A Policy to Allow Discrimination

Equality is firmly established as part of the Fundamental Beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. “The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. In Christ we are a new creation; distinctions of race, culture, learning, and nationality, and differences between high and low, rich and poor, male and female, must not be divisive among us. We are all equal in Christ, who by one Spirit has bonded us into one fellowship with Him and with one another; we are to serve and be served without partiality or reservation” (Belief #14).

Building further on this position of equality, General Conference Policy opposes discrimination stating, “The church rejects any system or philosophy which discriminates against anyone on the basis of race, color, or gender. The Church bases its positions on principles clearly enunciated in the Bible, the writings of Ellen G White, and the official pronouncements of the General Conference” (BA 60 05). Not only is this position firmly stated here, but it is represented as being supported by both scripture and Ellen White, leaving little room for argument.

This strong position is continued in the following section, BA 60 10, which addresses specifically employment issues. “The world Church supports nondiscrimination in employment practices and policies and upholds the principle that both men and women, without regard to race and color, shall be given full and equal opportunity within the Church to develop the knowledge and skills needed for the building up of the Church.”

Up to this point, the position holds together. But the next sentence undermines and contradicts the stance that both Fundamental Belief #14 and the preceding portion of policy BA 60 has clearly made and authoritatively supported. It states, “Positions of service and responsibility (except those requiring ordination to the gospel ministry*) on all levels of church activity shall be open to all on the basis of the individual’s qualifications.”

This statement has been represented at times as prohibiting the ordination of women to the gospel ministry. However, it is not a policy forbidding such ordination. Rather it is a policy granting permission to exercise discrimination against certain classes of people. It is significant to note that the policy does not state which among the three listed groups – gender, race and color – may fall into this exception of allowable discrimination. Therefore, it could conceivably be equally applied to any of the three categories, wherever such discrimination is being practiced.

The underlying premise of this policy is one of granting permission to discriminate where such a practice exists, and thus it establishes that such a practice actually is discriminatory. As such, the onus is on those who practice discrimination, not on those who do not. This then leaves those who do not practice discrimination free to proceed in harmony with the policy of openness in employment as it reads. One can only imagine the uproar that would ensue if this permission to discriminate were applied to the categories of “race and color” listed in the policy. Yet it leaves open the permission to follow such an application.

The asterisk in policy BA 60 10 leads to a footnote which further demonstrates its contradictory nature. “The exception clause, and any other statement above, shall not be used to reinterpret the action already taken by the world Church authorizing the ordination of women as local church elders in divisions where the division executive committees have given their approval.” The prohibition of ordaining women to ministry, in contrast to the approval and defense of ordaining them as elders, makes neither biblical nor logical sense. Rather, it makes the church look foolish and inconsistent at best, or outright, intentionally discriminatory.

Making such distinctions between the ordination of elders and ministers has no biblical or early church basis. What the church today has come to recognize as “ordination” in the context of ministry, does not occur in scripture at all. Actually, the English word “ordain” is a Latin loanword which derives its meaning from practices of the church of the middle ages, long after the writing of Scripture.

How We Got Here

So how did we get to these confused and contradicting positions? For over a century, ordination policy in the Seventh-day Adventist Church remained mostly constant. Ministerial functions, such as baptisms, marriages, etc. were by policy to be performed only by Ordained Ministers who held such credentials. (GC Session Minutes, 1879). Licensed Ministers were excluded from administering such functions during the period of service prior to their ordination, which in general lasted about four years.

Without much question, this policy was accepted as being biblically and theologically founded. However, there is no such support for this stance. Rather, this stance was mostly a carry-over from the traditions of the Protestant churches from which the early Adventist believers had come. Furthermore, the ordination practice of these churches derived largely from the clergy practices of the Roman Church of the middle ages.

Then in the early 1980’s, personal income tax as levied by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States forced the General Conference to address the distinction between these two differing categories of licensed and ordained ministerial service. Traditionally, the IRS placed ministers in the “Self Employed” category which provided a tax status known as the “Parsonage Allowance.” Ruling that unless one is performing essentially all the functions of ministry, they are not eligible to qualify for this provision, and were to be classed as employees, thus placing ordination policy in a quandary.

