Letter to the Editor

Disclaimer: I don't believe in ordaining women into pastoral ministry. For those still reading, I have another disclaimer. I don't believe in ordaining men into pastoral ministry either.

Last week, I read Sarah Ventura’s “Sacred Slant” article on women's ordination and I was disillusioned, to say the least. Maybe I have come to expect too much from my church, thinking we can step aside from a partisan approach to "dialogue."

Over the summer I watched pastors, leaders and mentors split their heads in the hours preceding the general conference vote against ordaining women in our church. I understand some people are upset, and I can even see why some people were willing to leave this church over the decision.

But is this what Adventism is? Bickering over the recognition of a position?

I personally know and have come to appreciate many pastors. Some of the most passionate were often not ordained. When my family moved to the western slope of Colorado, Spanish-speaking Seventh-day Adventist churches did not even exist in the 12-city area, despite the prominence of Hispanics and the presence of long-standing, well-established, English-speaking Adventist churches in all of the major cities. Our Hispanic churches all came about in that area, not because of ordained ministers, but because of hard working individuals with a collective zeal for the labor of ministry.

What I hope I am getting across is that ordination isn’t a requirement to do ministry. Ordination is a recognition and ministry isn’t a career anyone should want to be recognized for.

If you are a young man or young woman who wishes to serve God, don't wait to be ordained, neither expect to receive recognition. In the words of the Apostle Paul, "[They run] to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever." (1st Corinthians 9:25 NIV)

Ordination is simply human recognition. Ministry is for God's love.

From Eliezer Roque Cisneros