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NEW BOOK RELEASED: The Adventist Ordination Crisis

A new book has just been released addressing the present crisis over women’s ordination in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It is the result of a careful two year collaborative study of several Adventist leaders, including pastors, university professors, conference administrators, physicians, teachers, and lay-leaders—men and women alike—from around the world. Featured contributors include Doug Batchelor, Stephen Bohr, Allen Davis, Laurel Damsteegt, Michael Hasel, C. Raymond Holmes, Jim Howard, Wayne Kablanow, Larry Kirkpatrick, Daniel Knapp Sr., Kent Knight, Mike Lambert, Junie Lawson, Don Mackintosh, Carrisa McSherry, Phil Mills, Kevin Paulson, John Peters, Eugene Prewitt, David Read, Edwin Reynolds, Alvaro Sauza, Ingo Sorke, Mario Veloso.
This 128 page book concisely yet carefully addresses the key issues. Chapters address hermeneutics, spiritual gifts, church offices, qualifications, Ellen White’s example, gender role differences, headship, Ellen White’s teaching on gender roles, culture and consequences, and the way forward. Special material is included addressing the facts about General Conference action on elders and also the “China” question.
This is an important book offering a concise summary of key factors in the decisions faced by Seventh-day Adventists in the General Conference session to be held in San Antonio Texas in July 2, 2015!
The book is available in quantities of 10 or more for only $1.00 each. Order yours now. Every Adventist in your congregation should have an opportunity to read this book!
The book is available through Amazing Facts:

28 replies on “NEW BOOK RELEASED: The Adventist Ordination Crisis”

In the Amazing Facts website it says that this book is not available at this time. How can we order it?

Checked again later with AF and the book is now available. I ordered multiple copies to share with others.

“Ordination” is clearly a post-biblical phenomenon. A civil discussion about when to extend this formal and full affirmation of God’s call to Women-in-ministry has been progressing slowly for most of my 40+ years in ministry. During this same time we have removed from consideration people in some non-ministry conference positions and added others, like Chaplains, who, although not in the direct employment of the church, are clearly in ministry. Other changes to ordination practice have been made to accommodate local laws. These considerations have clearly demonstrated that this issue fits into the category of “rules of the club” (SDA), not “laws of the Kingdom” (of God). Laws of the Kingdom are immutable and carry automatic, natural consequences while Rules of the Club are arbitrary, constructed by humans, and have only arbitrary consequences imposed by humans.
The only crisis about ordaining women in the Adventist church is a very recent crisis of incivility, the introduction of apocalyptic language, and the introduction of new doctrine that is strange to Adventism. The real question we should be focused on here is “What gives glory to God?” in the context on the Three Angels’ Messages.

Glenn, you need to check your Bible again. Ordination is clearly a Biblical investiture. Jesus Himself “ordained twelve” apostles (Mark 3:14), and Paul authorized Titus to “ordain elders in every city” (Titus 1:5).
And in recounting the setting apart of Paul and Barnabas through the laying on of hands, Ellen White writes as follows:
“Before being sent forth as missionaries to the heathen world, these apostles were solemnly dedicated to God by fasting and prayer and the laying on of hands. Thus they were authorized by the church, not only to teach the truth, but to perform the rite of baptism and to organize churches, being invested with full ecclesiastical authority. . . .
“God foresaw the difficulties that His servants would be called to meet, and, in order that their work should be above challenge, He instructed the church be revelation to set them apart publicly to the work of the ministry. Their ordination was a public recognition of their divine appointment to bear to the Gentiles the glad tidings of the gospel” (AA 161).
When you speak of “new doctrine that is strange to Adventism, you need to be specific. If you’re speaking here of spiritual male headship, consider the following statement by A.T. Jones in 1891:
“This word does indeed speak to man of his son, his daughter, his manservant, his maidservant, etc., not because it contemplates his duty to man, but because it contemplates his duty to God; contemplates man as the head of the family, and as such responsible to God for the conduct on the Sabbath day, of those under the jurisdiction which God bestowed upon man in his headship of the family” (American Sentinel, June 25, 1891, p/ 202).
Consider also the following statements by other of our pioneers:
“The divine arrangement, even | 300 limit

Kevin you cite Titus 1:5 as authority for ordination and I am wondering how you deal with verse 6:
1. How you or other single men aspire to be an elder pastor since there is a requirement to have one wife?
2. Why are you not on a campaign to remove from elder hood and the pastoral pulpit every single man who has children who have strayed.
3. Are you proposing to root out all pastors and church leaders who have been married more than once and who’s former wives are still alive since they have in effect more than one wife.
This is such a frustrating thing . . . you pick and choose the verses that support your position and ignore everything else. Then there is such arrogance of we are right and couldn’t possibly be wrong and everyone else has to be wrong . . . hard for me and others to square that with Jesus.
I would also note that most translations and . . . the Greek dictionary translate that word as appoint and not ordain. It is not a surprise that KJ translation was done to conform to the Church of England and their view that clergy should be ordained.
In the grip of grace
Steve Moran