The tax matter has often been represented as a break for pastors. However, the supposed benefit was largely reversed by the self-employed classification which required the individual to pay full Social Security taxes with no matching funds from the employer. Thus, the motivation to address the matter was not so much a favor to the licensed minister, as it was to the institution as employer, who would have been be required to pay half of the of SS tax for those not qualified as fully ministers.

It was in the early 1980’s when this issue began to be discussed and brought to the Annual Council. It was recommended that policy be changed to allow licensed ministers to administer baptisms and marriages prior to their ordination, which would satisfy the IRS requirement regarding performance of ministerial functions. As the matter was being considered, Neil Wilson presented the idea that there was great need to open such functions to all pastors in order to make these services available in areas where licensed ministers were working alone, without the assistance of ordained personnel nearby to help.

This appeared to be a rather flimsy excuse designed to resolve the tax issue, and I spoke to the matter saying that is seemed as though we were changing our theology of ordination – if indeed we had such a thing – in order to satisfy the IRS. This observation was not received with much favor, and the supposed need for pastoral services was repeated as being the issue.

The recommendation was voted, and following the vote, a leader of one of the divisions in Africa asked if this action applied to Licensed Ministers in his territory as well, where often pastors had as many as fifteen or twenty churches spread over significant distance traveled by foot. In answer, it was firmly stated that the action applied only in the United States, and not in other portions of the world field. I rose to speak again and said, “Thanks for making my point. It clearly is the IRS dictating our ordination policy.”

What this demonstrates is that the limitations regarding who may perform the functions and ordinances of the church, which we had assumed and accepted for decades, did not have a theological or biblical base. We did not have a theology of ordination which, given that it is not a biblical matter, was a reality. It is interesting, then, given the squishiness of our ordination policy, that the matter of the ordination of women would shortly become such a divisive issue.

What to Do With Women

It was about this same time that the ordination of women to ministry was beginning to significantly rise in discussion. Commission after commission, and study after study indicated that it was neither a biblical nor theological matter. In addition, more and more women were preparing for and entering pastoral ministry. At the 1985 General Conference Session, Neil Wilson observed, “It became a little bit difficult to justify the difference between the credentials given to young women and those given to young men, all things being equal. This was a rather difficult and embarrassing situation for the church.” (July 5, 1985).

Five years passed while this discrepancy regarding credentials continued to be discussed. Then the action of the 1990 GC Session addressing the role of women in ministry stated, there was not “a consensus as to whether or not the scriptures and the writings of Ellen G White explicitly advocate or deny the ordination of women to pastoral ministry,” but it went on to say that “significant, wide ranging and continuing ministry for women is being expressed and will be evident in the varied and expanding gifts according to the infilling of the Holy Spirit.” (July 11, 1990).

It was in this context that the matter was addressed, devising a new credential called “Commissioned Minister”. All this created a debate over what commissioned ministers are authorized to do in their ministerial functions. Again, the matter of the IRS and the Federal Government played into the issue. If women did not perform in substantially all the functions of ministry and receive the same pay for their service, we would be back in the same dilemma of tax matters as with licensed, but unordained ministers.

This category allowed for basically the same ministerial functions, but played a word game by making a distinction between “ordaining” and “commissioning” ministers, the former credential being for men and the latter for women. Yet allowing women to serve in exactly the same manner as men, while being given different credentials, was obviously nonsense. Thus, two functions of ordained ministers were restricted for commissioned ministers, the organizing of churches and the ordaining of church officers. This seemed to mollify some who objected to the ordination of women, while satisfying the IRS.

Ordination Authority Assignment

Yet all this still does not address the matter of the authority in deciding who may be ordained as defined in General Conference policy. Regarding the approval of persons designated for ordination, policy B 05 states, “decisions regarding the ordination of ministers are entrusted to the union conference….” Regarding such decisions, the policy further states, “each level of organization exercises a realm of final authority and responsibility….” Thus, in the selection and authorization of such individuals, the General Conference has no authority over the union decisions as long as these decisions are in harmony with the criteria established for ordination by General Conference policy.

There are fifteen such criteria listed in policy L 50, none of which refer in any way to gender. If, therefore, any individual approved by the union meets these criteria, the General Conference authority has been satisfied. Given that there is no gender reference in these fifteen requirements, the union is acting within its authority as stated in policy B 05. Policy exercises the ultimate governance over practice, and in the case of gender issues in ordination, there is no policy. However, over a century of practice has created the perception that there is policy on this matter, and one hundred years of practice certainly does establish precedent. But it remains that policy is the issue in ordination, not practice, precedent nor perception.

