Perspective: A Vision for Unity-building at Annual Council 2016

Here is a vision for how the 2016 GC Annual Council could achieve consensus concerning Adventist ordination and credentialing policy. Adventists globally can embrace a dynamic and Spirit-led model of mission and ministry that incorporates a renewed and revitalizing ordination and credentialing policy as a vital element of the overall mission. Such a vision will require an intentional strategy. I suggest the following:

  1. A clarification of what the phrase “the General Conference is the highest authority that God has upon the earth” means in our contemporary context would be helpful. Its use can sound arrogant and dismissive of all other church bodies. I believe that it is intended to serve a far more helpful purpose. The clarification might involve the statement that in matters of Adventist mission and church policy the buck stops with the delegates of the GC Session. This is because that forum is the most representative body within the denomination. And further, God’s speaks through His people as they seek to understand and implement His will in their united mission to the world. It must also be understood that the original statement refers to our denominational context only.

  2. The prioritization of the principles of religious freedom and freedom of conscience above that of any denominational policy is urgently needed. Deeply held principles of conscience concerning the equitable treatment of women and men must be upheld in our formulation of church policy. Religious freedom will always be prioritized over majoritarian conviction in matters of conscience. Adventists dare not champion religious freedom for others while denying it to our own people!

  3. Clarification of ordination and credentialing policy is needed. Is it wholly a matter for theological determination? Or does the substance of such policies also cross into the realm of social practice, thereby necessitating a degree of unity in diversity in these policy matters? After all, if the role of women in society is not solely a theological matter but also a matter of social practice, why should we think the role of women in the church is any different.

  4. Rationale for mandating global uniformity of Adventist ordination and credentialing practices and policy would be helpful. GC leaders have championed “unity in diversity” for other policy matters.. Further, what evidence is there that some degree of global diversity will effectively disrupt denominational unity? We may be hard pressed to show how the ordination of women as elders in some places has brought disunity!

  5. A further consensus building process in search of a more satisfying ordination and credentialing policy platform is merited. Yes, the 2015 GC Session rejected the proposal that the selection criteria for those ordained to gospel ministry should be designed by each of the Divisions. But the defeat of such a proposal is not to be regarded as the final end to our consensus building attempts. Other policy proposals abound. The timely paper, “A Study of Church Governance and Unity” produced by the 2016 GC Annual Council by the GC Secretariat in September 2016 speaks eloquently of “our system of representative, consultative, consensus-based decision-making” might yet be used to design ordination and credentialing policies that allow “diversity of practice where there is consensus.” (Study, 6). One such set of proposals has been made by Bertil Wiklander, former GC VP and President of the Trans-European Division. These proposals are an appendix to his book, Ordination Reconsidered: The Biblical Vision of Men and Women as Servants of God, (Newbold Academic Press: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK, 2015), 439-442. Another brief set of proposals was put forward by Alden Thompson in the Ministry magazine, October 1997, in an article titled “Utrecht: A Providential Detour?” Thompson here asserts that God gave us an opportunity to reconsider and refine our ordination policies in the wake of the 1995 GC Session not to allow regional variation in our ordination policies. It seems that these proposals lie buried in the Ministry archives.

I offer my own proposals below. I am amazed at the degree of similarity between all of these proposals even though they were created in vastly different contexts in Europe, America and Australia.

Study of Adventist hermeneutical principles is apropos here. The request for this study voted by the 2015 GC Session was made because of an evident and growing pluralism in the hermeneutical principles used by Adventists to arrive at a helpful understanding of the ordination issue. It is extremely self-defeating to think that such study will not result in a more unified understanding of ordination. Such a study is not an optional “extra” but an important strategy by which the church can maintain its unity, in this as well as other matters.

A careful examination of the two foundational ecclesiological principles on which the ordination and credentialing policies are built is called for. These principles were enunciated in the 1930’s and early 1940’s and enshrined in the GC Working Policy. They appear to be accepted without question, even at a time of great unease concerning the policies. Yet, if it can be shown that both foundational principles have problems, then the policies that are built on their foundations may well merit revision also. Below, I summarize and critique these two foundational principles.

First Foundational Principle Supporting Adventist Ordination Policies

“‘Any shadow of uncertainty in the matter of what ministerial credentials stand for in one field reflects a shadow upon all credentials, and is a matter of general denominational concern.’ Where there is any question about policy provisions, then the GC Executive Committee is obliged to take an interest and reach a verdict.” (A Study of Church Governance and Unity, Secretariat, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, September, 2016), 36.

