I must say that the discussion on Women’s Ordination has nosedived from “the rightness or wrongness” of it to ways to circumvent the vote of San Antonio. Any and all policies voted by the “mostly European” Unions/Conferences, reported here on Spectrum, have been disrespectful to the SDA Church Policies concerning Ordination in general. It is a certainty that the prohibitions placed upon Commissioned Pastors will be ignored and they will function as fully ordained Pastors in their territories; male and female. When a “commissioned pastor” is being considered to become President of his Conference; the “ordination requirement” will be ignored and the person will be considered as if he is ordained. This will be unique only to the territories that make such policy; so they function as “a uniquely structured Church governance” within the SDA Church.
This is disrespectful, rebellious, and worthy of discipline by the GC. Its time the GC step up and put an end to the “rogue actions” of the Unions/Conferences who have decided to take matters into their own hands pre and post-San Antonio.
Sweden may stop ordaining men and women thereby making null and void, in their constituencies, the General Conference’s Workng policy of ordaning men while claiming they are supporive of GC policies - yet it is crystal clear that they are enabling men and women pastors to fully function as ordained pastors through another service which, to all intents and purposes, will ressemble that of a regular ordination service, with one exception - the officially “prayed for” and installed will not get that piece of paper that will enable them to have their names in the GC directory of workers as bona fide ordained men/women who can function in the world field in that capacity. They will no longer be able to serve as missionaries where the ordained credential is required. If all other Unions in all Divisions follow suit, the GC HQ might as well close shop and everyone can do as they see fit in their own eyes, in this matter and other matters too - why not! Whatever happened to GC leadership while all this is going on and members are getting more and more confused as they days slip into months and months into years!
I view the Swedish decision as the best yet offered to show leadership on this issue. Not only does it honor Paul’s statement of equality in Christ, but it calls into question our current understanding of the practice of ordination itself as it relates to positions of christian service. We cannot assume that our current practice of ordination is a christian practice until/unless it recognizes all people as equals and all pastoral positions as positions of service and humility.
A long struggle has ended in relief and grief. We no longer risk legal processes due to gender discrimination in this our country. But we have not come to the point of ordination for all.,regardless of gender. The 19th century revival started with child preachers, boys and girls in the 1840s. Women preached in Baptist groups 70 years before women had the right of a political vote in 1921. For more than 100 years adventist women had given our message of the Spirit from the pulpit in Sweden. It was the Swedish immigrants to the US who spread the adventist message to their old country through publications and later answering calls to establish the work here. We have tried to be loyal for 135 years and so we are now. Because what is the real issue of unity? Isnt it unity in faith? As far as I , an SDA church historian knows, those who confess their belief in the 28 fundamentals are in unity with the world church. There is a gross misunderstanding here that unity should be something else. . Unity is unity in Christ,isnt it.?
And the transferability , yes that is not solved. Traditional missionaries have ceased to be sent, most were anyhow medical staff and most were women. The last person transferred from Sweden to the TransEuropean Division was our very capable executive secretary. She holds that position in TED today. She is commissioned because she is a woman. Nobody would doubt her valuable work for our church. Try focus on our unity in faith. We try to although sometimes it is hard with this onslaught on women in ministry. We are still loyal, remember that.
The SDA Church in Sweden speaketh with forked tongue. They obviously do not accept the GC vote in San Antonio, or they wouldn’t be trying to circumvent it, as a number of other church entities have done.
And this notion of “inequality” is a false representation of the kingdom of God. Like it or not, there is no “equality” in God’s kingdom, not even among the Godhead. There are those who will be closest go Christ in heaven; there are those who will sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, and those who won’t. There is a special group of 144,00, which have privileges that others do not.
Perfect equality is a myth. Role distinctions are not demeaning or discriminatory. What we are seeing now is people arranging themselves in camps. Some have only the good of the body of Christ in mind, while others are demanding their alleged “rights,” and creating greater division.
Ordination in current Policy
Once authority is granted, some have argued that there is nothing in the criteria established by the World Church that prevents unions from choosing to ordain women to gospel ministry. Some cite the provision in GC WP (BA 60 10) on “nondiscrimination in employment
practices and policies” as a mandate for ordaining women. However, the same section goes on to twice explicitly exclude positions “requiring ordination to the gospel ministry” from the general provision against gender discrimination (BA 60 10, nos. 2 and 6). Thus, rather than mandating the ordination of women to gospel ministry, it actually assumes that women will not become ordained ministers.
Section L, which governs ordination, refers exclusively to men being ordained or on track for ordination. In particular, the sub-section entitled “Qualifications for Ordination to the Ministry” (L 35) uses only “men,” “man,” and male pronouns. This cannot be disregarded, since L is the only section in GC WP with language that is masculine gender-specific. All other sections of GC WP use gender-neutral or inclusive language. Therefore, no union or any other entity can ordain women to the gospel ministry.
Finally, the claim that nothing prevents women from being ordained disregards the fact that in Seventh-day Adventist ecclesiastical policy, “the General Conference Session” is recognised “as the highest authority of the Seventh-day Adventist Church under God.”
