North American Division Issues Statement on Annual Council Vote and Message to Women Clergy

Editor’s Note: On October 15, 2018, the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists issued a statement regarding the Annual Council 2018 vote on the compliance document that passed 185 in favor to 124 against, with 2 abstentions. The NAD has also issued a message to women clergy in the wake of the vote. Both statements follow in their entirety: NAD Statement on 2018 General Conference Annual Council Vote This is a very challenging time for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America. Actions taken at the 2018 General Conference Annual Council meeting in Battle Creek, Michigan, did not have the outcome for the church that we had strived toward. Many of us are dealing with fear, disappointment, and even anger. We believe that this voted document, which outlines a system of governance to address church entities not in compliance with church policy, does not follow the biblical values proclaimed by the Protestant reformers and the founders of the Adventist Church. This document, as voted, has made centralized power possible, and created a hierarchical system of governance. In a collaborative effort, leaders in the NAD are discussing how the church in North America will move forward. Although this is difficult, amid the rancor we must keep our faith in Jesus. He is our Leader, and it is our trust in Him that will light our way. The mission, the work of the church, must and will go forward. Policies don’t hold us together. The Spirit of God holds us together. We urge you to pray for the Church; pray that we allow the Holy Spirit to do its work, to let the Holy Spirit keep us united. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9, NIV). — North American Division Officers ### A Message to the North American Division Women Clergy My Dear Sisters in Christ, I am sending you this brief note to let you know that our NAD leadership team believes in your ministry. You have our confidence and the assurance that we will do all in our power to strengthen and empower you. The action of the General Conference Executive Committee on Sunday afternoon does not alter your status. You are appreciated and needed in the overall ministry/evangelistic plan of the North American Division. Your ministry is invaluable. Please understand that we will continue to work toward the fulfillment of our dream to have one thousand female pastors in our division. There will be some temporary setbacks along the path, but we are not deterred. May God continue to bless and direct you in every way. — North American Division Officers ### These statements originally appeared on the NAD website and in a special edition of NAD NewsPoints, the official news and information newsletter of the NAD. Image: Daniel R. Jackson, NAD president, addresses the GC Annual Council meeting on Oct. 14, 2018. Photo by: Dan Weber / NAD. We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9107
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Disheartened by a lack of Fortitude.

Updated: with grammatical changes. NOTE: There my be some grammatical issues so hopefully the content is clear.

Disheartened, yes, this has caused me to lose hope, lost of enthusiasm, and lost of courage that the leaders of the GC have the spiritual will or spiritual fortitude. Yes the need the courage in midst of potential pain and adversity to make the final decision to end this 20+ year cycle of wait and hope the vote changes.

I hoped they would have said that we have decided to to provide a process for Divisions, Unions and/or Churches to disassociate from the GC and we are NOW putting in place the teams, both legal and administrative to help those that no longer want to be under the GC to exit and do their own thing.

I know it would be painful, but it painful to have the same issue dominate the major time and effort of so many being paid by the tithe and offerings. The money could be better spend doing the mission on both sides if the GC would have had fortitude.

Yes the watch word is “Fortitude” when time has been spent to ensure no other way will work based on a need to have central control then move on accept the lost and focus on the mission allow freedom to leave with a clean clear process… Time has been wasted 20+ years .

Yes I am disheartened

One Addition: The process for allowing the 40% to get what they want is to allow them to get the freedom and independence they seek. This is mostly at the Division and Union levels.
A team would have to elect people from each side of issue and an orderly process of eliminating payments and administrative reporting that flow up to GC and back to the Divisions and Unions would be define and then executed. This would all each side to focus on why they exist independent and free. Choose ye which team and separate. Yes the GC only continues this because the financial lost to it would be greater that the other side.

IF only the GC realize that God’s work can continue best if both sides separate and spent their energy on the mission separate. IT has been 20+ years… how long halt ye between financial concern and focus on mission.

NOTE: There my be some grammatical issues so hopefully the content is clear.

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Thanks Dan!

I am from the South Pacific Division and have been disappointed that no one from the SPD spoke as the agenda item was discussed. So it is good to know that at least one Division team have the spiritual welfare of our Adventist people on the top of their minds at this time.

It is great to know that you are already in discussion as to how you will move forward.

Be assured Dan that I have no issue with our Adventist core financial policies.

And I do not reside from my belief in a recent, literal fiat creation of our world. We must however learn how to engage with the teaching of evolution in a mature and educated way.

We must however from a belief that our identity must be found in Christ not in any contemporary gender identity. Adventists, however must learn how to express ourselves forthrightly but lovingly welcoming all who come in humility to worship God.

