Last week, we reported that, in preparation for the deliberations at Annual Council, the General Conference issued two documents relating to church unity and the need to follow policy agreed upon through normal processes of church government.
Now it appears that the seminary faculty are trying to insert themselves into the narrative. In a statement released on Friday, September 30, the faculty of the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary at Andrews University (or a majority thereof) call on the General Conference to re-examine the ecclesiology presented in the papers:
"We the faculty of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, affirm the biblical truth of church unity grounded in our worship of God, our common faith, our shared community, and our sense of mission. We have serious concerns about the recent document 'A Study of Church Governance and Unity' released by the General Conference and its portrayal of the nature and authority of the church. Further discussion by the church at large on this important ecclesiological issue is needed before such a document is adopted.” Voted September 30, 2016.
The statement does not say exactly what is wrong with the ecclesiology set out in the two papers, or what needs further discussion.
It is common knowledge, however, that a majority of the seminary faculty favor ordination of women. This statement appears to be a bid to impede the Annual Council from imposing any meaningful discipline on rebellious unions that continue to ordain women, despite multiple General Conference session votes confirming the present policy, which specifies that women are not to be ordained.