This needs to be added to the rules if this not wanted--as it is not currently in the expectations/guidelines, nor is it considered belittling-- so that the appearance does not become that those who are not supporting opposing views are being targeted.
How soon can this happen?
One of my favourite spiritual experiences has been to wash my wife's feet - I clearly remember having the opportunity at a camp meeting and we both agreed that it was a blessing to us and also created a closer spiritual bond. I can fully understand why men and women are separated for footwashing and can't really see any reason to washing another woman's feet - unless it were my daughter.
Is this an area where we should distinguish between the sexes or does the demand for equality mean that I get to wash feet with other women?
Well....Mary washed Jesus' feet...Go figure. ^ _ ^
Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,
5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.
I agree, Teresa.
And it already is....Thank you for being here at AO to help show light on that. You truly have been a BLESSING!
Mark, I respect your opinions (and appreciate you more for being honest ) and respectfully disagree....I am looking forward to the Unions (and it is the Union that has has the authority to ordain--not GC--it's in writing) as they lay out their cases from scripture, which seems to be coming sooner than the Biblical Research Institute.
I would be interested in your thoughts on this article:
I Support Men’s Commissioning
By David Hamstra
On October 10, 2011, church leaders announced a timetable for studying the theology of ordination over the next few years, the latest action following a promise at the 2010 General Conference session to study the issue.
Artur Stele, a world church vice president and director of the Biblical Research Institute, said the process would examine the foundation of ordination as well as its implications for church practices. (Adventist Review)
This is the latest in a series of debates, studies, and panels that have polarized the Seventh-day Adventist Church on the question of women's ordination since, by some accounts, the mid 1970s. (I've written previously on this topichere.) Opponents rest firm in the General Conference vote at Utrecht (1995), which shut down a move to allow the practice. Proponents continue to agitate for equality, most recently through the ONE (Ordain Now Equally) in Christ website.
Meanwhile, a proportionately small number of women continue to serve capably as Adventist pastors, and in some cases their ministry is exceptionally blessed. Rather than being ordained, these women are “commissioned,” which affords them the authority to do almost everything an ordained (i.e. male) pastor does except ordain elders and deacons or organize and disband churches.
This state of affairs seems to me untenable. On its face, there is no biblical support, and it is morally disingenuous. Either women can be pastors, or they can't. Either women are allowed to have authority in the church, or they aren't. In the scripture there is no such thing in scripture as an under-shepherd who has partial authority in the flock.
I don't intend to rehash the arguments pro and con women's ordination here. For me it boils down to one issue: Spiritual gifts come with the authority to use them. If a woman has been equipped by the Holy Spirit for pastoral ministry, the church is poorer for not recognizing this.
For this reason I fully support equality of men and women at all levels of church ministry. But, I hasten to add, I do not support women's ordination.
I have come to the conclusion that in the Seventh-day Adventist Church the term "ordination" has changed into something other than a simple recognition of God's blessing on a pastor's ministry. Ordination is now a word that is used to either attain or maintain power.
Those opposed to women's ordination are focused of defending the term in a way that excludes women from power, and those in favour of women's ordination are focused on expanding the term in a way that gains women power. Both sides of the debate are in a power struggle.
Yet according to Jesus, in His Kingdom you don't gain power by fighting for it but by giving it away.
“The legal experts and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat. Therefore, you must take care to do everything they say. But don’t do what they do. ... They love to be greeted with honor in the markets and to be addressed as ‘Rabbi.’
“But you shouldn’t be called Rabbi, because you have one teacher, and all of you are brothers and sisters. Don’t call anybody on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is heavenly. Don’t be called teacher, because Christ is your one teacher. But the one who is greatest among you will be your servant. All who lift themselves up will be brought low. But all who make themselves low will be lifted up." (Matthew 23:2-3, 7-12, CEB)
“Do you know what I’ve done for you? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you speak correctly, because I am. If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example: just as I have done, you also must do. (John 13:12b-15, CEB)
“Whoever wants to be first must be least of all and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35b, CEB)
“You know that those who rule the Gentiles show off their authority over them and their high-ranking officials order them around. But that’s not the way it will be with you. Whoever wants to be great among you will be your servant. Whoever wants to be first among you will be your slave—just as the Human One didn’t come to be served but rather to serve and to give his life to liberate many people.” (Matthew 20:25b-28, CEB)
Church offices and leadership structures are clearly necessary, as the apostolic church quickly discovered. But when an office or title becomes the focus of a power struggle, it's time to step back and recover Jesus' simple message of servant leadership: Instead of trying to elevate yourself, focus on elevating others. Instead of trying to be first, go serve those who are least. Instead of joining the race to the top, start a race to the bottom.
In that spirit, I propose the following: That Adventist pastors of both genders be, not "ordained," but "commissioned." After all, neither term is applied to pastors in the Bible, so we're free to change the terminology when warranted.
In fact, the term "ordained” comes from the Roman ordering of their society into plebs and patricians, the Gentile lords Jesus condemned. In the early Roman Catholic Church, ordination developed as the means by which a layman joins the elite order of the clergy.
On the other hand, "commissioned" carries, to my ear at least, the implication of "commissioned to serve," which is what a minister is supposed to do in the first place. Changing the term would also connote, in the context of the ordination debate, that Adventist pastors are less obsessed with their own power and position than they are with empowering and elevating others. It would signify that male ministers do not advance in God's upside-down Kingdom by allowing women to join them up on their level, but instead by moving down to a level where all can serve according to their gifts.
Therefore, I do not support women's ordination; I support men's commissioning.
Hi Sarah thanks for this special sharing, I appreciate that there has been much time and research you have done. Hats off. My question to you is: Why is it when it is a question for woman to wait. and for man to give the green light. Also when in some corners of the world there are women who are doing well as church leaders. Thanks . will woman has her say again.
Sabrina, it's like the article states: this is all about power and control. To have two sets of standards says not only that God is biased (the Bible says He isn't) and that He gives limited authority regarding spiritual gifts to Women--which is more foolishness.
Commission IS in lieu of ordination....you may need to check your research on that one. I do want to thank you for your response to my post. =)
The FRUIT is the issue and the reason for the problem. You have women (for example) doing the work of a pastor in China (they are ordained) and their ministries bear good fruit short and long term; their churches are (ironically) balanced--and growing spiritually as well as in numbers with males and females and it is a non-issue; this is also a non-issue in most "predominately and/or historic Black Conferences"....It's not even an issue in many to most of the Hispanic churches.
So the real question (for me is) what is the deal with predominately SDA churches?
Thanks for posting this. I have never felt that women's ordination was right because it just isn't Biblical. The opposite is in the Bible and it isn't just a cultural thing or something that only applied to that time period because of education or lack of equality. I am sure that there were some women who were educated and wise in all time periods. If God had desired women to be ordained, do you not believe that sometime during all those centuries of Bible history, God would have called at least one woman to the priesthood? He just didn't do it. And the Bible is enough for me.
I don't understand why being ordained is so important. We have women serving the Lord in every generation. In many ways. It is possible to serve the Lord and lead people to Him without being an ordained pastor. If a woman is truly desiring to dedicate herself to God, let Him lead the way instead of desiring your own way. Is the desire to have women ordained just so they can be paid a salary or so they can have recognition or just so they can claim to be equal? I truly do not understand why it is so important to others that we have women's ordination.