Women have served as pastors in the Adventist Church since at least 1872. There were many female pastors in Ellen White’s era — about twice as many per capita as there are today. Women ministers have been “commissioned” by the GC since 1990. Does God discriminate in whom He calls to the ministry? God has ordained and poured out His Spirit on “whosoever will.” God said we are all one in Christ; there is no male or female. (Gal. 3:28) We saw an excellent blog that explains this sensitive subject with good humor and sound reasoning. The writer resorts to the mythical book of “Hezekiah” to make her point. Don’t miss this enjoyable and incisive look at the issues: Truth About Equality in Ministry. She unveils the game of semantics about which word to print on the pastor’s certificate: “ordained” or “commissioned.”
See also Pastor Bill Cork’s article and the message from William G. Johnsson, with some similar insights.
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 →
Fascinating facts on Adventist women as spiritual leaders under the headship of Christ. In an attempt to cut through some of the confusing ideas surrounding the question of whether the Seventh-day Adventist Church should ordain women as pastors, here are some basic ideas and principles that should inform our Biblical understanding of the issue. From our friends at OrdinationFacts.com.
One of the false arguments asserted by the anti-WO activists is a new theology of “male headship.” They claim that it applies to the pastor as head of the church. There are several problems with that new theology. For one, the minister is not the head of the church!
Ellen White made it clear that Jesus Christ is the only head of the church. She also preached that the secret of unity is the equality of believers in Christ. (Ellen White, 1SM 259) She said the Holy Spirit “prepares workers, both men and women, to become pastors.” (Ellen White, Testimonies Vol. 6, p. 322) Our prayer is that the Adventist Church will unite in the equality of believers, including equality in ministry.
For more information on headship, including insightful papers and videos, see our post, Pastor Is Not the Head.
According to Ellen White, Christ is the only head of the church. “God has never given a hint in His word that He has appointed any man to be the head of the church” (Great Controversy, p 51). “Christ, not the minister, is the head of the church” (Signs of the Times, Jan. 27, 1890). “Christ is the only Head of the church” (Manuscript Releases, 21:274). Continue reading →
This is what happens when some church leaders misuse certain verses that were intended for a specific time, place, or situation. A pastor in New York decided to apply literally Paul’s advice that “I do not allow a woman to teach.” The result? A little old lady, age 81, was fired from teaching Sunday School after 54 years of faithful service, as reported by ABC News: Teacher Fired for Being Female. Unfortunately that pastor had not read the explanation of the verse by the Biblical Research Institute of the General Conference. Continue reading →
Dr. Dwight Nelson, senior pastor of the Pioneer Memorial Church at Andrews University, takes a second look at “male headship.” You can follow along with the sermon outline. The title is based on Psalm 68:11 – “The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng.”