These women are to be commended for their courage and ministry, in standing up for equality in the ordaining persons to the ministry of the Adventist church. In one sense they represent all the women who have suffered discrimination in our church as a result of the abuse of power from those who would deny women the opportunity to be ordained as well as those who advocate “headship theology”. This is abuse of power and influence. We need to be real in calling this what it is, it is abuse of power.
It is one thing to hear about celebrities like Bill Cosby as allegedly being abusive, it is a tragedy to think of how some in our church who are leaders and represent God, could also be practicing ABUSE OF POWER.
One of our most outstanding U.S. Senators defined abuse in a broader perspective:
“When public men indulge themselves in abuse, when they deny others a fair trial, when they resort to discrimination, to libel, scandal, and suspicion, then our democratic society is outraged, and democracy is baffled.”
Senator William Fullbright in speech in the Senate on McCarthyism (February 2, 1954), Congressional Record, vol. 100. p. 1105
In this context, AUTHORITY is power that derives from a social accord or convention, such as the laws or customs, policies of a church group such as the Seventh-day Adventist church, as an organization.
ABUSE OF POWER is that situation that exists whenever someone who has POWER over others, (that is, the capacity to impose his or her will on those others) for example, by virtue of his or her superior mental dexterity, social position, physical strength, knowledge, technology, weapons, wealth, or the trust that others have in him or her, unjustifiably uses that power to EXPLOIT, DISCRIMINATE or HARM those others, or through lack of action, ALLOWS exploitation or harm to occur to them.
Abuse of power or authority may be the prime source and true essence of moral EVIL - Evil is the ABUSE of power. Moral EVIL begins to exist when someone refuses to accept responsibility for the welfare of others, especially (but certainly NOT restricted to) those naturally under his or her direct PASTORAL care. It can be said that someone has POWER, if that someone can decisively influence (the) reality (of others).
ABUSE OF POWER against the women of our church NEEDS TO STOP. ABUSE OF POWER is the illegitimate use of power. It needs to end NOW!