Question:
How strongly do you think NPUC administrative leaders support Women’s Ordination?

Answer:
Our sense is that here in the NPUC, advocates of WO external to the direct administrative team have been primary in pressing for action. We trust and are praying for our union leadership. We feel that we are showing very strong support for them by upholding the world church’s call to unity and the Theology of Ordination study process already embarked upon by the General Conference. We invite Seventh-day Adventists throughout Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Upper Columbia, Idaho, and Montana conferences to pray for and support these precious leaders. They are the Lord’s anointed. Their work is much more difficult than most realize.


Question:
Why is unity so important?

Answer:
The Seventh-day Adventist Church is not like other churches. We have been called to give a distinct, Bible-based message. As a church we are organized in such a way that all are accountable to each other. We are no mere localized body but conduct a work of worldwide extent. We seek the counsel of heaven and work according to the system of polity Jesus has set up.

The churches and conferences and unions and divisions are intertwined; we work together. If a conference or a union can go its own way regardless of the expressed decision of the world church, then why cannot a pastor or a church or a member within a local church go his/her own way? When the cells in a body stop cooperating with each other, it brings disease or even death.

When a union takes unilateral action, in the words of the General Conference, making “a demonstration of self-determination in a matter previously decided by the collective Church,” we regard this as nothing less than rebellion. “They directly challenge two world Church decisions on the matter of ordination.” “They create doubts about the importance of collective decision-making as a basic feature of denominational life.” “They weaken the fabric of Church life. . .” All these are statements by our General Conference leadership referring to the actions of Columbia and Pacific Unions. They are proceeding “along a pathway that directly conflicts with the expressed will of the worldwide Church.” Again, we concur with the senior spiritual leaders in God’s Church: “A course of action contrary to the will of the whole places the organization at risk” (All of the above quoted statements originate in the October 16, 2012 “Statement of Church Polity, procedures and resolution of disagreements in the light of recent union actions on ministerial ordination” voted by the 2012 Annual Council of the General Conference, passed 264 in favor, 25 opposed).

The above language of our church leaders is neither superficial nor incidental. It is very carefully chosen wording and represents where we are. We are come to a crossroads. This is language of impending separation unless Columbia and Pacific unions relent. The unity of the North Pacific Union with the world Seventh-day Adventist Church is placed at risk by the pathway recently embarked upon in the NPUC. Should the NPUC align with Columbia and Pacific Unions, this Union could find itself joining them in separation after a decision they (Columbia and Pacific) cannot abide in the 2015 General Conference Session. This is precisely why the question of Women’s Ordination is explosive—and unity so important.


Question:
Why don’t you direct all of your responses through the Gleaner?

Answer:
In 1997, North American Division voted to recommend the use of the union papers (The Gleaner is one of nine) as vehicles promoting a pro-Women’s Ordination position. The report recommended that the union papers publish multiple articles favorable to WO, that “advocacy for women in ministry be channeled through the union papers,” that NAD materials be “monitored and audited” for “compliance with a gender-inclusive model of ministry,” “that the NAD produce and endorse only gender-inclusive resource materials,” and so on (The items above are found in “President’s Commission on women in Ministry—Report” (1997), items XIII, A. i, ii, B. i, ii, available in our “Resources” section of this site). None of us can recall even one article opposing Women’s Ordination being published in the Gleaner.

Action through other union papers confirms our concerns. For example, the July 2012 Pacific Union Recorder promoted not two contrasting views but exactly one view: pro-WO. No different ideas were allowed. In July 2012, the theme of the entire issue of the Columbia Union Visitor was to openly advocate for Women’s Ordination. No forum for any opposing view was provided.

The January 2013 Gleaner reports on the renewed presentation of WO appearing there, stating that “. . . such a change in current practice [for the church to ordain women] would no doubt be a significant cultural shift for some members.” The Gleaner asked “concerned” members to send in their comments (p. 4). Here then, before the current “discussion” has really started, the issue of WO is already portrayed by the editor as merely a matter of culture. What’s more, those who favor WO know that those who oppose it do so on the basis of what they see as its failure to comport with the teaching of Scripture—a completely different argument, and the singular basis for virtually all opposition to Women’s Ordination in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Gleaner staff may not concur with that assessment, but they demonstrate bias for their private opinion when they frame the discussion so that the opposite view is demeaned.

