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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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Hello Tyrone.

Our church is the last church. Jesus is coming! We are seen things happening in the financial, political, social world that is unheard of. But for those relying on mainstream media for news that spend hours talking about Lindsay Lohan and a few seconds,if any, on what is happening around the world with the degradation of mankind, people will think that what is going on is jut a hick up. It is cyclical. It will get better. This too shall pass...The world and even the environment with so much destruction, moral decay and instability is screaming that something is desperately wrong and about to happen. The angels are releasing the four corners of the winds and the last events are happening and unraveling quickly before our eyes. Anyone discerning the holy from the wicked is feeling that this world is ending.

Therefore my brother, study earnestly the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy, pray with your family, continue strong on the daily devotionals, care dearly for the souls around your esphere of influence and I'm sure God has a special blessing for you and your dear ones around you. Jesus is coming so I have put your name in my memory along with everyone in this discussion and will look for you and the other to continue our converatin in heaven but face to face.

God bless you Tyrone!!!

Mark

Mark

 

You are correct. God was and still is very particular.  Notice these sample statements in this area.

      "When the tabernacle is to set out, the Levites shall take it down, and when the tabernacle is to be pitched, the Levites shall set it up. And if any outsider comes near, he shall be put to death." Numbers 1:51 (ESV)

 
    "And you shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall guard their priesthood. But if any outsider comes near, he shall be put to death."  Numbers 3:10 (ESV) 

If anyone but the Levites came near to help in the tabernacle in any way, they were to be put to death.  Remember Uzzah?  The same thing is valid today, only God will be the one to execute the sentence.  Anyone who accepts ordination who does not meet the conditions for ordination; is taking on themselves a death sentence. 

Oh, it may not happen immediatly, as it did with Uzzah, but it is as sure as God's word.  Those who do not believe God means what He says will scoff at this.  However, if they really love God, they will not scoff, for they will be willing to give up anything in order to be with Him for eternity.  They will take Him at His word and not distrust Him just to gain some seeming honor here.

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

 


 

Hi Ray.

Thanks for the reply. You always have great stuff. Just would like to share a couple of quotations from the Spirit of Prophecy:

The practice, in the details of life, of the principles laid down in God’s word, is too often looked upon as unimportant—a matter too trivial to demand attention. But in view of the issue at stake, nothing is small that will help or hinder. Every act casts its weight into the scale that determines life’s victory or defeat. And the reward given to those who win will be in proportion to the energy and earnestness with which they have striven. {AA 313.2}

God does not regard all sins as of equal magnitude; there are degrees of guilt in His estimation as well as in that of finite man. But however trifling this or that wrong in their course may seem in the eyes of men, no sin is small in the sight of God. The sins which man is disposed to look upon as small may be the very ones which God accounts as great crimes. The drunkard is despised and is told that his sin will exclude him from heaven, while pride, selfishness, and covetousness go unrebuked. But these are sins that are especially offensive to God. He “resisteth the proud,” and Paul tells us that covetousness is idolatry. Those who are familiar with the denunciations against idolatry in the word of God will at once see how grave an offense this sin is. {CCh 259.5}

Mark

 

And coveting a position or status that God has not chosen to give to us, is covetiousness, which, as you quoted, is especially offensive to God.  God resists the proud, yet it is pride that makes someone believe that they are qualified to do anything, yet God has not granted them that authority.

Many women have been lied to by the feminist that they can do anything that a man can do, to the point that they have come to believe it.  When the most obvious functions of nature show that what they are being told is a lie.  But, they want to believe it, so they close their eyes to the obvious.  It is the same with those who take feminst teachings as their Bible, instead of God's word.

In a very real manner, when a union chooses to ordain those who do not qualify, they are showing pride.  Pride that they can go against God's revealed will and not be struck dead for it.  However, what they do not seem to realize is this.  They are dying a slow death. and fail to realize it.  They beleive that they are rich and increased with goods and that is a sign of God's blessing.  However, spiritually, they are dying the death.  The evidence is that they no longer can see what is wrong with things that God is very clear about.

 

Maranatha :)
Ray

There are times when I realize just how outside of what is happening in the church I am.  Knowing that even in my times of deepest despair, that I still knew what our church stood for and that my foundations, the foundations of our church, were firm.  And seeing time on this earth get shorter and instead of unity, seeing more and more cracks in the people of God.  I don't remember ever as a child in church being told that something in the Bible was true only for that time and that culture.  I remember being taught that the truths in the Bible were for all times, that God Himself preserved that which was important throughout the ages so we would have a firm platform.

