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Mimi

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Netherlands Union, SECC, Women’s Ordination Unilateral Action
« on: September 26, 2013, 01:59:27 PM »
From Ordinationtruth.com



Netherlands Union, SECC, Women’s Ordination Unilateral Action
Posted on September 26, 2013 by admin   | Leave a reply   

On November 11, 2012, the Netherlands Union constituency voted to approve the ordination of women, and the conference executive committee made that decision effective on May 30, 2013 and announced the action publically on July 5, 2013. These actions were contrary to General Conference voted policy (1995 and 2000), in reality a path of insubordination also taken by the Columbia and Pacific Unions in the US and the Northern German Union in Europe.

On September 21, the Netherlands Union unilaterally acted on their earlier decision. Union president Wim Altink charged ordination candidates to faithful service after which hands were laid on them, one being Ms. Guisèle Berkel-Larmonie. The ordination ceremony was conducted in Christus Koning church in the Hague, Netherlands.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) is a world body. In the SDA church, ordination to the gospel ministry carries worldwide authority. The church of 17+ million members seeks out biblical consensus and makes key decisions collectively, including the decision of whether or not women are eligible for ordination. Since the beginning of the church it has never adopted the practice of ordaining women as ministers with global authority. A decision to change this can only be made in a General Conference session. Such meetings occur every five years, next in 2015. After prayerful study and deliberation, thousands of delegates representing every part of the Lord’s vineyard vote in a decision binding upon every part of the world church.

For union or conference officers to participate in such an ordination as happened in Netherlands is in contradiction to the practice of the world church. For a candidate to receive ordination illegally—or for other ordained ministers to offer it—is a repudiation of the call to be a faithful servant to Jesus through His body, the church.

In another action, related yet unilateral in a different way, the Southeastern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (SECC) is recommending to its constituents that they vote Ms. Sandra Roberts as their new conference president on October 27. The Seventh-day Adventist Church does not presently accept the ordination of women as clergy. If that conference should elect Ms. Roberts, they, as Netherlands Union, will by their actions be increasing the fragmentation and disunity of the church.

Ms. Roberts, since the NAD/GC does not recognise her as an ordained minister, cannot be recognized as a conference president. This is certainly known by all parties including the SECC nominating committee.

In fact, neither of the insubordinate actions described in this post are recognized as valid by the world church. Such actions should be seen for what they are—symbolic political statements endeavoring to increase pressure on the General Conference to approve Women’s Ordination.

The General Conference has already made clear its position. A study process is in progress (Theology of Ordination Study Committee) moving toward the General Conference session in San Antonio, TX USA in 2015. The leadership of the world church has asked units of the church, in the interest of unity, not to act unilaterally.

    “The 1990(3) and 1995(4) General Conference Session decisions with respect to granting ministerial ordination to women represent the current voice of the Church in this matter. The actions of certain unions indicate their desire to establish an alternative source of authority for a matter that already carries the authority of the world Church” (“An Appeal for Unity in Respect to Ministerial Ordination Practices,” http://news.adventist.org/archive/articles/2012/06/29/on-ordination-questions-adventist-leadership-appeals-for-orderly-process).

    “The essence of unity in Seventh-day Adventist organizational functioning is the mutual commitment of all organizations to collective decision-making in matters affecting the whole family—and the acceptance of those decisions as the authority of the Church. The action of any union in pursuing a different course of action represents a rejection of this key value in denominational life” (Ibid.).

In this document, our Seventh-day Adventist leaders made four specific appeals to erring units:

    1. That your union continues to operate in harmony with the global decisions and global decision-making processes of the Church.
    2. That until such time as the Church decides otherwise, your union refrains from taking any action to implement ministerial ordination practices that are contrary to the 1990 and 1995 General Conference Session actions.
    3. That the union membership be informed concerning the implications for the entire Church in the event that one entity, for whatever reason, chooses a course of action in deliberate opposition to a decision of the whole Church.
    4. That the union actively participates in the global discussion about the Church’s understanding and practice of ordination. The contributions of a union in this discussion can be forwarded to the Theology of Ordination Study Committee through the respective Ordination Study Committee set up by each division (Ibid.).

