NAD Calls for GC Compliance Document to be Rescinded — NAD Year-end Meetings Day 6


(Spectrumbot) #1

On the last day of the North American Division Year-end Meetings, an hour was set aside to discuss the statement of how the Division would officially respond to the General Conference’s recently approved process regarding non-compliance with General Conference actions. A writing committee had been appointed earlier in the week to draft a statement, and delegates had been given an opportunity to make suggestions they thought should be included.

John Freedman, president of the North Pacific Union and a member of the writing committee, read the statement to the delegates. It affirmed commitment to the Seventh-day Adventist faith and oneness in the body of Christ. It recognized Christ as the head of the church, the Bible as “our only creed,” the work of the Holy Spirit, the writings of Ellen G. White, and the resulting spirit of Christlike forbearance. “As such,” it continued, “we are compelled to reject the spirit and direction of this document voted at the 2018 Annual Council (hereafter indicated as ‘the document’), as it is not consistent with the biblical model of the church. We simply cannot, in good conscience, support or participate in the implementation of the process outlined in the document, as it is contrary to the culture of respect and collaboration taught in the Bible.”

Additionally, the NAD statement said the GC document “moves us away from the principles behind the 1901-03 reorganization.”

There were three requests for action: 1) that the General Conference Executive Committee at its 2019 Annual Council rescind the action approving this document, 2) that it revise any policies that enable majority fields to dictate the management of non-doctrinal, non-biblical issues to minority fields and create policies that protect the interests of minority fields, 3) that an item be placed on the 2020 General Conference Session agenda calling for a statement that affirms respect for the multiple cultures and practices in which we minister and empower ministry that is sensitive to the local context.

With an admonition from the chair “not to wordsmith the document” the floor was open for discussion.

Jim Micheff, president of the Michigan Conference, was first to the microphone. He spoke against the document, but in a conciliatory manner. “This is my family. I have agreed to disagree with those in favor of women’s ordination. It is not an issue I wish to discuss.” But he said this document makes that very difficult, because he felt that to accept the three requests for action would be to deny the authority of the General Conference. And the third item, in particular, the GC could not do. “We would have independent divisions interpreting what Adventism is throughout this whole field.” He concluded that, “If this vote goes, Michigan is a member of the North American Division of the General Conference. We will embrace it. You are still my brothers and sisters. We may not agree. I know that God is going to bring unity into this church. I don’t know how he is going to do it, but he is going to bring us into unity.”

Ramiro Cano, the president of the Central California Conference, who in a previous speech had told the gathering that he was from a compliant conference in a non-compliant union, opened his comments with a reference to the principles Jackson had set when the writing committee was given its task to draft a statement reflecting: 1) NAD mission, 2) in a Christ-like manner, 3) in harmony with biblical principles. “I want to affirm the work of the writing committee,” he said “it meets the principles that you outlined.” He said he was opposed to the document presented in Battle Creek, he was disappointed by that action. And then he closed with a question, “This document when it gets to the GC, will there be a receptivity to the document?”

Darrel Lindensmith, a pastor from the Dakota Conference, gave the shortest speech. “I did not have high expectations. Thanks committee. It is perfect. Shorten the first page a little, but just thank you.”

Ricardo Graham, president of the Pacific Union, also expressed appreciation to the writing committee saying that he liked the length and the tone. “It does not sound angry or rebellious. It sets out clearly the direction the division has been moving towards.” He reminded the delegates of a 2012 action taken at a Pacific Union Conference special constituency meeting (by a vote of 79% to 21%) to recognize ordination without regard to gender. “We have moved in that direction because that is what our people asked us to do. As an employee of the Pacific Union Conference, I have moved in the direction.” He closed by saying that “God is an equal opportunity employer.”

Diane Thurber, the president of Christian Record Services, was the only woman to speak. She began her comments in support of the document by pointing out that women are a majority in our Church’s membership, and that she was speaking “for those women whose voices have been silenced by those who don’t understand or recognize God’s love for women and His plans to deploy women to help Him reach a dying world.”

“I stand here because I could not say no to the call of God to serve in leadership for our Church. I am not a pastor but I am charged to help reach the more than 217 million visually impaired and 39 million who are blind in the world and ultimately to ‘empower people who are blind to engage their community and embrace the Blessed Hope.’ It was not a decision I made without confirmation of His call, a recognition that none of us are fully equipped for what He calls us to do, and belief that the message of His saving grace will only reach the whole world if we allow God to use and equip whomever He chooses to use for whichever task He needs done whenever He desires. We have seen many women, like men, submit their lives to Him and accomplish His purpose in powerful ways. How can we stand in His way?”