As to our distinctive Adventist beliefs I do not resile from them either. Adventist people with faith, love and hope in Jesus as their Saviour and who are engaged in sharing that faith are indeed part of the end time prophetic emerging remnant. Furthermore, Adventist beliefs in Sabbath, Second Coming, Sanctuary and State of the Dead are indeed essential foundations of a vital faith and essential defences against spiritual deception.

Finally, I believe that all individuals serving in pastoral leadership should be affirmed, blessed and consecrated for that role. I believe that ordination as currently practiced by Adventists, including those in PUC and CUC do not properly reflect our best understanding of the theology of ordination. Both PUC and CUC are providing a Clayton’s ordination for women- ie the ordination you have when you are having none. For those organizations to continue using a broken system of ordination for women actually means that they are closing their minds to a revitalized model of affirming, blessing and consecrating pastoral leadership. And such a new model has the potential to be accepted by the whole Adventist community of faith.

However, I am convinced that this newly voted compliance policy will never engender mutual trust within our faith communion, but instead will breed distrust of Adventist administrative systems and will contribute to the erosion and melting away of faith, love and hope among Adventist people.

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Thank you Pastor Jackson for such a prompt response after the debacle that happened at the AC. It’s people like you that give the Church some hope, because otherwise the members would be too discouraged to move on in this denomination. (Though many will certainly be leaving after yesterday’s results)

Please, do not allow people from other cultures to dictate how we should live our spiritual life in our culture. Also, please find a way to prevent the assaults that the “KGC” appears to have planned against the Unions and educational institutions. Protect our Unions and our Universities!

And last but not least, I suggest that the NAD reduce it’s contributions to the GC to the same level as the other Divisions do. This only because I understand that it is impossible to stop funding the GC for good - which is like giving food to an enemy!

Thanks for being a fighter for equality and for decency.

(Actual copy of my email sent to him today)

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The officers of the NAD are doing exactly what they should be doing, and on time! Somehow the GC officers must come to understand that the power in this church is in the constituencies, not in officers who owe their livelihood to their superior officers. The working policy established in 1901 created union conferences precisely to curtail the power of GC officers who wish to exercise “kingly power,” according to Ellen White. Union officers should feel energized by the leadership of their division officers and reclaim their jurisdictional authority, even if over the last few years the GC has been robbing them of their legitimate jurisdictions. This is the time for the empowering of the Holy Spirit to be effective in union conference officers who stand up and reclaim their prerogatives.

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We are so fortunate to be part of this Division, the Pacific Union and the Northern CA Conf. We stand behind our leadership and trust that they have the strength to continue to move forward. Praying that guidance and wisdom be given you.
Mel and Karen Sage

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One Thousand [1000] Ordained Women in the North American Division.
Is there a Plan on Paper for making this Goal a Reality??
Is there Open, Advertised Recruiting going on among the 18 to 30 year
olds in all the Union papers?
Ellen White’s Plan For Evangelism was a Team. A Team composed of
a Pastor, a Medical person combination.
We do not see this plan for Evangelism promoted anywhere.

Will Pastor Jackson obtain the cooperation of ALL the Unions to have
Ordained Women pastors in their territories??

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Thank you President Jackson!
You give us hope and sustenance in a dark dire moment,

Now that the GC,
exploiting and manipulating CULTURAL differences in our world body,
has achieved its desired aim of oligarchic autocracy,
it is past time for “thoughts and prayers”.
(the National Rifle Association’s response to mass killings )

It is past time for debate, discussion, theological reasoning.

This has NEVER been a theological issue.

Now is the time to employ the very best legal minds that money can buy
(and happily, the NAD has adequate financial,resources )

We need to LEGALLY extricate ourselves, distance ourselves, separate ourselves from en entity that has become morally repugnant,

The very first dichotomy has to be, if it can be achieved, a cutting off of NAD derived tithe to the heretical hierarchy.

Please avail yourself of the best accountants, economists, financiers to achieve this goal

Should you fail, individual members and congregations are so outraged, we ourselves will cut off funding to NAD, if we understand that some of our funds will be transferred to an entity we now despise!

We wish your legal advisors, your accountants and your administrative staff, every succèss in what is now no longer a church disputes, , but a political, legal, judicial and financial confrontation.

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Do any other Divisions or Unions outside the NAD have a dream for a certain number
of Ordained Women Pastors in their Territories??

Yes.

This is part of their strategic plan.

I believe they interview on campuses.

They have a supportive conference for their pastors.

Their plan is intentional and a major strategy for them.

