In anticipation of this event the Adventist Review asked five authors to write about aspects of this topic they hope to see addressed in this year’s event. We welcome your feedback concerning these and other issues reflecting the diversity of the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.—Editors.
The first author was a female pastor who told her story of an agnostic coworker who allegedly had a dream in which God told the agnostic to tell her to "prepare yourself to be a pastor." There is much biblical evidence that God speaks through a variety of mediums to communicate to his people, and there is also biblical evidence that supports women being given the gift of speaking.
However, there is no biblical evidence that supports our experiences superseding God's word. Experience is not our guide. The word of God is our ultimate measure of truth. When experience contradicts the word of God, we must submit to God's word. So obviously the Adventist Review is saying women's ordination is biblical; otherwise, they would be putting experience over God's word.
It appears the Adventist Review may be jumping the gun by publishing this pro-women's ordination story before any thoughtful article discussing the biblical validity of ordination is published. Publishing touchy/feely stories in support of female ordination is not helpful to the discussion.
Here is the story they published:
I had a strange dream last night,” my coworker said to me. “In that dream your God gave me a message to give to you.” I froze in disbelief. She was agnostic and thought Christianity was a ridiculous religion. But God has spoken in dramatically “divers manners” before (Heb. 1:1, KJV)!
“Tell me more about your dream,” I said.
She continued, “Your God instructed me to tell you that you are to go prepare yourself to be a pastor.” She then proceeded to describe, in precise detail, the campus of Andrews University, where the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary is located. She had never heard of Andrews University. She concluded by saying, “That is where you are to go. I’ve done what I was told. Now it’s your turn to do what you’ve been told.”
For many years I had stubbornly avoided God’s call to pastoral ministry. So, perhaps in a bit of divine exasperation, God chose a most unlikely person to get my attention and to convict me to obey. In some strange way I also felt that God used her to convey the affirmation of His call for me. That was 10 years ago. Every day since, God has affirmed that call in unlikely ways.
God’s call is affirmed through Paul, whom I baptized, with some hesitation, when he was 7. Paul, in turn, gathered eight of his friends and gave them Bible studies. Two years later I baptized four of them, with Paul standing in the baptismal tank with me.
God’s call is affirmed through Carolyn, who after hearing me preach about courage informed her family that she was going to be a pastor. Her tenacious conviction to follow God’s will, against her family’s wishes, inspired her brother to give up drugs and turn his life around. They are now both studying to be pastors.
God’s call is affirmed as I answer a midnight phone call from a teenage girl, feeling uncomfortable that her boyfriend was pressuring her into an intimate encounter. She resisted his advances and broke off the relationship. She is now a young adult speaking to teenage girls about God’s plans for their lives.
God’s call is affirmed through Kent and Marissa, who have grown to understand that their priority is to teach their children to love God and follow Jesus. They make choices that are often ridiculed to be spiritual mentors for their children.
God has done some amazing things through my ministry. He has given me strength, courage, and wisdom to overcome many of the challenges I face as a woman in pastoral ministry. Every day I see signs of His affirmation. Ultimately, though, God’s affirmation is measured not in what I do, but rather in what He does in the lives of the people I minister to. I continue watching and listening as God acts in ways I never would have dreamed.