NPUC Plans Action on Women in Church Leadership


(system) #1

According to this week's headlines in GleanerNow!:

In response to a North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) Executive Committee vote on May 16, NPUC administration will appoint an ad hoc committee to help resolve issues of women in Adventist ministry. This ad hoc committee will be tasked with creating specific recommendations on how to fully integrate committed and called Adventist women into all levels of church leadership within the NPUC territory. The recommendations will be presented to the NPUC Executive Committee at the next scheduled meeting on Nov. 14, 2012.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/3976

(Marcel St Germain) #2

As one United Church minister once asked me in the gym change room, as he knew us Adventists were discussing the possibility of WO, here was an issue his church was contending with, and surely we would run in to similar problems. He asked:“What do you do when one of your pastors gets raped and pregnant out of wedlock?” I proceeded with my swim… Many years have passed. There is no way we would be able to handle this one.


(Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13) #3

We’d do the same as we’d do regarding any church member who was raped & impregnated: show mercy. What moral fault is it of the woman?

How do we handle all the cases when there is moral fault—male pastors having affairs or committing abuses? That’s the real challenge & we deal w/ it without declaring that it means that we can’t have male pastors.


(Marcel St Germain) #4

The United Church pastor who asked me that question went on to strongly suggest, as we chatted, that we keep out of it. This was his personal advice not to me but to our church. He understood our church was struggling with this issue of WO. He understood his own church had probably blown it. That is to say should of never ordained women as pastors. That church ordains gays as well, you know. Anyway this query he presented, as well as many others in his mind it seemed, as we had no time to discuss them all, was just for such a time as this. And he was trying to be helpful. And by the way this was a quarter of a century ago. Now as I thought about this, and the Lord only knows how much time I have thought about this, it came to me that in ordaining women we are taking on to ourselves, a can of worms. We have no mandate in Scripture to do any such thing. Not one text to prove it. Does the means justify the end? Where I grew up I was taught that it did. We think, money and tax issues included, that we will be solving more problems then we are making for ourselves. But the carbon footprint, if I may be so creative, we will be leaving in our world, once the dust settles, will it not be a greater type of miasma then if we would of just kept out of it as the United Church minister advised?


(Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13) #5

It was kind of that pastor to share his concern for us. However, it doesn’t make him right. He sounds simply like someone who had opposed WO being accepted in his own church.


(Marcel St Germain) #6

We were watching the evening news when Pope Francis was being inaugurated. The camera focused in on a group of ladies in one corner of St Peters square. They were all dressed in pink. Pink everything! Even pink smoke. They were attempting to gain attention. One of the ladies was a friend of ours in town. We were surprised to see her on television. She is a criminal lawyer. We found out these ladies in pink are pitching for the ordination of women priests. She went all the way to Rome to make a point of it too. Lots of legalities to back her up. Is it possible to view this WO issue as a sort of fad? Something to prove? It is certainly nothing that has been proven or tested in time. A leftover of the women’s liberation movement? The unisex look and psyche, if you please. “Can a leopard change it’s spots?” Why can’t we just let God be God? Let Him be who He is. Why do we insist on having our own way as if God will change for us? In the Catholic church there are statues of black Marys and black Jesus’. etc for almost every culture. Well! What color were they? In order to appease Islam the Roman Catholics have built shrines to Our Lady Fatima. Fatima was the daughter of Mohammed. When I seen the shrine this lady looked very similar to the virgin Mary. There was no way of telling the difference. To us pilgrims who cares? Meanwhile there is a very insidious psyche job going on here. Similar to WO?


(Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13) #7

Ordination as we practice it today isn’t what Jesus & the apostles did when praying over those appointed to a ministry. As a church we’re doing some much-needed clarifying about it.

“It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares workers, both men and women, to become pastors to the flock of God.” EGW, 6T322


(Marcel St Germain) #8

It is interesting and sad at the same time that “as a church” we are “doing some much-needed clarifying about” ordination? We want to change it from what it originally was intended? Sounds like a sign of the times. The quote you gave from 6T originally came in the context of the canvassing work as is noted by the chapter heading on page 321; “The Canvasser A Gospel Worker”. And most of our schools have dumped the canvassing work long, long ago. I’m not surprised if they dump the original intent for this quote either. This one quote has been repeated in our compilations without any reference to it’s original intent. Our book stores are closing shop. Our printing houses are in an uproar. Not enough money! When I was selling the 10 volume Bible Stories we needed $50.00 a volume to make ends meet. If it wasn’t for some self supporting ministries our books would be in short demand mainly because nobody would be able to afford them through regular church channels. So yes! Change a way? Because there is no other way to get around the traditional and Biblical ordination issue. Water it down. I mean it needs to be watered down “because it isn’t what Jesus and the apostles did”? Wow. But in doing this how can we ever continue calling ourselves people of The Book? We would just be on a bandwagon.


(George Tichy) #9

We can’t. We have been the “people of the Boox” instead,and sooner or later this is going to escalate into some negative situations.


(Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13) #10

Read it again. EGW was recommending canvassing as good experience for those preparing to become pastors. She was not saying that canvassing was the same thing as being “pastors to the flock of God.”

