More than 18M members, gathered from across the globe, make up the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Every five years delegates are elected and called to General Conference session. They seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit for collective leading in key decisions of the Church. This July (2015), delegates will meet in San Antonio, Texas, USA. The issue of women’s ordination is to be addressed. On two previous occasions (1990, 1995), the General Conference voted not to permit the ordination of women to the gospel ministry. The short video appeal above calls for delegates to reject the proposal to permit each division to decide for itself on women’s ordination, and that the Church instead implement TOSC position #1.

51 thoughts on “An Appeal to the Delegates to the 2015 General Conference Session

  1. Thank You Jesus! Thank You! Pastor Larry Kirkpatrick, very well done Sir: You’ve been praying, you can see it in your face…..
    I have too. Speak Lord, to Your Church and Save Us Jesus, for the second coming of Jeus Christ is a lot closer than many Christians believe…. THE GOSPEL OF “JESUS CHRIST” is not a “DEMOCRACY”!

    Reply
  2. Larry, why do you charge the NAD, or for that matter, any WO proponents like myself–of teaching that the Bible, all the way through, is a mixture of truth and error? In my courses at Canadian University College, I try to uphold 2 Timothy 3:16.

    Reply
    • Doug, I don’t recall charging you with anything. However, I would point out that the November 2013 NAD BRC Report to GC TOSC does in fact, suggests exactly what is stated in the video. For example, it says that “the Bible is truthful and includes divine revelation” (“Hermeneutics and the Ordination of Women, I. Why do we need Hermeneutics?, para. 4, p. 22). It is truthful? What does that mean? Who is it truthful for? The Word is truth, not truthful or truthish. It includes divine revelation? What else does it include? It affirms Scripture as reliable only “in terms of its salvific message” (Ibid., III. Two Major Sets of Hermeneutics in the Adventist Church, B, para. 4, p. 25; Ibid., D.3, p. 26). It proposes that the meaning of the Bible is determined as an outcome of “interplay between text and reader, both of which are culturally and historically conditioned” (Ibid., V. Location of Meaning and a Hermeneutic of Humbleness, 3, p. 28). In this chapter of the NAD report alone, the word “culture” in its various permutations is mentioned nearly three dozen times in just 10 pages, and I did not try counting the many times besides this that “historical” appears. In the 2014 BRC report to TOSC, cultural conditioning is reaffirmed on p. 10: “We practically guarantee disunity in the Church. . . When that which is conditioned by history and culture is made the policy for all.”

      Those trained in theology will be quite aware that when it is said that the text of Scripture is “culturally-conditioned,” that means that it is understood that human biases and errors of the Bible writers were introduced by the writers in into the text of Scripture itself. This is why the NAD report, in this key initial section on hermeneutics, just like liberal churches scattered across the denominational continuum, limits its affirmations about the trustworthiness to Scripture to salvation only. The Adventist Church affirms their validity for salvation, but much more. The Scriptures as a whole are infallible. As FB#1 says, they are “the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history.”

      I would suggest you consider the broader context of the whole NAD BRC Report, or if your time is limited, merely read the section they made their first full chapter in the report, penned by Kyoshin Ahn 10 pages long near the beginning. I have included page numbers above but headings too, because some versions have differing paging. Do I propose that NAD explicitly teaches that the Bible is a mixture of truth and error? Of course not. But read the material referenced above and then see the idea repeated in the 2014 report. The NAD teaching is that the text of Scripture is culturally-conditioned. The SDA teaching is that the Scripture is infallible.

      So Doug, Paul’s counsels are not merely his counsels but inspired, authoritative, doctrinally correct Scripture. We should receive the wise warning in the 1986 Methods of Bible Study document (MBSD): “Even Christian scholars who accept the divine-human nature of Scripture, but whose methodological approaches cause them to dwell largely on its human aspects, risk emptying the biblical message of its power by relegating it to the background while concentrating on the medium.” This is exactly the ditch the NAD BRC report falls into. The focus is on the difficulty of interpreting Scripture or sorting out the truth. The NAD report goes even further, disparaging the MBSD.

      You may be helped in understanding my concerns by reviewing the videos dealing with the NAD report:

      http://ordinationtruth.com/2014/01/17/new-nad-wo-hermeneutic-pt-1/

      http://ordinationtruth.com/2014/01/18/new-nad-wo-hermeneutic-pt-2/

      http://ordinationtruth.com/2014/01/20/nads-pbhc-hermeneutic-a-closer-look/

      Reply
  3. an exchange between Sunny and me on the Youtube page for the video:

    It is offensive and insulting for opponents of WO to continually conflate WO with “a culturally driven homosexual agenda.” Since the merits of a scriptural prohibition on WO are dubious at best, they attempt to martial a slippery slope stragegy of saying “ahh, but homosexual ordination will be next” in an attempt to scare sincere moderate conservative Adventists into opposing WO. I know many devout, conservative SDAs, including my own parents, who strongly support WO and yet would never support homosexual ordination. Who knows if this strategy of fear will succeed? I hope and pray it won’t, but it might. Rather, I hope that honest, bible believing SDAs will see through this ruse and see opponents of WO as the scaremongers are they are.

    Dear Mr. Schafer:

    It would appear you didn’t read this week’s TIME Magazine, where the homosexual agenda was in fact specifically—and inextricably—connected to the ordination of women. And done so not by a seminary theologian but by a secular researcher observing current trends within Christendom:

    “For many evangelicals, the marriage debate isn’t really about marriage or families or sex—it’s about the Bible itself. And that makes many evangelicals all the more uncompromising. The roots of the conflict are deeply theological….And there’s another, just as fundamental, obstacle. So far no Christian tradition has been able to embrace the LGBT community without first changing its view about women. The same reasoning that concludes that homosexuality is sin is also behind the traditional evangelical view that husbands are spiritual leaders in churches….’It is not an accident that the women’s-liberation movement preceded the gay-liberation movement,’ Robinson says, ‘Discriminatory attitudes and treatment of LGBT people is rooted in patriarchy, and in order to embrace and affirm gays, evangelicals will have to address their own patriarchy and sexism, not just their condemnation of LGBT people.'” (TIME Magazine, “A Change of Heart: Inside the Evangelical War Over Gay Marriage,” January 26, 2015, pp. 47-48.)

