On August 8, 2015–one month after the vote at the General Conference Session–President Dave Weigley of the Columbia Union presented this sermon about various forms of oppression he has seen, from the streets of inner-city Baltimore to the halls of ecclesiastical decision-making in San Antonio.
When God has called a woman to the ministry, it is a mistake for the Church to treat her as a second-class pastor. But, drawing parallels to the Continue reading
Dr. William G. Johnsson was the Editor of the Adventist Review from 1982 to 2007. Based on his 40 years of study and observation on the ordination issue, he urges the Church to take the logical and biblical step of recognizing women’s ordination. In 1990 the General Conference recognized that God has given His stamp of approval to women as ministers; so who are we to withhold official recognition? Dr. Johnsson issued this statement before the 2015 GC Session, saying “We cannot go back, we must go forward.” Continue reading
Like Jonah in the Bible, Hyveth Williams was reluctant to answer God’s call to ministry. She used to denounce women’s ordination and proclaim that females must not be pastors — because she was trying to convince herself that God was not calling her. This background helps her to be understanding and forgiving of those who oppose women in ministry. We are fortunate, however, that she finally answered God’s call. Listen to her brief but powerful testimony.
Dr. Williams served as a senior pastor for 20 years, most recently as senior pastor of the Loma Linda Campus Hill Church, before accepting a call in 2009 to join the faculty of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University, where she trains pastors in Christian Ministry and Homiletics.
On July 8, 2015, Dr. Jan Paulsen, past president of the General Conference, made an eloquent and powerful appeal to the Church to recognize that God calls both men and women to ministry, and we should trust the leaders of our respective Divisions to make wise decisions about what works best in their territories regarding ordination. Reminiscent of another great presidential speech of history, a fitting title would be “The San Antonio Address.” Here is the full text:
I appeal to my brothers and sisters to vote “Yes” on the motion before us. A “No” vote will Continue reading
In an article published on July 12, 2015, a young woman in Africa tells her story of sexual abuse by a male pastor, showing one of the reasons we need more women in the ministry. Her description of the culture and societal traditions also sheds some light on cultural reasons for the No vote that took place on July 8, 2015, and why some cultures may resist having women in ministry. Continue reading
UPDATE July 8, 2015, 6:15 pm CDT: Out of the 2,363 delegate votes, 977 were in favor of the motion. 1,381 were against. (41.3 percent were in favor). Thus, the status quo remains. Women ministers will still be commissioned per the General Conference action of 1990; and the unions retained the authority to decide on women’s ordination. The following article was originally published the day before the vote. It also contains important information that will help to make sense of what the vote means now and how the unions can move forward.
Jared Wright of Spectrum explained what the vote on women’s ordination actually means and what it does not mean.
On Wednesday (July 8), General Conference Session delegates in San Antonio, Texas will vote on what has been the most talked about (and perhaps least understood) issue in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in this quinquennium: ordination. For all of the discussion of the issue, many misperceptions of its significance persist.
Currently, women in the Adventist Church not only can and do serve as ministers, but they are also Continue reading
After the “No” vote on July 8, the unions still retain the authority to decide on women’s ordination. This article was originally published on AToday.org a few days before the vote. It also contains important information that will help to make sense of what the vote means and how the unions can move forward.
On Defining Rebellion: Unions and San Antonio
At this year’s long-anticipated General Conference session in San Antonio, delegates will vote on whether each Division may decide for themselves whether to ordain women. With all of the hype, the Internet war, and the mass mailings, it may help to step back and consider whether we are asking the right question. While all of the church is swept up in the argument over Divisions deciding for themselves, perhaps we need to ask, whose decision is it, really? Continue reading
Ty Gibson, co-director of Light Bearers, posted “A Closer Look at Women’s Ordination” (or printable PDF or Spanish) on June 5, 2015, as the result of an arduous 5-month study that began on January 14.
Ty says, that is when “I decided that it is time for me to knuckle down and study the subject of women’s ordination for myself” because “my church is engaged in a titanic conflict over the subject.” He came into the study with a mind set against WO. But he decided to study with an open mind, trying to lay aside his biases and preconceptions on the topic, and simply examine what the Bible and the writings of Ellen White have to say. Continue reading
On June 19 Pastor Ty Gibson of Light Bearers published “Women’s Ordination: Is the Church Free To Act?” —a powerful follow-up to his excellent “A Closer Look at Women’s Ordination.” Ty explains that the church is free to act on the ordination question, to do what is best for the mission of spreading the Gospel. It is an ecclesiastical (church operational) decision, not a theological issue. Continue reading
Matthew Quartey, an Adventist scholar from Africa, notes that all eyes are on the delegates from Africa because there is a growing sense that their three divisions, comprising roughly 23% of the delegates to San Antonio, will determine whether the measure on women’s ordination is accepted or rejected. He urges African General Conference delegates to vote Yes. They need to understand that God ordains men and women equally and His church should, too.
Dr. Quartey suggests, “As you vote on the issue of WO next month in San Antonio, think about the future generations of African Adventists Continue reading