On September 20, 2015, the executive committee of the Norway Union voted unilaterally to discontinue the practice of ordination. They claim that the churches longstanding practice of ordaining spiritually qualified males is discriminatory and unbiblical. A new practice distinct to the Norwegian Union was announced:

From now on, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Norway will have a simple dedicatory prayer for a person embarking on pastoral internship. Similarly, there will be a dedicatory prayer for those who take the step from pastoral internship to regular pastoral service. The Norwegian Union will operate with only two categories of pastoral employees from now on. 1) Pastors in regular service, and 2) Pastoral interns. The Norwegian Union will not report pastoral employees to the Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook until the General Conference has established pastoral categories that are not discriminatory (http://www.adventist.no/Adventist/Hjem/Nyheter/2015/September-2015/Adventistkirken-slutter-aa-ordinere#.VgBa4rShbfa, accessed 2015-09-21).

The Norwegian Union, it seems, has judged the practice of the world church and found it wanting. The Union has voted to embark on an entirely different practice than the world church. Effectively, they have not merely declared but enacted an unauthorized regional policy. They have rejected the decision of the General Conference in session on July 8, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas. In that decision, a substantial majority of delegates voted not to permit regional decisions on the question of pastoral spiritual leadership—the very thing Norway Union has now enacted.

The Norwegian Union is not an autonomous regional church. It does not have an inherent authority separated from the world church. Its authority is derived from the General Conference. The authority that it does have is limited. The Seventh-day Adventist Church considers ordination to be a global, not a regional matter.

The Norwegian Union isn’t fooling anyone with its claims to want to be in harmony with the world church. It has acted exactly contradictory to the San Antonio decision. The Union has exceeded its authority. Nor is it alone. Immediately to the south, the Netherlands Union of Churches is also engaged in forging an independent pathway on the ordination question. That Union is also operating unilaterally with its positive policy on homosexuality, embracing the cultural tide of immorality. (To revisit the action of Netherlands Union on the homosexuality question, see “Homosexuality or Christianity? Netherlands Union again places itself in opposition to the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” at http://ordinationtruth.com/featured/homosexuality-or-christianity/, accessed 2015-09-21).

In hardly two weeks Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders will meet in Annual Council. At that time it is imperative that church leadership act to correct the action of errant unions including Columbia Union, Pacific Union, Norwegian Union and Netherlands Union of Churches, along with other insubordinate entities. The world church has decided that women’s ordination—the question of spiritual leadership—is not to be determined on a regional pattern. We collectively are all part of a world church organization. The Council of Adventist Pastors believes that our leaders will be acting with the best spiritual interest of the church at heart in taking whatever action necessary to maintain the unity of the world church and prevent fragmentation by rebel units—including the Norwegian Union.

145 thoughts on “Norwegian Union Rejects San Antonio Decision

  1. The Norwegians voted: “From now on, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Norway will have a simple dedicatory prayer for a person embarking on pastoral internship. Similarly, there will be a dedicatory prayer for those who take the step from pastoral internship to regular pastoral service.”

    You wrote: “In that decision, a substantial majority of delegates voted not to permit regional decisions on the question of pastoral spiritual leadership—the very thing Norway Union has now enacted.”

    You have dishonestly rephrased the question to suit your bias. The question posed at San Antonio was this: “Is it acceptable for division executive committees, as they may deem it appropriate in their territories, to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry? Yes or No.”

    The Norwegian decision is to simply recognize spiritual gifts through prayer and dedication. They have removed the issue of ordination entirely, something we should have done a long time ago. They are neither ordaining men nor not ordaining women — they are not ordaining anyone at all. Brilliant.

    It’s time to stop kicking a dead horse trying to bring it back to life again. We voted not to allow divisions to “to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry.”

    Yet you yourselves have recognized the role of spiritually gifted women who should serve in leadership in congregations. Norway has figured it out. God bless the vikings.

    Reply
    • The question is are they going to “dedicate” female members of the church to PASTORAL positions? If so, then they are consistent with their agenda. They are pushing EQUALITY or EGALITE” It is just playing with words but the spirit is the same: war with God.

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  2. I felt this the whole time, that there was “Grubling” amongst the flock. It was an unfamiliar “Spirit” foreign, to say the least.
    What is it, about this “Female” being advanced under a false pretense? Why are these men that are suppose to be, leaders of the church, so bent on pushing this “Female” to the front of the “BRIDE” of “JESUS CHRIST”. Well I’m not afraid to say it, this “Spirit” is not after the “Spirit” of “GOD”, but is of the Spirit of Satan…. Take heed my Bretheren, and go over the word of “GOD” and then go over the notes that the “Holy Spirit” encourage you to write down, as you made the decision to maintain the order in which the “GOD” of Heaven set in place in the beginning; not forgetting that Paul was chosen From Heaven, keeping in mind that there are no mistakes in his writings, nor mis-understandings.

    If I may… Below is the link of the Commentary, that the “Holy Spirit” placed upon my heart to write, after, leaving the 60th Session of the General Conference of Seventh Day Adventist in San Antonio, Texas, and it is by “HIS” Grace I share it with you!
    and hoping this post will be given permission to post.
    But, pray anyway, and in the name of “JESUS CHRIST” pray without ceasing; for surely this is the Evidence, that “HIS” Second Coming just may be the next “Heart Beat Away”

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ssdo1u68k7op806/general%20conference%20in%20san%20antonio%20tx%20after%20the%20vote%20%202nd%20revised%20edition_layout%201.pdf?dl=0

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    • God has no misunderstanding of what he set up. Humans do. You show ignorance of the Spirit of God as you ignore the verse which says, “your sons and daughters will prophecy”
      God loves all of His people and gifts All. He shows no favoritism. It is those who seek to put people, men, on pedestals, who follow the wrong spirit. I’m calling you out in the name of Jesus Christ, the son of God. Stop looking at ministry as a power group. Ministers are servants of God, called from ALL walks of life in order to reach ALL people in the world.

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      • Kathleen you are way off base and you are misquoting Bible Scripture and that is obvious to those of us who are under the right Spriit. You better confess repent and get back in the right camp or you are in danger of everlasting death because you are misguided and being duped just like Sunday keepers, they have the same argument about Sunday Worship. I will pray for you. God is Driscriminatory He has the right to be He created us. Equal but with different roles.

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      • If you notice that verse has to do with prophecy, not an elder, bishop, or deacon. It is a totally different. God did not put gender requirements for being a prophet or prophetess, and used both through out the Bible. However He did set requirements for elders, bishops, and deacons,just like the priests had in the Old Testament. You can find the requirements for these offices in
        1 Timothy 3:8-13 and Titus 1:5-9. No where in the Bible is there a clear text that changes these requirements.

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    • It is a foreign spirit as well as a familiar spirit. Lev_20:27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.
      1Sa_28:8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.
      1Ch_10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;
      2Ch_33:6 And he caused his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times, and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
      It is not new. This time the power from beneath uses “ideological propositions” and “human rights” to seduce us into a union with the “nations around us” to make us like them. The accuser wants to disarm us by accusing us of “insensitivity” and “lagging behind” and on and on. Point is the church is God’s house, God’s wife and God’s business. He has jurisdiction: Not the Pope. This strikes at the very root of what we are about. We are here to hold before the world: God as the Lawgiver and His word as the only moral and authoritative basis for human moral conduct. We do not need anyone else telling us how to run the church or our families because God has spoken on those matters. Jer_23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. Hos_12:13 And by a prophet the LORD brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet was he preserved. 2Ch_20:20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.
      Joh_14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Joh_14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
      The church is NOT a HUMAN enterprise. Lev_10:10 And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean;
      There is no question but that what we are dealing with is an invasion from beneath and it needs to be addressed plainly for what it is.

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  3. It would seem that this is not over by any stretch. The Scriptures and EGW are very clear on how the end will play out. The recent events of San Antonio, stock market, Middle East, environmental events and now the Pope coming to visit should encourage all of us to stock of where we are in time. I find all of these events encouraging and exciting! The question of “Is Jesus coming?” is in my opinion “YEAH!”. In fact I believe that it will be within my normally alotted life span. So Jesus is looking for those that are keeping the Commandments, the Testimony of Jesus, the Spirit of Prophecy and wait for it….those that are putting on His Character. His was of perfect submission to the Will of the Father. Jesus did not rebel against His Father when He went to the cross. There are church leaders out there that are in rebellion on several fronts. They need to be delt with according to Matthew 18 by the GC leaders and if they need to be disciplined accordingly and soon. Now more than ever we need to be praying for wisdom and discernment. It is these two qualities that will allow us to see the traps that Satan wants to spring upon us and to avoid them with God’s grace and mercy.

