A Seventh-day Adventist pastor has resigned from her Arizona pulpit and announced via video that she is bisexual.
“Through study and prayer, I’ve come to a point of complete disagreement with the Adventist Church on their teachings about LGBT people,” Alicia Johnston said in a video posted on Facebook on April 22. “I also myself am bisexual so I’ve come to an awareness of that and have realized I just can’t live my life with integrity anymore without being honest about that.”
The Arizona Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists issued a statement calling Johnston a “gifted theologian and pastor” and noting its determination to abide by the stances of the church.
“While the Seventh-day Adventist Church deeply believes it’s our responsibility to minister to all people, we also have a mandate to adhere to all Bible teachings,” the conference said. “Fundamental Belief #23 states: ‘Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship.’”
Johnston, 36, is unusual not only in her decision to reveal her bisexuality but also in her recent roles as a licensed woman minister and the sole pastor of her church.
Seventh-day Adventists voted in 2015 to not allow their regional bodies to ordain women pastors, continuing a long-term practice. Women pastors have often held their positions without being formally ordained in the church, which observes its Sabbath on Saturday.
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SOURCE: Religion News Service