Women’s Ordination; My perspective, pt. 1

A controversy over women’s ordination has exploded in the churches of North America. My goal is not to tackle an issue just to do so; but if I can bring a perspective to it that no one has considered, then perhaps that is worth something.

Recently, the NAD1 released an “appeal for unity”2 from the General Conference in dealing with women’s ordination.

No longer able to ignore the controversy, the statement was issued by our leaders along with the announcement of a study to be released in 2014. In the formative years of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the believers stood firm in rejecting popularity and clung to a “Thus sayeth the Lord” stance while our leaders remained unified on topics. However, today, the chasm is ever widening between the two sides — Conservative and Liberal Adventism — and in each major controversy, both claim they have “truth.” I will state, I am open minded about this topic, but I am not in support of disregard for unity or open rejection of church counsel (more on that another time).

While listening to James McDonald of Walk in The Word Ministry, I thought on the subject, and gained an interesting perspective.

Speaking on the role of a woman in marriage, he said, “…the Bible says that the number one thing for a successful marriage is understanding your role….men and women are not the same; men and women are equal under God in every way, but men and women are not the same. They’re not interchangeable.3

He mentioned that the uniqueness of both male and female point to the creative genius of God. One thing McDonald points out falls along the lines of something I’ve said for years, “… a man is much more because of the woman that he’s with.4

The way they [men and women] fit together, more than just physically, but emotionally and spiritually and in every way shows the creative genius of almighty God…” McDonald points out that because of God’s design, both sexes function cohesively as God intended, “…and so those roles become…very important. And what is my place, what is my part, what is my role…5.

James McDonald’s goes on to paint a picture of a complete person. The “husband” or man is incomplete without his wife; and the wife is incomplete without the man. In Genesis 2:18-25 is the descriptive story of the creation of woman. God commented that “man” should not be alone, that he needed a “helper”6 (or help meet in the King James Version; helpmate in the Darby Bible Translation).

Please understand I mean no disrespect to single people; The content of this article is in the context of James McDonald’s “The Matter of Marital Roles.”

Based on what McDonald says, I know a couple who in my book exemplifies his point. Raised on a farm, the husband dropped out of high school so never developed much of an education. Once married, his wife saw the potential in him, and thus helped him become who he’d eventually become. She spurred him on, encouraged him, and from a farm worker he went on to form his own company. Eventually growing beyond that industry, they developed and pioneered a new businesses and went on to produce products for well-known global companies.

Behind the scenes, she encouraged him, pushed him, and really was his ideas person and think tank. What I observed, today still amazes me. Although she could have, she never sought recognition, but instead chose to stay behind the scenes. She formulated, designed, developed, while he sold, presented, and was the up-front person. Yet, in all that, he knew that he could not have done it without her.

In their golden years, he devotes his time to pay for, travel with, and allow her to pursue a dream of hers.

As James McDonald said, “…and so those roles become, ah, very important. And what is my place, what is my part, what is my role.7

Her role has been to be his help-mate, his support, his confidant. In building him up, he later built her up and their marriage is strong and still intact. It’s only when roles are not known or understood, that failure ensues.

Have you ever wondered why marriages fail? Why women nor men seem to be happy today? Why seemingly more-so than any other period in history, women are looked at as someone to fill men’s urges rather than to be their helpmate, helper or equal? Sure there are many more reasons, but in today’s society with more experts and more psychiatrists than ever in the history of this world, things seem to be getting worse. A friend of mine, recently divorced, portrayed that he and his wife were like two independent ships passing in the night only to collide to pro-create. Rather than a unit moving together building up each other, they were separately moving, building up only themselves.

James McDonald further points out, “…it is the way that God uses wives to change their husbands…but the way that they would tend to go about it in their flesh, actually goes against the very thing that they’re trying to accomplish. Proverbs says, ‘every wise woman builds her house; and the foolish tears it down with her own hands.‘”89.

The Bible set man to be the leader of his family, his household10, not as in the woman must be subservient and a door mat, but that he is the front person, similar to first story I shared about my friends. The wife acts in every aspect of the family, gives counsel, voices opinions pro and con, and at times is a manager, but she does not take the main lead. When this balance is upset, then God’s counsel is ignored and the couple, possibly, is living in error. When a woman is ordained, as Pastor, then the role God established in the home is broken, and she becomes her husband’s leader or the head of the house. I recognize this is not politically correct and may be construed wrongly. But follow me on this, in a scenario as that, how can one separate the lines at home and at church? A wife cannot be the head in one aspect, and the husband the head in another. At that point, roles become confused and no one knows what their role should be.

Just something to think about…


  1. North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists – see http://www.nadadventist.org/ []
  2. July 29, 2012, see http://news.adventist.org/archive/articles/2012/06/29/on-ordination-questions-adventist-leadership-appeals-for-orderly-process?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+ann-en+%28Adventist+News+Network+-+English%29 and see also http://news.adventist.org/images/uploads/documents/An-Appeal-for-Unity.docx(doc) []
  3. transcribed from James McDonald – Walk in the Word Audio Podcast, “The Matter of Marital Roles Part 2, The Husband – A”. July 19, 2012 []
  4. ibid. []
  5. ibid. []
  6. עזר כנגדו ezer kenegdo, a help, a counterpart of himself, one formed from him, and a perfect resemblance of his person. []
  7. transcribed from James McDonald – Walk in the Word Audio Podcast, “The Matter of Marital Roles Part 2, The Husband – A”. July 19, 2012 []
  8. ibid []
  9. Proverbs 14:1 []
  10. 1 Corinthians 11:3-10; Ephesians 5:23, 24; see also Ephesians 1:22 and Psalms 8:6 []

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