I would only urge that in such cases of uncertainty and questions about policy provisions, study be given to the adequacy of the policy provisions as well as to potential action to ensure compliance. This surely is obvious.

Second Foundational Principle Supporting the Adventist Ordination Paradigm

I have unpacked and critiqued this principle in two parts:

ONE: The rite of ordination and the sacred status conferred is qualitatively different from the status conferred by commissioning, credentialing, or licencing. It is stated as follows, “Ordination in Adventist ecclesiology and practice undoubtedly is for life, except in wholly unusual circumstances. Ministerial credentials are not necessarily held for life.” (Ibid, 36).

I am very much in favour of pastors believing that God has called them for a lifetime of service in gospel ministry, as God leads and as circumstances allow.

Three objections to this principle follow. First, I believe that this principle, unwittingly perhaps, seeks to impart a sacramental status to the individual. Such thinking is, I believe, theologically inadequate, even dangerous. God calls, individuals answer! This begins with the inner calling of God to the individual to serve His people and the world. This is incomplete without the outer calling of the church of God through a representative body. Ordination is no more or less than the affirmation and blessing of this inner calling of a servant leader. The specific credential offered is a pledge by the denomination to use the individual in service. Thus, both ordination and credentialing reflect the dual nature of that calling. Thus they do not have a qualitatively different character. Both of these blessings equip the individual for service. They are two sides of the same coin.

God works with individuals as they transition through a lifetime of service using and developing the various gifts He has given. The body of Christ must do the same. The role of the individual in ministry may change. This doesn’t mean that ordination and credentialing are somehow qualitatively different. Taken together they form a whole. Our theology and practice must reflect this.

Second, ordination for life invites an unseemly feeling of entitlement and of being beyond reproach in their calling. It breeds a lack of accountability. Unfortunately, there are some who do not live worthy of their calling. Often, these are waiting for their retirement or just living from pay check to pay check.

Third, why must Adventists affirm that once ordained, always ordained? After all, we don’t believe in once saved always saved! To me, ordination for life is an echo of the Roman Catholic teaching that the ordained clergy class has been sealed with the dominicus character, a special seal for life, which cannot be undone, though one live in unbelief. Such a sealing elevates the priest to enjoy a special status with God, where one is enabled to re-enact Christ’s sacrifice for his congregation and to act as a mediator between God and man. In this way, ordination for life reflects a sacramental and an elitist view of gospel ministry, creating an incipient hierarchy.

TWO: “Gospel ministry” is qualitatively different from “administrative service.” Gospel ministry is always to be prioritized over administrative service in that the first is one’s primary calling, the second is a secondary and temporary calling. (See Ibid).

Of course, we honour Adventist administrators who happily return to congregational ministry after a period of time in administration. But is there only one path in fulfilment of gospel ministry. Does one style and size of ministry really fit all?

Two objections can be made to such a principle. First, this principle appears to imply that Adventist administrators really have departed from their original high calling to gospel ministry by accepting a call into administrative service. Is this how the gifts and calling of God really operate? Romans 12: 6-8 indicates that if an individual has a specific gift, and the church of God calls them to use it, they should. The gifts and the calling of God are not to be set up in opposition to each other, as if a positive response to serve in administrative service is to defer the performance of God’s primary calling to that individual.

Second, is it true that congregational ministry and evangelism are the core functions of those called to lead the body of Christ? Should gospel ministry be conceived of as the administrator’s primary calling? Should administrative service always be regarded as an administrator’s secondary and temporary calling? And is this model of primary and secondary callings to be applied to the multitude of ministry specialists who work in tandem with our congregations? Here I am thinking of those working in youth ministries, health ministries, chaplaincy, personal ministries, media ministries such as editing or indeed our Bible scholars and theologians who are equally involved in the ministry of the Word. Must they also be prepared to slot into congregational ministry and direct evangelism when called to do so, even when their gifts don’t fit them for this? Such an understanding of the nature of gospel ministry certainly needs revision!

Years ago I knew of a person in pastoral ministry who was taken out of denominational employ by people who had determined that he did indeed was more gifted for tertiary teaching than for pastoral ministry, among his other gifts. Unfortunately, conference leaders only gave themselves a very limited window of opportunity to find a more specialized ministry role where he could serve. That individual was very willing to be flexible in the transition process. All he wanted from them was some recognition that the gifts and calling of God did not require that one size fit all. The Conference President once laughed in his face when he had previously suggested that he would happily step into a more specialized role. Alas, the conference leadership were committing this very category error big time. Categorization of people often destroys people and their usefulness. Adventist leaders are not immune from this!

