A recent survey was conducted in Spanish to Latin American Seventh-day Adventist Church members (English translation used for the benefit of this publication). Of the 542 participants, 52% are in favor of women’s ordination, and 48% are not in favor. Furthermore, out of those who do not favor women’s ordination, 20% are willing to allow other territories to do so which increases the overall favoritism. This voluntary survey clearly shows a different result than the GC 2015 vote of the Latin American leaders.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2017/07/11/latin-america-narrowly-supports-women%25e2%2580%2599s-ordination
Educate, educate, educate!
Not only about ordination but about the church and authority; and not only in Latin America, but also in the South Pacific Division! The SPD leadership are among the most vocal Adventist leaders in calling for a further satisfying resolution of these issues, yet their behaviour toward Pr Gary Kent, former Speaker/ Director of It is Written Oceania is perceived by an important segment of the membership here as being authoritarian and based on a model of control and coersion, [similar to that of the GC leadership].
The South Pacific Division have had a de-facto regulation in place prohibiting anything but the briefest discussion of ordination in their media. I have the feeling that if a survey were made of church members in the South Pacific concerning ordination and church authority, the results would be surprising like those of Latin America!
It is truly amazing that Adventist leaders through-out the world sit on their hands in this regard! It was the East-Central Africa Division BRC who in late 2013 called on TOSC and/ or Adventists in other world regions to continue as dialogue partners with them concerning ordination. They wished for this educational process to reach the “grassroots.” Further, they predicted chaos if this didn’t happen! And it has happened just as predicted!
I authored an open letter to the GC administrators on this website appealing for open discussion on ordination to continue beyond the end of TOSC and before San Antonio. All I received was a very muted acknowledgement of my epistle.
I regard such lack of education for church membership at large on these topics as a huge breach of trust and direlection of duty. If Adventists do not educate their members with regard to things such as ordination and ecclesiology it should not be at all surprising if secular culture does!!
Thankfully, the London Unity Conference and George Knight’s latest sermon on ordination is filling this need to a limited extent. Also, I saw a sermon by Pr David Asherrick at the 2017 Lightbearers Camp Meeting along very similar lines. This is available on YouTube.
How much money was spent on this? Was it really worth any of the spent?
So what, and the study was of small group anyway 500 +
It is frustrating to see that this issue was voted, but continues to be a problem.
I have noted that those if favor of WO make this a moral issue above almost all other issues. I have seen them call those disagreeing un-Christian and wicked. Epithets they would not call those who break some of the 10 commandments!
What that means is that the group favoring WO are deriving their morals from somewhere else besides scripture. If a person not supporting WO thought is worse than a rank commandment breaker, then there is something dreadfully wrong with the WO supporter’s moral compass.
Too little, almost too late, is being done to remedy gender inequality in all aspects of our church work in Latin America. The members of the Adventist church in Latin America must change antiquated church policies to remove barriers to equal opportunities in education and church governance. Policies and practices in the church such as those mandating equal pay for equal work are not enough in themselves; we have to ensure that those commitments are backed by real action that goes beyond ordaining women to the ministry. Another essential imperative is overhauling the way church education curriculums look at gender. Our good Christian teachers, for example, are key figures in boys’ and girls’ socialization and should be trained to give a comprehensive and open-minded view of gender issues.
The richness of Latin American culture is the product of many influences in Latin American culture as well as religion and other practices. Latin America also has many races.
We need to improve gender equality and women and girls’ human rights in Latin America by setting an example as a world church. Quietly and against the odds, women are stepping up the political ladder in Latin America, moving ahead of the United States when it comes to political empowerment and closely matching much of Western Europe. As a world church we need to embrace gender equality.
It is becoming more and more obvious to me that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is no longer following scripture and scripture alone. I am about this close to rescinding my membership entirely. God is no longer blessing this church.
Just as in the marriage equality debate in Australia, a small survey does not show that the majority support something. 542 people out of how many million? Not a representative sample.
This is beautiful! All women who are responding to God’s voice and call to the ministry deserve their church’s full support.
This survey spent $0 since it was done on social media and It was very educational to find participants anonymous opinions. It was not sponsored by any church institution or interest group. It was just a class project. This survey doesn’t claim to be scientific but just a general opinion survey. Furthermore, when presented to a group of “professional researchers” it was received with much respect.
It is not the intention of this survey to make it a moral or insulting to those opposing WO. The opinion of whether this issue should be a theological matter or not continues to be debatable just as this survey shows as well. We hope to respect each other about their opinions.
I would love to know what is that magic “representative” sample please. A group of professional researchers had a different opinion after looking at the application and participation of respondents.
As a proud “rioplatense,” I am delighted to see that the educated Latin American membership of the church does not agree with the actions of the ecclesiastical leadership that owes its positions and promotions to those higher up.
Thats the thing… delegates are one thing, the whole church is something else. Since those decisions are taken by old school mentality, men who should’ve retire a long time, but are still in power for more than a decade, all of this will continue.
Sometimes a generation needs to die (step aside), to enter the promise land.
Fascinating. I noted that Brazil was little represented in the study. The article said that the survey was in Spanish. Perhaps had it been also in Portuguese there would have been more participation from Brazil. Brazil is the country with the highest number of SdAs, more than the USA. Due to the large Hispanic population in the USA, Unitedstatesians often equate Latin America with Spanish-speaking America, ignoring the Portuguese-speaking Brazilians.
Indeed the greatest problem with the study would be the sampling strategy (social scientists would call this a sample of convenience). However, not only is this the only starting point we have at times (and the limitations are declared), but even a sample of convenience can be quite representative. The distribution of the demographic data would give some clue. Is a particular group overrepresented (e.g. males vs. females, or participants from certain countries, etc.) OR is the distribution close to what would be expected. It seems to me quite likely that a comparison of the distribution in the sample (n) to the actual distribution in the population (N) could be strengthening the study (underlining the assumption that there is sufficient randomization) - even though there may be a slight over representation of males and higher educated people.
it also makes one wonder if a similar disparity would be discovered in other parts of the world whose delegates voted overwhelmingly no at san antonio…and this in turn raises the question of whether a vote by delegates - primarily clergy and administrators supported by the church, and reflecting in terms of gender exactly what yes voters were seeking to correct - is a vote by the church…if there is any chance that the vote in san antonio was not indicative of how rank and file church members feel, what a tragedy if the church ends up splitting over it…the fact that most delegates were male, while most members were and are female, is suggestive, to say the least…
of course on the flip side one wonders whether the leadership of PUC is representing its constituents…would most members of PUC favor a split instead of backing down on WO, or would most favor backing down instead of a split…it’s a real question whether leaders are really able to assess how their members actually feel…what if everyone in leadership is out of sync with rank and file members…what if being in leadership causes insensitivity to rank and file sensibilities…what if leaders consciously or subconsciously come to view their feelings as being more important than everyone else’s…
do leaders really canvas the views of their constituents…do they even have tested methods for doing so…or are they simply guided by the loudest and most aggressive messages they receive, or worse yet, by those making the biggest donations…
I Quadruple dare the GC to implement a $0 social media survey to determine what % of SDA—
- Have read their bible all the way through ONCE
- Have read the New Testament all the way through ONCE
- Usually read their SS lesson before class.
- Have ever heard the definition of the “GOSPEL” from the pulpit ONCE
- Feels comfortable explaining to anyone what a person must do to be saved.
BTW: Does anyone know why America was founded as a republic and not a pure democracy?
Do SDA spend more time with news, sports, weather, reality TV, social media gossip than devotional time?
Try this: http://factmyth.com/why-did-the-founding-fathers-choose-a-republic/