i think it’s a question of logistics…our church is a bit big for member votes on key decisions…it’s easier to take a vote of representative delegates (even though delegates are in no way representative, and aren’t voted into their positions by congregations)…
I have my opinion on whether women should be ordained pastors or not. But while women’s ordination is an interesting topic, and even an important one, I think that there is a bigger issue.
I view this issue as a test for the body of Christ and I see that we are failing miserably.
Any crisis is an occasion to reveal our true character. And so far what we can see in this women’s ordination saga is not really pretty.
We label, second guess, belittle, threaten and war against one another. And what for? To supposedly serve God!
Don’t we see the irony?
Jesus prayed His Father that we may be one. Why? So that “the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:21,23).
Is the world seeing us as one? I doubt it.
What about the counsel of Paul who said:
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each other esteem other better than themselves.” (Philippians 2:3)
Are we behaving in “lowliness of mind” and do we “esteem” others as being better than ourselves?
When the body of Christ is divided it means that the body of Christ is not led by the Holy Spirit.
Because Christ and the Holy Spirit agree.
When we try to oppose the Holy Spirit and Word of God we are not led by the Holy Spirit.
Because the Word of God and the Holy Spirit agree.
So, the issue of women’s ordination is a unique occasion to look in the mirror because very often the enemy is oneself.
As is the case with almost all statements of the absolute, this is simply not the case.
According to the various accounts we have, Jesus repeatedly chided those who relied on legalistic interpretations of ancient manuscripts. Instead, he supposedly saw no distinction between himself and the consciousness of his Abba, and apparently maintained direct communication with his dad, rather than looking to purported middle men to speak for his creator.
Further, if he thought scripture was essential to his message, Jesus could have written one clear, inarguably conclusive gospel, himself.
Or, if god considered words vitally important, he should have made an owner’s manual his first work, rather than creating the natural world, and could still write his messages across the sky in rainbow-colored memos with every sunrise.
To my mind, the fact that we have so many contradictory holy books is convincing evidence of two truisms. First, that god did not sanction any of these works and secondly, that he doesn’t have the power to prevent credulous people from incessantly arguing over which of those unauthorized biographies is the least misguided.
How? If churches vote for representation already, how much harder is it to scope that to issues per church? Have local churches take a vote and submit it. That way there’s a good indication of regional preferences for conferences to work with when assigning female pastors?
What’s so difficult about it logistically?
Yes there are many. Some are blatant contradictions, some just overly exaggerated numbers, some downright differences. I know that most Adventists say that there are no contradictions in scripture, but they are simply wrong. Considering all the authors and over what period of time it was all written, it is relatively coherent.
I have a book that is over an inch thick in which it’s total content is about the contradictions and how the authors of this book try to rationalize, justify, and in some cases outright lie in order to make it seem that they can all be explained away.
Like everything in life, if Adventists would except the simple FACT that this book was written by humans, even though, divinely inspired, it still comes with some of the warts, and distortions associated with human prejudices as well as a great deal of traditions and rituals and even some touches of mystism and astrology, we would be able to reach people who are now writing us off as religious kooks. Every biblical author was flawed and some of those flaws show through…you have to read around those flaws and keep them in context with what your studying.
Never thought I would be in agreement with Bruce, but he is right. Nymous, if what you said were true, then he would have had no issues with the Pharisees, because they were strict law keepers. They could recite the Torah, page by page, yet they were constantly attacking Jesus with “scriptures”. The Pharisees were the perfect example of people who were meticulous about following scripture, but missed the mark so badly that they killed the Messiah that they had been waiting for. They lacked the key ingredient, faith. belief. The fundamental plank of salvation. John 3:16, something that even atheists can recite, points to the simple fact …whosoever believeth in Him. Everything else pales.
I’m not saying it is difficult logistically…I’m just saying that that’s the reason that would be given…
personally, if a congregation took a few minutes to check a box, either yes, or no, to a question about WO printed on a small sheet of paper, and the deacons collected these sheets of paper, and then the treasurer, or somebody, tabulated these results, I can’t see how this would be such a huge problem…
as you say, this would give conferences a good regional indication of where women pastors would be effective…but this would be one less thing for church business meetings to haggle over, so of course we can’t have that
I was a little worried, too, when Lindy and I seemed to be singing from the same hymnal.
