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Gregory Matthews

My Response to AC Vote

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Gregory Matthews

The following is my nuanced response to the vote of the Annual Council yesterday to return the Unity Document back to committee.  This response has been accepted and posted by the REVIEW on their website:


With the vote to return the Unity Document to Committee, the questions now become: What are the lessons that we can learn from this experience? What would God wish to teach us at this point in time?

It is clear that we are deeply divided on the issue of the ordination of women and the role that they may have in spiritual life. Perhaps the resolution of this issues lies in a unity in mission which welcomes divergent methods of accomplishing that mission. However, this was not the fundamental issue that resulted in the decision to send the Unity Document back to committee.

The fundamental issue was that of process. Delegates felt that they had been blindsided with little opportunity to understand the ramifications of the document and how it might impact their ability to accomplish their organizational mission.

It was believed that the Unity Document unfairly focused on individual leaders rather than organizations within the denomination. There was a belief that those individuals were not being treated in a manner that was consistent within the boundaries of denominational rules of procedure.

Critical to this document was a belief, even if wrong, that it ignored important advice given to us in the instruction of Ellen White. We may need to be reminded that her administrative advice to us as a developing denomination may be of value to us today. Perhaps we should review what she has advised us as to the role our Union Conferences should have and as to their relationship to the General Conference. Perhaps we should give additional study to her advice as to "kingly power" and how that advice might apply to the role that committees have had in the process.

With the leading of the Holy Spirit, there is a way out of the situation that we are in. We can resolve the issues. Are we willing to allow God to lead us? Are we willing to consider how we may need to approach this situation differently? Are we willing to put aside the natural bias that all of us have? God remains. The next step is ours to take. What will it be?


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