Add to this that the Ad Hoc Committee on Women in Leadership was formed without including any participants substantially opposed to WO. Nor has the Gleaner yet found anyone to write an article opposing WO although, as can be seen by the list of NPUC supporting pastors, we exist; we are not difficult to find. Articles have already been submitted but not published. Indeed, there has been no response from the Gleaner.

Considering the above, there should be no surprise. We are not directing our main responses to the Gleaner at this time. The evidence so far suggests that such a discussion might be nothing more than a fake dialogue. We would be pleased to be shown otherwise in a sustained and concrete manner. Until then, it is not our purpose to legitimize a process which, by what we have seen so far, may be intended, at least by some, to be predetermined. We offer the materials published on OrdinationTruth.com to the reader as alternative resources.


Question:
Do all the NPUC supporting pastors hold identical positions about WO?

Answer:
No. Some have chosen to be NPUC Supporting Pastors because they resonate strongly with the unity question. Others find no serious support for WO in the Scriptures. Many feel strongly about both. We have not sought to harmonize every idea expressed on OrdinationTruth.com; this site represents a variety of viewpoints. Under the “About us” menu you will find material where we are in at least rough agreement with each other; in the individual articles published or that will be published, individual opinions are sometimes expressed with which some among us may not fully agree. WE ALL FULLY AGREE that what happened in Columbia and Pacific Unions, or anything like what happened, must not happen in the North Pacific Union.


Question:
Who are the leaders of OrdinationTruth.com and the NPUC supporting pastors?

Answer:
Review the list. We are all pastors serving or who have served Jesus through His Seventh-day Adventist Church. Among ourselves we have appointed no particular leaders; we look to the guidance of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as a world body. We look to all our duty-bound overseers, from our conferences, to our union, our division, and General Conference leadership. We seek to work in consensus with each other and the world church. We are united in accepting and sustaining the collective decision-making authority of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in General Conference session.


Question:
Have you given thought to how some might be wounded by your stating your position?

Answer:
Others have stated their position; others have started this conversation. We want to love others as Jesus loves them. We have been invited to have this discussion, and expect that in our having been so requested, unless that request be inauthentic, is included the desire for us to respond with our actual views. We wish neither to wound nor be wounded.

Many of us understand that the pre-Fall creation order included gender-specific role differentiation. Such differentiation would not be modified by redemption, since it is innate within the created order. Hence, it continues, divinely intended for our happiness as God’s creatures today. Resistance to this order, or our setting it aside, would be a rejection of our Creator just as rejection of His created order with reference to the week and the Sabbath would be a rejection. All our ideals must be subject to the Word, even anticipations of justice, egalitarianism, and entitlement. God’s Word is always the corrective, and we must bow before its ultimate rightness. There are no privileged positions before God’s Word.


Question:
Should you pastors not be busy baptizing people, and leave the administrating and the policy and the theologizing to administrators and policy-makers and theologians? Are you not distracted?

Answer:
We have been busy baptizing those prepared to follow Jesus. We continue to do so. The issue of WO has not been a dominating theme for us. Unfortunately, the question of WO has now been thrust upon this Union, and yes, it is a distraction. Hours and energy that otherwise would have been more directly invested in soul-winning must now be spent to better understand these questions and reiterate the necessity of unity with the world church.

The call to conduct a special constituency meeting of the NPUC was a mistake. We serve on the front lines. We know our members. We understand what the adamant pro-WO faction within NPUC may not—that no strong consensus to ordain women to serve in primary leadership roles exists within the NPUC. Meetings at union constituencies, and the outcomes some situations can produce, do not change on-the-ground realities in the field. Membership in the church is voluntary and personal and financial support is effectively just as voluntary. In such a setting, legislating Women’s Ordination without a depth of consensus is perilous.

The radicalization of WO advocacy in the past two years has changed the situation. First, there was disordered leadership at the NAD level and the E 60 debacle. Then came extraordinary independent action by Columbia and Pacific Unions, action outside the counsel of the world church. Within the NPUC, motions were passed, committees created, papers written, and a decision made to schedule a special constituency meeting of the NPUC. Pro-WO papers were published in the Gleaner, and finally in January, non pro-WO views were labeled as issuing from a fear of cultural change.

