Adventist Society for Religious Studies Votes Support for 'Yes' Vote on GC Ordination Question

(system) #1

Members of the Adventist Society for Religious Studies meeting in San Diego, California voted today (Friday) to support a YES vote on the Women’s Ordination motion that will be considered at the 2015 General Conference Session.

The vote was constructed as a message to the delegates of the GC Session meeting in San Antonio, Texas, U.S., July, 2015. It read:

"We, the members of the Adventist Society for Religious Studies, wish to express our love for the church and our concern for its unity.

We appreciate the work of the General Conference Theology of Ordination Study Committee as well as the division Biblical research committees. These committees thoughtfully expanded Adventist scholarship on ordination of women throughout all areas of the world church.

We appreciate the clarity and leadership of our colleagues at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University in their statement, “On the Unique Headship of Christ in the Church.” This paper is a vigorous and lucid reminder to us that Christ is the sole “head” of the Church.

Given these, and many other, efforts to remind us of the central importance of unity in Christ, we urge you to vote YES on the motion approved at the 2014 Annual Council which recognizes the prerogative of the Church’s thirteen world divisions regarding the practice of ordination of women to Gospel Ministry."

Adventist Ecclesiology is the topic for the annual meeting of the religion scholars this year. In addition to the statement on women’s ordination, the group is listening to papers on a diverse spectrum of aspects of ecclesiology such as sacred texts, hymns, organizational structure, the law, educational and health care systems and the environment.

Friday evening, the ASRS scholars will join with the members of the Adventist Theological Society at a dinner meeting during which presidents of both societies will give addresses.

Bonnie Dwyer is the editor of Spectrum Magazine.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

(Thomas J Zwemer) #2

an excellent statement, It not only hit the major points, but did so in a redemptive fashion. I like the hymn, Lead Kindly Light. the Church must advance with advancing understanding. what we now have is Historic Adventism in its most gross edition. Tom Z


When a personal crisis led me out of the church twenty years ago, the debate over women’s ordination seemed anachronistic to me even back then. Having rejoined the fellowship of adventism with much grayer hair, it sounds even more so. But I guess one can only applaud the vestige of civil rights as it inches towards reality albeit 40 or 50 years late.

(Elmer Cupino) #4

The dam has been broken. We have reached the point of no return. Praise the Lord.

(Tihomir Odorcic) #5

This is a very good initiative. Spectrum is read throughout the world. There has to be in every conference if not every local church, one who is following those threads about WO. Let us all make such appeals in our Adventist surroundings for the sake “of the central importance of unity in Christ” and urge our delegates to vote YES. This unjust and unchristian treatment of female clergy has to be put away once for ever in a Church which has so many good qualities (like humanitarian activities, health care and health reform, educational system, Sabbath and the best of all Jesus). Is it true what I said? If not, then there is no mission for this Church in this world.

(Allen Shepherd) #6

There have been, is it three articles, supporting WO here, and one open letter calling Doug Batchlor a “demagogue”, for not supporting it? Now I am just curious why that one person would be singled out as a demagogue for his non-support, but the others are reported as, well, real fine folk? Is that how this is: demagogue if you don’t and moral giant if you do? And the pros are looking for unity?? Maybe those relationship skills need some polishing? Seems if you wanted unity you would be more gracious to those disagreeing with you.

(Allen Shepherd) #7

See, TO, that is just it. It in not unjust and unchristian. Were is it stated in Scripture that we must do it? Are you calling your brethren who disagree with you unjust and unchristian? Isn’t that a bit judgmental? But of course that is OK for you to do, is it?

The TOSC could not come to a consensus on this from scripture, so I think that calling those who take the opposite view unchristian is uncharitable at best, and perhaps unchristian itself.

(jeremy) #8

to me, it looks like the lobbying of our gc delegates to get the them to vote our way is well on its way…

(Phillip Brantley) #9

It is interesting to me that the system of hierarchy that opponents of women’s ordination urge upon the Seventh-day Adventist Church does not argue for the necessity of non-scholars and pretending-to-be-scholars to submit to the authority of real scholars. We have been told that headship authority exists in the Father over the Son, angels of a particular class over angels in other classes, men over women, the ordained over the un-ordained, and pastors and elders over prophets, but why haven’t we been told by Doug Batchelor and other opponents of women’s ordination that non-scholars should submit to the authority of real scholars?

It is always fun to see the precocious student show up the teacher. Everyone giggles and compliments the student about how smart he or she is. I don’t think this is what is happening in the Seventh-day Adventist Church right now.

(Allen Shepherd) #10

I am not sure about the scholar/nonscholar debate, but I think demagogue is a bit harsh. Especially of a fellow like that.

And I am not sure I would giggle at the embarrassment of the teacher, or anyone with such a role. Do you feel there is no place for an authority over others, such as the president, or, a pastor to be respected. Paul, as I recall, said for wives to respect their husbands, even if they had not earned it.

(George Tichy) #11

People just need to become more educated on the WO issue. And stop fearing the GC-burro and its “secretariat.” When people stop fearing they get the courage to do the right thing. This (education) is the only way, also, that the truth about the headshi thing can be unveiled.

(George Tichy) #12

Which one is “unchristian itself,”

Being in favor of discrimination of women, or
Being against discrimination of women?

(George Tichy) #13

Should I start sending them black Japanese Whoppers right away???

(George Tichy) #14

Excellent point!
I guess we are having too many self-appointed scholars who are usurping the position earned by the true-scholars. And when the true scholars write down their position on the WO issue, the quasi-scholars just rebel!

(Tihomir Odorcic) #15

There is an old rule of checking your behaviour, attitudes, words etc.: what would Jesus do in that case? In many cases you don’t have any literal axample of Jesus’ behaviour, attitude etc., but you apply it anyway, especially if you are teaching a child :smile: Though in case of His treatment of women, you have many of them literal. That’s why I call the opposite treatment of women unchristian. Simply not like Christ would do it.

(Tihomir Odorcic) #16

Why not? After all in the end they’ll lift their hands by themselves.

(jeremy) #17

sure…send them all into confusion for turning our church into a political gong show…even if you sent them black japanese veggie whoppers, perhaps they’d get the msg…

edit: by msg i mean message…or do i really mean mono sodium glutamate :wink:

(jeremy) #18

that’s a bit cynical, tihomir…yes, the delegates will technically vote independently, but wouldn’t it be nice if that vote represented real independence, and was a real reflection of how people around the world feel…

i really hope i don’t hear of bribes being offered to the delegates…or worse yet, delegates offering to vote a certain way for a small fee…

(Tihomir Odorcic) #19

It is known that for a big majority of people there is no firm personal opinion. They are dependent on the public opinion. Just test them today (tomorrow) in your Sabbath School and answer me if I’m wrong or not. Have a nice Sabbath, Jeremy.

(Pagophilus) #20

Just wait until Africa and Asia get into the mix. What does the Southern Africa Indian Ocean Division think? (Let me guess, it’s in the TOSC documents and it doesn’t even support women elders.)