North American Division Responds to False Claim

(James Peterson) #162

In heaven THIRTEEN MEN will rule. Matthew 19:28 What would you say then? Seeing that you were told so beforehand, what are your plans?




Nobody said that maleness was the determining factor in choosing the tribe of Levi. The key point is that in the selected group, i. e. the Levites, only the males were priests. Even if other tribes had been selected, only the males of these tribes would have been permitted to be priests.

You cannot take exceptions and make them rules. Like they say, the exceptions confirm the rules.

As you know, Hazen Foss and William Foy were reluctant or even didn’t want to proclaim the messages coming from God who contacted them first. Then EGW was chosen. So, it is not that God chose her over them. It is rather that she accepted the mission whereas they, who were chosen first, refused to do so.

Again, exceptions don’t become rules.

The issue is not about conservatives or liberals in the same way as it was not about Pharisees and Sadduccees at the time of Jesus. It is about God’s will.

Pharisees and Sadduccees were both wrong while believing to be in the right and I believe that “Conservatives” and “Liberals” are both wrong as well in the same manner.

Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world, so we don’t have to embrace the ways of the world. If you think that “Conservatives” have no credibility, you have to be aware that “Liberals” have no credibility either. In fact, no human being has any credibility to boast about. The only one who does is Jesus. This is why there is no solution in any other name.

I think that Jesus spoke about removing the beam in our own eye before trying to remove the mote in another person’s eye.

And I also think that we ALL need lessons in humility and obedience… and we ALL need to really understand Adventism in terms of our history, or purpose".


Hmm… Didn’t Jesus himself teach us how to pray starting with these very words: “Our Father who is in heaven”?

Was Jesus a male supremacist?

Did he form a “he-god”?


This is really childish logic and the level of thinking you apply for this issue does not extend to anything else you read in the Bible. If you were to apply the same level of thinking to other Bible themes you would not be a member of the church at all.

(Frankmer7) #166

I have it, Steve. It is a mind opener.



(jeremy) #167

actually, the key point is not that the Levites selected to be priests were males…the key point, according to egw, is that the tribe of Levi was selected to be priests because they alone were faithful, and didn’t take part in the golden calf worship at sinai…

what you seem to be unwilling to acknowledge is that Israel, at that time, was a patriarchal culture, as was the whole world around them…by selecting males from the tribe of Levi to be priests, god wasn’t authorizing male headship…he was working within the culture…he was working in the only way that could produce positive results for Israel as a whole…

notice that if we accept egw’s teaching that Levi’s selection to the priesthood was a reward for their faithfulness at sinai, we really have to ask ourselves in what way have today’s adventist males distinguished themselves in terms of faithfulness in a way that today’s adventist females have not…that is, what have adventist men done that adventist women haven’t done, that makes us think that the ordained ministry is rightfully theirs…are adventist males more righteous than adventist females…

who says male headship is a rule, besides you and the patriarchy we see in the bible…it would be one thing if the ancient world, as a whole, were egalitarian, and only Israel was patriarchal…under this circumstance, we could possibly think that egalitarianism was synonymous with heathenism, and patriarchy was synonymous with faithfulness to god…but this is not what we see…what we see is that all cultures in the ancient world were patriarchal, from Israel down to the basest heathen cultures, like the philistines or the babylonians…everybody was patriarchal…

all of today’s primitive societies, like Afghanistan’s Taliban, the Middle East, and most of africa and s. america, are heavily patriarchal…africa is a collection of wife beating cultures…the carribean has the most rapes per capita in the world…s. america has the most domestic violence against women in the world…in fact these misogynistic examples offer us a glimpse into the cultures in the ancient world, which were much worse (think polygamy, and the fact that women had no way to survive outside of marriage or prostitution or both)…keep in mind that procuring food and defending territory, before the industrial revolution, required brawn…because men are physically stronger than women, it’s easy to see why and how they dominated women, and why patriarchy became entrenched…

actually god could have performed a Jonah move on foss or foy, if their maleness was so important to him…but he didn’t, because it wasn’t…he chose a poor, sickly girl to do the greatest work ever given to fallen humans…this way no-one can boast…we can only stand back in awe, and wonder, and glorify god…

i actually think that god’s selection of egw is meant to be a lesson for our time…it is the one fact that effectively unravels male headship for all who have open hearts and willing spirits…


You are entitled to your opinions but things are not the way you say just because you say so. It would be good that you detail your comments to show why you think that way.


Wait. You’re saying I don’t get to hack up a bunch of Amalekites??

