The Love Connection

Threadbare, worn, and obviously too small, I still have the t-shirt I was given as a toddler. Though the words are faded now, childhood pictures testify that it said: “Anything boys can do, girls can do better!” It's a cute shirt that was gifted to me with intentionality. I am the youngest and only sister to 3 brothers. It was a jovial, but pointed way to ensure that I grew up understanding my value. I never felt intimidated by boys. I spoke up in classes. My brothers always included me in play. They made sure that I knew I was smart, capable, and worthy of respect.

I didn't grow up in an Adventist home, but parents were Christian. After attending Adventist school, through the witness of classmates and teachers, I was baptized into the Adventist Church in 7th grade. I continued on to academy and it was there, for the first time, that I was exposed to the inequality towards women harbored by our church. I was running for class chaplain. The boy running against me told me girls couldn't be pastors so I shouldn't try for the office. I’d never heard any such thing before this! I chalked it up to him spouting nonsense; but some years later, I found out that this belief permeated my denomination. I had already decided I would be a pastor. So regardless of the naysayers, I would follow the call God placed on my heart. I would just preach and teach and love so profoundly that there would be no question of anyone who would want to try to deny my call!

Fast forward several years—after undergrad and seminary and various pastorates—I had a conflict with one of the conferences I was employed in. I wanted to maintain good relationships between the administration and my congregation, so I was not the one to disclose what was happening. My church elders found out and were absolutely horrified at what was transpiring. Soon there after, I got a call from a conference administrator who had previously been intractable but who had a sudden “change of heart” regarding the situation. I learned that one of my elders had placed a call to the office. My elder relayed the conversation. He mused that in his 60+ years of lifelong Adventism, he had always been loyal to the church. However, when the elders learned of the situation, he initiated a call to the conference to threaten the church’s withholding of their tithes. Now let me quickly reiterate—I had no prior knowledge of this discussion, I did not advocate or encourage this action in any way, nor am I endorsing the use of such strategies for anyone else. However, my elders felt under such conviction that they resorted to a radical step. Why? Simply put, they loved me as their pastor because I loved them. I shared the Gospel with them. I baptized their children. I visited when they were sick and comforted them when they dealt with grief. I was faithful to the call God gave me to feed the sheep. So in their minds, when it came to making a stand for me despite the administration, they had no hesitation. The administration had underestimated the human connection.

Some people have asked in the past about my family being converted to Adventism. And in all honesty, it's almost impossible to overstate how difficult that feat may be. Obviously, I believe if God wants them to accept the Adventist message, nothing would hinder that—but it would be in spite of, not because of our Church administration. My family sees and hears and feels the hurt that this Church doles out at times. They don't understand why I would be a part of a system that perpetuates inequality—much less work for it. And as the denomination becomes more conservatively unyielding, it becomes more and more difficult to defend. Ultimately, I work for God, not humans. And I don't have qualms with our doctrinal beliefs. And at the same time I want my family to be a part of a denomination that upholds the entire Gospel—which promotes the dissolution of all sin’s resultant effects: which includes factions and inequities. For my brothers, who spent their lives making sure I recognize my value, these things become harder and harder to reconcile as our Church promotes more patriarchal views. And for thousands of other would-be converts, the struggle is real.

Courtney Ray is a native New Yorker who ministers in the Greater Los Angeles Region. She is a PhD clinical psychologist and ordained pastor serving in Southern California Conference.

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7676
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Thank you Courtney for your voice in this wilderness, your work to stand in this man-made breach.

Judging by the tone of invective on AToday, Spectrum, FB, ClubAdventist, but more apparent on Advindictive, Fullcrumb, InordinationUntruth, I am almost of the opinion my old church
(it moved backwards to no future without me) has been renamed SchauDenfrAudventist.

Please excuse my spelling, and please oh please Lord help me love those who so glee in my discontent.

