“The Great Controversy” Shackles Adventist Theology

What is really happening, Allen, is what has already occurred in many other Christian churches in the past 20-30 years. What has been occurring is the clash of a Post Modern world with the “Un-Modern” worlds and the primary issues of WO and the place of the LGBT in the church. Adventism cannot escape the clash of differing ideologies and sensibilities it appears.

Having inadequate/incompetant leadership is one of the largest issues that the SDA church is suffering from. I don’t believe that schism is inevitable but it might under the current GC President who may believe that he is ushering in the “Shaking”. All you have to do is listen to the various “voices” of the LGTers here to get a good understanding of this.


Which one…or both?

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Using Paul’s words to maintain Abusive situations in a home is probably one of the
BIGGEST EVILS in the Christian church.
It is NOT only the Evil Effects on the Adults – It is the EVIL Affects on the children
and passing this Evil behavior down to the Grandchildren.

Abuse of any kind in the home is a Mental Health Issue.
It is NOT a “religious issue”.
Untrained Pastors of any denomination who see this as a “Religious Issue” and
NOT as Mental Health are causing great damage to thousands of families.


Brought up by my last post.
IS the CONTINUING MILITANT POSITION of Not allowing Women to be recognized as
having the “Call of the Spirit” and to allow for Leadership positions at ALL levels in the
SDA church, including the being GC President –

Is using Paul and the Levitical Priesthood of Aaron in the Old Testament just a COVER UP
for Mental Health Issues that have been taught and caught over generations in the Christian
And passed on in the Seventh day Adventist church since around 1900?? When women
"ordination" was FIRST promoted to the GC Brethren? Tabled by them, and never again
allowed to be discussed and a positive vote being allowed to be made?
So that in 2015 the SDA men continue to have 19th Century SDA men attitudes toward women?


Ditto! This is exactly it. Thanks for saving me time by writing what I would have written… :slight_smile:
(Hmmm, are you a mind reader?..:wink: )

Domestic violence (aka any case of abuse at home) is a much more common occurrence than people would think. When the cycle of violence starts (usually as emotional, verbal abuse) it never stops by itself, it need external intervention. Victims tend to be codependent, thus hiding the abuse. This is why law enforcement need to be involved asap and the Courts will send the perpetrators to an educational program. Usually group therapy for one year.

To women who are victims of domestic violence I say: Don’t call the pastor, or your best friend to tell your story. CALL THE COPS, before it’s too late! This is the best help one can provide to perpetrators of domestic violence.


Yes, I think that ultimately it is because it is a process generated in the brain. The information and the processing of information appear to be corrupted and the person ends up believing in distorted, abnormal views and behaving accordingly.

Well, it can also be a simple case of not being respectful to all human beings, only to those who are males. A simple case of incivility, maybe? Or the product of having had an abusive father and learning absurd concepts as being clean and true?

I wonder what my colleague, our “par execellence,” best in town psychiatrist @elmer_cupino can share with us on this issue, on your question.

PS- I just found out that this new article here on Spectrum presents some very interesting facts on the issue you brought up. Check it out:


Why must I explain it? I actually agree with you that a fundamental tenant of ancient Judaism and Christianity is obedience to authority, without question, and at times against our conscience and sense data (Abraham and Isaac, for example). This obedience and respect is required both for Yahweh, and those claiming to represent him, like Saul, the anointed King of Israel.

I am skeptical that the specifics of many of the documents of the Hebrew Bible reflect the actions of an actual deity. Instead I think they are historical documents from people trying to understand their god and the place of their nation and people in the world. But even if Yahweh were real, and his actions and commands accurately recorded and passed down, I would object, on moral grounds, to an entity who appeared to demand obedience and fealty above the well being of humans, and tests his requirements of absolute obedience by asking fathers to suppress their conscience and kill their children.

The fundamental authoritarian feature of religion IS the reason why abuse persists in such environments. We demand this respect for authority even when it is unearned and, as you so accurately expressed, even when we disagree with the actions and character of those in authority.

It is also a rejection if morality and personal responsibility, because instead of taking moral decisions into our own hands, and basing them on the harm or help we can see resulting from an action, we must obey the sometimes opaque moral requirements of God. Even if we can perfectly understand his commands (sincere believers disagree) then we are still left with simple obedience, rather than a moral decision. And we may be unable to see moral justifications for a command that appears immoral, such as the genocide of the Amalekites. Still, obedience is required, over and above our conscience and personal ethical views.

This is one of many reasons I left the church. I’m sure you won’t agree, but I hope this might help you understand the moral outrage some may feel when presented with a defense of authoritarian obedience like you appear to be giving.


