The subject of women’s ordination came up again during a question made to President Dan Jackson on May 22, 2019. “Is This Thing On” is a series of live-streamed interviews with leaders at the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. This year the event was held at Life Adventist Church in Berkeley, California.
The question made to Dan Jackson was controversial because the assumption was made that the vote against women’s ordination by the Seventh-day Adventist Church was based on politics and not on any core biblical doctrine or teaching. Here is the question that was proposed to Dan Jackson, president of the North American Division:
“How can the church show young adults that they are valued and important members of our denomination, particularly those who may be discouraged by the topics on women’s ordination and other church politics?”
Instead of clearing up the inaccuracy of the question, Dan Jackson first tells the audience that in a matter of years the church will soon belong to the younger generation. Then the responsibility will fall on them and they will determine the outcome of those issues. Which responsibilities? He didn’t specify, but one can conclude that he is referring to women’s ordination. So it’s not up the 3 different General Conference Sessions who voted unanimously, it’s not up to the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, it’s up to the next generation to resolve the issue on women’s ordination.
Then Dan Jackson explains that we can’t just have “one solitary” view in terms of ideas. What views is he talking about? Well, the question was about women’s ordination. He is basically saying that we just can’t accept the long-standing vote in Adventism on the subject of women’s ordination because we need move views and voices. The attitude of Dan Jackson and many others is that women’s ordination is something that we shouldn’t be spending too much time on because (1) it will be settled by the next generation and (2) we should allow different views and practices to exist within Adventism.
This kind of thinking causes us to reject the authority of God’s word in our lives. It teaches us that certain passages of the Bible are really not that important, some passages are wrong and other Biblical texts simply do not reflect the modern cultural shifts of the feminist movement today. Basically, this is opening the door to disobey God’s word if our church leaders tell us we can. This will most certainly open the door for other moral commandments (LGBT+) of the Bible to be disregarded – commandments that may also be at odds with the popular views of our modern culture.
Whether or not a belief is popular or culturally accepted today doesn’t change the word of God. What the Bible says about the roles of men and women are not suggestions that can be shrugged off as some cultural, nonessential restriction. What the Bible teaches about authoritative leadership is not something we can reject as irrelevant or outdated. These important topics have a massive impact on our views of marriage, family and gender.
Our views will affect what kind of education will be taught in our institutions. It will affect what kind of gospel will be heard in our churches. An incorrect belief on marriage, family and gender will severely impact our views of morality – as we are seeing today. Any deviation from the word of God will have massive consequences in the life and mission for God’s people.
You can say that it doesn’t matter what we believe. Some believe in having their own truth. If your belief doesn’t line up with God’s word, it’s not true. You don’t get to make up your own truth. Make sure that your truth agrees with God’s truth, because if not, your truth is a lie.