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  4. I’m glad that Norway and Denmark have realized that “ordination”, as Adventists have traditionally understood the term, is simply a recognition of God’s calling and a public dedication of an individual to His service.

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    • Something seems to be wrong with that.
      The Bible says that there is some responsibility for hasty ordaining (1 Tim.5:22), i.e. this is not just a matter of recognition and public dedication. There is something more than that.

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  5. It is appropriate that the fourth quarters Sabbath School lessons are on the prophet Jeremiah. Except this time it will not be God’s people going into captivity. It will be God’s true children going home to the Promised Land in the end. He warned the people of the false shepherds, just like we have to today that are leading God’s people away from the truth. We must be like Jeremiah and no matter what the consequence is. we must stand up for the the truth, and not be afraid to tell the truth just as God gave it. Like with Jeremiah there will be a lot of people who hear the truth and resent what you have to say and persecute you. Matthew 5:10-12 tells us: “10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” “11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” “12 Rejoice, be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in Heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

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    • Well said, it is one thing to be persecuted, but quite difficult to be presented for righteousness, right doing. It is right to share the love of Jesus.
      When it comes to obeying a church organization or the word of God, we must obey the word of God. It is unfortunate that so many read Acts 2:18 and do not see Truth.

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      • Do not abuse truth Kathleen. The “obey God rather than man” does not apply here. The decision at San Antonio is in line with and derived from clear Divine directives on unity and the exercise of authority with relation to gender.
        1Ti 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
        1Ti_2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
        1Ti 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 1Ti 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 1Pe_3:5 For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:
        The concept of female subjection is not synonymous with male oppression but with 1Co_14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
        Subjection to parents, subjection to husbands, subjection to Christ, subjection to God is all the same atmosphere of deference to a higher responsible authority and interest. It enjoins upon those being deferred to the solemn responsibility of accountability to God. The motivation of the ones in authority is love and service. Gal_1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father: Order comes from the absence of self will and the deference to the wisdom of God which is to guide ALL AUTHORITY.

        The idea that order is tyrannical be it in church or at home is just demonic politicking.

        As of now the order of responsibility and authority puts men in charge of the home and the church. When the Apostle Paul instructs women to be silent and in subjection he was inspired of God to address to forestall feminism in the church. It does not mean that women have neither testimony nor part in promoting the cause. It means just what it says: WOMEN ARE NOT TO USURP AUTHORITY OVER MEN. It is putting things in their place. Men are to be responsible AUTHORITY and it is not a cultural thing because the reason given is that Adam was created first. And God tells Eve, Gen 3:16: He shall rule over thee.

        God has not changed his position. What the Scandinavian people need to decide is whether they want in or out of God’s things.

        Rom_14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

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  6. The remaining credibility of CAP is getting even more strained. Norway is not going to ordain anyone anymore. Since Unions are the deciders of who and who will not be ordained it seems perfectly logical that the Norway Union is free to ordain no one at all. You won CAP – no women will be ordained in Norway, ever! Or perhaps you are actually against female pastors and therefore CAP is in rebellion against existing church policy?

    Reply
    • No. The Bible is against female pastors! All the offices of Priest, Bishop, Deacon, Elder are Male. We need the COURAGE to rescind non biblical ideas that we have sanctioned. O for courage to look the devil in the eye and tell him to get!

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  7. It looks like a dead end street. Since only ordained ministers can serve as conference presidents, eventually every conference within the Norwegian Union won’t be able to elect anyone as president since no one will be ordained, unless they import someone from another country.

    The same would be true for organizing churches and ordaining elders and deacons. Eventually there would be no ordained ministers within the Norwegian Union who could perform these functions, unless someone gets imported in from another country.

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    • China seems to have functioned quite well even though they have been unable to be part of the world church. Church and evangelism doesn’t stop without the GC. We are the Seventh-day Adventist church, not the Catholic church! Power here comes from the local church and moves upward…

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      • Brent,

        Yes, the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church is not democratic. Every church never sends delegates to choose officers and executive committees of local dioceses, who then send delegates to choose officers and executive committees of local archdioceses, who then send delegates to select the pope and decide on matters that affect the world church.

        When you said, “Church and evangelism doesn’t stop without the GC,” which GC were you talking about? The GC Session or the GC at Silver Springs? A GC Session is about as far away from the papacy as it gets.

        I’m also wondering what you meant about church not stopping in a territory when the church in that territory ceases to be part of the world church. How does “church” continue for something that has left the “church”? We certainly don’t talk that way when individuals leave the church.

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      • Well said Brent and the highest representation of the local church are and should be the delegates from all the local churches assembled in session at the GC. The situation in China is not normal because the system itself that prevails there is the creation of man with all the oddities and demographic imbalances created by the worst kind of social. It does not in anyway change the norm as God has established. It just means our wisdom in dealing with is limited and God has to tell us what to do in harmony with scripture.

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          • We will find many situations that perplex. The answer is not to debunk scripture but to ask God how to apply it and meet the special circumstances.

      • The world church has a model constitution which contains REQUIRED WORDING that the president of a conference or union would be an “ordained minister” of experience. This is intentional, male-specific language. According to what you have shared, the Norwegian Union is out of policy with this important check and balance.

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        • I am not sure of the exact date, or if there has ever been a requirement. In the editorial of the September 2015 issue of the Norwegian “Review” the editor states that it is unthinkable that there would be a two thirds majority to change the bylaws to require that only ordained pastors can be union or conference presidents.

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    • Yeap Bob. It IS a dead end street. What is clear is Norway has voted to NOT be a part of the world church. The GC has to respect their decision and disfellowship the leadership and leave the door open for MEMBERS who desire to remain a part of the world church to elect their own new leadership. Discriminatory? Whose language is that? We obviously have non SDAs serving in leadership there.

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  8. You forgot to mention that Denmark and Sweden also need to be punished for making almost identical decisions. Denmark on the same day as Norway. There are more to come soon. And, of course, China……The “rebel units” are multiplying. I wonder who, really, is causing fragmentation?

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      • I should have made it clearer. Did you notice the quotations marks around the “rebel units”? It is this (CAP) website that advocates inquisition and thus fragmentation. God bless the Vikings!

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      • Inquisition? Are you serious? Why in the world would you compare dealing with open sin with indefinite detention in secret prisons without charges, refusal to permit facing one’s accusers, and torture?

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    • It matters not who chooses to disregard Bible positions: Norway, Denmark, China, whoever else. The question is what will the leadership do? From my perspective, people are free to defy the Bible, God and the GC. What they have NO RIGHT to do, even if they do it anyway, is to speak on behalf of others and say SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS ordain women as ministers or SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS accept homosexual ministers. Individuals can do as they please. We are free to lose our souls if we so wish but we cannot make that a collective decision by make our individual position representative. There are individuals in high office who would like to make their personal fate a collective fate just like Satan does. That we must not permit. The Bible is CLEAR on church LEADERSHIP and AUTHORITY. The Norwegians have a right to ordain no-one but it is unscriptural and what will they do for pastors and leaders, pray for BOTH MEN AND WOMEN to run the church there. Ordination by another name? Will they appoint or “recognize” both men and women? What is their point, “gender inclusiveness”, “non discrimination”? It is all the same thing: HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISM and it is foreign to spirit of the Bible religion they claim to be a part of. They need help with the thinking here, not so much angst.

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      • “The Norwegians have a right to ordain no-one but it is unscriptural”

        Could you please point out where in Scripture is it required that pastors be ordained?

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  9. “The world church has decided that women’s ordination—the question of spiritual leadership—is not to be determined on a regional pattern.”

    That is wrong.

    The world church has decided that women’s ordination is not to be determined at the divisional level. But ordination has always been approved at the union level. As long as the unions act within the requirements set forth by the GC, they have every right to ordain–or not ordain, in this case–whom they see fit. There is nothing “rebellious” about their actions.

    If the world church specifically wanted to prohibit WO, they should have voted being male as a requirement for ordination. They didn’t do so.

    Reply
      • I am familiar with that document. Here is a quote: “Unions have the power to select those to be ordained from among candidates proposed by conferences who meet the criteria set by the World Church.”