Yet, in subject after subject, it seems the questions come about whether those foundations were correct.  Women's ordination, Sunday Services, Ellen White, country living....  And because I am alone and on the outside looking in, because of health, I can't get to church and because no one calls or visits, I wonder if that church still stands.  And I wonder at our arrogance of telling God that we know better than what He ordained.  And I wonder if like the church of Israel, if our church will fall, if that is what forms the remnant.  And if I cry at the loss of the church I knew, then how much more must God cry.

There won't be an agreement on this issue.  The question that drives me is what will the leaders of the SDA church decide?  And if they decide to allow women to be ordained (something I believe is not biblical), then I would have to leave.  And where is there to go?  And are the statements that the church won't fall conditional?  For me, unfortunately, it won't make much of a difference...since I can't go to church anyway.  But for those of you who do attend, would the GC allowing women to be ordained cause you to drop your membership?

Let me ask you a question: When was the last time you heard a pastor preaching about the Beast, Papacy, the Three Angels message, Laodicea, etc (Without being an evangelistic series) in his normal schedule of preaching? Those things are not popular anymore as it can “offend” people while it is written to save them!!! Truth is now offensive. If you say to a person that drinking is bad, or celibacy is preferable, that is now just your personal opinion. When schools allow all sorts of deviant books in their libraries but make the Bible a prohibitive book to even be carried in a back pack, something is wrong. When all sorts of cursing and swearing are expressions but prayer is offensive, then something is wrong. Who cares that we have a beast that is working to literally destroy those that obey God’s Law? We are living at a time where people can’t stand what God says: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; II Tim 4:3

The world is strangely changing. Just today I heard on the news about the Chicken Filet being threatened with persecution by mayors of San Francisco, Chicago and Boston just because the CEO is openly Christian. When would we ever hear that someone would make use of an office to threaten a legitimate business with persecution because the CEO is in favor of marriage between a man and a woman? A few decades ago this mayor would be impeached. This world is changing quickly.

I heard a story of a preacher that was on a mission in England. He said: "When I arrived in London, homosexuality was unacceptable. Then a few years later was tolerated. Now I'm gonna get out of here before it becomes mandatory!"

Remember that there will be the shaking of the Church. The tares grow together with the wheat until the harvest so these things will happen. Now that it is happening, while painful to witness, is another sign that Jesus is at the door. Don’t give up as the God’s remnant church will prevail.

When faithful teachers expound the word of God, there arise men of learning, ministers professing to understand the Scriptures, who denounce sound doctrine as heresy, and thus turn away inquirers after truth. Were it not that the world is hopelessly intoxicated with the wine of Babylon, multitudes would be convicted and converted by the plain, cutting truths of the word of God. But religious faith appears so confused and discordant that the people know not what to believe as truth. The sin of the world’s impenitence lies at the door of the church. GC 389.1

Hang in there Dorothy. Jesus loves you!!!

 

Dorothy

Forgive my tears, but that is exactly what Satan is attempting to do, undermine the strength of those who are weak.  Being weak is no disgrace, for those of us who are weak seek God the more earnestly.  We realize our need of help and rely on Him all the more.

You may say: "Ray, how can you talk about being weak?"  Dorothy, there are more ways of being weak then just being home bound.  In fact, some who are the most strident on this forum are in fact, really the weakest.  They exhibit their unchanging ideas and bravado in order to cover the fact that they have no basis for them.  This is a weakness that far exceeds anything you and I have.  If their ideas fail, they feel like they have failed and that they dare not allow anyone to know.  So, they bull on, even when all of the evidence is against them, just to hide their weakness.

Those of us who are weak are those who have learned to place our trembling souls on Him.  When we do that, we are strong.  We have strength that not even Satan can shake. 

God's truth is not dependent upon human church leaders, for that I am forever grateful.  If I did not beleive that, I would have left the SDA church many years ago.  For I know far to many leaders that I do not trust for a moment.  But, even though man is weak and untrustworthy, God is strong and trustworthy. 

So, hang in there.  Even if the entire church apostacizes, we are to worship the God of the church, not the leaders of the church.  For God will protect and care for His own.  Our responsibility is not to guide the church, we have not been called to do that.  Our responsibility is to trust in Him, not man, and stand on God's word.  If we do that, then we are safe in the arms of Jesus.

Happy Sabbath!
Maranatha :)
Ray

It used to be a saying that 90% of the tithe comes from the USA but only 10% of the members live there.

