Here’s something from today’s Washington Post about a vote by the Seventh-day Adventists this coming Wednesday on the question of ordaining women:
Tens of thousands of Seventh-day Adventists are meeting this week to face an issue as divisive as any in the Protestant group’s 152-year history: Does the Bible allow women to be ordained as clergy?
The question has special complexity for Adventists, who to this day revere one of their founders who saw visions — a writer named Ellen White — a woman described in documents from her lifetime as “ordained.”
Discussions about what it means to be ordained, what the Bible says about women’s leadership, what to do with women’s spiritual gifts and whether different regions of the 18-million-member faith can disagree culminate in a vote Wednesday. The vote is considered not only the main event of the July 2-11 General Conference, a meeting Adventists have only once every five years, but to some potentially schismatic.
Western Adventists say the ban on female leaders is holding back their ability to function in this culture, while proponents of the status quo say they read scripture as banning women from overseeing men.
Adventists also are expected to reaffirm two of their fundamental beliefs: that the world was created in literally six days, before God rested, and that marriage is between a man and a woman. These votes, which are not expected to be seriously contested, reflect a recent push by Adventist leadership to keep the faith firmly on orthodox grounds, experts said.