As seen in the Netherlands Union and potential SECC actions, these units are aggressively pursuing a course in contradiction to items 1, 2 and 3 above. The issue seems to have a power almost to charm individuals. Recently, Trans-European Divison president Bertil Wiklander, after an impassioned presentation in favor of Women’s Ordination, stated “I am converted completely to what I said tonight. I would die for it.” (“Ordination: The Ongoing Search for Understanding,” http://spectrummagazine.org/blog/2013/09/13/ordination-ongoing-search-understanding, accessed 2013-09-25).

We can be sure that God is still leading His church on a worldwide basis. The church has a process in motion to resolve the questions surrounding the practice of Women’s Ordination and the spirit which has so far attended it. Heartfelt appeals have been made and still stand. We may pray that these units will return to the family they seem bent on leaving. There is still time to return.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Mimi

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Re: Netherlands Union, SECC, Women’s Ordination Unilateral Action
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2013, 06:25:27 PM »
Nice summation, Richard, on our front page.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: Netherlands Union, SECC, Women’s Ordination Unilateral Action
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2013, 06:31:11 PM »
Yes, I had written this earlier, but not posted it. It reveals more of the truth.


From Ordinationtruth.com



Netherlands Union, SECC, Women’s Ordination Unilateral Action
Posted on September 26, 2013 by admin   | Leave a reply   

On November 11, 2012, the Netherlands Union constituency voted to approve the ordination of women, and the conference executive committee made that decision effective on May 30, 2013 and announced the action publically on July 5, 2013. These actions were contrary to General Conference voted policy (1995 and 2000), in reality a path of insubordination also taken by the Columbia and Pacific Unions in the US and the Northern German Union in Europe.

On September 21, the Netherlands Union unilaterally acted on their earlier decision. Union president Wim Altink charged ordination candidates to faithful service after which hands were laid on them, one being Ms. Guisèle Berkel-Larmonie. The ordination ceremony was conducted in Christus Koning church in the Hague, Netherlands.

I believe there is a misunderstanding by the author of this "post".

It is true that there was a vote at the constituency meeting last year, and it is true that they did say they were going to ordain women, as I recall. We will get a copy of the wording as it was translated into English. I remember believing it was good that they intended to wait until the GC Session to do the ordaining, but that it was so very wrong to vote an approval for ordination contrary to the existing church law. In other words, as we who read it understood it, they had made up their minds to ordain women, but to wait until after the World Church voted on it in San Antonio.

The post we are reading from states "On November 11, 2012, the Netherlands Union constituency voted to approve the ordination of women, and the conference executive committee made that decision effective on May 30, 2013 and announced the action publically on July 5, 2013." The conference executive committee from all I can see, usurped its authority by not following what the NUC constituency voted.  Here is an article explaining what happened from my perspective in the Netherlands in November of last year when the union constituency meeting took place. I quoted a statement made by the union president just after the constituency meeting in November. “This decision reflects both a determination to ending gender discrimination in the church and a strong commitment to taking part in the process laid out for us by the world-church until July, 2015. The action is to hold implementation until we know the outcome of the global study of the Theology of Ordination and the final decision scheduled for the General Conference in 2015.”

