Neosubordinationists are not Christians, as per Athanasius, the greatest exponent of the Trinity in the history of Christendom. Listening to a neosubordinationist preach is like listening to a Mormon or a transcendentalist make backhanded compliments about Jesus. It’s infuriating. The featured speaker this summer at the Michigan Conference camp meeting is Stephen Bohr, the most notorious neosubordinationist in the SDA Church today. He denies, as all neosubordinationists deny, that the Son is omnipotent and sovereign. Instead, he urges that the Son is subordinate to the Father and that the Son takes orders from the Father, and in so doing, implies that the Son does not possess the fullness of divinity that the Father possesses. Bohr’s anti-Trinitarianism is so recognizably offensive to the Andrews University community that when he visited, he was not allowed to speak at PMC, the Seminary chapel, the Howard Performing Arts Center, or Buller Hall but was relegated to the small amphitheater in the Science Complex on the edge of campus where heretics are allowed to present their ideas.
Neosubordination, otherwise known as Eternal Functional Subordination, otherwise known as the complementarian doctrine of the Trinity, is the principal component of male headship theory, which undergirds SDA opposition to women’s ordination. No SDA opponent of women’s ordination has ever publicly and unequivocally denounced this anti-Trinitarian heresy. No SDA opponent of women’s ordination has ever stood for Jesus amidst the relentless attacks against Him by the counterfeit trinity.
I like Michigan Conference president Jim Micheff, Jr. But I’m a good-natured person. It’s easy for me to like him, Mormons, transcendentalists, Marcionites, Valentinians, Basilidians, Manichees, Cataphyrigians, Novatians, Meletians, Arians, and others who have never fully believed the biblical doctrine of the Trinity.
Certainly, Shane Anderson deserves the benefit of the doubt, even though such doubt is raised by what he has said and done. But what are we going to do if he as our new senior pastor at PMC turns out to be a neosubordinationist? I suppose we might lament, echoing Jerome: “Pioneer Memorial Church groaned and was astonished to find itself neo-Arian.” But that’s not the only thing we should do, what we have been called by Christ to do.
Athanasius suffered five exiles totaling seventeen years as a result of his fidelity to the Trinity. A story is told of his confrontation with Emperor Theodosius. Emperor Theodosius demanded that Athanasius cease opposing Arius and pointedly asked, “Do you not realize that the world is against you?” Athanasius quickly answered, “Then I am against the world.” And he has been honored with the name Athanasius Contra Mundum ever since. Like Athanasius, let us not cower from similar confrontations. Like Athanasius, let us be Christians.