An Open Letter to the Seventh-day Adventist Church

Nurselucy, I struggled with what you wrote. My initial response was a desire to pound an angry reubuttal on my keyboard. I did stop to count to 10 and pray a bit…

Not sure if you were one of those “super mom’s” or not (I’m guessing you retired from nursing). I would consider your point of view one that is a perhaps a relic from the past that assumes a man is a better pastor (a) because he has his wife behind him and (b) well, because he’s a man.

I know great women pastors who are married, and great women pastors who are single, and great women pastors who are single, but have kids. And I know some women pastors who aren’t so great. I know some great male pastors who are married and those who are single and who are single but with kids - and I know some male pastors who aren’t so great.

Lastly, I honestly don’t know what to make of this: “I sincerely hope that women deciding to be Pastors and the men behind the thinking of all of this…”

  • are you saying that it’s men that are behind pushing women to be pastors? How come you think that women either (a) don’t have a mind of their own and (b) must dance to the tune of what a man thinks? It doesn’t sound at all like you read the author’s impassioned explanation as to who she is as both a Seventh-day Adventist and a person called to ministry. As if her ministry is somehow less than a man’s because it’s possible that her husband (assuming she has one or is “required” to have one) won’t support her enough.

Perhaps I’m reading more into what you wrote than you intended. If so, I apologize.

I have two daughters ages 20 and 15. I want them to do whatever they feel called by God to do - and I don’t think a bunch of old men should dictate what that should be.



NurseLucy, I read the paragraph about your background.

I’ll apologize for my previous comments. The reality is that our past informs our opinions. I read that your son left the church and that you worked full time by yourself. That your work paid for his Christian education, but he still left the church. Sounds like you are suggesting or you believe that your work outside of the home is what caused him to leave the church.

I obviously don’t know you or your son. I don’t know why he left the church. If you read the other article that’s now on Spectrum of the 39% of the people who have left the church, and the many comments connected with that article you’ll see lots of reasons articulated. I didn’t see any of them that blamed their mom because she worked.

My mom was a single mom. She raised two sons and got a degree. She sacrificed so we could go to SDA school. At one point she gave up a promising career because I was 15 and getting into trouble. Was this because she worked? Because she was a single parent? Maybe, the reasons are complicated.

My mom left the church 25 years ago. She felt that (a) it was legalistic and set impossibly high standards that couldn’t be met and that (b) nobody was meeting them, they were all lying about it and were hypocritical (the final straw was joining an SDA church singles group in her 40’s and discovering that most of the people involved were all sleeping with each other and lying about it).

I spent almost 10 years away from the church and the last 20 in it. I struggle with a church denominational leadership that is legalistic in approach. Certainly seems more like the Pharisees than like Christ. However, I choose to focus on an expansive, Christ-like picture of Grace. I’ve tried non-SDA churches, but find I still consider myself an SDA with all it’s flaws.

My brother swore off the church when he was 15 and hasn’t been back.

I wish you the best. Perhaps understanding without judgment with your son as to why he left the church might help heal relationships. Jesus wasn’t a Seventh-day Adventist and who’s to say what path God might have? I recently preached a sermon in church and if you had asked my 30 year old self if that ever happened I would have laughed at you, or perhaps cursed. Good luck.


What I am trying to say is this. After reading The Great Controversy Androgyny Deception, I read the statement referred to in the Testimonies Vol.1 Page 421. It says, “Those who feel called out to join the movement in favor of women’s rights and the so called dress reform might as well sever all connection with the third angel’s message.” I had to know what this meant. The Great Controversy Androgyny Deception explains it quite well I feel. One needs to read Part 1 and Part 2 both though. There is an attack on headship in the home and in the church. Ellen White seems to be warning about this. Here are my true personal feelings. If there aren’t any men willing or able to be a pastor of a church, then a woman should be willing to pastor it. If there are willing and able men, then they should be called first. Even in the case of Ellen White, God called two men first to give his messages. But they didn’t give the messages. Then God called a woman. I also found parts 3 & 4 helpful to me of the Androgyny Deception on the subject of women’s dress. The Bible does say in Deut. 22:5 “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.” The Androgyny Deception also has further quotes from Ellen White on this subject. As I mentioned earlier, I hope that all can read this as they have time.
As for why my son left the church, I know he has various reasons, but I do feel in my heart that if I would have stayed home and taught him myself, spent more time with him, had time to just mother him as I should have, perhaps the outcome would have been different. I do feel that working outside of the home was a factor in my case. Just my personal feelings.

