I am honored to say that my pastor was one of those who turned in his Ordination credentials for Commissioned...In addition two Unions have suspended ordination altogether.
Greetings again Reasoning. As the first part of "mopping up" loose ends so that we can maybe bring responses down to one by one I will give a brief reply to this...
I'm sorry to disagree but I get the impression that there is some confusing of the two just because they appear to be used synonymously. Let me try and explain, yes, I agree that the simple fact of ordaining does not guarantee that someone is meant for that position but I'm afraid I can take it no further because it is not up to me to determine the heart of another - or how their future actions may affect their calling. I feel that this should be left out of the discussion as I do not believe it adds any weight to either side.
On the flip side of that, just because someone says that God has called them to a position does not mean that He has. Even the 'fruit' test doesn't work if the position is not open to them in the first place.
Yes, I believe that God called EGW to be His messenger and that by holding that office it naturally makes her a leader in the eyes of many but I also remember that she held no leadership post in the church and did not call herself leader.
Now, as to focussing on what God does with men, that is admirable but surely not the point of the thread? The point of the thread is looking at what man does, i.e. that we practice the ordination of men only into the modern priesthood. For example, pastors who were ordained into the role but now they want to give up their ordination credentials and are asking for commissioned credentials instead. This is men playing with God's work. The very language that is used is the language of the trade unions and socialism. It seems there is no regard for a high calling but rather it is a political tool to be used in pressuring men into following, not the impress of the Holy Spirit on their hearts but the politically correct thinking of the day. Every movement of the pro-WO lobby screams self and worldliness to me.
To understand where I am coming from you will have to look through my eyes, which is, as I explained before, observing the male-pattern role model that is used throughout the Bible to describe God and the fact that He used men (or maleness) to represent him. This is what I see being disturbed and without a reason other than the cry of 'equal rights'. I want to see a thus sayeth the Lord before I stir one pin of the church that God laid. The lifetime of EGW would have been the perfect time to correct the church and introduce gender-independent ordination, yet it did not happen.
Anyway, shall we try for one response/subthread at a time? :-)
JohnB - "For two thousand years of NT church we have continued with a NT male priesthood (I use that term in the sense of overseer as the term 'pastor' is a relatively new term) and have yet to see a theological reason to change what I believe is a theology-based practice."
John consider also that more than two thousand years prior to the NT church it was also required that Priests had to be circumcised and by the time that the apostles started the new church it became apparent that the requirement of circumcision was no longer necessary. It is very clear that God uses different methods for different people in different eras and cultures.
Good example regarding circumcision. It was discussed in the early church and Peter was given a vision. Actually it was not a question of whether it "became apparent" it was a question of God speaking to the church directly.
When did God speak directly to the church in regard to ordaining women as pastors?
You state that "It is very clear that God uses different methods for different people in different eras and cultures." We are not discussing methods we are discussing whether the role of priest/pastor is still set aside only for men. God principles do not change according to the culture. For example, in every and all cultures the standard is the same 10 Commandments.
So it appears the solution to the problem remains as it always has been. If God has changed the requirement for those in that role then we should be able to point to a "thus sayeth the Lord" as we do for circumcision. However, despite claiming for years that scripture supports womens ordination those pro-WO have now declared very firmly that there is no scriptural support.
Using the change in the requirement for circumcision appears to support the argument against introducing WO rather than supporting WO.
John, the role was priesthood that ran through the Levite blood line. Do we still have that situation today ?
The male model was not only expressed through the Levitical priesthood.
ZJ, I am not referring to what was required of priests I am referring to the continuous representation of God be a male one.
If you trace back to the Garden of Eden God has always represented Himself as male. This has nothing to do with "different strokes for different folks" but a pattern established ever since there was a need for salvation.
Why disturb a thousands-of-years-old pattern for the political correctness of the last few decades?
I think that the bible clearly outline the leadership in the New Testament church, being that the Levitical priesthood was done away with.
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;…
Are these only for males?
Greetings Reasoning, and peace.
I hope the following will be of help:
The quotation you have given originally appeared in an article entitled "An Appeal" in "The Bible Echo" on 18th September 1899.
It is an excellent article and I encourage you to read it in its entirety. The relevant paragraph is par.13 and I have bolded the sentence:
"Just as the truth presented in the books becomes woven into his own experience and developed in his character, will be his strength, his courage, his life. The experience gained will be more benefit to him than all the advantages he might otherwise obtain in fitting for the work of the ministry. It is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit of God that prepares the workers, both men and women, to become pastors unto the flock of God. As they cherish the thought that Christ is their companion, a holy awe, a sacred joy will be felt by them amid all their trying experiences and all their tests. They will learn how to pray as they work. They will be educated in patience, kindness, affability, helpfulness, wherever they may be. They will practice true Christian courtesy, bearing in mind that Christ their companion will not approve of any harsh, unkind words, or feelings. Their words need to be purified. The power of speech should be regarded as a precious talent, granted them to do a high, a holy work. The human agent is to represent the divine companion with whom he is associated. To that unseen, holy companion he is to show respect and reverence, because he is wearing the yoke of Christ, and is learning His pure, holy ways and manners."
