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

(Kim Green) #161

"You avoided answering those questions completely."

Of course, he was smart enough not too…AND he explained why they weren’t exactly “questions”.

"I just shook my head at your reasoning." :smiley:



Look at the context. Paul is speaking about being children of God by faith in Jesus Christ (Gal 3:26), being heirs according to the promise (v. 29).

So, Paul is speaking about salvation, not speaking about Christ’s service.


Paul is articulating one of the rock-solid principles of Christ-followers, one of the principles of Heaven: equality of individuals, no bias, no difference.

Male Headshippers love to make Levi preferred, male Levites, to be precise. Remember the male Levite in the story of the Good Samaritan?

How many Christian pastors around the world are from the tribe of Levi? Why not?

The underlying principle of Jesus is that men and women are equal–there is no ethnicity preferred, no economic level, gender or tribe.

Praise God!

(Tim Teichman) #164

I understand your points. But keep in mind that the church had been trying to minimize and mask the contribution of women in the church, even as recorded in the canon, since the second century. They did this to the point of changing scripture to masculinize names of women in the new testament bible - to pretend they were men. (These errors were later corrected.)

The arguments you use are the same as those that have been used through the ages by those seeking to subjugate women. It seems that the earliest Christian impulses include Paul’s radical ideas of equality for all before God. Similarly, the texts where Paul expands on these ideas are minimized, in favor of others.

I think a correction is on order. We should search the scriptures for texts that support the roles of those who (at the time) were second class people: Women, slaves, tax collectors, prostitutes, an so on. Our focus should be to contemplate what the stories really meant - both how horrible they are in some ways and how affirming they were (and are when understood in context) for those people.

The bible is full of stories of broken people in a broken societies. Indeed, much of the point is to show us how humans need God because we are broken. To acknowledge this and do a sort of leap and then claim that their ideas of how to treat women are somehow prescriptive for us should at the least be subject to scrutiny.

When ideas or events or laws are recorded in the bible that does not indicate that they are prescriptive for us. The bible consistently confirms this fact: For example, God told Noah after the Flood that now he could eat everything. God later told the Israelites they couldn’t eat everything anymore. Their diet was limited. So what applied to Noah did not apply to Moses. Then Paul wrote that he could eat literally anything, everything, even food offered to idols and false gods! So what applied to Moses didn’t apply to Paul.

This pattern repeats.

It is only reasonable then, that as humanity grows and changes, what is appropriate and correct changes.

(Allen Shepherd) #165

Harpa said: "Galatians 3:29 is a Biblical principle of heaven and earth, No roles. Equal humanity.

Male Headship Heresy: Man is head of woman

The Bible is closer to the second than the first. Especially when you include biology and science.

I suggest you view a video: John Peterson SVT/TV2/skavlan at 7-10 min. It is an interview of this man and it shows that men and women, when they have the ability to choose (this happens particularly in egalitarian countries like Scandinavian one) the differences between men and women are very large. And there is no question about this. The man says that in the month when the interview was done, three separate studies showed this.

He says, when culture is eliminated as a source of the difference, men and women choose naturally what their biology tends to dictate. The largest difference is that men are more interested in things, and women in people. This is a very basic difference. There is large overlap, but it is still expressed, especially at the extremes/. It means that most engineers are men, and most nurses women, even in a place like Scandinavia.

Most caretakers are women, and most physicists men. Just they way we are built. Equality in opportunity will result in great differences in outcome.

(Allen Shepherd) #166

Your arguments are interesting. I might differ in the application you make, but they are interesting argeuemtns.

You make a judgment of those who do not favor WO here. There are other motives besides "subjugation of women, you know. Might be better to give your opponents the benefit of the doubt rather than throwing them all in one basket.