"The action is to hold implementation until we know the outcome of the global study of the Theology of Ordination and the final decision scheduled for the General Conference in 2015." The executive committee has taken it upon themselves from what I read, to move beyond what the law making body of the union voted to do. Why is it that those leaders in a church that proclaims "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God"(Revelation 14:12), so quick to not keep the law of the World Church nor the law of their own constituency? Disrespecting law and order leads to chaos and death. It is a poor example of the gospel of grace that empowers sinners to obey the laws of God and the laws of man as they do not contravene the commandments of God. And, why is it that the Trans European Division leadership that is well aware of the situation not objecting to this lawless act? While it appears that the division has backed away from ordaining women contrary to the Word Church's rules, it seems that the president of the division is ready to die for the ordination of women even though he considers it a "pagan" practice   (  Wiklander ).
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: Netherlands Union, SECC, Women’s Ordination Unilateral Action
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2013, 04:39:01 AM »
“I am very glad that the Netherlands had the courage to ordain [Berkel-Larmonie],” said Pastor Jeroen Tuinstra, president of the Belgian-Luxembourg Conference. “We are very happy that our northern neighbors have taken this stand for equality and are prepared to carry it out. We hope that this may spread to other countries, or that at the very least it may have a positive impact on the Theology of Ordination Study Committee.” - Quoted in an article from Spectrum.

Will we ever recover from the shock of such brazen disregard for Scripture, the Spirit of prophecy and the authority given to the world church by God?
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: Netherlands Union, SECC, Women’s Ordination Unilateral Action
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2013, 09:30:11 AM »
Yes, we will, but it will prove to be a very painful experience the church will go through. Israel is an ensample for us whom the ends of the world have come upon. We have a similar experience to learn from when some chose to place themselves in positions God had not called them to.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: Netherlands Union, SECC, Women’s Ordination Unilateral Action
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2013, 05:04:39 PM »
I know.  :'( I just never want to become accustomed to it. It is there. It is in our faces and worse, in the face of God and His Son. We are in this world but not of it. Our sensitivities should not become so calloused that it can no longer affect our hearts. Not for our sake, but for His. Each time this happens, there is a fresh wound.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Michael Peabody

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Re: Netherlands Union, SECC, Women’s Ordination Unilateral Action
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2013, 06:08:24 AM »
WO is now being used to assert the indepensdence of the SECC from the GC just as LSU has also been claiming it is separate from the GC.  The same people are involved and this will ultimately be the platform for doctrinal splits and possibly secession. 

Womens ordination and the election of Roberts is being used as a wedge issue by the SECC as it steps out of church policy to  set precedent which will later affect creationism and marriage.  I have generally supported womens ordination in concept but this approach is concerning because of the rest of the cars that this particular train is pulling.

If the GC fails to step in, it could lose its moral authority and the rest of SDA doctrine will fall like dominoes.  Churches will have to choose whether to follow GC poliicy or thr local conference and this will lead to schism.  This imay well be the mechanism for the church to.appear as if it is about to falll.

There are many who will  seek to destroy the GC over this issue and  those who aren't paying attemtion follow them like sheep. 

Richard Myers

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Re: Netherlands Union, SECC, Women’s Ordination Unilateral Action
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2013, 07:05:09 AM »
Michael, you face a painful decision. By supporting the placing of women as conference presidents, leaders over men, you find yourself opposing the world church's decision. Will you follow your conscience and what you believe the Bible teaches or will you follow the world church? For us who see the rebellion as against God, His Word, and the World Church, we have no conflicting decision to make. There is another thing to consider as the rebellion moves forward. Those who are supporting homosexuality, the teaching of evolution in our schools, are all aligned with the placing of women over men in the church. It is not without reason why most in Southern California are supporting the rebellion. It is the nature of the society in which they live. It is an immoral society that is leading the world in opposition to God. Yes, there are some who like Noah are not involved, but as in the days of Noah, so it is in Southern California.
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Netherlands Union Conference Special Session
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2016, 02:54:47 PM »
We have reported on the illegal activities of the NUC in deviating from what their constituency meeting voted regarding not ordaining women pastors prior to the San Antonio GC Session.  NUC church members signed a petition calling for a special meeting of the NUC constituency to review the lack of faithfulness to church rules.

The meeting took place day before yesterday. The executive committee modified the petition in producing a measure to vote on. It did not address the issues in the petition. When the vote took place on the executive committee's measure, there were 76 out of 164 voting that opposed the measure as written. It appears the leadership of the NUC is not very popular with such a large opposition vote. The Netherlands Union executive committee has misrepresented the General Conference rules regarding women's ordination. As other dishonest leaders have done, they have falsely interpreted the GC working policy saying the unions are given authority to ordain whomever they choose, including women. This occurred just after the world church in session did not allow for the ordination of women pastors.