Steve, when we permit the Bible to interpret itself, it is clear that the phrase “husband of one wife” does not exclude single men. The apostle Paul, after all, was ordained in Acts 13:3 along with Barnabas, and at least at the time he wrote First Corinthians 7:7, he was single. This did not disqualify him.
This offers persuasive evidence that the phrase “husband of one wife” simply means that polygamists or those divorced on other than Bible grounds need not apply. So far as ordination being restricted to males, that point is established in First Timothy 2:12-13, where women are denied the post of authoritative teaching on the basis of the original created order. This male-only prerequisite is laid down before any of the subsequent requirements are listed in the following chapter.
Regarding men who have been married more than once due to the death of a wife or a Biblical divorce, nothing in Scripture or the writings of Ellen White would indicate their needing to be excluded from ordination. But the Bible is consistent throughout its pages that spiritual male headship is the Lord’s model for leadership in both the home and the church.
Regarding the word “ordination” and the King James translators, I am content to embrace the inspired use of this term in the writings of Ellen White, which is in full harmony with the Biblical practice of ordaining men only for spiritual headship roles. Repeatedly Ellen White uses the term ordination in her writings, and when she does, it is exclusively used for male ministers, never for women.

Once again you twist and ignore the facts. I promise you there are men in the pastorate who got divorced for reasons other than adultery and you know that as well as I. Even men in high places.
You choose the Church of England use of ordination because it fits your motif. This is a real twisting of the Greek to make it work for your side. The fact that Ellen White used the Bible of her time does not mean anything except the Bible of her time was what she used.
Just like the many places in Scripture the word man or men is used and even you would agree that it was meant to include women.
It is not fair to pick and choose.
When Ellen White said ordination is man’s acknowledgement of God’s calling how do you justify that man can’t acknowledge the calling of women.
Finally you completely ignored my question about getting rid of elders and pastors who’s children have strayed from the truth. That would seem to be a problem of a much greater magnitude. Wouldn’t surprise me if better than 50% of the pastors and conference leaders had children who strayed and I am betting that when it comes to local elders the number is even higher.
Using the way you handle Scripture doesn’t have to be an all or nothing proposition?
In the grip of grace

I am continually amazed at the inflammatory, apocalyptic words coming out of those opposed to women’s ordination. To label it a “crisis” and to continually push against an issue that has no theological basis – that is what’s tearing the church apart. Are all of you the ones who decide if our female pastors have indeed been called by God to minister? It is not your place. The only crisis here is the one that all of these “authors” and “ministries” are creating. But you know what, it doesn’t matter what outrageous publications you keep putting out there and what the GC vote is. Female pastors will continue to do God’s work despite your efforts and individual conferences will continue to choose how they handle women’s ordination.

I invite you to read the book, Laura, before you claim this issue is non-theological and its identification as a crisis “inflammatory.” And if you think the vote of the General Conference means nothing so far as what individuals and local Conferences will do, then you are fostering a spirit of rebellion. Moreover, if you think the actions of rebellious territories will continue without consequences despite what the GC vote is, you may be in for a rude awakening. Check your General Conference Working Policy so far as what the options of church leaders are in circumstances such as these.
Please understand that I once favored women’s ordination, in fact for many years, until the Bible changed my mind. Biblical authority is at stake in this controversy, and God never calls anyone to service in a manner that contradicts His Word.

Amen, Laura.
This site, LGT, and various fringe groups are the very ones causing the perceived crisis. They cannot stand that others see this differently. The show fear and anger on this topic. Just look at how you were answered.
Despite the works of these fine folks to go against God, God will not be denied that he can choose anyone to lead. To hell with anyone that stands in His way.

This issue has nothing to do with ‘what you see’. It has to do with the will of God from his inspired, infallible Word. Not to mention the outright rebellion (witchcraft per the Bible) of the unions/conferences. They started the apostasy with changing the wording in their policies and hiring female ministers on commission instead of ordination. Which ever way you cut it – female gender in male gender leadership position. A female cannot represent Christ – wrong sex. Headship is leadership & Christ isn’t female!!

