Irony in the Adventist Compliance Controversy

(George Tichy) #21

Just be very alert. They may suddenly get a Papal Decree and by surprise also close the borders, so that nobody can go out. And those who stay in must either keep the Sunday Holy, or experience the guillotine…

I just don’t want you to feel that blade coming too close to your neck!.. :rofl:



Such a conciliatory tone would certainly help, that’s for sure.

However, what you prescribe could open another can of worms. If the dissenters are left to “act on their conscience” and permitted to ignore a vote taken by the GC in session, this could set dangerous precedents.

First, it would signify that the GC in session (which represents the church at large, that is, you and me) is not the highest authority anymore in the church but any pressure group with enough clout is. Is it really what we want?

Second, even more serious, anybody, or any group, will be able to disregard any decision taken by the church in the future (and this at every level of the church potentially). People will be able to use the precedent to justify their refusal to implement any policy or decision they don’t like.

For example, if we consider segregation in the past in the US, churches in the South, using that kind of precedent, would have been able to justify the continuation of excluding African-American people from their churches. They would have said something like, “We cannot, in good conscience, allow our children to be in contact with the black people. Races are not supposed to mix and it is better is everybody knows their place”. And since segregation was huge in the South in the past, we can imagine the outcome.

Don’t get me wrong, following one’s conscience is essential but it doesn’t mean that one is automatically right on every issue. It is possible to follow one’s conscience and be wrong at the same time.

(Frank Peacham) #23

No, I don’t see any dangerous precedent, since EGW several times believed that the GC could no longer be trusted as the voice of God (look it up her writings). Thus, to disagree on procedural vote, where a soft majority slightly over 10% decided, would be a good thing. Since the GC can error and in EGW’s time often errored, one time sending her to Australia contrary to her wishes. Should you not expect the possibly that the GC is not always God’s voice? The GC should welcome those who disagree on a Biblical unfounded conscience issue and treat them as fellow believers with kindness.

The above article reminds us that the final test of Sabbath VS Sunday is over conscience. Should the GC seek to punish conscientious objectors, they would fall into the category of a persecuting power–papal or civil. Agree?

“When our nation, in its legislative councils, shall enact laws to bind the consciences of men in regard to their religious privileges, enforcing Sunday observance, and bringing oppressive power to bear against those who…”

(Kim Green) #24

I am curious what you consider the “much more important topics” are?


You seem to be saying that people who support ordaining women to the ministry because it is a conscience issue for them are dead wrong.

(William Noel) #26

Let’s begin with teaching people to trust the Holy Spirit and follow the guidance “into all truth” that scripture promises. That God wants believers involved in a far greater variety of ministries that we see today. That inspiration is not limited to a prophet who died more than a century ago but is simply the guidance of the Holy Spirit given to every believer in the degree needed to direct their ministry. That God is fully capable of guiding believers and bringing them into harmony to complete the work He has given us to do without a church bureaucracy. Does that give you enough to chew on?


No… I am just saying that those people supporting women ordination are not automatically right just because they say that they are following their conscience.

You may be sincere and following your conscience, and be wrong at the same time. For example, we have the example of Paul in the Bible.

(Kim Green) #28

Do you believe that the Adventist church is capable of teaching any of this?

(George Tichy) #29

Those who support discrimination of women will eventually say anything to defend their position.
It would be much easier if they just declared, “Yes, I DO support discrimination of women.” That would save everyone’s time because there wouldn’t be any need for further discussion of the issue.

(Kim Green) #30

After all…we can’t really trust our consciences…can we? Such ridiculousness.

(George Tichy) #31

To discern whether discrimination is right/wrong does not depend on someone’s conscience or interpretation. Its rightness/wrongness does not fluctuate according to people’s perception of it. Like murdering, stealing, etc, discriminating is wrong by principle not by “who” is doing it.

Those who defend what is morally wrong and unacceptable are certainly wrong, … unless they declare that they are not… :roll_eyes:


And the same can be said for those who are adamantly opposed to ordaining women into spiritual leadership. They may be sincere, but they may be dead wrong. For example we have the example of Ellen White in the last century, who held ordination credentials, preached to thousands, led, counseled, and was not silent in church with her preaching.