It is sad to see the division in the church and the lack of integrity manifested by many ordained ministers elected to high office.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: Netherlands Union, SECC, Women’s Ordination Unilateral Action
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2020, 07:29:29 AM »
Ingrid Wijngaarde is a member of the Constitution and Bylaws Committee in Netherlands Union of Churches Conference.  She is a member of Groningen SDA Church, a senior policy advisor for the Dutch government and a faithful Seventh-day Adventist Christian sister. She here gives a good review of what has transpired in the Netherlands Union over the last eight or so years. As I have shared for many years, the conferences in our church are not just "rubber stamps" to do as they wish, unless we allow them to be. God expects His church to be organized from the bottom up. We do not have a king nor a pope. We are a representative church. When the local churches remain in a Laodicean condition, then the local conferences will reflect this lost condition. Thus, this sickness will work all the way up to church leadership at its highest level. We may want a king at times to correct this evil, but it is really up to me and my family to be converted and have an influence to select consecrated leaders beginning in my church and then working its way up to the General Conference. When we pray for God to help us with good leadership, He will respond. The situation in the Netherlands Conference is an example of what God wants from the church member. What we see in the NAD, in the TED, and to a degree in other divisions is a reflection of the Laodicean churches in these divisions. May God continue to work through consecrated church members to bring about revival and reformation in His church. We pray and expect to see this soon since all other signs reveal the soon coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.





Courage in The Netherlands
December 30, 2019 Ingrid Wijngaarde

Sunday, December 8, 2019, the Executive Committee (EC) of the Dutch Union of Churches Conference met.  Women’s ordination (WO) was on the agenda.   

On December 18th the EC sent a letter to the local churches, reporting on officer changes, implementation of actions taken at the regular constituency meeting of 2017 and on women's ordination.  The letter was posted on an undisclosed delegate's Facebook page. 

The president’s letter stresses that the EC didn’t vote a decision on WO.  He writes, “In concrete terms, this means that the EC complies with the policy provisions of the Church organization unless otherwise decided in the future.”   This statement brings clarity to the current situation.  Meanwhile, some retirees continue to fuel the fire, attempting to lead the advocates of women’s ordination to think that they have ‘administrative, academic and theological freedom’ regarding the practice of WO, LGBTQ questions, and so on.   
Some History, First 

Readers should understand that the escalation of the WO issue was partly a Dutch Disease.  It was the former Dutch Union president Wim Altink, together with Dan Jackson (NAD president) and Bertil Wiklander (former TED president) who, with their variance motion, planted a bomb under the structure of the World Church at Annual Council 2011.  At GC 2010 they were among those who requested the women’s ordination question be revisited.  Their request led to the creation of the Theology of Ordination Study Committee (TOSC).  Even so, they chose not to wait for the outcome of that study, but to push women’s ordination forward on many fronts. 

This same Wim Altink returned from AC 2012, where a great majority of the world’s union leaders pled against independent actions.  He opened the way for a hostile motion to be anonymously advanced and stirred emotions so that the majority of the Dutch delegates at the Union's Session a few weeks later thought that they had the independent authority to vote for WO.  That motion was edited by the (illegal) session’s back-room, policy committee.  When the item returned to the floor, it came completely with ambiguous wording.   

The wording was (in Dutch), ‘as quickly as possible, but ultimately six months after the next session of the GC (2015) …'. The explanation of the chair of the policy committee was that the delegates must understand, 'as quickly as possible and not later than six months after GC session 2015'. 

I pointed the assembly to the ambiguous wording, but the parliamentarian ruled that amending the hostile motion would be 'hostile'.  Since the Union was not accustomed to gather under fixed rules of order, and I had fought that arbitrary situation for five years already, I decided to leave the session venue that day and leave the Union EC to its own devices.  It busied itself muzzling delegates and laboring to secure a mandate for itself. 

