strategically, i think this saga unfolding in chico comes at an inopportune moment for progressives…this would be because the “retired denominational employee” performing the baptism was actually a commissioned woman pastor, later ordained in a special ceremony at la sierra…i’ve seen no less than four conservative sites make the connection between the gender of the baptizing pastor and what they view as normalizing homosexuality in the adventist church…as the process of discipline for noncompliance to san antonio is unfolding, many conservatives are seeing this chico baptism as proof positive that coming to any accommodation on WO is tantamount to kissing our exceptionalism as the remnant church of Rev 12:17
good-bye…i don’t for even one moment believe that TW isn’t viewing things in much the same way…
if i were a las vegas odds maker, i would say that this incident at chico, which conservatives everywhere are pouncing on, has increased the chances for a split between the GC and NAD, or at least between the GC and PUC…i think a bitter, drawn-out court case to dismantle PUC is more likely now than before…but even if our church miraculously avoids a split, the chances for any official recognition of WO are now worse than nil…once again, progressives have found a way to shoot themselves in the foot…
This is a big fuss about one news item; what about all the family and friends we have who were born ‘different’ but didn’t realize it until puberty or young adulthood kicked in? So, many in my sixth-grade class trailed along to baptismal education, and we were duly baptized. Later, 4% turned out to be LBGT+, so do we revoke their baptism and censure the person who did it because these members turned out not to be what we thought? None of this make any sense to me…
In the bible it clearly says: Romans 1:26-27 “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”
Clearly, this passage puts lesbianism on equal ground with male homosexuality. Lesbianism is described as women exchanging natural relations (with men) for unnatural relations (with women). According to the Bible, being a lesbian is just as sinful as being a homosexual male.
There’s an implication in Romans 1:26 that lesbianism is even worse than male homosexuality. Notice the phrase “even their women.” The text seems to suggest that it is more common for men to engage in sexual depravity, and when women begin to do it, that is a sign things are getting really bad. Men usually have much stronger sex drives than women, and so are more prone to sexual deviancy. When women commit unnatural sexual acts, then the degree of immorality has truly become shameful. Lesbianism is evidence of people being given over to “the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another” (Romans 1:24).
How can you then say “Oh the irony-nowhere does holy writ condemn “two women laying together”,”
We need to study our bibles daily so that we are not deceived. This text always reminds me of the importance of staying on solid ground: Matt 7: 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Romans 1:26 is not referring to lesbianism. Paul is juxtaposing “natural use” with “unnatural use”. The Church Fathers, starting with Clement of Alexandria, who wrote in the 2nd century and likely understood the idioms and figures of speech common in the 1st century, initially agreed that “natural use” in the context of Romans 1:26 was coitus, which “unnatural use” was a reference to anal heterosexual intercourse - common in the prostitution cults of the day. Lesbianism is not condemned in either the Old or New Testaments as male homosexuality is. Later Church fathers such as John Chrysostom and Augustine of Hippo ((4th century) adopted the Lesbianism interpretation of Romans 1:26. My view is that the Bible is clear that Christian marriage is between one man and one woman, but that lesbian practice is not condemned as male homosexuality or “unnatural” heterosexuality both are. Curiously, the two physical consequences of sexual sin (pregnancy out of wedlock and spread of diseases), are least prevalent in the lesbian community; while anal intercourse (especially male homosexual but also heterosexual) is most likely to result in disease.
The more I live the more I keep coming back to your point about keeping membership separate from baptism. I believe that accepting Jesus is a step. Full belief in JESUS/MESSIAH/MASTER/LORD/GOD should count for something (regardless of where the person is in their walk) and should warrant public expression i.e. baptism.
S.D.A Membership deals with encouragement and promotion of a lifestyle based on Biblical principles, in a community. And I guess it comes down to, “Does one have to be ‘sinless’”? in order to join this community? Or, does one have to keep his/her eyes on Jesus and let Him draw him/her by the Power of the Holy Spirit into a place where He wants him/her to be?
Jesus did not associate with sinners so that He might accept them in their sin; rather He associated with sinners to show them He had the power to save them from their sin. This is the message of the gospel, that Jesus came and died to save sinners.
To accept sinners in their sin, would be saying that the power of God is not able to deliver them from it. Yes, we all have struggles, but the true Christian lives with the confidence that God is working thru him to overcome every sinful trait. When we stop seeing sin as being sinful, and the power of God as being able, we lose the true meaning of the plan of redemption.
Perfectly expressed. Keep your eyes on Jesus and let Him draw him/her by the Power of the Holy Spirit into a place where He wants him/her to be.
We DO NOT need to be sinless to come to Jesus. Why? This is not possible. By choosing to be baptized by immersion, we are acknowledging that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that He died for our sins, that He is coming back to give us eternal life. And, we do not need to be indoctrinated by delaying baptism until we have had baptismal classes. This practice comes from the Catholic catechism. As we continue to study God’s Word, we continue to grow in our relationship with Him. We should not be baptized into a denomination, but rather, into a submission to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. The doctrinal beliefs of the SDA Church are mostly Biblical. The gift of prophecy books should not be included, as they are not part of the Bible. These books contain truth but also have much error. Do not be deceived. This is how Satan deceives. Truth with error.
What’s incredibly wack about this NAD statement, as a form of public relations, is that in no place does the church say what is wrong, what the issue or problem is, or why these events are remarkable, unfortunate, or offensive.
They may be seeking, in these conflagratory times, to strike a minimally offensive profile. But for this statement to be sensible, somewhere, there should be language that says, in effect, that the Seventh-day Adventist Church considers same-sex relationships sinful, and/or outside of the will of God.
“In [meetings with his closest friends and then leaders at Watermark], it became increasingly clear that he no longer believed same-sex sexual activity was inappropriate for a follower of Jesus Christ, and he also made it clear that he no longer desired the help, care, and encouragement we were seeking to provide.”
Though technically not in the form of a doctrinal statement, this Watermark text goes a lot farther to clarify the salient issue than the NAD’s vaguely-worded, politically correct, glad-handingly timid release.
My guess on the reason for the “politically correct” and “timid” response is precisely to avoid unnecessary offense. If she decides on her own to leave no one can accuse the church of driving her out and the situation will have resolved itself. Additionally the statement does seem to call on the local (Chico Hills) church to make the call on this.
I am not sure there is a “correct” response to this situation. Do you wish that she be required to promise the church to remain celebate, Should she be required to divorce her partner? Do you think she should be required to move out of their shared dwelling. If she did would you be comfortable with her living with a man? Would you be comfortable with her living with another women? Should the church insist that that other woman affirm she is in fact heterosexual?
Perhaps “This includes holding to a biblical view on human sexuality.” is the best response to this situation after all.