After the Year of Grace…

In October, 2016, following a vigorous debate and a contentious week, the General Conference Executive Committee approved a document with a five-step procedure for church reconciliation. The action followed days of uncertainty because several drafts of a possible motion had been proposed to dissolve the unions that had voted to approve women’s ordination in a possible takeover action by the General Conference. Instead of a takeover however, the document that was finally voted set up a year of grace with provisions for meetings, prayer, and consultation. And, to generalize this procedure so that it might be used for more than just the current situation, it was also acknowledged that other situations might bring an entity “out of compliance,” such as taking out an unauthorized loan. But the elephant in the room was the conferences and unions that had ordained women.

What has happened since that 2016 action? Have the five voted steps been followed?

Step One

The first step specified: “a. Listen and pray. i) this step begins when the executive officers or governing body become aware of an apparent reason for concern regarding a subsidiary entity’s actions. The executive officers should then meet with the leaders of the subsidiary entity. This will provide an opportunity to pray together and listen to each other.”

On January 19, 2017, there was a “closed door meeting” at the General Conference with the GC Officers, the NAD Officers and the NAD Union Conference Presidents. The Union Conference Presidents prepared for the meeting by drafting a statement declaring the basis for their unity. They affirmed the 28 fundamental beliefs and their unity with the worldwide church in its mission of bringing a remnant message to the world. But they also were specific in saying that they believe the Holy Spirit calls both men and women into ministry. And they were critical of the year of grace action taken at the 2016 Annual Council saying, “We believe the GC is dangerously overreaching its authority and potentially endangering the current and future unity and mission of the church.”

While the participants said this was a good meeting, with candid and vigorous discussion, at the end, a joint statement was issued that simply acknowledged that the meeting took place and the people who were present.

In February, the Trans European Division (TED) Executive Committee met, and the Annual Council action was put on the agenda for discussion. In response, the committee voted to request that the General Conference amend the Working Policy and create a single ministerial credential. But this meeting was different from the consultation that the GC held with the NAD and its Union conference presidents in January. It was not until April that such a meeting was scheduled with the TED and its unions that support women’s ordination.

Step Two

Step two in the process calls for consultation with a wider group, “including lay people, pastors, and administrators from the entity and the broader Church—should meet at least twice over a period of six months. This will provide an opportunity to listen to each other, pray together, and study God’s will from His Word and the Spirit of Prophecy. Every effort should be made and sufficient time be given for personal visits, open consultations, meetings, and forums for dialogue.”

In March, ten unions from four divisions announced their intention to hold a “Unity 2017 Conference” in the United Kingdom. They said the purpose of the meeting was to provide a time for a broader conversation than is possible at regular business meetings such as Annual Council. While this meeting might have been viewed as an appropriate step in the process, instead, it was met with opposition from the divisions and the General Conference. Calls were made from the General Conference telling people not to attend and not to use their travel budgets for this meeting.

So, step two in the GC’s process remains uncompleted. There have been no wider groups called to discuss the issue. No forums held. No reports made to the General Conference Executive Committee through its regular monthly newsletter or elsewhere.

Step Three

“c. Write pastoral letters. i) If after six months of discussion the matter has not been resolved, the executive officers of the next higher organization should write pastoral letters encouraging the executive officers and the governing body of the entity to lead their organization to be faithful to the biblical principles as expressed in the Fundamental Beliefs; voted actions; and working policies of the Church.”

In April, the North American Division Officers drafted a letter. But rather than a letter to the unions to encourage them to reconsider their actions, it was a letter to be sent to the General Conference. At that January session, the GC suggested that they should propose a way forward, a way that would include some pain in recognition of the “non-compliance.” A draft was reviewed with the Union conference presidents and then voted by the NAD Executive Committee which turned out to be the officials in the office. The minutes to the voted action were never shared with the entire NAD Executive Committee. (It is common practice for a small group to act on routine matters, but this was hardly routine.) And when the voted action was shared with the Pacific Union Conference Executive Committee, after the fact, the committee expressed specific disagreement with the response document, because it said, “With particular regard to the current situation within the church, we recognize that the actions of the Columbia and Pacific Unions are in violation of the voted actions of the General Conference in session and GC Policy #E 86.”