        As has been argued elsewhere, being male has never been a criteria for ordination. Nowhere in the Working Policy does it explicitly read, “A pastor must be male in order to be ordained.”

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        • “The appointment of individuals to serve as Bible instructors or chaplains, or in departmental or pastoral responsibilities, shall not be limited by race or color. Neither shall these positions be limited by gender (except those requiring ordination to the gospel ministry.”
          General Conference Working Policy, 2013-2014 edition, p. 113.

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          • There you have it. The train left the station a long time ago. The GC decided at its annual councils and in its policy book to do that which it could not defend from scripture. We have been a church that has betrayed the Bible a long time ago. Why all this pretense at asking the church to vote on something this cabal of church bureaucrats decided to do long before today: destroy gender role differentiation precedent from our practice. First, “non discrimination on the basis of gender”. The next thing will be “non discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation”. Now we are being shaken by rebellion for nothing. Let us lay the axe at the root of the tree: uproot every practice that we cannot defend from scripture at the policy level: period. Who is running this church anyway? God or the Dragon?

  10. REBELLION!

    I was in a discussion with another friend who said the Unions who are boycotting ordination are in rebellion. Do you agree they are in rebellion?

    Its a hard position to be in. The word rebellion means so many things to so many people. For instance were Rosa Parks or the Freedom Riders “in rebellion” against the segregation laws in the South? Yes. And we celebrate them for this. Just as we celebrate MLK for leading the boycott of the bus system in Birmingham.

    These American heroes rebelled against evil laws, not against the United States. They were trying to uphold all that is good in the United States and actually made it a better place to live because of their rebellion (peaceful and non violent). Someone once said that dissent is the highest form of participation.

    So too with these Unions, and the others that will inevitably follow. They literally think it is evil to discriminate against women. How can they go against their conscience, especially in light of the TOSC findings? They are not rebelling against the GC, they are rebelling against a policy that discriminates. They are calling the GC to live up to its high ideals. 50 years from now the GC will celebrate their stand as the United States now celebrates MLK, and as others of us have already started.

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    • Daniel my friend, race and gender are not the same. God created gender in a sinless world (Gen. 1:27); race, by contrast, is a product of the age of sin. Adam was the head in the original relationship, which is why God called to him, not to Eve, when the two tried to hide from His presence (Gen. 3:9)—this despite the fact that Eve was the first to sin.

      It is for this reason that the New Testament identifies Adam, not Eve, as the one responsible for sin and death entering the world (Rom. 5:12-19; I Cor. 15:22). The principle of spiritual male headship is thus as old as Eden itself, and is affirmed in both Testaments (see also I Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22-25; I Tim. 2:12-13).

      This is not a matter of “discrimination”—the general revulsion against this word in our society is a human principle, not a divine one. We have to measure human principles and practices by the Word of God, not the other way around. And this is not about secular positions in society, like being CEO of a company or running for President of the United States. Those are secular offices, not spiritual ones. The home and the church are spiritual domains, where the image of God is to be reflected by diverse gender roles.

      It is for this reason that God has established the distribution of gender roles in both the home and the faith community which we find in Scripture (I Cor. 11:3; Eph. 5:22-25; I Tim. 2:12-13).

      It is against this divinely established order that these Unions are rebelling. The world church will soon be constrained to bring them into line, through disciplinary measures if necessary. I pray that you will be on the side of God’s Word and God’s church when that happens.

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      • Again, women are not going to be ordained in the Norwegian Union. So, how is it rebelling if they are not going to ordain women? I keep asking this question, and no one actually has an answer.

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        • The question is not semantics but functional authority in the church. As long as “equality” “fairness” and “stopping abuse” are the mantras the whole exercise is a demonic invocation. So they will not ordain anyone “until” the church stops “discriminatory” practices. What is their issue? “Discrimination on the basis of gender” is what they define Divine precedent as. It is rebellion because it is not compliance. Let us be honest and mature here. They are making a statement and it is loud and clear to any honest person.

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          • You wrote a lot but you said little. It’s a simple question: How is it not “compliance” when they are NOT going to ordain women, which the GC session vote is argued as prohibiting?

    • Is this church a Human institution or a Divine institution? Why are we using COMMON humanistic diction for a SACRED ENTERPRISE. I will tell you what has happened to us: WE HAVE LOST THE FEAR OF GOD AND OUR SENSE OF THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SACRED AND THE COMMON. Our confusion is a DIRECT RESULT of our personal seduction by the enemy of souls which comes from FRATERNIZING with the ungodly.

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  11. I am so proud of Norway for following God’s inspiration to not discriminate. What a perfect solution they chose! More Conferences and Unions need to follow their example of brave leadership!

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    • How does anyone help such delusional thinking? To think we have come to a day when human beings think THEIR SENTIMENTS are DIVINE will?

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  12. What the Norwegian Union is doing, is against the order of God, than the GC in session is the highest authority after God and His word. But what Ted Wilson and the Division Leaders like Daniel Jackson is proclaming and doing, is against the will of God and the votes of GC in session (Indianapolis) too, because they ordain woman as elders and commissions them as ministers, so that this in reality is ordaining women ordination through the backdor. And the GC doesn´t works according to the working policy too, because they neglect to discipline the rebells, who are working against the order of SdA. And the GC has not repent for their wrong decisions, to permit, that women can be ordained as elders, and for the simony (see the article of Prof. Mervin Maxwell), that is going through decades. Ted Wilson, Dan Jackson and others make compromises with sin, to get an outward peace in the church, they keep unity above truth and obedience to God.
    We all must obey first God and His word, and must do the unpleseant work according to the working policy. Only when the GC first repent and chance their wrong things as a good example, than only can God bless His people. But if not, than the Norwegian Union will be not the last one, who rebells, others will follow. And I think, that they are less guilty than the GC in this state. The GC has to decide, what they want to do: the will of God or their own politics.

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    • Erich, your accusations against Elder Wilson are wrong and unfair. He does not support the ordination of women as local elders. But he recognizes that reformatory change takes time. It cannot happen all at once, either in our lives as individuals or in the life of the church.

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      • I am sorry but what nonsense Kevin! How long did it take for these decisions to be IMPOSED on the world church from these annual councils that now represent ambushes and set ups against the collective will of the church. How many annual councils and deliberations did it take to put these infractions as law in our policy books? And at any rate, I suppose we must give ALL SIN time before we repent!

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  13. I find the contributors to this website to be prone to cherry-picking statements from Ellen White and the Bible to support their views with no regard to context. One example is the following statement from one of the Testimonies:
    “The Scriptures are plain upon the relations and rights of men and women.”

    What is not mentioned is that this is a single sentence from a letter which in its entirety concerns choice of clothing. What is also not mentioned is the motivation given by Ellen White for rejecting the fashionable clothing used by women’s rights supporters earlier in the letter:

    “No occasion should be given to unbelievers to reproach our faith. We are considered odd and singular, and should not take a course to lead unbelievers to think us more so than our faith requires us to be.”

    In Scandinavia it is obvious that denying women full equality in ministry will hinder our mission. We would he considered more “odd and singular” “than our faith requires us to be”, to use Ellen White’s phrasing.

    Also, if Ellen White’s statement should be understood as being opposed to the women’s rights movement, does this mean that we should advocate the reversal of the decisions in democracies like US and European countries to allow women the right to vote?

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      • Clara – you are correct about this difference between “church” and “state/civil”. This confirms my point that the mentioned quotation is taken out of context, since the Testimony in its entirety addresses particular concerns related to identification with the civil women’s right movement. The plain sense of the statement therefore has to be that by the “rights of men and women” Ellen White refers to civil rights.

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        • And how do you arrive at that conclusion? The full statement reads: “The Scriptures are plain upon the relations and rights of men and women.” 4Testimonies for the Church 1:421. EWRWC 18.5

          Reply
    • “Equality”, uhm. What language is that? What do you do with verses like this. Gen_3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And “in Scandinavia”…. Are there no MALES in Scandinavia. If it were true, there would be NO Scandinavians. Again, this makes no sense. This is not about “Equality”. It is the way GOD has done business in HIS CHURCH. MEN RULE AND RUN the priesthood and the church. They are to be servants of ALL. What we are witnessing is a foreign spirit trying to establish women as a political force among us just like in the world where all males are to become an endangered species and subservient to FEMINISM. The devil can well do as he pleases in the world: it is his, for a little while longer, but NEVER must he be allowed to define the ORDER in the house of God. If what this brother is promoting is the status of Scandinavian manhood, then we do have a Scandinavian manhood identity crisis. It must be confined to that part of the world and not be made a universal status quo by trying to make it seem as if Scandinavia is ahead of the pack in social cognitive development. The devil has a right to rebel and run his rebellion but we have no duty to call it progressive thinking or to respect and accommodate it. It is an abomination, a collective social deconstruction spirit which is intended to be the norm in the world but it must not be allowed to “stand where it ought not” in the Remnant Church of God.