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This is my sign off on Spectrum. I don’t need to trouble Israel any more. but I would leave with two suggestions for Elder Ted Wilson. Please read the Parable of the Wheat and Tares. then read Rev 3: 14-22 about the church at Laodicea. To all my thanks and God bless. Tom who just came from my Physician.

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Oh no, you cannot do that.
Unless your physician told you to do so because this is becoming too stressful after yesterday. In this case, maybe we all need a break… :thinking:
Always wishing you the best. Thanks for your great witnessing here.
Hope to see you back soon! (You know, once a Spectrumite, always a Spectrumite!..)

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You will be greatly missed, Tom!!!

You have been a wonderful Christian witness here on Spectrum.

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Our Martin Luther has spoken: Here we stand. God bless you, Elder Jackson.

Dr. Zwemer, you have been the dean of the Spectrum Blog. You will be missed.

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The compliance policy vote is institutionalization at its worst. Can we escape the twin evils of institutionalization and clericalization. These twin evils stalk Adventists like giants in the land.

These twin evils arise from a wrong view of the church that Christ established. I will attempt to provide a brief outline of an accurate doctrine of the church below.

The church of God consists of those who openly name the name of Christ. These people have professed to belong to him. Throughout Christian history those acting as Christ’s undershepherds have often added teachings that have deceived God’s people and led to people making shipwreck of their faith. They have often added systems of control and power that have more to do with the evil empires of the Bible than to the way of Christ. This is why apocalyptic prophecy uses the term ‘Babylon’ to describes the ways and means of evil religious systems and hierarchies that have sought to coerce the will and conscience of humanity. Rev 14 describes how such evil hierarchies causes the peoples and nations of the earth to stagger toward destruction like a drunk staggering home from the public house.

However Christian believers, wherever they are found, are the apple of his eye. God has one church. We have not accurately understood the way of truth if we think of the church of God as many discreet silos. God has one people, though they may be organizationally divided.

Notice, my emphasis here is on believing people as the church, not on organization entities that may indeed be helpful in organizing people for mission to the world. That is why in my speech and in my writing I have attempted to weed out of my vocabulary words such as the Church, the World Church, the Remnant Church, the SDA Church and also such terms as ‘The President of the World Church,’ as if anyone but Christ himself presides over his church and is Head of it. All such terms betray a tendancy to institutional thinking.

One the other hand, God is interested in people. Ecclesial institutions receive the blessings of God insofar as they assist people in the extension of his kingdom.

The book of Revelation speaks of a remnant of God’s people who are engaged in giving the final warning message to the World. Revelation 14 identifies such people under the rubric of the three angels. The remnant people are an organic body of active believers who engage themselves in the work of continuing and completing the ministry and mission of Jesus in building up his kingdom before his return.

Both Fernando Canale and Charles Bradford have written of an emerging remnant. This is a term I like very much.

The whole people of God should not be divided into two castes - laity and clergy. If the laos means anything at all it incorporates the whole people of God - leaders and led. To do otherwise is to create a hierarchy. An authorised rite of affirmation, blessing and consecration does not create this hierarchy. It commissions and authorises pastoral leaders with authority to represent the people of God before the world.

A hierarchy should not be established within the global network of the Adventist movement. Rather we should conceive of the network of organizational bodies as existing as wheels within wheels, like the inner workings of a clock, each body being interdependent on the others. Sure, some have a larger sphere of operation - unions have a larger sphere of operation than conferences, divisions of the GC have a larger sphere of operation than the unions, and the GC has the largest sphere of operation of all.

But really none is a higher level than any other in this lateral model of church organizations. Unions can still assist conferences to solve tricky problems. And the Divisions can still assist unions. In this model there is no command and control structure because all of us are brothers and sisters.

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Dear Dan: Thank you for your leadership and willingness to take an appropriate stand. Jesus during his life on earth took proper positions. This Executive Council vote shows that with 40% voting against there is no real agreement here. Instigators of this pathway need to pause and realize the harm and division they are causing. However I believe that Ted Wilson and his associates are out of touch with the typical church member who wants to lead and enjoy a meaningful Christian focused life and experience. True Jesus focused life does not depend on bueaurocratic efforts at governance.

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Thank you Pastor Jackson! Shukriya!!

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The word is “disheartenED”, Zachary. Just sayin’,

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What will happen when Elder Jackson retires? How are Division Presidents appointed, and what assurance do we have that Ted won’t exert his control in appointing his man as NAD president in the future?

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Tom –
Please Don’t Leave.
Short Vacation – OK.
But limit it on your calendar!
Steve.

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