It also recommended, for the pain part, “the Columbia and Pacific Unions (either employees or laypersons) will not participate in the leadership (chairmanship or vice-chairmanship) of General Conference governance activities. . . They would retain their appointments or memberships on these committees with ’voice and vote,’ but they would be not be permitted to lead.” So, the Pacific Union Conference Executive Committee wrote to the NAD protesting the wording of the NAD action, but it was too late. The NAD had already sent the action on to the General Conference.

You can read the NAD Action in full below.

There was no response from the General Conference to the North American Division Executive Committee Action.

Also, in April, a new website for the General Conference Executive Committee was unveiled just in time for Spring Meetings. The monthly newsletter, created for the Committee, was placed on the website with articles reinforcing the authority of the General Conference.

The Spring Meeting of the General Conference Executive Committee took place in April, too. But the topic of reconciliation was not discussed.

On April 27, Thomas Lemon, vice president of the General Conference and chair of the Unity Oversight Committee, met with the officers of the Trans European Division and the officers of the four unions in that division that have taken a position supporting the ordination of women. Division officials described it as a private meeting and no statement was released after the session which was characterized as “good spirited.”

There are fourteen people on the Unity Oversight Committee that Lemon chairs, all General Conference personnel. There have been no reports of the committee’s work, not even in the Executive Committee Newsletter.

In June, the Unity Conference took place in London. The three-day meeting included presentations of ten papers by historians, theologians, and retired church administrators. It brought together eighty people from five divisions for an extended conversation about church authority and unity in the Scriptures and the Spirit of Prophecy as well as Adventist history. But, there were no current personnel from the divisions or General Conference present.

And that is what has taken place since October 2016.

The rest of the steps in the process specify:

“d. Listen and pray again. i) If these letters still don’t resolve the matter, the executive officers of the next higher organization should again meet with the executive officers and the governing body of the entity concerned to urge and encourage them to reconsider (unless an amended time frame has been approved in step b. above). They should also request an opportunity to meet again with the group that has been addressing the matter.

“e. Start phase two of reconciliation.”

That is where the General Conference and Division Officers picked up the process on September 19 with a new proposal from the presidential offices of the General Conference on where to go from here. But after twenty hours of discussion, plus conversations while riding on a bus from Maryland to New England for an Adventist History tour together, there was not a consensus. The president could not get a majority to support his proposal. The vote was close, but he lost. What he did get was non-disclosure statements from all the participants. Secrecy has been a key part of his approach to this whole process, in spite of the fact that there is nothing about specific employees or legal actions that would require secrecy. That is where it appears to stand on October 3.

Whatever comes next is due for consideration in the Annual Council meeting that begins on Thursday, October 5. Will there be discussion of whether or not there has been compliance with the voted action of last year? Will it be done in secret? In Executive Session? Will the rest of the church, the unions and conferences, the pastors and the laity ever be brought into the conversation?

Bonnie Dwyer is editor of Spectrum.

Image Credit: Pexels.com

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/8277
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Thank you for this comprehensive report.

The secrecy is very disturbing.

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Ted Wilson’s aberrant actions–the secrecy, the boycotting of conversation, the lack of follow through–are rookie mistakes of statecraft. Accordingly, we need to entertain the possibility that the Lord is hardening his heart. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh to ensure that the lessons learned by the Egyptians would be monumental and bloody. Similarly, the Lord hardened the hearts of Southern whites who owned slaves, so that the painful lessons imparted by the Civil War would never be forgotten. The Lord may not want a diplomatic and peaceful solution regarding the issue of women’s ordination. He may very well desire a cataclysmic upheaval that will forever teach opponents of women’s ordination that their departure from biblical truth is not something that He winks at.

