Open Letter to the PUC Delegates

Dear fellow Adventist,

Below you will find an open letter to the Pacific Union Conference leadership and delegates, written on behalf of the 7,300-plus unique signees of the christorculture.com website petition.

  1. Please read and forward this letter.
  2. Pray for the upcoming August 19 constituency session and representatives.
  3. Contact your delegates regarding your concerns. Make sure they see this email and have an opportunity to review the letter.

In a few days, as a leader or delegate of the Pacific Union Conference, you will be faced with voting on two profound and related issues:

  1. A vote to alter bylaws so that the Pacific Union will no longer be required to be in harmony with the policies of the North American Division (NAD) and the General Conference (GC)
  2. A vote to approve the ordination of women as pastors.

It is nearly impossible to understate the far-reaching ramifications these two actions will have on the future of our beloved church.

Addressing the First Motion
You are being asked to vote to change Pacific Union’s bylaws in order to allow the union to deviate from GC and NAD working policies whenever its officers and executive committee deem fitting.

The bylaws currently state:

All the policies, purposes and procedures of this Union shall be in harmony with the working policies and procedures of the North American Division and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.”

Some in the Pacific Union Conference seek to amend these bylaws by

  1. Striking out the word “All” and replacing it with the phrase “In general,” and
  2. Striking out the word “shall” and replacing it with “will.”

If voted, the current bylaws, which join the Pacific Union to the NAD and the GC, will be replaced with:

In general, the policies, purposes and procedures of this Union will be in harmony with the working policies and procedures of the North American Division and the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.”

Obviously, these changes go far beyond the subject of female ordination. If you approve this bylaw change, you will effectively be giving the Pacific Union permission not to comply with NAD and GC policies and procedures in multiple other areas whenever it chooses not to comply.

Seventh-day Adventist Church policies relating to tithe, marriage, creationism, and many other vital issues would now all be subject to the phrase “In general.”

To illustrate: Suppose during a couple’s wedding vows to each other, a pastor says, “Bill, do you promise to love and cherish Sally, forsaking ALL others, keeping yourself only unto her as long as you both shall live?” However, the groom interrupts, saying, “I’d like to replace the word “all” with “forsaking, IN GENERAL, other girls.” A marriage under these vows would likely end in divorce.

Likewise, voting for this altered bylaw wording will inevitably lead to the same result. Changing these few words essentially represents a secession from the world church and opens the floodgate to potential future compromise.

Therefore, we appeal to you to vote no on this change to the bylaws. Please do NOT let the wave of popularity for women’s ordination be leveraged into carte blanche permission for the Pacific Union to ignore GC and NAD working policies.

Addressing the Second Motion—”To ordain without regard to gender”

There are four principle reasons why we encourage delegates to vote against this motion. They are, in summary:

  1. The motion to ordain women as pastors is not supported by Scripture.
  2. The motion to ordain women as pastors contradicts the teachings and example of Ellen White.
  3. History demonstrates that ordaining women as pastors does not result in increased denominational membership, as some have claimed.
  4. Voting yes on this motion will enflame disunity and fragmentation within the Adventist Church.

In the interest of keeping this letter brief, we recommend you visit the christorculture.com website, where we have provided prodigious support for these four points. At the site, you might also wish to view some of the petition signee’s names and comments.

Oh, how many times, when I have seemed to be in the presence of God and holy angels, I have heard the angel voice saying, ‘Press together, press together, press together. Do not let Satan cast his hellish shadow between brethren. Press together; in unity there is strength'” {2SM 374.2}.

We will earnestly join with you in prayer as you consider and decide these profound issues.

Sincerely,

Signees of the christorculture.com petition

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