      Reply
  14. At Pentacost the followers of Christ were all in agreement. We need to get on the same page and stop trying to prove that our human knowledge is above God. Did we not pray for an answer to be given at the GC? We’re we not given an answer? Or were we only praying for the answer we wanted?
    God says His ways are higher than our ways & His thoughts higher than our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) why do we act like we know best. God wants us to be united not divided.

    Reply
    • How are we being divided, here? These unions did not decide to ordain women pastors. They simply decided not to “ordain” any pastors at all, not to use that specific classification. Unless there is something in the Bible that requires that the Christian church ordain pastors and classify them as such, the unions are well within their rights to take the action they have taken.

      Reply
      • Tit 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
        Tit 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
        This is what happens when we do not read the Bible as plainly as it reads.

        Reply
        • There is a glaring problem with your argument: that text was not written in the King James Version. It was written in Greek. And in the Greek, the word translated in the KJV as “ordain” means, literally, to appoint; and it is translated that way in this verse in virtually every major modern translation. This verse is not referring to ordination as it is being discussed in this conversation.

          This is what happens when we read the Bible as if it had been written in King James English.

          Reply
      • 1Ti_5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.
        Please not, it says, “on no MAN”. Oh it does not mean MALE……The presumptuous theological patronizing used to justify deliberate illiteracy is quite spacious but the fact remains that the ‘ORIGINS’ RULE. Woman came from MAN, that is MALE. The single reason why worship is due to God: ORIGINS. The Reason why women must honor men: ORIGINS. The reason why children must honor their PARENTS: ORIGINS. Satan will have none of it. He will not honor God because he ‘EVOLVED’! Same spirit same devil same mess. The question for the GC is simple: whither, rebellion or respect for God.

        Reply
        • “it says, ‘on no MAN'”

          Not exactly.

          What 1 Tim 5:22 actually says is “mēdeni,” which is translated into English more accurately as “on no one.” It is a generic phrase; the word “man” is nowhere to be found in the original Greek text.

          Reply
    • Yes, at “Pentecost the followers were all in agreement”. However, in the days and years following Pentecost the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, faced the realities of trying to flesh out the implications of Christ’s incarnation, death and resurrection for theology and mission. In these early days of the Church the most difficult challenge was the status of converted Gentiles. This lead to a period of conflict before the Church was able to find a consensus understanding at the Jerusalem Council. Of particular importance was Paul’s conviction by the Holy Spirit to move faster than the Jerusalem church on this issue.

      I believe we all have to agree that the realities are that the World Church not yet has achieved a consensus understanding of ordination and its implications for the pastoral ministry of men and women. The unfolding at San Antonio demonstrates this fact very clearly, irrespective of the outcome of the vote. Until we reach consensus, and I pray this to be soon, we are going to see units of the World Church move in different directions as they feel convicted by the Spirit.

      Reply
      • 1Co_14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
        1Co_14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
        1Co_1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
        Php_3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

        God has NOTHING to do with what is going on. Satan has. He crafted it, infiltrated it and now wants to hijack the church using it. No!

        Reply
  15. The title of this article seems to be intentionally misleading. Why would this site feel justified in not reporting truthfully? It seems you are doing your self a disfavour. A case that cannot be fought with truth and transparency is probably a case that a follower of Jesus should not fight.

    The vote in San Antonio was not about the legitimacy of women pastors. Ted Wilson himself came to the platform to clarify this.

    The Norwegian vote was to not ordain anyone. That means none of us Pastors will enjoy the international privileges the world church grants in ordination. It means we are not electable to most positions outside our country. You do not have to be afraid that we will try to force our conscience on anyone else. Our Union President will most likely lose his right to even vote in Annual Council.

    The GC has turned the question of ordination into a power struggle. We refuse to play that game by giving up our rights and privileges with the world church. Yet we will still take responsibility for our mission to Norway which includes employing male and female pastors as before.

    The only alternative our conscience would have allowed would be to licence all our pastors as comissioned. But even this possibility was explicitly denied us by the General Conference. There really was no way to not discriminate within the policies as interpreted by the GC.

    We are living in a strange times when the SDA church feels it must use all its powers to force unions to discriminate against women. And we as a union have to use all our power to salvage the credibility of the church in the eyes of our own members.

    Reply
    • “The vote in San Antonio was not about the legitimacy of women pastors. Ted Wilson himself came to the platform to clarify this.” It should have been because THAT IS THE POINT. One phrase makes your real position clear. “Discrimination against women”. That is a feminist rallying cry. Are you Human rights Activists or Adventists? One cannot be both. The painful thing is you are making your personal agendas the collective position of the Norwegian church. That is not right. It is not possible that all Scandinavians are illiterate or do not read their Bibles. How did they become Seventh Day Adventists? “The credibility of the church” is not above or mutually exclusive to the credibility of scripture.

      E.G.W Estate. “After addressing the Biblical call for a clear distinction in dress, Mrs. White commented on the spirit that attended the women’s rights movement: “Those who feel called out to join the movement in favor of woman’s rights and the so-called dress reform might as well sever all connection with the third angel’s message. The spirit which attends the one cannot be in harmony with the other. The Scriptures are plain upon the relations and rights of men and women.” 5Ibid Was there a spirit of disaffection, of promotion of self? In the assertion of one’s rights, is there a spirit that comes not from above, and that would keep us from representing the character of Jesus, who did not think that equality was “a thing to be grasped” (Philippians 2:6)? This statement seems to warn us of such dangers.” I concur and go further. The Law of God which we were called into being to hold before the world protects both persons and property. It makes us personally responsible for others and does it without endangering ourselves. The family of which the church is an extension is run along the same basis as its microcosmic form. The format is the same. It is a hierarchy of responsibility. Now that Satan is perfecting his chaos which is a precursor to global ruin he uses flattery to deconstruct society beginning with the family. To try to intoxicate us into a disarming guilt is patently disingenuous. At the same time, he is creating a global unity against God’s order. One has to respect demonic tenacity and ingenuity.

      Reply
  16. Harold, the Norwegian response votes a practice the world church has not authorized. More than this, the Norway decision explicitly calls the longstanding world church approach of appointing only spiritually qualified males to lead “discrimination.” The Norway action is a rejection of the approach the world church took in San Antonio. The Scripture clearly does not permit women to fill the role of a congregational leader. But it is unsurprising that you and your colleagues are infected by the cultural virus of a distorted egalitarianism. The Scandinavian countries were the first to carry it to its logical conclusion. Equality with differing roles is clear in the Bible, but some will not accept that.

    If you are uninterested in following Scripture that is fine; create a separate church in Norway and teach what you will. But do not confuse th people by representing yourself as standing with a world church which you reject. Other missionaries can be sent to bring the truth to Norway all over again.

    Reply
    • If “the Scripture clearly does not permit women to fill the role of a congregation leader,” then why has the GC, in its over 150 years of existence, NEVER voted to prohibit women from serving as pastors?

      And why did Ted Wilson pledge to abide by whatever the delegates at the GC session voted? Had some two hundred votes (about one percent of the total number of delegates) gone the other way, he would have been obligated to abide by a decision that you believe goes against the Scripture.

      Reply
      • “Had some two hundred votes…”

        The old woulda-coulda-shoulda standby seems a bit dated these days, Fernando, considering that the General Conference administration has moved on after offering a fair chance for pro-ordinations to win the day. And for the record, the San Antonio vote was technically a landslide victory. Look it up. So that’s three no-votes (and your out) against divisional autonomy, higher-critical hermeneutics and limiting biblical authority. So a fourth “no” seems predestined once GC officers at Annual Council decide to resolve Norway’s capricious play. And they will. But who’s counting, eh?

        Reply
        • I’m sorry, but you dodged the main thrust of the question: if WO is clearly prohibited in Scripture, why did Ted Wilson pledge to abide by whatever the delegates at the GC session voted? You’re welcome to chime in with an answer if you have one.