It is for reasons such as these that I am attracted to a paradigm of appointment to Adventist leadership that doesn’t categorize people into hierarchies. I pray for the day when Adventists will adopt a system where their leaders are fitted into an overarching scheme of lateral categories as I explain below.

Re-envisioning a New Paradigm of Appointment to Adventist Leadership, Mission & Ministry

The following steps are necessary in order to create such a scheme:

  1. Adopt a more united Adventist hermeneutic to help us as we seek to understand Scripture together. Darius Jankiewicz recently authored a paper in the Journal of Adventist Mission Studies that well illustrates the consequences of both helpful and unhelpful hermeneutical principles. See Jankiewicz, Darius (2016) "Hermeneutics of Slavery: A “Bible-Alone” Faith and the Problem of Human Enslavement," Journal of Adventist Mission Studies: Vol. 12: No. 1, 47-73. Available here.

  2. Re-envision the Adventist communion as a divine vehicle in the fulfilment of God’s kingdom mission in our world. All believers are called by God to serve Him by continuing the ministry of Jesus in our world through the blessing of the Spirit of God, whom Jesus sends for this purpose. Adventist leaders are called to exercise their gift of leadership.

  3. Study, understand and more accurately define the role of deacon, elder and pastor within our global communion.

  4. Affirm and appoint biblically qualified individuals of both genders to specific leadership roles by the laying on of hands for the purpose of committing them to their present role. Such rites could be simple occasions and designed to be culturally sensitive and gender appropriate. Such rites would benefit from having the approval of the representative global body and be conducted at various transition points in the life and career of the individual. Procedures such as these would cultivate global unity while not demanding uniformity.

  5. Authorized credentials containing a specific role description for present responsibilities could be offered to every deacon, elder, pastor, ministry specialist, educationalist and institutional administrator, whether employed or voluntary. Such credentials would be globally endorsed and would need to be reissued as the individual undertakes new roles within the global communion. This global endorsement of the various lateral categories of service across the breadth of the various leadership ministries would create a united global scheme. It would ensure a reasonable degree of global standardization but not absolute uniformity within the plethora of lateral categories. The present scheme where the service of one tightly knit global Adventist ordained class could then be dispensed with.

  6. The global system of interlocking Adventist entities would be preserved, and the free movement of individuals according to the needs of the field would be facilitated.


Adventists are caught in the midst of competing solutions to bring the present unease with regard to ordination to a satisfying conclusion. We still have a unique opportunity to adopt a theology of ordination and associated practical guidelines that seek to embrace all and promote unity among all. This could yet be a dynamic and Spirit-led model of mission and ministry such as the early Christians had. Adventist pioneers following on from the work of the Protestant Reformers and their heirs built their polity and gospel order in pragmatic fashion. For the most part this has served us well.

However, the almost inevitable drift toward institutionalisation and clericalisation may well have created subtle, yet sinful changes in attitude and modes of operation that are best addressed by a studied renewal and reformation. Cool heads and warm hearts must prevail at Annual Council 2016. Please Lord, help us to this end!

Image Credit: Brent Hardinghe / Adventist News Network

Peter Marks served in the Adventist ministry in Australia and New Zealand (1983-1995). He was a professor of English at Sunchon National University (2005 - 2007) and Sahmyook University (2008-2009). Both these universities are in Korea. He has an MA (Religion) degree from the Newbold College Campus of Andrews University (1989) and a Master of Information Management - Librarianship degree from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (1998).

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Make sure your comments are germane to the topic; be concise in your reply; demonstrate respect for people and ideas whether you agree or disagree with them; and limit yourself to one comment per article, unless the author of the article directly engages you in further conversation. Comments that meet these criteria are welcome on the Spectrum Website. Comments that fail to meet these criteria will be removed.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

I think we will have to do better than that. We need every congregation at prayer, kneeling prostrating themselves before God.

Since the Unions have “SINNED” will one year be long enough for the “Repentance” Process???

This so-called “Crisis” is ALL Men-Made.
This so-called “Crisis”, being ALL Men-Made requires NO PRAYER. It is an INSULT to Christ the Lamb, INSULT to the Holy Spirit, INSULT to God our Father.


