From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Adventist President "Regrets" Californian

Date 08 Apr 2000 02:11:11

Equality Action to Issue Same Ministerial 
Credentials to Men and Women

April 8, 2000
Adventist Press Service (APD)
Christian B. Schaeffler, Editor-in-chief
Fax +41-61-261 61 18
CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland

Adventist World Church President "Regrets" 
Californian Conference Action to Issue Same 
Ministerial Credentials to Men and Women

Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.   Pastor Jan 
Paulsen, president of the Seventh-day Adventist 
Church, commented on March 29 regarding the 
decision of the Southeastern California Conference 
(SECC) to issue the same credentials to male and 
female pastors, saying he regretted the Conference 

"The issue is not the rightness or otherwise, 
ethically, morally or biblically, of the position 
that there should be no difference between them," 
said Paulsen. "My regret is that the SECC could 
not, out of deference to the larger international 
family of Seventh-day Adventists, have held in 
check their exercise of 'freedom,' knowing that 
the Church makes her decisions sometimes 
frustratingly slowly, but in a very deliberate 
manner with an eye to many issues. Moving together 
until we have agreed to give room to differ on 
specific issues is the price we
pay for unity."

The SECC executive committee took the action on 
March 16, with Conference president F. Lynn 
Mallery citing the need to treat "women ministers 
without discrimination" and that while they 
respected "the variety of views that members 
elsewhere have on this subject," they hoped that 
"our fellow believers will also respect our moral 
conviction that men and women in this conference 
who are equally qualified and have had fruitful 
ministries should be treated in the same way."

However, the action makes a unified position more 
difficult, Paulsen comments.

"Although I accept that it is not the intent, I 
feel that the action by the SECC reflects a 
mindset which sends unmistakable signals to the 
rest of the world Church. It makes the work of 
those of us who are committed to world-wide unity, 
and to combating provincialism when and where it 
becomes prominent in shaping the Church, more 

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