This video continues the Council of Adventist Pastors (CAP) interview by Pr. Jim Brackett of Pr. Larry Kirkpatrick. Part 1 was posted separately yesterday. This is part 2, and immediately follows part 1 to complete the full segment. Part 1 had concluded with a restatement of the longstanding Seventh-day Adventist principle of not judging Scripture with independent human reason, but letting Scripture judge our reason. The above video compares this with the NAD’s “Majority Report” proposal. NAD asks that the church make its authority an imaginary future point after the New Testament where God’s ideal will for male and female roles would reach fruition. Comparisons continue to the end of the segment.
On November 4, 2013, the North American Division’s biblical research committee brought its completed study on women’s ordination to its Year-end Meeting. The document was approved by 182 of 216 NAD delegates. Astonishingly, the study (we refer to the “Majority Report”) proposed a new method of biblical interpretation. They claimed it to be in harmony with longstanding Seventh-day Adventist use of the Historical-grammatical method. Most Seventh-day Adventists are unaware of this officially proposed NAD approach to the Bible. The Council of Adventist Pastors (CAP) has produced video interviews discussing the NAD’s “Principle-based Historical-cultural” method (PBHC). In three segments, Pr Jim Brackett interviews Pr Larry Kirkpatrick to unpack the implications.
CONTINUES IN PART 2 POSTED ABOVE…
Last year a document was released that quite succinctly answered some of the key questions in the present controversy over unity and the ordination of women. That document was titled Questions & Answers Regarding Current Issues of Unity Facing the Church. We reproduce this document here in hopes of lending it wider circulation. This document was subtitled, “A response by the General Conference Officers and Division Presidents” (i.e., the top 25 world leaders of the Adventist Church).
We also remind visitors to this site that CAP has made available a document summarizing developments of the past five years titled E-60 and the WO Endgame, which is also quite useful in understanding these developments. Finally, a third document addresses similar policy questions as the above and may be helpful. That document is titled Church policy, Church unity, and Women’s Ordination.
The Trans-European Division at its 2013 Year-end Meeting made several recommendations connected with the issue of Women’s Ordination. Among its recommendations to the world church: “Removing the intricate differences between various levels of ministry, such as the licensed and ordained minister, the licensed minister and the ordained local church elder, the pastor and the local church elder,” that the Church “remove all gender distinctions in its Working Policy related to the ministry,” that “unions, whose constituency meetings in session have voted approval and whose division committee has voted approval, be allowed to maintain an inclusive pastoral ministry which removes all gender distinctions within the work of the church in that union territory,” “recommend that the ritualistic and consecrational flavour of the act of ordination, its vague mixture of granting the Holy Spirit or gifts for ministry and ecclesiastical authority be radically toned done and removed from policy and practice,” recommends “that the imposition of hands be an optional part of the ceremony,” and asks that the church “separate Ordination from Election to an Organisational Office of Leadership.” An article reporting more fully can be found here:
A committee in the Division has been at work on these issues for 19 months. Over the coming months TED has plans to offer well over 1,000 pages of material they hope will support these ideas and others. The TED report is by far the legthiest to be sent to the GC Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC). TED is also the smallest of the 13 world divisions in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, having some 84,000 members.
The following tabulation lists each of the 13 current divisions which make up the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The leftmost column indicates the basic favoring/opposing Women’s Ordination position of their biblical research committee and 2013 division Year-end Meeting vote. In reading the actual completed reports which are now becoming available, we note that in several cases the response is not purely yes/no. Our heart goes out to these Adventists from round the globe who have labored with these issues, and we cherish the thought that they will pardon us for the inevitable simplification in reducing their reports to raw yes/no answers. Every division has been asked to give input to the General Conference TOSC (Theology of Ordination Study Committee). Remember, there is no necessary direct correlation between the view of the broader membership of a division, the views of its administrators, and the vote of its study committee. There is, however, a correlation between the membership of a Division and the number of delegates that shall be sent to the 2015 General Conference Session in San Antonio. While this list does not include an estimate of the regular delegates to come from each division, it suggests something about the relative delegate count and of the possible direction they could be coming from when vote is taken concerning the ordination question.