I can’t seem to find features or articles with Walter Veith on this website.
My personal feeling though is if what is written or presented lines up with the Bible and The Spirit of Prophecy, then one needs to heed it. It doesn’t matter who presents it. But one needs to prayerfully study what is being presented out.

Thank you, I appreciate your thoughts and reply. God bless you too!

Steve –
For my pastor, who was a Pharmacist prior to his deciding that he wanted
to take the “ministry”, he was required to go through an intense discernment
process when he began his studies.
He actually grew up in a Baptist environment. But changed to Episcopalian
in his adult years.
In the congregation I attend on Sundays, we had this Baptist minister talk to
us on a Sunday School topic one week couple years ago. Just for fun he asked
“How many former Baptists?” – And about a third of those attending raised their
In Baptist circles, there is a large organization called “Cooperative Baptists”, at
least here in Georgia. They recently [last Fall] celebrate 25th Anniversary of
organization. Here in Macon there are several churches as members – about
3000 or so members. One of their tenants is woman pastors, being all inclusive.
In January 1st Baptist [about 450 members], the pastor performed a gay wedding
of 2 members. There were at least 400 or more in attendance to the celebration.
And it actually made big front page news in our newspaper with picture.
Mercer University, the largest college in Macon, used to be part of the So. Baptist
Convention. A number of years ago the President allowed the GL’s on campus
to form an authorized “Club”. He was also a Baptist pastor. For doing so, and
for NOT banning the club, Mercer was kicked out of the So. Baptists, and the
president no longer was a Baptist pastor. Mercer is now an independent
university, but is doing so much better now that it is not “church” affiliated.
Around that time the president, R. Kirby Godsey, published an interesting
book. The title – “Is God a Christian?”, [2011, Mercer University Press] I
have a signed copy. It is well worth the read.
I don’t believe he would make a “good Adventist”. He asks too many Questions.

I mention these things just to show that SDAs are not the ONLY religious
group with “problems”. We need to pray for our “Cousins” in other groups.


Are you a Walter Veith’s follower or sympathizer or promoter?
Just curious.

Lucy –
Have you seen the pictures of Ellen White’s Reform Dress for women? I saw it
way back in late 50’s, early 60’s while in Academy and College. Long sleeve.
Up around the neck. About mid-calf. with pantaloons to keep the legs warm.
Seems like it would be awfully hot working in the garden. OR, in the house
without any air conditioning.
Apparently she liked her Reformed Dress, much better than the ones being
Later in life Ellen did come to the point of elevating the role of women in
society. Actually she attempted to get the role of women elevated in the
SDA church beginning late 1880’s and on to 1900’s, but the 3 GC top
men would not hear of it. Sent her requests to File 13, never to be seen
again. And the same behavior continues in 2019–“grave consequences”.
Something we have to understand about Ellen as with any human, her
understanding of some things became more mature as she got older.
The problem with ALL her writings available from the 1846’s to 1915, no one
separates out the progression of her “maturity”. And so a lot of her less mature
statements are read for being necessary here in 2019.
And THAT is a very REAL challenge for the average SDA who picks and chooses
what to read from her writings from 1846 to 1915.
It is also a real challenge to persons trying to believe IF she was a “prophet” as the
church promotes her [like an Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah, Malachi], as she did made some
wrong statements and some wrong predictions related to time.
The Church does not promote Ellen as a 1Corinthians 14 person having the “gift of
Prophecy” as described by Paul.


I don’t know that much about Walter Veith. I personally haven’t read anything that he has written that I can’t agree with. Haven’t read or heard that many of his sermons. As with any speaker that I listen to, if I don’t understand or have a different idea about something, I study it out using the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy writings.

