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Although we often say that we can understand in two ways the discord regarding the ordination of women that exists among those of us who are Seventh-day Adventists, we rarely go beyond identifying them as issues of either compliance or conscience. Here is one attempt to move further in the direction of increasing clarity:
Compliance: Defiance of Authority
Conscience: Devotion to Principle
Those Who Ordain Women
Compliance: Disobedient and Rebellious
Conscience: Being True to Duty
Compliance: Businesses or Militaries
Conscience: Families or Teams
Locations of Authority
Comfort with Pluralism
Compliance: Secretive and Structured
Conscience: Public and Procedural
Default Method of Increasing Unity
Trust in Distant Colleagues
Feelings about the Future
Compliance: Anxious Concern
Conscience: Hopeful Confidence
Best Possible Outcomes
Compliance: Wounded and Weakened Denomination
Conscience: Healed and Strengthened Denomination
This list is a start which others will hopefully improve! Add your thoughts in the comments below.
David Larson has specialized in ethics and theology in the School of Religion at Loma Linda University Health for forty-four years; however, his views do not express the convictions of all of its 20,000 or so administrators, faculty, clinicians, and staff.
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