Only now have we responded. Only after the radicalization of a pro-WO faction whose actions threaten to place at risk the relationship between the NPUC and the Seventh-day Adventist Church, only now—at last—have we acted. We reject the argument that we have moved precipitously or that—at this stage of the situation—we are misspending our energies. We admit that an argument could be made that we have acted too slowly. When administrators, policy-makers, and theologians operate within the scope of our shared mission and Bible-based vision as a church, we are glad to work side-by-side with them. But when private personal agendas bring results as seen in 2012 in Columbia and Pacific Unions, for the safety of this vineyard, we act.


Question:
The world church has invited unions to have input on the WO question. Why then stop NPUC from offering such input?

Answer:
We do not oppose having a fairly-conducted conversation about Women’s Ordination within the NPUC. So far, only one-side of the question has been published through official channels. Are pro-WO advocates in the NPUC really interested in conversation?

In any case, the November 2012 action by NPUC goes further than initiating a conversation. It promotes a particular view, it mandates a discussion, and it primes the pumps for a union-level constituency meeting to vote on and enact an official union position in favor of “ordination without regard to gender.” All this, while in 2012 Columbia and Pacific Unions acted similarly, opposing leadership and opposing their brothers and sisters in the world church. The leaders of the world church asked unions not to take similar kinds of actions at this time.

In this light, the action of the NPUC Executive Committee in November 2012 was a mistake. We invite the administration of the NPUC to abide by the urgent counsel of the leaders on October 16, 2012: “General Conference Session decisions (1990 and 1995) did not authorize ministerial ordination without regard to gender, either globally or regionally. Any change in this practice requires action by a General Conference Session.” And, we remind every NPUC member of the appeal the leaders June 29: “That until such time as the Church decides otherwise, your union refrains from taking any action to implement ministerial ordination practices that are contrary to the 1990 and 1995 General Conference Session actions.”

The world church is explicitly opposed to unilateral action by unions. In this light we stand with the world church. NPUC must act neither unilaterally nor defiantly. We are part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We act side-by-side with our brothers and sisters in this world church and appeal to the leaders of the NPUC to do the same.


Question:
What if the Seventh-day Adventist Church votes to approve the ordination of women in the 2015 General Conference session?

Answer:
We would do just what Samuel did when Israel wrongly voted for a king. We would respect the decision of the General Conference. We would cease to make an issue of this topic, and do our best to prevent division in the church. Ordination has urgent ramifications; are we following God’s order or making up a human one? But Ordination is not the Sabbath, Creation, the State of the Dead or the Sanctuary message—pillars of God’s movement for which we would go to war were even one pin removed.

26 thoughts on “CAP/NPUC Supporting Pastors questions and responses

  1. “But Ordination is not the Sabbath, Creation, the State of the Dead or the Sanctuary message—pillars of God’s movement for which we would go to war were even one pin removed.”

    My sentiments exactly! Praise God this issue is not viewed on that level.

    Reply
    • God never left it up to man to decide what was important in the bible, and what is not. Jesus clearly said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY WORD that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

      I don’t think we can “chide” other denominations for ignoring the Sabbath, if we ignore the moral responsibility to defend the truth, no matter what the church decides. It is leaning toward the Roman Catholic position that church decisions transcend the word of God. Neither can we appeal to the issue of “kings” in the O.T. as an excuse for not taking a non-negotiable stand on this issue. We are in the great day of atonement and lessons of the past are not applicable for a reason to follow their lead.

      Reply
      • If, per se, the World body decides to proceed with WO. What do you recommend? Leave the church?? Congregationalism??

        Do you think WO is a salvation issue?

        Reply
      • Bill, I don’t know if we can persuade you of anything. I don’t even know if you are a member of an actual SDA Church. But there is a great difference between the papal system in which ultimate authority resides in the pope, and a representatively oriented body like the SDA Church which vests ultimate authority in the Spirit-led decision-making of duly elected representatives. The pope cannot be “unelected,” but in our system, GC presidents and others are elected or voted out. There is also the question of magnitude. There is a difference between obeying or disobeying one of the Ten Commandments, and leaving the church because you did not get your way in the church board and the hymnals chosen were not blue.

