Ordination of Women and the Old Testament
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Ordination of Women and the Old Testament
Ellen White says both that Eve was Adam's equal before sin entered and that woman is man's equal today. But in her writings this equality doesn't give man and woman identical roles and neither does it deny the Biblical concept that in some respects woman is to be in subjection to man.

Testimonies for the Church , vol. 3, p. 484, says that “when God created Eve, He designed that she should possess neither inferiority nor superiority to the man, but that in all things she should be his equal. . . . But after Eve's sin, as she was first in the transgression, the Lord told her that Adam should rule over her. She was to be in subjection to her husband, and this was a part of the curse.”

This subjection is evidently still a part of God's plan. Ellen White also said, “We women must remember that God has placed us subject to the husband. . . . We must yield to the head” (Letter 5, 1861). “The husband is the head of the family, as Christ is the Head of the church; and any course which the wife may pursue to lessen his influence and lead him to come down from that dignified, responsible position is displeasing to God” ( Testimonies for the Church , vol. 1, p. 307). Indeed, when a woman honors that requirement of God, she helps her husband to develop into the responsible, loving man that God calls him to be.

But along with the ongoing subjection there remains also something of the original equality. Adventist Home , p. 231, says, “Woman should [today, now] fill the position which God originally designed for her, as her husband's equal.”

However, never, at Creation or at the present time, has equality implied that men and women have identical God-given roles. Two sentences after the Ellen White statement just quoted occurs this sentence: “We may safely say that the distinctive duties of woman are more sacred, more holy, than those of man.”

In the Garden of Eden man and woman were assigned different duties to perform, but they also enjoyed perfect harmony. The man led kindly and the woman cooperated joyfully. Sin, however, made selfishness grow in human hearts, just as it made weeds grow in the ground. Eve's independence of her husband in the first sin would show up repeatedly as woman would seek repeatedly to circumvent man's leadership. Adam's original disregard for God's law would show up repeatedly as man attempted to dominate woman with unloving authoritarianism. Role distinctions would be marred by sin—and the Gospel, when it came, would not obliterate these distinctions. Instead, the Gospel would reinfuse the distinctive roles of “equal” men and women with the love and joyfulness that God had given them in Eden.

- Adventist Affirm, Answers to Questions about Women's Ordination - Ordination of Women and the Old Testament