From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Adventist President "Regrets" Californian
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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