Irony in the Adventist Compliance Controversy

(Floyd Florence) #101

Just a few thoughts: my first on Spectrum

Are we headed toward God using “Cesar” to step into this WO issue as He did regarding equal pay scale for both men and women! (remember the disparity when a husband/wife team taught - the wife earned about half of what her husband received!)

Governments make policy also… but, the test comes when a challenge is brought when compliance demands are made that interfere with operations and mission which are shown to be “non constitutional.” I do believe this gender bias ordination policy is in conflict with a fundamental belief.

Until our church “1st” establishes theologically a “headship” theology (meaning “male” headship only), we may still keep the “compliance document” in place, but the test comes when it is used to discipline over the issue of W/O; but, I suspect it will have such unintended consequences as those who voted for it will rue the day it was passed - it may expose so many skeletons in the closet that the W/O issue will pale into insignificance!

Is it not true, much of or significant portion of minor languages and 3rd world delegates never had the TOSC report in their own language for review to make a better informed vote!

Are we ultimately headed toward “Regional Conferences” regarding the gender question as with the “black” question?

The “Nuclear Option” may well have been loaded on the missile and launched - but God knows how to defuse it on rout!

A thing to consider for our conferences, unions, etc; - do what it takes to remain with a voting voice - a very bad consequence will be to let those only have a voice on this issue where any future vote will be a 80/20 against WO; and maybe even an overturn of ordination of women for anything! Can we learn from Israel when the split came then - it need not have been if “cooler heads prevailed!” I am cautious in dialogue with anyone on either side of the W/O question when there is more “heat than light!”

Having noted these brief thoughts - I see God in all of this where many have been too content to just follow “party lines.” Let each one determine to uplift the Character of God as seen in Jesus and bring assurance of Salvation’s Path to those hungering for light and truth.

(George Tichy) #102

Headship, right?.. :innocent:

(George Tichy) #103

Welcome to the Spectrum blog! I hope you will enjoy the conversation(s) and will also participate actively. Everyone’s input is beneficial to the whole audience.

(Kim Green) #104

This is like explaining “death” to a child who has no concept of it.

(Kim Green) #105

Thank-you for your comment and it had many interesting points.

" Let each one determine to uplift the Character of God as seen in Jesus and bring assurance of Salvation’s Path to those hungering for light and truth."



The question is not to know if she fully understood good and evil. She knew that God had forbidden her to touch the fruit. And that there would be dire consequences.

She was informed and she knew the commandment of God since she told it to the serpent. So, yes, she sinned.

(Kim Green) #107

So, in your mind who was the most “culpable”…Eve who first “sinned”…or Adam?

(Tim Teichman) #108

I still don’t see it that way. Eve was like a child, not knowing good from evil.

I just posted this on another topic but it works here too:
If you tell a toddler not to take a cookie off the plate and then they do it anyway a minute later, did they sin? No. The toddler isn’t capable of remembering your request long term, understanding why you issued that request, understanding how important is is or isn’t, or of resisting the cookie. The also don’t really even understand they are supposed to “obey” you. A toddler doesn’t even understand object permanence or the concept of ownership.

If the young Eve was so innocent that she could not tell good from evil - she had never encountered anything not good - she was like a toddler.

The only way she or Adam can be seen as sinning is if they actually disappointed God, if they behaved in a way that didn’t meet God’s expectations. Did God really think this innocent pair - who could not discern good from evil - could resist the dragon?

Remember this is the dragon who was introduced as “…the serpent [who] was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made.”

As a side, that’s a loaded and confusing statement. From the statement and the story we get:

  • The serpent was not a wild animal
  • Or, was a wild animal (some translations) but was smarter than all the other wild animals.
  • God made the serpent and put the serpent into the garden
  • Strangely, the serpent could talk
  • Strangely, the serpent didn’t seem to be playing along with God’s plan. Or was he?
  • In the end, God curses the serpent and says he’ll crawl on the ground, like a snake. But he never takes his voice away.

Where are the talking serpents? And, before serpents “crawled on their bellies” how did they move? Seems they crawled on their bellies.

When I really think about it, what was this serpent creature? (And don’t say the devil as the story says he’s an animal until the end. In any case our concept of the devil didn’t exist then.) Why would God put this creature in the garden, or even create such a creature, a talking animal?


But…what if they are right?


In which context do you think women are barred from leading that’s not attached to the traditional pastoral duties? I’m sure that you recognize that by assigning a position of one and only pastor, it would mean that the rest of the congregation is not barred from participating in some leadership context that are necessary in church setting.

In which way do you see half of the congregation are stopped from participating?

(Tim Teichman) #111

Most church leadership positions require ordination.

