It was revealed today that the Pacific Union executive committee voted September 9, 2015 to reaffirm its 2012 decision to ordain women to positions of pastoral leadership in spite of the July 9 decision of the 2015 General Conference session. That decision voted by the majority of delegates of the world church strongly denied independent action to ordain women to positions of ordained pastoral ministry by Divisions, Unions, and Conferences.

According to the Pacific Union Recorder,

“The committee pledged its support for its female pastors and said it would continue to abide by the union constituency’s 2012 mandate to ‘approve ordinations to the gospel ministry without regard to gender.’ The committee also asked the union officers in collaboration with the union communication department, to craft a strong statement in support of women clergy and to create a comprehensive strategy for educating local church members about the practical implications of the 2012 Pacific Union and 2015 General Conference votes, as well as church structure and authority” (“Pacific Union Executive Committee Pledges Support for Women Pastors,” Pacific Union Recorder, October 2015, p. 34).

The 2012 action was in contradiction to world church policy then. Our world church president pled earnestly with those assembled at that constituency meeting to avoid acting in opposition to the world church, and humbly stated that the Union’s contemplated unilateral action could lead to grave consequences.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church requires the Constitution and Bylaws of Unions and Conferences to conform to model documents included in General Conference working policy. These documents do not permit unions or conferences to ordain women to positions of ordained minister, a role biblically and via denominational policy, reserved to spiritually qualified males. Nevertheless, the “Pacific Union Conference Executive Committee and Officers”

“views full participation and recognition of women in pastoral ministry as vitally important for Spirit-filled ministry within our territory, and we will continue to abide by the 2012 mandate of our constituency to ‘approve ordinations to the gospel ministry without regard to gender’” (“A Pledge of Support for Women in Ministry,” Pacific Union Recorder, October 2015, p. 36, http://pacificunionrecorder.adventistfaith.org/issue/117/16/2294).

“The Holy Spirit gifts people of every age, gender, and ethnic background according to His purposes, and we encourage women of all ages and backgrounds who feel called to ministry to answer, ‘Speak Lord, your servant is listening’ (1 Samuel 3:10). We are committed to supporting women in every aspect of ministry and church leadership, whether they are licensed, commissioned, or ordained” (Ibid.).

But the Pacific Union 2012 constituency decision exceeded the authority granted by the Seventh-day Adventist world church to that Union. Just as unions have no authority to create independent belief statements or unilaterally craft local standards for baptism, neither has the world church at any time granted unions authority to set their own qualifications for ordination to pastoral ministry. In the Seventh-day Adventist Church, ministerial ordination carries worldwide authority. But the Pacific Union says it will embark upon a campaign to “educate” its members about what the executive committee wants the July 9 world church decision to mean.

Pacific Union leaders “rejoice in the opportunity to share in this great work, and we reassert our support for women in ministry in the strongest possible terms” (Pacific Union Recorder, October 2015, p. 36). But again, the Pacific Union executive committee is conflating the phrase “women in ministry” with the idea of “women’s ordination.” Women can and are serving the Lord Jesus in ministry in numerous ways all across the church, and without trespassing into roles which Scripture and thousands of years of practice have clearly reserved to spiritually qualified males.

Reaction from the Pacific Union is starting to come in. Stephen Bohr, Fresno Seventh-day Adventist Church, Central California Conference, writes

“It was with deep sadness that I saw that the PUC Executive Committee voted on September 9 to openly and defiantly rebel against God’s will as expressed by the world church in San Antonio. The fact that the PUC vote comes immediately before the October 7-14 Annual Council makes one wonder whether the PUC Executive Committee is daring the GC Executive Committee to do something about their rebellious decision. A mere verbal rebuke by the Annual Council will accomplish nothing. The question is: Will the Pacific Union’s money prevail, as it has done in the past, or will the GC Executive Committee apply the painful discipline? Let’s pray that our leaders will have the courage to apply the necessary discipline no matter the cost.”

We concur with Pr. Bohr. In San Antonio the church spoke. But these September 2015 actions of the Pacific Union are congregationalism writ large.

Is the Pacific Union its own independent church?