          And for the record, whether the vote was “technically a landslide victory” is irrelevant. In Acts 15, when the Christian church agreed not to require circumcision of the Gentiles, the church did not vote. And there was no “technical landslide victory.” Rather, they all came to one accord (v. 25). That did NOT happen in San Antonio. And until it does, the church will remain divided on this issue.

          Reply
          • “why did Ted Wilson pledge to abide by whatever the delegates at the GC session voted?”

            Probably because he may be one of the savviest, most well-informed political leaders you and I will ever know. Gotta love his confidence in making that sincere yet strategic call. A stroke of inspired genius is what my wife and I thought after Wilson’s speech, particularly when compared to Paulsen’s ill-timed gaffe.

            “And until it does, the church will remain divided on this issue.”

            I’m not certain too many GC administrators, or even the majority of Adventists around the world, are losing much sleep these days about the division over “this issue,” especially because the liberal-conservative divide is really over “every issue”–as in we now have two churches vying for control of the denominational structure. And if we’re honest with ourselves, I mean bluntly honest here, guess which one of the two churches is collectively snoring again after San Antonio? So I say, the old woulda-coulda-shoulda standby seems a bit dated these days, Fernando.

          • Miles –
            You commented on the following question.
            “why did Ted Wilson pledge to abide by whatever the delegates at the GC session voted?”

            Probably because he may be one of the savviest, most well-informed political leaders you and I will ever know. Gotta love his confidence in making that sincere yet strategic call. A stroke of inspired genius is what my wife and I thought after Wilson’s speech, particularly when compared to Paulsen’s ill-timed gaffe.”

            I believe that for many people outside the CAP circle, this kind of political maneuvering is a major concern, as we see this as an example of how the politics “of the world” works in contrast to the example of servant leadership shown by Jesus. Above, brother Giesebrecht states very clearly how the majority of Adventists in Scandinavia view this and the implication drawn by the Norwegian and Danish Union Conferences:

            “The GC has turned the question of ordination into a power struggle. We refuse to play that game by giving up our rights and privileges with the world church.”

          • Miles, you wrote, “Probably because he may be one of the savviest, most well-informed political leaders you and I will ever know.”

            I don’t know about that. That may be true. But the church does not need a political leader. The church needs a spiritual leader. If the Bible really is clear in prohibiting WO, a spiritual leader who is convicted by that does not pledge to abide by whatever the delegates vote. A spiritual leader exhorts the delegates to make the right decision. And a spiritual leader has the kind of influence where a clear consensus follows their lead (and 59-41 is NOT a clear consensus).

            You also wrote, “So I say, the old woulda-coulda-shoulda standby seems a bit dated these days, Fernando.”

            I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, or what your point in that is. Sorry.

      • Correct. He would have. He is not the Adventist Pope. What is needed is a revisit of all erroneous and adulterous positions we have taken.

        Reply
    • Larry your SDA church does not follow ‘plain’ reading of the Bible. Your pastors/priests are not all Jewish, Male, relatives of Levi, circumcised, married one time. Your church is not consistent and cherry picks. It is a sad example to others. God loves all and does not discriminate so if He calls someone or gives them a gift why do your men weigh in and tell they know more then God?

      Reply
      • How readest thou? Paul and all the apostles are clear on the church leadership question. It is male right through. That you are on about “discrimination” clarifies who you speak for. Well God IS discriminatory by your definition. What are you going to do about it? Make us all transsexuals? “We have chosen to not ordain at all….” is headed in the same direction as “We have chosen to erase all gender distinctions” and “We have chosen to erase all parent/child distinction” and “we have chosen to erase all truth/error, right/wrong distinctions” and finally “We have chosen to erase ALL Creator/creature distinctions”. If this is not Satan I do not know what is.

        Reply
    • Perhaps more of us need to heed the words of Paul when we interpret Scripture, “2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

      4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Cor. 3

      Reply
  17. Larry. I appreciate how openly you admit to being opposed to the church’s policy of comissioning women to congregatonal leadership. But I am more than a little puzzled that you allow yourself to openly reject church policy while you deny that privilege to others.

    Reply
    • You are mistaken. I am fully accepting of women serving in pastoral-like roles. Women can serve in a variety of legitimate capacities. However, a woman should not be the lead pastor of a congregation. There is no such thing as a woman elder in the Bible; such practice is contrary to Scripture. The church does need to sort this matter out and the TOSC 1 group made material progress in this. While the church is processing this, I defer to the decision of the world church which has permitted women elders on a very limited, experimental basis. I believe that practice will be changed.

      In the case of the Norwegian Union however, you have voted yourselves your own policy unilaterally and separate from the world church.

      Reply
      • There is no such term as “lead pastor” in the NT. There are only pastors. And there is no evidence that any NT church had one person as a “lead pastor.”

        You are inserting categories into the Scriptures that are simply not there.

        Reply
    • My brother Harald. He is not denying anyone anything. They can all do as they please. I have to say I also appreciate your honesty in language choice. It puts matters correctly. This is ALL about LEADERSHIP. Leadership as in EXERCISE OF POWER. Larry is right to call it an extension of the eons old fight for EQUALITY or EGALITARIANISM which began in heaven. “Isa 14:13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
      Isa 14:14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” This spirit will in reality achieve the following:
      Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst WEAKEN THE NATIONS!
      This spirit will WEAKEN all systems for the support of human life under one pretext or another until the world and its cities are reduced to a “wilderness”. Isa 14:17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? What a terrible delusion. No wonder the Bible calls it a strong delusion. 2Th_2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
      The fact is some of us do not accept the policy to commission or accept females as leaders in the church any more than we accept wives as leaders in the home. However, our non acceptances are no justifications for disorderly conduct. We groan within ourselves and we suffer the church decisions but we do not go our own way, compounding the problem God already has with other insubordination.

      Reply
      • “Leadership as in EXERCISE OF POWER”

        Not Christian leadership. Christian leadership is not about power. Christian leadership is about being a servant.

        Reply
  18. „While the church is processing this, I defer to the decision of the world church which has permitted women elders on a very limited, experimental basis. I believe that practice will be changed.“
    The decision of the world church has never permitted, that women can be ordained as elders, that was the GC-Committee in 1975. The GC in session had clear voted in Indianapolis 1990 for no WO, and in San Antonio they have voted clearly for TOSC Position 1, that forbids to ordain women as elders and to commission them as ministers. It was wrong from Ted Wilson, to encourage the Division-Presidents to go on with WO through the backdoor, because this councel was against the word of God. And Ted Wilson was ready to perform WO too, if the majority of delegates would vote for it (this is TOSC position 3 and not 1 – and Wilson has not declared his view of WO, he was neutral in this big crisis). The bible and the will of God is therefore not the highest goal of Ted Wilson, but compromise with sin for the unity. Therefore that practice of WO through the backdoor will not be changed, because the NAD would´t follow him, and he himself would damage his position. And I think, you have done a big mistake to trust men (Jer 17:5). The decisions of Wilson are political and not in accordance to the bible!!!

    Reply
    • “The decision of the world church has never permitted, that women can be ordained as elders, that was the GC-Committee in 1975.”

      The GC executive committee makes decisions for the world church in between sessions. They voted to allow women to be ordained elders at the 1975 Spring Meetings, and they reaffirmed that vote at the 1984 Annual Council.

      The question voted on in San Antonio had nothing to do with women being ordained elders. Technically, it also had nothing to do with women being ordained pastors at all, either. The question was NOT whether women should be ordained pastors, but whether provisions for it should be made at the Division level (the only level on which the delegates to the session had jurisdiction): “is it acceptable for division executive committees … to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry?”

      Whether you agree with it or not, women’s ordination as elders is official church policy, and is recognized as such by the Church Manual.

      Reply
    • Erich – your statement is a blatant misrepresentation of the question voted on at San Antonio:
      ” in San Antonio they have voted clearly for TOSC Position 1, that forbids to ordain women as elders and to commission them as ministers.”

      The question voted on never mentions anything about TOSC Position 1. I find it unwise to speculate on how many of the roughly 60 percent of the delegates who voted NO, did so because they support TOSC Position 1 and how many who voted NO because of other concerns.

