SILVER SPRING, Md. — The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has voted to halt pastoral ordination across the world church. The decision was made in an effort to address rising tensions from last summer’s GC Session vote to not allow world divisions of the Church to make provision for the ordination of women pastors in their regions.
“We hoped last summer’s vote would preserve unity but it has done the opposite,” said GC spokesperson Inte Forsent, brushing a speck of scrambled egg from his face at an early morning press conference. “Instead of symbolizing service before God, pastoral ordination has become a symbol of male domination and potbellied power hoarding.”
Forsent said that as church leaders do not wish to contradict last summer’s vote, the overwhelming vote simply to stop ordination as a practice “will help level the mission field.”
“We have found a way to restore the integrity of the church to our unchurched friends around the world that actually see gender equality and fair treatment of women as an important value,” said Forsent.
The spokesperson pointed to the fact that multiple unions of the church have already made the decision to stop ordaining pastors of either gender as evidence that fair treatment of female ministers actually can work.
Said Forsent: “It is time that we took seriously the words of Jesus in Matthew 20 when he cautioned about establishing rules of hierarchy and power: ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'”