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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 said:

Pimps and prostitution of women....thanks.  And you believe that "God" has stated this?  Right.

This is offensive and untruthful.  At no point in history have the male leaders in God's church been in any way similar to "pimps" just by virtue of ordaining only men.  And it follows that in no way have the righteous sisters of the church been "prostitutes" simply by being a part of God's church that does not support women's ordination.  The Israelite priests were not pimps and the Israelite women prostitutes.  Likewise, modern church leaders are not pimps and the women in the church prostitutes. 

To characterize the position of someone you disagree with as supportive of a system of "pimps and prostitution of women" is not thoughtful or honest discussion.  Please do not make this characterization again.  It is vulgar and puts words in other peoples mouths that they have never said.

It is using a person for selfish means to satisfy their own needs....Taking advantage of someone else's gifts out of jealousy, and is akin to worse.  Whichever euphemisms are utilized to make people feel better, the result and the feelings are the same for those who put in the times, effort and energy, only to have someone else try to take over and take control.  I am thankful that God sees through and is calling people to serve for Him in spite of....and that He is not a part of that controlling spirit.   In the future, I will simply refer to it as power thrusting.

It is using a person for selfish means to satisfy their own needs

That is the only possible reason you see for the current state of our church where women are not ordained?

 the result and the feelings are the same for those who put in the times, effort and energy, only to have someone else try to take over and take control. 

I understand our church leadership is not perfect and there are instances of all manner of evil within our church.  But to suggest that "the result and the feelings are the same" for a woman church leader who is not ordained and a woman who is forced into prostitution is beyond my comprehension.  I think actual women forced into prostitution would agree they are not the same.

Please do not use the term "power thrusting" as it too is vulgar and evocative of sexual domination and rape.  Those comparisons do not apply to a discussion of the ordination of women as pastors and elders.

It is jealousy and using a person.  If they are good enough and anointed enough to be called by God to serve in the same capacity to increase His kingdom, it is only morally fair to extend the same professional--and let's keep it real--spiritual endorsement by the church they serve.  The funny thing is I have never taken a position on this--or even thought about it until read some of the posts on it here on this site, because it is NOT an issue in regional conferences or more specifically in predominately Black Conferences.   And it is the men who have been the greatest champions for this while the female pastors have served and put up with untold indignities and disrespect...until the past few years.  

I am blessed to belong to a Seventh-day Adventist Church where one of our pastors is a female---and none of us could care less; I am blessed to belong to a conference where one of our female pastors was just promoted from Assistant to Senior Pastor of two churches and both congregations are HAPPY that she is their new pastor; I am blessed to be apart of a union that has made it clear that while they are going to yield to Ted Wilson wishes in his role as President, they have also publically gone on record to state that they disagree with his stance.   

Bottom line:  There is too much work to be done for the kingdom of God for a few people who feel threatened because the glory is going to a woman for one part of the work.  

So while those of you who are waiting for your image of who you think God is using to lead in the work, IT'S GETTING DONE ANYWAY.  People really do need to be more concerned about why it isn't happening at their church, in their ministry, and why there is no good fruit being birthed where they live.  That's Scripture!  I have said it before:  If it is not of God, it will fall on it's own.  The Bible is clear that a good tree cannot produce corrupt fruit....since the fruit is sustaining and not corrupt, who has the problem?

 

Take a lesson from China...

http://spectrummagazine.org/blog/2012/06/01/listening-church-china

So many assumptions and criticisms but none of them go to the point of whether women should be ordained as pastors. Much of your attacks on those disagreeing with you appear to be poorly-informed or just parochial views.

It is nothing to do with jealousy - unless women are jealous of the position of pastor;

It is not a moral issue any more than the High Priest being the sole male who could go behind the veil was a moral issue;

Women have been endorsed in service since the inception of the SDA Church;

It was noted at Utrecht that the third world countries were in opposition to WO and that the main supporters were from the first world. That is why the accusation was that it was the African/Asian/South American countries that needed to be "educated" so that they could "catch up" with the rest of the world church;

It is an issue in predominantly black conferences and I know of at least one leader, above conference level, who was not re-elected due, in part, to the pro-stance that he took on WO;

It is not a case of people feeling threatened. This kind of obfuscation is used to try and change the terms of the argument.

Any discussion should not revolve around trying to demonise your enemy as a replacement to a logical argument. It is also worth remembering that insulting one's opponent is often a sure sign of having no constructive comment to make.

I agree with two points that you make:

1. There is too much work to be done without arguing over who God wants in what role. No-one, male or female needs ordination to work. All this push to change without a theological reason is a huge waste of time and resources that could be spent on spreading the Gospel (even with your contradictory statement that the work is getting done anyway).

