Irony in the Adventist Compliance Controversy

(William Noel) #41

LOL! The only qualifier I’ve found that the Holy Spirit puts on service is willingness to follow His guidance. It that happens to be into pastoral work, I will look for the evidence of God blessing that person’s work for Him and if they aren’t being effective as a spiritual leader, I will be happy to advise them to go back and ask the Holy Spirit for clarification about exactly what He wants them doing.

(Kim Green) #42

I have come to this conclusion myself…God can do anything anywhere but the vessel must be willing. When this is not the case, there are always many more options for the Divine to use. He isn’t limited by our ignorance and/or unwillingness.

(Steve Mga) #43

Kim –
If you recall, there was a man who was announcing the same message as Jesus.
Repent, be baptized.
Jesus said to the 12, when they complained, “This man is with me”.
Perhaps OTHERS not with SDA will have to come to the RESCUE of God.
[while the SDA leaders “play” around.]

(Kim Green) #44

I don’t even think “perhaps”…it will be so, Steve. Jesus was so clear in saying that there were other sheep of His fold elsewhere. God will use the “others” to do His bidding…He isn’t dependent upon the SDA’s when they fail their mission (perceived or otherwise).

(Lynden Williams) #45

First, I wish to take issue with the analogy. It is completely inconsistent with the weight and substance of this discussion. Sabbath observance is a command directly from God, written by His own hand and carved in stone. No human institution should force a person to violate that rule. Women’s Ordination is a directive developed from church structure and is not directly subscribed to or denied in scripture. “Neither male nor female” seems to be as much a part of scripture as “Headship”. But none of this is as confirming as the Holy Spirit working in the women who have already been ordained. It gives us a divine answer to what has been a humanly perplexing question. If it worked for the early church over circumcision, and supported by the then president of the church, James, who was, by no means, a liberal. Then it should be acceptable for us today.
The only reason we are dealing with this now is because the vote taken in San Antonio was biased by culture and thousands of years of male domination in much of the world. Some of the most ardently opposed to Women’s Ordination are from areas of the world where they are still mutilating women’s genitals. Cultural norms are not biblical. That should be a no brainer. If you read the piece on this website entitled “Women’s Ordination: The truth about the positions of the 13 divisions in the SDA Church”, You should conclude that the delegations in San Antonio and later in the Compliance vote, are skewed. The majority of the 13 Unions are in favor of Women’s Ordination. 7 in favor, 4 not in favor but would accept a denomination wide vote in favor of Women’s Ordination, with only 2 divisions opposed. It didn’t help that Ted Wilson has not only been against Women’s Ordination but has been actively campaigning to remove it in the divisions where it has been instituted. He has had his thumb on the scale since the beginning. The way the church structure was set up by our founding fathers (and mothers) was to limit the power of the General Conference in making rules, or enforcing them. That is why this entire Compliance agreement is so troubling. If it weren’t for the fact that Ellen White is asleep, she would be spinning in her grave if she knew what was going on.
There is absolutely no reason that we couldn’t return to the pre-San Antonio position where the individual divisions of the church could determine how they wanted to handle women’s ordination. What on earth is wrong with this approach?
In today’s SS lesson, Paul didn’t punish the Romans who were eating meat that had been offered to idols, nor did he chastise those who ate vegetables for pointing fingers at the meat eaters. Why would we let Ted Wilson, and what is mostly a 3rd world faction of our church, narrow the size of the Adventist Tent? Women make up more than half the church, they should not be relegated to fixing potluck and removing the covering of the communion table.


Can you provide the documentation for this?

Sandy Roberts was legally ordained and elected to the presidency of her conference and her leadership gifts affirmed and authorized. You would come down on the side of man, whereas Sandy’s ordination is in complete compatibility with her Union’s official constitution and vote about ordaining women.

We will have to agree to disagree about the Old Testament priesthood being the deciding factor on whether the Holy Spirit, sent by Christ at the Resurrection, can bless women with spiritual leadership gifts and be authorized to carry them out.

We’ll have to agree to disagree about EGW’s ordination by God to the ministry.

(Sirje) #47

Yes, well, the GC worships the God on Sinai, while the God of the Gospel speaks through Spirit, we may call conscience. This is an inherit problem in Adventism. It really comes down to “one man’s rebel is another man’s patriot” or, “one man’s Saviour is another man’s insurrectionist.”

(Harry Elliott) #48

It just occurred to me that if I wanted to destroy unity in what Adventists call the remnant church, I would do all I could to implement the following plan:

  1. Create any issue that splits the membership. (E. g., prohibit women from being ordained.)

  2. Put it to a manipulated vote by the GC in session.

  3. Disfellowship all who fail to comply.

  4. Create a new issue and repeat the preceding steps until a remnant 144,000 is achieved.


1A) Don’t even consider such coercion unless the initial sentiment is at least ten to one.

(Lincoln Dunstan) #49

George, what are your thoughts on what is currently the situation in Samoa…Adventists worshiping on Sunday as well as Saturday? What Union are they in?

(George Tichy) #50

I don’t know what Union is that, I am not familiar with the area.

My thoughts on it?
In my opinion, there is actually no way to determine which day of the week is Saturday, or any day for this matter. From a Lunar system to what we use now there was a long way… and I am not sure that an original week can really be determined now. Also, between the Eden until Moses, there is also a long time elapsed…

Therefore, I believe that in my case, it will be OK if I keep the Saturday Sabbath in the region where I live. If I ever go to Samoa, I will do the same on whatever side of the “line” I may be. I may end up keeping one Sabbath on one day, then keeping another Sabbath while visiting the brethren on the other side of the line the next day. Double blessings!!!.. :wink:

But, again, this is just my opinion. I know that expressing such an opinion here may trigger an avalanche of criticism against it. But, who cares? Also, I fully respect those who would do it different and have their reasons for doing it that way.

