Upper Columbia Conference Rescinds "Separate But Equal" Credentialing Policy

I may have to change my nom-de-plume. I sadly believe we’re going to see more of this. And those of us who aspire to a church reflecting the Sermon on the Mount instead of preoccupation with hierarchy, the life and teachings of Jesus instead of human divisions, and obedience to the Spirit’s leading instead of tradition, will be further marginalized.


Interesting to see all the whining, complaining, and hand wringing over the alleged “backwards” move of the church. Although I’m not quite sure why those who aren’t members anymore even care.

Hmm . . . , you must move in a different circle of “millennials” than some of the rest of us. There are many young people who find it highly offensive that so many of our leaders are bringing in worldly methods and methods borrowed from the churches of Babylon.


They don’t seem to understand that bigotry wrapped in religion is still bigotry.

I’ve felt that this is the case since I was a teen. No matter what the issue, if there are two voices in the fray, the more conservative, backward, simpleminded always wins as Adventists assume that the conservative position is more holy than the progressive position.

New knowledge, new ideas ideas are rarely accepted. Science is discredited. The church seems to be ruled by a group of anti-intellectual regressive individuals that win by whipping out their bibles and finding a proof text that supports their backwards thinking.

I’m nearly done. Thinking of joining the majority of friends from my youth that have left the church. The reasons I can think of to stay are all social, and those are rarely very good reasons.

That’s a very thoughtful way to express your perception of what is truly happening. I have lost all confidence in church leadership, and feel they operate not at all for the good of the membership, but instead to keep themselves in power through whatever means will work.

In a way it is comical. The SDA church is really so small a thing, the power the leaders wield is so fragile and really so small, it is sometimes hard to understand why they seek to keep it with such vehemence. If anything, by stressing their misguided ideas more and more, they’re just driving away the very people that give them the power they seek.


Does truth not matter? Does being faithful to God not matter? Do you actually believe the Bible?


All of the various attempts by Adventist entities in Europe and America to come to some accommodation with policy while moving toward a more biblical model of the appointment of Adventist leaders are symptomatic of the urgent need to create a policy that is both global in scope but local in implentation.

The attempt at the GC Session last year to provide for regional variance in our ordination practices foundered for a host of reasons. One of the chief of these reasons was that many could not see how a policy allowing for regional variance in ordination practices would work. Whether they were right or wrong in that reasoning is really beside the point.

Adventists need a system of appointment to Adventist leadership that inculcates two principles in its adopted policy.

  1. Global in Scope The Adventist policy concerning appointment to Adventist leadership must be conspicuously global in nature ie The global communion must be able to recognize that Adventist leaders of either gender serve in leadership in a variety of local situations. All appointed leaders would thus be respected for their local function, whether or not such persons would fit into every local situation through-out the world.
  2. Local in implementation Each region of the world would with such a system in place be tasked with the role of creating a workable system for their field which would then be submitted to the GC Executive committee for approval before implementation. Such systems would both design and implement a system having regard to the following -
    i. The various role categories and the broad job descriptions for each of these - local congregational pastor, local congregational deacon, local congregational elder, institutional leadership including professors, teachers and medical staff, organizational leadership
    ii. Rites of appointment to leadership with the option of repeating such rites throughout the life of an individual as he moves from one role to the next.

In such a system, some world regions may choose to have gender inclusive rites of appointment, while other regions would choose to have gender specific rites of appointment. These rites could be made to be more culturally appropriate.


How very pleasant for you to see everything through the prism of power and control and gender wars!

It has often seemed to me that Americans often impart a political edge to the ordination issue which has often pretended to know what is best for Adventists globally! Compare the pragmatic perspective of Chinese Adventists toward this issue. Or the European attitude which often is - we will do what is right and useful for us. Or the Australian attitude which often attempts to see the issue in its broad scriptural dimensions, while noting the problem adopts a pragmatic yet global perspective.

Adventists can have a much broader, deeper and higher view of this issue regarding the appointment of spiritual and organizational leaders, than has been illustrated in the attitudes and position of Ted Wilson.