"For I desire mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings."
Hosea 6:6

"But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’"
Matt 9:13

"And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless."
Matt 12:7


Peter, the following are only my opinions, born of experience in a headship cult combined with Adventism–just FWIW:

It seems to me that the drift has been towards authoritarianism, expressed in headship doctrine, which entered Adventism via neo-Calvinist mingling in the 1980’s, as the late Gerry Chudleigh outlined in his free e-book:

In other words, as I’m sure you’re aware, the issue goes much, much deeper than views on ordination.

What you are dealing with is an extremely entrenched ideology that is rampant in neo-Calvinism, and now in the SDA church.

For those who do not yet have a sense of this reasoning, this video will make it very clear:

Jay Gallimore, Doug Batchelor, Stephen Bohr, Danny Shelton

Until people understand the hypermasculinized headship ideology inside out, there will be no adequate way to make decisions about the future, it seems to me.

I’ve been posting about this online since the last century. In that time, headship doctrine ideology has made deep inroads into Adventism.

Proponents cannot be dialogued with or rooted out by force without horrific social damage.

I think it is now 5 minutes to midnight, and ideal solutions do not exist.

Hard decisions must be made based on a thorough knowledge of what you are dealing with, and what is most important to you: Adventism as an institution, or your families and children. I think those are your two choices, and you don’t have the luxury of time.

If you choose to save your families and children, start making plans now, and disengage from this struggle as soon as possible.

Perhaps you think I lack faith, and perhaps I do. I’d love to see your vision manifest, but I really think you’ll need a new organization in which to live out such beautiful ideals.

If you use up your strength on a futile struggle, it will take many years to recover, and the children will be in a toxic situation.

The world is wondering after the authoritarian beast, and Adventism is wondering along with it. Hard to face, but true, I believe. Much that is foundational in Adventism predisposes it to fall into this path, it seems to me.

You all love your church, understandably. I wish it hadn’t come to this. I am heartbroken when I think of the children and all the beautiful potential still living in Adventism, but all the chaos and confusion ahead.

These are just my opinions, and I sincerely hope I’m wrong. I hope your prayers and entreaties reach Ted Wilson’s heart.

But, you see, your conciliatory approach is seen as mere emasculation, as in this Adventist article:

10 Pointers on How to Become an Emasculated Male at Church

Women don’t like controversy and are peacemakers at heart, so if you wish to remain in their good books you must fall in line on this.

These attitudes did not arise out of a vacuum. Adventists have imbibed them directly from neo-Calvinists, surely!

John Piper: From all of this, I conclude that God has given Christianity a masculine feel.

Theology and church and mission are marked by overarching godly male leadership in the spirit of Christ, with an ethos of tender-hearted strength, and contrite courage, and risk-taking decisiveness, and readiness to sacrifice for the sake of leading, protecting, and providing for the community—all of which is possible only through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

It’s the feel of a great, majestic God, who by his redeeming work in Jesus Christ, inclines men to take humble, Christ-exalting initiative, and inclines women to come alongside the men with joyful support, intelligent helpfulness, and fruitful partnership in the work.

This all sounds wonderful on paper, but the community I was in was rife with men taking sexual liberties with women while teaching them headship doctrine. It gets worse, but I won’t get into it.

Christianity Today: John Piper and the Rise of Biblical Masculinity

Why do Piper, Wilson, Driscoll, and other neo-Reformed leaders feel the need repeatedly to defend masculinity, often stridently?

I think it’s because they see the handwriting on the wall.

Women are half the church (maybe more than half), and women’s voices are being heard loud and clear in and out of pulpits around the country. While gains for women are uneven, most studies show a slow but steady increase for women in church leadership. And that’s just inside the church:

Outside, U.S. women are outperforming men in higher education and the workplace. When men did represent the dominant voice in Christianity—as they have for most of church history—there was no need for these public performances reinforcing both male leadership and cultural notions of masculinity.

Masculine Christianity and Its Knock Out Effect on Christians

Legalism combined with authoritarianism leads to dominionism (the use of power, guilt and punishment to push down others).

I encourage you to Google Mark Driscoll and Doug Wilson.

Well, Spectrum isn’t happy with what I’m posting, apparently, so I’ll take my leave, wishing all of you all the best, from my heart.


First, I like your ‘Mandelbrot set’ graphic ! And, not just because it is ‘pretty’, but because your choice tells me you are very likely to understand how this ‘man’ – myself – learned, through Biblical ‘fractals’, about the ‘Family’ of Heaven.

