Exactly, it is strange that their is such a level of confusion on this.
Forgive me for perhaps being redundant but I would like to rewind a bit.
In 2015 the question of “is it acceptable for division executive committees, as they may deem it appropriate in their territories, to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry?”
Based on the record I think everyone agrees that was the question asked…but why ask in the first place?
Here are some Y/N questions for making more sense out of this:
a) are spiritual gifts described with gender qualifications attached?
b) does the Holy Spirit require the approval of humans for His choice of assigning spiritual gifts?
c) was ordination established with gender qualifications as a criteria to recognize the spiritual gift associated with it by the SDA church?
d) as an administrative process was the GC established as the authority to make decisions regarding Ordination?
e) has gender ever been retroactively added and if so why?
f) were divisions established with authority in matters of Ordination?
g) does the Holy Spirit alone assign these gifts?
Lastly why was this a voting question to begin with if Divisions held the administrative power managing ordination to begin with?
"The GC has its first female President. Sandra Roberts, a career SDA minister and senior SDA official, was appointed today by the NAD. She replaces Ted Wilson, who stepped down as GT predicted 8 years ago.
WOW!!! Astonishing!!! Ain’t great?
But, then I put on my glasses …, and read it again,
" Ethiopia has its first female President. Sahle-Work Zewde, a career diplomat and senior UN official, was appointed today by the country’s parliament. She replaces Mulatu Teshome, who stepped down yesterday."
So, I realized that the extremely turbulent era mentioned in the Southern Union’s statement will actually not end. Brace for impact!!!
Church pastors are employed at conference level. Whomever the conferences want to employ, however, needs the approval of the union. For new candidates an ordination will be arranged after they have stood the test of (some) time. Thus the ordination itself is in the hands of the unions. However, they cannot ordain just anybody. The rules for it were set by the GC Session(s).
Knowing this, the NAD (i.e. its leadership) approached the GC Session back in 1995 to “legalize” WO which had not been “legal” before. Being tacticians, they already anticipated that asking this for the whole church would not get approval, thus, they opted for a “division-by-division” tactic as the church was already neatly split into 13 divisions. Essentially, the GC Session was asked to allow for local amendments to their global rules. This is how the wording came about that we find in the transcripts today.
By the same tactics it is argued today that the GC Session has no vested right to control ordination. But that is non factual. Even the past NAD actions testify to that. Thus, it is hoped that the past is forgotten - not without reason as it seems.
But you know: Whoever forgets the past is doomed to repeat it.
I am not sure what you are specifically referring to here. What rules for ordination are you highlighting, what are the rules set by the GC Session(s)? I would appreciate your clarification, thank you.
Ah, yes, thank you for your clarification. I’ve read so many “casual” comments being posted I did want to know what you were specifically referring to.
Gender neutral wording is certainly an issue to resolve in all of our periodicals, SS lessons, manuals and policies. To some degree it was addressed at the GC Sessions 2015 when the language of our Fundamental Beliefs was changed to gender neutral. The project needs to continue.
–sorry it took a while to finish my response. I had to take a “time out” to change the diaper of my grandson and give him a bottle. Thank God, (figuratively and literally) those sweet tasks ARE gender neutral!