    Scaremongering? No, the writing on the wall, according to TIME, seems to be in permanent ink—despite the offense taken by some Adventists when the ordination of both homosexuals and women is well-documented and inseparably linked.

    Dear Sunny,

    No I didn’t read Time Magazine this week. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. Your quote from Time only illustrates that yes, social change and justice do not happen all at once, but rather stepwise, meaning that some changes have preceded others. It appears that you and perhaps Robinson have succumbed to the enticing logical fallacy “post hoc ergo propter hoc” or “after this, therefore because of this.” An example, courtesy of Wikipedia: “The rooster crows immediately before sunrise, therefore the rooster causes the sun to rise.”

    Using that same fallacy, one might assert that the Civil Rights era of the 1950s and 1960s (or the emancipation of the slaves in the 1860s) somehow caused or allowed women’s liberation and ordination, and then the embrace of the LGBT community because it preceded those events. Just think, if we hadn’t liberated the slaves or guaranteed civil rights for all races, maybe women would still be in the kitchen and LGBTs would be in the closet, and men would be secure in their pulpits!

    Reply
    • Why put a Trojan horse on the pulpit with the words “Without regard to gender?”, with the supreme court lining up to make a formal decision on marriage…. Its time we follow the Supreme court that rules from above. God Word is True!

      Reply
  4. Dear brother Larry Kirkpatrick,

    thank you very much for your very good appeal to the Delegates of San Antonio in 2015.
    I would like to have the manuscript of this important appeal.
    Could Ordination.truth make it available for all hearers?
    May God bless you and all the other sisters and brethren, who go the straight way of
    the bible teachings.

    With kind regards

    your brother in the Lord, Erich Schultze, Germany

    Reply
  5. Larry, thanks for not “charging” me! 🙂 It’s not fun to be charged. I agree with you that Paul’s counsels are inspired, authoritative, doctrinally correct Scripture of course (2 Tim 3:16). I would like to respond to the points you made in your reply, but am wondering if it would be OK to do so through another media (such as facebook or e-mail). Thanks.

    Reply
  6. Thank you Pastor Kirkpatrick for this short, articulate appeal to the 2015 delegates of the SDA GC. You have represented my husband and I. We have been and continue to pray that God’s will be done.

    Here is a promise we can claim: “He has not left His church forsaken, but has traced in prophetic declarations what would occur, and that which His Spirit inspired the prophets to foretell has been brought about. All His purposes will be fulfilled. His law is linked with His throne, and no power of evil can destroy it. Truth is inspired and guarded by God; and it will triumph over all opposition.” (AA, p.12)

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  7. Well spoken elder! Let those who have an ear hear 😉
    Blessings

    Also GeraldS, just because you don’t understand the connection doesn’t mean it is a logical fallacy (not meant in a derogatory way). Though I do understand why you are obliged to label it as such. Let’s make it more clear then:

    There are numerous obstacles in the Bible that both pro WO and pro Gay theologians have to overcome in order to realise their goals, many of which overlap (e.g. creation order, Paul’s clear NT prohibitions, the unanimous witness of the totality of Scripture) . Also the strategies they use are remarkably similar and both necessitate a revision of how we look at Scriptural authority and inspiration. The time article sees both of these phenomena as symptoms of patriarchy, and since gender roles are the easiest to get rid of, when one moves away from what they call ‘patriarchy’, it will be tossed out first. Only then (and despite having assured their members that acceptance of deviant sexual behaviour would not follow acceptance of WO) they will also cave in to the cultural pressure that urges them to accept LGBTetc just like they did with WO, because WO (the more palatable half of these twin heresies) had already gutted the authority of the Bible (by making it malleable to the point of being optional). I hope the connection is clearer now, though I still suspect that loyalty to the WO cause might skew your judgment causing you to deny the obvious.

    Just consider this: has there ever been a church that has allowed Homosexual unions without erasing gender roles (first)? If the two phenomena are really that distinct and unrelated surely there should be one example. Another question for consideration: how do you expect to advocate gender roles in family and church setting when you allow for one-gendered families?

    WO is the most important prerequisite for accepting sexual immorality, and it is just short of a sufficient cause. Combined however with sustained and ever increasing cultural pressure to accept the latter, it has proven more than sufficient.

    Let’s not be fooled. WO is a step in a certain direction and it is definitely not moving away from accepting homosexual practice, to the contrary….

    The Bible is a bulwark of truth where all parts are harmonious and interconnected. We are only safe when we allow the Bible to explain itself. Because we don’t understand this vast system of truth we mistakenly think to make it more perfect by adjusting just this one little detail that seems askew in our fallible human judgment to the detriment of the whole.

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  8. Excellent video, I hope and pray that every delegate in all divisions listen to this video. Throughout the Bible the support is in favor of male pastors. Many say that because the Bible does not directly condemn woman pastors then women pastors must be ok. We can use the same logic for Sunday worship. There is no Bible verse directly condemning Sunday sacredness either. Does that make it right?
    I love my church and I am concerned. All this talk about unity. As if unity is more important than being a Bible Christian. I have been a Bible worker for seven years and I have been so proud of being able to say to my interests that Adventist are Bible believing Christians. I don’t know what I will do if I can no longer say this with conviction. I am afraid for our church. Unity is is important, but not the most important thing.