But, before I get into that personal ‘stuff’, I want to sympathize and muse with you on how similar all leadership of any human organization with any whiff of an agenda becomes – whether the male-dominated ‘GC’, or the more open-minded ‘Spectrum’.

If a human ‘leader’ of a human organization does not ‘edit’ the human individual, then they quickly become irrelevant.

When the ‘God Family’ of Heaven does not ‘edit’ the human individual, but invites full, free expression, then They become infinitely more relevant to the human individual.

The ‘God Family’ can do this without risk to Themselves, because, unlike human leaders and editors, They are infinite. We’ve all been ‘edited’ by finite humans in a panic about maintaining control . . . NOW ! Thankfully, the ‘God Family’ was not made in their image !

Now a bit of the personal ‘stuff’:

I was the only boy in a family of 4 older girls. My mother had converted to SDAdventism about the time of my birth, having previously converted to Catholicism in order to marry my father. My father was working far too hard to support his growing family and told my mother to see if they had to keep having children, or burn in Hell. What did other religions teach ?

But, when he studied with my mother and the SDA minister she found, the male minister made sure that my father learned about tithe-paying, before he learned about the full meaning of God’s gift of His Son . . . . My father swore at the SDA minister and never joined ‘the church’, though he paid to send all of his children to the local SDA Academy. Consequently my father was always the ‘sinner’, the ‘black sheep’ in our ‘family’. My mother never forgave him for backing out. It was a major source of 30+ years of wearying argument between them.

Nevertheless, my father became a successful businessman and just as he had paid off all debts and bank loans, he died of cancer in 1987. His will left everything to my SDA mother, although he was very worried that she might give too much to ‘the church’. Like many other unwary widows, she did just that, and I’m sure that 3ABN ‘males’ got a large portion of my own father’s ‘blood, sweat and tears’. . . in the name of ‘god’, if not in His true image. You see, my mother preferred SDA male leaders over my father, and made no secret of it.

What surprised me most at my father’s death was how inevitably I became the target of the females in my family when I simply began fighting for myself and my wife, as my father had before me. I was the new ‘dad’ they had all looked down upon as ‘heathen’ . . . ‘like father like son’, right ? It was very hard to be assumed to be guilty without a ‘trial’ at times by my better-SDA-educated sisters, and brothers-in-law, simply because I was my father’s son, and had followed him in a brutally-competitive construction trade.

In 1994, I was finally able to leave my hometown and its terrible memories, and so I also left the SDA church. Upon requesting that my name simply be removed from SDA church records, I was told that it could not be done simply. I must either ‘die’, be ‘officially missing for 2 years’, or ‘apostasize’. (Some free ‘choice’, huh ? Didn’t learn that un-Godly ‘truth’ in baptismal class !)

Having been treated so very unfairly by women in my family, and by the SDA church, I began to study the Bible and basic science truths, together, more so than I ever had ‘in the church’, in order to defend my position as the ‘firstborn son’ of my father, although forever, ‘my little brother, Denny’. Not surprisingly, I was first attracted to the topic of dominance, and to right v.s. left dominance, both Biblically, and scientifically. Why was it that it was so important that the birthright was transmitted through the RIGHT hand to Ephraim by Jacob . . . ? Also, of course, I was interested in male-female ‘dominance’.

At first the Old Testament seemed to be in my favor as I studied the process of redemption of widows and orphans by males such as Boaz. But, that ‘favor’ fell apart when I looked into the pre-fall creation of Adam and Eve : That ideal female-male relationship of ‘marriage’ which God intended, and which I wished so heartily had been the case in my parents’ quarreling, unsettled ‘marriage’, which had resulted in my falling into my dead father’s ‘black sheep’ role, yet, with no mention in his ‘will’. . . I was truly invisible in the heat of the ‘battle’.

