An editorial by Raj Attiken in Adventist Today points out the irony of the question that will be voted in San Antonio. “It is superfluous to ask General Conference Session delegates whether
it is ‘acceptable for division executive committees, as they may deem it appropriate in their territories, to make provision for the ordination of women to the gospel ministry,'” he explains. “The issue of women’s ordination to the gospel ministry does not belong on a General Conference Session agenda.”

“The reason should be obvious,” the editorial states. “General Conference Sessions do not regulate what issues Division Executive Committees address or do not address. No authorizing action at a General Conference Session is needed for a Division to consider any matter of significance to its territory.”

Further, there is an “irony regarding the wording of the question…. The Church would not be asking whether a practice should be adopted regionally if, from the outset, the practice was recognized to be unacceptable on … any … basis!” Thus, “by framing the issue as it has, the Church has resisted the temptation … to act as if it is God’s official question-answering machine….”

Read the whole editorial for more details. And see a similar explanation from Dr. Angel Rodriguez, the retired director of the General Conference Biblical Research Institute.

Also pay close attention to this article from Laura Ochs Wibberding, who points out that the unions (not the divisions) have the authority under church policy to decide on women’s ordination.