Is the Church Already Unified on the Issue of Women’s Ordination?


(Tim Teichman) #21

Yes, that’s correct. I’m not aware of that either.

Interesting ideas you have.

Doesn’t seem likely given the biblical text. At least one woman led Israel as its Judge. She was the leader of the armies and of the priests and held court and passed judgements on others.

The commandments are part of the covenant with those who escaped Egypt. There were several previous covenants which were very different. And note that there are three different versions of the 10 commandments - all different. And also that the commandments we have were altered from their originals - the older manuscripts we have are different.

Sure he did.


(Ian m fraser) #22

This is a interesting discussion but fails to provide for many in the NAD who strongly support male headship eg many writers on thr fulcrum7 web site.w


#23

Thankfully, Spectrum is not Fulcrum7. Their discussions are degrading and patronizing, just as their belief in the Headship Heresy is.

Strongly supporting male headship heresy is tantamount to stamping out the Holy Spirit and the Priesthood of All Believers Protestant principle as well as the Trinitarian belief. It also goes totally against Fundamental Belief #14.

If you wish to discuss with those who strongly support male headship, head on over to the F7 site where you can discuss the heresy to your heart’s content.


(Phil van der Klift) #24

Excellent questions Robin.

I offer 2 dimensions to be considered in tandem.

First, Paul’s writings are not a problem if the Bible reader is familiar with principles of sound Bible interpretation. 2 Tim 2:15 is a revealing verse. Scripture needs to be ‘rightly divided’ rather than just read.

So who is responsible for people failing to study their Bible to sufficient depth to ‘rightly divide’? I would propose that pastors and other levels of church leadership are one key factor. Pastors are trained in how to study the Bible, but this training is not in turn passed on to church members. Each church ‘sermon’/teaching should not only reflect sound Biblical interpretation, but should also demonstrate the process of interpretation that the pastor used. Imagine what a congregation would learn if exposed to this each Sabbath across a year? Mind you, that would result in congregations who learn ‘critical thinking’ and that may not be welcome by some elements. It has been said that this is the role of Sabbath School. But I can tell you, it’s not happening.

I was previously trained as a primary teacher. And as such, I learned how to map out curriculum experiences that were designed to help students grow in core skills and capacities across a year. Since then, I have also been involved with pastors and church leadership teams. And while I have seen sermon topics being planned for the year, the actual consideration and articulation of how the congregation would actually learn and grow as a consequence of exposure to these topics is something I am yet to see take place.

Second, when do you learn and grow the most? When things are easy and going smoothly? Or perhaps when things aren’t going very well? It may not be this way when we get to heaven, but for now we unfortunately don’t learn very much unless we struggle and wrestle. I wish it wasn’t that way, but unfortunately it is unavoidable. Notice when Peter finally gained the most clarity in understanding - it was during and after the days of agony and soul-searching while journeying amid the shadow of the great disappointment of the cross. Guess when Saul/Paul grew the most?

Is God’s not sufficiently Omniscient to have known how much we struggle?Or is He sufficiently Omninscient to know that unfortunately, being within a sin-infected context for now, we don’t gain much without going through pain - that is, we don’t really learn very deeply unless we have to struggle?

Is the most loving thing a wise parent could do for a child to protect them from experiencing struggles? Or is it more loving to help them to grow through struggles, drawing on your own experience of struggling and growing (Heb 4:15,16), reassuring them that you will be with them no matter what (Heb 13:5), helping them every step of the way - that no matter how difficult things get, you will not allow them to be stretched to the point of actually breaking, but will instead provide them a way whereby they can bear up under the strain (1 Cor 10:13)?


(Phil van der Klift) #25

Thanks for your article Doug.

I have had opportunity in my traveling this quarter to visit with approx 10 different Sabbath School classes. Not once did I hear any discussion about what unity is. Rather, it appears taken for granted that everyone similarly understands what unity means/is. And the type of ‘unity’ being assumed is the relatively superficial type that resembles uniformity. The awareness that this is a superficial form of ‘unity’, or that there is a much deeper level of genuine unity, appears absent.

The superficial vs deeper forms of unity parallel the Western theory-based vs Eastern relationship-based dichotomy you refer to. The unity that is being sought is one where we all agree on a doctrinal position or a particular church practice - a uniformity of theory in essence. This contrasts with the deeper form of unity that is relationship-based whereby we are united in core purpose, but diverse in how we manifest expression of that purpose. This is the type of unity Paul is referring to in 1 Cor 12 when He draws upon the analogy of a body being made up of diverse parts performing diverse functions in order to accomplish the unified purpose being facilitated by the Head.

And this is also the type of unity Jesus is referring to in Jn 17. I would offer that verses 4-6, 11 and 21 explain the relational unity that Jesus was talking about. Verses 4-6 reveal that Jesus was given a work to do (v4) and that work was to manifest God’s name/character (6). In v11, Jesus says “Holy Father, keep them in your name/character which you have given Me, so that they may be one just as We are one”.

According to these verses, how are Jesus and God one? They share the same character - they are unified in character. And the core nature of that character self-renouncing love (1 Jn 4:8). This is relationally-based unity. And this is the basis of such unity.

