With the approach of the General Conference session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in San Antonio, Texas in 2015, advocates of women’s ordination in the church have begun to launch new articles, videos, and websites promoting their views. Some sixty days out from the beginning of the session, six retired church leaders launched a site with video and text doing this very thing. Their site identifies them as “elder statesmen” of the church.

They argue that it is now time for the church to embrace women’s ordination on a per-division basis. They also speak of fracture in the church if women’s ordination is not permitted by the upcoming vote in San Antonio.

The Council of Adventist Pastors (CAP) have viewed the site and video and the arguments of the “elder statesmen.” In the document linked to this post, CAP considers this material and reacts to the ideas and arguments presented by the retired leaders. The Council of Adventist Pastors invites delegates and readers to consider our response in reference to these serious matters.

CLICK ON THIS LINK TO READ THE ARTICLE

CLICK HERE to download your copy of Phil Mills MD Sabbath School class notes “Adding to God’s Word: Humility and Truthfulness vs. Pride and Lies (Proverbs 30:1-8). While women’s ordination is not directly mentioned until the third page, the lessons are drawn sharply.

Mills’ short document makes important observations about the way the women’s ordination question has been handled by the North American Division (NAD). At the highest level the world church has repeatedly expressed its will on this matter. The NAD drive for women’s ordination has continued relentlessly. In his notes, Mills especially highlights certain basic elements in a biblical approach to determining what is God’s will in a matter. After presenting clear examples, Mills turns to women’s ordination. He refers to the 2013 NAD BRC Report to TOSC. Mills’ notes succinctly and clearly illustrate key questions.

Secrets Unsealed ministry has released a video featuring CAP Pastor Stephen Bohr, addressing the recent one-sided actions of the North American Division and of Adventist World magazine promoting women’s ordination.

What Might Have Been from The Adventist Church (Official).

There are now (100 days of prayer) until the Seventh-day Adventist Church General Conference session that begins on July 2, 2015. We encourage church members round the world to join us in an experience of prayer to God for the delegates and leaders of His Church. The short 27 minute film presented above portrays events surrounding the 1901 General Conference session and a vision that was given Ellen G. White concerning it. It contains special lessons that are applicable for us today—no matter what one’s thinking concerning ordination.

It concerns us that some of the strongest advocates of women’s ordination have attacked the film. They allege historical inaccuracies and claim the film seeks to misapply Ellen White’s comments about the 1901 General Conference session and to exploit them in support of a position opposing women’s ordination. But these critics have missed the point. They are relying on half-truths and misinformation in their portrayal.

For example, issues of Kingly power and a confederacy in Battle Creek involved micro-managing the work around the world. God had workers everywhere “on site” that could manage the work locally more efficiently. Decentralization was not so that every conference could come up with its own list of fundamental beliefs, or decide church-wide policy on matters impacting the whole church. The same is true in Acts. Deacons were appointed to take care of local distribution, but items with larger theological implications were taken to the Jerusalem council. Does the Seventh-day Adventist Church really want to place itself in a situation where issues such as gay clergy and same-sex blessings are to be decided by local conferences or unions?

We encourage all, others and ourselves, to seek God and ask Him to search hearts. Embrace His help and find place for repentance and a willingness to submit to the decisions of the world church in General Conference session in San Antonio this July—whatever they are. We believe that what might have been. . . can be!

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

Could it be that God foresaw the women’s ordination challenge the church would face in our day long ago, and that Heaven provided an answer in the Scriptures long ago? Pastor Wayne Kablanow takes a look at women’s ordination and Aaron’s Rod that budded for a possible answer. FIND IT HERE.

Clinton Wahlen was asked to make the presentation of the TOSC Position 1 group at Annual Council 2014. The Adventist Review has reproduced it here:

http://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/theology-of-ordination-position-no.-1

This week at Annual Council (AC), delegates voted to send to the 2015 General Conference session the following question:

After your prayerful study on ordination from the Bible, the writings of Ellen G. White, and the reports of the study commissions, and; After your careful consideration of what is best for the Church and the fulfillment of its mission, 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.

In voting this recommendation, Annual Council has not left the question to stand only at “Shall separate divisions be permitted to make the women’s ordination decision for themselves as they see fit,” but rather, on the basis of the inspired writings of the Bible and of Ellen G. White, they have asked does the church consider it appropriate for division executive committees to make provision for women’s ordination? Thus, the decision is placed squarely at the question, What do the inspired writings say?

Present at AC was Ms. Sandy Roberts from the Southeastern California Conference. Last Fall, against the teaching of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, members there voted Roberts “president” of that conference. However, because her placement in that office is contrary to the practice of the world church, her name does not appear in the SDA Yearbook as president for SECC. Conference presidents in the division in which an Annual Council meeting are held are invitees to AC meetings and are permitted to function as delegates with voting privileges. Thus, this year the NAD conference presidents participated but Ms. Roberts attended only as a guest. (This paragraph has been corrected from an earlier version.)

The core of the Adventist approach is to seek out the divinely revealed will and adhere to it. We don’t ask people to become Adventists because a committee likes the idea of the Sabbath, but because the Bible by divine authority teaches the observance of the seventh day.

Should the 2015 GC session in San Antonio vote “Yes” on the AC-approved motion, Imagine how damaging it would be to evangelistic outreach when we ask that people embrace the Sabbath on the basis of biblical authority, but when it comes to other questions we permit each section of the church to decide based on local cultural preferences!

The North American Division sent out a report on AC including this statement:

A vote on women’s ordination could put an end to—or further prolong—a decades-old debate that has threatened to divide the denomination, according to those on both sides of the issue (NAD NewsPoints, October 15, 2014).

Here the NAD indicates that should the world church refuse to accede to NAD’s insistence on women’s ordination, the Division might reject that “No” answer, prolonging the debate.

The fact is that whatever the world church decides, Yes or No, on women’s ordination, its decision is the last word. The Council of Adventist Pastors rejects any notion that after the GC in session has spoken, units will be at liberty to proceed independently of the world church.

Furthermore, the headline title of the NAD NewsPoints article was misleading. By titling the article, “Annual Council Asks Session to Consider Letting Divisions Decide on Ordination,” the NAD is making it sound as if the Annual Council is asking the GC Session to approve a request from the Annual Council that divisions be allowed to decide. That is false of course (please reread the motion quotation at the top of this article). Headline titles do not change the facts on the ground.

We remain confident that the process now under way will lead to a final resolution of the question in San Antonio. Members should study the questions surrounding women’s ordination as the world church has directed: with special reference to what is revealed in the Bible and writings of Ellen G. White. Advocates of women’s ordination, with renewed energy no doubt, will insist their arguments for WO are Scripturally sound. Such claims should be closely tested, as no other denominational group has yet successfully canvassed them. We are a Bible people. God has these matters in hand.

Women’s Ordination #9 Oct 3 — “The Third Option: A Way Forward or a Step Backwards?” — Jim Howard

Women’s Ordination #10 Oct 3 — “Are Liturgical and Organizational Matters Important?” — Daniel R. Mesa

Women’s Ordination #11 Oct 3 — “Regional Ordination: A Path to Conregationalism?” 2nd Panel

Women’s Ordination #12 Oct 3 — “Reply to NAD and other Pro-Women’s Ordination Arguments” — Docjin Zivadinovic

Women’s Ordination #13 Oct 3 — “Women’s Ordination and the Jerusalem Council” — Phil Mills

Women’s Ordination #14 Oct 3 — “The Present Relevance of 1 Timothy” — Don Mackintosh