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North American Division Theology of Ordination Study Committee. Kyoshin Ahn PhD,Associate Secretary North American Division. Gordon G Bietz DMin,Chair Theology of Ordination Study Committee. President Southern Adventist University,Dedrick Blue DMin. Senior Pastor Ephesus Seventh day Adventist Church. Jo Ann Davidson PhD,Professor of Systematic Theology. Seventh day Adventist Theological Seminary,Kendra Haloviak Valentine PhD.
Associate Professor New Testament Studies,Chair Department of Biblical Studies. H M S Richards Divinity School at La Sierra University. Lourdes Morales Gudmundsson PhD,Chair World Languages Department. La Sierra University,Dwight K Nelson DMin,Senior Pastor Pioneer Memorial Church. Andrews University,Leslie N Pollard PhD DMin,President Oakwood University. Edwin E Reynolds PhD,Secretary Theology of Ordinatin Committee.
Professor of New Testament and Biblical Languages, School of Religion Graduate Program Coordinator Southern Adventist University. Stephen A L Richardson MA MDiv,Ministerial Director. Allegheny East Conference,Russell Seay PhD,Assistant Professor Oakwood University. Tara J VinCross MDiv, Senior Pastor Chestnut Hill Seventh day Adventist Church. and REACH Philadelphia Church Plant,Director Pennsylvania Youth Challenge.
Clinton Wahlen PhD,Associate Director Biblical Research Institute. General Conference of Seventh day Adventists,Ivan Williams DMin. Director Ministerial Department,North American Division. Theology of Ordination,CONTENTS 4 REPORT SUMMARY,14 METHODS OF BIBLE STUDY. 22 HERMENEUTICS AND THE ORDINATION OF WOMEN,Kyoshin Ahn.
Ji Moskala, 176 YOUR SONS AND YOUR DAUGHTERS REFLECTIONS ON THE DIVINE CALL. Dwight K Nelson,188 THEOLOGY OF ORDINATION,Stephen A L Richardson. 192 MINORITY REPORT,Edwin E Reynolds and Clinton Wahlen. 209 ENDNOTES,From a presentation to GC Theology,of Ordination Study Committee. Reprinted with permission of the author,Theology of Ordination.
Y This report is the product of our assignment by the North American. Division to conduct a comprehensive review of the theology of. ordination its theory and practical implications and to present. our conclusions and recommendations for action, PROCESS Individuals are imbued by the Holy Spirit with spiri. Since May 2012 our diverse committee of pastors tual gifts in order to edify the body of Christ and. theologians and administrators has been engaged fulfill the gospel commission and in this general. in a thorough exploration of ordination identify sense all believers are ordained. ing current policy and practice and considering the The committee agreed on the following state. appropriateness of ordaining women to pastoral ment as a common point of reference. ministry in the Seventh day Adventist Church, In addition to studying Scripture we consid Ordination is a formal acknowledgment and. ered numerous papers books and resources and authentication of one s call to service ministry. we undertook various assignments for in depth by God Authentication should be understood as. research We exercised accountability to each other ratifying what only God can dispense Ordination. by reading drafts together aloud discussing our neither supersedes God s call nor enhances it. findings and incorporating peer feedback in revi Ordination affirms the genuineness of the call as. sions And we prayed together inviting the Spirit to having borne the proper fruit of the Holy Spirit s. govern our process and guide us into all truth The work God initiates the call and equips the recipi. unified desire of our hearts has been to bring glory ent for enacting it God s person accepts the call. to God and to obey His will God s people affirm the call. DEFINITION OF ORDINATION RECOMMENDATIONS, We understand all believers to be called and While the recommendations in this report represent. equipped anointed by God for service the position of the overwhelming majority of the. Report Summary 5, The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible writers with thoughts ideas. and objective information in turn they expressed these in their. own words Therefore the Scriptures are an indivisible union. of human and divine elements neither of which should be. emphasized to the neglect of the other,Methods of Bible Study document.
committee not all concur however the committee it can be expected that differing conclusions may be. stands in unanimous agreement with respect to the drawn by equally sincere and competent students of. following statement God s Word We believe the interpretive approach. adopted by the Seventh day Adventist Church as, We believe that an individual as a Seventh day explained in the Methods of Bible Study docu. Adventist in thorough commitment to the full ment may allow Bible believing members to have. authority of Scripture may build a defensible case differences of opinion on this issue In light of this. in favor of or in opposition to the ordination of we submit this additional recommendation. women to the gospel ministry although each of, us views one position or the other as stronger and RECOMMENDATION 2. more compelling The committee humbly recommends that the. North American Division support the autho, As a culmination of our study the committee rization of each division to consider through. submits the following recommendation for North prayer and under the direction of the Holy. American Division action Spirit its most appropriate approach to the. ordination of women to gospel ministry,RECOMMENDATION 1. In harmony with our biblical study we recom What follows in this report is a summary of the. mend that ordination to gospel ministry as an key points of our study including evidences from. affirmation of the call of God be conferred by Scripture and the writings of Ellen White which. the church on men and women we regard as overwhelmingly supportive of ordain. ing women in the Seventh day Adventist Church, Because the Bible does not directly address the In depth analysis of the major themes as well as a.