Source: “UNIONS AND ORDINATION TO THE GOSPEL MINISTRY”
BRIEF SUMMARY AND COMPREHENSIVE WORKING POLICY EXPLANATION
GENERAL CONFERENCE SECRETARIAT AUGUST 2015
Agreed. But you missed it again because that is not the point either.
The whole point of contention is for everyone to have equal opportunity to serve our Lord just like the death of Jesus at the cross gave everyone equal opportunity to an everlasting life.
What is it that makes this proposition so difficult to understand? Are our church leaders listening? Pastor Ted Wilson?
But more importantly we have to be extra careful not to mistake our will as God’s will. When God sends His Son to show “that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life,” and then commands us to “Go into all the world to preach the gospel,” without specifying sexual preference, how can the male believers delude themselves into assuming that God now wants no women involved in spreading His gospel unless one has been convicted by the Berenstein Bear’s gospel of “No Girls Allowed.”
What people seem not to understand is that is the church is not a place of “equal opportunity”. If there is one body, there are many members. Not everybody can be a head, or a ear, or an eye, or a hand. And it is God who decides according to His will, as it is written:
“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him”. (1 Cor 12:18)
The mindset of the world has entered many quarters of the church and oftentimes we want to serve the Lord based on the understanding and the values of the world.
We have to be careful that what we call progress doesn’t go against God’s will for his people.
This is true.
You are mixing carrots and potatoes here. Salvation is not gender specific. Even in the Old Testament, salvation was not gender specific but the organization in the temple was and this was instituted by God. Are we then to say that God was unjust?
The Church is the body of Christ, not the body of Man. And while there is nothing wrong in what you advanced, at the end, it is up to God, not up to us. We are in the Church to serve God according to what He sees fit, not according to our human wisdom.
One person cannot be Everything.
BUT it is God who decides what Body role a Body Part is to be, and NOT man through restrictive church policies.
The Church SHOULD be an Equal Opportunity organization. It should be an organization which promotes, which fosters the complete development of the person. It should be a place where talents and abilities are encouraged and given opportunity to grow and multiply. A place where Hidden Gifts are discovered and encouraged.
This is a weak biblical argument, at best. The 144,000 in Revelation is clearly a symbolic number. They are identified as 12,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel. By the end of the first century, this is surely not literal…unless one believes that 144,000 ethnic Jews are being described here.
The reality is that Israel is being described as those who belong to Christ. This is what the historical context and imagery of the chapter demand. This is what the number signifies. A multiple of 12, the number of completeness. The complete number of all the saved… all who belong to God and the lamb, not some special class separated from the rest. This is how the text seems to make the most sense. …regardless of how one reads it through the lens of EGW.
To use this as an argument for gender inequality in the here and now, based on a supposed future heavenly scenario, finds no textual support, and thus holds no water.
Overall - even the critics of WO see what is happening:
Indeed, Claude, very descriptive (independent of your value judgement which I don’t share).
[quote=“pastdvt, post:24, topic:10554”]
Its time the GC step up and put an end to the “rogue actions” of the Unions/Conferences who have decided to take matters into their own hands
[/quote] (Which actually is a call to separate such unions from the world church).
In other words the alienation has been deepened within the world church to an extent where the global church is beginning to fall apart (which some would describe as a normal, church historical process).
The answer to that tragedy may very well be that the laying on of hands is once again introduced as task oriented - while the status oriented rite is abolished. In other words whereever there is a task given by God, provide a blessing from God. No more - no less.
This would definitely be a step towards disunity, the first step to untie the knot of affiliation among the many unions and divisions. If the Church takes this disastrous step, it will have created the disunity, not the supporters of women in spiritual leadership.
The question I would ask when a decision not to ordained, who does it hurt or help. What are ministers called to do? I believe it is to preach the everlasting gospel. Are we trying to spite the Seventh Day Adventist church leaders or trying to honor God. Who is in charge of is the head of the church. WhatvwouldnJesusnhave done if he was not ordained? Was he accepted In the mainstream of the Jewish church? Did it stop him from ministering to people? Does the world knows which minister is ordained or not ordained. When someone is hungry, in prison, sick, I trouble and in need of God’s love, do they ask only for an ordained minister or someone who when they encountered the see the hands and face of Jesus. Let’s spend our energy on winning should for Jesus. Those I. The church who are ministry, how many souls have you won for the kingdoms since GC session? If Jesus should return today, is he asking for who agrees with ordination and non ordination To go with Him to heaven. What does hinder us from working for the kingdom. Many women who are not ordained and who doesn’t care to but are effective in ministry may have more souls won for the kingdom than those who may be seeking to make appoint about being ordained. Who will be giving the reward, men or God. let us be faithful in what God has called us to and let the Holy Spirrit does what He is best in doing I the right time. Do you believe in the right time we can stop God working? The Bible says they will know we are Christians by our love not by whether we or ordained or not ordained.