The entire article gives you the context, however, note the sentence that follows the one underlined. Having stated that it is the accompaniment of the Holy Spirit (not the canvassing work) that prepares men and women to become pastors unto the flock of God she then goes on to expand on that thought, she describes it in more detail. This extends into the next paragraph, par.14, where she says,
"Those who have faith and confidence in this divine attendant will develop. They will be gifted with power to clothe the message of truth with a divine, sacred beauty. In all the self-denial and self-sacrifice required, amid all the unpleasant things that occur, they are ever to consider that they are yoked with Christ, partakers with Him of His spirit of patience, forbearance, kindliness, self-denial, and self-sacrifice. This spirit will make them a place and give them success in the work, because Christ is their recommendation to the families. They will not be easily repulsed, for they know that the household needs the instruction these books contain."
In the next-to-last sentence of that paragraph she concludes that their experiences will give them success in the work and in the last sentence it is obvious that she is referring to canvassing or colporteur work. In the article she also refers to this work as a ministry and to the workers as ministering.
We must be careful in emphasising that one word, "pastors" that we are not applying a 21st-century meaning to word that is being used in a late 19th-century usage that perhaps does not fit exactly into what we mean today. Ministers are mentioned in the second paragraph where Sis White places them in juxtaposition to the canvassers,
"The publications will do a far greater work than can be accomplished even by the ministry of the word, because the canvassers reach a class that ministers who teach in word and doctrine cannot reach."
I suggest that it is this "far greater work" that they are prepared for by the Holy Spirit so that as men and women go door to door they may be pastors unto the flock of God.
Please read when Ellen White said pastoral work involves. If you did you would not ask such a question..
Dear Reasoning, I shall answer this post first as it is the simplest/quickest :-) ...
...to put it simply I would say that "pastoral work" is the work of being a shepherd to the flock.
I do believe that there is very little that it has not been given to women to do and that can be summed up in the simple phrase "be an ordained pastor" although I would also add being the pastor of a church as all the machinations of the WO movement has made that clarification necessary.
I've mentioned this several times before but, for clarity's sake, I see a pattern that stems from Adam through the Levitical priesthood down to today wherein God is represented by male not female. As the father represents Christ in the household so one of the roles of the pastor is to represent Jesus Christ.
Just as women were prohibited from being priests in the Levitical model so I believe that prohibition remains in the New Testament model. That God, Christ, are represented as male not female.
Hope this helps, blessings.
JohnB: "I look at the OT & NT theme where God is only represented in a male model. Father, brother, husband descriptors of God; male priesthood at a time when male/female priesthood was common and a religious norm. For two thousand years of NT church we have continued with a NT male priesthood (I use that term in the sense of overseer as the term 'pastor' is a relatively new term) and have yet to see a theological reason to change what I believe is a theology-based practice."
JohnB, you the man bro... Jason, take lessons.. Thank you for your post and your good spirit.
I understand what your saying and respect what was in the past, the priesthood of the past was not like the NT. In the NT we are a royal priesthood(1 Pet.2:9), I'm sure that verse applies to women as well, right?
I'm aware GOD has chosen males in the NT to preach the gospel, they had the testimony of Jesus, which is the SOP. It's about who GOD chooses in my view, not who man chooses. So I'm not focused on male leadership per se, because the past has shown many male leaders of the OT injected what they thought was right within GOD'S Church, thought their selves high and mighty.
I'm focused on Jesus, not saying your not, but for me it's who GOD chooses for what position in HIS Church. In the NT Jesus choose men, He came to Paul and taught him in the desert for a few years.
But then He choose a woman to do the same thing He had the males do in the NT. EGW received the same SOP as Paul and the apostles. Ordained SDA pastors have to get in line with what she says, because she gives us a better understanding on what the Bible is saying. This is a woman that GOD has chosen to lead.
I'm sorry but I just don't put my confidence in man or these "overseers"... Don't get me wrong, I respect the work they do, but the Holy Spirit in the past has chosen people outside of the box of church officials to lead GOD'S people.
For me it's what man chooses vs. what GOD chooses within in HIS Church. How do we know GOD has chosen a person lead? By their fruits, and not by the ordination by men. True ordination is acknowledging who GOD already choose.
EGW: "Both Paul and Barnabas had already received their commission from God Himself, and the ceremony of the laying on of hands added no new grace or virtual qualification."
EGW received her commission from GOD HIMSELF as well... didn't need to be ordained by men as a pastor to do the work as a pastor. How is her commission from GOD different from Paul's?
I have more questions, but I gotta run, thank you for your time in this matter and helping me understand your view, a view that is greatly respected. Blessings!