…aw. (stops sharpening halberd)

(Frankmer7) #170

I’m still curious about what all male priesthood exists in the NT. That all male priesthood that we can find in its pages to which women have no access. Also, that all male priesthood that exists in the Protestant tradition that can be supported by the NT…you know, the one that divides the church into classes of clergy and laity.



(Steve Mga) #171

Frank –
Did you catch in that book that the “Vestal Virgins” became the Nuns of the Christian
Thought that was interesting.
I like this statement from the book, pg141.
"The present day “pastor” was born out of the single-bishop rule first spawned by
Ignatius and Cyprian. The bishop evolved into the local presbyter. In the Middle Ages,
the presbyter grew into the Catholic priest. During the Reformation, he was transformed
into the “preacher”, “the minister”, and finally “the pastor” – the person upon whom all
of Protestantism hangs.
To boil it down to one sentence: The Protestant Pastor is nothing more than a slightly
reformed Catholic priest [the office, not the individual].
Cyprian – A.D. 200’s
Ignatius – A.D. 35-107

(reliquum) #172

Not a model of the scriptural, is it? Begs question, what is a more faithful pattern?
Ordination may itself be something the church needs to doff entirely, as well the “worship” centered around the “priest” expositing the 'truth" for 45 minutes every 7 days.

(Frankmer7) #173

I read it a while back, Steve…amidst reading other things. I don’t quite remember that passage, but I remember him taking apart church tradition…things that we don’t even realize are church tradition. Church buildings, choirs, order of worship, ordained pastorate, tithe, sermonizing in the modern sense, etc.

Not for the faint of heart on these matters…


(Steve Mga) #174

Timo –
The Puritans gave us the 1 [one] hour sermon. The tidy 4-part sermon outline.
The use of crib notes while delivering his oration.-“Pagan Christianity?”,pg 96.



This is irrelevant here because even if all the tribes had been selected, only the males of these tribes would have been priests.

Also, God is not stopped by culture. Oftentimes, what He asked from the Israelites was not things that were customary to the cultures around them, for example, the proclamation that there was only one God whereas the others nations had a multitude of divinities.

So, to say that God chose males to be priests only He was working within the culture doesn’t really hold water considering that the other nations around Israel had priestesses in their religions even when the cultures were patriarchal.

I think that the confusion comes from the fact that we have the tendency to mix society values/imperatives and church values/imperatives.

In the past, church and state were closely intertwined so the church and the state had almost the same values and imperatives. With the advent of concept of separation of church and state, their paths became more and more separated. With democracy and emancipation, the notion of patriarchy became more and more obsolete. Women could vote, get an education, work, decide to get married, get a divorce, or have children, or not, etc. Whatever a man could do, a woman could do it too. So, she was entitled to the same opportunities and “rewards”. And for good reasons.

But the church didn’t evolve the same way. The church was a different world. The church is a different world. The values and imperatives of the church are not necessarily - cannot be - the same as those of the world. Whereas in a democracy people are theoretically the masters in their society and of their fate, in the church they are in God’s world. And it is seems very difficult, maybe even impossible, to reconcile modern values with what seem to be values of the Dark Ages.

Jesus said that we are in the world but that we are not of the world.

And to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.

A democracy is not a theocracy, But the church is not a democracy.

If we try to intertwine both, both will suffer as one thing can be good in a democracy and bad in the church. And vice versa.

So, let’s be careful not to judge one world with the criteria of the other one.

Let’s follow the example of Jesus.


You seem to forget that a prophet can be a man or a woman. So, gender is no problem as for the gift of prophecy. Thus, the fact that God chose EGW doesn’t undermine the notion of headship.


When, based on analysis of your writing and applying the level of thinking you use, one can only come to this unmistakable conclusion. The worst part is that many commentators, as your case demonstrates, have such deeply held positions that their ability to re-evaluate is no longer possible.

Logical constructs you have used on this topic when applied to other Biblical themes of Christian faith would cause you to have very different interpretations. This application and use of incompatible levels of thinking are the symptoms of bias and a propensity for cognitive dissonance. In the end this is the level of thinking has and will continue to lead to many astray.

(reliquum) #177

Full stop. The culture of Adventism certainly seems at times to “stop God”, co-opt His agency, co-opt free moral agency. The culture of the twelve knuckleheads at the well would have them prevent Jesus from offering either (living) water or a bite of the wham and cheese gyro they just procured for their rabbi.

Yeah, culture stopped the gospel-but then Jesus set apart and sent her on the very first evangelical mission, ever. Right after he, rebel role switcher, sent those cultured twelve men to (GASP!) do a womans work and fetch him some vittles from the Piggly Wiggly at Samaria.

