Women’s Ordination Historical Statistics and Church Division

A short clip from Pr Doug Batchelor on the historic failure of women’s ordination in a number of Christian denominations. This is an important set of statistics for the Seventh-day Adventist Church to keep in mind with the upcoming vote at the 2015 General Conference Session regarding whether conferences should be allowed to make their own decision about ordaining women.

One of the things that really stood out to me is that one of the reasons noted for declines in membership is that churches with female pastors noted a disengagement of men, leading to them leaving the church. I can vouch for the value of this, having witnessed it first hand attending a SDA church pastored by an unordained female pastor. It does happen.

His point towards the end about the confusion when it comes to explaining why one SDA church believes one thing and another SDA church believes another thing. How does it make sense to allow that kind of division and confusion into the church? Those that argue for women’s ordination on the grounds that it will cause division not to allow it are right. It will. Christ did actually foretell this in Luke 12:49-53 where He tells us that He will cause division:

Christ Brings Division

49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

Given this context it is pretty clear that the division will be between the Bible believing church where Christ is both the groom and the spiritual head, and the members seeking to bring in compromised theology, deposing Christ as the head of the church.

We should not be afraid of this division though, it is going to happen whenever a compromised theology seeks to enter the church by some means and is necessary for the church itself to remain unified in it’s theological beliefs based solely on the Bible. Remember what the prophet Amos said in Amos 6:1?

Woe to you who are at ease in Zion

If we are too comfortable in church, then our beliefs are not in question. If they are not in question, then we are not actively seeking the answers from God and His word. The word disciple originates in the latin word discipulus, which means learner. If we are not all active learners, then we can be swayed and that’s when compromised doctrines can creep in. In Ephesians 6:12 Paul reminds us, it’s not just flesh and blood that we are fighting, and that there is something much bigger going on:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

It’s only through constant focus on Christ and the Word of God that we can come out victorious, and this is something that we as the Seventh-day Adventist Church have been entrusted with by Christ Himself in Luke 12:48:

For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

We have been entrusted with the truth, and the truth will be required of us in order to maintain a theologically and spiritually unified church with Christ as it’s spiritual head.

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