WO DIV MEMBERSHIP NAME ===================================================== No ECD 2,704,468 East-Central Africa Division No ESD 120,351 Euro-Asia Division Indt IAD 3,612,480 Inter-American Division Indt IED 177,902 Inter-European Division Yes NAD 1,135,233 North American Division Yes NSD 661,652 Northern Asia-Pacific Division No SAD 2,101,991 South American Division No SID 3,062,672 South Africa-Indian Ocean Division Yes SPD 423,891 South Pacific Division No SSD 1,175,324 Southern Asia-Pacific Division* Indt SUD 1,607,108 Southern Asia Division Yes TED 84,093 Trans-European Division No WAD 866,254 West-Central Africa Division
No = No Yes = Yes Indt = Indeterminate
*This is a close call. The SSD BRC recommendation is more indeterminate, but the decided majority was “no,” often by approximately a 2 to 1 margin in the eight votes recorded by the committee at the end. In all cases, we encourage readers seeking more exact data to read the actual reports on the Adventistarchives.org website.
Last updated: 2014-01-31 06:27Z
BREAKING NEWS. This video was released late on the afternoon of Thursday, November 14, 2013. In it, Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, shares a “state of the church” address. The release of this message directly to the church viewership in this way is unusual. Wilson tells about the powerful movings of the Holy Spirit upon the church round the world right now, but also shares four special concerns which are weighing on his heart. Included among these is a special concern over disunity and some segments of the Church ignoring the agreed policies by which the church works together.
It may appear to the world church that the North American Division is immovably united in favor of Women’s Ordination. This is far from the case. Many Adventists in the small towns surrounding our universities in North America do favor Women’s Ordination. There are a few geographical locations like Southern California, Western Oregon, and parts of Ohio, where this is also the case. However, it is probably still true that the majority of Adventists in North America are not committed to Women’s Ordination. Many oppose it on serious biblical grounds.
Many NAD administrators and scholars seem in favor. But not all. For example, Edwin E. Reynolds teaches in the religion department at Southern Adventist University. Clinton Wahlen is an associate director of the Biblical Research Institute. Both are members in the North American Division and were among those selected to engage in study on behalf of the North American Division Theology of Ordination Study Committee. They have prepared a powerful study in which they dissent from the Majority report. This material is included as part of the NAD Report released on November 2, 2013. We have made available in the following link the full North American Division Theology of Ordination Study Committee Minority Report.
In the report, Reynolds and Wahlen point in particular to the central issue of interpretive method. “The current divergence in views on the subject of women’s ordination is due in part to different understandings of the nature of Scripture and how it should be interpreted. . . Some advocate an approach that takes into account the ‘trajectory’ of Scripture. . . extrapolated so that the trajectory beyond and outside of Scripture can be seen. . . such an approach, even though it might broadly affirm the Bible’s inspiration, nevertheless undermines it by characterizing selected portions of Scripture as time- and culture-bound and, therefore, tinged with the author’s prejudicial views on such topics, rather than God’s thoughts which are valid for all places and all time” (p. 195). The authors are concerned about this approach, and warn, “it is one thing to study the historical-cultural backgrounds to enlighten our understanding of the setting in which the text was written; it is another thing altogether to suggest that the text was culturally conditioned and that, therefore, a trajectory beyond the text must be constructed for our current, more enlightened age” (pp. 196, 197).
Reynolds and Wahlen look closely at passages like Genesis two, Deborah in Judges, 1 Timothy 2, 1 Corinthians 11, among others. They conclude that “ordaining women represents a significant departure from the biblical model” (p. 207). And, they warn that “To follow the Bible model on the issue of women’s ordination will require courage like that of our pioneers. Nevertheless, it is the only basis on which we can expect to maintain global unity, receive God’s continued blessing, and, most importantly, anticipate the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to finish His work” (p. 208).
Among the varied studies produced on Women’s Ordination in the past five years in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, few illuminate so much in so compact a space as this document. The Council of Adventist Pastors encourages all to read the NAD Theology of Ordination Study Committee Report Minority Report.