Seventh-day Adventist General Conference officers, Ted Wilson, G.T. Ng, and Juan Prestol-Puesan met with North American Division officers and union presidents yesterday to discuss the rebellion taking place in some unions that have violated the world church's position on not making women rulers over men.
The meeting is in response to a decision made by the General Conference at the Annual Council held last October to deal with what is being called "non-compliant church entities." These entities are conferences that are in rebellion against the world church and their own constitutions by ordaining women pastors, and in one case having made a woman a conference president. This growing rebellion has the support of the North American Division.
The Annual Council delegates voted a "redemptive plan" to bring the rebellious conferences into "reconciliation and adherence with voted actions and policies of the world church." This redemptive process has begun. The meeting held yesterday found common ground in that God would have His church unified. But, that unity is not seen in the same light by the rebellious conferences and the world church leaders.
The North American Division believes that the culture of Africa and the culture of North America and Europe must be allowed to dictate what course to follow in regards to the role of women in the church. Thus, unity is seen as allowing for culture to be involved in making exceptions to what Scripture reveals.
There has been accusations made by some in the rebellion that "kingly power" is being exercised at the General Conference level. But, General Conference president, Ted Wilson, points out that it is the conferences who are working contrary to the vote of the delegates representing churches from around the world who are exercising "kingly power."
GC President Ted Wilson addressing Annual Council
“As president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, I am duty bound with a sacred responsibility, as are all other officers of every level of organizations throughout the church as is indicated in Working Policy, to follow what the world church has voted in session (whether I agree with it or not)....To go against this vote would be exercising kingly authority....What could be more of a ‘kingly authority’ action than to deliberately go against what has been voted by the worldwide representation of delegates from around the world at a General Conference Session? Three times this subject has been addressed in some form by a General Conference Session.”
If these meetings which are designed to be redemptive do not accomplish their purpose, then the General Conference will draft a second document to deal with the rebel conferences. One of the fruits seen in the life of those who love God supremely is the fruit of "love", love for our enemies. Another is "long-suffering". Both are seen in the patient protracted process of dealing with a rebellion which began decades ago.