Consider, it is in this vacuum of love that the tiniest drop of grace like water and meagerest crumb of mercy, given in love, will brightest shine. Undoubtedly, despite even this intentional nihilism, if I believe that the God who is love can bring about good from it, then here I must tarry. Question is-all of these faithful mothers, sisters, wives yearning to share such love, how do you persevere? Truly, here IS the patience of saints, keeping to the Royal Command with the unflagging faith OF Jesus. Even when the “other side” neither adheres to said command, and futilely discloses his own lack of faith by his own machinations…

(In other almost news, AdventistAllium reports that the GC will begin to refund all tuition that living non-males paid for theological study at any SDA school. Credits will be transferred as “Home Economics” and “Domestic Helpmeets”. Posthumous revocation of Sister Ellen’s prophetessship is rumored to be under consideration, and concurrently the status of James White, William Miller and Joseph Bates are to be enhanced)

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Courtney,

Please notice the differences here in these 2 translations.

Genesis 3:16King James Version (KJV)

16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Genesis 3:16New Living Translation (NLT)

16 Then he said to the woman,

“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy,
and in pain you will give birth.
And you will desire to control your husband,
but he will rule over you.”

Even James Dobson (Focus on Family) is not aware of what the word desire really means

NITEGUY2- The “desire” word is also in Gen 4:7 and the Hebrew meaning is not as your version implies. NLT gives the better interpretation

I would very much like to see some discussion on the history of gender relations, particularly why male supremacist sentiments are so rife in Genesis and Biblical narrative generally.Is it just a matter of who has greater muscular strength and testosterone? It seems so. The DEFEAT OF WOMEN took place about 10,000 BC with the establishment of settled agriculture, according to anthropologists. long before the oldest books of the Bible were written. Before that, in the mists of prehistoric antiquity, females were venerated as icons of sacred goddess-mother cults and their input was needed for survival .Settled agriculture needed muscular strength. Not only that but with this development men achieved economic independence and could build warehouses so as to be independent of the food gathering of females when, as previously often happenned , hunters were injured or killed in the hunt. From that point women were regarded merely as " reproducers" and not economic producer, and therefore subject to the whims and fancies of men. These attitudes are shown in the Bible. Women were, after their defeat, prized for their most “outstanding” value, viz, as sex companions of males. Note the large harem of Solomon. Of course as female foetuses/ embryos tend to have a higher survival rate than male female infanticide was widely practiced. Even as late as Tudor times in England a man could sell his wife or have her executed on suspicion of receiving love letters , if he was influential. Beatings of wives were commonplace up the the 19th and early 20th century. It is only relatively recently that women are recovering from their ancient “defeat” due to the fact that education for developing thinking power, and technology which has largely replaced the need for muscular ;power, AND the need for two-income families is necessary in many families that women are aspiring to their former pre-defeat prominence. It should therefore not be a surprise that Christian men are in the vanguard of those seeking to relegate women to their “defeat era” status, seeing that such a viewpoint is reified in the Bible, the fount of all wisdom. The only way out is for women affected thereby to assert their neccessity and men whon are dependent on two-incomes to join them.

Let us recall the words of Jesus–(Suffer little children to come after Me, for such is the Kindom of Heaven). We enter heaven as little children. who better to care for little children than a woman? Pastoring is guiding the lambs of the flock. Ordination is a spiritual wedding event. In Paul’s day few women had the opportunity for proper perparation. Yet even Paul commended several. Last Generation Theology is entirely ego centric. The dogmatic way Ted’s approach to theology and leadership is finishing the work his father began. TZ

I was a pastor for eight or so years, and the work was hard, if also, as I often say, the most meaningful I ever knew.

But I am a man, and I bore none of the burden that women in a still-patriarchal church must bear. My admiration for people like Courtney grows with each hardening of masculine self-obsession at Adventism’s administrative top. When people like her do not walk away, hope lives on. It lives on despite strutting males whose “headship theology” blinds them to fact that “lorded-over but equal” is just as pernicious as “separate but equal.”

