Discipline the Unions Now

The 2015 General Conference session in San Antonio, Texas voted not to permit division executive committees to make provision for the ordination of women.  Since that time multiple NAD Unions and Conferences have proceeded in defiance, ordaining women or inflating the commissioned minister credential to practical parity with the ordained minister.  This is not because these Unions and Conferences do not understand the action in San Antonio; it is because they are defying the action in San Antonio.

They are defying the world church.

It is reported that the General Conference is ready to propose a “year of grace” in which these unions will have opportunity to repent and change course and further consultation will be possible between the General Conference leadership and the insubordinate unions.

However, there are few signs of repentance.  More likely, the year will be spent writing papers in support of the rebellion, plugging policy gaps, and taking votes to strengthen the defiance.  A year from now it will be supremely harder to act.

“For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.  If you endure chastening, God deals with you as sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?  But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons” (Hebrews 12:6-8).

Do we love our brothers and sisters enough to act to help them?  If we do not, then is a year of grace being proposed, or another year of rebellion?

The church members anticipate that leaders will lead.  It is a covenant between us and them and God.  Perhaps the reports are mistaken.  Or true.  Either way, the members have waited long for action.

Recommendations even from top leadership are just that until voted—recommendations.  It is my expectation that significant consultation between top leadership and the Pacific Union and entities has already occurred.  There is no reason why an Annual Council committee member who has the floor might not himself move that the Pacific Union be re-designated Pacific Union Mission immediately.