        Reply
    • This is worth going to war for. If we compromise once we will continue this is about the vindication of God’s character, its an attack on the sanctuary message. The priest alone officiated in the sanctuary, by allowing WO, women and the supporters of WO are rebelling against God’s authority. There is a lot to study and look at. Men are the Head of their wives and homes. It don’t mean we are Superior to our wives it means we are responsible and are to rule and lead in love. And this this simple God has laid down roles for men and women men are to lead and women are to assist and this means women are not to serve as pastors or elders its simple as that. Its a matter of function and roles.

      Maranatha

      Reply
  2. I think the reason there are such varying opinions on the subject of ordaining women is the lack of really clear “thus saith the Lord” statements about it in the Bible, or the Testimonies. I know that people on opposite ends of the debate often declare how plain and obvious the truth is. But it can’t happen like that.

    God didn’t say “Thou shalt ordain women”. Neither did he say “Thou shalt not ordain women”. That would make it easy. But He did say plainly when the Sabbath is, and what not to do on that day! We need to be careful that we’re not trying to live by words that didn’t proceed from the mouth of God.

    Reply
    • If people think this is not a salvational issue, then from my personal perspective, they are worthless to any of us who oppose WO. Unless you have the spiritual conviction that some of us have, you are automatically in support of WO by default. Since the liberals already control the church to a large degree, they don’t care what you say or believe as long as you will not “fight” for male headship. And if like you, I didn’t think it was “salvational”, then I would not even protest what the Unions have done, since it would have nothing to do with morality. All you are doing is “bickering” over who’s boss.

      Reply
        • Well, I don’t know, Tony. I guess we will have to cross that bridge when we come to it. My real desire would be for all church members become aware of this as a moral issue. In which case, all church members would see the need to make a personal decision, not wait for someone to tell them what to believe. The liberal agenda would like for people to remain neutral, and simply accept any decision. Those of us, and we may be few, who hold it is a salvational issue, would have to consider what options are possible. Of course, we have had to do that all along as some of us attend a church that ordains women as elders. In many, if not most cases, people don’t think it is a moral issue and so don’t care one way or the other. In which case, they support WO since they don’t oppose it. They don’t see any need to. I guess in a couple of years, we may see how it will all come out. But as I said, I wish more people felt a personal need to make a decision on their own.

          Reply
          • Bill,

            Regardless of how you or I believe in regard to Women’s Ordination, the SDA Church Manual plainly states in Chapter 3, “all subordinate organizations and institutions throughout the Church will recognize the General Conference in session, and the General Conference Executive Committee between sessions, as the highest ecclesiastical authority, under God, among Seventh-day Adventists.”

            We have every right and responsibility to stand up and make our voices known to our constituencies and leaders. However, once our world body, made up of people like ourselves have dutifully and prayerfully considered this issue and have allowed the will of God to be done, then we are obliged as Seventh-day Adventists to accept the decision. We may not like it, but God’s will is not always the same as ours.

            Bill, I, like you, feel the WO is not biblical. However, I will abide by whatever decision is rendered in 2015. (Recent decisions by rogue Unions on the other hand are another story. Glad I live in the Southern Union where this problem has been dealt with correctly.)

            I firmly believe that the SDA Church is God’s remnant church and that He will direct us down the correct path.

            Blessings!

  3. AA p 162 “The circumstances connected with the separation of Paul and Barnabas by the Holy Spirit to a definite line of service show clearly that the Lord works through appointed agencies in His organized church.” The issues today require us to look to the Holy Spirit to lead the church and its leaders at all levels to make decisions that will be in line with God’s will for His church today and rightly reflect His character. Could it be that the “definite line of service” is broader than we have traditionally realized?

    Reply
  4. Tony, after reading your last post, I can only conclude you hold the church’s authority as being over and above the word of God. You told me you will surrender your biblical convictions and support the church.

    If that isn’t “Roman Catholic” in its spirituality, I don’t know what is. I don’t doubt your sincerity. But from my perspective, you are worthless to defend the bible on any issue. All the church has to do is tell you what you can do and/or believe, and you fall in line. I know EGW never embraced such an idea, nor does any other truly Protestant SDA.