Opponents of women’s ordination have lunged toward anti-Trinitarianism, specifically Subordinationism in its functional sense, and have misrepresented who God is, not only to their internal selves but even to impressionable youngsters at GYC. Over twenty Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are negated in whole or in part by male headship theory, which undergirds opposition to women’s ordination. Wilson’s presidency will go down in history as a time when the Church experienced an unprecedented Babel of doctrinal confusion. History will note that in response to the effort of our biblical scholars to instruct and clarify, Wilson opposed, marginalized, and humiliated them.

We should favor a diplomatic and peaceful solution. But we should also recognize that the Lord may have other plans.

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Interesting summation from your point of view. I agree, at least in part, but the anti-Trinitarianism of which you speak

leaves me in the dark. I’ve seen it mentioned a number of times in a number of different places but have not seen evidence of its existence. Could you please enlighten me with some specific examples and how it applies to this discussion? Thanks.

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I’d love to see a summary of this, Phil.

Thanks for sharing your interesting thoughts on Bonnie’s much-welcomed report on a bizarre year of “grace.”

EDIT: The powerpoint presentation looks remarkably amateurish and hokey. Just plain bizarre.

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i’m starting to get the feeling that the wind in the sail for retribution is dying down…it may be that TW was initially intent on punishing non-compliant unions, but the haphazard execution of the five-step procedure for church reconciliation over the past yr, especially lately, seems to suggest he’s going through the motions until fall council later this week, when he can say he tried, but nothing worked (he knows conservatives all over the world want punishment)…

in his sober moments, TW likely recognizes that the san antonio vote was unbiblical, and that the costs to the church for enforcing the vote are too steep to be practical…he has two more yrs and change as GC president…i think he’s just going let this reconciliation process and any push for punishment die a natural death, and focus on what he does and loves best: big city evangelism…i think he’ll leave it for the newly elected GC president at indianapolis to decide how to handle the san antonio vote…

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I went through the agenda https://executivecommittee.adventist.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/17AC-Final-Electronic-Agenda-Revised.pdf and haven’t found any trace of possible show-down with noncompliant unions. Is it hidden anywhere?
Oh thanks @petersomerset for pointing me to the right word.
Now I saw that the secretary will have a presentation show about defectors in Adventism. Who will be the next? Is he trying to denounce someone? It won’t be easy to sit quietly and listen to this agit-prop contribution of his.

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I am encouraged that the Division Presidents can’t agree with the GC President’s proposals. Perhaps this will give him pause for thought.

Certainly as Jeremy says hundreds and thousands are baying for the blood of those who are not prepared to be reconciled to the GC according to their dictates and adhere to GC Working Policy. Have even seen some threats that such people as these will vote with their feet if dire consequences are not handed out.

Such is the conundrum of those who promise more than they can ultimately give in the way of uniformity. I also am beginning to get very concerned that the GC has followed the dictates of those with big money. (This reminds me of what politicans are accused of). I wish with all my heart that these things may not be true.

@odorcic

Item #120 “Procedures for Reconciliation and Adherence.” [The name appears to have changed since Annual Council this last year].

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Secrecy. Why so much secrecy with this issue? There is only one way to please everyone, and that is to keep secrets about the rules we break so that people think we followed their rules and don’t judge us. We fear judgment so much that we allow it to take our power, our authenticity, and our freedom. The real cure is to stop allowing other people to define what is good and bad for us and to start following our hearts again like little children. But that takes courage because the judges get brutal when we trust our hearts and not them. In 1984, George Orwell said, “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” That is exactly what people do. We hide secrets by making them unconscious. We make them unconscious by piling thought after thought on top of the secret. I dream of a time when we all drop our unnecessary secrets and judgments – a time when parents applaud their children’s curiosity for peeking behind the curtain. When that happens, the children will also tell the truth about peeking. We’ll laugh as we join them in their playfulness instead of whipping them with obedience. When their heart-felt curiosity is honored, their innate desire to live without secrets will follow. The truth will set us all free.