Jesus reiterates this base in Jn 17:21 where He links the unity of shared character and extends it to include the outcome of that unity: that the world may believe that you sent Me. This echoes closely Jn 13:35.

Thus, I would propose that the deepest and most genuine form of unity that can be experienced, the one that Jesus shares with God and the one that He prayed would similarly characterise His Body is the unity that comes as a byproduct of people who have been “born again” (Jn 3:3) to the formation of a character of self-renouncing love. And when this is the case, there can be considerable difference and diversity manifested, but there is not disunity because all are united in one purpose - the purpose of self-renouncing love, the character of God.


(tag) #26

two question to help me understand further, 1) can you give me the verse that the woman led Israel was the leader of the army? and of the priests? and 2) bible verse that Jesus changed his fathers commandments?


(Kim Green) #27

Do you have any suggestions? We actually do not know how many actually “strongly support male headship”…since the current GC president would have no incentive to do so in a numerical count.


(Bruce Clements) #28

Couldn’t get past the title of the article.

Easy answer:

No.

Any notion of unity in any organized religion will evaporate as quickly as last night’s meteor shower if one listens to the varying results of the exegeses performed on even one supposedly sacred passage by any two of that denomination’s adherents, much less the divergent eisegeses brought to bear on the entirety of its dogma.

If the author went on to define current conditions in The SDA Church as somehow “united”, the basic argument is as meaningful as saying that republicans are baseballs or insisting that the moon is a canton in Switzerland.


(Tim Teichman) #29

Sure:
In Judges 4 Deborah is the leader of Israel, holds court and commands the army:
(emphasis added, in an attempt at clarity and also [my comments])


4 "Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. 5 She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.

6 She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. 7 I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.’”

8 Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”

9 “Certainly I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours [it will be mine, in other words], for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman. [me]” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 There Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali, and ten thousand men went up under his command. Deborah also went up with him. …

14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” So Barak went down Mount Tabor, with ten thousand men following him. 15 At Barak’s advance, the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and army by the sword, and Sisera got down from his chariot and fled on foot."


Israel was a Theocracy. The leader of the Theocracy was the leader of the priests - the cult- as well as the military leader.

.
Jesus and the law:
This is a little more difficult. It centers around what it means to ‘fulfill’ the law and what it means to ‘abolish’ it. It seems that the original Greek word used for ‘abolish’ means “to overthrow”, “to render vain, deprive of success”, or “to invalidate.” and that is how it is used (17 times) in various biblical passages about various things.

So, what does it mean to fulfill, but not abolish? It seems that while the original is not invalidated by being abolished, it also means that in fulfillment it comes to a conclusion and is replaced by something new, just as the Mosaic Covenant/Law replaced the Covenant God made with Abraham - for those who received it at Sinai.

I agree with the conclusion from the page linked above:

“If, however, the law of Moses bears the same relationship to men today, in terms of its binding status, then it was not fulfilled, and Jesus failed at what He came to do. On the other hand, if the Lord did accomplish His goal, then the law was fulfilled, and it is not a binding legal institution today. Further, if the law of Moses was not fulfilled by Christ—and thus remains as a binding legal system for today—then it is not just partially binding. Rather, it is a totally compelling system. Jesus plainly said that not one “jot or tittle” (representative of the smallest markings of the Hebrew script) would pass away until all was fulfilled. Consequently, nothing of the law was to fail until it had completely accomplished its purpose. Jesus fulfilled the law. Jesus fulfilled all of the law. We cannot say that Jesus fulfilled the sacrificial system, but did not fulfill the other aspects of the law. Jesus either fulfilled all of the law, or none of it. What Jesus’ death means for the sacrificial system, it also means for the other aspects of the law.”


Paul agrees that the old law is not valid for Christians.
He writes this dissertation in Galatians:
(emphasis added, in an attempt at clarity and also [my comments])

3:21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law.
22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed.
24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came [so] that [instead] we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. [that Law]
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
4:1 What I am saying is that as long as an heir is underage, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate.
2 The heir is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father.
3 So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world. 4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. [The adopted son in bible times was of a higher status than a natural born son!]
6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”
7 So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

Then he drives home his point:

21 Tell me, you who want to be under the law, are you not aware of what the law says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the slave woman and the other by the free woman. 23 His son by the slave woman was born according to the flesh, but his son by the free woman was born as the result of a divine promise.

24 These things are being taken figuratively: The women represent two covenants. [two Laws/Contracts with God] One covenant is from Mount Sinai [the Israelite Law] and bears children who are to be slaves: This is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem that is above [in heaven(?)] is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written:
“Be glad, barren woman, you who never bore a child; shout for joy and cry aloud, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband.”

28 Now you, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. 30 But what does Scripture say? “Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.”31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman. [we are not under the first covenant, the Law of Mount Sinai, but the second, which was promised and now just delivered through Christ.]


