At a conference in San Antonio on Friday, the Seventh-day Adventist church will address the issue of whether women should be ordained within the church. It's not a new issue, of course; as Monte Sahlin, a former denominational executive for the church, told HuffPost Live on Tuesday, the question has been raised nearly since the religion's inception 150 years ago.
"This is actually the fourth time this question has been up before a General Conference," Sahlin said. "The first time was in 1881."
Although being turned down four times sounds discouraging for women, pastor Andrea Trusty King has different hopes for what this General Conference will cover.
"They're not deciding whether or not to ordain women as a global church, but rather if they'll give divisions or different regional sections the ability to make that decision," King told HuffPost Live.
Sahlin is a little less optimistic, calling the conference discussion an "opinion poll." He says what will be discussed Friday won't have any affect on the actual doctrine, but rather a shot at bridging a gap between traditional and progressive Adventists.
"It's an attempt to get some kind of compromise between the traditional attitudes of delegates from Africa and Latin America and the needs of the church in the Northern Hemisphere, where we have probably 75 percent of our young adults who are raised in the church who leave the church because we are so stuck in the past," Sahlin said.
Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation on the Seventh-day Adventists possibly ordaining women here.
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