Hmmm, it seems that Allen’s @ajshep defense of blind obedience to authoritarianism is not becoming much popular … :thinking:

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A healthy community, especially a faith community as full of health professionals as ours, (if it were healthy) could do much to educate what constitutes abuse, to empower choice (IT IS OK TO SAY NO!) Sadly, the advice one gets from the laity or the collar is often dead wrong.
Some of us can observe the patterns in couples at church, and sense a deeply hidden “power addiction”(perpetrator) and a well groomed “enabler/codependent” (victim)-not that there is much that can (or should) be done without consent and request.

Even when the law, and mental health gets involved and abuser is put in treatment, the victim (usually, but not always, the woman) will even testify that the abuser wasn’t that bad, it wasn’t often, she could deal with it (implying, change, or “save” him, even move him back into marital home afterwards. This is an egregious result of the long-standing policy of “stay and love him” standard church advice. Pastors, sadly, are not trained in this. Undoubtedly WOMEN PASTORS WOULD BE A VERY IMMEDIATE HELP in what too often results in death of the victim in the worst scenarios. That male pastors even think they can counsel an abused female (talk about some other hellish pitfalls there) is plain straight hubris on the male pastors part.

Just a few short years ago I buried my “longest friend”, a terminal-degree educated health professional involved with a well camouflaged monster of a spouse. She was surrounded by caring professional friends and family who deeply loved her -but she still chose to paint the sky black. Her last breath was a prayer for her abuser-who was incarcerated-finally-for heinous assault on his own grand daughter. He is due to be released next year.

@niteguy2, yes, it is perhaps an axis ll mental health issue to believe that only men can pastor, and that those pastoring men can do anything their flock calls them to.

I would go further and suggest that Adam, in the shadow of the apple tree, by first trying to hide their mutual sin, and then blaming Eve (and God!) may have been the inception of mental health disorders, and certainly the subjugation of a group of people-whether said subjugation is on matters of gender, age, race, culture, etc etc.


Amen. I’m convinced that the evils that exist in all religions derive from the belief that ecclesiastical authority is in any way bestowed by God.


I do often agree with your analyses. One can look at the vote on WO as the third world flexing its muscle against what they saw as a residual of White rule. They were throwing off the shackles of “White Supremacy” as Harry might point out. It was certainly not seen as discrimination by that group, but an affirmation of their cultural practice. If one can realize this, it tempers the anger at being frustrated by the vote.

I was thinking the position.

Don’t you think that the Third World would be happy to get us off their backs without exchanging the unreasonable roles? Why would the victims of foreign control want to impose the same thing on people in a distant culture?

Unless somebody in that other culture put them up to it!



I have several friends and colleagues who are ordained clergy in other denominations, some from denominations that have ordained women clergy for nearly sixty years. I also have ancestors and relatives who are Quaker; they have recognized and respected women pastors since their existence.

In the area of “soul winning” to the Adventist church, how would you suggest that I approach them?

  1. If you join our church you will be expected to denounce your ordination?
  2. Our church is administered mostly by men, so you can no longer be a regional bishop.
  3. Should you wish to join our church, you will find that your very calling from God will be questioned.
  4. Many Adventist clergy who are women, most in fact, are only “commissioned.” You cannot be complete in your calling to ministry?
  5. My friend Allen Shepherd is someone whom I could introduce you to as a colleague. He believes that church policy is supreme and would ask you for the sake of unity in our church, to sit down, forget the affirmation of your spiritual gifts, and don’t ask questions. Just go along with the status quo male dominated hierarchy.
  6. If you believe the Sabbath, you will give up everything God has called you to do.

I am sure that they (Developing Countries, etc.) did not see it as “discrimination” as it is seen here…but I suppose that this is the crux of the issue to begin with. I can recognize where their issues may stem from (as you have described), however, it still is a huge problem that they cannot, or will not, accept that other parts of the Adventist world think and feel differently about it. I can’t agree that it “tempers” anyone’s feelings on the matter but it does make it more understandable.

I can only speak for myself as far as “respect” for the position. I keep on saying this but TW was a terrible choice for a global head of Adventism at this point and time because of the distance between the Developing and Developed Countries. Adventism needed more of a “diplomat” then it did a religious “politician” with his own theological agenda.

I have seen that this President to be manipulative and not always truthful. I also feel that he has politicked his way up to the position that he holds. Since this is the case, he has placed himself where there are more expectations and more criticisms of his policies and actions. I understand that you most likely feel differently in regards to this…but TW has been a divisive figure in the history of Adventism.


Or more specifically,

If you believe the Saturday-Sabbath, since the Sunday-Sabbath is not good enough, you will give up everything God has called you to do.