Chuck

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Charles, Paul and I were privileged to be members of Sligo during your time there. We said it then and I say it now, you were a true shepherd. Thank you for all you did during those years. As much as I miss him, I am glad Paul is no longer here to experience the discord now shadowing our church.

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The article stated: “And as the denomination becomes more conservatively unyielding, it becomes more and more difficult to defend. Ultimately, I work for God, not humans. And I don’t have qualms with our doctrinal beliefs”

No qualms with our doctrinal beliefs? Have you not considered that those opposed to women’s ordination hold to that view as a doctrine belief. Your own story acknowledged that some many years ago the boy wanted to be the chaplain held that tradition. When you look at doctrine and tradition it is often hard to tell them apart. But to ignore that there are those that hold a different position as doctrinal is to ignore reality.

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Genesis 3:16. From the Compass Bible, copyright 2012 by Thomas Nelson, INC
Which is The Voice translation copyright 2012 by Ecclesia Bible Society.

It reports it this way –
" [to the woman] As a consequence of your actions,
I will increase your suffering – the pain of childbirth,
And the sorrow of bringing forth the next generation.
You will desire your husband, But Rather Than Being
A Companion, HE will be the dominant partner."

Yes Courtney, I can perfectly understand your Family’s reluctance to become
Seventh day Adventists. And I have been an SDA for 74 years, product of schools
1st to 4 year College. In SDA institutional work almost 30 years [Self-supporting].
I have very active Christian friends who I have difficulty recommending the SDA
church to. Although they do not see the Sabbath, they have a very strong commitment
to Christ, are ALL WELCOMING in their belief system, believe in the Priesthood of
ALL GENDERS. To become Seventh day Adventist they would Have TO GIVE UP their
belief in WELCOMING ALL [this means ALL] into full participation of the Church, and
would HAVE TO GIVE UP their belief in the Priesthood Of ALL GENDERS.
SO-O-O-O it is BETTER for them to stay where they are and enjoy their Service With
Christ.
Yes, encourage your Family in their Christian Walk.

And, WE want to give a BIG Thank You!! to all those who supported you in your call to the
Ministry through all these years. We also like your Sharing with Us on Spectrum.

Hopeful – It is an “unofficial” assumed doctrinal belief. It has been passed down CULTURALLY FROM the church Fathers of the times of the Bishops of Western Christianity up through Protestantism of Luther, Calvin, Baptists, Mennonites, Anglicans to Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists to Adventism by way of those coming out of “Babylon” and REJECTING Ellen White’s call for Equality back late 19th Century.
The Group of Three Men Tabled the Request for Equality of Women In Pastoral Ministry, and it NEVER was brought back to the Table by the Group of Three Men.
It HAS been brought back to the Table NOW by the North America and European Unions.
NOW we have over 300 MEN who want to Sanction, “Discipline” these Unions for Bringing IT back to the Table that the Group of Three Men refused to do.
YES! It BECAME a Doctrinal Belief. This is WHY there is a 50-page Document and it takes a 17-page Document to EXPLAIN the 50-Page Document.
This Doctrine was known among the Laity when she was in school – both Adults and Children. That is how she ran into it when running for class Chaplain. [and when I was a kid in church school]

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It certainly isn’t part of official Adventist doctrines, which are described in the Fundamental Beliefs. I had no trouble understanding the writer as referring to her support for Adventist theology.

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“I would very much like to see some discussion on the history of gender relations, particularly why male supremacist sentiments are so rife in Genesis and Biblical narrative generally.”

Your ‘reply’ could take up to 6,000 years to reply to. In fact it has taken at least that amount of time for the God Family of Heaven to reply to the ‘divorce’ between men and women that was a consequence of both Eve and Adam ‘buying’ the serpent’s lies and ‘divorcing’ their hearts from their Creators. So, recognizing that there are Spectrum editors, and begging their patience, I’ll dive in and begin by agreeing with your first sentence. I, too, would like to hear “. . . some discussion on the history of gender relations . . . .”