The point here is that these actions over time are not policy, nor were they formed on what is the stated basis of policy. Unless the policy is changed, no other segment of the church institution has authority over such choices regardless of practice, precedent or perception. Thus, any attempt to counter the union authority in the area of ordination is a violation of established policy.

If the General Conference wishes to address the issue of gender in ordination to ministry, it may do so, but only by changing its policy to a straightforward requirement that ordination is male gender exclusive, forbidding the ordination of females. There is no such policy presently in existence, nor has there been in the history of the church. Practice, precedent, perception and even prejudice do not constitute a policy. Only straightforward, clearly articulated policy governs the issue of gender inclusive ordination.

There is a perception existing that the General Conference cannot violate policy, that whatever it does constitutes policy, but this is not so. The General Conference can violate policy just as well as any other level of the church if it acts contrary to the provisions of policy. Unless and until the General Conference changes policy by vote, which it has not done, any action contrary to policy is a violation. Thus, the unions are not out of policy on this matter of gender inclusiveness in the ordination of ministers, the General Conference itself is out of policy.

The Unity Argument

A cornerstone of the argument against the ordination of women has been the requirement for the entire world field to stay together in unity in the matter of ordination, but policy itself demonstrates that this premise is a fallacy based on two seemingly unrelated matters.

The first is the ordination of women as local church elders. In the 1970’s, several leading churches in North America began the practice of electing and ordaining women to serve as elders. There was no policy preventing such choices, however precedent and practice during the preceding century of the church caused some consternation over the idea of women being ordained for such service. While it may have been a good idea for the General Conference to give counsel regarding this matter, it is an invasion into the territory of local church authority to officially grant permission for churches to do what was already in its purview.

Suppose it was proposed that the General Conference take an action to allow women to serve as church treasurer, or church clerk, or Sabbath School teacher, or director of the children’s Sabbath School Division. Such suggestions would likely be dismissed as irrelevant, given that there is no policy prohibiting such an appointment. Likewise, the granting of permission to ordain women as elders was an unneeded invasion of church authority.

Further, in the context of this action, divisions resistant to implementing this idea were granted a variance, allowing them to ignore the policy if they so chose. Thus, the notion of divisions needing to stay together in actions regarding the ordination of women is shown to be irrelevant. When this argument for unity is used to prevent variance regarding ordination to ministry, but is ignored for those who do not wish to ordain women as elders, the inconsistency is obvious. Likewise, the argument regarding ordination to ministry for the world church is also spurious, in that ordination as an elder is also for the world church. One ordained as either an elder or minister is eligible to serve in any church world-wide, where they are invited or assigned to do so, on the basis of the prior ordination.

Demonstrating this inconsistency, as previously noted, is the footnote to policy BA 60 10. “The exception clause, and any other statement above, shall not be used to reinterpret the action already taken by the world Church authorizing the ordination of women as local church elders in divisions where the division executive committees have given their approval.” It is distinctly stated here that divisions may go their separate ways on this issue, destroying any argument that they must all stay together on ordination matters.

The second is the opening of the performance of ministerial functions to Licensed Ministers. As noted above, this change in long standing policy and procedure was dictated by the IRS. But again it is clear that this change is addressed differently in the divisions. As Wilson stated when the action was taken, it only applied to the United States. Since that time, the application has been extended, but in limited fashion.

Policy L 25 05 states, “The authority for extending this responsibility belongs to the division committee which shall clearly outline for its territory the ministerial functions which may be delegated to licensed ministers….” Curiously, this provision has been applied in North America for over thirty years where broad coverage of Ordained Ministers is available, but the policy goes on to say that divisions should take into account, “The needs of the fields in its territory, taking into consideration the distribution of membership, the number of churches and the ministerial help available.”

Conclusion

It stands to reason then, that if ordination policy is subject to variation from time to time, as well as from division to division, and if such matters as territory and governmental requirements make possible a different application of these policies in different locations, then insisting on uniformity in the matter of ordination of women to ministry is invalid. The argument of unity fails to apply in the light of actual denominational decisions and policies. Furthermore, while it is valid for the church as an institution to establish criteria for its operation, it must be remembered that such actions are decisions of the institutional church, not biblical mandates.

