“Reformatio in Capite et in Membris” — 17 Questions That Need an Answer

Standing up against this attitude is important, and it will sooner or later manifest itself, our consciousness will be test. It was God who allowed Lucifer to manifest his discontent about the lack of freedom and restrictions of God’s government. God allowed this so that we has humans could see how a small seed of “discontent” could grow into a humungous monster of destruction, pain and death. Lucifer only wanted to be acknowledged, as being someone of essential worth, someone to be respected and held in high esteem, and we see the results in the great controversy, “total annihilation”, of anyone who did not agree on what the Church said. So maybe we must let the true nature of this mind set manifest itself, and maybe some may see the dangers of it, and take a step back. But it is difficult for those who believe that they have the truth to change there mind set, when they have already declared something, decanting might be a to humbling experience to go through.

“If we are willing to grow and willing to be wrong…God doesn’t condemn us”. I found this statement very uplifting, but to others, the concept of growing and being wrong, scares them, because of their understanding of who God is, a God who is hard and who demand total obedience, at all cost. I want to grow, and I have in the past made mistakes and been wrong, but God was there, and I learnt how caring is the God I serve.

Jeremy… speak to the facts that this article brings to light. About how the GC leadership engineered the whole process leading up to the SA vote, ignored the TOSC results that it commissioned, ignored the testimony of female pastors in China, bypassed the anonymity of electronic voting, all in the context of forcing a confrontation that didn’t have to happen!

Who decided to force this issue and deepen the divisiveness in the first place? It wasn’t the unions. The pushback and negative response that TW and the GC leadership have received has its roots in the type of ineptitude, overstepping, cutting corners, and insensitivity to the dynamics of this situation that this article outlines. It’s not about people here just wanting to tear him down. It’s about insult being added to injury with a farcical attempt at unity, by an insulated leadership that has and continues to misuse its power. And, it’s about people wanting this redressed and repaired… IOW reformation beginning with leadership. Not something that even seems to be on TW’s radar screen. It’s about people caring about the health and future of the church… not those who want to up and leave.



Professor Torkelsen,
You may be an historian by discipline, but you have a finely tuned LEGAL mindset…

Your provocative and perceptive questions are so logically laid out, even a non legal layman can grasp the ENORMITY of the TRAVESTY inflicted by the current GC administration on the fragile church structure.




If the church does split many of us will feel that Ted Wilson failed as a leader. It appears to me that he is pushing his own agenda and catering to a segment of the NAD with money. IMHO, a successful leader would a) be willing to take risk (“though the heavens fall”), 2) seek to bring harmony rather than unison (which is not unity), and 3) look for a win/win solution since this is an issue where consensus obviously can’t be achieved. Oh that he could understand that a denomination with millions of members is not going to see / practice everything in exactly the same way. We don’t all keep Sabbath the same way. We don’t all conduct worship the same way. We don’t all see the wearing of wedding rings (or jewelry) the same away. The church is more diverse now than when I was baptized 60 years ago. And no successful GC president is going to push us all back into the same mold.


This is OUR church Jeremy. So please don’t suggest we leave. Respectful disagreement is part of a healthy organization.


frank, in the first place, whatever TW did or didn’t do leading up to san antonio, the majority of delegates voted against WO…do you really think these delegates would have voted yes had they seen the recommendations of TOSC, listened to a group of chinese women pastors, or voted through the anonymity of electronic voting…i don’t…i think no-voters at san antonio were there to teach NAD a lesson, namely that they weren’t going to be doormats for what they viewed were excesses by the west, and they weren’t going to ignore what was important for them for the sake of unity with the west…that kind of spirit wasn’t open to facts, nor would it have been altered had more facts in favour of WO seen the light of day…

in the second place, i don’t recall WO interests being dragged kicking and screaming to a vote on WO in san antonio that they were in any way, shape or form reluctant to enter into…both sides of this issue viewed san antonio as a showdown that they believed they’d win because their cause was right, and the other side wrong…i never once heard anyone say the vote shouldn’t proceed…instead all were very busy honing their arguments and making sure those arguments were featured at every opportunity…in fact i even seem to recall that NAD distributed a package of information to delegates as they arrived in san antonio, which i don’t believe would have been about encouraging them to vote no…

and in the third place, i’ve already characterized this article, with it’s arguments, as “outstanding”…i’ve said that it “provides very good reasons for splitting from the GC altogether”…this means i agree with these arguments…

