Seventh-day Adventist Church president pastor Ted N.C. Wilson has a Question and Answer section on his Facebook page. On October 22, 2016, pastor Wilson posted a detailed answer. In response to a question which had suggested that in seeking the compliance of divisions, unions, and conferences with the world church’s decision on women’s ordination, the General Conference was abusing its powers and exercising “kingly authority., the president’s reply offers a number of interesting insights. The entire answer can be read at this link:

https://m.facebook.com/PastorTedWilson/photos/a.893482760707617.1073741827.221442104578356/1125011014221456/?type=3

We here at OrdinationTruth.com reproduce four paragraphs, with our reactions.

“While the union has the right to approve or disapprove of which individuals, recommended from local conferences, to ordain, that decision is to be made only within the framework of the Working Policy of the world church. In addition, the unions are not responsible for approving men to be ordained to the gospel ministry on the division or the General Conference levels. Each of those organizations and their institutions, through the respective executive committees, are authorized to approve ordinations. Therefore, the unions are not responsible for all aspects of ordination.”

This paragraph makes the interesting point that despite continuing claims made by those determined to practice women’s ordination, the world church is not organized so that all ordination questions are handled only by unions. It has never been.

The other point of interest is that unions may only approve ordination based on the criteria set by the world church. Criteria is not set locally, although this is the desperate argument North American Unions are making.

Pastor Wilson proceeded to offer these points regarding the facts and authority of the General Conference in session concerning women’s ordination:

• “The General Conference in Session in 1990 indicated that only men were to be ordained.”

• “The General Conference in Session in 1995 and 2015 indicated that no other level was to have the right to determine who would be ordained other than that which has been indicated in the Working Policy and confirmed by the General Conference in Session in 1990.”

• “After having treated this overall topic three times, the General Conference Session with representatives from all parts of the world owns this subject.”

The world church has considered this matter carefully and repeatedly at the level of the General Conference session, and the decisions made by the world church in its most representative and authoritative decision-making body “owns this subject”–not unions or divisions. Officers in the North American Division need to pause, take a deep breath, and realize that in resisting the world church they are fighting a century of mutually approved church organization. Neither the NAD nor its Unions nor Adventist unions or union conferences anywhere in the world have been granted authority to disregard the decisions of the world church of which they are only sub-units.

With reference to the charge that the elected leaders of the world church at the General Conference are exercising kingly power in their efforts to uphold the decisions of the world church, he writes this:

“Regarding your ‘kingly authority’ question: What could be more of a ‘kingly authority’ action than to deliberately go against what has been voted by the worldwide representation of delegates from around the world at a General Conference Session? Three times this subject has been addressed in some form by a General Conference Session.”

“As president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I am duty bound with a sacred responsibility, as are all other officers of every level of organizations throughout the church as is indicated in Working Policy, to follow what the world church has voted in session (whether I agree with it or not). To go against this vote would be exercising kingly authority.”

In other words, when unions or divisions act in deliberate opposition to GC-level decisions, it is those actions which are the authentic—and contemporary—exercise of “kingly power.” Entities such as Pacific and Columbia and North Pacific Unions are exercising “kingly power” when they usurp the authorities vested in the world church. None of these Unions have authority to approve unauthorized credentials they are presently issuing in the name of the Church. They are acting in violation both of the trust of the world church and also the trust of their own constituencies. Seventh-day Adventists holding church membership in the Conferences connected to these Unions are under the oppression of kingly power. Members’ rights are being violated by administrations of Unions which approve illegitimate credentials.

The Council of Adventist Pastors calls upon Unions misusing the authorities the world church has entrusted to them, whatever the administrator’s personal views, to turn back from destructive actions they have taken and to come into unity with the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

7 thoughts on “Kingly Power: General Conference or Unions?

  1. Very good! Just who is exercising Kingly power? I’m happy to see Elder Wilson place the responsibility back on those who have placed themselves outside the vote of the GC in three sessions now. If everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes we have chaos.

    Reply
    • Tony Anobile VP of the Pacific Union Conference fits the description of”kingly power” as well as Dan Jackson President of the North American Division……

      Reply
  2. Also another thought…… could all this brouhaha regarding WO be a smokescreen for the leadership of the world church shaking hands with Rome?

    Reply
    • Nobody can guarantee that it couldn’t be.
      But Jesus warned us that because of the abounding of the lawlessness, the love of the many shall become cold.
      This is much more important thing to us personally than all those papas and GC presidents together with all their deeds.

      Reply
  3. “Entities such as Pacific and Columbia and North Pacific Unions are exercising “kingly power” when they usurp the authorities vested in the world church. None of these Unions have authority to approve unauthorized credentials they are presently issuing in the name of the Church. They are acting in violation both of the trust of the world church and also the trust of their own constituencies.”

    Please excuse me for my ignorance, but I was not aware that the NPUC has/had ordained women. Please point to me where the NPUC has “exercised kingly power.” To my knowledge, the NPUC is in compliance with the world church.

    Reply
    • Regrettably, the NPUC permits conferences in its territory (Oregon and Washington conferences) to submit names for ministers to receive the commissioned minister license with an awareness that policies voted by these conferences (both in October 2015) are non-compliant with the authorities approved for the commissioned minister credential as approved by the General conference and also the NAD Working Policy. If you poke around a bit on OrdinationTruth.com you will find several articles about the spurious commissioned minister credential issued by Washington and Upper Columbia Conferences. Thankfully, Upper Columbia Conference leadership rescinded their policy before acting upon it. OrdinationTruth.com does not at this time have an article singularly addressing Oregon’s policy, but it is very similar to the Washington Conference policy. Oregon Conference instructed its ministers to tell the members about the policy by word of mouth, and has not published any description of their policy in the open unless we have missed it.

      Reply

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