General Conference Releases Statement on Sexuality and Criteria for Pastoral Ministry
4 April 2023 |
The General Conference has joined the recent conversation on Pastor Saša Gunjević’s announcement by releasing a statement titled “Reaffirmation of the Biblical Criteria for Pastoral Ministry and the Biblical Teachings on Human Sexuality.”
In this statement, Pastor Gunjević’s situation is addressed, and it is concluded that while the Hanseatic Conference originally approved the continuation of his credentials, “the EUD [Inter-European Division] administration prayerfully analyzed the pastor’s sermon and subsequent public statements and concluded that his open rejection of the official position of the worldwide church disqualifies him from pastoral ministry.”
The entire statement is published on the Adventist News Network site, but some key points include the following:
- Pastors are leaders in supporting and nurturing biblical belief and instruction. In this special calling, they have a duty to be exemplary in their public ministry and personal lives, including the demonstration of the highest integrity and faithfulness to the Word of God.
- The current situation of having a pastor holding ministerial credentials issued by the Adventist Church who identifies as bisexual presents a great challenge to the biblical principles and fundamental beliefs we uphold. Further, it lessens the integrity of the ministerial credential policies as voted by the world church representatives at the Annual Council.
- Many have chosen, through God’s strength and a personal relationship with Him, not to practice their unbiblical sexual orientation. Our pastors are called to walk alongside them in what is often a very difficult journey.
- We remind ourselves of the biblical view of human sexuality summarized in the Statement on Transgenderism voted at the 2017 Spring Meeting.
- As church members and leaders, let us by God’s grace embrace biblical truth and scriptural instructions and turn away from social movements that are contrary to the Word of God.
This statement is said to be a consensus statement from the General Conference, Division, and attached Union Officers.