The executive committee of the South Pacific Division (SPD) voted last week to request that the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC) change their commissioned minister policy to have the same roles and responsibilities as ordained ministers.
They (committee & attendees) appealed to fundamental beliefs #7, #14, and #17 as the basis of their request.
During their annual meeting in Sydney, SPD leadership allowed time for attendees to raise issues of concern that were not on the agenda during a new feature to the meetings called “Question Time.” It was during this time that a discussion on the equality of women occurred when an attendee raised the issue of commissioned ministers not being equal with ordained ministers.
After some discussion, the executive committee voted unanimously to request that the GC eliminate distinctions between commissioned ministers and ordained ministers.
There was a lively discussion that followed this announcement on the SPD Adventist Record webpage. Here are some of the comments:
By the standards of "equality" we are saying God was wrong, hey Jesus was wrong, he should have had an arab, some asians and indians, 1 pacific islander and at least 7 of the disciples should have been women. We must realise the argument of "equality is faulty." The Lordship and direction of Jesus Christ supersedes our human equality concerns, we must go to the Word. Remember it's not equal or fair to reject married homosexuals from ministry if we are basing our concerns on equality, the equality argument will get us into huge problems.
God have mercy on your church leaders. This declaration sounds more political than religious! Is this the best way to address the General Conference?
The SPD Ex Com should be commended - and it was unanimous ! Bring our policies into harmony with our doctrines. As a church we can be so proud of "Tell the World"and "Hacksaw Ridge." Then there is something incongruent - the classification of women as second class church members by church policy.
I think this is a dummy spit because they could not get their way at the GC......they will get what they want through the back door. If all commissioned ministers were men then this would not even be an issue......
This pursuit for 'equality' may end up being the real undoing of our division and go on to hinder our mission. The elephant in the room in this equality matter is the hermeneutic question. That's is something that needs to be addressed. Moreover, it must be noted that the higher critical methods of interpreting Scripture account for for the falling away from what we have always believed and distinguished us as SDAs, including spirit of prophecy, prophetic interpretation etc. Let us consider the hermeneutic question and what it has done to the faith of many."
Before you can say "Man-bun", the Record editor had written an online report of this latest female headship agitation, celebrated their new paperless pining to save the planet, and extolled their partisan peddling for higher taxes on sweet drinks. Biblical distinctions are out. Progressive logrolling is in! That's the news from down under, me lads.
"Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God..." (Matthew 4:4).