The Actual Significance of the San Antonio Ordination Vote

Oh is see. Who would have thought?!? :wink:


Should we now expect to see all the ordination of women be revoked?
Wouldn’t such a spectacle as “defrocking” women be shocking thing in the public press? WDYT?

1 Like

Yes. This is just my perception, obviously. I hope I’m mistaken.
And to clarify, I’m envisioning energized fundamentalist lay people (those of “strident advocacy” whom I lamented) going to war against local women elders–not anyone in salaried church leadership.

You are… perhaps not so much “mistaken” as that you have been trapped into a negative outlook rather than clinging to a positive… hopeful… view of the future. I use the word “trapped” advisedly… for I did take a look at your website that you so kindly pointed us to a few moments ago.

A story may best illustrate why I chose that word…

Once upon a time… in another venue with differing situations as our current one only in content… not in kind… there was a very perceptive young man involved who kept pointing us to an old “proverb”… which went something like this

Beware of gazing too long upon your enemy… else you become like him


Dale Ratzlaff has made a career out of pushing negative versions of Adventist beliefs. God’s way of countering such negativity consists of portraying… and modeling… the loving, positive traits of our Lord and Saviour. It is not our business to defend the SDA church against all attackers. It IS our business to lift up Christ so that He may “draw all to Himself”. He is not really interested in Denominational entities… what He is interested in is the love of human beings. There are many reasons why individuals choose one church group over another. That is not our business to decide … and certainly not to demand.

I recommend two activities that will help change your negative fearful view of the future to a cheerful optimistic one…

  1. Turn your eyes upon Jesus… Look full in His wonderful face.

  2. Listen, watch, and ponder the series held by the Christian Student Union of Oxford University in which Tim Keller spoke to a largely atheistic, postmodern student audience, presenting to them the reasons why they should consider Christianity as the answer to their basic human needs.

He identified these needs as Meaning, Satisfaction, Freedom, Identity, and hope.

The url to the first of these: “Uncovering Meaning” is

I challenge you to follow him through to his last words.


Tim Keller is really one of the best christian speakers in the world! When things get too rough, like now, it is good to listen to some of his sermons.


At the very least it would be clear to me, even if the majority would remain among the cheering spectators until their particlular sin entered the crosshairs…


Thank you Marianne, for seconding my recommendation of Tim Keller. I think we as Adventists have a lot to learn from him… especially in the areas of how to reach a secular society AND how to recognize and repent of the arrogance that has been bred into our church personna for the last 100 years.

It was not always so… and the humility and inclusiveness with which our early pioneers… especially EGW herself… held toward those who were not members of our denomination… is something that could indeed be valuable. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be on the agenda of those who bid us to “move forward into the past”…

Keller’s presentation of “The Prodigal Sons” is IMO excellent in calling the church to "repent of its ‘goodness’ ". This one differs from the series I mentioned in that it is addressed to fellow Christians rather than to secular society.


@JaredWright, they could and did make amendments to many motions but apparently on issues in the FB for sure and I think the church manual, they had to refer it back to the committee. That also happened quite frequently last week. All of Tuesday was spent on FB items that had been sent back to committee with instructions to consider a certain part.

I was there for every business session. :open_mouth:

1 Like

I was pained by the negatives too but I believe God (and my sister) helped me to see also many pluses. I was additionally blessed last night by Leslie Pollard in his UPbeat talk here at Soquel and the the speaker this morning Joshua Majors, Under Pressure.

Here are some of the good things I am choosing to dwell on:

  1. In spite of the voting machine snafu there was a really tightly controlled, unassailable secret ballot Wednesday on whether to transfer deciding power from the unions to the divisions.

  2. That motion was not without problems especially in places like South Africa where there are unions proWO and a division not.

  3. Many people in other parts of the world that never THOUGHT about women in leadership, have now heard its defense from very able scholars and leaders.

  4. Because of the uproar there have been places online made for us to connect and share with each other and support each other. I used to feel so alone.

  5. Much good explanation has been written and videotaped at all levels of complexity and detail of the reasons for including ordained women pastors and other women in leadership ministry.

  6. There were 42% who voted for the motion. When you figure the Global North is only about 16%, and that the large number of delegates the GC leadership votes, that means there is a LOT more acceptance in the world church than many of us suspected.
    (will have to write more later. in the auditorium at Soquel and out of battery.)


Weren’t at least some of these brought back for voting on Friday afternoon?

I’m uncertain how a Yes vote would have transferred any authority from the unions to the divisions. I’m under the impression that would require union constituencies voting to change their constitutions.

What remains to be seen is whether/when the GC will tighten their control over unions’ autonomy in other ways.

1 Like

I like the rest of your post, but you are mischaracterising the motion as trying to do something a GC can not do.

That is NOT what the motion said.


The GC does not have the power to take things away from the UC’s and the UC delegates from a UC did not have power to give things away.

The vote was that the Divisions would do something to support the UC’s if/when they ordain women.


you are right, @bevin_brett. I must have been sleep-typing. But even you correction was one letter off. It was that the divisions were authorized by the GC to support women’s ordination. Only mistake was that they COULD help not that they WOULD help whether they wanted to or not.

1 Like

Yes some were brought back but nothing of import. I do not know all the details. Probably only God does but Friday afternoon was amazing. I am sure those who tend to conspiracies behind every bush had a flurry of whirling ideas.

Ya have to ask who was believable enough for the security detail to both believe them and spread the word? I myself believe God had a hand in it. Whether He sent an angel or whether He used someone who likes to stir up trouble or Global North did it to stave off the vote, or whether the leaders did this, I don’t know. (But I find the last option highly unlikely, based on the rest of the week. My sister who was there with my husband and me thinks God said, "You can go this far (vote against wo as pastors) and no farther. It is certainly on my list of questions to be answered in heaven.

That’s a good description of this particular discussion & vote:


7. Many good connections between those who support women in leadership ministry have been made. Being in a church that is off and on in its support, these ties have been a major blessing for me personally.
8. There have been great informational meetings about the legal structure of the church, the history of women in leadership ministry, a discussion of passages of egw, and most importantly, explanations about the Holy Scriptures.
9. The witness of China. I just hope God doesn’t have to round up all our men pastors like He did in China in order for us to accept women too.
10. Wouldn’t it be something if God decides to move thru women in the Middle East too?
11. I think about all of us who God has brought along from an anti position to a positive one: Me and my sisters, Ty Gibson, William Johnson, Dave Weigley, Dwight Nelson,


Through the scriptures God certainly raised up women when the men failed And he raised up a woman when at least one man refused in more modern times. But I can’t imagine a Christian praying to God that the men fail Him. Of course, you didn’t quite say you actually pray that God round up men to be put in prison… It’s only an implication.

I don’t pray for any disaster and certainly not for disobedience.


Because men are different than women, because nobody and no group is perfect, we need all the groups mentioned in Joel 2/Acts 2 and Galatians 3:26-28, Col 3:11 and Rom 2:9 to best serve the church and help the world. I believe that the close proximity to the discussion of the use of all groups to the outpouring of the HS could well mean that one will not happen without the other.

1 Like

It appears to me that the crafters of the language of the San Antonio vote were fully acquainted with the GC Working Policy, and took preemptive action to circumvent it (“invent another wheel”) via official action voted by the world church.

Yes, yes, the Unions approve ordinations.

But the Divisions can decide if a Union is in apostasy.

Except now, the NAD can’t say that the “rebellious” unions are NOT In apostasy.

That seems like a pretty cagey move, and not one teensy weensy bit symbolic.

Tell me what I’m missing. Thanks.

1 Like