But then I got to the above quote and found something with which to argue.
The fact is that Jesus didn’t write the book of John.
In fact, it’s fairly certain that the Apostle John didn’t write the book of John because the NT also says John was “unlettered”.
Either way, there are those who contend that John 3:16, along with many other famous quotes, (like the verse which Catholics use to justify their claim that Jesus made Peter the first Pope), are in dispute and were later insertions into the text.
If so, what can anyone say for certain about Jesus’ real mission here on earth?
Fortunately, I don’t have to study Paul’s gossip to show myself “approved” in his brand of “I never actually met the man” Christianity, nor am I compelled to wait another two millennia or so before being able to discuss the issue with Jesus, personally.
Instead, I’ve learned through direct experience, that the HS is always hanging around and is happy to communicate with anyone who wants to talk…or, more importantly, takes the time to listen!
It doesn’t even need to be done by paper. It can be done by a simple app on a phone. This could be done at the church level, with an app from off the shelf or specially developed. It could then be summed at each successive level. Each Conference and Union would know which churches were favorable to WO and which were not.
The same process could be done for other issues on a Conference or Union basis. If members did not have a suitable phone or device, a common one could be set up at the church.
There are clever people who can do this. The issue is the Administration of the Church accepting the process, because they cannot control the outcome. There are enough stories of “broken” voting machines.
I did. He didn’t answer. And even if I claimed that the Holy Spirit answered me privately, why should you or anyone else take my word for it. Even the Bible says that everything should be established by two or three witnesses, yet many credulously accept the unsubstantiated claims by some that “I was shown”.
As for the Holy Spirit attending committee, session and GC business meetings, I have never seen any evidence of that.
I have a question for you: how do you know about Jesus?
The problem was not with Scripture but with the Pharisees. They were doing what many are still doing nowadays, that is, taking some texts out of context or ignoring parts of Scripture when it didn’t suit their purposes. There were also parts of the Bible that they did not really understand.
But Jesus, who knew the Scriptures very well, didn’t do that.
Now, speaking of contradictions, did Jesus ever mentioned them? Did Paul, Peter, James, or John ever make a mention of any of them in their writings?
Not at all!
They always referred to Scripture with confidence.
But 2,000 years later what is the situation? We have people who say that they are believers in Christ who don’t trust the Bible because of so-called contradictions. What was enough for Jesus and the disciples is not enough for them.
I want to ask them the following questions: how do you know about Jesus? Do you have another source than Scripture speaking about Him? If you think that the Bible is inaccurate how can you be sure that what Jesus said is correct? Or that He even said this or that?
In other words, how can one be a follower of Christ if one doesn’t believe in the Word of God?
This is the real contradiction!
Are you serious?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But now I tell you: do not take revenge." (Matthew 5:38-48)GNBUK)
Since the Holy Gifts individuals, not the GC, I too am happy to see another union accept that reality. Since in God’s kingdom there is neither Male nor Female but believers, blessed are all whon serve!
Same place you did, I suspect.
Second, third and fourth level translations of documents written at least 60 years after Jesus had exited “stage up”.
A two thousand year old version of “Grapevine”, IOW.
I’m sensing that you don’t want to express your opinion on the WO issue, which is fine. But, what do you think is the answer to the question of WO. Should the members do what the GC says on this (and every other issue)? It’s hard to know where you are coming from in a concrete way. If you could be more specific regarding how the corporate SDA church is handling the issue, and what you think the proper response should be from the members, I would have a better understanding of where you stand.
I heard a talk by Andrew Farley regarding women in the church. I found it very informative in regards to the issues the church in Ephesus was facing. Around the 24:00 mark, is where this is addressed. But the whole talk was very interesting. It’s always enlightening to hear more about the culture and the context in which the letters from Paul were written.
Did Jesus say that there was a contradiction there? No.
Let’s examine the texts and the contexts here (something we should always do before drawing speedy conclusions).
We find the “eye for eye” expression in Exodus 21:24, Leviticus 24:20, and Deuteronomy 19:21. Let’s consider Ex. 21:24. Who is speaking here? Chapter 21 is the continuation of chapter 20 where we see God giving the law to the children of Israel. So in chapter 21, God is speaking. Which bring the question: Did Jesus contradict God in Mat 5:38-39? Or, in other words, did God contradict Himself?
