SILVER SPRING - Delegates considered and discussed several changes to the Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Beliefs during Sunday's afternoon business session at the 2014 Annual Council.
General Conference Executive Committee members heard proposed changes to several Fundamental Beliefs that would change language to be more gender inclusive.
SILVER SPRING - During a meeting of young adult delegates at the 2014 Annual Council, young church leaders received first-hand information about the upcoming women's ordination discussion and several more agenda items.
Approximately twenty young adults (numbers shifted slightly as some came and went), serving as members of the General Conference Executive committee for the 2010-2015 Quinquennium, gathered in a small room on the General Conference building's second floor to talk with Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC) chair and GC General Vice President Artur Stele.
Adventists in Northern California called for prayers Wednesday evening for Weimar Institute. A rapidly-moving vegetation fire posed a possible threat to the Adventist education center in Colfax, Northern California. According to Cal Fire, the Applegate Fire broke out in dry woodland at about 1:30pm local time and was only 10% contained as night fell. Mandatory evacuations remained in effect for surrounding areas as the fire threatened some eighty structures. Several media outlets showed images of burned out buildings as crews battled five separate blazes that spread to over 380 acres.
Just days before the 2014 Annual Council, where women's ordination will be a topic of discussion, Gerard Damsteegt, professor of Church History at the Adventist Seminary at Andrews University, has spearheaded an effort to persuade seminary members to significantly revise their statement on headship. The Seminary's statement began "We, the faculty of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, affirm that Christ is the only Head of the Church (Eph 1:22; 5:23; Col 1:18).
Seventh-day Adventist leaders from around the world are on their way to Silver Spring, Maryland for the 2014 Annual Council. The meetings span six days, from October 9 to 15. Women's ordination, which current policy allows for deacons and elders, but not ministers, will come up on Tuesday, October 14.
Sabbath morning at the 2014 Adventist Forum Conference began with sunrise over San Diego’s South Bay, color seeping into the marina, barely illuminating the city skyline. With the day beginning outside large picture windows that way, Elvin and Linette Rodriguez led a participatory singing of Joseph Addison's "The Spacious Firmament" with a melody inspired by "The Creation" by Joseph Haydn. Elvin Rodriguez brought Haydn's magnum opus to life brilliantly before the audience joined together singing.
Laurel Damsteegt took the "Women's Ordination: History, Issues and Implications" symposium into unusual territory Thursday morning, making the case that Spiritualism (communication with evil spirits) is the root cause of feminism and the Women's Rights movement. Speaking from the "Secrets Unsealed" studio in Fresno, California on day two of the symposium sponsored by male headship proponents, Damsteegt said that gender issues are a direct outgrowth of "Type Two Spiritualism."
Stephen Bohr's summation of the arguments for women's ordination? "They're based on faulty reasoning, faulty study of Scripture, partial evidence, redefining words, injecting contexts that are not there, and ignoring contexts that are there." That categorical dismissal of ordination equality came on the first night of the Fresno, California pastor's Women's Ordination symposium. In a two-hour marathon lecture, Bohr made the case that male headship is God's way--the right way. Really, the only way forward for the Adventist Church.
The Azure Hills Church in Grand Terrace California has been hosting a multi-part series on Adventist history entitled "The Advent Movement: Progress or Regress?" In the video below, Kendra Haloviak Valentine, professor of New Testament Studies at La Sierra University, and Bert Haloviak, former archivist for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, uncover the story of Adventist women in ministry from the 19th Century to the current ordination debate.