Abuse and Mentoring Both Discussed at Association of Adventist Women Conference

(system) #1

For the past two-and-a-half days, the Association of Adventist Women has been meeting on the campus of Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee. Ella Simmons, first woman general vice president of the world church, was the keynote speaker for the annual conference, with the theme of Women Mentoring Women.

Sandra Roberts, president of the Southeastern California Conference (first woman to be a conference president), also spoke to the group of about 30 women, along with a few men.

The conference included the Sabbath morning worship service in the Collegedale Church, where Southern University President Gordon Bietz preached candidly on the subject of abuse, using the story of Tamar, David’s raped daughter in the Bible. He talked about different forms of abuse, defining abuse as any controlling behavior that violates another person’s freedom, and warned us to be on the lookout and speak out. Studies show that we are not immune from abuse because we are “in the church.” On the contrary, our rates of abuse might be even slightly worse than the national average.

He mentioned this “new theology,” headship theology, and called it “heresy.” (A description Pastor Tara VinCross also used in her talk yesterday.) He said that religion can be used in abusive ways, and believing that one gender has approved-by-God power over another can lead to abusive, controlling behavior. He said that we must recognize abuse, talk about “the elephant in the room,” break the silence, take responsibility and remember that Jesus offers hope and healing.

A number of other passionate and articulate women spoke during the Association of Adventist Women Conference, and the women who attended were able to form friendships, network, share ideas and make plans together.

The conference ended this evening with a Women-of-the-Year Awards and Banquet, honoring Sandra Roberts for spiritual leadership and Freddie Harris for community service.

Tomorrow, Spectrum will publish additional coverage of the conference and the moving and inspiring presentations about mentoring and women in the church.

Image: Sandra Roberts and Freddie Harris receive Women of the Year awards. Photo courtesy of Tara VinCross.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/6345

(jeremy) #2

this is a conference i sooo would love to be a fly on the wall in…i really respect gordon’s candid description of headship theology as heresy…it’s good when people can be direct and to the point…

(Elmer Cupino) #3

Congratulations to both of you. You truly are trailblazers for many women to emulate. May the Lord continue to bless you in your endeavors.

Just a quick question, did any of you receive any congratulatory greetings from TW or any GC officers?

(George Tichy) #4

This is what we have to do everywhere, to denounce this headshi thing being what it is, an heresy.

(George Tichy) #5

Joke of the day?..

The machistas and discriminators must be fuming. How come those women dared to have a Conference? This they get permission from Ted for such an event? This, too, may have “grave consequences.”
= = = = = = = = =

Congratulations Sandra Roberts and Freddie Harris

(George Tichy) #6

ParaBreaking News:

I just heard from my parakeets that TW just bought an airline ticket for Sandy Roberts, as a gift to honor her appointment as Women of the Year.
Destination: MALTA!
It’s a one way ticket though… And the Yearbook is not sent to that place…


(Robert Sonter) #7

Still, possibly a compassionate gesture. If there’s one place in the world that I would like to travel to on a one-way ticket, it would probably be Malta :smile:

(Robert Sonter) #8

George, did you mean “headship” or “headshi(t)”? :smile:

I find it interesting that I can search the Bible in every translation available on “biblegateway.com” and not find the word “headship” - anywhere. That in itself, makes the term somewhat spurious.

Yes, it was very gratifying to see “headship theology” referred to as heresy. Now we just need to see Elder Ted Wilson back this up, and all would be good in the world…

(Steve Mga) #9

Interesting ALLLL this was said and done in the Center of the Southern Union. The Southern Union REALLY needs to be the next one to approve full status for ALL Women in the church.
In South Georgia alone we have a lot of “Dark Counties” that could use some pioneer Pastors to begin a work. The Women could be placed in established churches, and the men could be sent to the Dark Counties.

(Elmer Cupino) #10

You need to replace your computer or app for excessive spelling and selective errors. God is on vacation and the guy who took over is not as understanding and tolerant. SSHHHHHHHHHH…LOL!!!

(Allen Shepherd) #11

Headship theology is not heresy. It may not be an idea Bietz agrees with, or several hear agree with, but it is not heresy. Another way of viewing the world.

To use such labels only polarizes the discussion, like labeling those who see homosexual behavior as sinful as haters etc. name calling doesn’t help here at all.

I get the sense there were not many attendees. How many came?

(Thomas J Zwemer) #12

heresy is defined as a provocative belief opposing an established doctrine of Christianity or any other religion such as Hindu, Islam, etc. So Dr Bietz is correct.
Eve was taken from a rib of Adam not a metatarsal. Tom Z

(George Tichy) #13

Headshi theology is worse than an heresy. It’s declared, undenied, and undisguised discrimination against human beings. For me this is classified as crime against humanity.

Anything that diminishes any one human being’s dignity, even if perpetrated by people labeled as "religious"or “Christians”, is a crime against humanity. It’s denied the person the right to be fully human. This discrimination being cultured in our church is an attestation that many people (mostly males) didn’t yet understand the Gospel. They just feel like wanting to be semi-gods over other humans.

(Bille) #14

Since there was a VP of the GC there in person, who gave two presentations, the answer to your final question would have to be a very resounding “YES”.

(Dee Roberts) #15

If headship is not heresy, how so?

Clearly by the votes at the Adventist Theological Seminary, they agree with Dr Bietz. So some how they are all wrong. I think it’s safe to say the most (not all) at BRI would agree that headship is heresy as well… What gives Allen.

(Bille) #16

He much more than “mentioned” it… as I’m sure our Spectrum reporter will soon clarify and expand soon. And he was not merely addressing a small number of women who were gathered for a conference. This was the sermon he preached at all three services at the Collegedale SDA church on the campus of Southern Adventist University. It was focused on abuse… abuse in the family, in the school, and in the church… and he included psychological abuse as well as physical and made very clear that anything which denigrated women… including the practices that the thing known as “Headship theology” causes or contributes to … is not only heresy, but also is a “new” theology in the SDA church.

(George Tichy) #17

The fact that there is a female VP at the GC remains a mystery.

(Bille) #18

Historically, the Ga Cumberland Conference, while it has not publicized the facts of their attitude towards women ministers, has a very good “track record” if you look at what actually has been done in this area… examples…

  • the Collegedale church was one of the very first to ordain women as elders once it had been made “legal” by the NAD… and it occurred with no fanfare and not fight. not only that, but the Head Elder was a woman for many years.
  • As for raising up new churches in “Dark Counties”… it was a woman who first served as an associate pastor at Collegedale and went from that to Seminary, who when returning to Ga Cumb for ministry not only succeeded in establishing a new church, but also was instrumental in their purchasing a church building for their new home.
  • When the practice of “commissioning” women ministers began, the Carolina Conference was one of the first… right along with California… to commission one of their women who were already working in “pastoral ministry”.

So while the Southern Union has kept a very low profile, and not all even in the area know what has been accomplished, their actual track record as to what they have done has been far in advance of some other areas. Pioneer Memorial at Andrews University lagged MANY years behind in having their first woman elder… and that came only after a long and drawn out struggle.

(Bille) #19

We learned the story behind that… and of course, it happened during Jan Paulsen’s time as GC President… though she had been very active at high levels for many years before she was elected through the normal process at GC Session.

(George Tichy) #20

Yes, but how come she was not sent to MALTA yet???