(reliquum) #167

Unfortunately our faith community has been co-opted by folks (perhaps first innocently deluded) believing that the adventist culture/society (if it were cleansed-read, PURGED) is the only peoples not broken, hence more perfect…

I believe it is this mindset that will drive the coming fracture.
Unyielding belief in LGT masculine supremacy, hermeneutic/version policing, oaths demanding loyalty, more rules, stricter enforcement will tear the remnant tag right off this newly sewn same old fig leaf … Adam would sure be proud how far his sartorial talents have gone!

(Kim Green) #168

I understand that there are “differences” between men and women, Allen, but these things are not determinants of what either men or women are capable of. For example, there may be less “stay at home Dads” but they certainly exist. There may be less women working in trades- but they still exist such as our female plumber. :slight_smile:

Biology is not destiny.“Equality in Opportunity” has not destroyed society in Scandinavia nor in other countries in the world. What do you envision the resultant “great differences in outcome” to be?

(Ian m fraser) #169

You may be right, I am not a theologian or a biblical scholar. Unlike MH believers in the TOSC report I do not find 1 Tim 3:2 to teach that husband of one wife means that a wife cannot be ordained.

If the issue is so clear why is MH not a fundamental belief of SDAs like it is for the Southern Baptists?

However I have no objection to SDA churches practicing MH even in the children’s SS. I also do not require women elders. It just makes sense for the majority of members to be represented among the elders.

Lies have unity with diversity.

(Ian m fraser) #170

Let’s have unity with diversity.

(Kevin Seidel) #171

No the male headship heresy is that men can be heads in the church. The church has only one head, Jesus Christ. There is no gift of headship.

(Kim Green) #172

Now, Kevin…you are just too practical! :wink: I am sure it is a great “fault” of yours. :slight_smile:

(Kevin Seidel) #173

You are not the first to accuse me of that. Once you understand that only Jesus is the head of the church, then anyone trying to claim headship in the church is infringing on Jesus. This means there is a difference between headship and leadership! We can have leaders that are not heads in the sense used in the Bible.


It is true that mistakes were made because of some preconceived ideas. For example, in the case of name Junia, many thought that it was about a man, not a woman (in fact, the debate is still on).

And, to be honest, it is not the church that tried to minimize the contributions of women. It was rather society at large. And unfortunately, we are, oftentimes, the products of our societies, even when we are in the church and so we repeat the same mistakes as in the world.

It is not the motives that decide if an argument is valid or not. If some people misuse the Bible, does it mean that the Bible is wrong or that the people are wrong?

Jesus was able to do that without twisting the Scriptures. In the contrary, He was able to use Scripture to validate his ministry toward those “second class people”.

It depends on who “they” are. When the apostles speak, I have the tendency to listen. The leap is to think that, just because there were broken people in the Bible, it means that Paul, for example, was broken…

This is not really correct.

First, there are laws that are prescriptive.

Second, when something doesn’t apply anymore, there are explicit or implicit indications. It is not up to us to decide what is prescriptive or not, just like that.

And when there is a change, there is a good biblical reason for that. For example, people at the time of Moses were living in a theocracy in which there was only one God and where idolatry was forbidden. So, by definition, no food offered to false gods was allowed since referring to other gods would have been idolatry. But the problem was not with the food (unless, it was impure food) but rather the fact that the food was dedicated to another god.

It was different in the time of Paul. Israel was not a theocracy anymore and the Gentiles were living in other countries where God’s laws didn’t apply.

So, there are some changes but it is not arbitrary and it is not us who decide what to apply or not.

You spoke about what is reasonable. That’s the problem: what is reasonable for someone is not reasonable for someone else.

This alone should show you that what you are saying is not valid.

(Kim Green) #175

Interesting that Allen has previously stated that he would be okay with WO if voted in…but here he is seemingly against it. I get the feeling that all he really cares about is keeping the church from schism but that is probably not worth appearing inconsistent with your views.