The Androgyny Deception has a lot of pictures of dresses in Ellen White’s day. Also a picture of the reformed dress that she tried to promote. A lot of SDA women didn’t like it. Her main concern seemed to be that women were wearing clothing that were looking more and more mannish. The Bible condemns this in Deut. 22:5. Most of the women in the church and in society wear pants and jeans and I do feel that this is clothing that does pertain to men. I now wear quite long dresses almost all of the time. They are comfortable for me and I don’t have any problem with them. When I have to get down in the dirt, I will wear old jeans.
I do believe that E G White is inspired. I don’t see how anyone could write a book like The Great Controversy on their own. Also many of her statements about healthful living are being proved out scientifically. If some of her writings are inspired by God, then I am sure that God had his hand over all of her writings. I don’t believe that God works any differently than that. So I don’t pick and choose from any of her writings what to believe or not to believe. The SDA church does promote Ellen White as having the gift of prophecy.

headship in the home is biblical, but headship in the church is cultural…despite what you may have heard, 1Cor 11:3 is properly interpreted only through a comparison with Eph 5:23…these are parallel texts…they are not teaching two different forms of headship…they are both teaching headship in the home only…note that 1Cor 14:34-35 uses “women” interchangeably with “wives”…

but you can test all of this by thinking about it: why would paul teach husband headship if he’d already taught male headship…and why would god punish eve with submission to her husband, adam, if she was already in submission to adam the man…egw really does say that the change in nature in adam and eve after the fall required the submission of one or the other…in other words, neither were in submission to the other before the fall…eve was chosen to be in submission to adam purely because she had led him into sin…this really is in PP:58…

the stand being taken by conservatives on this question of WO is unwarranted…it is reading into inspiration what isn’t there…

As I have written before, my personal feeling is that if there are capable and willing men to pastor, then they should be called first. If not, which may be the case in some countries or at times, then a woman should be called. When God gave a vision, he gave it to two men first. Both did not follow through to give what was revealed to them to the people. Then God gave the same vision to Ellen White. She was willing to tell what was revealed to her. God chose to reveal his vision to men first.
Anyway, each person has to study and decide what they believe about WO. I have decided to not discuss this any further on this forum. I appreciate everyone’s comments and I want to thank everyone that has expressed their views here too. God’s blessings to you each!!

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Sorry, but it is more my nature to question than to demand. I prefer that people think about what the issues are rather than drive them to a particular course of action. I think if you read all my posts on this thread, you will discover that my concerns about the pastoral profession are not gender specific. I do not support a woman’s right to be ordained because she is a woman any more than I support a man’s right to be ordained because he is a man. But that is probably moot anyway because I do not believe the SDA ordination model is biblical in the first place. I explain the reasons for that in the article “A Concise Theology of Ordination” on my website at I don’t wish to reprint the entire document here.


The Sabbath is a day of rest.Sunday is a day of celebration on the Road To Emmaus, in the Upper Room, and in Heaven.Why not rest on the Sevrnth day and enjoin in corporation celebration on the morning that Christ came forth as the One Who fillfilled the Everlasting CovenantAnd gave us rye EverlastingbGospel. So join a Gospel bearing Church and preach the Godspel on the morning of His Triumph? The Sagpbbath for contemplation, Sunday for celebration and sharing. It works for me a clear call after Glacier View.

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Tom –
Liked that. “Rest” and “Celebration”.

It. Might be helpful if the church test marketed the strong presentation of male headship in evangelistic efforts.

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lucy, your reasoning is very unconvincing…personal feelings don’t cut it…you have no real inspiration to back you up…

In any traditional denomination it’s not something you find often.

I would add that men and women are different psychologically, and such wasn’t a controversial view until recently. There are specific reasons that you find overwhelming majority of men in leadership positions, in spite of male / female ratio being fairly even. Allowing WO will not magically change that, especially in a world where pastors have to be stretched between 2 or 3 churches to make salaries viable. There may be seem to be shortage, but it’s a self-emposed one to cut on cost of salaried employees. That fact alone makes pastoral field very competitive. In the leadership scope men will outcompete a vast majority of women… Not because they are better humans, but because they are more tuned to competitive environments. Males can be pastors of 3 churches largely because they have a wife helping them. No man can do it alone. And the sad truth is that as men we are generally awful and psychologically unequipped to raise young chidren. We do better when the children can walk and talk, but before that we are not as good. As someone pointed out, a woman essentially has to be super super mom is she is to pastor 2 churches, which seems to be an Adventist trend in many places I go to. So, the church context should either be narrowed down to a single congregation, and single female pastors… which invites other complexity.

Beyond all rhat, the WO is a political absurd that exists purely due to the nonsensical structure of GC and down. This constraint is the only reason why won’t a church politics problem. If churches maintained more control over their decisions than GC or Conferences then churches would rightly structured leadership that works for them.

There are plenty of churches with strong female leadership that’s more equipped for the pastoral position than available males.

GC can remain administrative facilitator, but making it some form of political authority is neither efficient nor viable in terms of CG adequately relating to local needs.


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