However, I believe you are missing the best parts of the ‘Biblical narrative’ if you don’t move on past Genesis and mere ‘gender’ to Isaiah, Malachi . . .
and the New Testament.

I’d compare ‘the fall’ of mankind, described in Genesis, to a common mistake, and its results, made by so many careless tourists at the Sleeping Bear Dunes near my home. The National Park Service Finally had to put up signs warning them not to descend the high, steep, lakeshore bluffs to reach the beautiful, enticing waters of Lake Michigan, hundreds of feet below. You see many tourists have no grasp of how very difficult it is to climb back up the steep, loose, sand and gravel slope when taking one step up may mean sliding two steps down, all under the hot sun. Rescues are rather expensive, but must often be done to return people to their cars at the top.

So, in the Biblical narrative describing the ‘rescue’ of the ‘hearts’ of a whole ‘genetic’ race. It is not reasonable to limit our understanding of the ‘rescue’ to merely the beginning of the emergency, right ? In the end, the rescue is complete. So why not move on in that direction to the writings of Paul, and John ?

And while we are at it, why not acknowledge that God’s ‘Word’ was originally only recorded in ‘Nature’, and it was not ‘translated’ as ‘scripture’ has repeatedly been. ‘Sola scriptura’ as it has been inflicted on human minds and ‘hearts’, is in fact a half-blind, partial ‘truth’ divorced from the whole ‘Word of God’ as expressed in both the Plan of Creation AND of Redemption (true science AND true religion united, despite Descartes). . . and Malachi says God hates divorce, because of its effect on the ‘offspring’, the children. We are to be ‘born again’, as children of God, are we not ? Then why should we limit ourselves ‘solely’ to ‘scriptura’ for learning Their truth ?

Nonetheless, beginning with John’s written account of the night meeting of Jesus with Nicodemus, we begin to see the slow, tedious rescue of the ‘heart’ of ‘a teacher of Israel’, by the publicly visible activities (such as cleansing the Temple) of Jesus who told him of a ‘new birth’ that he should have understood from the only ‘Old Testament’ scriptures Nicodemus had. Really ? ! The ‘Gospel’ of ‘new birth’ in the ‘O.T.’ ? Where ? !

Well, for one, the book of Isaiah ends, describing :

“Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things?
Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” Isaiah 66:7-8 (This is NOT describing a Cesarean Section.)

So, clearly, there is a genderless, non-genetic ‘birth’ made possible by the events of that ‘New Testament’ which Gospel Prophets such as Isaiah and Malachi predicted.

The very manly Pharisee, Saul, after being humbled in heart to a ‘baby’ at the gate of Damascus, spent the rest of his life pleading with his own male-biased race to understand their own ‘Old Testament’ scriptures and ‘types’ as they were intended to be understood – as mere steps toward the ultimate ‘rescue’ from a long fall, Not the ultimate safe goal. As evidence that Saul no longer saw his domineering ‘gender’, or ‘Jewish’ ‘genetic’ structure as anything worthwhile, he changed his own name to little ‘Paul’. Thereafter you hear him pleading with people to understand the mystery of the ‘Godly’ new birth caused by simply beholding Jesus as the ‘mirror image’ of the ‘Father’, even though Jesus was born of a very humble, yet ‘fallen’-human ‘woman’, genetically-speaking, DNA-speaking. And, argued Paul :

“For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” Romans 2:28-29

Questions:
Was Paul addressing only Jews ?
. . . only males ? . . . only Christians ?
Were there female Jews ? . . . female Christians ?
Is there a ‘circumcision’ that is still needed by all human ‘hearts’ – not merely that other trouble-maker – regardless of ‘DNA’ programming ?