That same culture is still stopping the gospel-AND is using tithe money unwisely in a number of ways to support.

My question to you-try consider the deeper part of it. What is your definition of “cukture”?
Is it primarily derogatory to you (so it seems). Perhaps the term as used by most here is not that which you consider. Is everything bad in our faith community due to infernal influence of that enemy of righteousness you define as culture?

I suspect if we viewed culture as the “social landscape” or “anthropological topography” it would lose its epithet-like uses…I suspect if we understood that God meets us where we are, he would function within these necessary constructs to reach us in meaningful ways? You do agree God meets us where we are, right? Or do we, amoeba-like, need to raise ourselves from the primordial soup we found ourselves in, and raise ourselves, evolving to the dry land, in order to receive this non-culture-stopped God? Is God perhaps trying to get us to come out of the arbitrary, discriminatory, misogynistic devolution and into a “better land”? Why are we trying to drag these dregs into heaven?


I will agree that God meets us where we are.

Where I would disagree a little bit with you is when you use the adjectives “arbitrary, discriminatory, misogynistic”. When you use these adjectives, you are making a value judgement that may be too hasty.

Most of the times, we understand something based on a context. What may seem arbitrary in one particular context may, in fact, be totally justified in another one. A same event may cause people to be scandalized or satisfied based on their perception of the context. So, it is very important to know to what context we refer to when making a judgement.

God is fair. And just. And loving. Would you agree with that?

It is God that say: an eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. This was done because human beings had (and still have) the tendency to go overboard when they feel wronged. So, to establish a measure of fairness and justice, God introduce this principle that says that the punishment has to be according to the loss.

So, God is fair and just. And it is this God, fair and just, who created Man first and Woman later. This is this God who established a system in which only the males among the Levites could be priests (whereas in other religions, there were priestesses). This is this God who, in the form of Jesus, chose only male apostles and taught us how to pray with a prayer that begins with “Our Father who is in heaven”.

By modern standards, this can appear as kind of shocking but if we know that God is fair and just then maybe there is a reason that He did this like that as God is not “arbitrary, discriminatory, misogynistic”.

This is this reason that I want to find out.

Sure, we can say that God just met us where we are and this is for this reason that things are the way they are but this theory doesn’t hold scrutiny. After all, patriarchy doesn’t prevent a nation to have priestesses. Practically all the nations around Israel were patriarchal… and many had priestesses in their religions. So, having priestesses in Israel would not have been a culture shock above all considering the propensity of the Israelites to go after other religions.

Or, we can say that the biblical writers were influenced by the culture of their time.

Or, we can say that the males of the church are just chauvinist, discriminatory, misogynistic, power hungry, insensitive, uneducated, has-been, etc. And while I am sure that some people belong to these categories, I am also sure that we all know some people close to us who don’t fit in any of them and who, however, have a different take on the issues.

In the Old Testament, God lead the Jews out of Egypt to bring them to a “better land”. It was a chaotic journey. Some had a earthly vision and were ready to go back to Egypt rather than continuing to walk with God in spite of the difficulties.

We are in a similar situation, en route to a better place, and it is not surprising that it is chaotic too. But what vision will we choose to cherish, the earthly one or the heavenly one? They are not always easy to discern. Fortunately, we have the example of Jesus.


Are you equating a female pastors with heathen nations?



Did you read what I wrote? If you did, this is a strange question.

(reliquum) #181

Your saying so certainly does not simply make it so, but if untrue, how does one meet us where we are not? You then mention “priestesses” as somehow proof. I don’t agree with your “proof”. Did Israel employ “sacred prostitution” (male and female) in their rites? Did they do so simply to spite God? Did they do so to actually (however misguided we judge them to be) trying get closer to God? What if both practices were honestly employed by well meaning peoples acultured to such practices?

I’d suggest these cultures were more likely to practice the fertility rites we so love to deride as evidence justifying our “us vs them” mentality. That derision is a product of OUR culture. I further suggest such derision is a perhaps greater violation of our claim to a greater spirituality.

I’ll stretch your imagination a little more. In the “example of Jesus” we have hints that he was descendant of prostitution. What if that little nugget was a direct holy effort to “meet the pagans where they were”, in their culture?

When will we place our eye-salve “vision of heaven” where it matters-in our daily cultural landscape-instead of our blinding “moral superiority”?

As a final titillating thought, I’ll ask you to consider where the “'pagans” (who are Adams progeny) received their cultural practices? Is it possible they came directly from a misunderstanding of the message conveyed by Adam?