Annual Council 2015—General Conference Leaders Present "Appeal and Appreciation" on Ordination

Br. Allen
"If you folk want congregationalism [the ability to elevate women to their rightful place in the Lord’s work], you should go somewhere else."

I am sorry to have to tell you this, but we are NOT going away. The Seventh day Adventist church is OUR church TOO!!! Like Martin Luther, if we see EVIL in the church, then one must speak up and speak out against EVIL.
And not Only Speak out against EVIL but devise ways to rectify the EVIL that the MEN of the church are doing against WOMEN.
Ordination, in the way the Seventh day Adventist church does is from the early Catholic Traditions. And has maintained this, and by the notice of this Document, plans to continue to do so.
All those who see the benefit of Elevating Women is recognizing that God, Christ, the Holy Spirit calls BOTH Men and Women to the SAME Calling. It is time to recognize The Call in those who are Called. One can do so by naming them [Women and Men] “Pastor”, “Intern”. Pray a Blessing Prayer over them that The Trinity will bless their efforts, bless their Voices, bless their Hands, bless their Eyes, bless their Ears, bless their Minds as they listen to the Spirit speak to them.
There is NO REBELLION in this. One is NOT going against Church Policy. One is NOT ORDAINING Women OR Men. One is NOT following ancient Catholic Traditions.
One is announcing to one’s group the Call of the Spirit in a person in the New Testament way of Announcing. That is all.
Blessings on those Union Leaders who are returning to the New Testament way.
Blessings on those Union Leaders who are renouncing Ancient Catholic church ways.
I am sorry you cannot see and appreciate our point of view at this time.
PS: One is NOT Commissioning anyone either!!

EDIT-- Harrpa
It really does not matter about the voting at GC. It is just a waste of time and money on part of a committee. Norway and Denmark have created the answer to the problem. Perhaps “The Vote” was a Spirit Vote after all.
It required Inquiring Minds to investigate the Original New Testament way of presenting Spirit-filled persons to the Community. It required Inquiring Minds to Give Up Ancient Catholic Practices. To develop a Liturgy of Blessing. To just call one “Pastor”.
Yes, perhaps GC SA2015 WAS the “Spirit Vote.” The Spirit brought EVIL to the surface, and now it is being condemned.


It is precisely this attitude by @ajshep (not @niteguy2) that shows the true character and irony of our “brothers” who want to rid Adventism of those who disagree with them.

May God forgive our ivory tower administrators for ignoring 70% of the church population and those who would and could be ministering particularly effectively to them and others.

May God continue to empower women, in China, in all parts of the world, to be true to their God-given callings.

With the Norwegians, still awaiting an investigation by an impartial committee into the voting remotes issue which continues to call into question the integrity of the July 8 vote in the first place. The expense to the church as reported at this Annual Council for the voting devices was $97,000.

July 8 and October 9: Sad days in our church’s history.

EDIT:@niteguy2 Perhaps you are right about the July 8 vote triggering a new way. Perhaps. But many more unions will need to follow suit. They don’t appear to be lining up to do that. But maybe given time.


Each one of us most likely sits in a pew at church next to or near just such families with silent hurting women and have no clue. I know a headship male who is an elder and is very verbally, emotionally, spiritually abusive to his wife and shuns his daughter yet is very respected by other church members. It is sickening to observe!


The composition of the delegates is not truly representative of the world body. As Spectrum has documented, women are significantly underrepresented. In addition, the vast majority of delegates are church employees. This composition of delegates can easily risk being tempted to vote for the status quo, which ensures continuity of employment and generous retirement benefits. The “shareholders”, i.e. those who pay for the operation of the church are grossly underrepresented. This is class poor corporate governance, but ensures a very stable system that is resilient to change.

It is truly ironic that a church of about 18 million members, is “represented” by close to 1500 church employees out of the 2500 delegates (my guesstimate).

Another challenge in a religious environment is claiming the “influence of the Holy Spirit” in all actions and votes. This becomes a self-fulfilling “doctrine”, which essentially says that anything the church votes is guided by the Holy Spirit, and hence the church is infallible. According to Jesus, the criteria is “by their fruits shall ye know them”, which then leads to another dilemma, who is to judge whether the fruits of the organization are the right ones.

But looking at root causes, we are faced with a severe issue of hermeneutics. We have vastly different ways of reading the Bible, and understanding how to adapt its principles to todays world.

