An Open Letter to the Seventh-day Adventist Church


(Stephen Terry) #22

Carol, the Bible is also clear that in the early church everyone held property and assets in common. That is hardly the case today. The only financial equivalent to today’s official Adventist funding model may be the temple which was destroyed in 70 CE. Considering how that priesthood behaved, I would be very reluctant to consider it a model for us today. It was too easily corrupted into a platform for accumulating power and influence and was not conducive to humility. With power the temptation is often too difficult to resist and once obtained, it can be used to leverage more power until it consumes the one wielding it and impoverishes mentally, spiritually and physically those who are subject to it. Even worse, it can cause people to feel that the only way to deal with it is to accumulate power of their own, and the cycle continues… This is the path of darkness, not light.


(Steve Mga) #23

Steve –
Read your note to Tim.
Does the Seventh day Adventist church have a “Discernment Program” for
prospective pastors? My Sunday Church [Episcopalian where I sing in the
choir] pastor had to talk to a number of persons, even required to do a
psychological interview[s] prior to being considered for Ordination in the
Episcopal church. From the way he described it, it was quite rigorous.
Thanks. Steve.


(HarleyStanton) #24

Thanks for the open sincerity of your article. George Knight wrote in the Authority Wars “It is God who calls. All the church can do is recognise that call through the laying on of hands.” I believe God has called you and I sincerely hope you have the courage to continue in responding to that call.


(Steve Mga) #25

In some Unions and Conferences of North American one of the hindrances
I see come from the Local Church level.
In my congregation, those members who have a lot of influence, and may
also be church officers are openly against WOMEN ELDERS.
So if members are unwilling to even accept local church Elders who are
women, then their influence is going to be against women pastors in the
Conference and Union.
I would wish the Southern Union would change its mind and be all inclusive
like the Columbia Union, and several others.


(Lucy Moore) #26

I will just add a few comments here. I am now retired and I remember when Super Mom’s came on the scene. They were women that worked full time and were expected to do a very good job at work and also work overtime as needed. Then come home and have a tidy house, cook meals that were good and healthful, spend time with their children and teach them the things that they felt were needed and important, spend time with and also go some places with their husbands, etc. These women ended up being totally burned out, children farmed out to baby sitters, unhappy that husbands didn’t do more, etc. I am sure that being a Pastor is a full time job in it’s self. For a man to be able to do it well, with a wife at home all of the time is hard enough. A lot of husbands aren’t all that supportive in ending up doing all that a wife thinks that they should at home either. They are working too. I sincerely hope that women deciding to be Pastors and the men behind the thinking of all of this will take a good honest look at how this will probably play out. I doubt that a lot of these women deciding that Pastoring is what God is calling them to do will remain unmarried and will never have children. I just had to write this. Thanks.


(Steve Mga) #27

A woman being a Pastor seems to work out well in other denominations
whom I am familiar with. Maybe Adventist Boys [growing into Adventist
Men] have different upbringing than Sunday Keeping Boys.:slightly_smiling_face:


(George Tichy) #28

Yeah…, right!!!


(ROBIN VANDERMOLEN) #29

Lucy,
What are you thinking?

Today’s economy demands that BOTH marital partners work full time.
Just to pay the rent and put food on the table. Sending the kids to expensive private schools and colleges ( Adventist ) certainly demands this, unless you want to saddle your children with burdensome student debt.

Among the top fifty colleges / universities ( out of 4,000 ) in US, who graduate students with the highest student debt, three are Adventist colleges.

So whether the wife is an anesthesiologist ( as my wife was ) or an attorney / advocate, or an accountant, she will be working just as hard as a clergywomen.

In my book, prospective Adventist clergywomen need not ask whether they can handle the job of wife, mother, housekeeper, plus full time work, since EVERY professional woman carries this load.

What our prospective clergywomen need to have introspection on, is whether they wish to be a permanent underclass / second class citizen, in an environment dominated by an exceedingly misogynistic male hierarchy. And one where a glass ceiling permanently deprives them of any future advancement.


