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To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." 
Isaiah 8:20
 
Women’s ordination today is as popular as liberal social issues are in American Christianity and politics. The Seventh-day Adventist Church, particularly some Conferences and Unions in the NAD have been pushing hard for women ordination in disregard to the General Conference's authority and overwhelming vote in the opposite direction. But ultimately what is at stake here are not votes, by-laws, policies or actions by this or other Conference. No one would question that 11 Divisions voted against women ordination and only 2 voted in favor two GCs ago. But that vast majority IS the body of Christ deciding the role of women with "full ecclesiastical authority" (ordination according to the Spirit of Prophecy). However that started by slow escalation of authority from ordination of female elders and  deaconesses, so now leaders use that as justification for equal ordination of women to the pastoral ministry. Little by little we gave away the beauty and simplicity of the Scriptures for complexities and fluidity of policies.
 
What is at stake here is the integrity of the Seventh-day Adventist Church core of solid, Biblical unshakable set of fundamental beliefs. #1: The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God's acts in history. However the part wants to command the body and they are doing it because they can…unfortunately. By pushing, twisting and turning every piece of rule to accommodate their intent these leaders of some Conferences and Unions will vote after vote, meeting after meeting continue until their goal is accomplished. How many times do we need to vote "No" to women's ordination? The answer is simple: We'll continue to bring it up for vote until it becomes a "Yes", starting with female elders, deaconesses and then pastors. Brothers and Sisters, this will deeply divide the Church, not bring unity, because the vast majority of the body of Christ (the vast population of 11 Divisions) does not believe is this unbiblical, un-Adventist and unseemly fallacy.

This is a sign of something deeper and more pervasive. At the heart of the issue is that truth is no longer absolute. The Scriptures are no longer the infallible revelation of His will. Not according to some leaders. The discernment between truth and lie is no longer a bright line but a wide gray zone that is getting wider by the day. So wide that people do not see any difference in the sanctity of priesthood well written and articulated in the Bible from another form based on human wicked thinking. Just because someone is or was a great leader, male or female, that does not give him/her the right to officiate in the temple. Remember when that unfortunate man tried to catch the ark falling off the cart? He actually died on the spot. Why? Simple: God told them not to touch the ark. Period! 
Clear truth is no longer acceptable. That is too radical nowadays as the church has "evolved" and the firmness of pillars of principles are no longer that firm. After all, we need to be flexible with our cultural diversity. As if the Bible was written with versions for social adaptation...We now have human rationalization use of scriptures in lieu exegesis. Now society commands and demands truth to adapt and we say: Amen! Even at the cost of changing the real meaning of words such as "discrimination" which somehow became an ugly word although is expressed in the Bible abundantly. There is the saved and the lost. There is sheep and the goat. There is the holy and unholy. There are those that love Him and keep His commandments and those that want to do away with His commandments. There are those that do the will of God and there are those that follow their own will. God throughout the Bible makes clear distinction between those who follow Him and those who follow their own ways.   
 
This push for women ordination is based on popular social forces other than the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. The misconception is that although man and women are the same before God they have different and distinct roles, therefore they are not equal in the latter sense. We have become a church that embraces social issues ("not mission…") that plagues popular Christianity rather than the solid, strong Biblical truth centered church with a focus on the three angel’s message.  

What has made some leaders in church wonder off our basics? Think about the quality and formation of our leaders these days. Look honestly at our progress in America in terms of baptisms, church growth and expansion that has been nothing short of a disappointing and utterly failure. Mathematically we are not able to even keep our own children in the church, so it is understandable why some are desperate. We all should be! Now, in spite of an anemic baptismal record (Hispanics aside) the two Divisions that are performing terribly compared to the rest of the world (US and Europe) coincidentally are the ones pushing hard for ordination of women. That off course is in disregard for the vast majority of the body that has this terrible habit of insisting on sticking with the Bible and requiring nothing less than a "thou sayest the Lord" or "it is written"! It just happens that these areas are the ones growing by leaps and bounds!  That ought to tell something to Pastors that use little or no Bible and Spirit of Prophecy in their sermons, but rather make Internet their center of thoughtless sermon preparation.  

