On May 30, 2013 the Netherlands Union Executive Committee voted to ordain female pastors, but kept this decision secret until July 5, 2013. They claim they felt their action necessary to make a point of recognizing women as equal to men. Consider this part of their statement:

In the end, this decision was the result of weighing the principle of unity against the principle of equality. Other possibilities were also discussed, including the option of not ordaining any pastors until the world church recognises equality, and the option of waiting until the upcoming session of the General Conference of the world church to reach a decision. Ultimately it was decided that from June 1st, 2013 all ordained and commissioned pastors, regardless of gender, will be considered ordained in the Netherlands” (http://www.adventist.nl/2013/07/06/netherlands-union-conference-votes-to-ordain-female-pastors/, accessed 2013-07-07).

In the Seventh-day Adventist Church, ordination grants the individual an authority in the church that is global in nature, not merely local. The world church—not local unions—looks to the Scriptures to determination qualifications for ordination. Because of the biblical counsel concerning spiritual leadership, one of the requirements for ordination is that an individual be male.

For 2,000 years the church has discerned that men and women are equal, yet called to different roles. No union has the authority to redefine “equality” for the world church. In addition, there is cause for concerned over any “principle of equality” that is seen to be of greater authority than the “principle of unity.” The Netherlands Union offered no explanation for the basis of their superior “principle of equality.”

Unions are entrusted to discern which male candidates meet the qualifications which the world church has set forth for those who shall be ordained. In exceeding its authority, the Netherlands Union stands in defiance of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It has acted unilaterally and in disregard to previous world church actions (1990, 1995 GC sessions) refusing to grant unions the right to ordain whomever they wished. The present, high-handed action of the Netherlands Union, constitutes a current example set before church members and before the world, of disunity, rebellion and apostasy.

3 thoughts on “Netherlands Union Renews Rebellion Against General Conference

  1. So, does this mean that all male commissioned pastors are now considered ordained? How does that work? A man is given a field of work after completing his training and is immediately considered ordained without any experience or proof of ability to win souls?

    That’s what would have to happen if what this union says they are going to do.

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  2. John, You are forgetting that there are two levels of Commissioned Ministers – Licensed Commissioned Ministers and Credentialed Commissioned Ministers. This is in line with the two levels in the Ministerial track Licensed Ministers and Credentialed (ordained) Ministers. I would presume that it is the Credentialed Commissioned Ministers (who have experience and have been recognized by “laying on of hands” who would be considered ordained.
    It is interesting that in all Biblical accounts of “laying on of hands” this occurred at the commencement of the service as the church now does for local church elders. The delay in invoking God’s blessing for several years for pastoral ministry does not seem to have any Biblical precedent. Could it be that 1 Timothy 5:22 may be more related to care in choosing ministerial workers rather than the delay in ordination of workers already functioning in ministerial roles?

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  3. I live in the Netherlands and I should know. Here is meant, full ordination right after internship.
    Pastors in our church can have either the status of Ordained Ministerial Credential, only for males or Commissioned Minister Credential, for females, evangelists and bible workers (not opt for ordination). When pastors are still in their internship they have a Missionary Licence; when males have completed their internship they should have an additional year in which they prepare for ordination and are given the Ministerial Licence status; females get the Commissioned Minister Licence status. The difference is not between licensed and credentialed, but between ordained and commissioned. See Working Policy E05 10.
    The women pastor who is now qualified as ordained, has held officially the Commissioned status. In fact she had been given all the prerogatives of an Ordained minister. Now this is made official (in rebellion!). The second one on the shelf to be ordained just finished her internship. Following the Working Policy she should at least have an additional preparatory year, but the NUC almost never follows the WP and is impatient (in rebellion!).

    Reply

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