I see it as a significant positive side effect of this endless discussion, that we as a church may be forced to go back to look at the fundamental issue of our understanding and use of the Bible.


Diversity is a basic human condition and a defining value of the human “situation”.
It reflects the ubiquitous situatedness of human beings, SDA’s included, and should never be voted on in a general assembly!

Majority votes to arrest human freedom are coercive and oppressive. We need a substantial dose of epistemic humility to deconstruct “absolute” theological cocksureness.


My 2 cents:

  1. This letter is a mistake on the GC’s part. It is a further attempt to mandate it’s position by use of it’s authority. It tells those in disagreement how they ought to behave and does so by enforcing it’s authoritarian position. This will backfire on the GC. Nor is it the Christian way.

  2. I recognize that if the vote had gone the other way, that those who oppose WO, would also feel betrayed by their church and inclined to rise up and (mostly likely) split the church. I do not see a way to reconcile the different viewpoints as both sides believe firmly that they are in the right. The pro-WO side in the spirit of justice and equality that Jesus brought to earth, while those who espouse the traditional view do so in a literal text translation. Both sides claim their position as one of spiritual authority.

I see several different outcomes. One is a split of the church similar to that which has recently happened with Lutherans, Methodists and others. These are primarily over same sex marriage, but the underlying issue is the same, major difference of opinions regarding social issues. Most of these were at brinkmanship for a decade or more before they split, and I can see a similar path for Seventh-day Adventists. Given that both sides of our debate firmly believe they are acting as God would want them to, it’s hard to see a different outcome.

I suppose it’s possible for both sides to agree to disagree. However, the San Antonio vote really was that (let each union decide in their own area). The larger body felt that this was a matter of unshakable doctrine (really? other SDA’s risk their soul by having a woman pastor?).

Lastly, the Holy Spirit could come down and reign peace upon the parties so they could reason together. However, given the above letter, and the reaction of those who have an opposing viewpoint, I’m not sure the Holy Spirit changes the hearts and minds of those who do not wish to be changed.


pious words that reveal egomania.,
In oct of 1934 I transferred from Pound Wisc public school to the normal school associated with E.M.C. I was in the 4th grade. my mother counseled me time and again that this was a Christian school not a public school. i must be a Christain young man at all times. At the first recees Three of my classmates suggested they show me the play ground.As we were talking one boy knelt beside me and another pushed me over backwards. just remember ladies thee boys were the fathers of the men who wrote that pious put me down.

Tom Z


If that was true then your vote at GC would be not for ordination. If its just a Catholic tradition then why be so bitter? No body should be doing it, yet you are obviously on the pro WO side. Why the dyslexia?
If neither men or women should be ordained because its just a Catholic tradition then how is it you need to

This typifies the astounding mental gymnastics liberals go through to get their way.


Any church that allows a man like this to be an elder, and is also respected, has a very serious spiritual problem. Sickening is right!


frankpeachamvt: said:

  1. “This is no new day. The church has voted like this for decades. Always those who lost the vote had to submit…”
  2. “The world body has a right, after such a fair discussion, in which all sides had their say, to require submission…”
  3. “If you folk want congregationalism, you should go somewhere else.”
  4. “This was a fair and open process”
  5. If you had won, you would have expected all the rest to submit. I find your agitation unseemly and disingenuous.”

Be careful to distinguish dissent—expressing disagreement with an idea, decision, or action—from disrespect—denying the dignity of a person. Dissent is often helpful and constructive. Better decisions are made by considering a variety of viewpoints. Dissent is often required to introduce valid alternative viewpoints. Unfortunately dissent is often confused with disrespect. For example if you disagree with views expressed by a powerful (or pretentious) person, they may react by scolding you for attacking them. The message: “How dare you disagree with me” is often sent one way or another. This is a common and manipulative ploy that combines the fallacy of an ad hominem attack with the fallacy of ad vericundium. Do not tolerate this manipulation; learn to identify it and defend against it. Respond by saying: “Let’s not confuse dissent with disrespect here. I can disagree with your statements and still respect you as a person. That is what I have done. I deserve similar respect from you. Let’s continue to discuss the issues at hand without attacking each other. . . Perhaps it is helpful to review the evidence supporting various points of view. . . ” Have the courage to speak truth to power. Work toward a dialogue, rather than acquiescing to a more power-based mode of communication.