You are totally right here. This is why it is important:

  1. to give each other the benefit of the doubt and to not demonize one another. Oftentimes, we behave as if the people from the other side are not sincere, or are ill-intended, and then we start calling them name (hypocrites, bigots, abusers, liberals, etc)
  2. once we recognize that people are sincere (I believe that most people are), to develop patience, even if it is difficult. For example, if I have a blind spot in my understanding, only time, and perseverance (and prayers and education) will solve this problem.
  3. to avoid confusion. For example, in the WO controversy, there are several issues put together but which are not of the same nature. For example, are we talking about a biblical question concerning the roles of men and women in the church? Or are we talking about equal pay? Or are we talking about women recognition? Or are we talking about abuses against women? Or are we talking about women in ministry? I believe that oftentimes we miss each other because we are not really talking of the same thing.
  4. to let the Bible teach us, even if what it says is painful.

Ellen White has never been an ordained pastor even if the church gave her ordination credential. Read here what the White Estate explains on the subject. At the end, they conclude:

" Throughout the years, her name was listed along with ordained ministers rather than licentiates, although her biographical information sheet and the testimony of her family indicates that she did not receive ordination at the hands of church officials."

In other words, everything she did was in her quality of prophetess not because she was an ordained minister.


Although you quote the White Estate, and you may even have written the quote for the White Estate for all I know, their attempt to downplay her ordination is plain to see. She held at least six ordination certificates which, despite the “family” or “church” downplaying it, she herself said the Lord Himself ordained her in Maine.

Further, if she were ‘just a prophet’ or seen only as a “prophet” in her day, why issue her official credentials for an ordained pastor from the official church signed by the President of the General Conference for six years. Her name was printed in the SDA Yearbook, something the official church now denies to Sandy Roberts who was officially ordained and whose name has been censored by the official General Conference.

Did you grow up “in the church” and take Adventist history classes?


What are you referring to when you opine against WO?

What is the fear for ordaining women? That Paul might be offended? That a woman might supervise a man? That young boys might have to compete with females for ministry positions (as a man once told me), that authorizing women as ordained pastors might change an established hierarchy? That God will not bless the church where ordained women work (an argument I’ve read here on Spectrum)?

Why are you so opposed to women participating fully in church life? (Don’t tell me that they already do.)

What if the Holy Spirit is giving our young women fully Heaven-approved and powerful gifts for ministry? You want a man-made policy to shut them down?

What is your plan for the many ordained Adventist women pastors fully participating in ministry right now? To step aside, be fired, to be reprimanded and disciplined for preaching and teaching the Gospel fully authorized by their congregations and unions?


First of all, like I said before, we have to give each other the benefit of the doubt. I could use the same argument that you used and say that your attempt to downplay what the White Estate is plain to see.

But do I have any evidence of this? No.

Can I read your mind? No.

But do you have an interest in downplaying what the White Estate says on some issues? Yes.

So, now, I have to choose: I can decide to give you the benefit of the doubt, or I can decide that, since you may have an interest in the matter, you are not trustworthy or reliable.

Well, I decide to give you the benefit of the doubt (if not, not communication is possible).

Second, the ordination was not about her being a pastor. Like you said it yourself, EGW said was ordained by the Lord. As a pastor? No, as a prophet.

According to what I have heard or studied, the reason she was given credentials is because the church didn’t know how to officialize her position in the church. There were official positions like pastor, president, secretary, treasurer, etc, but there was none for prophet/prophetess. So they decided to give her the credentials of an ordained minister in spite of the fact that she refused because, like you mentioned yourself, she said that she had been ordained by the Lord.

In fact, when you study her credentials, you will notice that they change with time. At the beginning, the credentials say that they are for the Michigan conference (Credentials 1 and 2) then they are for the General Conference (credentials 3 to 7) and we can even see that for Credentials 3, the word “ordained” is crossed out. All of this shows how “unclear” her official position in the church was (Michigan conference or General Conference? Ordained minister or not just minister?).

Concerning Sandy Roberts, her situation is different. She was ordained as a pastor contrary to what the church at large had decided concerning women ordination. In other words, EGW was official whereas Sandy Roberts was not, according to the General Conference.

(Tim Teichman) #37

I know you’re kidding, but in all seriousness, while the pipe dream of a Universal Sunday Law will never happen, I’d pick Sunday in a heartbeat. Or Tuesday. Or any day that ends with y. It doesn’t matter.

(Tim Teichman) #38

And if the Holy Spirit is telling you that you should be an ordained pastor, but you’re missing a Y chromosome, then what?

(Tim Teichman) #39

They may be sincere, but they are dead wrong. :slight_smile:

(William Noel) #40

No. Fortunately, God is capable of teaching us individually in spite of the generalized disregard in the church for the Holy Spirit. Giving me hope is seeing how many people in different places I have visited are becoming serious about building a dynamic relationship with the Holy Spirit. A quiet revolution is taking place.