North American Division Responds to False Claim


(Nathan Robinson) #142

I would like to see the NAD, or better yet each Union, set a goal for the number of women they would like to hire into ministry in their own territory, as well as a realistic time frame or a yearly goal to meet that target.

Even with a carefully planned and communicated hiring goal, it would still send a few waves through the upcoming male population of theology students. Competition for jobs was cutthroat during my time, and there were only about 3 females in the whole seminary. The Bros would flip.

On a slightly differently note, it is interesting to see how the student body has changed at the seminary. I did my M.Div. from 2002-2005. Back then, if my perception/memory serves, it was about 45% Anglo including a large population of Romanian, Bulgarian and Ukranian students, 30% African/African American/Caribbean, and about 20% Hispanic of mixed nationality, and maybe 5% Asian (Korean, Chinese, etc.). When I was doing Ph.D. work in 2015-2016 it was about 50% African/African American/Caribbean, 30% Hispanic with students from Brazil outnumbering others, 15% Anglo/European and about 5% Asian. I think this is a good reflection of how the general population of the SDA Church is trending. Of course, the female population also increased, but I could not say by how much with certainty.


(Carlo Schroeder) #143

Greetings, sorry for not answering early but it was difficult to explain something which is so confusing, yet so simple to understand. It is like those Nigerian Ponzi schemes, going in circles, and leading one nowhere.
So, in every country, except China and Cuba, the church has a presentative hybrid system, we component elects individuals to serve a set period of time, these people who elect are called constituency or members. So we have conferences, unions and GC, divisions are extensions of the GC, hence they are GC. This is the standard Adventist structure of components, I have not read any other. But here there is something hidden away, and this structure, preexist any Union or Conference, so if you want to open a conference, this structure will authorize the creation, and this structure has a name which is so obvious, that people amuse that it is referring to us the church- Seventh Day Adventist, but it is not. When one hears Iglesia Adventista del Septimo Dia, A.R. this is an independent organisation, which sits above Union, and receives tithe. So here we have, conference, union, IASD. A.R. and GC, not excluding division. Now there was a person who wrote a document, were one will find the reference of IASD,A.R. plus this document implies that the church is hierarchical. Attached find extract:

1)"IGLESIA ADVENTISTA DEL SEPTIMO DÍA.

  1. Nombre oficial:
    Iglesia Adventista del Séptimo Día, A.R. (IASD)
  2. Registro oficial como A.R.:
    SGAR / 92 / 93, con fecha de 19 de mayo de 1993.
  3. Dirección oficial en el estado de Chihuahua:
    IGLESIA ADVENTISTA DEL SÉPTIMO DÍA
    Vicente Riva Palacio # 3303,
    Col. Santo Niño.
    31200 Chihuahua, Chih.
    Tel. (614) 413 82 83."
  1. Organización interna:
    La IASD es administrada por medio de una representación democrática que combina elementos jerárquicos y presbiterianos.
    (The SDA church is administered through a democratic representation that combines hierarchical and Presbyterian elements).
  2. Es también la responsable de la elección
    y ordenación del personal ministerial y la que los distribuye en sus puestos de trabajo.
    (It is also responsible for the election and ordination of the ministerial staff and the one that distributes them in their jobs)
    I never knew that conferences can ordain ministerial staffi thought that is the unions responsibility.

#144

Many “Conservatives” precisely think that the standards of the Bible and EGW are set aside more and more in the church. This may be a question of perception but it is how they see it. For example, it would be interesting to know what the people of Fulcrum7 who used to come here think of the “Liberals” of Spectrum.
(by the way, I used the words Conservative and Liberal with quotes because I don’t like using labels as I find them too limiting and inaccurate)

This is the way you see it but apparently, many don’t see it as the end of the story…

But I am sure that these non-adventist churches would say that they follow the Bible. And, like I said earlier, many “Conservatives” in the SDA church precisely think that many in the church are putting aside key teachings of the Bible and of EGW.

Well, I see passion on both sides of the issue… so maybe there is hysteria on both sides…

The point here is that we have biblical examples of distinctions and restrictions stipulated by God himself. Do we, then, speak of discrimination or do we recognize God’s right to set up things according to his will?

It is always better to pray and ask for assistance because “there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”. (Proverbs 14:12)


(Steve Mga) #145

“Do we, then, speak of discrimination or do we recognize God’s right to set up things
according to His will?” –
GREAT QUESTION.
In the Book of Hebrews, the author states that the AARONIC Priesthood is Valid
NO MORE. That God has set up a New Priesthood through a different line of
individuals. The author titles it the Melchizedek priesthood.
In the Melchizedek priesthood, ALL believers are now priests unto God according
to 1 Peter 2:9,10.
So when persons ATTEMPT to indicate the use of the Tribe of Levi and the family
of Aaron as the pattern for “priests” in the SDA church, it is apparently bad theology.