(Joselito Coo) #30

Guilt ahd shame are inherent in all cultures across time and place. East (of what countries?) and West…

Shaming GC Executive Committee members who fail and refuse to comply with SA2015 voted resolution on WO by denying them voice and vote shouldn’t be problem if Guilt or Innocence is what matters. Why is the majority vote a problem now, not in the past? I can speak for where I come from: Southeast Asia. Regardless of who are the majority or minority, shame on those who don’t stand for the right though the heavens fall!


#31

I’m not sure that egalitarian concept was ever missing from Biblical narrative even in context of certain extremes that you are addressing. The unity and equality that Bible mandates is never those of outcome.

In Jesus’ own words “you will always have poor”. Poverty is a natural setting for extremes that result from systems that rely on merit and competence. Likewise, poverty is always relative to perception of certain baseline of poverty. When no one has anything, then a guy with a cow is rich. My great grandmother kept telling my father that their generation is rich because they have a luxury of drinking tea with sugar.

So let’s face it. Anyone with a $20 in their pocket today has access to something that kings of the past would only dreamt of.

So, in context of that abundance, it’s neither natural today, since it largely driven by artificial demand which stems from marketing overproduction and maintaining the culture of pushing excess. And such cultures will hit the limit of reality. Yes. Developed world will be hit last, because it hedges risks. But when it is hit, you will notice that most of the things we are used to enjoying are a product of extreme amount of efforts that need to be perpetually insentivised in order to “grow the economy”. Because when economy doesn’t grow, then people can’t pay back the fractional-reserve loans and the entire system collapses like a stack of cards, and tech sector will suffer the most, because it’s the most virtual of all.

Hence you can’t judge God based on your present cultural presets until you can first justify your cultural presets as both viable and valid.

You can’t claim and hold to some egalitarian concept of equality of outcome, until you can justify it as grounded in both our biology and reality that we live in, which would be the first place to look for such justification.

Convenience you are experience today is largely resultant of artificial displacement of resources in exchange for digits, and as a result of mortgaging the future and handing it off to the future generations who will pay the full price of the inconveniences and disastreous lack of respect for past perspectives and warnings about certain approach to human being.

Because God didn’t create men and women to be the same. In the past there was a world ofen with its own hierarchy, and the world of women with it’s own hierarchy. Men handled the responsibility of men. And women handled responsibility of women. They were judged by the standards or competence relevant to their own worlds.

In modern setting we’ve erased these thinking that such constraints are somehow unfair to women as men oppress them. But you can’t rationally argue such position when both men and wemen suffered, with men suffering far more when it comes to carrying their families through harsh environment of the past. That’s what men were made for in context of the family. Leadership always came with responsibility.

Sure. In a different context where men refuse to assume responsibilities the criticism can be viable. But let’s not pretend that women were oppressed and men exploited that oppression. That’s a perversion of what actually happened in our collective history.


(William Vercio) #32

Actually, the issues you mentioned are a good evidence of God’s inspiration if you look at them in the light of a God who loves each of us just the way we are. Paul spoke to the people of his time in a way that worked for them. The problem is that many of us try to make what he wrote for them in their time and apply it to our very different times. It doesn’t work unless you live in a culture that is similar to Paul’s, which much of the world still is, apparently, but we in the western world are not.
Interpreting Scripture in our traditional way of finding out what God wants us to do so we can do “the right thing” and please God leads us into the kind of inconsistent application of the Bible rules/rulings that have been described above. The solution is to live in a state of grace where we are not saved by doing or saying “the right thing” but by a relationship with God and Jesus and we are directed by His Spirit in the same way as Paul was—a culturally sensitive and appropriate way that respects each person where they are. In that kind of system everyone can feel differently about a given issue but since each of us is saved by grace none of us is in a position to tell anyone else how to think or live.
So, in the West women should be ordained and those who are uncomfortable with that can go to churches where there aren’t women pastors—but can’t assume that their views are “the truth” about that issue, only their views.
But since we live in a world where people have sinful natures which are full of guilt and shame and are driven by that guilt and shame to try to make God accept them through their “obedience” we will always have people who think their way is the only way.


(Kade Wilkinson) #33

No matter what anyone says, no SDA preacher is ordained. Ordination requires a bishop.


(Kade Wilkinson) #34

Do you send every believer you know a card for clergy appreciation day?


(Kade Wilkinson) #35

Do you send cards to every believer in your church for clergy appreciation day, or only to the pastor?


(Kade Wilkinson) #36

The books commonly referred to as the “Apocrypha” were included in the biblical canon for the majority of church history. They were only removed by Martin Luther, who also removed Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation.


(George Tichy) #37

MY WISHES TO ALL SPECTRUMITES

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR!

(It applies even to those who don’t like my opinions… :laughing: )


(Kade Wilkinson) #38

For clarity: I am completely opposed to the idea that women can become priests

That said, I always wonder why those for it never mention the fact that a woman was allowed into the holy of holies in the temple, and the Church celebrates this fact.


(George Tichy) #39

I too always wonder about something, Why do some people pick what they like from the 635 rules (laws) given to the Jews? Why don’t they keep them all? What is their criteria to select which ones they think should still be kept?


(Kade Wilkinson) #40

My experience is that different people apparently employ different criteria. It appears to me that the proliferation of various criteria either started or was significantly accelerated during the protestant reformation.