Saturday 28 December 2013

After Ellen - Women SDA pastors emerge

Sandra Roberts - Southeastern Conference president
Women's ordination is becoming the norm in many churches. Holdouts include the Seventh-day Adventist church, despite the fact that they boast a female "prophetess" as founder of the movement.

That may be soon to change, with a groundswell of support for women preachers.

Christian Century has a recent update on the way the wind is now blowing.
First, three U.S. regional groups of the Seventh-day Adventist Church voted in 2012 for women to be ordained.
Then, the church’s Southeastern California Conference elected its first female president, a historic move for the global church.
Now, four of the church’s 13 worldwide divisions have approved theological reviews suggesting that women’s ordination should be widely accepted; one has said it should not.
Progress of this kind is hard to imagine in a denomination that still vigorously upholds an antediluvian position on creationism and bizarre, anti-Catholic readings of apocalyptic scriptures in Daniel and Revelation. Current president Ted Wilson intervened unsuccessfully to in an attempt to derail Sandra Roberts' election to the Southeastern leadership (her position is not recognised by the world church.) But it may be too late to hold back the tide.
In the U.S., 19 female pastors have been ordained or had their credentials updated in the SDA’s mid-Atlantic Columbia Union Conference since that regional group approved women’s ordination in July 2012. The Pacific Union Conference estimates it has 25 to 30 ordained women.
The SDA’s Nebraska-based Mid-America Union Conference also approved women’s ordination in 2012, but no women in its nine-state territory have been recommended for ordination.
And so it seems they could well get there before such troglodyte mainline poseurs as the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. Good on 'em. As the CC article notes, there could be a flow-on effect on other fundamentalist sects.

However, if those new women pastors are just going to parrot the same old, tired fundamentalist bumf, you've got to wonder why they'd bother.


  1. We recognize allegories in the Bible, as well as metaphors, and hyperbole. I wonder why some individuals can't discern that there could also be statements of era-specific culture contained at various places between the familiar leather covers as well. Any written materials are a snapshot of the times they reflect. As an example, I've recently read that President Roosevelt once invited the brilliant Booker T. Washington to dine with him at the White House. He was criticized by no less than senators for having brought a (racial slur) into the White House. Most reasonable and educated people of today rightly see incredible ignorance in such a racist and intolerant criticism. In fact, if a public figure of today were to make a similar statement, his career would be over.

    Today, I conducted a training class. It is something I have done for years, and people do successfully learn from me, although any sort of prolonged public speaking is not one of my natural fortes. I know many women who are much more adept and accomplished at this sort of thing, even when the topic is proper operation of a machine. The notion that women can teach our children, getting them through school and college or university, but should be restricted from teaching one particular subject is deeply flawed. It is usually the churches who see a minister as an authority figure rather than a spiritual guide that are most vocal about preserving the cultural conditions of New Testament times.


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