Christ, the “High Priest” of the Melchizedek priesthood [remember this Letter is being
sent to JEWISH CHRISTIANS] is now the head of the NEW Priesthood of Believers.
And Peter, who writes to all the Jews in the Diaspora, continues in the same voice,
saying, that now ALL CHRISTIANS [not just men, but ALL, men and women] are
priests under our Great High Priest, Christ, who ministers for us in heaven.
We have to understand that Hebrews is being written to JEWISH BELIEVERS and so
Hebrews is being written in Language and Word Pictures that THEY understand.
And, to some extent, Peter is Also writing in a way that THEY understand.

“To Him who loved us…and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father…”
Revelation 1:5,6.
Peter wrote his letters late 50’s to mid 60’s.
John wrote this 90 to 100 A.D. 40 to 50 years later. SAME MESSAGE. SAME BELIEF.
Includes ALL, men AND women as kings and priests.

Again, to ALLUDE to Levites and Aaron’s family as the STANDARD for SDA Priests,
is Bad Theology. Non-Biblical.


(Frank Peacham) #146

Thank you for the details.

The longer our church is operating on earth, tithe dollars are seen as a means to an end. I think if the GC would really be transparent with its use of tithe and all income sources, members would be less certain giving to the church is like giving to God.

Jesus set up the new Christian church with only one level of authority–Disciples. Once they were gone it was just local church elders. NOW look at us–layer after layer of authority that demands ever greater amounts of tithe and offerings. Our human nature is charmed by spiritual power and authority, regarded as ordained by God.


#147

The equation isnt one of how many female Mdiv graduates a school can churn out.
They have hired all the pastors they can afford already. Unless new churches are formed…tithe goes up immensely to allow the number of churches per pastor (Pastoral districts) to go down or people die or retire…there are precious few jobs to be had. When you whittle it down further by the number of churches that want a female Pastor the statistics are even less. That is why saying you want to hire 1000 is pure drivel.


(Frankmer7) #148

The local congregations in the early church had what would be like a board of elders. The head position of that leadership group in each assembly, that carried the responsibility of overseeing what was going in the church, was actually a rotating position. That was the extent of layers of leadership.

No top heavy bureaucracy, no tithe going to support one, no lifetime pastoral ordination. It also bucks the myth that the apostles somehow acted like a GC, trying to control everything from Jerusalem. The church grew too far afield, too quickly, for that to happen.

Thanks…

Frank


#149

Steve,

What Peter said is not new as the language and expression that he used is already found in the Old Testament. So, in the Old Testament, ALL believers were, according to God, also considered to belong to a nation of priests. Did this mean that everybody was effectively involved in the priesthood? No, as only the Levites could be priests, in spite of the fact that God said that Israel was a nation of priests (involving both men and women).

So, in the New Testament, Peter, a Jew speaking to other Jews, using a language found in the Old Testament, is certainly not saying that women can be involved in the priesthood since the expression that he used didn’t mean that in the Old Testament.


(George Tichy) #150

Obvious conclusion. He represents the old religion of repression and deception. Salvation by works.


(Steve Mga) #151

Nymous –
You ONLY commented on Peter to the Diaspora [which is NOW written to US SDAs
who are NOW part of the Diaspora.]
YOU did not comment on John’s statement – That Christ has made us Kings and Priests
to His God and Father. [US – includes ALL believers. Man AND Women]
HOW do you explain away this statement???


#152

Steve,

Revelation 1:5,6 speaks of the same thing as 1 Peter 2:9. Peter spoke of a “Royal Priesthood” which means “Kings and Priests”. So, what I said about 1 Peter 2:9 applies also to Rev 1:5,6.


(Steve Mga) #153

Nymous –
You don’t believe that “Kings” would ALSO include “Queens”?


#154

Steve,

What is really important is that the expression used is an Old Testament expression. Collectively, Israel was considered a royal priesthood. Of course, not everybody was king and not everybody was a priest. But as a nation, they were the heir of the King of Kings, so they were royal and they were supposed to be the witness for God and a blessing for the nations as it is written: “My house shall be called an house of prayer for all people” (Isaiah 56:7; see also Mark 11:17). So, Israel had a priestly ministry.

