GC San Antonio 4th of July Sabbath attendance swells to 144,000

The 4th of July holiday has bumped already stratospheric attendance to the 144,000 mark
The 4th of July holiday has bumped already stratospheric attendance to the 144,000 mark


SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Attendance on the first Sabbath of the San Antonio-based General Conference Session has surpassed even the most ambitious expectations and is now hovering at what event logistics personnel say is 144,000.

“Because the first GS Session Sabbath happens to also be the 4th of July we’ve had people flooding into the Alamodome and the Convention Center, I don’t know if San Antonio can handle this many Adventists!” exclaimed GC crowd management director, Phande Monium. “One thing’s for sure, there isn’t space for all the faithful in the Alamodome so latecomers may just need to content themselves with overflow screens and the Hope Channel outside the Ark.”

Monium said that although he was very encouraged with the “symbolically appropriate” attendance of 144,000 Adventists that had descended upon the first GC Sabbath, those that came late and consequently don’t have a seat to witness main proceedings in the Alamodome have only themselves to blame. “Let this be a lesson to you. Those who are late to our earthly gatherings may one day be late for the kingdom,” added Monium.

The Alamodome’s capacity is just over 70,000

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  1. ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍I hope some of the 144,000 can help the delegates understand what the women’s ordination vote is really about. Many delegates are arguing about whether women should be ministers, but that argument is pointless because the vote is not going to decide that issue.
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍Women pastors were already fully authorized by the General Conference (as “commissioned” ministers) in 1990. They already perform the same functions and have the same leadership role in the local church as ordained ministers. They will continue to do so, regardless of the vote.
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍Women pastors already go through the same kind of consecration ceremony with a laying on of hands. The only real difference is the word (“commissioned” instead of “ordained”) that is printed on their certificate after the ceremony.
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍There is no point in debating whether women should be ministers, because that is not what the GC will vote on. When you boil it all down, the only real issue now is whether the individual world divisions can choose to call these female pastors “ordained” instead of “commissioned.” It is a matter of semantics.
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍There is no logical (or theological) reason to continue to discriminate between these two terms. The Spirit of Prophecy uses the terms “commissioned” and “ordained” interchangeably. They mean the same thing. There is no reason not to use the word “ordained.”
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍After all, the writings of Ellen White make it clear that ministers receive “their commission from God Himself, and the ceremony of the laying on of hands [“ordination”] added no new grace or virtual qualification.” It is simply a human recognition of God’s calling. (AA p. 161).
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍The General Conference Biblical Research Institute concluded 39 years ago: “If God has called a woman, and her ministry is fruitful, why should the church withhold its standard act of recognition?” (In other words, why call her “commissioned” instead of “ordained”?)
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍This viewpoint puts the issue in perspective, in the context of what will actually be voted on. When viewed this way, it becomes clear that it is not really a theological issue. It is a question of semantics, and there is no logical reason to continue discriminating between the term “commissioned” and the term “ordained,” as Dr. George Knight explained so clearly on June 20.
    ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍ ‍William G. Johnnson (retired Adventist Review editor) put it this way: “If God has given His stamp of approval to women in ministry [as seen in the General Conference policy of 1990], who are we to withhold official recognition?”

  2. Richard Mills

    Since I was not there in San Antonio among the 144,000, am I saved or not? I am in a predicament. Maybe I am in the “great multitude” around the throne? I am checking the hem of my garment tonight! Woe is me, REALLY!!

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