Conference will not recommend bylaw change in regard to ordination

Article used with permission from advindicate.com

Mountain View Conference, which is within the Columbia Union, says they will support involvement of all members in church ministry, but will only do so in harmony with the Seventh-day Adventist World Church as expressed by actions taken during the General Conference in business session. The statement was voted by the conference’s executive committee July 23, 2012, according to a post on the Columbia Union Conference’s (CUC) Facebook page. The statement can also be found on the front page of the conference’s website:

Mountain View Conference Executive Comm. statement:

Due to the current and considerable dialogue in the North American Division regarding the ordination of women to the gospel ministry, the Mountain View Conference Executive Committee voted the following statement:

Whereas the Mountain View Conference has a long history of actively supporting, encouraging, and empowering women in church ministries, and

Whereas the Mountain View Conference recognizes itself as an integral part of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, it is therefore resolved:

The Mountain View Conference, following the scriptural mandate of the priesthood of all believers, and as directed by its Constitution and By Laws, intentionally chooses to continue its long-held commitment of supporting, encouraging, empowering, and celebrating the involvement of all members, regardless of gender, in church ministry. However, we will do so only in harmony with the Seventh-day Adventist World Church as expressed by actions taken during the General Conference in business session. (Emphasis added)

After the CUC’s July 29th vote to authorize ordination to the gospel ministry without regard to gender, the Pennsylvania Executive Committee voted a statement that said, “While the Columbia Union has a more general wording in its by-laws, the Pennsylvania Conference has very specific wording, which we will abide by.”

Pennsylvania Conference Executive Comm. statement:

PENNSYLVANIA CONFERENCE OFFICERS STATEMENT REGARDING THE COLUMBIA UNION ACTION ON ORDINATION

The recent Columbia Union Special Constituency Session regarding ordination without regard to gender has led to some questions from those wondering how this might affect the Pennsylvania Conference and its future actions.

The Pennsylvania Conference Officers have carefully reviewed the action of the Columbia Union Session, and have reviewed the Pennsylvania Conference Constitution and By-laws. While the Columbia Union has a more general wording in its by-laws, the Pennsylvania Conference has very specific wording, which we will abide by. This wording states that the Pennsylvania Conference policies and procedures shall be in harmony with the working policies and procedures of the North American Division and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

The purposes, policies and procedures of the Conference shall be in harmony with the working policies and procedures of the NAD and the GC. (Pennsylvania Conference Constitution, article 3, voted 2009)

It is our belief that according to this wording we as a Conference will follow only that which the General Conference policy provides for, in regard to ordination. Our Pennsylvania Conference Constitution and By-laws Committee is not recommending a change in this wording to the Pennsylvania Conference Constituency Session this Fall.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/barbara.bailey.3998 Barbara Bailey

    Praise God. I’m relieved to see some conferences standing for the right in spite of the Union decision.

  • Daniel D. Knapp

    Unity is real issue. Will the NAD and its Union and Conferences infrastructure wait for the 2015 GC vote or will they be insubordinate and thus negate the unity the Holy Spirit promises. That’s the real issue deeper even than the WO ordination issue. Dan Knapp

    • Mike Jenkins

      Do you think God really wants unity over justice and elimination of deviant discrimination? Think again my friend. The Unity argument is nothing but an evil attempt at promoting culture over Christ. Read the Gospels and Ellen White dude.

      • http://twitter.com/Sieg55255900 Sieg

        God wants unity over His Word, not over your personal opinion on ordination issues. Please think again and pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit rather than the guidance of worldy customs, laws, “political correctness” and traditions.

        • Mike Jenkins

          When did Jesus give a hoot about unity? He fought against the prevailing human misconceptions everyday. If indeed YOU want unity then you believe in salvation by belief which is evil in design and practice

          • Jay

            See John 13:35 and John 17:11

    • Quentin Styger

      The NAD has shown they do not have the fruit of the Spirit with their impatient and intemperate actions. They have smeared the validity of their arguements, albeit improperly drawn, and caused great lines of division with the seeds of discord they have sown.

      I hope they all repent of their premature actions lest they be destroyed.

  • Quentin Styger

    In 1985 The General Conference in session voted to allow, in special cases, women of the congregation to hold the position of Elder.

    The 2010 (current) Church Manual states, “Religious Leaders of the Church—Elders must be recognized by the church as strong spiritual leaders and must have good reputations both in the church and community. In the absence of a pastor, elders are the spiritual leaders of the church and by precept and example must seek to lead the
    church into a deeper and fuller Christian experience.

    Elders should be able to conduct the services of the church and minister
    in both word and doctrine when the assigned pastor is unavailable.
    However, elders should not be chosen primarily because of social position or
    speaking ability, but because of their consecrated lives and leadership abilities. (p.71-2).

    Paul says, “This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil (1 Timothy 3:1-7 KJV). If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers (Titus 1:1-9 KJV).

    Ellen White says, “I have been shown that no man’s judgment should be surrendered to the judgment of any one man. But when the judgment of the General Conference, which is the highest authority that God has upon the earth, is exercised, private independence and private judgment must not be maintained, but be surrendered. Your error was in persistently maintaining your private judgment of your duty against the voice of the highest authority the Lord has upon the earth. After you had taken your own time, and after the work had been much hindered by your delay, you came to Battle Creek in answer to the repeated and urgent calls of the General Conference. You firmly maintained that you had done right in following your own convictions of duty. You considered it a virtue in you to persistently maintain your position of independence. You did not seem to have a true sense of the power that God has given to His church in the voice of the General Conference. You thought that in responding to the call made to you by the General Conference you were submitting to the judgment and mind of one man. You accordingly manifested an independence, a set, willful spirit, which was all wrong” {3T 492.2}.

    Paul is one man with two letters which satisfy, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little”, “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Isaiah 28:10, Matthew 18:16 KJV). Two Scriptual witnesses from one witness source; one man’s opinion.

    There is no Biblical grounds to deny elders ordination, neither pastors. If the elder is supposed to serve as pastor in the pastor’s absence, then it stands to reason that no one who can fulfill the role of elder cannot fulfill the role of pastor; The “voice of the highest authority the Lord has upon the earth”, has spoken, and declared that the role of elder, and by proxy pastor, is not a gender specific role, when it created precedence allowing women to hold this role.

    Can the, “voice of the highest authority the Lord has upon the earth”, contradict itself?

    Only if you believe the Bible can contradict itself and Ellen White can contradict herself or the Bible.

    I cannot believe Inspiration is contradictory, and for these reasons, and these reasons alone do I publicly change my view on the ordination of women to the gospel ministry.