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“Conditional and Time Related Grace” is NOT GRACE AT ALL.
It IS plain and simple, COERCION, THREATS, MANIPULATION, EVIL.
That is what has been going on here. NOT the Spirit of a Holy God.

What little we have been able “to look under the covers of the workings of the SDA church” there is really NOT a whole lot of difference than what was occurring among the Church Leadership in Jerusalem when Jesus was preaching in the Temple. Attitudes and “personal needs” of the Leadership is similar.
Ellen is quoted as saying – she saw the “church” about to fall. Maybe she misinterpreted what she saw. Maybe it NEEDED to fall so it could get up “reorganized” by leadership who were interested in doing the the work of God, and not having to meet THEIR EGO NEEDS first as we have been seeing the past several years exhibited and PROMOTED.

EDIT-- [10/4]
Carrol-- I THINK he may be including MANY members of the ASI, Many personages of the Independent Ministries, 3ABN since they allow person on WHO PROMOTE women discrimination.
YES!!! Money talks.
Take a READ through the PROVERBS, all 31 chapters. The Foolish RICH, the Foolish who take BRIBES.
With BRIBERY the RICH and POWERFUL can control the Pope, The Cardinals, The Bishops, The Priests. Been done before, can continue to be done in the 21st Century.

At one time [1980’s] the Rich destroyed, YES!! DESTROYED Southern’s Theological School.
It has REMAINED a warning to ALL the other Universities as to WHAT CAN BE done to THEIR University programs and the FIRING of professors, TENURED or NOT.
Even the University President!! [again, Southern].
YES!! Rich Adventists CAN KILL the SDA organization and ANY of its programs, and put EMPLOYEES [good ones at that] out on the Streets.
Been done before, That Threat is ALWAYS THERE!!

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Taking a cue from a rather protracted and infamous flounce,
I’d suggest that this past year represents
"The Year Without Grace".

Difference being, the one making the claim now is not threatening to leave,
but instead seems desirous to make others leave.

The view from my dock suggests they may in fact crew on the same barque.
Though I might be rockin’ the boat, I’d hate to be crockin’ the vote…

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Year of GRACE? Baloney!

We all know this is just cheap, fake rhetoric. Yes, FAKE YEAR OF GRACE.
The secrecy described in the article is something disgusting. I can’t believe religious leaders (Christian?) are operating a religious machine (aka Church) with so much disrespect to the public.

All this commotion for so long (remember TOSC?) and so much money wasted (remember TOSC??) just because some individuals are fighting for the perpetuation of DISCRIMINATION OF WOMEN in our Church?

Yes, this is what it is, a movement to consolidate and perpetuate DISCRIMINATION of women in Church. How can this happen in a self-declared Christian Church? Isn’t “Christian Discrimination” an oxymoron? But it seems that some morons don’t really care about the women in their Church.

And now, AUTCH-SWITCH…

It’s interesting that the first “17AC-Final-Electronic-Agenda.pdf” file published had a horrendous thing on pg 41. After mentioning the “rebels” that brought up the 1844/IJ heresy throughout the SDA Church’s history, after the last slides on Des Ford, it had TWO slides containing the word AUSCHWITZ. Imagine, AUSCHWITZ!!! In a document agenda for the AC of the SDA Church!!!

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f9/Auschwitz-birkenau-main_track.jpg/275px-Auschwitz-birkenau-main_track.jpg

Well, it seems that someone had a little bit of common sense and pushed for a review, and now we have the revised final version…

It seems that those people at the GC are quite confused… And those are the people leading the Church??? AUTCH — SWITCH them!!! They need to be replaced asap!!!
@harrpa @elmer_cupino @timteichman @gford1

= ==============

In other words, you think he is a straight shooter politician instead of a “machista.”