Nowadays I think it has changed at bit but if you take the total amount contributed by the six largest tithe-paying countries, the USA contributes about 40% of that subtotal. Second-largest contributor is Brazil which pays almost 40% of the top contributor (USA).

In regard to walking away with their tithe intact you are right, opinions like that have been voiced in the responses to media articles. Unfortunately there have long been those who believe that as the USA was the birthplace and financier of the worldwide SDA Church the church at large should be subservient to the wishes of the NAD. It is also noted that the GC is located in the USA and also that as every other GC Executive Committee is held in the NAD the influence of the NAD is disproportionate. Perhaps that is what is annoying the pro-WO camp more - the rest of the world just doesn't know it's place and refuses to be subservient. When WO was rejected at Utrecht there were those who blamed it on the "ignorance" and "culture" of the Third World members. The patronising and scornful statements didn't go unnoticed, there was little evidence of concerns in regard to the "equality" of members of Third World countries. Rather there was the obvious annoyance that those uppity members "don't know their place". 20 years on it hasn't changed much, still demanding to be allowed to ordain women pastors, still not producing a "thus sayeth the Lord" to justify the change. 

I'm not sure the that NAD could have a much stronger voice given current influence however in 2020 the amount of tithe that the NAD hands over to the GC will reduce from 8% to 6% of tithe income. Some countries will see a small rise in the %-age they pay. Part of the argument being that poorer parts of the world already pay a much smaller percentage to the GC and they are often the recipients of donations in money and kind from the richer parts of the world, particularly North America.

There are many other factors to be considered, including the %-age of projected tithe income if every member was paying one tenth of income. A country that has a score of 35%+ of projected tithe income coming in is rated as "Excellent", being the highest rating, 20-25% being rated as "above average". The USA was rated at 16.4% (rated "mediocre to average") in 2010 and Brazil at 24.8% in terms of potential tithe. As one of the BRIC countries Brazil has the potential to outstrip the USA both in value of tithe and in faithfulness of tithe-paying. The church is like a global corporation and the rising and falling of the economies around the globe have their effect on where the higher percentages of income originate.

The one thing to remember through all of this is that God is in control. Men may plot and plan but, as we have seen throughout the history of God's church, He is in control. We must learn the lessons of Israel as we go back around the mountain. We should be influencing the world to become more like Christ rather than compromising Christianity to fit the desires and priorities of the world.

Where are the men, who supposed to be  in this place for women ordained?   

Not that easily to be found...It is like searching for a Sunday keeping verse. There are plenty of them out there and many are in fact delegates otherwise the Conferences and Unions would have the vote to do what they are doing. Even with the so called decades old "study", you would expect that by now scholars would been crawling up the walls to defend it. Just think of something: Can you name a single doctrine from our Church that came out of Scholars, out of a Ph.D. dissertation, out of Biblical Research Institute, etc?

Check the plead that GC has just last month made to these Conferences and Unions not to proceed with this. They are called "dissenting unions" : http://christorculture.com/portfolio-view/world-church-leadership-c...

The world-wide Church recognizes the General Conference in Session as the highest ecclesiastical authority for Seventh-day Adventists.  The 1990[3] and 1995[4]General Conference Session decisions with respect to granting ministerial ordination to women represent the current voice of the Church in this matter.  The actions of certain unions indicate their desire to establish an alternative source of authority for a matter that already carries the authority of the world Church.

As currently understood in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, ordination to the gospel ministry is ordination to serve the global Church.  No provision exists for a geographically localized ministerial ordination.[5]  Consequently the decision to change or modify ordination practices is a global one and necessitates a decision from the world body.

For any union to introduce a different ministerial ordination practice is seen, by the rest of the Church, as readiness to set aside a world Church decision and proceed in another direction.  Such actions, taken at the very time when the world Church is engaged in a study and discussion of the matter, pre-empt the process and any decision that might come from it.  This creates widespread confusion, misunderstanding as well as erosion of trust and also nurtures doubt about these unions acting in good faith as members of the world-wide family.

 

@ Ray,
How come when a pastor is not free they can easily look forward for a woman to solve a sermon or any woman church leader but when it is a question of ordained it is a discussion. The fact lies here, because women did not take the lead before, men thought it wise that this space is for them only!!! and now when women is ready and ok to do they say we contact you when needed. We can lend you the space but we will not give that to you. Then again where is the equality we are being shared then..? Women got her share of responsibility too. allow her to step in. She is just sharing part of God's responsibility together with men. Thanks for reading and comment back

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