GC Working Policy 2005-2006 General Administrative Policies / 101
BA 60 Human Relations
BA 60 05 Basic Principles—Seventh-day Adventists believe in the universal fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man and are dedicated to the proclamation of the message of Revelation 14:6-12 to all peoples of the earth. This philosophy and its resultant course of action has made the Church multiracial, multiethnic, and gender inclusive. The Church is enriched by such membership and by the valuable contribution to its mission of both men and women of different nationalities and races as they serve as laypersons and employees at various levels of the Church.
The Church rejects any system or philosophy which discriminates against anyone on the basis of race, color, or gender. The Church bases its position on principles clearly enunciated in the Bible, the writings of Ellen G White, and the official pronouncements of the General Conference.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:28).
“Christ came to this earth with a message of mercy and forgiveness. He laid the foundation for a religion by which Jew and Gentile, black and white, free and bond, are linked together in one common brotherhood, recognized as equal in the sight of God. The Saviour has a boundless love for every human being. In each one He sees capacity for improvement. With divine energy and hope He greets those for whom He has given His life. In His strength they can live a life rich in good works, filled with the power of the Spirit” (7T 225).
“No distinction on account of nationality, race, or caste, is recognized by God. He is the Maker of all mankind. All men are of one family by creation, and all are one through redemption. Christ came to demolish every wall of partition, to throw open every compartment of the temple, that every soul may have free access to God . . . In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free. All are brought nigh by His precious blood” (COL 386).
BA 60 10 Official Position—The world Church supports nondiscrimination in employment practices and policies and upholds the principle that both men and women, without regard to race and color, shall be given full and equal opportunity within the Church to develop the knowledge and skills needed for the building up of the Church. Positions of service and responsibility (except those requiring ordination to the gospel ministry*) on all levels of church activity shall be open to all on the basis of the individual’s qualifications.
1. Membership and office in the local church, and at various levels of administration, shall be available to anyone who qualifies, without regard to race, color, or gender.
2. The appointment of individuals to serve as Bible instructors or chaplains, or in departmental or pastoral responsibilities, shall not be GC Working Policy limited by race or color. Neither shall these positions be limited by gender(except those requiring ordination to the gospel ministry*).
3. In educational institutions there shall be no bias on the basis ofrace, color, or gender in the employment of teachers or other personnel nor in the admission of students.
4. Hospitals and other health care institutions shall make no distinction on the basis of race, color, or gender in admitting patients or in making their facilities available to physicians, interns, residents, nurses, and administrators who meet the professional standards of the institution.
5. All organizations and institutions shall provide employment and advancement opportunities without regard to race, color, or gender to persons who qualify.
6. Employment opportunities, membership on committees and boards, and nomination to office shall not be limited by race or color. Neither shall these opportunities be limited by gender (except those requiring ordination to the gospel ministry*).
7. Where problems of race, color, or gender exist, workshops and seminars on human relations should be conducted. If advisable, conferences/missions/fields, unions and/or divisions may form a committee to address issues in human relations.
8. The commitment of the Church to fair and equal treatment of men and women, without regard to race or color, shall be reflected in employment practices and policies regarding hiring, layoff, discharge, training and promotions, and remuneration. Benefits and allowances for individuals and families shall be established by each division based on the principle of fairness, and without gender bias.
9. Administrators, departmental directors, pastors, educators, local church officers, and others in positions of leadership in the Church shall uphold this position and support these principles as a part of the gospel and God’s special message for the world.
*The exception clause, and any other statement above, shall not be used to reinterpret the action already taken by the world Church authorizing the ordination of women as local church elders in divisions where the division executive committees have given their approval.