The Executive Committee of the Trans-European Division of Seventh-day Adventists voted on Wednesday to send a request to the General Conference that consideration be given to issuing a single credential for those in ministry, or to alternately amend existing credentials making them more inclusive.
So, get used to the words epicene, androgynous, flaccid, and monoclinous as the TED prepares to swing both ways in their ministerial woolgatherings.
The decision in San Antonio generated many discussions within the Trans-European Division territory and raised issues of conscience. This has given rise to unintended and, at times, undesirable consequences. This includes, but is not limited to, women pastors and women elders being told by well-intentioned members that they may no longer speak in church. Since then the TED and local unions have spent considerable time affirming woman in ministry and their God given calling.
The committee noted that the amount of time and energy consumed by dealing with the fallout from the San Antonio vote is distracting from the mission of the church, is alienating many young people and is increasingly damaging the image of the church in the societies which the Church in Europe is trying to reach.
The Voted Document
Recognising that the current system of ministerial credentials (ordained) and commissioned credentials function for most of the church, and wanting to respect the decision made by the General Conference in Session in San Antonio, we would request that consideration be given to:
A single ministerial credential which is issued to all who are engaged in pastoral ministry, so bringing Working Policy in line with Fundamental Belief 14. This would entail amending Working Policy by deleting the parenthesis and footnote to BA 60 10 and/or amending/deleting E 60 to reflect a single credential.
Audrey Andersson, TED Executive Secretary explained that, “this is within policy. We cannot create a new credential ourselves, but we can recommend to the GC.”
There are also alternative options for the GC to consider including enhancing the role of a commissioned minister or developing a new, gender-neutral credential. The recommendation is not proscriptive but, according to Raafat Kamal, TED President, “it opens the door for positive dialogue and solutions.”
So. If this progressive Division (along with the NAD) doesn’t like the outcome of three straight votes at GC Sessions–1990, 1995, 2015, they can say “But it hurts the children.” Or, “It hurts our image in a post-Christian godless Europe.” Then, when those arguments fail to win the sympathy of the world church (who stubbornly believes in the biblical teaching of male and female roles), they now turn to a third argument. “It’s against the legislation of our countries.”
Hearken me lads, these pro-WO arguments are weak–as always. People who allow secular legislation to inform their conscience in matters of morality are already gearing up to accept the Mark of the Beast. We really ought to know better.
“Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men” (Psalms 12:1).