Ironically, you could convince your clergy friends that they should stay clergy in their own churches and then come to the SDA church on Saturday so they can properly rest and worship God on the right day themselves, something SDA Preachers rarely get to do.

Might be a hard sell.


Steve @niteguy2 There are two known kinds of diagnoses, “syndromal” and a “disorder.” A syndrome is a cluster of symptoms that consistently occur together such as a depressive episode which is characterized by depressed mood, loss of motivation of interest, lack of energy etc, etc. A syndromal diagnosis becomes a disorder when the symptoms reach a level of impairment as in interpersonal relationships, employment and school environments. So this “Continuing Militant Position” you talk about is severe in that it has alienated about 60% of the SDA membership and is about to rip our church apart. This certainly has reached the level of a disorder and I would leave the decision to name this disorder to our Spectrum prophet-in-residence George @GeorgeTichy


How sad. And now that revised southern is the one college that conferences want to hire from at the expense of our other schools.

And sadly the colleges who have caused happier students and church members find that they were really hit hard by issues such as Ford and Rea, meanwhile AUC, Loma Linda and Walla Walla had both Rea and Ford come with their horse and pony show and left town and business went on as usual with belief in the Investigative Judgment and Mrs. White’s inspiration.

It’s sad, God first tried to warn us with Canfield who was a super fundamentalist. And people like Mrs. White, Elder Butler, Willie, A. G. Daniels and W. W. Prescott and professors at Columbia Union College tried to fight and lost, with the climax of the fight being the 1919 Bible Conference and the reaction and God’s messengers being thrown out or demoted at the 1922 General Conference.

Things began improving with people like Lynn Harper Wood, Dr. Horn, Dr. Thiele, Heppenstall, Paul Heubach, A. G. Maxwell HMS Richards, the theology departments at say AUC and as you mentioned Southern (where Lynn Wood had a very strong influence) and others, but too many of our church members don’t like what is being taught, and so they complain and get rid of these people and God has to raise up Fords and Reas which drive us to these teachers for a reason for our beliefs, but once Ford and Rea have passed it was again trying to get rid of these teachers. When will we learn?

In 1980 New York Conference President Elder Skants suggested in a workers meeting that our churches should invite the non-Adventist ministers in their town to come to our churches to just worship, where they and their family don’t need to be “The pastor and the pastor’s family” but that our churches should be a place where they should feel free to just come and be a family coming to worship.

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Matt: What you have noticed about authority in the Bible is part of what is going on. We tend to read the Bible as if everyone sang the same tune. But if you look at the difference between the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom, you would find that they were not as focused on authority as the southern kingdom was. The northern kingdom was quite congregational and a lot more questioning. The southern kingdom is just as you describe. The northern was in more danger for compromise, and the south was in danger of stifling growth.

Most people approach the Bible with the idea "What is the type of church government does the Bible teach, and which ever side happens to jump out at them they see at THE BIBLICAL model that we must all follow. With the government of the south showing up especially in Leviticus while the North is more in Deuteronomy.

But the Bible is teaching that both sides have strengths and weaknesses, neither are perfect, so realize that we are doing our best.

Mrs. White’s 1902 restructuring was a way of compromise between the two, by yes having a General Conference but not one as strong as in ancient Judah that needed to be destroyed by Babylon, but not as weak and congregational as the North that had to be destroyed by Assyria. Of course many of our leaders have been reading the texts about the southern kingdom and wants us to leave Mrs. White’s view and fully follow the book of Leviticus and turn us back into Judah.

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Good info and evaluation of the article Kevin, and good to hear your assessment of our young people still using the KJV in a significant number. They have the truth…

“The Waldenses were among the first of the peoples of Europe to obtain a translation of the Holy Scriptures. (See Appendix.) Hundreds of years before the Reformation they possessed the Bible in manuscript in their native tongue. They had the truth unadulterated, and this rendered them the special objects of hatred and persecution. They declared the Church of Rome to be the apostate Babylon of the Apocalypse, and at the peril of their lives they stood up to resist her corruptions. While, under the pressure of long-continued persecution, some compromised their faith, little by little yielding its distinctive principles, others held fast the truth. Through ages of darkness and apostasy there were Waldenses who denied the supremacy of Rome, who rejected image worship as idolatry, and who kept the true Sabbath. Under the fiercest tempests of opposition they maintained their faith. Though gashed by the Savoyard spear, and scorched by the Romish fagot, they stood unflinchingly for God’s word and His honor.” GC 65.

“'The church in the wilderness,” and not the proud hierarchy enthroned in the world’s great capital, was the true church of Christ, the guardian of the treasures of truth which God has committed to His people to be given to the world." GC p.64.

Ohh, I’m quoting from that book that needs to be revised.

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