However, with the help of ‘parables’, a.k.a. ‘proverbs’, a.k.a. ‘allegories’, a.k.a. ‘fractals’ from the Bible, and the natural, created world, I soon began to realize that any ‘dominance’ among male-female humans was purely an unintended consequence of ‘sin’ and its physical results, and NOT the ideal goal of ‘saved’, ‘born again’, ‘Christians’. Here are some of the references and ‘fractals’ that opened my eyes:

  1. On page 34 and 46 of Patriarchs and Prophets – written by a woman who could not even vote during the Victorian (queen) era – Ellen describes the relationship between the ‘Word of God’ and ‘God’ in nearly identical terms and ideas as those used to describe the relationship between ‘Eve’ and ‘Adam’. This means that the ‘Word’ – the ‘expression of the male Father’s thoughts’ – was ‘fractally’ represented, in ‘type’, by female humanity. And Ellen quotes Proverbs 8:22-30 as a reference to that ‘Word’, though Solomon – the wisest man – in that text clearly presents Ellen’s ‘Word’ in the feminine, as the good ‘woman’, ‘Wisdom’. To downplay the role of women in a healthy ‘Christ-ian’ church is to downplay the role of the very Christ in the ‘plan of salvation’ ! No wonder Jesus has not yet returned !

  2. The Genesis Creation account (1:26-28) repeats several times the Creators’ thoughts and expressions in the plural form regarding the Creation of mankind . . . ‘in Our image’. . . ‘male and female’ . . . Any Christian church that insists on maintaining the post-fall model of female-male relations, has not yet been ‘saved’ by accepting the revelation of Jesus the ‘Word’ and ‘Christ’ that, " . . . if you have seen me, you have seen the Father . . . ." Essentially, ‘If you have seen the (holy) woman, you have seen the (holy) man.’. . . just as the Creators’ originally intended ‘marriage’ to be, in Their (plural, holy) image. Why ?

  3. Malachi clearly expresses God’s distaste for ‘divorce’, with the answer to the ‘Why ?’ being focused – not on either male or female parent domination, but – on the ‘godly offspring’ He desires. If the parents fight, the child’s life is not ‘Godly’, but a constant argument, such as I, myself, was helplessly born into. So, your focus on the safety of the whole family, Cassie, is absolutely Godly, and no one will convince me otherwise !

  4. Going back to Genesis, there are many ‘fractal’ match-points between the story of Jacob losing his beloved ‘Ewe’ – ‘Rachel’ – near Bethlehem, in order to gain Rachel’s ‘Ben-oni’ – ‘son of my trouble’ – but Jacob’s ‘Ben-jamin’ – ‘son of my right hand’. There are far too many similarities between this real, living, ‘fractal’ ‘parable’ . . . and the exit of the ‘Word’ from the presence of Heaven’s 'Father as ‘She’/‘he’ entered openly into humanity, as the male (circumcised 8th day), ‘Jesus’, at Bethlehem, now, to forever retain ‘His’ human form as ‘Benjamin’ at the ‘right hand of the Father’ in Heaven. ‘Immanuel’ – ‘God with us’ – was first, the ‘Word’ and ‘wife’ (‘fractally’-speaking) with the ‘Father’ – the ‘expression of His thoughts’. (It is rather well accepted that women generally still excel in language skills, and appreciate them more-so than men, who often struggle to express thoughts they clearly understand . . . even more reason to encourage women to speak out . . . for men’s sake !)

Is that enough to encourage you, Cassie ? I hope so. I also had better stop, now, because if the editor won’t edit me, the ‘audience’ will ! Yes, it has happened to me, too . . . even at ‘Spectrum’ ! But since this ‘corner’ is not so crowded, maybe my ‘ranting’, ‘tangential theology’ comments will be allowed :wink:


FYI when that happens you can go back in to edit and just add @Cassie, which tags the person.


Thanks Peter for such a clear and positive article. Easy to read, easy to understand - for those who want, of course.

Some thoughts popped up in my mind as I was reading:

  1. Big, unfortunate, and irreparable damage has already been done 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 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 to 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!!!



Thanks George for your kind words!

In my own feeble way, I have always wanted in our discussions and practice to escape the binary options of either ordaining women or not ordaining women - even seeing some world regions doing it and other world regions not doing it. This only achieves the push pull tussel that the GC is engaged in at the moment with brittle unions, both of whom only see things their way or not all at. The battle is on between those who see huge theological objections to the ordination of women as opposed to those who see huge ethical objections against those who do not permit the ordination of women. The options given at the moment are to take the theological high ground or to take the moral high ground. A plague on both their houses.

Perhaps a 3rd way can be found that escapes this brittle my way or bust mentality.

Sakae Kubo said it well on another thread. “What in fact we should do is to have a simple service where those whom God has called to serve full-time in ministry are set aside for that purpose. Ordination today implies also the granting of power such as qualification to be president of a conference. Instead what it should imply is a greater opportunity for service. We should think of this simple service not as giving us more power but as making us greater servants.”

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