Having a popular false idea muddying our truth is nothing new. One single popular idea concerning Daniel 8:14 that the earth was the sanctuary was enough for the great deception of the Millerite movement. One little mistake can sour the entire truth. But if the Church leadership can use a set of poorly articulated, social pleaser, unfounded arguments with pseudo theological grounds, then we can prepare ourselves for the wave of arguments that will come against Sanctuary and primarily against the Sabbath, because enemies of truth have been using the same reasoning and rationale for several decades. The fact that there are no women ordained to priesthood in the Bible is the same reason why there is no Sunday as a day of keeping: It is just not there! In the end, if you can ordain a woman without solid Biblical reason to have "full ecclesiastical authority" and in vain worship Him, then you can keep Sunday on the same grounds.

This fear of discrimination based on gender and what others will say about us is an open door for lawlessness. The next question then is: What types of gender are we referring to? In my opinion, this is setting the path to apostasy and heresy. Forget what we think, or what policies say. The social and popular Christianity will dictate some of our leader’s next steps again in a near future - God help us! They already found the way. 
 
 

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Sarah

 

Well, here are the comments of someone who some make the same claims about.

Seek to Reflect the Image of Jesus

"Whoever says, “I abide in him,” ought to walk just as he walked. 1 John 2:6, NRSV. {BLJ 221.1}

"What surpassing love and condescension, that when we had no claim on divine mercy, Christ was willing to undertake our redemption! But our great Physician requires of every soul unquestioning obedience. We are never to prescribe for our own case. Christ must have the entire control of our will and action, or He will not undertake in our behalf. {BLJ 221.2}


"Many are not sensible of their condition and their danger; and there is much in the nature of the Christian religion that is averse to every worldly feeling and principle, and opposed to the pride of the human heart. We may flatter ourselves, as did Nicodemus, that our lives and our moral character have been correct, and think that we need not humble our heart before God, like the common sinner; but we must be content to enter into life in the very same way as the chief of sinners. Self must die. We must not trust to our own righteousness, but depend on the righteousness of Christ. He is our strength and our hope. {BLJ 221.3}


"Genuine faith is followed by love—love that is manifested in the home, in society, and in all the relations of life—love which smooths away difficulties, and lifts us above the disagreeable trifles that Satan places in our way to annoy us. And love will be followed by obedience. All the powers and the passions of the converted person are brought under the control of Christ. His Spirit is a renewing power, transforming to the divine image all who will receive it. {BLJ 221.4}


"To become a disciple of Christ is to deny self, and follow Jesus through evil as well as through good report. It is to close the door to pride, envy, doubt, and other sins, and thus shut out strife, hatred, and every evil work. It is to welcome into our hearts Jesus, the meek and lowly one, who is seeking admittance as our guest. . . . {BLJ 221.5}


"Jesus is a pattern for humanity, complete, perfect. He proposes to make us like Himself—true in every purpose, feeling, and thought—true in heart, soul, and life. The man or woman who cherishes the most of the love of Christ in the soul, who reflects the image of Christ most perfectly, is, in the sight of God, the truest, most noble, and most honorable person. But those who have not the Spirit of Christ are “none of his.”—Signs of the Times, July 14, 1887. {BLJ 221.6}

 

In just what way does this differ from what I have written? 

In just what way does the push to ordain women conform to the example that Jesus set?  Not even Jesus was qualified by God's standards to be a priest.  Like Mechezadek and Ellen White, Jesus only became a priest by divine appointment, not even by their own worth.  In none of these cases was the church of that day authorized to ordain these people to spiritual leadership. 

So, what makes women believe that that has changed today?  They would be very wise to submit to God's arrangement, instead of following Eve's example, and attempt to be equal with God.

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

Sarah

Well, does not Jesus say:

    "Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I said, you are gods'?" John 10:34 (ESV) 

The Psalmist said:

    "I said, "You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you;"  Psalm 82:6 (ESV) 

So, thank you for your compliment that you can see God living out His life in me and that I am a son of the Most High.  That is the nicest compliment anyone has ever given to me.  Thank you very much.  I just pray that nothing will ever change that.

Happy Sabbath!

