General Conference Proposes Year of Grace for Unions

And I thought, it couldn’t get worse …

So now we are to repent and ask the General Conference for forgiveness, because we are asking that we may bless women and men by laying on of hands, because we would like to confirm women in their calling and giftednesness by the Spirit, just as men?

Just ponder the thought. What does that remind you of? Hint: next year in Germany they celebrate 500 years of a certain event, initiated by a certain monk … about what???


I perceive an underlying assumption in many of the comments posted in this thread. Namely, that the Adventist denomination is THE Church, and by implication somehow better than every other Christian denomination.

But the “body of Christ”, is way more than any one denomination! Jesus prayed in John 17 that we all be one with God. He made no mention of any special groups. And when He talked about His own religion and its leaders, what He said to and about them was rarely positive. “Brood of vipers” comes to mind.

So critical statements about denominational leadership, as in Jesus’ example, are not without an appropriate precedent.


Putting aside how offensive the entire “year of grace” idea is to any rational thinking person, lets consider it. The goal of equality for all who seek to serve God as a profession is not going away. I hope our leaders take this idea seriously, and istead use this year to arrive a well-thoughtout compromise. Otherwise countless hours and millions of dollars will be lost in legal fees and declines in offering as everyone takes up sides. Sadly, our General Conference ldears are on the losing side of this - if not now, then later. The cost of delaying acceptance will be a bitter and divisive one. More than ever we need to pray and ask God to guide us in a spirit of accomodation and progressiveness shown to all.


To anyone studying the book of Job…

I notice that Moses goes out of his way to emphasize Job’s daughters. I’m sure this was to prove they were just as important as his sons. This aspect has been glossed over in the past. We naturally interpret scripture based on where we’re at culturally, and this differs worldwide. There has to be some way of ‘tweaking’ policy to reflect this fact and, at the same time, keep most people happy?


I don’t know really how GC could succeed in dissolving a union. Being vice chair of the Constitution Committe of the Swedish Union of Churches (SUC) I’ve had reason to consider this from that perspective. According to our constitution SUC is a religious denomination under to Swedish law. Our constitution says that the SUC may be dissolved by a union constitution meeting with a 3/4 majority. Nowhere are dissolution powers delegated to GC. Toward the world church SUC has “the responsabilities, duties and rights” of a Union of Churches, so your might try squeezing some “GC powers” into that.

What GC could do is to expel SUC from the world church. But expulsion is not the same as dissolution. If SUC is expelled, we’d still be a denomination under Swedish law. All churches, all institutions, all property etc. would still legally belong to the expelled denomination. All pastors and other employees would still be employed by the expelled denomination.

GC could of course set up a parallel mission organization in Sweden. But they would have to start from zero. Individual churches and employees would have to make an active decision to leave the expelled organization and join GC’s mission instead. A few would probably do that, but I guess a majority wouldn’t.

Anyone else have any ideas on the feasibility of GC’s proposed actions?


I just happened to read that currently, this very week in fact, is Week 33 in Pope Francis
Year of Mercy announced for 2016. Is this where the General Conference got their
idea for “their” Year of Grace for the Unions???


Well said Reimar. These Words are from another Norwegian who is proud of you and the way you lead us straight to the core of the issue here.


This is not very difficult, and yet it keeps being ignored by the GC and almost everyone else:

Policy B 05 6, before the San Antonio vote:

“Decisions regarding the ordination of ministers are entrusted to the union conference/mission.”

[The Unions have this power, not the divisions or the General Conference.]

Text of what was voted on in San Antonio:

“…Whereas various groups appointed by the General Conference and its divisions have carefully studies [sic] the Bible and Ellen G White writings with respect to the ordination of women and have not arrived at consensus as to whether ministerial ordination for women is unilaterally affirmed or denied, and;

“Whereas the Seventh-day Adventist Church affirms that “God has ordained that the representatives of His
Church from all parts of the earth, when assembled in a General Conference Session, shall have authority,

“Therefore, the General Conference Executive Committee requests delegates in their sacred responsibility
to God at the 2015 General Conference Session to respond to the following question:

“After your thorough study of the Bible, the writings of Ellen G White, and the reports of the study commissions on ordination, and; After your careful consideration of what is best for the Church and the fulfillment of its mission,

“Is it acceptable for division executive committees, 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 vote was no, and so the Divisions do not now have any power regarding ordination. They never did. The Unions did and do.]

Policy B 05 6, after the San Antonio vote:

“Decisions regarding the ordination of ministers are entrusted to the union conference/mission.”

