The Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has discouraged one of its churches from inviting Doug Batchelor to speak during a week-long revival meeting planned for the Fall. Batchelor's vocal opposition to ordained women at any level, whether deacons, elders or pastors, elicited a firm response from Florida Conference President Mike Cauley. Cauley issued a memo explaining that Florida Conference Administration advised the Spring Meadows Church in Sanford, Florida to reconsider inviting Batchlor to the October 2-10 meeting, citing the Amazing Facts speaker's divisiveness:
Recently Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists recommended a change in programming to one of our local churches. Doug Batchelor, Speaker for Amazing Facts, had been scheduled for a one-week meeting this fall at Spring Meadows church.
However, the Florida Conference Administration views Pastor Batchelor as a polarizing influence in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. This concern revolves around the subject of women's involvement in ministry, both as local elders and pastors, and that the position that he has taught openly for several years is not in harmony with the policy of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
Florida Conference continued to support the 25- to 30-year old position of the General Conference of encouraging women to use the gifts God has given them for ministry, both as local elders and in pastoral leadership and ministry. Therefore, we discouraged Spring Meadows church from following through with the invitation of Pastor Batchelor.
Florida Conference President
On Monday, Cauley wrote on Facebook, "The power of social media is arresting. On Friday, we responded to four emails about our concern with the Speaker/Director of Amazing Facts coming to speak. Today, that reply is everywhere. Disappointing. It was not our intent to make a public thing of this."
Batchelor has thus far not commented publicly.
Jared Wright is Managing Editor of SpectrumMagazine.org.
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