Maranatha :)
Ray
 

 


 

This seems to be a very selective interpretation of history. Even in Ancient Greece, which might seem enlightened compared to the earlier middle-eastern cultures, the equality of women was severely restricted. For example, the rules regarding land ownership ensured a woman did not have a significant level of control over her land. There were severe restrictions on who she could bequeath it to, a woman could not sell any significant amount of land, etc.

There is no doubt women's rights were severely curtailed in that period even if a quick summary leaving out the important details could, on the face of it, make it seem otherwise.

So far most of the discussion in this thread has focused on demonstrating that not following God's precepts will lead to one's downfall. I doubt any Seventh-day Adventist would contest this so I think it's an unnecessary distraction.

I would be really interested to learn from a theological discussion more directly focused on the issue at hand (especially with Biblical references).

So some questions I have here: How is Pastorship in the SDA church equivalent to Priesthood in the tabernacle (and later temple)? What do we base the definition of "ordination" in the modern church on? What specific instructions are given that are free of cultural context? I'm sure there's much more, really any demonstration of relevant Biblical principles would be greatly appreciated.

Przernek

For a full discussion on this topic, go to my website: www.basicsoftheword.com and to the section marked: resources.  Then read the file: 'Who Authorized the Ordination of Anyone who Will?"  Here  you will find all kinds of bible texts and other information on the topic.  I have lived through and been involved in this discussion ever since the early 70's.  Some very close friends of mine who I shared information with, were involved in some of the study groups that were called by the GC.  So, the information I share is not formed and molded by the feminist who have been pushing this action. 

In fact, when the movement was for equal pay for equal work, I supported their claims.  However, when they moved to this teaching that is anti biblical, I had to part company with them.  So, for me it has never been a gender issue, but solely a theological one.

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

teresa

 

Thank you.  At least someone has been reading what I have written. Grin.  However, in giving the web address, I in fact did put it on the table.

 

Happy Sabbath!

Maranatha :)
Ray

Assuming that God does not care for such an important role is what I laughable. In your line of reasoning, anyone can do anything as long as he/she is able. While many man are able to care for children no one can, in my opinion, fulfill that role as the mother? Sorry, that "motherhood" must be offensive for some but I am just trying to make a point. If what you said is true then why only Levites and not all twelve tribes served in the temple? Why God was so particular with who could go in the most holy? If that is the case, then why oppose a transgender woman/man or homosexuals if their sexual prefence does not interfer with their ability to give the same message? The Episcopal and Anglican church state that there is no impediment based on ability. In tht case then God has no say on sexual preference, but man and women can chose at will.

Full ecclesiastical authority is a term used by Ellen White when referring to ordination.

Authoritarian as favoring or enforcing strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom is Satan's goal. Man or woman to the priesthood role is not authoritarian but a decision made by God.  God said that it is a sin to steal so that authority comes from Him as the author, not from who repeats it. Anyone can say that it is a sin to steal but priesthood is much more than that.

While no one is enforcing anything as man and women are free to decide, in the body of the organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church the General Conference is the authority in these matters and that has already been settled. There is a good short sermon on video at: http://www.womenordinationsda.blogspot.com/ preached at the General Conference in 1995 entitled: “God's Role for Women in Ministry”. That afternoon the vote was cast and it lost terribly. Our theologians dissected this inside out and the arguments were clear as a bell. On one side, pure Bible and Spirit of Prophecy. On the other anything under the social, cultural, evolutionary realm was fair game. Ever since, a few continue to introduce this same issue moving to Elder’s ordination and in Atlanta (very oddly) ordination of Deaconesses and always hard pressed by NAD and supporters.  

I don't think you need to be a man to carry the body of a 200 pound wounded body in the battle field under fire but I don't think a woman was created for battle. That is not a matter of discrimination but anyone thinking that the ability to do that is a matter of equality will find the reality quite clear if life is on the line. The same way I don't think that even with the most technological advances man was made to bear child and give birth even if biologically possible.