    I read Mark Finley’s five steps for church unity. He said
    “Whatever your viewpoint is on the ordination of women, whether you are convicted on one side of the question or the other, there comes a point when you do not tear the body of Christ apart,”
    “There comes a point where you say, ‘We will accept the decision of the corporate body, namely the General Conference session. And whatever my personal view is on that, no matter how I believe I am right, I have come to the conclusion that I will accept as God’s will whatever the session votes and move on with our mission.”
    Source:
    http://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/mark-finley-offers-5-steps-for-resolving-disunity-on-women%E2%80%99s-ordination
    I must respectively disagree . What if the issue of gay marriage and gay pastors comes knocking at our doors? Which we should not be so naive to think that it never will. What if the world church approves gay marriage and pastors? Do we just go along with it and believe it to be God’s will just because the world church says it’s ok now? Is this the price we are willing to pay for unity?
    I’m sorry, but I can’t just change my beliefs just because the World Church says so. It is not that easy. A majority vote is not always an indicator of God’s will. Especially when we are told that the church will appear to have fallen, and will hardily be recognizable. Are we seeing the beginning of the shaking the E.G.W. talked about? And should the decisions of the world church be blindly followed during the shaking? Please don’t get me wrong. I love the Adventist church and am faithful to it. But these kind of things sure can put the most faithful to the test. I pray every day for our leaders.
    If the World Church votes it is ok to ordain women Pastors, will I still be able to say with the same convictions that Adventist are Bible believing Christians and go by the Bible and the Bible only?

    Reply
    • Allen, I am not aware of any quotation that says, “that the church will appear to have fallen, and will hardily be recognizable.” Please help me by giving a reference for such a statement.

      Reply
    • I only am aware of the famous quote that says that during the shaking “The church MAY APPEAR as ABOUT TO FALL, but it does NOT fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out–the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place” (2SM 380). Read that quote carefully. “MAY” in the quote is not the same as “will” in your statement. Appearing ABOUT to fall is quite different from appearing “to have fallen.” And there is nothing in the quote about hardily being recognizable.

      Reply
      • My apologies I did miss state what she said. I did not look up the quote and my memory failed me thanks for the corrections. I must have inserted my own thought as to how bad things could become.
        But what about my other comments. Please correct me on these as well if I am wrong? Any comments on Mark F. quot in the Review. Should we just forget long standing convictions because the G.C. votes, as he asserts. Is unity most important, or the Bible? I will find it very difficult to change my opinion on women’s ordination. And I don’t think I am alone.

        Reply
  9. Allen,
    You are not alone. I do not see women’s ordinaton in the Bible. Men need to face up to the reality of their responsibilities. There are so many men pushing women’s ordination. I was drawn to the Adventist church because of the doctrine and prophecy consistency with the Bible. Will I be able to say with conviction that the Adventist are Bible believing Christians. No, and I will stop saying this to my Sunday friends since we will all be on the same level — compromising with the culture and expecting God to bless us.
    Jody

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  10. Hi Phil,

    With regard to the statements you seek about the church falling and being hardly recogizable and so on, it’s worth mentioning that there is a great deal of material that says that the church can fall and be brought down to hell and become a cage of unclean birds and so on.

    Whether this happens is contingent on obedience and acceptance of light and so on.

    A specific example is 8T 247-50, another is TM 265, and another is RH 8/1/93 p5.

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  11. We see in the history of Israel there suffered reproofs and chastisement of horrendous nature. Yet, they remained God’s chosen vessel until their cup was full, AD 34.

    For centuries God worked with them, loved them, did all He could to revive them.

    Seventh-day Adventists may well go through similar tough times (I believe we will in fact), but this does not mean we can or should “jump ship”. We have a work to do inside, the repair the breach, to keep this ship floating in the face of a terrible storm.

    Those who represent Gods true servants will know, in due time, what their duty is. Let us not bring trouble on ourselves before then.

    Stay the course!

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  12. Ernest, I am not planning on jumping ship.
    I am looking for some comments on Mark Finley’s article in the Adventist Review i will post it again.
    “Whatever your viewpoint is on the ordination of women, whether you are convicted on one side of the question or the other, there comes a point when you do not tear the body of Christ apart,”
    “There comes a point where you say, ‘We will accept the decision of the corporate body, namely the General Conference session. And whatever my personal view is on that, no matter how I believe I am right, I have come to the conclusion that I will accept as God’s will whatever the session votes and move on with our mission.”
    Source:
    http://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/mark-finley-offers-5-steps-for-resolving-disunity-on-women%E2%80%99s-ordination
    Can he really expect us to drop what we believe Bible truth because the world church voted on it? It’s not that easy. Also We are told that the church is going to go through a terrible shaking, and many of our brightest lights will go out. Are we to just follow when it seems clear that they are not following the Bible. If the World Church does vote on women ordination, Sorry I am not changing my views.
    But what i am looking for are some comments on is Mark F. article. And if you can give me some guidance as well. Are we to agree with every vote of the world church?
    Is unity the most important thing or is following the Bible and the Bible only the most important thing. You can read my previous comments to get a better understanding of were I coming from.

    Reply
  13. Pastor Mark said, “There comes a point where you say, ‘We will accept the decision of the corporate body, namely the General Conference session. And whatever my personal view is on that, no matter how I believe I am right, I have come to the conclusion that I will accept as God’s will whatever the session votes ….”
    Pastor Mark did not say “we will agree”; he said “we will accept.” He did not say we will change our personal view, but “we will accept as God’s will whatever the session votes.” This simply is acknowledging that God’s permissive will is being done. It was God’s permissive will, not His first choice, that Judas was ordained (see DA 294).
    Never forget that “God will arouse His people; if other means fail, heresies will come in among them, which will sift them, separating the chaff from the wheat” (5T 707). “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain” (Ps 76:10). “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Rom 8:28).
    We can be in earnest pray for the GC session. We can seek to become more Christlike. And we can leave the outcome in God’s hands.

    Reply
  14. Interesting to see Neal Wilson’s perspective

    “Among the theologians and scholars upon whom the church generally relies for Old and New Testament exegesis, I have yet to find one who takes the position that the Scriptures or Ellen White forbid the ordination of women,” Elder Wilson said. He stated that he had been told that there were Adventist Bible scholars who opposed the ordination of women but none had come forward with such a view.”

    http://atoday.org/daddy-ordination-issue.html

    Is the anti-ordination theology presented on this website then “new theology” or “new light,” or, rather a latter-day heresy. I encourage all supporters of Ordination Truth to carefully read President Wilson’s thoughts from 1977. He later is reported as saying “The divisions and unions will have to resolve those issues.”