Regarding institutional policies on the performance of ministerial functions, these decisions are not designated in scripture. The administering of baptism is not a function of deacons in GC Policy, yet in scripture Philip, a deacon, baptizes the Ethiopian eunuch. Likewise, Apollos, of whom there is scant reference in the New Testament, is recorded as baptizing members of the church in Corinth. In addition, the celebration of the communion service is in no way restricted to ordained personnel as it is GC Policy. Such requirements are not biblical.

The words of Wilson at the 1985 General Conference Session remain unfortunately true yet today. “It became a little bit difficult to justify the difference between the credentials given to young women and those given to young men, all things being equal. This was a rather difficult and embarrassing situation for the church.” Sadly, rather than correcting and alleviating that injustice and embarrassment over discrimination, church policy went on not only to permit, but even to codify it.

The words of policy thus explicitly and embarrassingly establish that discriminatory behavior is acceptable. Justifying such bigotry and prejudice in the name of sacred services would seem to be the wildest of conundrums.

Gary Patterson is a retired field secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He served as senior pastor of some of the largest congregations in the denomination, a conference president in two conferences and assistant to the president of the North American Division.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7794
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And how much more venal to do it to avoid paying the IRS.

Doesn’t the whole dismaying history with the IRS make all the other arguments moot?

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Nice, well-researched article. Too bad TW has decided to make WO so divisive–and under the guise of “unity.” How many young people will leave the church because of his insistence on male headship? I have no doubt he will be held accountable.

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I greatly admire Gary’s insight and clarity on this issue as a historical and policy one. No one is better at this. But it does appear to me that this has ceased to be an argument about “jots and tittles” in the “law.” It is, to use the language of Jesus, about “justice, mercy and faith.” And it is also about the politics of keeping the largest number of members with whom we are blessed in the so-called “Southern” world satisfied that other parts of the world cannot act without their approval. Our own history clearly did the same thing to them on a number of issues in which their local leadership wanted to meet cultural challenges. When I was in the Seminary in the early 60’s, missionaries from Africa complained in class about the “ruinous” policy we enforced on any polygamous family who wanted to embrace the three angel’s message. Without any careful study of Scripture by informed scholars and without the dexterity of believing that God could work in every cultural situation even if it did not conform to the monogamy of Judaism and early Christianity, we inflicted horrendous suffering on families forced to split up to be Adventist.

We are now repeating that mistake, only in reverse. GC leadership, unwilling to support the WO movement, is trying to enforce the unenforceable and willing to accept the ruin and suffering this direction creates. So many see this, and so many don’t. Who are the “blind that have eyes to see, but do not?” Which side is observing “jots and tittles” but omitting the “weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith?”

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Will Adventism collapse when WO is passed because there will be a lot less to fight over?

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If we will use man-made policies to argue for or against any position the church takes we will always find confusion and contradictions which God is not the author of. I wish this piece quoted heavily from the scriptures.

Looking strictly at church policy the article is great. But no scriptures were used which is what I have seen a lot from those who support women’s ordination. Let us use the Bible in everything. If will lead us to all truth.

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TOSC was unable to come to a consensus on a theology of ordination and the GC came to the conclusion that it was a policy issue rather than a theology issue. This leads to the question what is SDA policy on ordination? Gary’s article is answering that question.

There are some very well researched Bible based papers from TOSC that address what the Bible says about ordination. https://www.adventistarchives.org/ordination

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Gary,
Thank you very much for this article! It’s a sobering history lesson.[quote=“spectrumbot, post:1, topic:12547”]
The words of Wilson at the 1985 General Conference Session remain unfortunately true yet today. “It became a little bit difficult to justify the difference between the credentials given to young women and those given to young men, all things being equal. This was a rather difficult and embarrassing situation for the church.” Sadly, rather than correcting and alleviating that injustice and embarrassment over discrimination, church policy went on not only to permit, but even to codify it.
[/quote]

This quote from the Sr. Wilson is surprising, but certainly appreciated. It seems the Sr Wilson was far more thoughtful and wise than the current incarnation, who only seems to bring shame and ridicule to the church org.

I encourage you to dismiss negative comments here about lawyering up or being too technical. When dealing with such a topic as this careful treatment of history and the development of and current state of the church’s established rulebook is exactly what is needed.

