The ordination of female pastors has been a hot topic in the Adventist church in the last years. The excitement is growing now that the General Conference is getting closer. Sadly, I am not a delegate the the General Conference so I will have no vote in the matter.
For the record, I wholeheartedly support the ordination of female pastors. I don’t think that anyone who knows me has any doubt in that issue. In November of 2012 I wrote an article for Spectrum Magazine, where I said:
As an ordained male pastor I have no direct stake in the argument, yet this is an issue in which I have always felt personally involved, and on which I cannot conscientiously remain silent. As a church it is our responsibility to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and as Christians it is our moral duty to speak out where we see our fellows treated unjustly. Having grown up in South Africa during the years of apartheid, I witnessed institutionalised injustice first-hand. Discrimination is wrong no matter what form it takes, and I cannot see any fundamental difference between how the church treats women (as less than men), and how South Africa treated black Africans (as less than white Europeans).
Now, more than two years later I still stand by this statement. And, even though I cannot vote on the matter at the General Conference, an opportunity has crossed my path to play a small part in the discussion.
About 14 months ago the Trans-European Division voted a 850+ page study on the topic of ordination. It’s a complicated, hard to read, academic, exhaustive study on ordination, and I am sure that almost no one is going to read it. That’s where I come in.
The Trans-European Division has asked me to write a 100 page popular book, based on the report. It will be published for Europe (and the rest of the world) and should be coming out at the end of April. That is, if I can finish it on time!
So here I sit, while I am officially on holiday, working through hundreds of pages of academese, trying to make it understandable for the man or the woman in the pew. Exciting times, indeed.