    Reply
    • Bill,

      To quote :

      “If that isn’t “Roman Catholic” in its spirituality, I don’t know what is.” — Agreed…you don’t know what is. I suggest you go back to an earlier post by the administrator and re-read his post from Feb. 5. regarding RCC and SDA

      “But from my perspective, you are worthless to defend the bible on any issue.” — I am glad it is God’s perspective that counts and not yours. Who gave you the right to make this judgment?

      “All the church has to do is tell you what you can do and/or believe, and you fall in line.” – Again…Who gave you the right to make this judgment?

      Do you believe that God is leading the SDA Church and its leaders? Do you believe that He will lead his people to do the right thing in 2015? If not, why do you stay in a denomination that is not led by God? Are you a delegate to the GC in 2015? And, once again I ask…what are you going to do in 2015 if WO passes? Crossing that bridge when you come to it doesn’t cut it. What will you do if one of those women becomes your pastor or Conference president? Do you believe that the SDA Church is God’s remnant church or Babylon? (I suspect I already know that answer.)

      Reply
  5. If the argument against ordination is to be consistent (based on Paul’ writings) then I suppose those opposed to ordination also believe women must wear head coverings and not speak in church? Right?
    Or, we can be honest and admit that Paul was dealing within the context of a particular situation when he wrote about these types of subjects.

    Unity? So, let’s never disagree and believe that the G.C. knows all and interprets God’s will? Oh my, how far have we come from our roots………..

    Reply
  6. There is not one shred of evidence for WO within Scripture or the SOP. The driving force in favor of WO is that of cultural-political force. Both the Bible and SOP are clear on God’s order for men and women. Men are to be the kind, loving, considerate leader of the family and church whether as pastors or local church elders.

    Men are at least partially responsible for women rising up against the status quo because of the treatment they have received both in past times and the present. Because of this we have dissatisfied women. Irresponsible men have treated their wives poorly and when tiring of family responsibility, divorce their wives and families. I get that. However, when one looks at the larger picture, those homes where the wife is the “boss” the likelihood of divorce increases. When women, instead of men lead in their homes, divorce rates increase. The more liberal society, and the church in that society, becomes the higher the divorce rate.

    In addition, in those churches where WO has become prevalent, there is a much higher likelihood of the ordination of homosexuals. All we have to do is examine the track record of those who have gone before us. What else can we expect when we diverge from Scripture? A study of both the Old and New Testament show not one woman in the priesthood (OT) or Pastor equivalent (NT). Only in the pagan religions do we see women priests. Surely we do not wish to model them, do we?

    Bill

    Reply
  7. It is the AUTHORITY of the Scripture that is to “decide ALL controversy!” NOT the supreme will of the church. The church is NOT above the Bible. She must be submissive to the Bible because the church is female and the wife of Christ her husband, and Paul speaks of this “great mystery” the tells the wife to respect her husband. These role must never be eliminated in the home or in the church or else we are placing the church body, the wife of Christ on an equality with Christ and since Christ is GOD and the Church is NOT then we cannot make the church has equal authority with GOD/Christ the HUSBAND of the Church. Thus it must be on the authority of God’s word with husbands and wives in the home as well as in the church where the “husband” of the local church family is the pastor not his wife. She is to be the “mother” in the church family as well as at home. These rolls can never be interchangeable or reversed. To even say “women pastors” is just as erroneous as saying “women husbands.”

    The facts of life and Scripture is that there is NO support for the ordination of women, ever, not even as local church elders let alone pastors. A woman can never be a man, and therefore never be a husband, no matter how much of the Holy Spirit is poured out on all flesh! If she cannot be a husband, and a faithful husband to his wife, then she can never be an legitimate ordained elder nor pastor, ever. WO can be shown to be in conflict, direct conflict with the Word of God because a woman cannot meet the requirements of the Word of God in order to be ordained in the first place. A GC World Church Session vote in favor of ordaining women as pastors (or elders) is already invalidated by the testimony of Scripture without ever bringing it to a vote in the first place. BUT is so happens to be brought to a vote for the 3rd time, and is passed it would still be invalidated by the superior authority of the word of God. And since it is not “private independence and private judgment” upon which the oposition to WO rests then it is not nor will be wrong to not submit to the decision of the GC when it is in plain “conflict with the Word of God” and can be shown to be so, and there is NO “Thus saith the LORD in its support” THEN the members of the church MUST require the church to resend the vote and submit to the authority of the word of God. The vote would be vetoed automatically by the plain Word of God and by God Himself. The Word of God is not plain on this and there is no “Thou shalt not ordain a woman?” That is requiring the same thing as smokers require, there is no “Thou shalt not smoke Virginia Slims.” [NOTE: Comment edited for length — ed.]