The next day, realizing that the situation had developed under his watch, Bertil Wiklander attempted to do damage control.  Wim Altink acknowledged publicly that he knew that the Dutch Union would put itself in an awkward position with the World Church if the EC implemented the action before GC 2015.  He stated that the intention was to wait until after GC 2015.  Possibly, he didn’t reckon with the hard-liners in the board¾those fully prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals of independency.  That Wim Altink was out of control would soon become clear. 

The EC decided in May 2013 (six months later) to implement the action, arguing that its hands were bound by 'the constituency, the highest authority of the Dutch church'.  I appealed the EC’s decisions and protested that the appeals committee consisted of the same men who were instrumental to the 2012 session action.  Bertil Wiklander wrote me an email to say that he would call Wim Altink to give account, but that never happened.  Soon Wiklander resigned.  The Union secretary personally told me, ‘we know that we promised to wait but we took the wording of the motion literally.’ 

In other words, the whole sequence of action was premeditated. 
Incorporating the Church for Equality 

The next step came in 2014. The EC decided to incorporate the Union.  This would change its legal status under Dutch Law and undermine the separation between Church and State.  Were this change accomplished, the church organization would be compelled to abide by state regulations concerning gender equality. 

By then, after several years working in policy in the Dutch government and having come to know Adventist Working Policy almost by heart, I was probably one of very few who understood these stealthy movements.  I began to grasp the urgent challenges we would face and to better understand what Heaven had been preparing me for the past seven years.   

After many communications with the union’s secretary, I dug into the Groningen University Law Library to document the facts.  I made a final attempt to convince the delegates and the EC that it would be a disaster for the Church to change its legal status.  I shared my material with a Church Law professor, and he confirmed my conclusions.  Fifteen prominent delegates saw the danger too and decided to sign that paper and we begged the EC not to take our word for it but to contact the professor. 

He told them that incorporating the Church would be the end to the church-status of the SDA Church in the Netherlands, and that it would also affect the special status of the pastors¾they would become regular laborers, without special tax benefits.  Equality seemed enticing but would have very negative repercussions.  Nevertheless, the union’s secretary continued to work towards having delegates change the constitution. 

Then God intervened. The delegates to the session gave a no show; there was no quorum to start the meeting. Some suggested to ignore quorum, but the TED secretary convinced them that to proceed without a quorum would make the revision of the constitution forever questionable under Dutch law. That would add to the volatile situation in this union. 

In 2016 the EC tried it again, but because it failed to send notice of the session on time, they compromised the constitution again. That meeting was canceled too.   
Member’s Manifesto

The 2015 General Conference Session opened many eyes. The blatant violation of church policy, along with manipulation and deliberate misinformation given to the people, had an effect. After much prayer I began drafting a member’s manifesto. By this time, I was exhausted. I didn’t really know what to do next. Prayers of many members didn’t seem to help. 

I told the Lord, ‘If You want me to do something, You’ll have to send someone to help me, because I am not certain what to do next.’ The next day a young brother, Daniel Klop, called me, saying, ‘Ingrid let’s do it together this time.’ We publicly called for a member’s meeting to talk about the situation on August 30th.   

Eighty-two members came from all over the country, and unanimously we decided to create a Member’s Manifesto to request a special meeting to hold the EC accountable. The old constitution provided for 500 members to demand a special meeting. Eventually, within 1,5 month more than 800 members gave their signature¾almost 1/3 of attending church members in the Union, and we could send in the request by registered mail on October 11th .   

We had determined from the beginning to do this with all godly courtesy and to be transparent towards the EC and the local church boards. Right away on September 2, 2015 the secretary of the EC received an email with an advance notification of the manifesto. That is what the 82 members demanded at the meeting - "we want to communicate with the union as transparently as possible; we want to do it in God's way, so that it is blessed, as we are and will remain each other's brothers and sisters”. This courtesy was maintained throughout the whole process. We sought to avoid all politics and manipulation, but to be wise as serpents and blameless as doves. 