Yes, to the last question. This is that same mysterious, non-genetic, genderless ‘new birth’ and/or ‘circumcision of the heart’ described by Jesus to Nicodemus and by Isaiah to Old Testament ‘Israel’ regarding the real, ‘heart’-circumcising, ‘heart’-‘teaching’ purpose of their revered ‘Mt. Zion’, ‘Mt. Moriah’, and ‘Jerusalem’
( ‘Teacher of at-one/Peace’ . . . with God and mankind).

But, because SDA pulpits have too largely, artificially, elevated ‘sola scriptura’ over the original ‘Word of God’ in Creation since Dr. Kellogg’s ‘panentheism’, they have not only missed, but have effectively ridiculed, the most up-to-date evidence now made recently available by non-SDA brain scientists using hi-tech imaging tools . . . evidence which directly links both the form AND the function of ancient Jerusalem’s hills and valleys to the form and functions of the ‘gyri’ and ‘sulci’ of the ‘cortices’ of the ‘inner man’ ‘heart’ of the brain of every woman, man and child .

Now it is both Biblically and Scientifically clear that the ‘new birth’ involves brain/nerve-programming, not DNA/’flesh’-programming . And, this is how every ‘Christian’ is ‘born again’ as a genderless, ‘Child of God’, ‘in Christ’:

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26-29 KJV

What Courtney Ray, the human being, has experienced in the ‘heart’ of her brain --and that which makes her a Godly pastor – has almost nothing to do with DNA/‘gender’(other than the DNA in the nerves being programmed in her brain tissue) but almost everything to do with that ‘heart’ of her ‘plastic’ brain being reprogrammed ‘by beholding’ Jesus, thereby allowing that ‘Jerusalem’ deep in her brain to be ‘reborn’ in a ‘New’ character, in a ‘New’ motive, in the image of ‘Our Father which art in Heaven’ – though, now, she ‘sees’ ‘through a glass darkly’, but then, ‘face to face’.

If SDA ‘women’ are ever to ‘win’ the freedom from SDA ‘men’ to serve God in ‘Their’ church, ‘Their’ way . . . then they will have to dust off ‘Their’ first ‘Word’ of Creation and show the ‘men’ of the SDA church the scientific evidence now emerging from that untranslated ‘Word’ of Creation. Evidence that neither Paul, nor Ellen, nor Jones, nor Waggoner . . . had available to them in their struggles to move ‘ the church’ forward toward the ultimate rescue in ‘the New Jerusalem’ described in ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ’, a rescue merely introduced in ‘Genesis’.

These new science discoveries also prove that we SDAs have not yet exhausted the ‘study of the sanctuary’ until we study and recognize that the ‘most holy’ of the ‘True Living Temple’, which God’s Holy Spirit desires to inhabit, is hidden deep in the ‘heart’ of each conscious human being, and that this arrangement is in no way ‘pan-entheism’, but the Holy Spirit of ‘Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ That ‘True Living Temple’ is where the ‘e-motivations’ of ‘love–hate’, ‘trust–distrust’, ‘pride–humility’, ‘guilt–at-tone-ment’ . . . ‘the pain of social exclusion’, and the ‘mirror neurons’ which enabled Courtney Ray to be changed into the heart-character of Christ simply ‘by beholding’ – just as the snake-bitten Israelites beheld the brass serpent representing Christ, ‘made to be sin’, for us.

Just as Paul taught the Galatians, ‘Jerusalem’ – whether ‘above’ or ‘below’ – is yet another allegorical ‘type’ to add to the long list SDAs have not yet fully-grasped.

Only when SDA women can show SDA men that both need to cast aside their partiality to DNA/ ‘flesh’ and mere ‘gender’ at the foot of the cross – where the ‘son of man’ AND the ‘Son of God’ died of that mysterious ‘inner man’ ‘broken heart, caused by mental anguish’ (DA 772) . . . death of ‘exclusion’, not ‘inclusion’, from both humanity and Divinity – will they , like little Paul, truly be ordained of God – not merely of men --to preach His Good News to ALL, regardless of their mere DNA !