2. The ones who are 'waiting' for their image of who they think should lead the work are those promoting WO. Those against WO already have 'their image' in place. You have nothing rather than an illogical supposition to support the idea that those against WO are not working. In fact, looking at voting patterns and church growth rates it would appear that, once again, it is the opposite to that which you suppose.

Jingoism, insults and emotional arguments aside you are picking and choosing your arguments without addressing the actual reasons that those opposed to WO give for their opposition. I can only surmise that the reason is because there are no theological arguments against those points that hold water. 

The Chinese pastors have now become the 'poster girls' of the pro-WO movement yet not one word is being said about the female pastors in Eastern Europe who have faithfully served for decades without feeling the need for ordination - or believing that it would be right for them to be ordained. I wonder what lesson you are taking from China? I wonder if you are aware of the circumstances they are working under? The Chinese got on and worked, as Jesus asked them to - not vying for power but doing the work. I remember when we were introduced to what was happening in China at GC Session, the Chinese were happy to unite with the church having been cut off from the main church and their experience was very much driven by the situation they were in. Eastern Europeans went through a similar experience and there too women took the lead when necessary but, like the Chinese, they did not push for ordination they did what was necessary when the state arrests and harasses the men. Women worked together with men under the auspices of a religious controlling body that would not recognise leadership without ordination. Some of the workers were ordained by that organisation. Not all ordained women in China support the ordination of women and the Chinese have been resistant to the politicising of what, for them, was an act of necessity not an act of policy. Further, churches in China that have heard of the GC Session decisions not to ordain women have now stopped ordaining women.

Let's get this back to the fundamental question, What is wrong with the established practice of the Church - why do we need to change the male-role pattern?

From the 70's the reason was equality, equal-pay to be exact, and a way of lessening the tax bill. Then it became an equal rights issue and then, almost as an afterthought it was made out to be a theological issue.

So... what Biblical reason is there for changing the male-role pattern established by God?

JohnB

Well said, I concure.

Ray

@John B

Amen. :0)

But to answer you directly...The current state of our Church is more than half (now) disagreement with inequality in ministry.  Either God called them or not--and while no one "needs" human hands to confirm their calling to ministry--pastoral ministry--it is partiality, disrespectful, using, and demonstrating power-based behavior to ignore their presence and not publically validate their anointing in the Church they have labored in the cause of Christ.

There is no such thing as partial anointing or partial authority from the LORD....This has become a power thing and not an anointing thing--which is only what should be the issue.   This is shameful.

Sarah said, "The current state of our Church is more than half (now) disagreement with inequality in ministry."

Any evidence to back up that statement?

In 1990 & 1995 the ratio was over 2/3 against the ordination of women pastors, when the Divisions were recently asked 3/4 were against further discussion.

Can you demonstrate that over half of the Church now want ordination of women? To be honest, I don't believe you and suspect you don't have a basis for making that claim.

I agree with you about partial anointing which is what is so wrong about "commissioning" women (or men for that matter). However, it should also be conceded that this idea came from those proposing WO not those opposing. It is those who are for WO who have made the argument about power, not those against. 

Sarah

You posted:

"But to answer you directly...The current state of our Church is more than half (now) disagreement with inequality in ministry.  Either God called them or not--and while no one "needs" human hands to confirm their calling to ministry--pastoral ministry--it is partiality, disrespectful, using, and demonstrating power-based behavior to ignore their presence and not publically validate their anointing in the Church they have labored in the cause of Christ.
There is no such thing as partial anointing or partial authority from the LORD....This has become a power thing and not an anointing thing--which is only what should be the issue.   This is shameful."

This is your view on the issue.  But, you quite obviously have left out the role that God has had in this, what God says on the subject.  You have not shared one word from God's word to support the idea that women should be ordained.

  • Not one word on the fact that when a woman was in fact the head of the church, that God destroyed the church. 
  • Not one word on the fact that when the majority of the church, in fact, 100% choose a woman over the man as the one they would follow, that they went into captivity.

Why do you ignore all of these events and only look to some pie in the sky ideal that has been drempt up by the feminist?  What is wrong with dealing with the realities of how God sees this issue and how He labels it as sin?  Or is that unimporant to you?

Maranatha :)
Ray

Calling others emotionally blinded still doesn't provide a scriptural or sop basis for WO.  That hasn't been provided.  Quit calling names and bring the texts.  I know you will say you already have.  Sorry.  You haven't.

So all this other stuff is just bluster to cover up the lack of solid Biblical basis for WO.  (Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12 don't seem to apply to the ordination of women as pastors or elders.)

Actually it does...It provides the foundation for God calling male and female to ministry with all spiritual gifts--including that of the pastorate.  The GC has already acknowledged that in scripture and has affirmed that woman can be pastors.  Where some people became "uneasy" and others "jealous" is when the move toward laying on of hands occurs--and as I have stated before, this is a non-issue in Predominately Black Conferences (Regional Conferences) in the United States.

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