    Reply
    • Gerald, Please point to any anti-ordination theology on this site. This is a pro-ordination site. There are those who are anti-ordination, but they are not blogging here. Also, the ordination of qualified men has been truth for millennia, so it hardly qualifies as new theology. Lastly, rather than encouraging others to look to to men, even good men, why not encourage others to carefully read the instruction inspired by the Head of the church and found in His word. This word enables the faithful to stand against the “new theology” and repetition of old errors masquerading as “new light.”

      Pushing women’s ordination, like pushing Sunday keeping, is explicitly forbidden by the word of God since we have been told not to add to the word of God (Pro 30:6. See also Deut 4:2; 12:32; Rev 22:18).

      Reply
      • Phil, context should have been sufficient but I’ll be explicit. Neal Wilson was talking about ordination of WOMEN, something which posts on this site rail against. Your advice to look to inspired writings is appropriate. However, it’s puzzling that people who post on this site are apparently finding evidence and forming conclusions that weren’t recognized by an earlier generation of Adventist leaders and scholars.

        I’m also troubled to now see you claiming that “Pushing women’s ordination, like pushing Sunday keeping, is explicitly forbidden by the word of God…” Firstly, Sunday keeping is not “explicitly forbidden.” Sabbath keeping is required (Ex 20:8) but I challenge you to provide a biblical text that “explicitly forbid(s)” Sunday keeping. (I don’t think Sunday is even mentioned in the bible, for that matter.) You also won’t find an “explicit” bible text that forbids “pushing women’s ordination.” If it were there, the church wouldn’t be going through these contortions.

        Reply
        • Phil, you assert that women’s ordination is “explicitly forbidden” by claiming “we have been told not to add to the word of God (Pro 30:6. See also Deut 4:2; 12:32; Rev 22:18).” At best, you might claim it’s implicitly forbidden, but even that would be a stretch.

          Reply
        • Truth doesn’t change from generation to generation (Mal 3:6). Your statement about “forming conclusions that weren’t recognized by an earlier generation” certainly doesn’t apply to the earliest and subsequent generation of the pioneers who were clear on “Bible Order.” Of course, the earliest Christian scholar, Paul, was also clear (1Tim 3:1-7, etc). The focus on non-inspired sources, the emphasis on what man says and thinks in place of what God says, is a very sure sign of error.
          The Bible nowhere recommends looking to “scholars” and “leaders” to find truth (Mt 15:14). Those who have the truth need no such arguments (Mt 28:20; Isa 8:20). The Bible is plain for those willing to obey (Joh 7:17).

          Reply
        • Anything that teaches for doctrine the commandments of men is explicitly forbidden (Mt 15:9). Whatever is not explicitly commanded is explicitly excluded from church doctrine.

          Since God does not command Sunday keeping, Sunday keeping is a commandment of men, and commandments of men are explicitly forbidden to be taught as doctrines of the church.

          Since God does not commands the appointment of women to the office office of elder, teaching that women should be appointed to this office is a commandment of men and thus explicitly excluded from what we are to teach and promote.

          What should be taught? All things that God has commanded (Mt 28:20).

          What are some things that have been commanded. Such things as keeping the Sabbath (Ex 20:8), the appointment of qualified men to the office of elder (1Tim 3:1-7; Tit 1:5-9; etc). Since these are explicitly commanded, these must not be excluded in the instruction we carry to all the world.

          Debates on such things as homosexual “marriage”, Sunday vs. Sabbath, women’s ordination to the office of elder, do not prove that the Bible is unclear on these points, but that the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God and antagonistic to His requirements (Rom 8:7).

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  15. I still want to ask a simple question: Why is it that we are discussing something we settled in 1995? Have we discovered new scriptural evidence to the contrary? It has been reworded and reintroduced but it is still toxic. Do we NEED it? Why does Mark Finley feel that a VOTE should settle the question on something that we need plain SCRIPTURE for? The question should never be voted on as it is. It must be reworded to address the real question. Do we or do we not have scriptural support for appointment and ordination of women to any ministerial position and office in this church? If God has spoken recently, please tell us to whom and then we have to compare what they, as our new prophetic voice, say with the rest of scripture. If not, who are these people who have a burden to set this cat loose amongst us? Should we not have them reassigned to somewhere else where they will do less mischief?

    Reply
    • Take Mark Finley out of the discussion or it moves the issue to one of people rather than one of Scripture. Your other questions seem good.

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  16. Some questions and answers may help you in this shaking times by heresies!

    What is the highest authority for SDA-Believers? The Bible or the vote of the General Conference in session?

    1. The Church about this questions

    a) In the church manual, revised 2005

    „Church Authority in the Seventh-day Adventist Church
    The 1946 General Conference Session action that all “changes or revisions of policy” in the Church Manual shall be “authorized by the General Conference session” reflects a conception of the authoritative status of General Conference sessions that has long been held. In the 1877 session this action was taken: 2 CHURCH MANUAL “Resolved, that the highest authority under God among Seventh-day Adventists is found in the will of the body of that people, as expressed in the decisions of the General Conference when acting within its proper jurisdiction; and that such decisions should be submitted to by all without exception, unless they can be shown to conflict with the word of God and the rights of individual conscience.”—Review and Herald, vol. 50, No. 14, p. 106. (Seventh-day Adventist CHURCH MANUAL Revised 2005 17th Edition, p. 1.2)

    It would be good and very helpful, if brother Marc Finley would think about this important statement in the former church manual, and would renounce his wrong appeal.

    b) In the 28 Fundamental beliefs

    In the Introduction of the 28 Fundamental Beliefs we read:
    „Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures… Seventh-day Adventists accept the Bible as the only source of our beliefs. We consider our movement to be the result of the Protestant conviction Sola Scriptura—the Bible as the only standard of faith and practice for Christians… Bible Study
    Seventh-day Adventist Christians would like to see themselves among those called “people of the Book.” It’s simple — we love the Bible! Every week, more than 20 million people around the world meet in Adventist Churches for Bible study. In our church we refer to it as ´Sabbath School.` But Seventh-day Adventists are ´people of the Book.` They study the Word of God for guidance in their lives.“

