Seventh-day Adventists and Women in Ministry

Seventh-day Adventists and Women in Ministry

Well, really only some Seventh-day Adventists, in particular, Pastor Doug Batchelor and the Amazing Facts ministry versus the Southeastern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. As a former SDA, I still keep track of SDA doings, in this case through the Spectrum blog, and what interested me was the role reversal.

We frequently see more liberal members of a denomination trying to bring women into ministry, while the church structure stands opposed. In this case, we have a conservative member arguing against women in ministry, and eliciting a response from the official church, in this case the conference. I believe the issue would be more controversial at the general church levels.

The arguments, however, are based on much the same material as they are elsewhere.

Here’s the video (warning: this is a more than 1 hour video):

(I note that the Amazing Facts web site does not make it terribly clear that it’s an SDA ministry. I regard Seventh-day Adventists as fellow Christians who differ on some points of doctrine, but remain within orthodoxy as I understand it. I deplore a tendency to try to preach without identifying oneself. If you’re not part of a denomination, you don’t need to so identify. If you are, however, it seems dishonest to me to obscure the fact. As an example, the introduction to the video says this is coming from “Sacramento Central Church,” but if you research further, that is Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist Church. I understand the prejudice that they are trying to avoid, but I nonetheless think it would be better to be open.)

The response from the conference can be found here. You can find a summary on the Spectrum blog, but essentially they take issue with his presentation, his relationship to church authority, his biblical exegesis, and his logic.

My reason for posting this here is simply to show how the controversies in some smaller denominations are very similar to the ones we face in some of our larger ones. Perhaps if shared agreements don’t lead to dialog, shared disagreements could.

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