The 82 members who acted as ambassadors to gather the signatures were not met with the same courtesy. They encountered much opposition and coercion. We were not surprised. We knew the sheep were sleeping with the wolves. We resolved to depend on the God who never sleeps. 

The EC tried to deny the request, arguing that because the constitution does not specify a time limit, they could refuse indefinitely to schedule the meeting. We argued that the Model Constitution in the Working policy specifies 90 days as reasonable. 

The EC managed to stall the meeting for 237 days, until June 5, 2016. The members begged EC, TED and GC for independent parliamentary guidance because the same men were in office who had been instrumental at the session of 2012 action. The request was not heard; TED administration stood aloof; GC did not respond. 
The Member’s Session 

The leaders of the Member’s movement presented a thoughtful, courteous statement, and their first motion was that the Dutch Union must be in harmony with voted Church Policy.  The recently replaced union’s secretary tried to amend the wording to "as much as possible", but that amendment failed.  The parliamentarians could not believe it.  They counted the secret ballots four times before they admitted that the initial motion had achieved a majority. 

After that, the EC officials hijacked the meeting altogether.  It was a total disgrace.  The GC Rules of Order were violated on 21 points, and this under the supervision of TED officers.  After the session I wrote my report on the 21 violations.   

Apparently, those at higher levels concluded that the Dutch members are not easy to handle when dishonest men violate their rights.  The next two sessions (2017 new EC and 2018 new Constitution and Bylaws) Karnik Doukmetzian was dispatched to us from the General Conference as parliamentarian.  It proved necessary for he repeatedly had to intervene to secure proper process.   

Great is our God and greatly to be praised! But God wants action first. He wants Gideons, feeble at heart, but acting while praying and crying. 
 Clarity Now 

The current administration was appointed in 2017. Pray for them. The pressure on them is enormous. 

The passage in the letter of Dec 18th reads (translated from Dutch): 

"Finally, the subject of the issue of Women's ordination in the position of pastor was addressed. This is a difficult issue for the EC, with which it struggles. In April 2017, the former EC issued a temporary stop to ordination services for women in pastoral ministry. The current administrators starting their position in June 2017, prolonged that decision with two years, on request from the Trans-European Division, to further the dialogue [Ed. At division level].

At the EC meeting of December 8th, no decision was taken on [Ed. To restart] ordination services for women in the position of pastoral ministry. Some aspects around this issue have become clear, though. First, there is the fact that according to the policy of the Church organization, the EC has no formal mandate to decide on ordaining women to the position of pastoral ministry. Second, the fact was established that the delegates in the constituency meeting of May 2018 decided explicitly that the Dutch Union of Churches Conference shall be governed in harmony with the policy of the world church organization. This was broadly discussed during that session. [Ed. and regulated in the new constitution] There is also the fact [Ed. Thirdly] that even if the EC would want to take such a decision, it will not be a decision on whether or not to ordain women to pastoral ministry; the choice of the EC would then be that the Dutch church would be in violation to the policy of the World Church and of its own Constitution. You may understand that such a decision needs an argument that must be indisputable and to explore such arguments takes time. Therefore, the EC declared to take time the coming period to further explore the aspects of ordaining women to pastoral ministry.   

The EC also wants [Ed. Fourth] to further explain the role and the position of women ministers, as designed within the World Church organization. In concrete terms, this means that the EC complies with the policy provisions of the Church organization, unless otherwise decided in the future."
My Comments on the Passage 

1. The basis for non-ordination is not only found in the World Church policy (working policy) and the Dutch church's Constitution, but also in the majority's decision of the 2016 Special Members' Manifesto Session, "to remain in complete harmony with the policies of the world church". The motion was attacked in a hostile manner and amended to "as much as possible in harmony ...". Even though after that session the EC cried victory to say that the 2012 session decision and the EC action of 2013 was established, that sound was off-key. 