but the over-riding reason why i personally would never split with the GC over the vote in san antonio, which the arguments presented in this article gives good reasons to do, and even though i agree with them, is that i believe that a church wide vote entered into willingly must be respected, even when it goes against how i would have voted…this is the fine print of what unity with and respect for the church means…i think TW is doing the only thing he can be expected to do, which is enforce the will of our worldwide church…had the vote in san antonio been yes, i believe he would have set aside what is believed to be his own headship position and enforce that expressed will of our worldwide church, as well…

but while we’re discussing TW, let’s understand that the outcome of a yes vote in san antonio would have been infinitely easier to manage from a GC standpoint…this is because no-voters would have been free to continue to withhold ordination from women in their territories, which means everyone would have been a winner…don’t you think TW would have perceived this…that is, if he really has been using the levers of power in our church for his own interests, don’t you think he would have worked to deliver the easier outcome, and spare himself the headache and burden that he must be working under now…

as i see it, it doesn’t matter how the vote in san antonio came to be, or how selective the process leading up to san antonio was…the point is that leadership made the calls that their judgment led them towards, in keeping with what is their responsibility; the vote in san antonio happened; and more delegates voted no than voted yes…the only choice now is to accept that vote, or not…

i maintain that the only gracious thing to do for any losing side in any vote they agreed to participate in is to accept that vote if they want to remain a part of the entity that produced that vote…to call for a coup against leadership that reformatio in captite essentially represents isn’t an answer…not only is it attempting to legitimize an unwillingness to accept a churchwide vote, but it’s rebellion personified…and make no mistake: rebellion personified is certainly how any move against TW will be perceived by the millions of church members who believe in him, and are praying for him every day…

Very well done. Thank you!


No Jeremy…I respectfully disagree. TW didn’t want the easier administrative path, as you have deemed it. If he did, he wouldn’t have ignored the TOSC results and buried them. He would have been eager to give voice and support to the female Chinese pastors. He would have done anything to influence a vote that would have been a win/win as you stated, even if the means to achieve this ended up being insufficient.

Seeing this, a skillful administrator, sensing the potential of deeper schism, would have done all he could to avoid a showdown. He could have opted for a more diplomatic course. He didn’t. He ultimately got what he wanted… his ideological bent being imposed by the majority.

Last time I checked the Bible, the majority doesn’t always line up with the Spirit. Ten spies opposed to two, those that wanted a king as opposed to Samuel, the religious establishment as opposed to Jesus, the Jerusalem majority opposing Paul’s Torah free gospel.

Its a mess that has more the stamp of an ideologue, and patriarchal culture all over it, than that of Spirit led compromise. It’s a sad situation.




“Wrong again,” Jeremy. Elmer @elmer_cupino didn’t say that.
In this case, it’s not a “relationship.” Its a “membership.” Those who are engaged in eliminating discrimination from OUR Church cannot be asked to leave. Let me be clear, WE, the supportes of WO are doing the moral thing, while the supporters of discrimination are doing the immoral thing - like it or not.

Therefore, as a supporter of equality, of WO, and elimination of discrimination in OUR Church, I really don’t have any consideration for the opinion of those people who insist in perpetuating the discrimination. This is not a reason for me or anyone else “to part amicably.” A suggestion like this is really gross…

It doesn’t matter who the GC Prez is, if he supports/protects discrimination of women, he is not a leader for ALL, just for those who discriminate. I have seen you supporting the elimination of discrimination against women, how can you talk in favor of a GC Prez who does the opposite? Yes, he nay be a good person, very spiritual, etc, BUT he still does nothing to eliminate this shameful discrimination. Therefore, he needs to be replaced by someone who is not biased against women!


church members who support the ordination of women as pastors could be simply censured as per the church manual. they can continue to attend and participate as before for the most part. Maybe that will satisfy GC leadership.

Remaining under censorship by those who discriminate against women would be a great witness for truth!

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Ducibus est tempus mutatio


The GC won’t dare to start such an inquisition. That would be the termination of the SDA Church. Certainly a big split, and most probably no more new converts. Who wants to be part of a cult that discriminates women in thge year 2018?


It’s time for leadership change!


Ian –
What you say MAY Satisfy the GC leadership!
BUT, WILL those censured be WILLING to continue to Attend, Participate,
AND Support?
OR, will they be satisfied to attend church by TV-Satellite, OR on the Internet?
Here in Eastern time I attend services in the morning, but at 3PM my time I
attend CHURCH by Internet that comes from San Francisco.
There are probably others doing the same thing on Sabbath.
Some of them allow for On-Line Giving.


Jeremy –
Making this the reply 101 from the 100th reply to what was Voted at SA2015.
WHAT WAS REJECTED was the ABILITY of the DIVISIONS to decide on Women Ordination.
NOTHING WAS VOTED regarding the Current UNIONS allowing for Women Ordination.