Without ordination a pastor has little chance of advancing beyond being a local church pastor. This prevents women from holding these leadership roles, thus ensuring a bunch of mostly old men will always lead the church.

This falls right into the definition of Sexism, in this case institutionalized:

(Kim Green) #112

Tim, that you have to explain “Sexism” means that there is probably “Gender Bias”…they tend to be connected. :smiley:

(Tim Teichman) #113

Yes they are.

It is possible that @Arkdrey didn’t know most church management positions require ordination…

Direct quotes from the SDA Church Manual:

Conference President—The conference president should be an ordained pastor

Ordained Pastors—Ordained pastors appointed by the conference committee to act as pastors or district leaders…“By virtue of ordination, the pastor is qualified to function in all rites and ceremonies.”

A church is organized by an ordained pastor on the recommendation of the conference executive committee.

Merging two churches - In a duly called meeting, presided over by the conference president or the pastor or other ordained pastor, each church should vote on the question of union.

At a Properly Called Meeting—Members may be disciplined for sufficient cause, but only at a properly called business meeting (see p. 128) after the church board has reviewed the case. The meeting must be presided over by an ordained pastor

Ordination of Elders— The ordination service is performed only by an ordained pastor currently credentialed by the conference.

Marriage Ceremony—In a marriage ceremony the charge, vows, and declaration of marriage are given only by an ordained pastor except in those areas where division committees have approved that selected licensed or commissioned pastors who have been ordained as local elders may perform the ceremony.

A leader, who is not an ordained elder, may not administer baptism, conduct the Lord’s Supper, perform the marriage ceremony, or preside at business meetings when members are disciplined. A request should be made to the conference president for an ordained pastor to preside at such meetings.

Deacons Must Be Ordained—Newly elected deacons cannot fill their office until they have been ordained by an ordained pastor currently credentialed by the conference.

Ordination Service for Deaconesses—Such a service, like the ordination of deacons, would be carried out by an ordained pastor currently credentialed by the conference.

Deaconesses Not Authorized to Preside—Deaconesses are not authorized to preside at any of the services of the church or business meetings and cannot perform the marriage ceremony or officiate at the reception or transfer of members.

Anyone notice any Sexism here? I know, it’s hard to see…

(Steve Mga) #114

Tim –
A little “tongue in cheek” smirk?

(Steve Mga) #115

Notice, not ANY person in the pews can ADMINISTER the Bread And Wine in service.
Catholics, Anglicans have the same rules.
The Bread and Wine HAS to be blessed by an Ordained Pastor BEFORE a Lay Minister
may provide Communion to a home/health care facility shut in.
Perhaps THIS is part of the TRADITIONS we get from our Catholic Heritage along with
some others.

(Kim Green) #116

I believe that there are more similarities than many would like to admit. I have always noticed that most SDAs love their traditions and set services. It is true that part of this is humans…desiring “sameness” as a security blanket and reduction of anxieties. However, for some of us- it is death.



If they are right, everything they say has to harmonize with the Bible.

Also, this little word, “if”, is important: what if the other side is right?

Both sides think they are right. This is why it is important that both sides start treating the other side with respect. By putting all of our resources together we will get more understanding. Of course, it is a work of patience and we can become frustrated but we have to put oneself in each other’s shoes.

Following one’s conscience is important but conscience doesn’t tell the truth. Conscience guides us according to the knowledge and wisdom we already have. For example, Paul, based on his understanding, thought he was doing God’s work by persecuting the Christian. But when he met Jesus, his knowledge and understanding increased and he changed course.

This is why the Bible is important because it give us knowledge and understanding. And through the Bible, we see that God has a plan, created before the foundation of the world. A plan for the world but also a plan for each of us.

Through the Word of God, we realize that, oftentimes, the problem is not (just) the other people but ourselves. And God asks us to be willing to be changed, even when it is difficult, or painful, or crazy.

So, what are we willing to give up, or accept in order to follow God? Some will have to accept the idea that, maybe, women can be ordained (or, conversely, that they cannot be ordained) contrary to what they believe . Or some will have to accept the idea that, even if women can be ordained, they cannot be ordained right now because the church is not ready. Or whatever…

One thing for sure: we cannot oppose Scripture and conscience.

Another thing that is sure: we cannot claim to be followers of Christ and not behave accordingly.

And one last thing: when there is division, we can vilify the other side… or we can realize who the real enemy working against all of us is… and start praying for one another.

(Steve Mga) #118

Perhaps THE QUESTION that Needs to be ASKED is:
What/How do we DEFINE as “the Church”?
Is “Church” the Individual community groups meeting together? Deciding what works for them?
Is “Church” a DENOMINATION with its Rules and Regulations telling these
“individual community groups” what they CAN and CANNOT do??

(Spectrumbot) closed #119

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