She asserted her belief that the Compliance Committees that will convene as a result of the document voted at Annual Council “will ultimately punish women, perpetuate more pain, and may ultimately prohibit women from serving as God calls and ordains.”

In spite of the chair’s request that people “not wordsmith the document” there were multiple suggestions for additions of words and phrases for clarification. Before breaking for lunch, the chair called for a vote, even though the writing committee was charged with making corrections over the lunch hour. The statement was approved with 176 in favor and 48 no votes (0 abstentions). Late in the afternoon, the edited document was returned to the floor, the modifications were read, and then a second approval of the document was made via a raising of hands.

Further Reading:

Day 1 NAD Year-end Meetings (President's Report)

Day 2 NAD Year-end Meetings (Secretary's Report)

Day 3 NAD Year-end Meetings (Sabbath)

Day 4 NAD Year-end Meetings (Discussion on Response to GC)

Day 5 NAD Year-end Meetings (Vote on Response to GC)

Hooey and Credulity (NAD President Jackson’s Personal Appeal)

NAD Response to General Conference Annual Council

Bonnie Dwyer is editor of Spectrum.

Image: SpectrumMagazine.org

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9186

(jeremy) #2

i agree with darrell: this response document from NAD is “perfect”…it’s high view of adventism, grounded in the bible, egw, historical precedent and our current mission, is impossible to miss…i find it hard to believe that thoughtful adventists from around the world, who are knowledgeable of our inspired sources, won’t respond favourably…

i disagree with jim micheff…request for action #3 in the document isn’t impossible for the GC to sign onto if the GC has learned the lessons of collaborative diversity the secretariat laid out in A Study of Church Governance and Unity in 2016…the notion that different adventisms result from different policies designed to meet specific area needs isn’t in harmony, at all, with the gospel of the circumcision and the gospel of the uncircumcision dual policy adopted by the apostolic church, Galatians 2:7-10…

policies that are changeable through a mere vote cannot be allowed to define the remnant church, in my view…this is totally losing sight of the value of our calling as adventists…


(Peter Marks) #3

There are many things to recommend this statement.

Certainly, the NAD does well to affirm the GC policies that affirm a role for women in ministry among us. This should always be a non-negiotiable point as it is. Those who are currently suggesting otherwise are out of order.eg. Fulcrum7. The NAD are doing well to remind them of this.

The world field is afraid of the slippery slope ie. that the ordination of women would lead to the embrace of society’s gay rights agenda within our theology and fellowship. The NAD must bend over backwards to reinforce the stance that it doesn’t believe in men’s rights to lead in the church ie. male headship theology nor in woman’s rights to lead ie. a feminist agenda. The NAD however believes in God’s right to choose whom he will gift with leadership gifts. And the NAD must be held responsible for discerning what God has done in the lives of its leaders.

Further, we must push back against the gay rights agenda in society and in the world field.

With such assurances the world field may be more prepared to listen to us.


(jeremy) #4

i think you’re right that opposition to WO has tended to focus on its seeming connection to LGBT…i don’t think i’ve seen even one conservative discussion on WO that doesn’t bring this up…


(George Tichy) #5

Nobody knows what will happen next. At least the GC is getting a very strong word of repudiation for its actions, a clear message that what happened in Battle Creek was not funny at all, it was rather outrageous. An assault on the established hierarchy, and attempt to subvert the status quo.

I wonder how many more Divisions will voice a protest like this, putting pressure on the GC and showing solidarity with the NAD.

I still insist that the more appropriate for TW to do is resigning. Now!!!


(Andreas Bochmann) #6

At the EUD year end meetings - in the presence of TW there - there was a long line of people from the various fields who all talked politely, but passionately to express their pain and dismay over what had happened in Battle Creek. TW duly took lots of notes, but only responded administratively, pointing at the “democratic process”… The EUD itself did not make an official statement.


(jeremy) #7

it’s just astounding to me that policy is the only thing that seems to make any impression on him…maybe he’s more suited for a secretary position of some kind, and following orders, rather than a top leadership role that requires imagination and creativity, like so many of us initially thought…


(Peter Marks) #8

To my understanding each Division and Union must ratify the voted policy for it to be operational in their territory.

