The Seventh-day Adventist Church and Transgender People

Linton Thank you for your biblical and thoughtful response. I believe that God can change the heart and mind. Sad that man tries the counterfeit. Thats the arch deceiver way. Ezekiel 36:26

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I want to thank everyone here who has responded to this article, positive or negative, for giving your view. Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion. But, opinions shared without believable evidence are only opinions. Research, Biblical and scientific, into gender and sexuality are important. I hope that this conversation will lead to a greater effort at research in both of these areas, for we can’t afford to be ignorant of either. We must be well-informed for confidence to be placed in any of us. This, I know, is what the Lord desires.

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They self-identify as Seventh-day Adventists, and while there is no indication that they speak on behalf of the Adventist Church in any official capacity, there is also no reason to doubt that they are members of the Adventist denomination.

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"Another YouTube preacher who has often spoken about the visit of Pope Francis to the U.S. is Andrew Henriques, the leader of an Adventist splinter group that organized the Latter Rain Camp Meeting earlier this summer. Saved to Serve operates out of a former martial arts studio at 475 West Silver Star Road, Ocoee, Florida, and was incorporated as a nonprofit in the State of Florida in April 2007."
http://atoday.org/adventists-respond-to-popes-visit-to-the-united-states.html

Henriques runs a church, Prophesy Again / Saved to Serve, at 475 West Silver Star Road Ocoee, FL (according to their Facebook Page). It’s not listed by either the Florida Conference or eAdventist.

From what I’ve seen, the Henriqueses avoid agreeing or denying whether they’re part of the denomination. What they do seem to be claiming is that they’re the true Seventh-day Adventists.

@JaredWright

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I’ll say this in a simple way. Am from Jamaica. I read most of the comments on this topic. Sigh. It’s really sad. Sad, sad. Who have ear, let them ear. Transgender is not God will. Not the will of Yahweh to have transgender. I want everyone to nail what am saying. We are so carnal minded, that everything we do, we do it base on emotion and not spirit. Am not here to judge nor no one. Over all,the WORD of God stand. Let’s look at the root cause of transgender. Sin. Sin infect everything,making the white turn black, good to turn bad, etc. Satan genetically modify the food in this world, that cause allot of physical changes in humanity. Ask the question, why I have to be transgender? It’s not you choose in most case, but the way you were born. Ha !!, how can you fix it? There is always two ways. Human technology, or God healing. Sex is the base self desire in most humans. What you feel for? Male ? Or female? What does the bible teach? Should we live by feelings, or by the spirit? People in today’s world don’t like to take instruction, they don’t want no one to encourage them how to live. This is one of the reason why many don’t accept EGW. I’ll say this, in my personal view, transgender is wrong. And will never be right. The culture of the Dead Sea scroll say it. The bible is the map of salvation. I sincerely accept all the words as God holy words. We must do as the lord Yahweh, say. How to deal with transgender in the church? Since some accept it, and some don’t, one of the best remedy is for all those people who have not done the surgery, and are feeling different than normal, the answer is to seek God, and pray for healing etc. Only God can truly transform you. Apart from that, remain a eunuch or eunuchs. Now according to the personality of that transgender elder in Hollywood, we cannot be quick to open up to something that ACT good, why? Because satan also come and present himself as a angel of light. Satan come as the counterfeit Christ, counterfeit apostle, pastor etc. We are to test everything to see if it’s of Christ. The congregation want Saul, and so they got Saul, and what Saul did? Saul was well built, Etc, his physical structure and personality at the time was fitting. But that’s all in the sight of man. So we as people must be carful of what and who we choose. This all is to show that Faith is growing cold. Yes!! The words of Christ shall come to pass. But I talk about what I see and read, hear. But I won’t judge a man hypocritically. I love my enemy but I hate there works and ways.ill pray for them, and believe God will help them. Allot of people will get heated of the transgender thing, because there are allot of die hearted Christians feel embarrassed when others have evident bad reports of there denomination. Seventh day Adventist have come a long way. A Transgender elder or leader I personally would not accept, not even to be on the board, but as regular member. Jesus say that good tree bear good fruits. A person would have to be born again and ordained by God to be a elder etc. A elder have to be blameless, upright in the sight of God. Now I know that seventh day Adventist going to compromise be deceive by the beast, it’s happening. We won’t pray for this world to heal, because this world gonna be destroy, so I personally will not look for anything better except God come and make everything new. The small remnant of some of the true worshippers are not even in the temple today. They are gather at there home. The shaking is going on, those who are righteous will be righteous still and those who are unrighteousness will remain unrighteous. 2016… The judgment has set, the book have been open, how shall we stand in that great day. Jesus is coming, anytime now. Am no longer a seventh day Adventist, am a child of God Yahweh. I’ll visit the temple, but I don’t care what Adventist GC want to do. It won’t affect me anymore, I love you all. Pray for me to keep the faith in Jesus Christ so I can go through the persecutions. Debate am not in. To God be the Glory. A warning. Majority of the people in churches today will be lost. Believe it or not. So many things to say. Satan have counterfeit music in the church, counterfeit apostles, pastors, elders, Food, clothing, etc. People today like to talk about culture. The best culture is Jesus. Read Matthew mark Luke and John and it will take u all over the other books. Love is the base, inside love is all the commandments. It’s a package. No transgender, no homosexual, and the list go on.

