A group of 28 pastors in the North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC) launched a website called OrdinationTruth.com today, asking the NPUC leadership to "stand down from the proposed special constituency session," which will push women's ordination. On January 30, 2013, the pastors issued a letter to NPUC President Max Torkelsen III, calling out the pro-women's ordination bias of the Gleaner. Nov. 14, 2012, the NPUC Executive committee voted to "inform and educate members of the rationale toward biblical church leadership without regard to gender; 2) engage and encourage constituents in structured conversation and discussion on women in ministry," but since the NPUC has offered only one perspective, the letter goes on to announce that OrdinationTruth.com will be launched to ensure that "alternative views can be shared with NPUC readers." The letter ends with the group's request that the NPUC Executive Committee rescind its action to hold a special constituency meeting.
We respectfully ask that the NPUC Executive Committee rescind its action to hold a special constituency meeting. Let the 2015 General Conference in session respond by official vote to the recommendations to be offered by the 2014 Annual Council's action regarding the Theology of Ordination Study Committee, and let the North Pacific Union Conference leadership and constituents lend that decision of the world church whatever it is its full support.
You can read their news release here:
North Pacific Union Conference (NPUC), North American Division, February 4, 2013: Today the NPUC Supporting Pastors launched the OrdinationTruth.com website. At launch, twenty-eight ministers formally lent their support, choosing to be named and listed as Supporting Pastors. As more pastors learn of this encouragement toward unity, it is anticipated the list will speedily grow.
Those within the Union advocating in favor of Women’s Ordination are preparing for a special constituency meeting of the Union where NPUC could move ahead of the world church. The Supporting Pastors came together to respond to this emergency. They respectfully ask that the NPUC Executive Committee rescind its November 2012 decision and that no special constituency meeting to act on Women’s Ordination be held before the 2015 General Conference session.
In 2012, two of nine North American Division union constituencies voted to act independently of the world Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA). Those two unions moved unilaterally to ordain women as pastors. The SDA Church rejected similar initatives in 1990 and 1995 General Conference sessions. In Adventist polity, an ordained minister carries authority to function across the world field. Union conferences do not have authority to determine whether women shall be ordained within their territories; this decision rests with the combined Church represented by the General Conference. A group within the NPUC also launched a union-wide initiative intended to lead to a special meeting. But such action at this time could align the North Pacific Union with other insubordinate unions.
OrdinationTruth.com is intended as a fresh venue where information can be shared highlighting Christian teachings about unity, order, and gender in the Church. The site also exists to help assure that the conversation about Women’s Ordination in the Union is balanced. The Union paper has carried only one side of the question. Immediately, and in weeks and months to come, OrdinationTruth.com will carry news, articles, and studies addressing questions of unity and Women’s Ordination, especially within the territory of the NPUC. There is also an e-mail list where interested persons can participate as the situation unfolds. For these materials, more detailed positions, and participation options, persons are directed to http://www.OrdinationTruth.com.
Initially published documents include an overview document as well as, “Ordination: God’s Purpose versus Satan’s Designs,” found in the FEATURES section of the site.
The NPUC Supporting Pastors seek to work in harmony with the NPUC and invite prayer for Union leadership and support for the world church in this difficult hour.
# # #The Seventh-day Adventist Church is a Protestant Christian denomination of 17 million members operating in 230 nations. The NPUC (North Pacific Union) Supporting Pastors are Seventh-day Adventist ministers called to serve in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Upper Columbia, Idaho, and Montana conferences. In particular, they are led to give voice to the understanding of Seventh-day Adventists who (1) seek to work in harmony with the world church as represented by the General Conference, and/or (2) who cannot conscientiously support as an appropriate practice Women’s Ordination in the present situation. NPUC Supporting Pastors recognize the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church located in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA as the ultimate organizational authority within SDA polity.