If they don’t, as the NAD didn’t, presumably the policy would be in limbo.

Can anyone clarify this point for me.


(Peter Marks) #9

Me too George!

I think EUD missed the boat. I trust that TED and SPD will not. And perhaps even the Euro-Asia Division and the Northern Asia Pacific Division will join the flotilla.


(Thomas J Zwemer) #10

it is a sad moment in history when Adventism finally repudicates Christianity in favor of the post histeria of 1844. let use be honest. we are sinners all. Christ paid for all. we are Redemed by His Life, Death, Resurrection, and High priesthood. post 1844 added nothing to the Gospel.
Ted Wilson would take the church back to pre Lutherism. It lives on the cusp of John Wesley as elaborated by Ellen White. .Praise God there are Christain scholars within the church that are firm in their stand on true Christsinity. but that is true among many persuasions.


#11

It is probably closer to the term ‘conflated’ rather than connection…


(Steve Mga) #12

Vandie –
On the Fulcrum 7 site it posted a Union paper with 2 young FATHERS taking their
child for a stroll in the strollers and enjoying conversation.
Fulcrum 7 called this THE FEMININIZATION OF MEN. Just the fact these 2 guys
enjoyed being FATHERS with their young children.
Another guy was taking a SELFIE with his phone, and THIS was called
FEMINIZING.
Not knowing the LEGAL status of the two guys, I think they were afraid to label
them GAY with their 2 adopted children.


(Steve Mga) #13

Tom – Look at Hebrews 9:27,28.


(Tim Teichman) #14

Is it compliant to force church employees to pay tithe, 10% of their paycheck, back to the CCC or be fired from their jobs? I expect it’s not but am not sure.


(Tim Teichman) #15

Well, conservatives know that as soon as we let women be ordained, then the gays and lesbians will be knocking on the door.

It’s terrifying! We can’t have it! We must rid the church of all sinners!

Really now, sinners just can’t be tolerated! At least those types of sinners. Perhaps my type of sinner is OK…


(Elmer Cupino) #16

Was it intentional on EUD’s part to not make a statement? Not making a statement is a statement itself and can only embolden the status quo to continue.


#18

You can tell that bachelors are running Fulcrum 7.

EGW’s writings beg for men to spend more time with their children and to be tenderhearted towards them.

Imagine pushing them in a stroller as feminine. It’s downright parenting.


(Carlo Schroeder) #19

Maybe the two men with stroller, it a brother helping a brother whose wife is in hospital.

Why do people mix topics, equality for women, is about a female person, because there are only two types of humanity used in the Bible, male and female. I find it hard, but not impossible, to understand stand people who can cast a stone on a women, yet say God loves all equally.
Many years ago, a ex South African living in Australia said why left the country, and it was to ironical what he said, " I left the country because of apartheid, and because I can’t stand blacks".
I thought apartheid was dead, but it is alive and well.

I wonder what type of heaven or eternity we will live in, will it be like East Germany and West Germany, the women on the one side, and the men on the other, not sure who will be looking ofter the babies and children. Because how we treat people today, will be how we treat people in eternity.

No one is perfect, but we have a perfect example and friend called Jesus Christ, who restores and uplifts His creation.


#20

Ahh what kind of publication is Fulcrum? Why would they be discouraging Fatherhood and imprinting of a loving and caring father image. Jesus always used imagery of a kind, caring and involved Father that you could come to anytime for anything. Using a false image of a worldly idealized cold and uninvolved Father as an ideal is really despicable to say the least.

We need more men who can demonstrate the love and affection that reflects the character of God.


(Joselito Coo) #21

Unlike the NAD that acted on a complex motion (requests #1, #2, and #3) that was carried by a majority vote (75%) but still opposed by a significant minority (20%) with five percent abstention,. the EUD, in my opinion, took a better and wiser approach by providing a free expression of individual leader’s sentiments in the presence of an invited guest, the GC president. Thus, Elder Ted Wilson got a general idea if what was voted by the GC Executive will d be ratified or not by each union of the EUD.

My point is: In the event that some union conferences refuse to ratify the GC Executive Committee action on Compliance, what’s next? So what if the union conferences were to ratify a General Conference Executive Committee action or not?