On Monday, October 9, 2017, the General Conference Executive Committee met.
The committee chose not to implement at this time the action proposed by top officers, but put nothing in its place. No action was taken against units of the Church which are presently, openly, acting in rebellion toward voted 2015 General Conference Session action. General Conference Secretary G.T. Ng stated that in a sense the very principle of church governance was on trial.
Consider these facts which are true, both before and after Monday:
- In three General Conference sessions where action would have enabled--directly or indirectly--the ordination of women (1990, 1995, 2015), the Church turned down those proposals.
- Most recently, denominationally illegal "ordinations" and credentialing irregularities have been carried out by certain Conferences and Unions in North American and Trans-European Divisions.
- Thousands of Church members in the North American Division are presently, openly calling for the removal of NAD president Dan Jackson and other Division officers by petitions and letters which have been sent to the Executive Committee.
The persistent action of a minority of Adventists is disenfranchising the broader membership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Delegates voted in 2015 not to permit Divisions to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry. But the ordinations are continuing. The women's ordination faction is usurping power over the majority of Adventists who vested their delegates with authority which they properly employed to vote the opposite decision.
By refusing to take any substantial action, General Conference Executive Committee members are risking fragmentation. The Committee has failed to sustain the authority of the world church, and by refusal to act, risks joining itself with the disobedient units in disenfranchising the majority of world church members, whose 2015 General Conference Session vote is being defied.
As one Committee member put it, "We as laypeople have come here filled with mission priority. . . It seems that people . . . are defending themselves, standing in the street. Why don't they just get off the street? The laypeople will come back with a quick document."
Our president very fairly pointed out the need for a solution. He said, "If the method that has been proposed to you is not the one that should be followed, we've been asking for a better one."
The world church has entrusted the Executive Committee to protect it. Annual Council meets until Wednesday afternoon.
Larry is a Seventh-day Adventist pastor in the Pacific Northwest.