When www.adventistelders.com launched on April 30, it provided one of the most substantial contributions to the discussion of Adventists and the ordination of women in a long time. On the website, several "elder statesmen," senior leaders of the Adventist Church, spoke out in favor of ordaining women in order to achieve church unity. The leders' video message circulated widely, propelled by viral social media sharing. A companion Facebook page, "Adventist Voices of Unity," received thousands of "likes" quickly.
Now the Voices of Unity page has added videos from more senior leaders, and provides expanded statements from some of the six spokesmen from the original video. The Facebook-exclusive content specifically addresses the importance of a "YES" vote at the upcoming General Conference Session.
Gerald Winslow, Vice President for Mission and Culture at Loma Linda University Health, says "We have a historic opportunity to say something important about Jesus, and about God's love."
Angel Rodriguez, former Director of the Biblical Research Committee, notes in a short clip, that the question of whether or not to allow women to be ordained should not be understood as biblical or theological. "We do not define biblical truth through a majority vote," Rodriguez says. "The question is 'What is the best thing for the church to do?'"
Sasha Ross, Director of the Women's Resource Center at La Sierra University, argues that a "YES" vote prevents one division from imposing its will on other divisions. "...because cultures are so varied on the issue, why would we want North America to dictate that to the rest of the world?" she asks.
John Brunt, Senior Pastor of the Azure Hills Church, points out the importance of women in pastoral ministry in relation to the unique ways women can minister: "...there are some things that women can do that I just can’t do, and God has given us the blessing of calling women that have worked with us and are able to fit right in to those things where we have great need."
Evangelist Alejandro Bullón teases apart issues of unity, uniformity, culture and theology: "But unity is not the same as uniformity. We can be a united church among diversity of colors, languages, and cultures. For that reason, and since there are two different points of view about women’s ordination, the General Conference formed a special committee with representatives from all divisions to study this matter, and this committee informed that women’s ordination is not a theological or doctrinal matter, but a cultural one."
See all of the video statments at the "Adventist Voices of Unity" Facebook page. The page is being periodically updated with new video messages from Adventist leaders.