ALL of that was ALLOWED to CONTINUE as it was. ANY Union around the World MAY STILL
Ordain Women as Pastors as they choose.
Unions that allow Women Ordination may choose to allow Women Pastors to move between
those Unions with no difficulties. And the Women Ordained may have ANY Positions in those
Unions, or Other affiliated Unions.

BUT IT IS TIME for the North American Division to VOTE to allow Ordained Women Pastors
any place in the Division, including North American Division President.
BUT AT LEAST REAFFIRM that Ordained Women Pastors are allowed in any place in the


frank, i’m saying that TW didn’t take the easier administrative path, which is why he wasn’t working to secure a yes vote…perhaps he was working to secure a no vote out of personal ideology, but my point is that whatever he was working to achieve, the delegates who voted no were beyond the power of his, or anyone’s, power to persuade…we know this because they booed a former GC president, ignored the counsel of several well-known and respected church leaders, turned a blind eye to the majority in our BRI, and completely rebelled against the special counsel of our seminary…i mean how much more headstrong and incorrigible can you get…and from some of the conservative blogs that were raging for months before san antonio, no-voter delegates may have thought they were stopping what they perceived to be excesses in NAD, like LGBT, in its tracks…as i’m sure you recall, WO was constantly being linked to LGBT by NAD’s vacuous headship advocates…doug batchelor even made a point to stress on the floor of san antonio that WO would lead to gender confusion in our youth…

and of course what we have is a mess - tell us something new…but this mess is what we have…it can’t be undone now…we have to work with the hand we’ve been dealt…i think the controlling consideration now must be yielding to the san antonio vote which everyone took part in, and by doing so, tacitly pledged to abide by…are we entitled to go back on our implied word merely because we didn’t get our way…should the church split because TW obviously believed that a GC vote would settle the matter, and so may have worked to secure what he personally wanted to see…let’s admit to the fact that everyone was resorting to politics to the extent they could…no-one can truthfully say they were standing back and allowing the holy spirit to settle the matter…

let’s also remember that WO is on a positive trajectory…as we all know, each of the three times some form of it has been defeated at a GC session, it’s been through a dwindling majority…is there virtue in destroying the church before the natural course of things inevitably settles around what all of us want…

i’m convinced, more than ever, that resisting a GC vote must mean the end of the GC as we know it…is this what any of us want…by accepting the san antonio vote, and biding our time, we will eventually see WO legitimized within an INTACT church…is this not a goal worthy of our collective effort…are we so lacking in self-control that we cannot endure the last gasps of headship in our church and, like jacob, simply must take matters into our hands because we don’t believe that god can work his will in his own time and way…i tend to believe that most of the women who feel called to be ordained ministers of the gospel would prefer an intact, functional and united church…who would want to minister in an organization shredded to pieces, that in fact no longer exists in the way it did when anyone first ventured to secure ordination credentials…

the situation we are in - the “mess”, as you call it - calls for restraint, and studied calculation…it doesn’t call for a chiselled analysis of the problem we’re in, which everyone can sense even if they can’t articulate it, which is what this article provides…nor does it call for digging in, and destroying what everyone professes to want to save, which is what so many WO proponents seem to be doing…

Superbly thought through and superbly written.

Will someone in a position of administrative responsibility–whether in a local conference, a union, or some “higher” entity–even respond to this, publicly? Will some scholar at the Seminary even respond, publicly?

The trust that normally sustains true communities is now, in Adventism, all but gone. So…probably not.

If such a person has already responded, I apologize to you. And I would certainly welcome evidence that my worries are ill-founded. Perhaps some such persons are not too scared or too indifferent to chime in with a word of honesty and hope.



OK, Jeremy. Let’s say your suggestion is accepted and the church splits, or even if the Pacific Union is taken over by the GC. Have you considered these possible results:

  1. Many SDA churches would have to be closed and the property sold.
  2. Many SDA schools would have to be closed and the property sold
  3. Giving to the NAD and GC would drop so much that the entire world church would suffer.
  4. Institutions such as PUC and La Sierra would likely be lost.
  5. Many pastors and teachers would lose their jobs (lack of funding).
  6. Enormous spiritual injury would be experienced.
  7. Huge loss of membership and thus finances would likely result - causing dire threat to the existence of the NAD and GC itself. The entire world church would be worse off.

It’s easy to say “it’s time to split”, Jeremy. But think of the consequences! Tragic.


Where is Solomon when you need him… If both sides want to save the baby they might try a litte harder to listen to each other.