Are We Family?

The Trojan Horse of Headship was welcomed into the gates of Adventism in the 1980s.

The sabotage is accomplished.


Repulsive anti-Gospel illustrations, I agree, David.

But they are very true to my years of experience in a Headship church.

Carolyn Parsons shared an illustration in 2015 that is also true to my experience:


This illustration is even more ominous because, as you can see, the males in Pastor and Elder roles are also in authority over women.

That is exactly how it worked in the church I was in.

Also, I was also expected to be “under the authority” of my male psychotherapist, who was a church member.


I watched that video again, and caught something so subtly insidious it made my skin crawl. At 1:45, they say “In 2015, the vote was preceded by years of prayer, and study of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.”

While that’s technically true, what they’re describing is the 2011-14 Theology of Ordination Study Committee. They’re quite literally using a group that cast a 66% vote for ordination to argue against ordination. Amazing.


Sort of like a cult.

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Yes, revolting. And they also forgot to mention that (as was reported) the TOSC study was not made available to the attendees for study before the conference and was hardly mentioned. So all that praying and studying was for naught form the attendees point of view.

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I try to avoid hot-button words like cult, Tim, but it was certainly an unhealthy social environment.

The men used their perceived “authority” to play sexual cat-and-mouse games with the women, using religious language.

Call that whatever comes to mind.

It stunk to high heaven.


We (Spectrum bloggers) miss your wisdom! Please come back and opine more frequently.
Connectivity is the DNA of families.
Families are about Imperfect people getting along the best they can with each person’s imperfection.
A church or a denomination is not the same as a family. To expect or attempt to substitute or look for the features that make a family from an ecclesiastical body is a tragedy.
It takes a village is NOT the same as it takes a family or it takes a church. They are all different.If there was such thing as a ‘perfect church’, it would be one where the members of the church accepted everyone else in the church as the are, rather than as the wish they would be. Acceptance of everyone in the church without exception. The main thing though is a perfect church would be one where each church member would be at peace within themselves as individuals. Therefore they could be at peace with each other. That is where harmony starts, from within. If you can be at peace with yourself, you can be at peace with others. There is no perfect church as there are no perfect families!
Following is a list of very real signs that some church members may be toxic to you.

  1. You Feel Sad And Down Around Them
  2. You Feel Angry Around Them
  3. You Don’t Want To Go See Them
  4. You Find Yourself Having To Take Care Of Them
  5. You Feel Drained Around Them
  6. You Feel Numb Around Them
  7. You Can’t Say Anything Right Around Them
  8. You Feel Forced To Be Around Them
  9. You Feel Unlike Yourself Around Them
  10. You Feel Like They Control The Relationship
    You have to take action on toxic church members. If you don’t, your mental, physical, and spiritual health will suffer, and you will regret not taking action later on in your life. Not everyone has to be cut out of your life. Sometimes you can take control of the relationship and make it better. However, be prepared for the fact that some church members may be too toxic to be around.
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If there’s a lack of women commenting, please understand that I, for one, feel God will overrule in this mess promoted by TW. He thinks because he’s been elected “president” of the GC, this confers upon him infallibility. But I [as well as the majority of the other women members] know he’s WRONG. He will go down to defeat in the eternal judgment.
Unfortunately, I feel sad for his dear wife. Her family have been friends of my own family for my entire lifetime [I’m 85]. Her father and my father were close friends and medical colleagues. Her mother was often my guest speaker when I was dean of girls at an Adventist academy; she is cultured, poised, and a beautiful Christian woman. Her brother has been my close friend for years; he also taught my son in elementary school. This is a family whom I’ve admired and loved for many years; I’m in no position to cast judgment, but I believe they will all be in the heavenly kingdom soon. What a shame that TW has sullied the reputation of this fine Adventist family by his behavior.

But God knows all, sees all. We have heaven to look forward to. It’s for this reason that I, as a Seventh-day Adventist female, don’t tremble at the shakings going on in this church organization. TW will pass off the scene of action soon enough, and God will be bringing us all to the heavenly kingdom to live with Him forever. THAT is the reward which keeps me going. THAT is what I think about now that my life is nearing its close.

