The church has heard from pastors, scholars, academics, administrators, and others concerning the question of women’s ordination. But there is another voice we need to hear: Adventist women. The Council of Adventist Pastors was approached by a group of Adventist women who have created a set of videos in which they give voice on the question of women’s ordination. We are honored to share with you their video.
This short video provides an overview and preview of seven additional videos to be published next week, each addressing particular question areas in the women’s ordination debate. The video was produced by Barbara Flees and participants are Edel Amundson, Rhonda Backman, Linda Brehm, Jean Handwerk, Anita Jepson, Belinda Lowry, and Lorene Wright. Those featured all attend different churches. Some are former elders.
A Symposium on Women’s Ordination was held June 8-10, 2015 in Germany titled “Frauenordination und die Einheit der Gemeinde” (“Ordination of women and the unity of the community”). Speakers included Christopher Kramp, Eugene Prewitt, Ingo Sorke and Clinton Wahlen. If your German is not up to speed, you will benefit the most from the English language presentations by Clinton Wahlen and Eugene Prewitt (all others are in German).
1. Adam, wo bist du? | Ingo Sorke (German language only)
2. Leiterschaft entsprechend der Schöpfungsordnung | Clinton Wahlen (English and German)
3. Paulus: Lokal oder Global? | Ingo Sorke (German language only)
4. Argumente unter der biblischen Lupe | Eugene Prewitt (English and German)
5. Die offizielle Erklärung zur Position 1, wie sie dem Annual Council der GK 2014 präsentiert wurde | Clinton Wahlen (German and English)
6. Ordination in der Adventgeschichte | Christopher Kramp (German language only)
In this short video presentation, Pastor Stephen Bohr discusses the North American Division’s denial of display booths at General Conference session to the Council of Adventist Pastors (OrdinationTruth.com) and ADvindicate.com. CAP has published several articles addressing the question of women’s ordination from a Bible standpoint, but has also called for unity. One hundred ordained Seventh-day Adventist ministers operate the OrdinationTruth.com website. CAP has republished both GC calls to unity on its site which all unions were supposed to publish. However, no union in the North American Division has published those appeals as requested by the GC.
C. Raymond Holmes was a Lutheran pastor who was was determined to follow the Scriptures wherever they led. Of course, this led him to become a Seventh-day Adventist. Recently, Pastor Holmes served on the General Conference Theology of Ordination Study Committee. In the new article provided here, Doctor Holmes points out the fundamental question the church faces a month from now in San Antonio. The article is short but pointed. Every member of God’s church should prayerfully read this.
Professor Edwin E. Reynolds investigates the biblical concept of ordered authority. He also considers what the Bible says and does not say about mutual submission. Some have argued from Ephesians 5:21 that husbands and wives are to practice a mutual submission, or even that there are no significant role distinctions between male and female in Christ. Understandably, the current debate over male and female roles, gender, human sexuality, and women’s ordination will benefit from a better understanding of how submission works in God’s plan. Reynolds is Professor of New Testament and Biblical Languages at Southern Adventist University. He is also the Graduate Program Coordinator for the School of Religion. He also coauthored the women’s ordination-opposing Minority Report of the North American Division.
With the approach of the General Conference session of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in San Antonio, Texas in 2015, advocates of women’s ordination in the church have begun to launch new articles, videos, and websites promoting their views. Some sixty days out from the beginning of the session, six retired church leaders launched a site with video and text doing this very thing. Their site identifies them as “elder statesmen” of the church.
They argue that it is now time for the church to embrace women’s ordination on a per-division basis. They also speak of fracture in the church if women’s ordination is not permitted by the upcoming vote in San Antonio.
The Council of Adventist Pastors (CAP) have viewed the site and video and the arguments of the “elder statesmen.” In the document linked to this post, CAP considers this material and reacts to the ideas and arguments presented by the retired leaders. The Council of Adventist Pastors invites delegates and readers to consider our response in reference to these serious matters.
Pastor Kent Knight explores the question about women’s ordination and China. Some suggest that because of the China experience the Church should implement the ordination of women. But readers will want to explore key facets of this question before reaching such a conclusion.
Secrets Unsealed ministry has released a video featuring CAP Pastor Stephen Bohr, addressing the recent one-sided actions of the North American Division and of Adventist World magazine promoting women’s ordination.
There are now (100 days of prayer) until the Seventh-day Adventist Church General Conference session that begins on July 2, 2015. We encourage church members round the world to join us in an experience of prayer to God for the delegates and leaders of His Church. The short 27 minute film presented above portrays events surrounding the 1901 General Conference session and a vision that was given Ellen G. White concerning it. It contains special lessons that are applicable for us today—no matter what one’s thinking concerning ordination.
It concerns us that some of the strongest advocates of women’s ordination have attacked the film. They allege historical inaccuracies and claim the film seeks to misapply Ellen White’s comments about the 1901 General Conference session and to exploit them in support of a position opposing women’s ordination. But these critics have missed the point. They are relying on half-truths and misinformation in their portrayal.
For example, issues of Kingly power and a confederacy in Battle Creek involved micro-managing the work around the world. God had workers everywhere “on site” that could manage the work locally more efficiently. Decentralization was not so that every conference could come up with its own list of fundamental beliefs, or decide church-wide policy on matters impacting the whole church. The same is true in Acts. Deacons were appointed to take care of local distribution, but items with larger theological implications were taken to the Jerusalem council. Does the Seventh-day Adventist Church really want to place itself in a situation where issues such as gay clergy and same-sex blessings are to be decided by local conferences or unions?
We encourage all, others and ourselves, to seek God and ask Him to search hearts. Embrace His help and find place for repentance and a willingness to submit to the decisions of the world church in General Conference session in San Antonio this July—whatever they are. We believe that what might have been. . . can be!