(Lucy Moore) #30

Will just say this. I was once a poor single mother, divorced. At that time some of my divorced friends or single women friends went on welfare. I chose not to. Now many years later, many of the children of my friends that chose to work are now out of the church. Including my own son. A mother at home being able to teach her children “at her knee” so to speak, is such a blessing to them and also to the world. I SAW God work out what was needed truly for some of my friends that stayed home and turned their lives over to him for his care. These were married friends too and they chose to stay home and follow the counsel of the Spirit of Prophecy for mothers. Eventually got my R.N. degree when my son was a teenager, terrible time to pick! Worked many years, paid for his Christian education, etc. but it was too late as it appears at this time. If men & women could just follow what the Bible outlines for men and women and the Spirit of prophecy, God would bless them. Right now in this “day & age” many of the younger generation are home schooling their children and some are now getting advanced degrees online. Very reasonable cost. The family gives their Tithe and the husbands seem to always have work. I have seen very old cars keep running for a very long time, church members having extra produce that they give the family, even outright gifts that may come in the mail from relatives and others. God is good & he will see that all of the basic needs are met when one honors him.


(Lucy Moore) #31

Will also add, I am convicted now, that we shouldn’t desire any more than our basic needs being met now. This develops our characters and I so much need this going into the end times that are so clearly coming. Am not so sure about advanced online degrees now either. I am now helping a relative get her fully accredited Midwifery degree online though. With this training, she can also do Mission work in other countries and in this work she can work with mothers in giving them the gospel. Have also heard that R.N. degrees are available online and then students can demonstrate their skills and write exams at an accredited place, but I haven’t checked it out. I do know that the Medical Missionary work will be one of the last works in the final days.


(efcee) #32

Pastor Gray,

Women’s ordination will always be “strange fire” to anyone who has not experienced the ministry of a woman ordained by God to the Pastoral work. Any woman who is serving in the Seventh-day Adventist church, either as a “commissioned” or as an “ordained” pastor, is a pioneer. Pioneer work is not for everyone and not all of it will be recorded in history books for posterity. Pioneer work is very hard work, but every venture requires a pioneer – to clear new ground and plant new seeds. Pioneers are, in their own time, ridiculed and disparaged for their “rootless existence”, lack of common sense and safety, and who knows how many other reasons. But still they move forward. It takes a special breed of woman to be a pastor in the SDA church at this time. Please don’t become discouraged if that special woman is you.


#33

Isn’t this true of any career choice? In our community we focus on finding one’s “calling.” There are excellent materials and resources for this pursuit, which our community takes seriously via prayer, the intersection of one’s gifts, talents, skills and interests, and affirmations from others. The study of Spiritual Gifts and an open, prayerful approach is paramount.


(Lucy Moore) #34

Would be good if all could read (Great Controversy Androgyny Deception). SDA history. Very interesting.


(Steve Mga) #35

Career Choices.
Back in the early 70’s I was reading the newspaper and came upon this
article.
It was discussing Future Work. The article was discussing the changing
labor force need. It stated that a person entering the work force at that
time [mid 70’s] was going to have to LEARN 4 completely new jobs in
their working lifetime.
So when we think of “Calling”, what we plan for our lives in that ONE
“calling” may have to be re-evaluated, may have to “go back to school”
for training in an entirely different occupation.


#36

Lucy, can you expand a bit more?


(Lucy Moore) #37

Are you referring to my reference of the Great Controversy Androgyny Deception? I am not all that computer literate. Couldn’t seem to find the website. If one types in Great Controversy Androgyny Deception one would (should) be able to find it. It has four parts. One really needs to read through all four parts. Parts three and four tell about what was fashionable in E G white’s time and what light was given her about it. Also how some of the women reacted in her day, etc.


(Stephen Terry) #38

Pastoring is unique compared to many other careers. Should a Seventh-day Adventist pastor decide they are out of synch with the denomination, they cannot simply pull up stakes and move to another denomination. Their educational degree usually means little outside of SDA denominational employment thus trapping them. They cannot simply switch to being a Presbyterian or a Baptist minister. An architect or an engineer, however, is not so limited. If they do not care for the environment where they are working, their education is readily portable to other competing corporations.


(Stephen Terry) #39

I am curious, Steve. Does that rigorous process take place before or after the Episcopal candidate has spent a fortune and several years of their life for a theological degree?


#40

I’d feel better about your statement if you called for all SDA clergy to renounce participating in organized religion and the power structure of the SDA church. Perhaps you are, but that isn’t clear as your statement is a rebut to a woman pastor and her journey.


(reliquum) #41

The website is short on info on who is behind it, but does feature Walter Veith prominently…
proceed forewarned.