ordination of women and because the principle minority report are provided with this report. based evidence is neither complete nor irrefutable. Theology of Ordination, HISTORY studies meetings recommendations and votes a. Our earliest founders were reluctant to orga request at the 2010 General Conference Session led. nize not wanting to repeat the mistakes of other to the present worldwide study of the theology of. churches of the time in what seemed like exalt ordination. ing human authority However in the interest of Prior to this time General Conference Session. curbing the threat of confusion caused by false rulings have consistently maintained that women. unauthorized teachers and in response to visions not be ordained to pastoral office partly out of con. of Ellen White in the early 1850s and diligent Bible cern that the global church would not yet be ready. study steps were taken to organize Preachers were for it Recent actions by North American unions to. set apart generally by the laying on of hands as ordain women pastors lend urgency to the need for. the official indication of approval resolution,Throughout Adventist Church history the role of. women has not been formally clarified Early discus HERMENEUTICS. sions about some of the controversial texts in the An understanding of the influence of hermeneu. Bible arose in relationship to Ellen White s influen tics is helpful for recognizing differences in the. tial public role which was unusual for a female at ways individuals discern the meaning of Scripture. the time Women have served as licensed preach Hermeneutics the science of interpretation consid. ers evangelists conference secretaries General ers all the factors that influence worldview Biblical. Conference treasurers and in many other positions hermeneutics refers specifically to the principles. As early as 1881 a resolution recommending the and practice of interpreting Scripture. ordination of women to ministry was presented Early in our study process the committee unani. at the General Conference Session but after being mously acknowledged as a guide the principles. forwarded to the General Conference Executive outlined in the Methods of Bible Study document. Committee no action was taken One hundred which was voted and published by the Seventh day. thirty years later after numerous resolutions Adventist Church in 1986 to provide parameters. Report Summary 7,The writers of the Bible were HEADSHIP. The decades old debate about the role of women in, God s penmen not His pen Seventh day Adventist Church leadership is com. 1 Selected Messages 21 2 plex and sensitive Those who disagree with ordain. ing women to the offices of elder and pastor are,usually in harmonious agreement concerning most.
facets of the discussion that women too are cre, for the study of Scripture ated in God s image that they are created of worth. The model below helps illustrate the range of equal to men that they bring equally valuable gifts. approaches compatible with the Methods of Bible to the church and that they also bring exclusively. Study document The no inspiration side of the female contributions to the mission of the body of. continuum represents the idea that the Bible is not Christ. divinely inspired and should be regarded as any The agreement breaks down around passages. other literary work The biblical inerrancy side in Scripture that have been associated with the. represents the idea that God dictated the precise concept of headship Generally those who would. words of Scripture The traditional Adventist stop short of ordaining women to the offices of pas. approach to interpreting Scripture reveals a centrist tor or elder take issue with appointing women to. path of thought inspiration headship roles maintaining that a plain reading of. Since the various hermeneutical approaches Scripture does not allow women to exercise spiri. can lead to differing interpretations it follows that tual authority over men Others believe that biblical. approaches designated by more distant points on headship does not apply to church leadership roles. the continuum even those within the central por but is limited in application to the husband s role. tion representing traditional Seventh day Adventist as servant leader in the home Still others contend. guidelines may draw conflicting conclusions about that headship is not even a biblical concept but. issues for which there is not a clear unequivocal rather a relatively modern term and that the origi. biblical mandate nal Greek word for head kephal denotes source. A continuum of hermeneutical approaches, NO INSPIRATION THOUGHT INSPIRATION BIBLICAL INERRANCY. Principle Based, Historical Critical Historical Grammatical Literalistic. Historical Cultural,Methods of Bible Study Document. Theology of Ordination, not leader These argue that hierarchical position case may be made in favor of or opposed to the.
is not the point and that correct interpretation of ordination of women to pastoral ministry a world. these challenging passages is dependent on under wide mandate is neither practical nor necessary. standing the context in which they were written In recent years the General Conference has. The majority of the committee does not view the established policies recognizing women in leader. issue of headship as a barrier to ordaining women to ship roles the ordination of deaconesses and elders. pastoral ministry and the commissioning of pastors Although these. policies are not practiced in all regions of the world. UNITY the Church has remained a single worldwide orga. Some may be concerned that the unity of the nization It is the conclusion of the study commit. worldwide Church is compromised if members in tee that differences in opinion and practice on this. some regions practice the ordination of women issue do not constitute disunity in Christ nor in the. while others do not In its supreme sense unity Church. is characterized by oneness with God and with Since the first resolution recommending the. each other as Jesus said in His prayer in John 17 ordination of women in 1881 members of the. However unity must be differentiated from unifor Seventh day Adventist Church have intensely. mity which implies invariability debated without consensus the advisability of. In deference to the unity Jesus identified our ordaining women to the gospel ministry In 1973. doctrines comprise the common ground upon the General Conference made its first formal. which our Church denomination is organized appointment of a committee to study the role of. For the Seventh day Adventist Church the 28 women in the Church Forty years later it is the. Fundamental Beliefs are the common doctrines recommendation of this North American Division. They are officially adopted and are considered Theology of Ordination Study Committee that. Andrews University Stephen A L Richardson MA MDiv Ministerial Director Allegheny East Conference Clinton Wahlen PhD Associate Director Biblical Research Institute General Conference of Seventh day Adventists Ivan Williams DMin Director Ministerial Department North American Division North American Division Theology of Ordination Study

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