I’ve noted here before that when there is an argument within the church on a topic that is not biblical, is not theological, but is instead based on tradition or common practice, that there is no moral high ground to be had.

This seems to be lost on Ted, who appears to believe that all of his positions are by default superior to every other dissenting position.

  • No scriptures are needed. It has been determined after careful study by church theologians and other leaders more than once that WO is not a scriptural/theological issue. That is naturally the case as ordination, as we practice it, is not scriptural and is based on RCC traditions that are post-biblical.

  • You cannot use the bible for everything. This seems blatantly obvious.
    For example, we do not turn to the bible when we design and build our churches. There is no instruction in the bible for building a christian church as there are no christian churches in the bible. If we were to follow the biblical example, we’d all meet in houses.
    Similarly we do not turn to the bible to determine what our church services should contain (music? silence? prayer? sermons? lectures? reading directly from scripture, or not?), how to conduct a baby’s christening, a marriage, a funeral, or many other things. Even the details of communion/mass are not found in the bible and vary widely from church to church. All of these things are all based on extra-biblical traditions. And these are considered sacraments!
    Do you believe in the Trinity? Some Christians do and some don’t. The Trinity wasn’t official RCC doctrine for hundreds of years after Jesus, was widely challenged, and is not actually found in the bible. If you believe it, understand that it is an outcome of early RCC politics. It may be right. It may be partially based on hints in the bible. But it is not actually there and none of the gospels or the writings of Paul contain the concept, since it didn’t exist at the time.

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Than you Gary, we sure do miss you in Ga. If Ted Wilson wanted to draw a line in the sand, he should not have chosen quick sand. TZ

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Because TOSC was artificially stacked with an approximately 50:50 ratio of for/against people (affirmative action). If the makeup of TOSC reflected the distribution of thought in the worldwide church and was drawn from the worldwide church rather than mostly from the NAD there would have been consensus.

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Dr. Gary. Your tight and clear logic continues to help me understand many of the oddities of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Your international experience with Mission, and with the many challenges of applying NAD policy where it does not fit, also adds to the credibility of your words. Thank you for clarifying the policy issues on this subject. My prayer is that your words will help bring repentance and change from church leaders who have chosen to take stands that seem to be in conflict with the Spirit’s leading in the growth of our church.

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Our Church has been hijacked by a group of blind fundamentalists who refuse to base everything they teach on the Bible only.

When administrators create theology by themselves, with absolute disregard to the Church’s theologians, and impose their own views on the crowds, and threaten any disagreement with “grave consequences,” then we know that something really bad is happening. Any “soviet style leadership” should be of great concern.

As long as the Church supports and practices discrimination of women we know it’s been hijacked by a pharesee-kind of people. God have mercy on us and get rid of this administration!!!

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oh my. Now Elder Ted Wilson is a Russian Czar. The bible records that whenever men or woman
stood for truth they suffered the onslaught of labeling with extreme epithets. I’m sure Moses
standing for the truth on many occasions that he heard such labeling as “Pharaoh Style Leadership”.

I made a quick search on the Adventist Biblical Research Institute website for papers on this subject to see how scripture was quoted either for or against. However, as you noted, this issue seems to have been found to be a policy issue, as one of the most recent papers by ABRI also has no scriptural references, probably for the same reasons as stated by you and others.

For a thorough examination of scripture there is a long paper on Women in the Church which somewhat addresses this topic and goes very thoroughly into each verse relating to women.

But even this paper may not represent the views of the Institute, as stated on the title page.

Thank you Elder Patterson for gathering this information together. It’s so easy to lose institutional knowledge and that seems to have been the case on the issue of ordination in general in the Adventist church. Thanks for the reminder.

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this is probably the crux of our problem: holding official pronouncements of the GC on the same platform of authority as inspiration…certainly if one believed that the GC, in session, was as inspired as egw, one could understand insisting on compliance with a GC vote, and putting in place a plan of action that would punish non-compliance…

but as has been pointed out so many times before, this juxtaposition of man-made policy with inspiration is the essence of catholicism, which adventists, of all people, have always been leery of…it is altogether ironic and regrettable that our world leadership seems to be bent on forcing a neo-reformation that can only produce the type of result that occurred when protestants en masse stood up to rome…is anyone now focusing on evangelism, which is arguably the reason for our existence…is it not the case that TMI looks totally ridiculous when more than half of the church is told it can only hope for limited, second-tier, involvement…

as i see it, NAD has three options: kicking the can down the road long enough in the hope that a new GC president with a new vision emerges in indianapolis 2020; separating themselves from the GC, and starting a new adventism divested of old assumptions; and calling the GC’s bluff by seeking a settlement, a very expensive settlement, in court…i think the first option is what i’m seeing unfolding, whether anyone is actively pursuing it or not…

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Thank you, Gary Patterson, for yet another well reasoned essay.

