Women’s Ordination: The Vote
My dear brothers and sisters: I speak to you and ask you to read this article with an open mind.
In 2015, the General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists concluded with a vote of 1381 to 977, that each division within the world church could decide to ordain women within their respective division.
This idea of allowing divisions, e.g. North American division (NAD) or Southern Asia division, to reach their own decision was also offered up as a solution to allow the culture of each division to be respected.
But, it was decided by the World Church in session to be completely unified in this matter–so instead of deciding by division, we’re choosing to decide as a general union. Why is this stirring up such a commotion now?
Less than 1 percent of women within the NAD and other divisions, have been ordained against the General Conference’s policy. Therefore, in order to keep our church unified in our decision to not ordain women, a compliance committee has been formed to ensure, well, compliance.
Whatever decision is made, if it’s of God, who are we to stop it? No matter the decision, someone is going to oppose it. The question isn’t “why is this happening?” The real question is “how are we going to handle that decision?”
The decisions our human leaders are making are impacted by culture, ethics and personal beliefs; nothing can change that. But through our unity, we’re able to work together to show companionship, through difference of opinion.
We’re humans who make human decisions. Each of our leaders is seeking God to guide every decision, and as humans we’re prone to make mistakes which provides room to learn, grow and mature. Ultimately, what’s He called us to do? Minister for Him in the best way we can. Yes, there may be roadblocks to go around and mountains to climb, but who said following God’s leading was always easy? When Jesus was here on Earth, the church was divided, yet he never wavered.
He never down talked his Father, or encouraged people to reduce their support. We have to encourage one another, we are ultimately a community that loves Christ.
As the world advances so will our church. What’s decided today may not be the decision of tomorrow. I encourage each of you to fervently pray for guidance for our leaders to come to a decision that will be right for our church to grow in the coming years.
I pray that the frustration and anger that maybe felt right now will be overtaken by the recognition that it’s not something your eternal life should rest on. We were put on this planet to love God and show His love through us.
Kasondra Reel is a senior studying nursing.