Adventists must have their vision of this issue transformed from merely that of a gender turf war. It must be transformed into a vision of a renewed and revived paradigm of the appointment of spiritual leaders in which such leaders of both genders are empowered for service and ministry.

In such a scenario no one will attempt to dismiss the discussion and debate by saying that we must leave it alone and just concentrate on the mission of the church. This is an issue at the base and foundation of our mission.


Glad I live in the SECC where women are valued and utilized in every ministry possible. If the best person for the job at the time is a women so be it!


I hope the suggestion that conference leadership will try a better approach comes true. Our leaders need to have the courage of their convictions. When money speaks louder than truth our church is dead.


If you want to ask questions of posters you have to do it in the lounge, as we are not allowed to have a conversation here. Any discussion is against the rules.


If I hear of church leadership throwing women under the bus in order to “focus more intently on mission” one more time, my head is going to explode. I’m so tired of this disingenuous language. Why can’t denominational leaders just state the truth? Perhaps they were pressured, or politically out-maneuvered, or lost their nerve, or couldn’t risk financial losses, etc. Just own up to the facts. But how on earth is treating women equally–those who first delivered the good news of Jesus’ resurrection–a distraction from the mission of the church? Tell me.The only real distraction here is the use of “mission” as a sleight-of-hand maneuver to draw people’s attention away from the continued unfair treatment of women in this church. If there can be no unity without equality, it is also true that there can be no mission without admission–admission of our wrongdoing in grieving the Spirit of God as he gifts and calls women to full participation in pastoral ministry.


there must be something that we don’t know .

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Robin: Why do you hold up TRUMP’s wife and children as peons of culture?! How can anything good come from a Trump? Why not, rather, hold up Michelle Obama’s life and example, as a paragon of culture, finesse, and grace. She, of all speakers at either political conventions this year, tops them all, both in her delivery and in what she had to say…

Remember: Many Adventists were formerly principally Republicans. Nowadays that has changed. Republicans have been shooting themselves in the foot by their ridiculous actions. Now it’s Hillary and Tim Kaine and the progressive Democratic Party who are leading the U.S. into the next phase of their domination of the world. The Obamas have raised two beautiful daughters in the White House, and have put up with all kinds of torment themselves. Now we’re watching the next phase of politics in Washington, D. C., which will be managed by Hillary and by Tim Kaine. Both of them real jewels. Trump will soon be a part of the detritus of his stupid attempts at campaigning, lost to the world forever.


A giant leap backward into the darkness. Shame on the UCC leadership.
They allowed themselves to be blackmailed into this hugely unfortunate decision.


Some churches “felt that it placed our conference beyond the parameters of the Church Manual and the North American Division policy for commissioned ministers.” Was the voted policy beyond the parameters of God’s word?


“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
~ The ex-Pharisee, Paul, to those in ‘Gentile’ Galatia who were ‘in Christ’

The reality of the opportunity of being forever alive ‘in Christ’ – not forever dead ‘in Adam’ – was a leading principle of the good news which Paul was commissioned by Jesus, Himself, to deliver to the world.

When this principle is abandoned the mission is abandoned.

Yet Paul, himself, abandoned this principle for the politically correct error of complying with the ‘conservative’ bias of the Jewish-Christian church leaders in Jerusalem. By hypocritically consenting to perform the ‘dead’ Jewish purification rites, Paul’s own ‘mission’ to the ‘Gentiles’ was greatly restricted and shortened. Thus Paul, himself, introduced a confusing poisonous degree of ‘another Gospel’ – resulting in ‘accursedness’ – into the performance of the ‘mission’ of the Christian church.

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men,
I should not be the servant of Christ.

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. . . . “
~ The ex-Pharisee, Paul, to those in ‘Gentile’ Galatia who were ‘In Christ’.