      It is important to note that Position 1 was a minority position in TOSC. As an example of motivations for a NO vote that do not support TOSC Position 1, I refer to conclusions of the East-Central Africa Division Study report:

      “ECD BRC still sees no light in ordaining women as pastors under the current praxis of understanding and practicing ordination. Our Committee decision is not conclusive and members are open and are urging further studies until the Church is convinced that ordaining under current modalities is biblical. By presenting the report this way, the Committee is suggesting that there may be other models of setting people apart for special services which may not be referred to as “ordination,” but equally communicating full recognition as servant of God to the person who is being set apart even if that person is a woman. For this to happen there has to be a change in the Church’s modalities of affirming and endorsing those who are set apart or appointed for service. Thus, the Committee is implying that “ordination” now carries unhealthy nuances which need undoing in order to facilitate servant leadership for the Adventist Church. The cardinal recommendation by the ECD BRC to the ECD and the General Conference is: “NO, NOT | 300 limit

      Reply
      • Met the word limit above, so here is the rest of the quotation:

        “The cardinal recommendation by the ECD BRC to the ECD and the General Conference is: “NO, NOT YET” under the modalities of ordination as they are currently, but some different modalities need to be urgently developed and implemented in the Church’s praxis so that no servant of God is relegated to unhealthy emotional economy which makes genuine servants of Christ feel unappreciated and unvalued by the Church.”
        https://www.adventistarchives.org/east-central-african-division-brc-report.pdf

        Actually, Trans-European Division BRC study resulted in an in-depth 800+ pages report concerning the practice of “ordination” itself. Regrettably, this and the reports from the other Division committees were not properly discussed at the 2014 Annual Council. Instead it was decided to put the secondary recommendation from the NAD report up for vote at the GC session with no recommended action from the GC administration or the Annual Council.

        The Norwegian Union Conference has urged GC to continue the discussion of the ordination practice based on the studies performed by the Divisions and the TOSC, and in particular the recommendations from the TED report. This is in-line with the statement from the East-Central Africa Division Study report:

        “It will be counter-productive for the Remnant Church’s delegates at St Antonio General Conference Session to cast their vote for or against women ordination if they do not have adequate information.”

        Reply
        • 800 plus pages of what? This is academic redundancy at its worst. It keeps this odious presence in the church. The equivocal duplicity that emanates from such LASER SURGERY over a simple matter wastes so much of our time and money because it is not only inconclusive but ties us in cognitive knots that do not resolve anything. Again, it makes the point that this matter of women ordination has nothing to do with God or efficiency of our operation. Its net effect is to enervate. It takes us to the desert of carnality and leaves us there with no water or compass.

          Reply
  19. You know, I have to confess, I really am at a loss for words, here.

    In contrast with other unions who already are ordaining women, women are NOT going to be ordained as pastors in the Norwegian Union. That is EXACTLY what those here who oppose WO want.

    Why are you still complaining??? Can someone please explain exactly what the problem here is???

    Reply
    • I guess the problem here is in neglecting spiritual leadership as such, because they’re not going to ordain men as well.
      This decision looks much like using the guillotine to cure a tooth pain.
      Overall the term “discrimination” does not belong to the Church spiritual language. I don’t understand why they make their decision on this ground. Does it mean they condemn the two millennium Church practice as inappropriate or what? Including apostolic Church?
      Well, it doesn’t look nether wise nor spiritual to me.

      Reply
      • “I guess the problem here is in neglecting spiritual leadership as such”

        They are not neglecting spiritual leadership. Can you tell me where, specifically in the Bible, is ordination required for spiritual leadership?

        Reply
        • “They are not neglecting spiritual leadership.”
          In fact they are.
          Ordination is a Biblical practice and I don’t have to prove obvious things. If someone planing to become a pastor or deacon without being ordained, well..he is not a spiritual person first of all.
          Even Apostle Saul was ordained. He was called by Christ Himself, but nonetheless was ordained after that, and then he went to Jerusalem and confessed his faith to Apostles. And they gave him the right hand of fellowship.
          How could someone become a spiritual leader without ordination?
          Without ordination you can be a leader in secular organizations, but in the Church all spiritual ministers must be ordained.
          And if you have some doubts about it, you better get rid of them.

          Reply
          • You did not answer my question: where, specifically in the Bible, is ordination required for spiritual leadership.

            You don’t have to “prove obvious things” if you don’t want to. But if you cannot provide a single text requiring ordination for spiritual leadership…is it really that obvious?

    • Some people just are not happy unless there is conflict! They will create it. I think these complainers were also blindsided and are sputtering and spinning while trying to save face! God has a sense of humor and He inspired Norway and others to think of this perfect solution!

      Reply
      • There is no perfectness in destroying god’s Church.
        “Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up”

        Reply
    • The problem, Fernando, is that they have again elected to ignore the policy and structure voted on and decided by GC to do their own thing. This is rebellion. They are free to set up a church however they wish, but they are attempting to set up the church under the name SDA however they wish. That is disingenuous, dishonest and rebellious. It would be like joining the Lutheran church, and then agitating for Sabbath services. You have an obligation to uphold the denomination’s structure and beliefs. If you cannot in good conscience do that, then leave the denomination.
      I don’t understand it. These people don’t believe in many of the church policies, and the number of policies in dispute grows daily. They are seeking to change the policies in place
      without any pretense of a Biblical precedent, and believe that they are still SDAs. I sincerely hope that all of these rebellious factions are removed from the church at the next Annual Council. It is past time.

      Reply
      • They are not ordaining women. How is that “ignoring the policy and structure voted on and decided by GC”?

        Reply
  20. “I believe that for many people outside the CAP circle, this kind of political maneuvering is a major concern, as we see this as an example of how the politics “of the world” works in contrast to the example of servant leadership shown by Jesus.”

    Sounds like you’ve not been on many nominating or church board committees. Just being real here, though I certainly get that we’d all like to think that we’re all saints all the time while discussing church politics.

    “The GC has turned the question of ordination into a power struggle. We refuse to play that game by giving up our rights and privileges with the world church.”

    Disagree. Church entities like the CUC and PUC turned the ordination question into a power struggle after the GC delegates said No in Indianapolis and Utrecht. This is just historical fact. And the same power-play, win-at-all-costs mentality is again being played out in Europe. Same game, different name.

    Reply
    • Miles – if that is the case I believe we all need to take a step back. My sincere belief is that how we relate to politics of power is a mark of following the crucified Christ. As long as we insist on conforming to the world in this regard – using all means available to achieve what we believe to be the best outcome – we will not learn to lean on God’s guidance and fulfill our role as the Remnant Church. I know I many times miss the mark on this, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t strive to conform better to Jesus example.

      Reply
  21. “Miles – if that is the case I believe we all need to take a step back.”

    Doesn’t seem the Norwegian Union understands what it means to follow “the crucified Christ.” Whatever else, let’s hope they heed your sound advice after Annual Council steps in with the sort of Christlike humility you earlier referred to.

    Reply
    • Miles – I don’t find the ideal of “Christlike humility” to be something to snort at. To be frank, I find that your choice of wording in this conversation indicative of an attitude of contempt for fellow believers. Why should we as Christians use language of of “victory” over other Christians? Will this kind of political language promote unity, unless the understanding is that unity is achieved when everyone who disagrees with you leaves?

      Allow me quote some phrases above as an example, that I find indicative of attitudes that promote division instead of unity or that I believe to be misrepresenting fellow believers:
      – “… offering a fair chance for pro-ordinations to win the day.” (my emphasis – divisive language)
      – “So that’s three no-votes (and your out) against divisional autonomy, higher-critical hermeneutics and limiting biblical authority.” (Most Adventists who believes in equal treatment of men and women in pastoral ministry do not advocate any of these three things)
      – “Norway’s capricious play” (no comment needed)

      I am sorry that you understand church as a kind of political power-play – and I regret that you project this attitude onto the rest of our church. It doesn’t matter how biblical GC or Union policies may be – if they are enforced based on such attitudes I am not interested in being part of it.

      Reply
      • “I don’t find the ideal of “Christlike humility” to be something to snort at.”

        You misunderstood my intent. First, you pressed the notion of a Christian attitude in the political arena. Second, I then agreed with you by intimating that the Annual Council might embrace Christlike humility in dealing with the Norwegian Union. No snorting here, my friend, only the realization that rebel Unions need to be treated gently but decisively in wooing them back into compliance. Hope that cleared up the confusion.

        Reply
      • You are welcome. Fact is we were not raised to make everyone happy. We were raised to tell the truth as it is in scripture and in Jesus.