    Reply
    • “I have often been instructed by the Lord that no man’s judgment
      should be surrendered to the judgment of any other one man. Never should
      the mind of one man or the minds of a few men be regarded as sufficient in
      wisdom and power to control the work and to say what plans shall be followed.
      But when, in a General Conference, the judgment of the brethren
      assembled from all parts of the field is exercised, private independence and
      private judgment must not be stubbornly maintained, but surrendered.
      Never should a laborer regard as a virtue the persistent maintenance of his
      position of independence, contrary to the decision of the general body.”—
      9T 260.

      Reply
      • “Never should
        the mind of one man or the minds of a few men be regarded as sufficient in
        wisdom and power to control the work and to say what plans shall be followed.”

        Tony, there is a vast difference between “controling the work” and defining doctrine. The WO issue is not about how to administrate, but who is qualified to do the job of administrating. At no time would EGW subject the bible to the church. The church is always subject to the bible, and each individual must decide for themselves on doctrinal issues.

        Reply
        • Bill,

          You left out the most important part of the statement…“But when, in a General Conference, the judgment of the brethren
          assembled from all parts of the field is exercised, private independence and
          private judgment must not be stubbornly maintained, but surrendered.
          Never should a laborer regard as a virtue the persistent maintenance of his
          position of independence, contrary to the decision of the general body.”—
          9T 260.”

          Do you believe that God is leading the SDA Church and its leaders?

          Reply
          • “Do you believe that God is leading the SDA Church and its leaders?”

            Wrong question, Tony. The question is whether the leaders are following God or their own agenda? God does not lead by some “hocus pocus” magic. Jesus says, “Follow me.” So if the leaders are not following, no, God is not leading.

            “Call rebellion by its right name, and apostasy by its right name, and then consider that the experience of the ancient people of God with all its objectionable features was faithfully chronicled to pass into history. The Scripture declares, “These things were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” And if men and women who have the knowledge of the truth are so far separated from their great Leader, that they will take the great leader of apostasy, and name him Christ our Righteousness, it is because they have not sunk the shaft deep into the mines of truth. They are not able to distinguish the precious ore from the base material. . . . {1BC 1114.3} ”

            So, who are the leaders following? This is the question we must answer.

  8. Bill,

    I like your quote. However, you applied it to the wrong group. This quote is about rebellion against leadership. You took out a snippet and left out the context and blatantly changed its meaning.

    The first part reads, “(I Sam. 15:23) Lesson From the Rebellion.— I question whether genuine rebellion is ever curable. Study in Patriarchs & Prophets the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, & Abiram. This rebellion was extended, including more than 2 men.* (*Reference is here made to two men leading a rebellion in a certain field.) It was led by two hundred and fifty princes of the congregation, men of renown. “Call rebellion by its right name, and apostasy by its right name, and then consider that the experience of the ancient people of God with all its objectionable features was faithfully chronicled to pass into history. The Scripture declares, “These things were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” And if men and women who have the knowledge of the truth are so far separated from their great Leader, that they will take the great leader of apostasy, and name him Christ our Righteousness, it is because they have not sunk the shaft deep into the mines of truth. They are not able to distinguish the precious ore from the base material. . . . {1BC 1114} ”

    If you read the prior paragraph, the heading is 1-50- Rebellion Against Leadership.

    You are doing the service of our Lord a great disservice when you misuse inspired words to justify your cause. Also, my continued banter is most likely not giving God pleasure either. Heretofore, I will cease this dialogue. Please know that you and our SDA Church is in my prayers. I also ask your forgiveness if I have offended you in my posts. That was not my intent. However, intent and actuality are two different things.

