SAN ANTONIO, Texas — General Conference Session communications officials have called a series of emergency meetings after what spokesperson Abe Livious called “a torrent of confusing compliments about our Twitter handle image from people we don’t know.”
Speaking to a gaggle of Adventist reporters inside the San Antonio Alamodome, Livious shared some of the most recent tweets his team had received:
“Hey @gcsession, I noticed that your account’s profile image looks an awful lot like all the other rainbows on my Facebook feed, thank you for your support!” tweeted @rainbowsbrighter
@saywhatgcpeeps tweeted “@gcsession, I had you guys pegged as out of touch. I was wrong. #awesomeimage”
@PROUDtobeAdventist chimed in with “@gcsession CONGRATULATIONS!!!”
“We are not sure what all this chatter from people with rainbow Twitter profiles is about, but we are determined to get to the bottom of it,” said Livious. “It has been suggested that something about our colorful stained glass Twitter pic started all this, but that has yet to be confirmed.”
Others were less confused about the reason for the torrent of tweets. “As much as I would like to believe that the GC Session team was trying to make a subtle statement about the right to love with their Twitter image, I suspect they are simply a few steps too far removed from being aware of social media trends,” said Franc au Courant, an Adventist 20-something designer from Seattle. “They likely have zero idea what their rainbow Twitter image looks like because they haven’t been following media enough to be clued in.”
Courant added that the @gcsession team may be “subliminally promoting something they don’t even believe in, because they won’t hire young people or clue in to the trends of society at large. Pretty unforgivable for a church co-founded by a 17-year old handicapped female.”
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Clever name for the spokesperson: “Abe Livious.” Yup, sometimes the best of us are “oblivious.”. . . .
It’s not just on Twitter. It’s also on Facebook and the banner on the official GC Session Web site: http://2015.GCsession.org/
The colors are only an artistic representation of the stained glass decorating many church windows. But it would be nice if it were to become a symbol of equality in ministry: recognizing that God commissions and ordains people to ministry regardless of gender.
I think some readers may have missed the point here . . . that the rainbow colors of the Twitter image are a little bit similar to the rainbow colors of the LBGT flag . . . the Lesbian Bi Gay Transexual flag . . . which is flown to express support for legal equality and Marriage Equality for non-heterosexuals.
Being a fundamentalist church, of course, the Seventh Day Adventist church is required to follow the teachings found in Leviticus 20, which require that anyone who has committed the abominable sin of Gayness must be stoned to death.
I think the intended irony is that the designers of the logo apparently had no idea that the colors could be mistaken for representing the colors of the LGBT flag, because the church “won’t hire young people or clue in to the trends of society at large. Pretty unforgivable for a church co-founded by a 17-year old. . . .”
And this from a church that used to have a youth camp named “Come Be Gay.”
I hope this “report” will somehow inspire the delegates to try to 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?”
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