It was almost exactly four months ago that with a unanimous vote the Board of Adventist Forum, the publisher of Spectrum Magazine and its website, went public with its Statement Affirming Adventist Unity on the women’s ordination question to be presented July 8 to delegates at the General Conference Session. Adventist Forum created a new website—unity2015.org—to invite other Seventh-day Adventists who supported a Yes vote to publicly bear witness and add their names as part of the priesthood of all believers.
Our goal was to find as many Supporters as there were officially-listed delegates—2,566. We have far surpassed our goal! This is all the more remarkable given that no denomination-owned media to our knowledge have ever mentioned this opportunity or our website.
These Supporters, both men and women, come from about 90 countries around the world and include active and retired General Conference officers (including retiring vice-president Lowell Cooper), theology professors, physicians, academy teachers, university presidents, evangelists, pastors including from some of the largest Seventh-day Adventist churches, housewives, businessmen, nurses, students and a wide array of other vocations. These people are representative of all those who actually make the church work week by week where the rubber meets the road. These are not the agents of Satan or disaffected drop-outs.
Of course, no number of Supporters (or detractors) should automatically require any specified response by Delegates. This is a decision that must be made individually under the guidance of the Holy Spirit after personal study. What these Supporters demonstrate, however, is that Elder Stele was right when he said that this is not a theological issue of morality. Or as Ty Gibson has recently said, it is not now a testing truth. Whoever God calls, may His church gladly recognize and support.
“NOW THEREFORE, we ask delegates to vote Yes on the question thereby allowing different regional practices on this issue while affirming Seventh-day Adventist unity of faith and mission.”
Ken Peterson is a member of the Adventist Forum Board.