The current North American Division president, Dan Jackson, has not succeeded in bringing the Pacific or Columbia Unions into alignment with the world church. Leadership is needed in the top officers of the North American Division and in the Pacific Union and its executive committee that will operate in harmony with the world church.

Other Unions and units, including Columbia Union, Norwegian Union, Swedish Union, Netherlands Union, Northern California Conference, and Southeastern California Conference presently stand in opposition to the Working Policy of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, some on questions of ordination, others at the question of homosexual practice. The Council of Adventist Pastors encourages church members to much prayer for the leadership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church at this time. We encourage those called to leadership to engage in decided action at this 2015 Annual Council session to fully meet the crisis created by not only the Pacific Union’s voted action of overt rebellion, but the voted actions of these other bodies.

Leadership must meet this challenge at this time. Pastors and workers who have supported the General Conference vote are on the point of being marginalized and could face removal from employ. Members who have supported the General conference decision now face a choice between local rebellion or fidelity to the mission of the world church. The crisis is come. Nevertheless, the promise is “The church may appear as about to fall, but it does not fall. It remains, while the sinners in Zion will be sifted out—the chaff separated from the precious wheat. This is a terrible ordeal, but nevertheless it must take place” (Selected Messages, vol. 2, p. 380).

WO Symposium “Dangers on the Horizon” | Pr. Larry Kirkpatrick

DOWNLOAD HANDOUT for Kirkpatrick Bakersfield presentation.
WO Symposium PANEL DISCUSSION Allen Davis, Gerzon Gomez, Larry Kirkpatrick, Laurel Damsteegt, Jennifer Arruda, Daniel Mesa

WO Symposium “The Forgotten Story of 1989″ | Laurel Damsteegt

WO Symposium “Gift Versus Appointment” | Allen Davis

WO Symposium “We the People, Must Speak” | Jennifer Arruda

WO Symposium “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth” | Pr. Daniel Mesa

WO Symposium “The Impact of Culture and the Desire for Unity” | Allen Davis

WO Symposium “A Woman’s Full Participation in Ministry” | Julie Mesa

WO Symposium “Male and Female HE Created them” | Pr. Stephen Bohr

NOTE: Click here –>Bohr-Handout-Biblical-SOP-Evidence-for-Male-Headship

WO Symposium “Reflections on the Ordination Controversy” | Pr. Louis R Torres

Bakersfield, California is the location for a special symposium sponsored by the Hillcrest church and Secrets Unsealed. The event is titled, “Women’s Ordination Symposium: Crisis Ahead” and will occur Friday and Sabbath, June 12 and 13. Presenters include Pastors Stephen Bohr, Louis Torres, Larry Kirkpatrick, Daniel Mesa, as well as Allen Davis, Julie Mesa, Jennifer Arruda, and Laurel Damsteegt. There will be a lively panel discussion Sabbath evening. //UPDATE//: Symposium times and links updated below:

WOS-Bakersfield-Web-1

The event will be livestreamed across the internet.

Event dates: June 12th and 13th, 2015.

Meeting times:

FRIDAY NIGHT June 12:

6:00 pm Louis Torres: “Reflections on the Ordination Controversy”
7:45 pm Stephen Bohr: “Male and Female He created Them”

SABBATH June 13:

8:15 am Julie Mesa: “A Woman’s Full Participation in Ministry”
9:30 am Allen Davis: “The Impact of Culture and the Desire for Unity”
11:15 am Daniel Mesa: “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth”
2:00 pm Jennifer Arruda: “We the People, Must Speak”
3:00 pm Allen Davis: “Gift Versus Appointment”
4:15 pm Laurel Damsteegt: “The Forgotten Story of 1989”
5:30 pm PANEL DISCUSSION
6:45 pm Larry Kirkpatrick: “Dangers on the Horizon” (Hermeneutics impact on future outcomes)

Location: Bakersfield Hillcrest SDA Church, 2600 Kenwood Rd. Bakersfield CA. RSVP 661-871-5000 or hillcrestadventist@gmail.com, visit: http://hillcrest.adventistfaith.org/ (A fellowship lunch will be provided) Live stream links for the event: http://www.youtube.com/user/secretsunsealed and http://www.secretsunsealed.org/streaming/

In this short video presentation, Pastor Stephen Bohr discusses the North American Division’s denial of display booths at General Conference session to the Council of Adventist Pastors (OrdinationTruth.com) and ADvindicate.com. CAP has published several articles addressing the question of women’s ordination from a Bible standpoint, but has also called for unity. One hundred ordained Seventh-day Adventist ministers operate the OrdinationTruth.com website. CAP has republished both GC calls to unity on its site which all unions were supposed to publish. However, no union in the North American Division has published those appeals as requested by the GC.