Thank you, Steve! Allen’s stock answer when you disagree with him seems to be “go somewhere else”. No, Allen! This is our church just as much as it is yours. And those of us who disagree with Allen on this subject will have an influence that will change (perhaps slowly, but certainly) this church.

And, EyeThink, the Lutherans, Presbyterians, etc. split long before anyone talked about gay marriage. The Missouri Synod branch of Lutherans have been separate since the early 1800s. The Presbyterians merged in the U.S. in the 1980s. No breakaway Presbyterian denomination has been formed since Presbyterians in the U.S. voted to accept gay marriage.

My observation is that we Adventists are still trying to be one international church, whereas Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians, various type of Baptists, Lutherans, etc. are largely North American or U.S. denominations. And some “affiliate” with similar denominations in other countries.

It is the insistence on worldwide uniformity that I fear is a significant threat to the Adventist church, and more so since the vote on women’s ordination. The concept of international rule of a denomination is so Roman Catholic that I’m surprised Birder isn’t opposed to it. :wink:


i don’t think this appeal can have much weight with thinking individuals in our church…in the first place, we know that the vote against women’s ordination in san antonio was significantly weaker than the votes in either indianapolis or utrecht, which means that whatever authority the gc had to enforce headship before san antonio, it now has less…in the second place, this appeal assumes an interpretation of our working policy that defines “all entities”, including unions, as mere receptacles for delegated gc power, which hasn’t been tested in a court of law…and in the third place, we now have clarification from a majority of our biblical experts that headship isn’t a biblical doctrine, which means that an appeal to preserve it to prevent fracturing and fragmentation lacks galvanizing potential…

if a crisis develops in our church, it will be because the gc makes a decision to use kingly power to enforce what it has no business enforcing…certainly, as this appeal intimates, one way to prevent fracture and fragmentation in our church is for everyone to roll over and play dead…but a more mature way would be for the gc to step aside, now that its job in san antonio is over, and allow unions to decide this matter for themselves…after-all, the no-vote in san antonio wasn’t about union ordination power, and the apostolic church has left us an example of unity in the absence of uniformity in the matter of circumcision…this means that a lack of uniformity with respect to ordination doesn’t need to lead to fracture and fragmentation…


You’re right. The pro-WO side had virtually all the media coverage, publications and promotion. Perhaps that’s why the yes vote was so high. If the discussion was truly fair the no vote would have been much higher.


I just read the whole thing at once, Bonnie’s report and all the comments so far, and the first thought was, “Should I really comment on this issue again?” It is so disgusting seeing the manipulation and abuse that this GC administration is perpetrating against women (and men of decency) that maybe the best is not to comment on it anymore - for life!

But then I remembered @ajshep calling “Br. Bochmann” @andreas “stubborn” - just for having an opinion on the subject - and I thought,… "well, I also have an opinion, therefore, I must also be ‘stubborn,’ which convinced me to write something. Unfortunately we cannot discuss the issue here in a legit way, due to the “one comment” policy - which would be much more productive.

Unfortunately it appears that the report was not given to us in the Lounge for full discussion - and I wonder why? (At least I can’t see it there). Maybe Spectrum realizes that this move by the GC to advance and to emphasize (and to continue imposing) discrimination of women is so disgusting that people may even lose control of their words if they are allowed to discuss it openly. What the GC is doing is actually worth of the worst words possible - because it is indeed an outrageous, un-dignifying, low, and fully un-Christian manipulative act. It’s “men at their worst” making sure that women do not ever become a real part of the Church body.

Those people are so spiritually unbalanced that they have the nerve to mix their personal psychological/emotional dysfunction with claims that God and the Holy Spirit are involved in their decision to abuse the power of their bureaucratic position in the Church’s hierarchy. And worse, they pretend to “pray” about it! This is declared sacrilege! They don’t really pray about anything, they just say words in public, with closed eyes, aiming to impress others with their pretended sanctity. Who do they think they are fooling, besides themselves? (Well, yes, apparently there are a few falling for their manipulation when they “pray about their prey”…)

Enjoy your meal GC, keep praying about the female prey you are after… and, " Bon Appétit"…



How long must we lounger wait until we get such hot topics on our site? This appears discriminatory, but we hope it is not intentional.

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That one point makes them definitively not at all a representative body of the church. That would be like a jury of your peers all made up of state employees that report to the prosecutor or the judge.