        Reply
  22. “God has invested His church with special authority and power which no one can be justified in disregarding and disposing, for in so doing he despises the voice of God.” 3T 417. Our World Church in San Antonio has spoken. It’s time for our GC leaders to deal with this open rebellion of Norway, Netherlands, and whoever else, so that God’s remnant church can finish the work and Jesus can come soon. I’m amazed at the stubborn ignorance and persistent arguments of some of the comments here. Can we learn how to call things by their right name and move on? I’m sick with these pathetic excuses and cheap arguments that some raise in defense of Norway and Netherlands. The World Church has spoken–deal with it!

    Reply
    • Sabrina, the Norwegian Union is not going to ordain any women as pastors.

      Not. A. Single. One.

      Can you explain to me how that is being rebellious? Isn’t that precisely what you want: for no women to be ordained as pastors??

      Reply
  23. OK, let’s see if this goes through…

    Miles, Ted Wilson may be a genius political leader. But the church does not need political leaders. The church needs spiritual leaders.

    Reply
    • “But the church does not need political leaders.”

      Perhaps the North American Division leadership over the last forty years should have taken your unifying counsel. And if you’re watching the latest news report, Elder Wilson is your president and mine for just this hour. Let’s be thankful.

      Reply
      • My counsel is applicable at every level of our church’s organization. The church needs spiritual leaders, not political leaders.

        I don’t deny that Ted Wilson is the GC President. That’s fine. To be honest with you, it doesn’t really impact my ministry one way or the other. I’m just a pastor out in the oilfields of West Texas, doing ministry quietly with the churches on the local level. Whoever happens to be GC President at a given time doesn’t really affect us.

        But I just asked a simple question: if the Bible clearly prohibits WO, why did he pledge to abide by whatever the delegates voted?

        It appears that your answer was, because he is a genius political leader. All right. If that is your answer, fair enough. But it’s a lousy answer, quite frankly. We need spiritual leaders who will lead and exhort the church to make the right decisions, not leaders who will play political games.

        His political savvy does not impress me. If it impresses you…well, there we are.

        Reply
        • Thankfully for the Advent movement of Bible prophecy, Elder Ted Wilson is not only a brilliant strategist and biblically-faithful servant, he’s the very one handpicked by heaven above to lead the Seventh-day Adventist Church through the prophetic waters of 2015 and beyond, wherever these seemingly treacherous waves may fall. If you ask me, the General Conference Session at San Antonio was indeed historically momentous, just as most of us assumed – and for all the right reasons. Hope you and your Texas congregation prosper as well, Fernando.

          Reply
      • To be honest Miles, Ted Wilson is not the issue. We are Seventh Day Adventists and that means we should not live our faith based on who is leading this movement. Ted Wilson is not the Spirit of God. He is a chairman of a committee that runs this organization. We should be very troubled that we have become such followers of men that our fortunes, direction and definition are now at the mercy of church officers. “Thankful”? We should be saddened that we are sooo below spiritual maturity that we are at the mercy of the spiritual condition of human beings instead of a better foundation. 1Co_3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

        Reply
        • “We should be very troubled that we have become such followers of men that our fortunes, direction and definition are now at the mercy of church officers. . . We should be saddened. . .”

          There has been a General Conference president for most of our church’s history. Ellen White speaks often on the church body choosing godly men to lead God’s denominated people. In fact, the Bible is riddled with faithful and unfaithful leaders who chose to either follow God or mammon, and the prosperity of church rose or fell depending on the faithfulness of God’s king, priest, apostle, or elder. So we should in fact not be trouble at all in supporting those men, mortal as they may be, who we believe are being faithful to the Lord in principle and practice – and have been called to lead the church by God’s highest authority. This is all I meant in my comment. So no reason for sadness here, my friend, only joy in God’s goodness and our president’s fidelity thus far. Whether you agree or disagree, Happy Sabbath.

          Reply
      • By correct I mean that we elect leaders not to be politicians and statesmen. We elect them to speak the mind of God clearly.

        Reply
  24. I urge all in this conversation to reach what Ellen White has written in AA 160-165, on the ordination of Paul and Barnabas, and how this is clearly a divinely-authorized investiture. No segment of the church has the authority to dispense with this practice as the Norwegian Union has done. Without question this decision is an act of ecclesiastical rebellion.

    Reply
      • You have a Pharisaic approach. You cannot find in the Bible many things, but that’s prove nothing. Your request is but plain demagogy.

        Reply
        • “You have a Pharisaic approach.”

          Since when is it Pharisaic to inquire as to the testimony of Scripture? I don’t think you understand very well what “Pharisaic” means.

          If someone were to ask me where in the Bible, specifically, does it say that the seventh-day of the week is God’s holy Sabbath, I would not accuse them of having a “Pharisaic approach.” And there are MANY texts that I can think of off the top of my head that I could point them to.

          “You cannot find in the Bible many things, but that’s prove nothing.”

          I agree. And when those who oppose WO ask for examples in the Bible of women pastors or elders, I’m sure you would be willing to point that out to them, too.

          “Your request is but plain demagogy.”

          I’m not sure you understand what “demogogy” means, either. But I can assure you, it is not. It really is a simple question.

          And the fact that no one can answer such a simple question, while it may “prove nothing,” DOES speak volumes!

          Reply
      • You are correct. It doesn’t, nor does it imply that we should. You see the fundamentalist extremists on this site going nuts over something not even Biblical. Good point.

        Reply
        • Rev.14:7 – “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come!”

          Mat.12:36 – “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment”.

          Which means, you will be responsible before God for this false accusation.

          Reply
  25. I see some incredibly naive and uninformed opinions in this thread starting with Paulson. The practice of modern ordination is in no way Biblical. That is a given and well understood my most camps of disagreement. The Union is following its own path to be sure, but rebellion is a an unjustified accusation and one that will come back to haunt those that throw that about. This is simple a mature organization that has found the inspiration that all of this debate is simply about human policy and governance. God is not waiting on ordination to bless ministers. God is not measuring the call of leadership by gender, orientation,income, nor age. God is calling all and some (from all demographics) to lead. The cultural mumblings of scripture and EGW do not change this fact.

    In short, this is a ballsy move and one that will be a beacon of hope for this church where nepotism and misogyny have worn their welcome. God is now the welcome guest.

    Amen

    Reply
    • “This is simple a mature organization that has found the inspiration that all of this debate is simply about human policy and governance.”
      I can’t say amen on this.
      It seems like you don’t have proper concept what the God’s Church is.
      The God’s Church means UNITY! I.e. spiritual and mental unity – just read John, 17:20-23.
      If you see disagreement in the Church on all levels from the bottom to the top, that means something strange entered the Church and trying to demolish the ancient ways for no matter what reasons.
      And NOBODY can prove that ancient ways are wrong, because God Himself pointed to the ancient ways as the only ways that lead to Him – Jeremiah 6:16.
      So here we can have the only one valid conclusion – all of these modern approaches are not from God no matter what their supporters say about it.

      Reply
      • I actually understand this very well. God Church is not defined by human organization nor practices. Unity is not uniformity. That is where you are dead wrong. You might want to pick up scripture, rip out Revelation – because it obviously distracts you – and view the reflection of God through Jesus. Ordination as we practice it is a human interpretation of principles we see in the Bible, not a Biblical practice. Yes, the social mumbings are key to our understanding. God is far bigger than the Bible and we we don’t outgrow the Bible then we are lost.
        The arrogance of fundamentalism is the scourge of the earth, not enlightenment.

        Reply
        • Once again – I don’t have to prove obvious things. If you cannot find in your Bible examples of ordinations, check out what book do you read. Maybe that’s not the Bible at all.

          Well, this is satanic language that you are using now.
          Who are you and what are you doing here, pal? Are you a catholic? You repeat exactly what Jesuits says about it – commitment to the Word of God they call arrogance of fundamentalism.
          Yes, I do believe in what Bible literally says, so according to catholics definitions I am fundamentalist.
          But I very little care of what they say.
          Because If someone doesn’t like my faith, I’m taking it as their only personal problem.
          There will be the Last Judgment and we will see then who is who in the eyes of Jesus.

          Oh, really? And what quality of the Bible you’re about to outgrow? Moral? Legal? Historical? Prophetical?
          And this man dares to accuse others in arrogance..
          This is just outrageous.