From an international perspective the IRS issue is particularly enlightening … and disgusting … Adventist “theology” (in)formed by a governement taxation agency.

However, what that particular detail makes so very clear: we are not as unified a world church as we like to believe. And we are strongly influenced by our respective cultures - even tax law … and should not assume that these are biblical arguments. The trend of falling apart certainly will continue.

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The SDA Church exists in the social millieu of its times, and one can laud its adjudicative processes, I suppose, in that no inter-factional violence has yet broken out within our Church , nor indeed seems likely to be the case in our Church advocating such behaviour vs Non Adventists. The continued existence and flourishing of Christianity in Europe owes a lot to great horsemanship and the invention of the stirrup and other horse-handling equipment. Let me explain. In 711 AD Islamic Arab/ African forces led by Tarik-bin-Zaid poured into the almost prostrate Iberian peninsula. They moved to confront the German Visigoths and killed Roderick last king of the Visigoths. With only 18,000 men they swept the entire region as far as to the Pyrenees , even annexing territory of the fierce Basques. They were exemplified by the black Sir Morien of whom it was said “He was all black,even as I tell ye:his head, his body and his hands, saving only his teeth.His shield and his armour were black as a raven. he challenged Sir Lancelot to a duel and gained the total respect of the great knight thereafter”.The African troops engaged in white slavery as far away as Holland,Sweden,and Finland, Greece and southern Russia.The conquerors demanded a war tax of 100 white virgins from the larger towns for their harems. They were defeated at the battle of Tours where the European forces using much improved stirrups outmaneuvered the invaders,on their fast small steeds, and saved Europe from complete occupation. Otherwise Islam would have been the religion of Europe today.They introduced things such as lending libraries and centers of higher education from which the great European universities , such as oxford took inspiration.Thousands of Spaniards were sold into slavery in Africa and the Middle East. Of course much of Europe is bi-racial as a result of this black presence. Hadyn, Beethoven, Goethe are Three Prominent examples of mixed-race offspring. Queen Charlotte wife of George the Third was a mulatto , and even the Windsors have African bloodlines in their family tree. It is ironic that race cultists such as the Southern clans suing perhaps Scottish social culture as a base terrorised black awesomely when the Scottish clans were themselves victims of English massacres (Clearances) to make room for sheep rearing. However, Adventism and other christian Church groups would have had no chance of flourishing in Europe if the Invaders had won the battle of Tours. But having been the beneficiary of the fierce French resistance At Tours (aka Poitiers) are we now to assume a role of clerical discrimination against Advent women?A ll the blame cannot be placed at the feet of TW. He as top leader in a culture of democracy can IMPEL , but not COMPEL

The money they attempted to save by not paying the social security payments for the pastors and expecting them to do that was at the expense of mostly highly overworked and underpaid loyal ministers. Other church workers were treated according to the law with social security contributions, but they tried to screw over the pastors because they could. Using the technicalities of the law to suit themselves. It’s a joke to say that pastors were self employed. What other benefits of being self employed were given to the pastors? None! They were treated as hired servants in every other respect. This is a sad indictment of the institutional church. Whereas it is assumed that God is leading the church, when the curtain is pulled back it turns out that there is no Wizard of Oz behind the curtain, but just a bunch of big headed small minded egotistical men running the show and claiming it’s all in the Wizard’s (God’s) name and will. God blesses people in the SDA church despite the church not because of it. I applaud all of those like Gary who have the courage to shout out “the emperor has no clothes”. The sooner and more we see the humanness of church leaders, church institutions and the scriptures the less the wool will be pulled over our eyes and control, authoritarianism and manipulation will,be exposed and seen for what it is.


To @ProfessorKent:

The more who leave, the better. Staying in an ethically dubious organisation perpetuates it.

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