    And Nr. 1 says: „Holy Scriptures 1
    The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history. (2 Peter 1:20, 21; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; Heb. 4:12.)“

    2. Two Bible answers

    a) An important advice of the bible

    1) 5. Mose 4:2 „Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.“

    Question: Is the following word of the bible a command of the Lord? “An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife …” (1 Tim. 3:2).
    Clinton Wahlen declares this text very clear: „This is not just gender-specific, it’s gender-exclusive, for several reasons: It is a fixed requirement, appearing three times: here and in Titus 1:6 for overseers/elders, and for deacons in 1 Tim. 3:12…
    Note that the text says “must”(Gk. dei).The wording is as clear in Greek as it is in English. It’s as clear as the command to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exod. 20:8).
    Of course, this Biblical command about ministers who oversee the church is not one of the Ten Commandments, but it’s still a command. The command to abstain from unclean foods is not one of the ten but it’s still a command. So is Jesus’ command to follow His example in washing each other’s feet; and His command in connection with the Lord’s Supper, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (1 Cor. 11:24) Or the Great Commission to, “Go, and make disciples …” (Matt. 28:19). None of these are part of the Ten Commandments, but they’re still commands. They’re not optional. When Paul says “must,” it’s very clear. He even chose the strongest possible command form in Greek to say it.“ (Clinton Wahlen, Ph.D., associate director of the Biblical Research Institute, Theology of Ordination: Position No. 1. The notes that Clinton Wahlen used in his 20-minute presentation to the Annual Council on Oct. 14, 2014.)

    b) Shall we follow the multitudes?

    „Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil…“ (2. Mo 23:2)

    3. Three Quotations of the Spirit of Prophecy:

    „Leave the impression upon the mind that the Bible, and the Bible alone, is our rule of faith, and that the sayings and doings of men are not to be a criterion for our doctrines or actions.“ Councels on Sabbath School Work, p. 84)

    „But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority – not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain ´Thus saith the Lord` in its support.“ (GC 595)

    And the same quotation in another source ends with the remarkable words: „Satan leads the people to look to pastors, to professors of theology as their guides, instead of searching the Scriptures for themselves. By controlling these leaders, he can influence the multitudes.“ (From Here to Forever, p. 363)

    Reply
    • Eric, the same inspired book that details the necessary qualifications for the office of elder also forbids speaking evil of our brethren and leaders (Lev 19:6; Acts 23:5; etc.). Being faithful to follow the first command does not release us from being faithful to the follow second (Jam 2:10).

      Reply
  17. Phil, your arguments are irrelevant in this case.
    1. Your Biblequotations are not be true
    Lev. 19:6 in the KJV has another theme (maybe your text is Exod. 22:28 KJV), and Acts 23:5 is a curse from Paul – I have not made a curse against somebody. And I dont know what your meaning is of „etc.“.
    2. An earnest rebuke is biblical (see Lev. 19:17) and a holy duty (Luk. 17:3).
    Ellen White comments Luk. 17 as following: „Sin is to be called by its right name, and is to be plainly laid out before the wrongdoer.“ (COL 248)
    The wrong statements of Marc Finley are public, and so it is right to answer in the public – in the same way we have to confess public sins in the public.
    3. Every true believer is a watchman
    Please read Ezek. 3:17-21 – I think, the warnings are inclusive leaders. Sometimes the warnings must be very aloud (Isa. 58:1).
    In many Cases the prophets in the OT, John the baptist and our example Jesus Christ himself (see Mat 23) had rebuked leaders and others. The influence of leaders is far greater then by others, and so we have to correct them, if they tempt Gods people to set unity above the word of God and the conscience of our brothers and sisters in Christ.
    And did you not write an open letter against Br. Rodriguez – was this also evil?
    To rebuke is not evil, it is a good thing (see Heb. 3:12.13), that we are prepared for the second coming of Christ. And so I like the homepage ordination.truth and the open letter from Phil Mills. With brotherly greetings, Eric.

    Reply
    • Eric, I am neither Christ nor John the Baptist. Paul’s instruction to me is to, “rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father.” I attempted to follow this Scripture in my open letter to Angel. Before it was sent, I ran it by many eyes and got much valuable counsel. It was only sent on the advise of a number of respected church leaders and scholars.
      My medical practice guides my perspective. People sometimes come into my office with “spots” on their skin that friends have told them are dangerous and need to be removed. The friends are well meaning and occasionally the friends are correct, but many times the “spots” are harmless. Am I an experienced spiritual diagnostician that can correctly distinguish the dangerous “spots” from harmless “spots”? Even if I am able to accurately diagnose another’s spiritual disease, am I violating God’s “HIPPA” laws that forbid unnecessary exposure of another’s sickness? Am I dealing with the issues in the right spirit? Am I giving every benefit of the doubt? Am I putting the best possible construction on the motives. Am I dealing with principles, not personalities?
      Much of the time, when I diagnose a skin cancer, I am able to remove it. But before cutting a cancer out, I try to plan a surgical approach that will remove the least tissue, leave the smallest, least noticeable scar, and cause the least pain. Sometimes the cancer is located in a spot requiring equipment, skill, or experience that I do not possess, so I refer the patient to a physician capable of doing the needed procedure. In the treatment of spiritual disorders it is my desire to know my limits. Is this a procedure I can or should do? Is a public forum such as this the proper place to do the procedure? Our example Jesus “longed to counsel and instruct [His disciples]. But for this He awaited a quiet hour, when their hearts should be open to receive His words” (DA 432).
      Jesus warns me to take the plank out of eye before removing any speck in another’s eye (Mt 7:3). Often the sins I think I see in another are the sins I am overlooking in myself (Rom 2:1). I have learned that there are times I am tempted to hide my own faults by accusing others. Have I carefully examined my own weaknesses in these same areas (Gal 6:1)?
      Lastly, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes” (Pro 21:2), this is even true of the fool (Pro 12:15). Am I a teachable as I would like others to be?
      These are the questions I ask in my better moments, and wish I had asked in my non-better moments!