The answer is simple: no.
When we compare Ex 21 and Mat 5 we see that the contexts are totally different. In Ex:21, God is establishing the legal system for the nation of Israel on earth. We are at a earthly justice level concerning a nation. In Mat 5, Jesus is speaking at a spiritual level - and personal level - and is oftentimes referring to the kingdom of heaven. Jesus is dealing here with an heavenly justice level and dealing with the individual level.
When we compare the two texts, we can see in Mat 5 that Jesus, far from contradicting Ex 20 or Ex 21, goes in fact further. For example, when speaking about adultery, the earthly level can only deal with the action but the spiritual level deals with the intentions of the heart. This is why Jesus can say that “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”
This is also why Jesus says that if our righteousness doesn’t exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees we will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Because they were concerned with the letter of the law (to the point of paying the tithe of mint, anise and cummin) but they overlooked notions such as judgement, mercy, faith, and the love of God (see Mat 23:23; Luke 11:42).
So, to be in harmony with heaven, it is not enough to be right in action only but in intention as well.
Now, let’s consider Mat 5:38. Again, is Jesus contradicting Ex 21:24 (for example)? Not at all. Ex 21:24 deals with earthly situations and, while there is nothing wrong with it, Jesus is speaking on a spiritual level and on the personal level. If someone hits me on my right cheek I am asked to present the other one too. If someone sues me and takes away my coat let him have my cloak as well.
Of course, I could retaliate and appeal to the earthly laws but Jesus wants his disciples to rise to the heavenly level. Why? Because His mission was to show the love of God and His mercy toward sinners not just the law (this is why there is the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant). And as the disciples of Jesus, we are supposed to embrace His mission which is about mercy and salvation.
In conclusion, we can see that there is no contradictions here. We are dealing with two different situations and two different levels of reference, one earthly, the other one heavenly.
So, I guess that your answer means that you know about Jesus thanks to the New Testament.
Now do you believe that the New Testament is authoritative or do you think that it is not trustworthy?
Thank you very much for the video. I will watch it and come back to you later (hopefully before the thread closes )
According to my reading of them, none of the gospels were written by Jesus, personally, and not one of the canonic authors claimed to have been authorized by Jesus to keep a stenographic account of his words.
So no, I’m no longer willing to accept the assertion that I should turn my life inside out, or put my brain on hold and be subjugated by anyone’s beliefs in stories for which there is little, if any, historical corroboration.
Further, the implication that doubt is necessarily a bad thing is absurd. Indeed, doubt is considered a virtue in instances where one is confronted with claims for which no conclusive evidence has been provided.
Hopefully, you agree that abject skepticism is an intelligent and indeed correct response to the tenets of Nazis, Flat Earthers and human traffickers, to name a few.
I certainly hope you’re not saying that all I have to do in order to be reunited with Jesus and live in eternal bliss with my maker, is set aside all doubt and believe that one, but only one person, could walk on water, teleport, change water into wine, resurrect zombies, create bottomless baskets of food, survive mutilation and crucification, etc., all without my ever having seen a shred of evidence for any of it and based on nothing other than hearsay and eyewitness accounts of credulous and superstitious people.
Certainly no fair and loving god would endow his children with a working brain and ask them to make such an irrational stretch. Only a monstrous maker would insist that his created beings must accept, on faith, the “logical” connection between alleged miracles and reasonably acquired knowledge.
It is conceivable, and just as believable as so-called “Christians” dogma, to suspect that Jesus—having experienced firsthand the pitfalls and potential legalism of religionists—expressly instructed his followers to follow his example and refrain from any attempt to quote or codify his words.
After all, if Jesus taught that everyone could experience oneness with his creator simply by accepting that such a thing was possible, any written words on the topic would clearly be superfluous, and even anathema.
Further, the fact that the canonic gospels were almost certainly NOT written by the apostles whose names have been applied to them is possible evidence that his immediate followers adhered to those instructions.
If this is the case, however, the question of why these instructions aren’t included in the Bible becomes patently obvious: none of those “stories ” were written with Jesus imprimatur and the gospels we have are as trustworthy as are US dollars printed in tw…I mean, three dollar denominations.