AOC-Cover

A new book has just been released addressing the present crisis over women’s ordination in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is the result of a careful two year collaborative study of several Adventist leaders, including pastors, university professors, conference administrators, physicians, teachers, and lay-leaders—men and women alike—from around the world. Featured contributors include Doug Batchelor, Stephen Bohr, Allen Davis, Laurel Damsteegt, Michael Hasel, C. Raymond Holmes, Jim Howard, Wayne Kablanow, Larry Kirkpatrick, Daniel Knapp Sr., Kent Knight, Mike Lambert, Junie Lawson, Don Mackintosh, Carrisa McSherry, Phil Mills, Kevin Paulson, John Peters, Eugene Prewitt, David Read, Edwin Reynolds, Alvaro Sauza, Ingo Sorke, Mario Veloso.

This 128 page book concisely yet carefully addresses the key issues. Chapters address hermeneutics, spiritual gifts, church offices, qualifications, Ellen White’s example, gender role differences, headship, Ellen White’s teaching on gender roles, culture and consequences, and the way forward. Special material is included addressing the facts about General Conference action on elders and also the “China” question.

This is an important book offering a concise summary of key factors in the decisions faced by Seventh-day Adventists in the General Conference session to be held in San Antonio Texas in July 2, 2015!

The book is available in quantities of 10 or more for only $1.00 each. Order yours now. Every Adventist in your congregation should have an opportunity to read this book!

The book is available through Amazing Facts: http://www.afbookstore.com/item/i/BK-AOC/n/The_Adventist_Ordination_Crisis/

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.

CAP pastor Stephen Bohr shares an update from the most recent issue of Time magazine. Even secular persons see the connections.

On Tuesday, October 7, 2014, the Adventist Review published an article titled “Appeal made over Andrews statement on headship. On August 21, 2014 during a quiet summer session, the remaining present Seminary faculty published a seven page statement opposing male headship. The statement aroused immediate concern. Now a group of several theology professors, faculty, alumni, and others has responded with a carefully prepared document titled “An Open Appeal From Faculty, Alumni, Students, and Friends of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary: To Faculty of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary Regarding the Recent Seminary Statement on the Unique Headship of Christ in the Church.” While the August Seminary statement was unsigned, the new response document has 24 signatories.

The Adventist Review article is found at this link:

http://www.adventistreview.org/church-news/appeal-made-over-andrews-statement-on-headship

Link to Appeal to Seminary document: http://ordinationtruth.com/?attachment_id=2259. NOTE: Updated with minor corrections

The following presentations were given and live-streamed on Wednesday and Thursday, October 1, 2, 2014:

Womens Ordination #1 Oct 1 — “Are You Sure? Issues and Answers” — Stephen Bohr

Womens Ordination #2 Oct 2 — “The Impact of Spiritualism on Feminism and Gender Issues Today” — Laurel Damsteegt

Women’s Ordination #3 Oct 2 — “From Mohaven to TOSC: How we got here” — Mario Veloso

Women’s Ordination #4 Oct 2 — “Male Headship in the Old Testament” — John Peters

Women’s Ordination #5 Oct 2 — “Male Headship in the New Testament” — Ingo Sorke

Women’s Ordination #6 Oct 2 — “Hermeneutics: Universal Principles and Local Application — 1st Panel”

Women’s Ordination #7 Oct 2 — “Straw Man Arguments in Favor of Women’s Ordination” — Eugene Prewitt

Women’s Ordination #8 Oct 2 — “The Present Relevance of 1 Timothy” — Don Mackintosh