To begin your mutual victory with a wrongly-male-dominated SDA church, SDA women, I would recommend reading a book written by a mother and her son – Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee – titled, The Body Has A Mind Of Its Own. Read especially chapter 9 on ‘Mirror Neurons’, and chapter 10 on ‘The Heart of the Mandala’ – the ‘insula’ or ‘island’ of the inner brain first published upon by Johannes Christian Reil just as the Great Advent Movement was about to be ‘born’ (and stop cold in its tracks at ‘. . . and the Faith of Jesus’).

Then, if the Spectrum editors will allow it, also watch the attached video of a lecture given by one of the leading brain anatomists now publishing their ‘paradigm-changing’ discoveries in the Scandinavian region where Rene Descartes died regretting having limited his ‘15 minutes of fame’ to promoting mind-body ‘dualism’ and neglecting ‘heart’ – a very SDA problem, still, today !

Spectrum Editors :
I’m sorry I’ve ‘ranted’ along this line of ‘tangential theology’ for so long, as some of your more educated readers have complained of me in the past. My only defense is that after 6,000 years of Biblical history God, ‘Themselves’, have still not succeeded in being understood clearly, even by Their ‘own people’ in this regard :

The source of the ‘computer virus’ of ‘sin’, and of ‘second death’, is not to be found in the ‘DNA/hardware’ of human flesh, but in the programmable, and removable, redeemable, ‘plastic’ ‘software’ of those human ‘hearts’ which are found primarily in ‘the place of the skull’, not merely within the ribcage. (Tho’ those 2 ‘hearts’ have been discovered to be very closely linked, especially regarding ‘empathy’ – ‘in feeling’, like being found ‘in Christ’.) If you could see all of the evidence I’ve seen regarding the relevance of this new ‘science’ information to current and past crises in the SDA ‘religion’, I believe you would publish articles on it, yourselves, doing much better than I can. You have my email address if you have an interest. DH

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Worse, I think, Chuck.

Headship ideology is like the ideology of the United States Confederacy, it seems to me.

The Corner Stone speech was delivered extemporaneously a few weeks before the Confederacy would start the American Civil War by firing on the U.S. Army at Fort Sumter.

Stephens’ speech explained the fundamental differences between the constitutions of the Confederacy and that of the United States, enumerated contrasts between U.S. and Confederate ideologies and beliefs, laid out the Confederacy’s causes for declaring secession, and defended the enslavement of African Americans.
Wikipedia


“Corner Stone” Speech

Alexander H. Stephens

Savannah, Georgia
March 21, 1861

All, under our system, stand upon the same broad principles of perfect equality. (…)

Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.

This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.

This truth has been slow in the process of its development, like all other truths in the various departments of science. It has been so even amongst us.

Many who hear me, perhaps, can recollect well, that this truth was not generally admitted, even within their day. The errors of the past generation still clung to many as late as twenty years ago.

Those at the North, who still cling to these errors, with a zeal above knowledge, we justly denominate fanatics.

All fanaticism springs from an aberration of the mind from a defect in reasoning. It is a species of insanity. One of the most striking characteristics of insanity, in many instances, is forming correct conclusions from fancied or erroneous premises; so with the anti-slavery fanatics. Their conclusions are right if their premises were.

They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails.

I recollect once of having heard a gentleman from one of the northern States, of great power and ability, announce in the House of Representatives, with imposing effect, that we of the South would be compelled, ultimately, to yield upon this subject of slavery, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics, as it was in physics or mechanics. That the principle would ultimately prevail.

That we, in maintaining slavery as it exists with us, were warring against a principle, a principle founded in nature, the principle of the equality of men.

The reply I made to him was, that upon his own grounds, we should, ultimately, succeed, and that he and his associates, in this crusade against our institutions, would ultimately fail. The truth announced, that it was as impossible to war successfully against a principle in politics as it was in physics and mechanics, I admitted; but told him that it was he, and those acting with him, who were warring against a principle.