Kevin you and others have predicted apocalyptic consequences if this passes in July and this has been a common tactic throughout the history of Adventism going back to Butler and Smith when battling with Jones and Waggoner. It raises a couple of questions:
1. What is it you think will happen if this passes? If you are right about what will happen why is that a bad thing . . . meaning doesn’t the worst case scenario fit right into you end time scenario? This would make me think you would rejoice over this kind of thing, being ready for the end, when the rest of clearly aren’t.
2. What I am hoping you can explain to me is this. You and others are so vitriolic, condemning, condescending toward the opposition that it makes me wonder where your faith in the Holy Spirit is.
Do you not believe the Holy Spirit is in charge of this church and the outcome of this vote? Do you believe that if it goes your way the Holy Spirit acted in a mighty way and if it goes the other way the Holy Spirit was on vacation?
3. While I don’t believe this to be true, lets assume for a minute that God really doesn’t want women to be ordained and yet ordination happens, is your view of God one that he will abandon his chosen church his chosen end-time people or do you believe he will continue to work on their hearts and among them?
In the grip of grace
Steve Moran

Steve, my faith in the Holy Spirit differs from yours in the sense that I maintain the Spirit never acts contrary to the written Word.
I am quite confident there isn’t any realistic chance for women’s ordination to be approved in July, due both to the overwhelming inspired evidence against the practice as well as the administrative mayhem that would be unleashed if each world Division were effectively allowed to devise its own Biblical hermeneutic and consequent approach to ordination.
I myself am aware of church administrators who themselves find no fault with women’s ordination, yet who are prepared to vote NO on the motion because it would make ordination regional and divide the church.
Try to understand, my friend, that no General Conference session has ever relegated a Biblical issue for regional settlement. And as the motion is specifically worded with regard to inspired authority, this cannot be written off as a merely ecclesiastical issue.
You obviously have a very low opinion of Ellen White’s doctrinal authority, but that is one area among many on which we differ. If Ellen White speaks favorably of ordination, I take her word over that of any and all so-called scholars who make the argument—untenable for numerous other reasons—that ordination is un-Biblical.

Amen and Amen, Kevin. Besides the crystal clear Biblical evidence – only the male gender can occupy leadership roles in Christ’s church, because they represent Christ. If you put a female in these roles – it is just plain icky and goes places I don’t want to pen, nor should I have to. God had Christ set up his church in the garden of Eden via the headship role of Adam. Eve was a gift to Adam. She was made from a rib of Adam; therefor in his bosun, just like Christ is in the bosom of God. The relationship between Adam & Eve is the same type of relationship between God & Christ. How perfect is that? God IS perfection. We just cannot mess up what He set up. Why can’t all of these academics see this plain writing on the wall? I’m sure that Christ would have expected the Andrew’s seminary brainiacs to have figured this principal out by now!! God may have to have the angels finish this work cause the SDA’s sure aren’t doing so. But all of these WO issues just could be the impetus to strike a mighty spiritual revival for Christ’s bride (His Church). These issues could be occurring exactly on God’s time table – just for a time such as this. The apostasies have climbed to the heavens – evolution in OUR denominational schools – spiritualism at Walla Walla Church & at the Andrew’s seminary. Why has nothing been done about these issues? Why has nothing been done about these repugnant issues? How long can God hold off His anger about all of these issues? How long do our leaders think God will allow this before He spits us out of His mouth? Perhaps this church will also go into captivity – by way of the WORLD. Our top male leaders have been abusing the BRIDE of CHRIST for many years now. God can create a New remnant church if this one doesn’t fix all of the apostasy NOW. Remember the remnant must match the first section of the fabric bolt – the garden of Eden. Get it right GC session of 2015 – all of it. Clean up the mess you created. Christ’s bride must be spotless and without blemish.

What is more, Steve, please understand that irrespective of how many church pastors or administrators are divorced and remarried on other than Bible grounds, it is still wrong. Like so many others who think as you do, you delight in dwelling on the church’s inconsistencies as though these excuse the sort of pluralism in which you believe. But neither two nor a multitude of wrongs make a right.
Regarding pastors and elders with wayward children, we are truly stretching God’s Word if we conclude that church leaders with adult children who have departed from the faith are being described in First Timothy 3, as such children are no longer technically part of the home, but in fact have left it to start homes of their own. So far as church leaders with disorderly children in the home are concerned, I believe the passage in question is not irrelevant to such cases. Undisciplined children are a blight on any leader’s reputation, and today we have far too many of these due to the laxity that many negative trends among us have sadly encouraged.

Kevin Paulson
There is a global scare campaign claiming that women’s ordination will lead to recognition of same-sex marriage and homosexual clergy in the Adventist Church. This is huge in Africa.
This indicates to me that there is a lot of nervousness over this issue. The time has come for the Church to move on.

