anyone wants to make a case that she was ordained by human hands they would have to provide evidence in support of changing the established position - which, I believe, is what Jay's point was.

Again as long as you guys don't claim that "Ellen White is not ordained" there is no disagreement.  I beleve the legal terminlogy is that there is a palusible alternative explantion to the evidence (certificates) that she is.  It would also be fair to see you believe she was not ordianed or even she was probably not ordained.

There is no record of Ellen White ever having been ordained by human hands. Yet from 1871 until her death she was granted ministerial credentials by various organizations of the church. The certificate that was used read “Ordained Minister.” Several other credential certificates from the mid-1880s are still in our possession. On the one from 1885 the word ordained is neatly struck out. On the 1887 certificate, the next one we have, it is not.

Why then do some of her credentials say “ordained minister”? The fact that “ordained” was sometimes crossed out highlights the awkwardness of giving credentials to a prophet. The church has no such special category of credentials. So it utilized what it had, giving its highest credentials without performing an ordination ceremony. In actuality, the prophet needed no human credentials. She functioned for more than 25 years prior to 1871 without any.

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