The Bible from beginning to end shows that priesthood was and is a male function. As to the specifics of God's reasoning I think we can ask Him at some point when we get there in heaven, after we stop dropping our jaws to the floor in awe...I always dream (it is just a dream!) that my house for some reason is on a corner street as I see angels flying on both sides of the living room tall windows in angular directions. Call me crazy but I have the impression that when we get there all these discussion will seem not that important. For now, I think this is a social issue that will divide and split the church at a time we should be focus on the mission. The NAD is already doing it in spite of GC asking not to…that is flat out rebellion but others will argue otherwise. If we are not following authority within the leadership of the Church, then why is it that we will follow authority of the decision in women ordination that comes out of those refusing authority? This is a very dangerous precedent.

Hi Teresa.

 

Because your framing is not that simple as it wonders into God's inner intents of His heart. I'm not sure I understand your question then so this maybe is one I'll have to add to my prayer list. I do not claim to have all answers particularly on all that God cares about. All I know is what I have heard and read through his word. For the same reason I cannot explain completely why Jesus had to spit on the ground and make mud to heal one blind man (John 9:6), then on another blind man he had to grab him by the hand, take him out of the city, then spit directly in his eyes and then lay hands on him (Mark 8:22-26) but yet no mud needed. In my human reasoning wouldn't it be a whole lot better just to lay hands on him and take care of business?  While the question may seem valid, there are certain things that we just have to trust Jesus and accept it as questioning His motives is a dangerous path.

 

Again, no one will state to the congregation the law out of their merits or authority but will state what God says because of His authority. Anyone can state any of the commandments, but that is not the only work of the ordained priest. This is one of many functions. Priesthood is a holy thing and a solemn call given by God Himself, not binding by our human thoughts but by His wisdom. Look at how many little but important details in the sanctuary service. Why only the priests could officiate in the sanctuary but in the most holy, only the high priest. Here we have even less differences by having all man and all priests. Why would God care if it is a priest or a priest who authoritatively enters in the most holy to do a service? A priest is a priest, right? No. There is a difference and distinction between priests and high priest. This one was set aside specially for a special service.  

 

When you look at the offering asked by God to Cain and Abel one would think that offering fruits and vegetables would make a whole lot more sense that killing a poor, innocent animal that had nothing to do with their sins. But when God speaks, His word is the truth so  if one contest it is doing for his own peril. Had Cain obeyed and done according to what God had said, his offering would be accepted. When God said: Do not touch the ark, it wouldn't matter if it was a man, woman, elderly or child. Anyone that touched the ark would die on the spot. His word is sovereign.

@Teresa

That is because the SOP you have given is vague and does not apply directly to women as pastors.. If God was going to tell His messenger that His rules were now changed somewhat, then she would not have bee vague about it.... Just like how the disciples of Christ were not at all vague about circumcision, and the temple sacrifices no longer being necessary.. They left no room for confusion on this point.. It is no different with female pastors, if she had been given light on the subject she would not speak vaguely, but boldly, and direct as was her way.. If you can find such a pointed and direct quote (knowing her it would be more like a paragraph or two minimum, because if she was given new light it got serious attention...) then great please show it to us..

teresa, you say that the opponents of WO have not been able to answer questions such as: "why God cares whether it is a man or woman who authoritatively, as opposed to authoritarian,  states to a congregation that it is a sin to steal."

Perhaps the simplest answer would be: because it is an irrelevant question that does not address the issue. To be able to consider the question of womens' ordination you have to actually understand what is being argued. Such a question as the one you pose shows that you still have not understood one of the most fundamental points of the argument.

The argument is not about whether women can preach. Ellen White and other women have stood before congregations - members and otherwise - and recited commandments and they are merely reciting what God has stated.

No woman (or man) has to be ordained before they can preach. I can't count how many times this has been stated on this and many other forums. You will never understand the argument if you continue to misunderstand this fundamental point and you will continue to misrepresent the position of those opposed to WO if you remain without understanding of what the issues actually are. Perhaps this is why you think that you have provided Spirit of Prophecy to address the point when in reality you still don't understand what you are trying to argue against. 

As Alexander said, at no point have you, or anyone else for that matter, been able to substantiate the ordination of women pastors from the Bible or Spirit of Prophecy.

Amen Mark.

Continue to stand strong in Christ.

There are absolutely no Bible or Spirit of prophecy references supporting the women's ordination movement. 

Most of the strength of the arguments presented in favor of it is merely human opinion and nothing more.

Thank you for allowing my reply

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