The whole SDA church needs to decide – sooner than ‘later’ – whether or not it treasures the ‘Jewish’ Sabbath, or the Creator and ‘Lord of the Sabbath’ on the day He blesses with His personal presence . . . whether or not we treasure the hypocrisy of ‘Adam’ – in the best of circumstances – as he blamed ‘Eve’ and her Creator for his own woeful mistake, or the ‘new heart’ and ‘right Spirit’ of being ‘in Christ’, who said – in the worst of circumstances – ‘Father forgive them. They (especially the Jewish ‘church’ leaders – His ‘woman’, His ‘Eve’ – who condemned Him) don’t understand their mistake.’

Until the principle decision to be ‘in Christ’, alone, is made, no SDA individual, congregation or conference has a mission ‘from Christ’, simply because they have ‘another gospel’.

It’s mind boggling to me seeing so many people who profess to support Christian principles so easily commit perjury by at the same time supporting discrimination of women in their church. Can we call it “spiritual perjury?”

There is not one single Christian principle that align positively with discrimination of women in church. I wish people were more educated on the origin of the ordination ritual, how it was introduced in the Christian Church and why. It was Tertullian who borrow the concept from the civil system and brought it into the Church with the single purpose of keeping the power in men’s hands.

Now, we are talking about the RCC. But the SDAC obviously likes the concept and adopted it in its ranks too. Yes, discriminating against women in order of keeping the power in the hand of males only.

This is an evil, outrageous, horrendous concept. And I am flabbergasted reading posts defending this evil practice in a Church that is supposed to be Christian! Don’t those people see how oxymoronic (if not just “moronic”…) it is to say, “Christian Church That Discriminates Agains Women?”

Those interested in further discussing the issue must go to the “LoungeGate,” where discussion is allowed.


Careful Peter @mark, if you write more than one comment in a thread here you may end up suspended for about one week. This is exactly what happened to Pici aka Birder aka Groucho aka @blc. Don’t take chances. Just keep your butt in the LoungeGate instead of here, and youi will be protected against this bias. No other way.



You made my point. When a) Loungegate is hidden, b) there is no information about who qualifies to come in, or when, or how access is granted, and c) that there is a gatekeeper that we are somehow supposed to know about, then it it one more example of the barriers to inclusion that is woven into the fabric of SDA culture. If I attend a church for nearly 2 years, participate actively in sabbath school, affirm the comments of my brothers and sisters, and yet I still have to discover the not so secret handshake and ask for admission. Hmmm. methinks this is one more reflection of implicit bias. We as a church have a long way to go…

Addendum. Noting the additional comments following this one, the point is not only made but underscored. Clearly as literalists we take Christ’s words seriously “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.” Mt 11:13

just saying.



In the upper right hand corner you will see three horizontal lines. Click that and it will lead you to the Spectrum or Lounge site. If you click “Lounge” it should open the Lounge site where discussion is unlimited.

Hope this helps.

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Unless something’s changed quite recently at Discourse, access to the Lounge depends on either one’s level of activity (reading, likes, etc.) or Jared overriding that system requirement to add one’s name. This is a feature of the commenting platform.

Those without admission cannot see the Lounge, not even when one is tagged there.

Discourse determines a user level which depends on how much reading one does, commenting activity, and whether one’s been flagged, etc. The lower user levels don’t grant access to the Lounge, but a webEd can override this requirement. You can see your user level at your summary. Also see link below.

I never received notification of access to the Lounge. When it opened I had enough activity to qualify, but later was less active and lost the privilege. Then after resuming more reading, one day my access was suddenly back. I remember when the one-comment policy began and the Lounge was created that Jared offered to add people whose user level might not allow automatic access to it. Perhaps those individuals can’t lose their access by dropping in user level.

It’s been a while, but when Spectrum switched to Discourse we had lots of questions about user levels:


“access to the Lounge depends on either one’s level of activity (reading, likes, etc.) or Jared overriding that system requirement to add one’s name”

How is one’s level of reading and likes determine the Lounge is open for them? I never received approval or invitation that i recall.

Does that mean that anyone who wishes admission to the Lounge must request Jared? Did you request to be here?

My understanding that all comments there are free and uncensored, so long as they are civil and do not attack anyone personally. Are there other rules that I missed?


Another nail in the Adventist coffin.

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