Women Pastors and Elders in Adventism

Posted on March 25, 2010

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The discussion about women ordination is alive and well in the Adventist Church. In one conference every pastor has received over twenty dollars worth the material, most of it promoting this concept. It is my belief that we are focused on the wrong issue. God has made it clear that we are a priesthood of believers, called to spread the good news in all the world. This calling is extended to men and women, young and old, and will be activated in every Christian life. Men and women were created equal in the Garden of Eden and will forever remain equal in the eyes of God and other true Christians.

The real issue is not about women ordination. The issue is embedded in the fact that God setup gender roles after the fall of Adam and Eve. The key passage is found in 1 Timothy 2:11-15, “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I do not allow a woman to teach, or to exercise authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. But she will be kept safe through childbearing, if they continue in faith and love and holiness with sensibleness.”

Setting aside the whole “women learn in silence” debate for another time, I do believe this passage teaches us that God established gender roles because of the nature of sin committed in the Garden of Eden. Men and women were wired differently at creation. Men were created to be protectors and supporters of the physically weaker sex. Most men are not controlled by emotions and feelings. They are very task oriented and driven. Women on the other hand are usually driven by emotions and feelings. This is why mothers are usually better equipped to nurture young children. Does this mean that one is better than the other? No! It just means that men are wired for administrative, leadership roles in the home and church.

Every man and woman should be ordained for ministry at baptism. Many women are equipped and able to serve as hospital chaplains, Bible workers, evangelists, etc. and should be paid the same as men to do this work.

God was not joking when He taught in His Holy Word that men are to be the head of the home and church. Every man should have the ability or be taught how to administer in the home setting. Those men who are successful Christian leaders in the home are then qualified for administrative leadership in the church.

The position of husband, church pastor, and elder have been set aside for men until Jesus returns. When our wonderful Lord and Savior breaks through the clouds in all His glory, we will then see what He has to say on the matter. In the meantime, let us try our best to stay true to the Word of God and focus on seeking and saving the lost for the eternal kingdom.

“Come soon Lord Jesus!”

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In the pastoral packet, there is the book, Women in Ministry. This book is in favor of women serving as pastors and elders. Another group of professors at Andrews University put together a book to counteract this publication (Prove All Things: A Response to Women In Ministry).

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