Thank you for this treatise. It’s been eye-opening, but not frightening. We women have nothing to fear with our heavenly Father in charge.


Churches are not family. That is a misnomer. Similar to calling the country “Greenland”, when in fact it is icy, not green. As a former SDA I can honestly tell you that the decison to sever my membership with this “family” was not at all easy but profoundly necessary. The brain washing was carefully performed to the point that will carry spiritual scars for the rest of my life but nevertheless one that also helped me to step out of this toxic environment. I have read the replies in hopes of finding something that will tell me I made a mistake, but instead I find reinforcement and reassurance that walking away from this “family” was the right decision. God deals with us on an individual level, not a collective one. None of us know what goes on in an person’s mind and heart and to assume otherwise is presumptious and dangerous. I will never again allow a group to play with my life, my decisions, my emotions and foremost my relationship with God. The position of power and influence befalls the good and the bad and within the “family” the one who holds it can either nurture it’s member in love or hate that divides and destroys. The church through the centuries has proven over and over to be a destructive power as well as a uplifting one. The church can and should be the first to know the path it is following is ruining and stiffling the desire of it’s members to follow God, but instead it promotes blind servitude to their cause even if it goes against Biblical teachings. The SDA message has brilliantly sunk the Word of God to suit their “family” agenda and has been doing so since it’s foundation. Disfunctional family at it’s finest.


I know this is said with the best of intentions, but when, and if, someone leaves the SDA church, this is something for each person to decide. It may not be in their best interest, or where the Spirit is leading that person and their family.


@cfowler , “this is something for each person to decide”, i thought a lot about your comment re: “decision process”. I think, it really comes back to evaluation "how do we value the opportunity, and general setting of what God has prepared for (each of us individually). It’s a sad perspective when your “state of church membership = your meaning to God (which others impose on you by definition).” That being said, on a real level, (since we are all disciples if we are truly following Jesus in our own walk/unique discovery), I think the disciples valued “contact time with God” because it fed them on all levels.

Belief in God (existentially) doesn’t really relate to that in 2018, only experimental knowledge does. It’s as if everything is “virtual” in SDA parlance… But God still runs the mainframe, and He is the ultimate programmer… are we vulnerable enough to allow him to “write new code”.
Even tho not still an SDA, I still yearn for fellowship, study, and true worship of God individually.

Put a different way, I think the disciples focused on God (Jesus in their midst, to deepen their faith). I never really did that (a large majority of the time) whilst and SDA. Most of my mental energy and focus was on “conformance” to expected norms, and how I ‘appeared’ to others.

with kind regards,


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Thank you Grace, I appreciate your input and perpective. I also yearn for fellowship, study and true worship of God individually (if I may borrow your words). Why else would we take the time to comment on this website, right? However it is truly liberating to realize that I can be myself and God does really love me the way I am. Childish and naive at best but still quite spiritually refreshing because that is the truth. You know whilst visiting my daughter recently, my 8 year old granddaughter asked out of the blue “what is an abortion?”, at which exact moment I went speechless I don’t know. My mind said “tell her the truth” but my heart said “she is too young to understand”. There is no way to explain certain truths in life and God knows when we are ready to hear it. I realized at that moment that I am the 8 year old little girl who asks a question I am not ready to understand the full explanation but certainly will when I am ready. At least we both know that our mental energy and focus is being redirected to let the Spirit lead and not where others think we should go. God bless my friend and Happy Sabbath!

After totally disregarding the conclusions the committee came to. It’s all revolting.



Thank-you for responding so beautifully to this comment, Catherine. Your input is important as is your reminder that God is in control ultimately.

If I recall correctly, there were three opinions reflected in the TOSC report. The first was 100 percent for women’s ordination, the second completely against it and the third not necessarily for it but was willing to go along (similar to what God did in allowing the Israelites to have kings) for the sake of unity.

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