      Reply
  18. I hope this conversation is not dead…. But if there is anyone who is still peering into this post for additional comments…..please consider my urgent comments….. especially Pastor Larry Kilpatrick….

    1. Excellent…. Excellent Video…. well done and captures many important areas germane to this women’s ordination discussion.

    2. MUST, MUST, MUST turn this video into DVD Format (if not already done), TO BE PASSED OUT AT THE UPCOMING 2015 General Conference Session….. This DVD should be hand delivered to every Delegate (most especially) and every GC attendee outside of the Henry B Gonzalez Convention Center from Day 1…. and this should be done by a large, organized team, covering every entry into the convention center; including the parking lots (if permissible). It should be passed out ” like the leaves of autumn”. It is only 10 minutes and gives every delegate a chance to view it without occupying too much of their time at the General Conference. It must also be accounted for that many will not have access to a DVD playing device if they don’t bring their laptops to San Antonio; hence a flyer, giving the people the URL that links them to this video, should be available to pass out to those who don’t have access to a DVD playing device. Undoubtedly, most delegates will make sure they have a way to access their emails and conduct any correspondence they may wish to have with their people “back home”. Hence, they will undoubtedly access the internet in San Antonio.

    Also, I wish to state emphatically, that the delegates to the 2015 GC Session must be fully informed as to the “Elephant in the Room” that seeks to “Fly Below the Radar”; which is the Principle-based, Historical Cultural method. It seems to me that pro-ordination individuals have not been held to account for their convictions as they really should be. What desperately needs to be posed to the Delegates at the General Conference are three simple questions:

    1. Are you aware of the Principle-based Historical Cultural Method that the North American Division has used as the only interpretive principle, by their admission, in which one can espouse women’s ordination from the Bible.

    2. Since the NAD has asserted that by applying this PBHC hermeneutic, Women’s Ordination can be explained “scripturally”, are you (2015 GC Delegates) willing to abandon the Historical Grammatical Method (Voted at Annual Council 1986 in Brazil) in order to implement a hermeneutic that is supposed to be used only for “selective use”.

    3. Upon your coming to an understanding of the PBHC principle, would our embrace of this interpretive principle put the church in line to defy the warnings of Revelation 22:18 & 19. (most specifically verse 19). Although no one is proposing to physically remove portions of scripture, the PBHC method would allow for certain portions of scripture to be declared “irrelevant for this time” and therefore achieve the same effect as an outright removal. Up until present day we have considered the scriptures to be “untouchable”; to be read, believed, and kept. Where would we be, as a church, if we embrace this new hermeneutic.

    Were I a delegate, I would have to ask these questions; if only given one chance at the microphone. It seems to me only fair that the accepted, interpretive principle (Historical Grammatical), embraced by the world church, must be changed first, before any vote can take place on women’s ordination. It is unfair that the GC Delegates would be voting on Women’s Ordination; without ever having to consider a change in Biblical Interpretation; the same change in interpretation that lead proponents of Women’s Ordination to believe that there was a way in which WO could be “Biblical”. It would be patently unfair to not require the proponents of Women’s Ordination and the PBHC method to come to the floor to explain how they arrived at their conclusions; especially because the church is being asked to “adopt” the position of ordaining women; not to reverse a previously voted, standing church decision to ordain women already in effect. The onus and burden of bringing women’s ordination into the church should be placed firmly on the shoulders of its proponents and a vote to change how we interpret scripture is a vital and necessary prerequisite. Why ask the church to vote on this issue without taking into account the restructuring of Biblical Interpretation that proponents used to arrive at their conclusions on women’s ordination. It seems to me that delegates are being asked to accept the “interpretive shift” without actually discussing the “interpretive shift” (Sorry to repeat myself, I just feel so passionate about this point and don’t see this determinate fact being discussed much in SDA chat rooms).

    Finally, I maintain that if the aforementioned was to take place at the GC Session, unsuspecting, and perhaps uninformed delegates would get the full sense of just how driven and motivated proponents of women’s ordination have been on this issue, and be able to see their willingness to let the church go “over the cliff”, just to get this one issue voted in the affirmative.

    Reply
  19. An exhaustive study of the Bible yields one principle with regard to women’s ordination: the Bible neither prohibits/condemns WO nor does it mandate WO.

    Based on this principle, the church should neither prohibit WO, nor should the church mandate WO. The church today should follow the biblical principle exactly.

    God knew what he was doing when he established this principle. He could have very easily prohibited women from serving as elders or pastors. God knows how to condemn something as evil. God said, “Thou shalt not kill.” God said, “Thou shalt not eat pork.” God said, “Don’t hate your brother.” The New Testament explicitly condemns homosexual behavior as well as all “immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, envy, drunkenness, gossip, and many other things (See Romans 1:26-32; Galatians 5:16-21).

    But the New Testament never condemns WO as sin.

    Neither does the New Testament ever urge that women be appointed as pastors and ordained.

    God left this issue open on purpose. He knew exactly what he was doing. In some places having women as elders would have aroused the prejudice of the people against the gospel and its messengers. God also knew that the time would come when in some places—not appointing women to serve as elders and pastors would arouse the prejudice of the people against the church and its mission. So God deliberately left this question open. And so should we.

    We should never mandate WO. Neither should we ever condemn it as sin. In some places today God’s work is being greatly blessed by women pastors and elders. In other places people are so prejudiced against it, that practicing it would be a stumbling block to their reception of the gospel.

    The bottom line: our attitude toward WO should mirror that of Scripture.

    Reply
  20. “Ellen White’s name was among those voted to receive papers of the ordained ministers” at a meeting where they “took action recommending those who should receive ministerial credentials.” Ellen G. White: The Lonely Years: 1876-1891 (vol. 3), by Arthur L. White, p. 377.