          Reply
          • It was my answer to these three quoted statements –

            1.”Ordination as we practice it is a human interpretation of principles we see in the Bible, not a Biblical practice.”
            2. “The arrogance of fundamentalism is the scourge of the earth, not enlightenment.”
            3. “God is far bigger than the Bible and we we don’t outgrow the Bible then we are lost.”

          • Wow. you are certainly not very enlightened and very outraged. I wish you well with your closed, fundamentalist notions. I stand by what said as this is backed by the best theology Adventism has. I will simply say it again: “Ordination as we practice it is a human interpretation of principles we see in the Bible, not a Biblical practice. Yes, the social mumblings l are key to our understanding. God is far bigger than the Bible and we we don’t outgrow the Bible then we are lost.”

            If one takes the Bible literally and calls anyone that disagrees a Satanist then I think we know the heart of the accuser. Get behind us please.

          • “Oh, really? And what quality of the Bible you’re about to outgrow? Moral? Legal? Historical? Prophetical?”

            Yes, all of this. God’s revelation primarily. We can see it directly in the world if we care to get our noses out of the hand-cuffed Bible and into life. Ancients who wrote the Bible do not have the last say. Your fundamentalism does not prevent this.

    • Felix. “Cultural mumbling (s) of scripture…..”. Amazing statement. “Mature organization…..” as if we can outgrow the Bible. It reminds so much of Voltaire. The arrogance of “enlightenment”.

      Reply
  26. I am so glad the cleansing (shaking) of God’s church has begun! Look at this EG White’s statement “When the shaking comes, by the introduction of false theories, these surface readers, anchored nowhere, are like shifting sand. They slide into any position to suit the tenor of their feelings of bitterness.”—Testimonies to Ministers, p. 112.

    Reply
  27. Why does the SDA church have Unions?

    The Pacific Union has decided what is allowed and not allowed for those beneath it so that we are not allowed to follow the vote and the World Church GC. We have a PU woman president in violation of World Church policy. Where’s the voice of those in the pews of so many California SDA churches. I was never asked; and never had a vote at Loma Linda University Church even though our pastor led the charge against World Church policy. Have the Unions become dictators? The World Church had a vote . . . I want to follow the World Church, but our Pacific Union is standing in the way.

    Why does the SDA church have Unions? I want to belong to the World Church.

    Reply
    • The fact is that the PU leadership has been in a spiritual state of rebellion on this matter for a long time and having been in some of their churches I am not surprised that you have this frustration. There is a spirit to the PU leadership which has filtered down. It has been like this for a long time. One just has to attend some of their churches to know that something is way wrong. Whatever the case, stay in the faith, look for a congregation where the spirit of God is evident and where the truth of scripture as it reads is loved. God has his people in the PU. May he lead you to them. The structure of the church is correct. It is simply hijacked by special interest and that interest is subversive. We have been smooth talked into a fatal somnambulism as a church membership and we have abdicated our responsibility to keep the Adventist ministry in conformity to scripture. We must now endure our dereliction of duty, It is a fatal error to rise above the simplicity of the Bible.

      Reply
      • One feels really sad about this irritation and circus which really achieves nothing of consequence to this cause at this late hour. I really feel for Sandra Roberts. This attempt to “putsch” the church into acceptance of something like this, making progressive socialism the moral compass of the church, places these poor people who become ideological pawns in something that will transcend their probationary time in a status of being wasted. At the end of it all, they have to answer to God for being used to create confusion and division in the church of God and nothing else of substance. I would rather drive a taxi!

        Reply
      • Just because you say, “There is no such thing as bacteria, and I know that because I cannot see it,” doesn’t mean it doesn’t actually exist.

        Sandra Roberts is president of the SECC, whether the SDA yearbook recognizes it or not. People can choose to hide their head in the sand, if they choose to. That does not change reality in the slightest.

        Reply
  28. May I say it again for the record. IT IS THE DUTY OF THE ADVENTIST CHURCH MEMBERS TO ENSURE THAT THEY ARE BEING TAUGHT THE WORD OF GOD EVERY SABBATH, NOT HUMAN IDEAS AND PHILOSOPHY. WE HAVE A DUTY TO DEMAND THAT OUR PASTORS PREACH BIBLE OR QUIT. WE HAVE NO DUTY TO RESPECT ERROR OR TO BE LED BY IT OR TO TOLERATE IT IN OUR SERVICES OR MEETINGS. THERE IS NOT PLACE FOR TIMIDITY IN THE FACE OF BOLD ERROR. IT IS OUR DESTINIES AND THAT OF OTHERS THAT MEN ARE TOYING WITH AND TRASHING WHEN THEY PRESUME TO PROFFER ERROR TO US. THIS IS NO TIME FOR TIMIDITY. WE MUST BE RESOLVED TO MEET THIS EMERGENCY WITH RECIPROCAL AND PREVAILING BOLDNESS.

    Reply
    • This is why we are actively stamping out the pastors that refuse to let God work outside the Bible and outside the Adventist ghetto. The Bible is not what you think it is. You make it an idol and distort it as the end all when it is simply a human lens. Your view is dead wrong so we will not let it prevail. The sooner Adventism sees this the less likely it will keep dying. We must meet your ideals with unrelenting wisdom, maturity, and openness. In the end extremism, as you preach, always loses.

      Reply
      • “Your view is dead wrong so we will not let it prevail.”
        “We must meet your ideals with unrelenting wisdom, maturity, and openness.”

        Who is this proverbial “we”? We voted and the answer was “no”. Our only creed is the BIBLE from the preamble to the FB’s. If you do not believe this then You are not Aventist by definition. Do you want us to pay pastors as Adventist that are not Adventist?

        I see two examples of extremism in the BIBLE (Deuteronomy 28:22 and Job 35:15) but they are both dealing with GOD’s wrath. I do see liberal all over the place though in Isaiah 32, especially verse 5 “The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.”

        You wish “unrelenting wisdom, maturity, and openness”? OK: you are not the root cause, that belongs to your previous generations in failure of Titus 2 (and rebuke); but now you are the root problem in 2 Timothy 3 and the causal effect is the great falling away. Above you want us to rip out Revelations; is that because Chapter 2 tells us who the tree of life is for and warns us? We can definitely see the results; in such children that we have raised.

        The BIBLE is not left to your interpretation (2 Peter 1:20); the interpretation belongs to the Body. We know what happens when you add or take away; derivation does not change that. The theologians that you reference above must not have been able to understand this simple concept. All of you definitely seem to be ever learning, but unable to come to the Truth. How is the Holy Spirit suppose to bring into remembrance and teach; if there is no remembrance and you don’t believe in the BIBLE? How can the Grace and Truth of CHRIST be within you without Truth?

        Rebellion is evil (1 Samuel 15:23) and vain commands of men are greatly frowned upon (Matthew 15:9 and Mark 7:7). Again the vote was “no”. The vast majority of women, that you seem to want to represent, individually have infinitely more Convection, strength and wisdom than you and those cackling combined. They do not need or want your voice and think this is the most discriminatory thing they have ever heard of.

        The BIBLE and the Church demands that breaches of Sound Doctrine be identified and corrected; you raise your head creating that obligation on your own, do not blame others fulfilling those requirements as commanded. You wish voice and ideologies, but unable to prove relevance of such; while the preponderance of evidence in intent prove evil of such. Prove your views and validate contentions or sit down; otherwise you do no more than create stumbling blocks for other that we also Love.

        Reply
  29. The pouring out of the Holy Spirit places us into remembrance.

    We place the brethren in remembrance of such things as required in 1 Timothy 4:6; in Faith and Sound Doctrine. Verse 1-5 describes the lure of the world. The rest of the Chapter commands us to give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to Doctrine. We do not neglect the Gifts provided by prophesy with the laying on of hands by the presbytery; in verse 14.

    How can we now send our pastors, our worriers, into the world without these Gifts? How can one contend to remove such protection; to promote the vain ideologies of men (yet having nothing to do with men)? This is absolute discrimination and fails wisdom.

    How does this build a strong Church? What does any of this have to do with GOD?

    Does the contention of the 10 voting in such not remove the sanctity of ordination; a requirement to vote to begin with? Who is suppose to ordain Elders, Deacons, Deaconesses and the many other offices requiring such? Do we just have children running up and down the isles of the Church from now on? Maybe we have too many children running up and down the isles for a long time now? Maybe we should just follow HIM; we cannot do both.

    Reply

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