North Pacific Union Endorses NAD’s Response to GC Compliance Document

Editor's Note: The following statement represents the majority view of the North Pacific Union Conference executive committee, which voted 34-2 for approval at its regular meeting on November 14, 2018, in College Place, Washington.

An Appeal for Unity in Christ

Our prayerful mission is for each member within the North Pacific Union Conference to be empowered to share the distinctive Christ-centered, Seventh-day Adventist message of hope and wholeness with their communities. We embrace this mission and the scriptural truth of our Seventh-day Adventist fundamental beliefs.

The recent world church discussion on unity leads us to express unequivocal support for our church’s Fundamental Belief #14 on Unity in the Body of Christ. It states, in part, “In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation.”

In light of these principles and the example of Christ-like forbearance in the church portrayed in Acts, we unreservedly endorse the official response of the North American Division (NAD) to the document approved by the General Conference (GC) executive committee: “Regard for and Practice of General Conference Sessions and General Conference Executive Committee Actions.” With the NAD, we:

• Recognize Christ as the head of our church;

• Reject trends toward centralized, hierarchical governance reflected in the newly voted GC document and support existing policies that make every leader responsible to his or her constituency;

• Affirm the unique unity and diversity that our church structure affords to maintain global values and identity while effectively implementing our common mission.

In eager support of our world church mission, we recognize the unique call of God upon both men and women for ministry. As we move forward together, we prayerfully entreat God’s Spirit to inspire attitudes and actions within our global movement that reflect the character of Christ in every decision, every interaction.

May God grant us each wisdom and Spirit-led power to find our ultimate unity in Christ, prayerfully advancing His mission together.

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This article was originally published by North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) Gleaner/GleanerNow.com and is reprinted here with permission.

Photo courtesy of NPUC.org

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9207
4 Likes

A Domino’s Effect?

Every time an Union supports the NAD’s decision, the GC becomes weaker and its Machiavellian intentions defeated.

Its almost like telling the GC that the Unions’ doors are shut (the “shut door” at works… :wink: ) and they should not even bother to come to visit to verify “kompliance.” The “kompliance komrades” may end up being escorted out of the building, their “karavan” being sent back to Silver Springs … :wink:

The GC is gradually becoming “persona non grata” everywhere. Time to either repent and stop the assault on the Unions, or start planning to move to Africa urgently. There is no room for this kind of pro-discrimination-of-women management around here. For sure not in the NAD’s territory! (And many others, of course).

Now, let’s just wait for the next “domino” to declare support to the NAD!

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this is the unqualified support for NAD’s response to battle creek that i expect from all our unions, and in fact a few unions overseas…NAD’s response document is preeminently reasonable, and has strong biblical and egw backing…it has the ring of truth in it…i find it difficult to believe that knowledgeable, objective adventists from all over the world won’t line up behind it…

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The testimony of Neal Wilson in the MaryKay Silver trial set the stage for the overt grab for centralized power in the General Conference. Ted Wilson is attempting to make it absolute. The GC claim 25 million Adventist world wide. My guess would be that less than a million have any idea of the power play going on in their name. Yet Ted Wilson get the majority of GC funds from that one million. I think his power play will be costly. Tithe is to support the spread of the Gospel not to consolidate power. For such a time as this the Parable of the Tares and Wheat was recorded. Moreover, the Lord is no respecter of persons. That includes gender preference.

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Way to go NPUC!

Are there any more fence-sitters willing to commit either Aye or Nay? Time to be counted. Are there any Union Conference officers listening?

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The NPUC statement of support of the NAD ignores the “elephant in the room”. —- this whole unity / compliance issue has at its foundation
the shabby, shameless, stingy, second clas way,
seven out of nine UNION CONFERENCES in the NAD,
treat their women pastors
— including the NPUC.

The NPUC statement side steps and ignores any comment on women’s ordination, discrimination, egalitarianism.

THE NPUC shamelessly installs a “glass ceiling” on their clergywomen, ensuring that none will ever achieve higher office.

Their statement is entirely meaningless moonshine,
hot air hokum
and frankly hogwash,
until they put words into action and start ordaining their women pastors,
or finding some alternative way to give their male and female employees EQUAL OPPORTUNITY.

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I remain amazed by how much hypocrisy is going on around these days. Don’t those people realize that all those Beautiful Statements they make have absolutely no value for as long as their ACTIONS do not corroborate their words?

There are way too many people on the fence, making all those declarations of support for women, but actually offering absolutely no real support to them.

Now we will have to evaluate those Unions’ statements based on how much hypocritical they are. So far it appears that only the PUC and CUC are being really consistent, their talk being actually their walk. (I am assuming that CUC has been ordaining, is it correct?)

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I believe the church, as a whole, would be better served with the following statement from the Pacific Union Conference.

_“By a majority vote the Pacific Union Conference is committed, convicted by Scriptures with a sense of justice, that women should be ordained to the ministry in equality as their male counterparts. At the same time, we are compliant to the often-repeated GC restrictions regarding the ordination of women. _

_“We believe it is in the best interest of the church to be supportive to our brethren in the GC leadership, as we would wish should the view of women in leadership be reversed. That is, those who support ordination of women demand such action toward those who oppose. _

_“We believe that our differences can be resolved with continued open discussions, with calmness appropriate to Christian behavior. With open minds and hearts instead of judgmental or condemning. _

_“Throughout the next several years we will conduct, at different locations, open presentations on this important issue. We are inviting GC leaders to meet with individuals that support equality of women in ministry, to bring us together. _

_“In this way we are endeavoring to be peacemakers not rebels and contrarians. We believe that openness, full and calm prayerful discussions will lead to a healthy vibrant Conference. We believe our differences, in regard to the qualifications of women for ministry, can be resolved without enforced legislation and legal actions. This is the least demanded of a Christian. _

_“Instead of splitting congregations into “north” and “south” sides, as it was over the equality of the southern black slaves, we wish to bring us together in service for our master. _

_“May the bond of peace and love be sealed between us, till our Lord returns.” _

North Pacific Union officers and delegates

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Frank,
What’s your source for this Pacific Union Conference statement? Did you make this up? Anyways, except for the second sentence of the first paragraph, I’m in full agreement with the document. Let’s have open discussions between GC leaders together with those who support non-discrimination with regard to women in leadership.