    Reply
  21. Thanks for the Biblical spectrum on Woman ordination. God will lead His children .Lets pray for the pastors who faced suspension because the open Gods word and Spirit of Prophecy.

    Reply
  22. Here is a strange predicament. One group is praying that the vote will be NO and another group is praying that the vote will be YES. Both are praying on the basis that they believe the SDA church is God’s church and He will take care of things according to His own will. (Both groups are expecting that God’s will is their will also)
    I sometimes feel sorry for God. We pose some tough dilemmas for Him, don’t we?.
    Of course, there is always the possibility that the vote at the GC has already been decided. It’s usually the case. If that is so then all the prayers are too late.
    Personally, I’ve made up my own mind. Now I’m more interested to learn the reaction of those who don’t get the answer from God that they expect Him to give. It will be another Great Disappointment for some.

    Reply
    • Milton, perhaps we should let go of praying for a yes or a no, and simply pray for God’s will to be done. There are some problematic implications in the case of either a yes vote or a no vote.

      Reply
  23. The pages of the Bible are slowly being
    torn out, I would say!
    Perhaps the delegates will take a lesson from the events that took place at the “Alamo” since we are using the “Alamo” graphic as the 2015 GC logo. Perhaps they will draw a lineinthesand.church

    Reply
  24. “These apostate Christians, uniting with half-pagan companions, directed their warfare against the most essential features of the doctrine of Christ. It required a desperate struggle to stand firm against deceptions and abominations introduced into the church. The Bible was not accepted as the standard of faith. ….
    After long conflict, the faithful saw that separation was an absolute necessity. They dared not tolerate errors fatal to their own souls and imperil the faith of their children and children’s children. They felt that peace would be too dearly purchased at the sacrifice of principle. If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth, then let there be difference, and even war.”
    From here to forever page 30.

    There is a very fine line between speaking truth to “power” or positions of great influence and speaking evil of persons. The former addresses the error and the mischief and the latter seeks to destroy the person. Very thin line indeed and not many have the grace to handle it because it requires Christ in the soul. What we do need to watch though is the danger of being muzzled by fear of being labelled “evil speakers” when all we are is truth speakers. People in positions of great influence should be very careful on what side they place that influence. This is a battlefield and sometimes leaders draw fire to themselves by injudicious use of their influence. Ecc 10:1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour. At any rate, people who feel they cannot abide by scripture alone and would like to progress beyond it are welcome to leave the church and we should not hesitate to remove them from | 300 limit

    Reply
  25. Good point. We should not even pray about this. We should pray for ourselves rather. God does not have to decide for either the ayes or nays. What nonsense. Like Joshua’s day, this is time to get up and deal with apostates and apostasy amongst ourselves and pray that our weapons are not carnal but mighty through God to the overthrowing of strongholds and everything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. I am trying to post something from the spirit of prophecy and hope I succeed this time.

    “These apostate Christians, uniting with half-pagan companions, directed their warfare against the most essential features of the doctrine of Christ. It required a desperate struggle to stand firm against deceptions and abominations introduced into the church. The Bible was not accepted as the standard of faith. ….
    After long conflict, the faithful saw that separation was an absolute necessity. They dared not tolerate errors fatal to their own souls and imperil the faith of their children and children’s children. They felt that peace would be too dearly purchased at the sacrifice of principle. If unity could be secured only by the compromise of truth, then let there be difference, and even war.”
    From here to forever page 30.

    There is a very fine line between speaking truth to “power” or positions of great influence and speaking evil of persons. The former addresses the error and the mischief and the latter seeks to destroy the person. Very thin line indeed and not many have the grace to handle it because it requires Christ in the soul. What we do need to watch though is the danger of being muzzled by fear of being labelled “evil speakers” when all we are is truth speakers. People in positions of great influence | 300 limit

    Reply
  26. Wow. Great point Pastor Dwayne Turner. The Principle-based Historical Cultural Method is the great point to be debated indeed but the facts are that it will not be debated because the issue is not intended to be theological, just tactical and ultimately divisive. There is absolutely nothing wrong or deficient in the Historical Grammatical Method. It has stood the test of time. May God grant us that the delegates will get this video before the motion is put to the floor. My own fear is who will count the votes? We need an overwhelming response to this foundational shift against this motion being presented as it is. Another question is, what else is going on at this GC Session that moves Satan to distract us so?

    Reply
  27. “Be not deceived; many will depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We have now before us the alpha of this danger. The omega will be of a most startling nature.” Selected Messages p 197.

    Shortly before I sent out the testimonies regarding the efforts of the enemy to undermine the foundation of our faith through the dissemination of seductive theories, I had read an incident about a ship in a fog meeting an iceberg. For several nights I slept but little. I seemed to be bowed down as a cart beneath sheaves. One night a scene was clearly presented before me. A vessel was upon the waters, in a heavy fog. Suddenly the lookout cried, “Iceberg just ahead!” There, towering high above the ship, was a gigantic iceberg. An authoritative voice cried out, “Meet it!” There was not a moment’s hesitation. It was a time for instant action. The engineer put on full steam, and the man at the wheel steered the ship straight into the iceberg. With a crash she struck the ice. There was a fearful shock, and the iceberg broke into many pieces, falling with a noise like thunder to the deck. The passengers were violently shaken by the force of the collisions, but no lives were lost. The vessel was injured, but not beyond repair. She rebounded from the contact, trembling from stem to stern, like a living creature. Then she moved forward on her way.” 1 Selected Messages page 205 to 206

    Reply
  28. This is not a time for prayer for the vote as much as it is a time for prayer for personal courage, conviction and action. The leaders of this church need to discover that Seventh Day Adventists are still Protestants. This whole drift towards the world and ecumenism has carried us for long with little protest and it is distressing that we have a view that assumes that all of North America cares little for Biblical integrity and more for cultural relevance. If that is true, then somewhere in its history North America lost Seventh Day Adventism and Protestantism and became a cultural appendage and THAT is a catastrophe. I do not believe this is the case. I would hate to think it is and if it is, the condition of North America and indeed its influence over the whole work at leadership level is what we need to discuss at this GC Session. Another thing, after WO is voted to the cemetery and it should, we need to revisit what it is we are supposed to be telling the world as a clear message that should ring throughout the world. We should equally address the mandate of the church membership at large and that should include the pastorate. We should further address the phenomenon of Kingly Power, especially in the third world where it is killing membership initiative to do “home missionary” work which has become pretty anemic. In comparison to these issues WO is a waste of our time.