The Christians are in the same situation as Israel of old. They are heirs to the Kingdom of God and sons and daughters of God, so they are royal, and they are the witness of God and are supposed to be a blessing for the nations. So, as a whole, they have a priestly ministry.

And in the same manner as belonging to a royal priesthood didn’t mean that women could be priests in ancient Israel, belonging to a royal priesthood today doesn’t mean that women can be priests in the Christian churches.


#155

"As long as you are content with your conclusions, that is all that really matters. ‘Let every man be convinced in his own mind’.” --Elaine Nelson and Paul


(Steve Mga) #156

Nymous –
I get the feeling from your responses that you believe that Scriptures FORBID
women to have Pastoral and Hierachical Leadership positions in the Christian church
and especially SDA.


#157

I believe what the Scriptures say and that it is still relevant today even if it is not popular.


(reliquum) #158

I believe what you meant to say is that you believe that what you want the (letter of the law) scriptures to say trumps what the church theologians, academics, and scholars say the spirit of scriptures say.
Again, by what qualification is your criticism of TOSC of greater merit than the prayerful, rigorous, years long research they were paid a million dollars of tithe money to produce (by church men, no less!)? (and the other question, why was the result of TOSC shelved?) (and why has the male church leadership not been held to task for TOSC, tsk tsk?)
Help us understand, clarify for us please.

The arbitrary image of a he-god formed by male supremacist theology necessarily denies all the feminine type roles (and names) of God in writ. Imagine, a god, beyond time and space-constrained merely by human gender. What other human characteristics might such a constrainable god become subject to?
Do we even realize what we are doing when we dare narrow this one attribute of god down to our level?


(jeremy) #159

nymous, i know very well that this is one of the conservative talking points that has made the rounds…but if you think about it for a minute, you’ll see how vacuous it is…if male headship is operative today, it’s because, or so the theory goes, it’s been operative before the fall in eden…but this particular talking point is thoroughly debunked in egw, PP:58…the very fact that god chose Levi, and not males outside of Levi, shows that it wasn’t maleness that was the determining factor…egw explains that Levi was chosen because it was the only tribe that didn’t worship the golden calf at sinai, PP:324…

when we look at god’s dealings with israel in the OT, it is true that he worked through the patriarchal system, which included polygamy, that operated at that time (did he have a choice…that is, should he have forced israel into an unheard of egalitarian mode before communicating with them)…but even within this system, which included the first-born birthright privilege, god sometimes deferred…he chose abel and seth over cain, jacob over esau, joseph over reuben, moses over aaron, and levi over reuben…significantly, he deferred to the five daughters of zelophehad…he communicated to samson’s mother before communicating to manoah, even though, in keeping with patriarchal exclusion, she is unnamed in the bible…and he communicated to hannah, samuel’s mother, without bothering to communicate to elkanah, his father, at all…

even more significantly, and closer to our time, god chose egw over hazen foss and william foy…egw, of course, went on to complete the longest, most comprehensive, and certainly most important spiritual ministry on earth of all time, next to christ’s…

we cannot make the case that the patriarchal system is sacred, and that male headship must be maintained today, like it was before…this is because god himself stepped outside of the bounds of patriarchy, which he would not have done had it been a timeless, sacred institution…

i agree with you here, and to some extent, conservatives have a point…but the solution isn’t to throw the baby out with the bathwater, or retreat to mores that operated before even today’s conservatives were born…first of all, many conservatives have no credibility…they dumped the church in the '90’s in large numbers over what they dubbed “the new theology”, which has since been proven to be massive error…that is, the so-called “new theology” can be demonstrated to have been taught by both paul and egw…

conservatives, like all church members, need to learn lessons in humility and obedience to what matters, not what they think matters…many of today’s conservative leaders don’t appear to be equipped to really understand adventism in terms of our history, or purpose…


(Frankmer7) #160

And in the Protestant tradition, what priesthood are you talking about that women have no access to? What special priestly class exists? Please let us all know…

Frank


(Steve Mga) #161

Let me recommend a good book that will answer a HUGE Amount of Questions.
“Pagan Christianity, Exploring the roots our church practices,” by Frank Viola and
George Barna [of the Barna Group]
I got mine on Amazon.
This book will explain HOW and WHY the SDA church functions like it does. HOW
and WHY our churches’ Order of Worship is why it is, why our churches are designed
they way they are, why pews facing forward, why stages, why Sabbath Schools,
when Baptism is allowed, why music committees, defects of Seminaries for Pastors.
ETC.
Quite an eye opener. Or should say, Mind Opener.