[The Unions have this power, not the divisions or the General Conference, just as before.]


This is too bad. Last night a friend told me that he was wishing for the Fall Council to actually go ahead and disestablish the Unions which had ordained women. According to him, that was the only way by which a real reform of the GC could be accomplished. There are too many bureaucrats in it who make it impossible to bring about a radical change in the way in which things are administered. Theoretically the power is in the local churches, but everyone know that that is a myth in the minds of the administrators. A new GC president will not be able to change the mentality of the ecclesiastical bureaucracy. We need a “political revolution” within the ecclesiastical structure, and the shock of the disestablishment of unions would have provided a chance for this to happen. This was my friends argument, and after listening to it, I thought he had it right.


Haha! So true–especially this past week. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, even satire!

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Praise the Lord for the General Conference!

   Praise the Lord for the General Conference! Praise the Lord for the Holy See!  Praise the Lord for Islam!  NOT!  The Bible does not endorse any such man-made entities.  On YouTube you can find videos of suicide bombers leaving on missions of murder amidst the cries of Allah be praised. There is no "worldwide church".  God works through people, not organizations.  Organizations are sometimes useful but they are always susceptible to corruption.  And they are never endowed with God's authority.  (God's smarter than that.)

EGW declared tha the General Conference was God’s highest authority on earth, then repudiated that testimony–with good reason.


In a church of 20 milion people two GC presidents were/are from one family. And you expect our church to embrace diversity???


The last done, most likely. One knee on the ground, head bowed down, tears streaming down their face. Grace, your Holliness, Grace!


Amen. Actually, a literal reading of the New Testament shows that “commissioning” was the REAL setting apart and, thus, only those women are qualified to pastor, etc.!


Blah blah Blah as the World burns all we can talk about is who can be ordained?

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I have felt the same. I had to click on the full article and look at the by-line to be sure.

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Geeesh, things have been happening so fast on Spectrum in the past 36 hours … For one who is still working it’s difficult to keep up with the latest news… This GC is providing the Church with admirable material for discussion, isn’t it? What I am thinking about is,

  1. Big, unfortunate, and irreparable damage has already been caused by circulating the paper created by the GC a few days ago. Of course since day one they very wisely blamed the “sekretariat” for the paper - but we can easily recognize this kind of “maneuver.” I hope people are not being fooled by where the paper actually came from.

  2. Who will get the credit for the “year of grace?”

2.1 Ted Wilson? If so, why did he bring up the threat to the Unions in the first place?

2.2 Not Ted Wilson? If so, does it mean that he was nicely defeated in his attempt to bring a tempest into the Church and imposing “grave consequences” on those who are decided to eliminate discrimination of women from their institutions?

  1. “Year of Grace?” This must be a joke, by someone who does not know how to tell a joke!
    This will be a year of “hell” since we already know exactly what is going to happen, right? For the “Unions” to repent and apologize they must first r cognizant that they did something wrong. And they didn’t, so… What is again the point of this “one year of grace?”

  2. The best thing TW could do now is to resign. He already brought enough suffering upon the Church, which is about to split if this nonsense is stopped. If he stays we will keep a GC Prez who will forever be frustrated for being defeated in his attempted maneuver to dishonor the Unions. He should actually be impeached after such a fiasco!!!

  3. Can anyone estimate the cost of this fiasco? I know money is never a problem, as it just pours into the GC’s coffers so easily from the members, but, just curious on how much was wasted this time…


Ok, I have not seen anything official GC regarding the “year of grace” or “repentance” as cited above. I’m not here to discredit anyone but there seems to be a lot of information written above without attribution.

Someone please post a link to the year of grace and repent quotes, otherwise this is a very misleading article.


It’s a hot topic in the RCC and Adventists are following that church in many other ways: particularly wielding the power that church has practiced for most its existence.
@George Tichy


Better to take the bitter medicine and save the patient, than to live in fear of that medicine alienating someone while the patient dies.

I continue to be amazed (although I suppose I shouldn’t be) at the vitriol hurled at the church leaders
who are trying to steer the church in the right direction. If those casting stones were in the right, with the Spirit of God leading them, it would seem that they could afford to be patient and kind toward those with whom they disagree. But, no, they throw around epithets like “misogynist” and accuse them of making power plays to “take over” the Unions, when all they are trying to do is to abide by decisions made by the world body. Would they be willing to wash the feet of those “power hungry” “misogynists,” as Jesus did for His betrayer? But some of those casting stones are no longer church members, which means it’s none of their business,and they have no right to pass judgment on actions which involve internal church affairs.