I can go with that. It’s certainly a possibility. Addiction (to power & control in this case) is strong enough for people to compromise even simple common-sense moral principles.

Just taking advantage of the “south-of-the-equator cultures” to stay in power. Sure, it may well be.

= ==================[quote=“LBW, post:16, topic:14398”]
OPEN LETTER TO:
President Wilson and Members of the General Conference Executive Committee:
[/quote]
Did you ever get a reply to your letter?
I kind of feel that I already know the answer… :wink:

= ===============

184/114? Doesn’t it say it all???..

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Do you mean Little Debbies, House of Nuts, and cement mixers? If this is out of place, editor, please delete.

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Anyone who understands anything about organizational development and change orientation knows that you cannot expect good outcomes when you have bad process. If I had run my business the way the GC is attempting to run the church, I would have been out of business.

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Let this be a lesson to all on the subject of objectivity and unity. All paychecks for these individuals are signed by one employer. Even if this committee were to come up with a viable resolution, it already would be tainted.

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OPEN LETTER TO:
President Wilson and Members of the General Conference Executive Committee:
In July 2015 following your re-election President Wilson I wrote you an open letter through the GC Facebook site. As part of that letter I stated:
“Congratulations on your re-election to continue to lead the World SDA Church forward in preparation for Christ’s second coming. Prophesy tells us we are in the last days of earth’s history the ‘signs’ we have preached about for many years we see being fulfilled all around us every day, and those who profess the love Christ are anxiously waiting. I am however reminded of God’s timing, which is not mans. We are aware of the cautions and preparations. The Servant of the Lord states, God will return when THEY (The Godhead), determines the Character of God is perfectly reproduced in man
I believe humans have a part to play in this timing in how we share His love and how we treat one another. As a leader who was shown confidence by your re-election, you have along with this responsibility, opportunity to set the direction for this church for mission. With our history, strong foundation, and record of the Lord’s leading we live in the present, in 2015 in the 21st century, post-modern world with all of its ramifications and influences. Certainly, there is the nostalgia of a better/simpler past life, which in memory is always better than reality. Not to dwell on past failures, but with our successes, there is a history of mistakes and politically correct decisions influenced by societal times and circumstances. Opportunities to lead and set precedence and be examples of influence and leadership we have missed. (Thusly, recent apologies by the Lake Union Conference President for past wrongs, regardless of motivating factors.) Far too often this falls in line with a history of reactions rather than being pro-active, timely and contemporary, especially in the area of Social Justice. A friend often used the analogy of a thermometer vs. a thermostat just recording or reflecting the temperature rather than controlling it.
Today, once again an opportunity presents itself. For far too long in this denomination’s history and for that matter world history, the exploitation, mismanagement, and manipulation of headship continues to be gender abusive, all because of “Eve’s Curse.” God’s sanction/curse was made in the context of the nuclear family established at creation not to be extrapolated to the general society. Headship, all men ruling over all women, grew from this earthly exploitation and has been abusive down through the centuries.”
I like the Expanded Bible translation (Genesis 3:16, EXB Translation; Then God said to the woman, “I will ·cause you to have much trouble [or increase your pain] ·when you are pregnant [in childbearing], and when you give birth to children, you will have great pain. You will greatly desire [C the word implies a desire to control; 4:7] your husband, but he will rule over you”.
In the 21st Century can we continue these attitudes, practices, and behavior in light of the information and knowledge we now possess, accepted or not. Gender discrimination like classism has plagued this denomination for its entire history, in spite of one of its revered co-founders being a woman. The issue of Women’s Ordination has been debated and studied beyond death. Factions have formed and are entrenched, both basing their positions on Sola Scriptura, often ignoring historical, societal influences and implications. A TEXT without a CONTEXT is but a PRETEXT. Yes biblical history comes from patriarchal cultures and societies, but is it always and in all contexts relevant in today’s eclectic, diverse, post-modern world? Our world is not and will not be homogeneous. It has not been since the Tower of Babel and will not be even in the New Earth a place full of many cultures in unity, not uniformity.