(Doug Hardt) #176

Hello Robin - thanks for your feedback on the article. Those are good questions and it appears you have actually wrestled with the issues that I have presented. I strongly suggest that you reference the book “Paul and Gender” ( - she does a great job showing the local culture of the time of Paul and how he understood it and in some places rejected it and transformed it with a knowledge of the true God. It is an excellent book. I would say that God allowed Paul to write it and it to be included in Scripture because it was very pertinent to his time and showed the difference the gospel could make for people living in their context. I also believe that God expects us, as an Adventist movement, to do our homework and study that and apply the same principles that the gospel brings into the life of a Christian now. This is especially pertinent since many of our Adventists now live in cultures closer to the culture of the time of Paul - and many of us live in cultures that don’t resemble Paul’s culture very much. Scholarship is such now that I don’t think we have an excuse for getting stuck on this issue. Westfall does a wonderful job in being true to Scripture and closely examining culture - I think reading that book should be a must for those seriously interested in interpreting Paul and his take on women and their place in the proclamation of the gospel.

Also, I would caution in using such words as “misogyny” when we look at cultures like the Greco-Roman culture. This is part of our Western “guilt/innocence” heritage - we attempt to figure out what is “right” in every situation and then assign values to actions/beliefs. There are some of God’s laws (10 commandments, for instance) where we could make this argument; then there are other things in Scripture, such as eating food sacrificed to idols where the church decided not to do it, but Paul in I Cor. 8 basically takes the position - “if you do it, what is an idol? - nothing”. However, Paul basically takes a “shame/honor” approach and says that if it causes his brother to stumble he will refrain from it - that is, it could be “right” for him, but it may not be “honorable”. I lived in cultures that were predominantly “shame/honor” and they would take issue with you about their view on women’s place in society. I know even many women who would take issue with you on that. For instance, in many Muslim countries a male will receive twice the inheritance from his parents that a sister would receive. Once, when a Westerner confronted them about this and tried to show how discriminatory it was, the women argued for it saying that if they get the same amount that would indicate that they are just as responsible to take care of themselves financially after the passing of their parents, whereas, if the brother gets more money then he is responsible for taking care of them financially in case something happens to their husbands. This is just one of many examples of where someone from a “shame/honor” culture could contend that our Western view of women, while it might seem “right” and “enlightened” to us, may seem more shameful to them. In light of this WO issue - as evidenced by reading this thread that the article has instigated - the vast majority of Adventists try to find the “right” response to it and then we assign a negative value to the other side and try to make arguments to prove our rightness - classic “guilt/innocence” thinking. Our church has spent decades getting committees together, scouring the Bible to back up our “right positions” and we have come to a deadlock. In the article, I propose dropping that type of thinking and looking at it from a different paradigm - one of shame and honor. However, it seems like that will be an uphill battle. :slight_smile:

(George Tichy) #177

Oh brother McLennan, … you have to understand that those verses are actually not meaning what they read. They just need to be interpreted properly… :roll_eyes: :roll_eyes:
Same old malarkey!

(Allen Shepherd) #178

It is not a vision, but reality. The stats are in. Where all cultural differences are eliminated, the differences in preference between the sexes are very large. In Scandinavia, there are few female engineers, and few male nurses. The sexes gravitate to the careers that their sexual differences determine. In other words, there is no equality of outcome for the sexes now have free choice and equal opportunity, and choose what they really inwardly want. It was a “perverse” result but it is the reality.

Are there a few female plumbers? yes. Or a few male nurses, sure. But they will be in the minority, and because of the preponderance of one sex in the field, there could be some stigma attached to it that might discourage members of the other sex from going there. A few outliers will always be there, but the sexes have sort of biological preferences that, when freed, just naturally occur. Men and women are different.

And this then sort of shows that those cultures that have more defined roles are not that far off. They limit some things, but these are not the largest deal, for even in the most egalitarian cultures, the sexes sort themselves. No female pastors? So what?

(Kim Green) #179

"No female pastors? So what?"

So says a retired MALE minister…lol


I’m happy you are not the pastor, role model for the young women I know.

May God give our young women strong and courageous role models who encourage them in their callings to the ministry, wherever and whoever they are.