    Reply
  29. We need to fast and to pray for the whole SDA church for the up-coming conference particularly for our leaders working against the prevailing policies of the church to get fully converted and go with the flow where the Holy Spirit leads. Jesus did not bless and sanctified the seventh-day Sabbath only to tell us to worship Him on Sunday. He did not submit himself to be baptized by immersion to say it’s is alright to do it just by sprinkling. He did not choose to ordain only the men disciples to turn around and say; go ahead, ordain women! He knows what He is doing and has godly reasons to do what He did. It is the Devil that wants everything God said and did changed .He changed His law. He altered many of His deeds. This is a part of the on-going controversy between Christ and Satan which will continue until doomsday. Do not be a part of it Do not let Satan deceive you.by letting yourself be used by him. When he introduced women’s ordination to the world, many Christian churches accepted it but the Adventist held on to their faith. The Devil was furious. Why are the Adventists not joining in? He conferred with his committee and now we are seeing the results, aren’t we? Pray that ye be not deceived. He is mad because he knows he hath but a short time.

    Reply
  30. The Bible is not silent regarding the pastoral leadership of the church. The role of Pastor/elder is reserved for men and a church/congregation should have as pastoral leader a man who meets the standards of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, not to mention Christ’s own leadership (New Testament) and Aaronic/Levitical leadership (Old Testament); and it is sad that we wish to ignore Scripture for a semantics argument. Christ overruled cultural and sexist bias throughout His ministry: woman at well, Mary (adulteress) women as followers, touching the leper/diseased, ministering to children. If Christ had chosen to establish women as pastoral (sent to establish and remain) leaders, He would have done so. The greater issue is the authority in the Word to recognize and compensate women as ministers: judges (administrators), evangelists, prophets, etc.) If we do the write thing, the issue of ordination as Pastors/Elders will not occur. Pray for the Holy Spirit to rule our actions in San Antonio.

    Reply
    • God allows us to make choices, but He also told us that there are consequences as there were when He allow Saul to king. Eve made a free choice and it involve the whole world in the consequence. Sadly if those who are for women’s ordination, there will be consequences.

      Reply
  31. I’m very saddened by this video. First corinthians also indicates very clearly that women should not be teachers as well. That fact is conveniently omitted. The Bible also states in Exodus that “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors WIFE.” The argument this minister uses to justify that “husband of one wife” means that women shouldn’t be ordained could also be applied to every biblical text which is also gender specific to men. Is it ok for a woman to covet her neighbors HUSBAND? Or do we use common sense to conclude that although the Bible says “man” the message is clear and applies to everyone. Why do we pick and choose when to take God’s Word at face value? 🙁

    Reply
  32. Do read the scriptures in full context. Lifting a phrase here and there can lead to all kinds of conclusions. (I believe George Vandeman share a humorous example that comes to mind: “Judas hung himself”, “Go thou and do likewise.”)

    Paul also did not allow women to speak in church. We somehow got around that in the case of Ellen White and several women who were “licensed to preach” during her lifetime (see DG 249-250).

    Reply
  33. Personally, I support WO, and would love to jump into the ongoing debate. The video was effective, if one holds that position. I pray, read the same passages in the Bible, study books and articles, online resources and share ideas with others interested in a deeper understanding. The conclusions I have arrived at are not the same. It is probably risky for one to assume the outcome was right or wrong based on the Final GC vote tally. And in spite of the vote, the matter will not just go away. In the long run, it will be resolved, and there will still be different opinions and views on related scriptures. But no one is changing anyone else’s mind on this subject, and while I presume all are sincere, reading these and other comments at various Adventist blogs is unfortunately like watching a debate on Intelligent design vs evolution, where everyone in attendance leaves the event with the exact same views they entered with while congratulating their side for shots well taken and supposed points won. If Satan smiles and sneers at us when he successfully turns our eyes away from Christ and our real mission, then he must be laughing right now as we spend our energies on this (see Early Writings 152.3). I expected the calls for unity and accept that the votes were cast with a result I don’t agree with, but I also certain things will move forward according to God’s plans (with or without GC authorization). Of the wide range of responses in the aftermath of the vote, the two most troubling for me are: (1) the grief and anger of some who supported WO, and (2) the self-assured, even self-righteous attitude of those who opposed the change, professing to be the true guardians of our church. It would possibly be similar but in reverse if the outcome had been for WO. It’s difficult to build unity with such a polarizing subject. It’s time to stop the Bible thumping, finger pointing and heated unkind words and attitudes, like I have been struggling with, and get back on track. Like it or not, our opinions on this ultimately don’t matter very much. I would suggest that our primary concern about our church should remain the growth in our understanding of God’s healing love and to faithfully complete our mission in the world, to present what Ellen White identified as the final message, the central theme of the Gospel – the truth about God’s character of love – to a world in desperate need of Christ’s healing remedy (Christ Object Lessons 415.3). I grow weary of this place and have a greater sense now of what it really means to want to go Home. I hope we don’t stop talking with (not at) each other, but that our themes will be better focused on the real goal. To draw from Ellen White’s vision of Satan’s appearance, I hope we will join with others to intensify his anxiety and deepen the furrow in his brow – and wipe that horrible smile off his face! Let’s get on with it! (If anyone’s feet feel stepped upon, I apologize. My intention here is to encourage others to join together with their future neighbors in the Kingdom to “let go and let God” work things out according to His plan.)

    Reply
    • Our pastor gave a very heartfelt but frank sermon on the GC session July 11, “To Those Sanctified.” It had a very positive healing effect on many in our church.

      Reply

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