Larry Kirkpatrick responds to the NAD Best Practices newsletter. The March 24, 2013 issue carries the article, “Where There is One There Should Be Twenty—Ellen White on Female Leadership,” along with a video by an Andrews University Theology professor. Pastor Kirkpatrick offers a brief review of these materials. Find it here.
Did male headship begin before the fall or was it instituted as a consequence of sin? Why is this question important? Pastor John Witcombe offers in this article a biblical answer showing that headship is the path to unity. Find it here!
Here is the fourth of four installments of Mike Lambert’s series, A Unified Church: How the Church Stays Together—Or How it is Divided. Find it here.
Pastor John Witcombe was led to study carefully ideas presented by Pastor Dwight Nelson in Nelson’s sermon “A Second Look at Headship.” Witcombe’s reaction is found here.
Dr. Damsteegt, Theology professor at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA, presents concerns opposing Women’s Ordination at Utrecht in 1995. The Seventh-day Adventist Church holds a General Conference Session every five years where Seventh-day Adventist delegates gather from around the world to be led of God in deciding matters involving the global conduct of the work of the church. The following was published in the General Conference Bulletin reporting events from July 5, 1995:
NORTH AMERICAN DIVISION REQUEST–ORDINATION
The chairman, Calvin B Rock, outlined the program for this business session dedicated to the request of the North American Division regarding ordination:
The president of the North American Division, Alfred C McClure, will make a 20-minute presentation giving the background and rationale of the North American Division’s request. Then P Gerard Damsteegt from the SDA Theological Seminary of Andrews University will give a 20-minute presentation on why he cannot support this request. Raoul Dederen, also of Andrews University, will then present the opposite viewpoint of why he is in favor of the request. It is hoped that with these presentations, the delegates will have a good overview of both sides of the issue. The floor will then be opened for discussion by the delegates and at approximately 4:45 p.m., the chairman will call an end to the debate and Robert S Folkenberg, president of the General Conference, will make a few remarks prior to a secret ballot being taken.
Voted, 1. To limit the individual speeches of the delegates to two minutes if spoken in English, and three minutes if a translation is given.
2. To support the program for the afternoon business session as outlined by the chairman.
Prayer was then offered by Calvin B Rock.
Following the presentation by Alfred C McClure, Charles E Bradford, former president of the North American Division, was asked by the chairman to make a few comments. After the presentations by P Gerard Damsteegt and Raoul Dederen, the floor was opened to debate by the delegates with the chairman alternating between delegates standing at the for and against microphones.
Shortly after 5 p.m. an action was voted to cease debate of the motion and Robert S Folkenberg spoke for a few moments, closing with prayer in which he asked the Holy Spirit to be present and to guide in the decision of the delegates. The motion before the floor was read for clarity as follows:
“Voted, To refer to the 1995 General Conference Session the North American Division request that the General Conference in Session adopt provisions on ordination as outlined below:
“The General Conference vests in each division the right to authorize the ordination of individuals within its territory in harmony with established policies. In addition, where circumstances do not render it inadvisable, a division may authorize the ordination of qualified individuals without regard to gender. In divisions where the division executive committees take specific actions approving the ordination of women to the gospel ministry, women may be ordained to serve in those divisions.”
Delegates were then instructed to turn in their secret ballot cards to their division representatives. A count of the secret ballots was made with the following results:
In favor of the recommendation: 673
In opposition to the recommendation: 1,481
Total number of votes: 2,154
By this vote, the request of the North American Division was denied.
Source: General Conference Bulletin, July 11, 1995, pg. 30 (http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/GCB/GCB1995-08/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=30).
Article by retired conference president Ben J. Liebelt calls for unity. The title is, “God’s Church, Unity, and Division.” Find it here.
Here is a powerful article by Lee Roy Holmes about the crisis in the church and the biblical concepts surrounding how the church works together on disputed points. A must read! Find it here.
Today, we offer part 3 of 4, Mike Lambert addresses threats to our unity. Find it here.