    Reply
  9. The rebellion today, Tony, is against EGW (our Moses) and the bible. We obviously see things from a different perspective. So, we will just have to see how things work out. From my perspective, I have seen “the church” drifting into apostacy for the last 5 decades. So, unlike you, I don’t trust the church on the same level you do.

    God raised up the SDA movement for a purpose and a misson. If it abandons the mission and purpose, God is not shackled to any means of grace He has ordained. He rejects it. History affirms this reality again and again. So, if you assume “God will lead the church” based on some unconditional election, you will obviously have a different view and perspective than mine.

    I have full confidence in the divine ordained message. But today, I have little confidence in “the church” He created, because it no longer accepts seriously its mission. It has no self identity in harmony with the bible to defend. The church has opted for Pluralism and now can not identify itself. All it can do is cry “We are the church” just like Rome. At some point, the church will either repent or commit the unpardonable sin like other instrumentalities that have gone before. But, we could ask, “How can the church repent, if it doesn’t know what to repent of?” If you have no viable identity, you can’t know who you are or how to define yourself.

    So, I see the problem as infinitely more serious than you do. You simply say, “Well, God is leading the church.” And with that you feel little concern about the final outcome. Now you know why I see things from a more serious perspective than you do. You seem to think the church can’t fail. I don’t hold this position and think it is self destructive. It leads to the same presumption that the other means of grace has fallen into. And were finally rejected by God.

    So, we will see as time goes on what the outcome will be. I still have hopes for the church. But not much with its present attitude about itself and its self assurance of final victory.

    Reply
  10. Bill,

    You say “I still have hopes for the church.” Amen to that. That we can agree on.

    “Although there are evils existing in the church, and will be until the end of the world, the church in these last days is to be the light of the world, that is polluted and demoralized by sin. The church, enfeebled and defective, needing to be reproved, warned, and counseled, is the only object upon earth upon which Christ bestows his supreme regard.” RH, September 5, 1893 The Remnant Church Not Babylon.

    That is where my trust lies…not with men, but God. God’s true church will triumph!

    God bless, my friend.

    Reply
  11. Let us be restrained from using too strong language in the expression of our concerns. It raises the emotional level of what we hope and pray is a carefully reasoned, respectful and Christlike appeal to the NPUC to reconsider the direction it is going. In that spirit, let’s express our concerns to the leadership of our union. They do need to hear from us individually as well as collectively. I have sent an email directly to Elder Torkelsen before the weekend and talked directly to Elder John Loor a couple of months ago.

    Reply
  12. Provocative thoughts Bill Sorensen on our corporate identity. I’m still digesting them. Thank you.

    The last question and answer from CAP on this page reads:

    Question:
    What if the Seventh-day Adventist Church votes to approve the ordination of women in the 2015 General Conference session?

    Answer:
    We would do just what Samuel did when Israel wrongly voted for a king. We would respect the decision of the General Conference. We would cease to make an issue of this topic, and do our best to prevent division in the church. . .

    I was surprised by this answer. “We would cease to make an issue of this topic.”? Isn’t that the reason we are where we are now – failing to speak up? Women’s ordination as elders was voted and approved and ceased to be an issue – for a time, that is.

    Does the Council of Adventist Pastors believe the above statement is consistent with the articles posted here?

    Larry Kirkpatrick characterizes what’s happening with WO as the canary in the coal mine. Larry’s point is that WO is really a symptom of a much bigger issue – whether we will submit our lives to the government of the Word. If that’s so, how can we concede and acquiesce once the vote is taken in 2015? We can’t possibly do that and remain within the will of God. I believe the Lord would have us point to this, as Larry says, as symptomatic of the underlying problem and make this part of a larger call to repentance and humility before God on this anti-typical day. Cry aloud and spare not. The role of the “royal priesthood” is to make a difference between the “holy and the common”, especially where the two are being confused. That duty doesn’t cease when the ship veers off course. If the vessel is to make it into the harbor it has to be redirected. Christ is at at the helm but He has a crew under him, you and me. And the life we save by sounding an alarm will be our own and hopefully others.

    Reply

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