[The Following document was released to the church via the North American Division on July 10, 2015.]

General Conference President Elder Ted Wilson has requested that each division president of the 13 world regions, clarify the meaning of the vote taken on Wednesday, July 8, 2015.

North American Division (NAD) President Daniel Jackson would like to make the following statement:

Firstly, we want to acknowledge that we will comply with the vote of the world church.

Secondly, the vote prohibited the 13 world divisions of the church or any of their entities from making their own decisions regarding the consideration and potential implementation of women’s ordination to the gospel ministry.

Thirdly, it is important that we identify what the motion did not do:

It did not disallow women from serving as commissioned church pastors.
It did not disallow women to serve as ordained elders in the local church
It did not disallow the ordination of deaconesses.

Since the motion did not disallow these things, we therefore continue to encourage those who have been serving in these capacities to continue to do so.

It is vital to understand that the NAD will continue to follow the directions found in the General Conference Working Policy allowing conferences and unions to license women as Commissioned Ministers in Pastoral Ministry.

We will also continue to encourage utilizing the services of women as ordained local elders and deaconesses.

The following is a series of policies which are drawn from the Working Policy and that inform our direction:

Church Manual Policy BA 60 05 on Human Relations which states:
“The Church rejects any system or philosophy which discriminates against anyone on the basis of race, color, or gender. The Church bases its position on principles clearly enunciated in the Bible, the writings of Ellen G White, and the official pronouncements of the General Conference.”

Church Manual Policy BA 60 10 which states:
“The world Church supports nondiscrimination in employment practices and policies and upholds the principle that both men and women, without regard to race and color, shall be given full and equal opportunity within the Church to develop the knowledge and skills needed for the building up of the Church. Positions of service and responsibility (except those requiring ordination to the gospel ministry*) on all levels of church activity shall be open to all on the basis of the individual’s qualifications.”

*The exception clause, and any other statement above, shall not be used to reinterpret the action already taken by the world Church authorizing the ordination of women as local church elders in divisions where the division executive committees have given their approval.

The 1989 General Conference Annual Council vote which allowed for:
“Those who have, without regard to gender, been recognized as commissioned ministers or licensed ministers may perform essentially the ministerial functions of an ordained minister of the gospel in the churches to which they are assigned, subject to division authorization of this provision, if the following conditions apply:
“1) The individual has completed approved ministerial training.
“2) The individual has been called by a conference to serve in a full-time pastoral-evangelistic-ministerial role.
“3) The individual has been elected and ordained as a local church elder.”

North American Division Working Policy L 33 10 which states:
“A commissioned minister in leadership position is authorized by the conference, union or division to perform substantially all the functions of the ordained minister within the territory of the organization he/she serves. The functions that are excluded are those listed in the Church Manual as follows: Organizing of a Church, Uniting churches, and Ordaining local elders or deacons.”

It is important to keep in mind that God calls all of his children to serve Him in ministry. He calls both men and women to serve His church and the NAD will continue to support the filling of these positions regardless of gender. The NAD will also continue to utilize all of its efforts to recognize the call of those who feel moved by the Holy Spirit into pastoral ministry.

–Prepared by the Communication Department of the North American Division


[NOTE: The same statement has been issued a second time, lacking the phrase “of the church or any of their entities” at the “secondly” paragraph. We do not regard the omission to be significant. The initial draft no doubt reflects the expressed will of the General Conference and is more clarifying than the revision. The clear intent of the bylaws and of the July 8 voted action matches the initial language. -Ed.]

From Clinton and Gina Wahlen’s website:

Free Download– English, Spanish, Portuguese Editions — GC Special Until July 8, 2015

In order to encourage everyone to read and study the issue of women’s ordination up to the time it will be discussed at this year’s General Conference session, we are making an amazing FREE offer. Just click on the image below to download the book of your choice in English, Spanish, or Portuguese—and please share this page with all your friends!

cw-wodim-enWomen’s Ordination: Does it Matter? ENGLISH PDF

cw-wodim-spWomen’s Ordination, Does it Matter? SPANISH PDF

cw-wodim-poWomen’s Ordination, Does it Matter? PORTUGUESE PDF

Clinton Wahlen serves as an associate director of the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference.

The church has heard from pastors, scholars, academics, administrators, and others concerning the question of women’s ordination. But there is another voice we need to hear: Adventist women. The Council of Adventist Pastors was approached by a group of Adventist women who have created a set of videos in which they give voice on the question of women’s ordination. We are honored to share with you their video.

This short video provides an overview and preview of seven additional videos to be published next week, each addressing particular question areas in the women’s ordination debate. The video was produced by Barbara Flees and participants are Edel Amundson, Rhonda Backman, Linda Brehm, Jean Handwerk, Anita Jepson, Belinda Lowry, and Lorene Wright. Those featured all attend different churches. Some are former elders.

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

A Symposium on Women’s Ordination was held June 8-10, 2015 in Germany titled “Frauenordination und die Einheit der Gemeinde” (“Ordination of women and the unity of the community”). Speakers included Christopher Kramp, Eugene Prewitt, Ingo Sorke and Clinton Wahlen. If your German is not up to speed, you will benefit the most from the English language presentations by Clinton Wahlen and Eugene Prewitt (all others are in German).

1. Adam, wo bist du? | Ingo Sorke (German language only)

2. Leiterschaft entsprechend der Schöpfungsordnung | Clinton Wahlen (English and German)

3. Paulus: Lokal oder Global? | Ingo Sorke (German language only)

4. Argumente unter der biblischen Lupe | Eugene Prewitt (English and German)

5. Die offizielle Erklärung zur Position 1, wie sie dem Annual Council der GK 2014 präsentiert wurde | Clinton Wahlen (German and English)

6. Ordination in der Adventgeschichte | Christopher Kramp (German language only)

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.

C. Raymond Holmes was a Lutheran pastor who was was determined to follow the Scriptures wherever they led. Of course, this led him to become a Seventh-day Adventist. Recently, Pastor Holmes served on the General Conference Theology of Ordination Study Committee. In the new article provided here, Doctor Holmes points out the fundamental question the church faces a month from now in San Antonio. The article is short but pointed. Every member of God’s church should prayerfully read this.

FIND IT HERE.

Professor Edwin E. Reynolds investigates the biblical concept of ordered authority. He also considers what the Bible says and does not say about mutual submission. Some have argued from Ephesians 5:21 that husbands and wives are to practice a mutual submission, or even that there are no significant role distinctions between male and female in Christ. Understandably, the current debate over male and female roles, gender, human sexuality, and women’s ordination will benefit from a better understanding of how submission works in God’s plan. Reynolds is Professor of New Testament and Biblical Languages at Southern Adventist University. He is also the Graduate Program Coordinator for the School of Religion. He also coauthored the women’s ordination-opposing Minority Report of the North American Division.

FIND IT HERE!

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

Pastor Kent Knight explores the question about women’s ordination and China. Some suggest that because of the China experience the Church should implement the ordination of women. But readers will want to explore key facets of this question before reaching such a conclusion.

Find the article here.