Women’s Ordination: Political War
“…The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Matthew 9:37, 38
Women’s ordination has become one of the most controversial subjects in our church. The argument whether or not it was God’s intention to have women lead as ordained pastors has brought about chaos. Division of politics amongst our most influential leaders of the NAD and General Conference. The issue has not only continued to grow but has taken a toll on our church’s ministry. Are labels essential to salvation and that ministry to others?
The NAD, North American Division, has requested the initiation of women’s ordination twice in General Conference sessions. One being in Indianapolis 1990 and the other in Utrecht 1995. The appeals were immediately defeated with increasing majority rule. The rejection just lead to more NAD persistence and action. In 2009 the Executive Committee NAD decided to attempt a change in the Working Policy Book that governs our world church. With one word addition to the original E 60 Conference/ Mission President policy it gave women the opportunity to become conference presidents. The NAD committee was immediately redirected and told they did not have the authority or constituency to make such a decision.
The NAD used the situation as a guidance tool to a new strategy. Every union and conference has its own local constituency to allow women’s ordination in their area.(The Women’s Ordination Lobby) According to the General Conference the local unions have to follow the guidelines voted by the world church. The Pacific Union has admittedly agreed regarding the tension between them. Despite the rebellion the world church does not want the choices of local unions to cause separation in the church. Ultimately the union of the church is more important.
Many unions have accepted the idea of women ordination including; Pacific Union, Columbia Union, Mid-America Union, Northern German Union, and Southern Union. Others consider their actions rebellious to the leadership of the church. This issue has resulted in division and conflict between the country and continual tension.
The disagreement has led to misunderstanding of racist, sexist, and stereotypical assumptions. People have come down to the conclusion that being anti-ordination means your anti-women-ministry all together. Other’s believe if women weren’t meant to be ordained that includes all other leadership roles in the church. Gender discrimination and bias opinion has sparked arguments between the whole Adventist community.
Title, a descriptive or distinctive appellation, especially one belonging to a person by right of rank, office, attainment. (Dictionary.com) Ordination is a title given to a common man to go out and do God’s work in the world. Ordination allows for other spiritual leadership opportunities in not only the United States but all over the globe. It’s a label given to people supposedly “blessed” by God to do his ministry.
As equal children of God, who are we to determine someone’s ability to serve their heavenly Father? Men, women, children, adolescent, elderly, we all have the potential to do the impossible for God without a title. Our church organization is losing site of the original purpose of ministry– to minister. The constant disagreements have become a road block to the success God has intended for the church. The politics of ordination have jumbled into tradition smudging out the bluntness of reality. Time is running out and the harvest is ready to be plucked. God is prepared and willing to use anyone who wants to serve him.
The issues related to women’s ordination has caused more harm than good. The unity of our church has been shaken by the chaos of political opinions and misunderstanding. Satan will use anything to distract us from God’s purpose. Christ needs leaders, to go and find souls longing to be heard. 1 Samuel 16:7 says, “…For the Lord does not see as man sees for man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart.” God does not determine His servants by rank but by the willing.
God has told us in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” He has a plan, a specific distinction to where we all are supposed to be. He has placed us all into the perfect setting, time, and place to use you to your fullest potential.Whether we are ordained or not, God has called each and everyone of us to proclaim the gospel to the world. We are all involved in the preaching of that gospel to His people. Instead of worrying about the little details we need to open our eyes to the bigger picture.
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations” Jeremiah 1:5