They were attempting to make things equal which the Creator had made unequal.

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/cornerstone-speech/

The question is, of course, how much social damage is Adventism willing to sustain in fighting this civil war about the equality of women before God?

Ellen White, while against slavery, didn’t want Adventism to get off-task on Finishing the Work.

Ironically, now, Finishing the Work seems to be dependent on subordinating women, even if it takes splitting the church.

Such a turn of events would have been unthinkable before the 1980’s.

It seems possible to me, even probable, that Adventism has been hijacked, or steeplejacked, if you will, by reactionary forces that want to not only subordinate woman, but, yes, even in the 21st century, justify slavery on Biblical terms.

Christian Reconstructionism endorses “Biblical slavery” and founder of the movement R.J. Rushdoony expressed the sentiment that African-Americans were lucky to be slaves, writing, “Granted that some Negroes were mistreated as slaves, the fact still remains that nowhere in all history or in the world today has the Negro been better off.”

McDowell’s article cites R.J. Rushdoony’s Institutes of Biblical Law six times in its footnotes and that’s notable given that the book was Rushdoony’s master work on how to implement Biblical law in the American legal system.

R.J. Rushdoony’s scheme included establishing stoning and burning at the stake for adultery, homosexuality, and idolatry, and the legalization of Biblical slavery.

Leaders in the Christian Reconstructionism movement Rushdoony founded have for several decades now been trying to make it so.

http://archives.politicususa.com/2011/04/09/david-barton’s-plan-for-biblical-slavery-for-america.html

Rushdoony is that “controversial Presbyterian” that Gerry Chudleigh alluded to in [A Short History of Headship Doctrine in the SDA Church.]
(http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-short-history-of-the-headship-doctrine-in-the-seventh-day-adventist-church-gerry-chudleigh/1119387591?type=eBook/)

Controversial, indeed.

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Courtney, What beautiful grace and Christian love! May God bless you with Her protection and comfort as you labor in a difficult work.

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Courtney. That is a wonderful testimony. TY for sharing.

You likely know, Christ’s life was one concrete demonstration of love after another. That perplexed me a bit. Here is why.

I read over 60 years ago that “love is a principle of action.” Unfortunately EGW did go on. She did not tell me what the principles were. I have had that question rolling around in my head on and off since. Christ didn’t say what those principles were either.

About 10 years ago I began to formulate my own model for love. I started with XXX principle must be reduced to concrete expression to be love. I did understand what Christ did. Concrete demonstration.

Since then, I have formulated a decent model for love. It has four principles as one of the 5 dimensions of love. One of those dimensions is respect. It is very clear from my life experiences that when there is no respect, there is no love. Love dies.

End of story. Or is it?

As strange as it may seem, love is THE major principle of leadership. I understand this from studies in leadership in a non-church world. Major corporations teach … no insist… that the senior leaders respect everyone in the organization. They are taught to listen carefully to dissident opinions. The reason why is simple. Many times those dissidents are saying something very important to life of the corporation. They use the word respect, not love. They also use the word trust. What they say is the senior leader/s must maintain the trust of those they lead.

Those are two of the principles I have discovered essential to love. Respect and trust.

One would think the GC leadership would understand what love is. Obviously, they did not get that memo. They follow leadership ideas that were taught prior to the 1950s. We take a vote and that is what we do… eh? You can vote on what I think? Or perhaps on what I believe?

I am completely convinced we need to teach what love is… concrete actions that reveal four abstract principles. But hey, I am good if we start with just two.

Thanks again for your testimony. Roger Cox

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Gender bias runs deep in the church and has prevented women from fulfilling their leadership call, by allowing women to speak from a pulpit, would violate the apostle Paul’s directive in 1 Timothy 2:12 in which he prohibits women from having “authority over a man.” To be applied to all churches at all times—men have cultivated a bizarre fear of strong women who preach or teach.