These are my thoughts on it.

(George Tichy) #51

SabbathDay does it too… lol

(Kevin Seidel) #52

If we believe Hebrews, the true Sabbath is not a day, but the rest we find in Jesus. That means the 7th day Sabbath is only a symbol of the true Sabbath we have in Jesus. Just like baptism is a symbol of the new life we have in Jesus.

(reliquum) #53

I cannot find my grace-hungry heart capable of loving a God who would enforce a death sentence by fire on anyone who fails to keep an arbitrary day counted by an artificial method which didn’t exist at the time said commandment was given.

Yes, i have a lifetime hearing the sermons claiming some convoluted logic that our faith community has kept the correct seventh day since creation, but every time I hear it I wonder about the unfortunate others who didn’t have access to our magical calendar, secret decoder and the “logic” to weave it all the way far enough back to foreclose any protest against such .a game of roulette.

I have also suffered equally unpersuasive arguments by my my brothers claiming that the GC itself is in apostasy because it has accepted the moving dateline (how arbitrary is such a construct?).

It seems we do our hardest work on Sabbath. Meaning that we try to WORK our salvation MINDLESSLY by ARGUING how we MUST KEEP this arbitrary (and fluid) day, leaving NO ROOM FOR REST.

I’d suggest, at risk of being the flambéed centerpiece of the luau, replete with the apple in my mouth, burned at the stake for suggesting we have NO CLUE what SABBATH WORSHIP God is pleased with.

What if He expected us to feed the motherless, house the husbandless, and otherwise put boots on our faith instead of simply gathering in some weekly pageantry, some visible pilgrimage in our Beemers and Bentleys to our ever-fancier buildings where we seem to proudly display our “superior religion”, new fig leaf fashions, and holier piety?

No, ascribing such to a God who has no ten finger limit in His arithmetic makes us blindfolded Hemingway cats tussling with the ultimate Chinese finger puzzle.

(Red Livingstone) #54

How sad it is to elevate the name “Seventh-day” and greet with “Happy Sabbath” and forget to rest in Jesus.

Thank you for the re-focus.


So, in essence, what you are saying is that we don’t need the church and we don’t need a prophet (above all, one who died more than a century ago) since we have the guidance of the Holy Spirit given to every believer.



This is not only a matter of conscience but also of obedience and trust in God.

Eve surely had a clear conscience when she ate of the forbidden fruit. We all know the outcome.

God never left things just to the conscience of human beings. This is why He gave his law even in Eden.

God never gave the Holy Spirit to allow each of us to do whatever we wanted but to guide us, help us and achieve unity in the faith. Paul said in Romans 4:4,5:

4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism”

And in Jeremiah 17:9 it is written:

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked:who can know it?”

William Noel said that we don’t need the church (or the church bureaucracy as he put it) but the New Testament clearly shows, in the book of Acts, that there was an organization to which even the apostles were accountable to. Even they were not at liberty to do whatever they wanted just because they had received the Holy Spirit. And I trust the teaching of the apostles more than I trust the teaching of any human being today.

(reliquum) #57

Only the bureaucrats need the bureaucracy…God’s governance ideally is inner locus of control on a humble contrite spirit-receptive heart.

One whose head has bowed to external locus is not in need of such a heart, he trusts his head (and hand)

(William Noel) #58

No, what I am saying is that He is fully capable of guiding each of us so that we are working in harmony with Him and each other and Him without the church bureaucracy. I am NOT saying we should disregard Ellen White’s writings. Rather, we should just relate to her writings in the way she clearly and plainly instructed where we do do not use them as our basis for any point of doctrine or instruction in how to interpret the Bible. That means we should be using her writings more like devotional books.

(Thomas J Zwemer) #59

there is a Hymn as I recall in the old Christ and Sing which has a repeated phrase “Have thy own Way Lord”. If memory serves me correctly there is neither a verse or a refrain that reads Have thine own waynTed Et Al. The Church has one foundation and one Shepherd Moreover we ain’t climbing Jacob’s Ladder.Christ alone came down and ascented on that ladde(. He shall return in overwhelming Glory to gather His Own. He needs no investigation. His own are Engraved on the palms of His hands. In the mean time we gather together to rejoice in the Gospel.‘.



The God on Sinai is the same as the God of the Gospel. The God on Sinai is the God who spoke about the New Covenant as found in the New Testament.

So, please, let’s not introduce a false dichotomy.

Also, Jesus said that role of the Holy Spirit is to teach us all things and bring to our remembrance what Jesus taught (John 14:26):

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost. whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

And in John 16:13,14, Jesus says:

13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”

So, even the Holy Spirit has a mission: to reveal Christ and his teaching, and to glorify him. And what was one of the aspects of Christ’s mission on earth?: to glorify the Father. And what did Jesus ask us to do?: to do the will of the Father.

All of this to show that our conscience has to be aligned with the Father’s will. God never gave us a conscience to do contrary to his Word.

Though it is not just inherent to Adventism, you may have a point here.

This situation shows what happens when we rely only on our “conscience” without guidance or a framework.

God gave us guidance: His Word.

He gave also a framework: the church.

If we don’t use them we find ourselves in the situation found in the book of Judges:

“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (judges 21:25)

And it was not a pretty sight.