The “Women Ordination issue” is not a new issue. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has been wrestling with this topic off and on for more than 100 years.[i] Adventist historians say that between 1870 and the year 1900, the church had seen over 20 women receive ministerial credentials, Ellen G. White was among them. Historians have found no record showing that these women were ever ordained.
There was in the church, before and during the 2015 General Conference meetings, a lot of discussions leading up to the NO vote at the just ended 2015 General Conference session. The motion that was voted on was a proposal to allow the 13 divisions to each decide for themselves whether or not to ordain women to the gospel ministry within their own territories. The vote by secret paper ballot was 1,381 opposing and 977 in favor.
This vote does not allow Divisions or their lower entities to ordain women to the gospel ministry as they deem fit. However, this vote does not change the policy on commissioning women pastors. We as a conference will respect the decision of the world church.
I think the question we need to ask now is, what is next? To answer, I will quote Elder Daniel Jackson. I think his remarks sum up the North American Division position and thus the Minnesota Conference’ position.
“We ask our members to focus their energies on the one thing we can agree on; the mission of the church. God has called all of us to serve Him in ministry, whether we are recognized by the church or not. The NAD recognizes that every person, no matter his or her race, age or gender, has a vital role to play in sharing the gospel message with the world. Let us be united as a family that is bound by the love and grace of Jesus Christ. While we may disagree on various approaches to ministry, let us all agree on the need to reach all people with the message of hope, wholeness, and a new life in Jesus. We will continue with our intention of placing as many women into pastoral ministry as possible. We affirm the important role they play in reaching all of God’s children. We ask that all members of the Adventist Church keep praying for God’s guidance as we move forward in mission.”[ii]
Brian K. Mungandi, Vice President for Administration
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