There is no reason to assume that Jesus only intended males to evangelize the world. Both men and women are called to “go” and to “teach.” Timidity is never portrayed as a virtue in the Scriptures, for either gender.

The history of Christianity is full of examples of strong, godly women who achieved remarkable breakthroughs for the kingdom of God. To say that women should not display spiritual strength or do exploits in the name of Jesus is to discredit everything that Christian women have done throughout history to further the gospel.

Besides the Seventh-Day Adventist Church do all churches at all present times stake a claim that women shouldn’t lead the church? That everything women have done to expand the kingdom of God was a mistake that strong vocal women preachers were driving force behind it? Do we really want to negate the countless Adventist missionary breakthroughs made in the 19th and 20th centuries in all corners of the world pioneering women?

These women were not looking for a spotlight or a pulpit, nor were they out to win an argument or to prove that women are better than men. They were prayer warriors who loved the Word of God and used it skillfully to combat the evils of their day. They were mothers of the faith who nurtured new converts with the milk of salvation and trained their disciples to pursue spiritual maturity.

Women who have given their lives to serve Jesus on the front lines deserve our respect. The General Conference, some unions leaders, typically have turned their backs on our sisters when they have dared to suggest that God has drafted them into His army. The strongest and most determined of these female warriors learned to endure the ridicule; but we will never know how many women gave up the fight and abandoned the call because the church required them to bury their spiritual gifts.

Adding insult to injury. The General Conference circles, in their locker talk, label “Weak” pinned on women who have teaching or leadership skills. The insulting implication is that any Christian woman who steps outside the lines of ecclesiastical propriety and presumes to speak for God or displays any level of courage is labeled rebellious or conniving.

Since Adventism is American born the United States Christian General Conference President Ted Wilson and some unions leaders of men pastors have developed a superstitious notion that if they listen to a woman preach, on Sabbath Service, they allow a woman to provide spiritual counselling to them directly, they are violating an unwritten law that forbids women from occupying a place of authority in their lives. They also fear that if they do this, they will come under some type of spell that leaves them deceived and spiritually weakened. Maleness will be diminished. How foolish! If the Bible is our guide, and not cultural bias, then we need to consider the many times in Scripture when women influenced men or exercised godly authority over them.

Judges 4 tells us that at one time in history a woman held the highest position of spiritual authority in Israel. The Bible clearly states that God anointed Deborah as judge of Israel, gave her wisdom and prophetic counsel, and granted a 40-year period of peace as a result of her effective leadership (Judge. 4:1-5). And the men who honoured her authority were blessed.

Would more men pastors of our day are willing to receive counsel, correction and insight from seasoned women ministers?

Indeed that Adventist Christian pastors would have difficulty accepting the authority of women when every man has had to submit to the instruction and discipline of his own mother. In the Christian family we expect a mother to exercise authority: She not only provides nurturing love and sustenance to her children, but she brings swift discipline when necessary, and her children benefit most when her instruction is rigorous. Don’t we need the same qualities in our spiritual mothers? Shouldn’t we expect them to rule with godly authority?

Most Christian men, whether they admit it or not, would not be where they are today had it not been for spiritual mothers who came alongside them at the right time and gave a timely word of encouragement or counsel. Because of insecurity, we think our masculinity is deficient if we admit we need the insights that these women provide. The General Conference and unions as a whole would be better off if God shatter our male pride so we can make room for these women to function in their divine gifts.

Rather than argue about whether women are weak, can’t we acknowledge that we, male or female, are just clay vessels frail in our humanity and in our tendency to sin. None of us who aspire to God’s missions can ever hope to see lives changed by Christ’s presence if we rely on our own fleshly abilities. We are called to glory in our weakness so that He might be strong in us.

Christian women who have lived in the shadows of insignificance to come forth and rise put on strength! Cough out the silent and SPEAK!

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