The doctrine that separates Adventism from Protestantism is the doctrine of the Sanctuary. If we look back to the tree where we have been grafted in, it is clear that all religious responsibilities where performed, by God’s word, by men. Protestantism has chosen to separate itself so much from the tree and root of Israel, that it looks like a separate tree and not a branch from Judaism. We are the people who follow the commandments of God and the Testimony of Jesus.
I hope and pray some of us are not offering strange fire in God’s Holy Sanctuary.

I am thankful for a book which addresses this issue. For several years I’ve studied the role of men and women in the home and in the church. It has become apparent to me which view uses the Bible to arrive at conclusions and which view does not consistent Bible principles.

Greetings in Jesus’ Name! If commentators and expositors would not muddy the waters by focusing on Ellen White and her title/ministry, the issue that plays at the heart could surface. The Bible (not William Miller (with EGW concurrence)) is set forth as the proper hermeneutics (Bible study) for SDA doctrinal practice. I suggest it is Deuteronomy 18:15-18, Isaiah 28:10 & 13, Luke 16:29-31, Luke 24:27, John 5:39, 2 Timothy 2:15 & 3:16-17 and so on from Scripture that determines what we can pray and ask the Holy Spirit to convict, convert, and establish for the gift of unity. We must not become Jeroboams setting up false systems and false servants because people may get offended or due to our own fear! The word is clear by creation and example, from Genesis to Revelation, that the home and church overseer (Elder) is to be male, as clearly stated in 1Timothy and Titus 1: 5. Jesus was not bound by culture nor Mosaic conventions. He had women’s ministry and women’s evangelism/prophetic programs. The Bible does not indicate that He had women apostles. For those of us who have families where there is no male overseer in human form, we have our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to fill this void until such time as He chooses to alter this reality for so many families. It is His design that home and church follow His example as we see in Titus 1:5 “For this cause left I (Paul) thee (Titus) in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God | 300 limit

I have to disagree with some of what you stated. Yes, the church leaders should have set up paying positions for women in ministry, but we must remember that the apostles had no real salary and often had to work for their keep. The many females that helped them probably saw to the very few comforts afforded them. The early ministers of this movement barely had decent clothes to wear – let alone food to eat. Getting back to my first statement, I believe that if the church had set up paying positions for women – they would still have wanted the male positions – our first mother did exactly the same thing. She wanted a role not prescribed by God. Think about it. The church has migrated from in the world to of the of world. Wrong mindset – should be attitude of service to others, not what’s in it for me.

When I was a youth growing up in Jamaica,, I used to hop on to the back of moving vehicles such as vans and trucks as they pass through town (please don’t tell my parents). The trick is to get off before the speed of these vehicles is faster than I am able to run on my own. If the truck builds up a speed higher than my top speed I now have a problem. Should I jump off now and risk suffering some bumps and bruises or hold on tight and risk being carried away to unknown destinations.
I believe many well meaning pastors have found themselves in this situation with regards to the Women’s Ordination issue. When the Women’s Ordination band wagon was passing through town, these pastors hopped on in support on the basis of fairness and equality etc., without deeply studying the issue first. The band wagon is picking up speed and some would hold on tight and risk being carried away to unknown destinations rather than to jump off now and risk suffering a few bumps and bruises to their authority. Believe me, this issue is paving ways to destinations that are alarming – the experiences of other denominations are the warning signs. There are many pastors who have jumped off and more need to do so before it is really too late. It is perfectly OK pastors to say ‘I was wrong on an issue’ or at least to say ‘let me do further study’. Don’t go down that road. I am yet to hear supporters of the issue say that they are doing it on the authority of God’s word. In order to make that claim, there are too many verses in scripture that would have to be ignored or lifted out of context. | 300 limit

Clive, while I am late seeing all of these comments your words are so true. This is the same phenomena I have seen on a wholesale basis in the Adventist church starting with “Celebration Churches” We FOLLOW the rest of Christendom by 8-12 years. We are not meant to follow. We are to lead. We have followed Babylon in every aspect and still try to tell people to come out of Babylon.
The greatest woman in our denominational history did not seek nor would she have accepted ordination. If we are a royal priesthood then that ordination should be enough unless every person in the church needs to be ordained. Were there any “ordained” women in the time of Christ? As Israel wanted a king, they wanted to be like the other nations, thus they denied God as their King. As the SDA church wanted to be a denomination rather than the movement EGW told them was God’s first choice for them was, they also denied God’s Leadership. As we follow Babylon and deny God His rightful place we shall be brought into captivity of Babylon. History will repeat itself as we enter these last days.

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