One universal is that from creation all humanity has been gendered. Sin not only caused a hierarchical separation between God and created humanity but the exploited hierarchical separation between gendered humanity, man, and woman.
As a mere mortal human being I can in no way pretend to know and understand the mind of God other than revealed through His word and the prompting of the Holy Spirit, but I imagine the Godhead may be saying to one another that one of the criteria for perfecting the character of God in man is to settle this gender issue as it relates, at bottom line to the distribution of and the sharing of authority, power, respect, and decency. This is not and never has been a Theological issue, but unfortunately, we have made it one. We have been playing this game for far too long.”
God bridged the chasm caused by sin between heaven and earth by the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ; (The Plan of Salvation). This is a fundamental, foundational belief of our church. I believe a responsibility of the church as an institution in the 21st Century is to bridge the chasm between gendered humanity; speaking mediocrely, restoring God’s last crowning act of creation, Eve to her rightful place by dismissing, removing, eliminating the debilitating stigma of headship by a paradigm shift in our thinking for this generation.
Once again we have an opportunity to join in the facilitation of the church in loving ‘unity’ or continue to command ‘uniformity’ to traditions which have their genesis in Roman Catholicism that has no biblical support. In this increasingly diverse world environment as an institution, I know it is like walking a tightrope, but it is necessary to continue to be open to an ever-changing world without compromising principle or doctrine. We continue to fight over non-theological issues, on which we have super-imposed adapted cultural and religious traditions and now hide behind policy as a threat to what has been labeled as noncompliance. A number of individual scholars, theologians, study groups, in all 13 Divisions, commissions, including TOSC, over the last half-century, have been studying the issue of ordination of women and have identified no biblical sanction against it, and have exposed where the GC is attempting to sell the misinterpretation and/or manipulation of its own longstanding policy, dating back to 1901, for Unions outlining the parameters of their authority in this area. I have read the GC Working Policy. I am still attempting to understand the perceived harm or loss to the world church by allowing this to happen. Help me understand this.
I happen to agree with what a blogger posted on Spectrum Magazine on 12/09/2011, stating,
“What few people want to acknowledge is that women’s ordination is ultimately a matter of cultural attitudes, not theology. One’s beliefs about gender roles will inform one’s theology, not the other way around, (my emphasis).
This truth is too dangerous to admit, because it invalidates so many other claims made on the basis of theology. This truth threatens entrenched and extremely invested power structures.” She states, “The “theological” debate has been going on for my entire lifetime for this very reason: because those in power know it’s not about theology, and to confine it indefinitely to that arena maintains the status quo. The problem is that cultural attitudes are changing at different rates within the church, not that the theology is poorly understood….”
She ends by paraphrasing, Micah 6:8, “This is goodness: to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk wisely with God. This is the ethical life. To walk it prudently and wisely, we must come to a clear and honest understanding of the conditional cultural attitudes we’ve inherited. Justice demands it, and this is the mercy of God.”