2. The passage correctly states that if it is decided to ordain women, the EC would we acting directly against our duly voted world church policy, as well as the legal basis of the Adventist Church in the Netherlands, the Dutch Civil Code. Such a decision would mean that the Dutch church was separating itself from the world church. Another reason to think carefully before taking such a step is that the foundation of the church is not theological only, but there is a judicial element. In the Netherlands, Church organizations are not obliged to adopt Articles of Association (i.e. Constitutions), but Dutch law requires that if they do, they must act according to the association rules. 

3. The suggestion that more time is needed for explanation and detailed arguments is an empty promise, because the Dutch Union of Churches Conference is not authorized to take a positive or negative decision on the outcome of such an exploration. Moreover, during the past ten years, such an exploration has been carried out at the highest levels in our World Church (TOSC), and the results have been clear. On top of that, there are 23 to 24 valid actions on this matter at that highest level since 1973, rejecting women's ordination to pastoral ministry. These are valid decisions of the church, that need to be honored. 

4. Every statement from "a Dutch reconnaissance envoy" would be an unnecessary waste of time, and a distraction from the reason of existence of the church in this world¾preaching the Biblical gospel in an unadulterated way so that people can still be saved for the eternal Kingdom of God, where there will be no distinction between male and female. A badge of honor is worthless there. Let us give everything for that purpose; and fight for it, because time is short. We must stop agitating church members for church positions on earth.   

5. The Dutch union of churches is not governed by "influential retirees", and the World Church is governed by consensus decisions of duly chosen world representatives. Our Church has always been very careful not to foster local dictators and cult leaders. The majority have already spoken 24 times at the highest level, and in the Netherlands in 2016 and 2017 and 2018. Even with God, three times settle a dispute (Luke 4, Matthew 4). Enough is enough. Time to stop this madness. 

6. "In concrete terms, this means that the EC complies with the policy provisions of the Church organization unless otherwise decided in the future." That is, unless otherwise decided by duly appointed delegates in a GC Session. Exactly! That's the way it should be. No minister, or self-respecting church leader, would want (to have) his / her authority to be undermined, the way this issue has dragged on for the past ten years.
God is Final Judge 

The current administration continues to be on the receiving end; it is tarred and feathered by past and present forces pressing for women’s ordination. These are those who were behind the anonymous motion in 2012. These were openly spreading misinformation, calling Ted Wilson “pope” in official church publications, and even trying to incorporate the Dutch Church as a business entity in order to bypass the separation between Church and State in the Netherlands to achieve their ‘equality’. They didn’t succeed, for God has final say. 

Today, I look back and see where God was there beside me. I was exhausted when God enlisted 800 brethren. All who dare resist a corrupted system will be maimed and crushed. But we can see now how God was with us every step of the way. It has cost us much. We had to make our foreheads iron and close our ears and feelings to the animosities against us and our families. 

When I look back today and realize that despite all of that I was appointed delegate by my local Church in 2007, 2012, 2014, twice in 2016, and chosen in the CSR (Standing Committee Constitution and bylaws) in 2017 while not a delegate, delegate at large in 2018, I am simply amazed. Humanly speaking, all that is impossible. But this is what God’s children will feel when in Heaven we look back and realize that we were never walking alone. 

God has His men and women at their post who will not flinch.  I am humbled to have been one of those.

The last thing I want is to be put on a pedestal.  My only reason is to have the readers perceive that battling justice takes much and almost all, but that God sends helpers when you are at the end of your wits.

Now I ask only one thing of you, my F7 brethren: please remember the Dutch brethren in your prayers?  The women’s ordination conflict has required much of our energies.  It may cost many their eternal life.  Many who call themselves leaders should have received a for-cause removal letter long ago.  Sometimes I wonder if those men and women study their Sabbath School lessons.  The past quarter addressing leadership was timely.  Lord, have mercy on our souls! 

I know very well that I am a sinner saved by grace and was just an instrument in His hands.

“I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence” (Isaiah 62:6 ).
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.