Joselito,

Good luck in setting up a meeting for such a “discussion.” I feel your good intention, but I doubt the GC will engage in anything like that. They have the power & authority, now given by the “world church,” aka Africa & Friends – why do they need to engage in any further discussion with a “bunch of rebels???” …:roll_eyes:

Yes, I made it all up, no other source. In regard to the thought that the Conference should be compliant with GC mandates, I think, it’s necessary. What message are they giving to the church members that may wish to follow their personal conclusions that are contrary to church teachings. This is an issue on respect for authority, even if we don’t agree. I think this is how evil started in the first place–over divine authority in which Lucifer felt justified in rejecting?

One could say, I don’t care what EGW and church teaches, I like my coffee, tea, meat and wine? I plan to bring it to the next church potluck. I don’t care what the church teaches on unclean foods–I think pork should be eaten and I enjoyed. It stands to reason, if the NAD and PUC can openly disregard GC mandates, just because they don’t agree, I am determined to send my tithe to projects of my choosing, even if the church should disagree. I follow their example, “not doing as I say, but as I want to.”

Don’t misunderstand, I believe Pentecost is enough evidence that women should be equal to male pastors. I dislike the way the GC used the world vote to force a conscience issue. They made this issue into a hard bowling ball, when they could have taken a slower softer approach.

I likewise disagree with the open rebellion windstorm that the NAD is leading the church.

There is nothing like public embarrassment, when it is known that the GC refused to participate in an open forum. To refuse to support your position is to admit your weakness and loss of leadership. Over all, the GC position can be summed up: The world church by vote does not support WO, thus we should punish all who descent to keep the church in harmony with Divine Policy. (Sounds a little Papal, doesn’t it?)

One of the most compelling speeches at the Battle Creek Annual Council was by Andrea Luxton, president of Andrews University, urging a gentler approach than the Compliance document recommends. A word of wisdom for all concerned, all the way from local conference up.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverb 15:1, NIV.

Andrea Luxton, President, Andrews University:

I am in favor of order in the church but cannot support this document within the current context of the church. The document may be legal, justified by policy and supported by questionnaires. However what can be done is not necessarily what should be done. The breadth and depth of the church and the huge differences in the environment in which divisions and unions work throughout the world requires in my mind a far more measured, understanding and gentle response.

Let’s not dismiss too easily the representatives of whole countries that are speaking from their hearts about the challenges this document will bring to them. Perceived forced and centralized compliance will not bring unity. It is very easy to decide that others are not compliant or question their motives, even millions of members, when they are not close to us.

It is easy to set up regulations and a discipline process to deal with issues that are complicated and uncomfortable but this will not take away the problems, especially where issues are related to conscience and justice. To regulate is simple, to work and develop trust amongst the diffuse and diverse membership of our church is far more complicated. That trust cannot be legislated but is essential if we are to focus on united mission and away from perceived divisive judgement. Trust will solve non compliance and encourage unity in a way legislation cannot do.

We are far too divided on this issue and yes, maybe God is speaking to us through such close votes. Let’s take the more difficult route of asking how we can listen more to each other, build trust in each other’s commitment and share in each other’s challenges. Let’s walk alongside each other, not push each other off the road. We need each other.

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Conversation with GC Compliance Committee members and the church entity or individual that is perceived to be non-compliant is built into the process starting with the closest administrative unit. So… let discussions begin at LLUC, Azure Hills, SECC, PUC… together with GC Compliance Committee representatives.

Honestly… I don want those people even coming to this area. Why to start the disturbance in our area where things are running smooth?
I think that if they show up here they may be gently escorted out (aka booted out!).

And talking on compliance, they should start with the $100 mil they (GC!) got by bypassing the Conference in Oregon.

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11/19/18 - #7 (16)

As I’ve repeated for years, all issues fall out into two views of God:

  1. Is God an authoritanian?
  2. Is God relational?

Adventists want it both ways, but it will never work.

  • God loves you and gives you freedom of choice.
  • Choose wrong and God actively tortures and annihilates you.

Without addressing the nature of God, all issues are unsolvable, and Liberty in Christ is a hazy, distant, otherworldly dream.

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I like your comment and your picture. It conveys your message well. I don’t agree, However, with the “either or” reasoning. Freedom without checks and balances is anarchy. Your picture actually says to me that it is the presence of the police that represent Law and Order that actually preserves our liberties and our freedoms. But I did love the picture. Just like with God’s law. It is called the law of Liberty. It is not a conflicting concept. It is a supportive concept. Liberty from the shackles of a sinful destructive life. Freedom to live a fulfilling life as offered through submission to the principles of God’s law.

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I understand your either/or reasoning as well:

  1. Submit, or
  2. Lake of Fire

The NYPD doesn’t burn people alive, though.

Around these parts we call that “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Chances, The checks and balances that you’re advocating are synonymous with what Lucifer’s statements about God. Lucifer stated that God was unfair. That anyone who disagreed with God would be killed. The Church killed Christ for that very reason. He refused to comply with the mandates of the church. Today Christ would be out of compliance with the Adventist Church. Choice and Love ALWAYS = God
Force and Coercion ALWAYS = Lucifer
Christ came to reveal the true character of God. He only manifested choice and love.

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