I don’t understand how patterning our practice of ordination on what The Book says is how Jesus & the apostles did it can in any way be characterized as “watering down.” By this reasoning the entire Protestant Reformation was a “watering down.”


(Marcel St Germain) #11

By the way the quote you gave from 6T for what appears to be support for WO today, originated in 1899. I would like to ask this question. If indeed the quote does justify WO as you seem to suggest that it does, where is the record of all the women that were ordained to the gospel ministry from 1899, which is the first date given for this quote from the writings of Mrs. E. G. White, and her death in 1915? Surely in this one and only wording, in the millions of words penned by her, in all due respect, at least one woman in those 16 years would of been ordained. They surely would be making hay about this today if such a thing ever happened. Therefore there were no women ordained, as we understand ordination today, from the time the quote was first given to us as a people and basically to this our day. Why use one quote to justify literally the possibility of thousands of actions and with absolutely no endorsement from Scripture. Ellen White herself certainly made no hay about it. Why should we?


(Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13) #12

EGW left her own example of accepting credentials & pay as an “Ordained Minister.” She certainly never stated that women shouldn’t be ordained. WO was discussed, as we know from the records of the 1881 General Conference session. Perhaps the church didn’t move ahead where God was leading.

I say this because we have EGW statements encouraging women in ministry, encouraging the church to study further on it, & correcting when women ministers were not paid fairly:

“[M]ake no mistake in neglecting to correct the error of giving ministers less than they should receive. . . . The tithe should go to those who labor in word and doctrine, be they men or women.” (Ellen White, Manuscript Releases, 1:263).

“Study the Scriptures for further light on this point. Women were among Christ’s devoted followers in the days of His ministry, and Paul makes mention of certain women who were helpers together with him in the gospel (see Philippians 4:2, 3).” (EGW, Letter 142, 1909, pp. 4-6. To A. G. Daniells, October 27, 1909. Manuscript Releases, 12:167.)


(Marcel St Germain) #13

Again you are speculating. As you know the study committee (the brains on the subject, if you please?) appointed to search out the matter, were commissioned to come up with some sort of unanimity. They failed miserably. With the availability of every word penned, and mostly every word recorded from sister White Including the two quotes you just gave and with all of Scripture at their finger tips; the study committee had no unanimity on WO. There is no unanimity in the church on WO. There is none between us. Instead of just two possible scenarios before the study we now have three. And it sounds like you would like to add another one making it four? President Wilson has made the suggestion that we discuss it,yes,Try figuring it out for ourselves, each of us. Yes! But when you do not have a clear and concise “Thus says the Lord” then you do not have a clear and concise “Thus says the Lord”. It’s that simple. Howl and bark all you want. There is no unanimity on this subject in our church. And as our friend psychologist said: “sooner or later this is going to escalate in to some negative situations” Well, where has he been? This has been happening now for a long time already. We already have members who are at each others throats on this subject. Pastors fighting pastors, And candidates for women pastors behind our pulpits screaming and crying with tears even about their abuses in life as if these are the makings of a pastor? What a spectacle we all are to men and to angels and to unfallen worlds!


(Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:13) #14

We were both trying to analyze the historical data available to us. Please don’t be so dismissive when you yourself have offered nothing but speculation. It seems that you don’t like that EGW actually wrote these things.

I have not barked not howled at all. Untrue & insulting.

Now you make this false, unchristian rant. Show just one piece of evidence for it.

[quote=“marcelandjudy, post:13, topic:7143”]
And candidates for women pastors behind our pulpits screaming and crying with tears even about their abuses in life as if these are the makings of a pastor? What a spectacle we all are to men and to angels and to unfallen worlds! [/quote]

The spectacle is the hostility you’ve just shown.


(Marcel St Germain) #15

Yes! I feel we can be friends. And yes! You are partly correct. The analysing is probably akin to your profession? So be it! Also a little hermeneutics is the fashion these days anyway. If it were me I would scrap every course on the subject because my 16PF revealed my bent to being a famous university professor? Terrible! We opted for the country!
Furthermore there was a fellow coming here to visit me because his interest in old cars was the same as mine. But one major problem. He smoked! So I told him straight off when he came to my turf no smoking. He put his cigarette out. Nice to see. So we are good friends to this day as he understands that he cannot blow smoke anywhere around me. Is that being cruel and heartless? He did not think so! It sounds like you would?
Now in regards to WO my conclusion on this subject was made many, many years ago. My analysing is over,I think. I’m an avid reader and supporter of E.G.White. She points us all to the Bible. And I do appreciate the statements you found out by her. But they prove nothing to support WO in our present condition as a people. On my radio program at college I interviewed a Lutheran minister (a lady) and all the info I needed on the subject (including that of my own dear mother and not to mention my lovely wife) was given to me by her anyway many years ago. Her husband was a minister also. My weekly broadcast for a whole year were an hour long. I had a great time. Loved it. Learned a lot about all sorts of people including women as pastors. I’m sorry to say, especially when you consider our global outreach, it just does not add up. The vote coming up in Texas has been so long drawn out that it may be the psyches will get their way out of default. But since we are so well versed in the Spirit of Prophecy we understand Mrs. White lost her faith in these GC expressions long before she passed away. Nothing new here! So hopeful…!