Elder Wilson, I read with some interest your recent article, entitled, “God’s Purpose for His Church”. My question is, “are you, President Wilson really hearing what you are saying?” By the churches’ continued resistance to allow Divisions to make their own decisions regarding the issue of Ordination without regard to gender the GC is being a deterrent to the very mission it so passionately promotes. Our diverse world is open enough to function in the ambiguity, (Tolerance of Ambiguity), of non-theological, cultural differences to accomplish our mission and purpose. Looking at the broader picture with insight, hindsight, and foresight which position will benefit the Adventist Mission, “coerced uniformity” or “willing unity in diversity? We live in the present with historical understanding and hope for the future.
What is the legacy you are wanting to leave the ‘world church’ as your term as president ends in 2020? You are in a position of leadership influencing the direction our church will be taking in the future. We often talk of hastening the coming of the Lord by fulfilling our mission: “all hand on deck”. Continuing to alienate over half of the membership by gender will further divide the church and is not a legacy I think you would like to leave behind in light of your push for unity. Veiled threats of “disciplinary action,” “nuclear options,” “grave consequences,” “a year of grace to conform,” issued by the GC administration, for failing to adhere of complying with “policy” (true or not; they are out there), I think you know will not end or solve this issue. We are not looking at winners and losers here, like some in the political climate in our nation, currently. This is a battle no one wins by forced or coerced compliance.
Policies for any organization are dynamic. We all agree policies are necessary for any organization, but when they become a hindrance to an organizations mission it is in the best interest of the institution to evaluate, modify, or change policy(s). We have studied and prayed over the issue of gender equality in ordination long enough. When decisions/policies prove to be restrictive rather than enabling, it is time for a fresh look to understand the traditions and customs of the past and use that knowledge as a springboard to new paradigms which will more effectively meet the needs of this generation. The early church was wise enough to do just that, not without resistance or conflict, but prevailed through the Holy Spirit. Ultimately we hinder the mission we are all dedicated to. In the ensuing years since the 2015 General Conference, how have those unions/conferences that are labeled as being “out of compliance” hindered the “mission of the Church” by recognizing and rewarding the gifts of female pastors by giving them equal recognition, status, and benefits? This is not going away. Remember Gamaliel’s Counsel in ACTS 5:34-39, (emphasis on verse 39).
This ship has sailed and there is no turning back, unless God does so, in His time, and to date, in my humble opinion, he has not. It’s time to remove the second-class status for the credentialing of our sisters in ministry, by giving them full recognition, blessing, “laying on of hands,” through universal licensing, credentialing, or ordination, (we know from our exhaustive studies), the historical, traditional, non-biblical headship baggage the term ordination carries with it, in those territories that are open and receptive to doing so. The label or terminology does not matter as long it is equal, removing any barriers, the current stigma of gender, which I continue to call, “Eve’s Curse”, which hinders full endorsement and recognition.
A reasoned and reasonable compromise solution to the ongoing factions regarding Women’s Ordination, which was proposed and voted down at the 2015 GC, is to allow Divisions to act independently in their own territories in support of the decisions of their local Unions and Conferences. There is room to accommodate those whose thinking is more traditional and those whose thinking is more progressive and appreciate the contributions of gender inclusiveness.
I leave you with the old adage that; CHANGE IS INEVITABLE, WHILE GROWTH IS OPTIONAL.
Sincerely,
LeRoy B. Washington

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So, someone has removed the slide referencing Auschwitz. Unfortunately, the GC leaderhip will never be able to erase the many copies that are already in circulation. The damage has been done.

We are still left with 911, al Qaeda and ben Laden as the context for the current crisis facing the SDA church.

I find it abhorrent that Division and Union leaders who stand up for the right are by implication put into this context of godless terrorism. To publish this historic list culminating in the Ford Crisis as Adventism 911 #7 is equally reprehensible for an organisation promoting the love and unity of the gospel.

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There sure are a lot of male pronouns in that agenda and the changes to be made especially in the ministerial section!

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I’m not so sure Ted Wilson cares about women’s ordination one way or the other. By exploiting the reliably misogynistic prejudices of certain ancient south-of-the-equator cultures, and cruelly and unethically abusing power, he may be deliberately pursuing a totalitarian church governance with himself as dictator.

The method could be called rule and ruin.

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There is nothing unusual about the secrecy. This is a dicy subject, and folk desire to be protected from the accusations that will follow any discussion such as this. We do it in broad meetings when discussing personal matters.

I remember a meeting where someone did NOT maintain the secrecy that is necessary so that people may say what they wish openly at such a meeting. It lead to some real hurt feelings and anger.

So, what would any member of the committee face from folk here if they said something that Spectrum or its members did not like. Castigation and condemnation. Not something some may wish to face.

So, secrecy on the matter is normal.