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@ Microscope2015. I’d like to address your comments if I may.

  1. “Editor using Spectrum as a platform for LGBTQ”. Not sure if you’ve read much Spectrum, but it is a generally liberal magazine that discusses alternative viewpoints of Seventh-day Adventism that differs from other more conservative Adventist publications. So the article here is in line with Spectrum’s preferences. If this offends you, there are other Adventist publications that do not question dogma which you might find more in line with your beliefs although you are certainly welcome here.

  2. “If one doesn’t like the fact that the SDA Church founded on…bible principles then it’s time to…make their exit.” To that, I’d suggest that a part of Spectrum’s mission is to question if and when the church’s positions are in fact based on bible principles rather than man’s opinions. The recent decision regarding the role of women in ministry is a current example, but certainly the Adventist position regarding African-Americans in the 1800’s and many other issues in the past. You are suggesting that if anyone does not agree with Church positions, then therefore they ought not be a part of the SDA church. Given that the Church has so far not taking a position on transgenderism, I find this to be both incorrect and inaccurate.

  3. “Church is not governed by the opinions of men… one guide, The Bible”. Except of course that is not true. The Church’s position is the Bible first, but that is amplified by the Spirit of Prophecy, which the Church believes comes only from the writings of Ellen White. So Adventists believe in the Bible, but not the Bible only. And, the Church has groups of men (and a few women) who are appointed to study the scriptures to determine what those mean in context of official Church belief’s as detailed in the 5 year General Conference meetings and other pronouncements by the GC. Perhaps you believe as my mom did many years ago that good Adventist women must wear their dresses 9 inches from the floor. In various parts of the denomination, that was treated as a requirement. But biblical? Not so much.

  4. Lev. 18:22. (A) this refers to the act of sex. It does not refer to transgenderism at all. These are two different subjects. (B) If we should follow the Bible exactly, does that mean all of it? In Lev. 19, you are forbidden to plant two different seeds in the same field nor can you wear clothing woven from two different types of material (V. 19). I’m guessing all of your garments are only made of one type of material? It is apparently okay for you to sleep with your female slave, but not okay if she is promised to another man (V.20). You cannot eat meat with any blood in it (V.26 - I’m guessing that medium-rare steak is out?). In Lev. 20:9 if you have ever cursed your parents you should be put to death - do you think that is an appropriate punishment (note: I have a teenage daughter who at times is not happy with me. I don’t think death is appropriate response)?

  5. “Since when is upholding biblical principles an attack on someone?”. The answer to that is when someone is using the concept of biblical principles for the purpose of attacking them. Regardless of your position on transgender issues or separately issues of homosexuality, electing to make an example of someone, has nothing to do with the love of Jesus Christ. At the best, most charitable you can say is that it’s focusing on the law, but not the 11th commandment (John 13:34).

  6. “the intelligence we have/possess is given by God” In effect you are arguing that man’s intelligence is used to interpret, the Bible. The very point you argued against in the beginning.

Best wishes to you.

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The obsession with sex and sexuality is fascinating - especially when it comes to addressing issues most of us obviously don’t know much about. Videos by the Henriques (actually on any topic) are more informative about the Henriques than the actual topic they discuss. Furthermore why would I discuss in public what is happening in a church far away that has made a thoughtful decision (I might not share or even understand) without even attempting to follow Matthew 18: 15-20?

But then … the fascination is not just on the side of the Henriques - but here in Spectrum as well. Where and when does a taboo have its place (as a means of protection, not really avoidance)? Breast reconstruction after mammary cancer? Anal fissure (including some assumptions as to its origin)? Transgender issues (which are so much rarer than media would suggest)? Isn’t there a time and a place where a local church might have to deal with an issue when it arises - in the most mature manner they can (which the Hollywood church apparently did)? Whatever happened to confidentiality in pastoral care?

Finally if you are obsessed with sex and sexuality … how about addressing sexual violence statistically present in even the smallest of churches? Ah, the splinters …

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Now, Lindon, I miss “commandments” in Rev. 22, 14. Sorry. And : As already posted as an repöy : There is not one word in the Bible about - take one extreme - Down Syndrome.

And here r is a story , unfortunately true : Erika Schingegger was born in some Alpine valley. . The genital looked like female, somehow. - So : a girl. Period. She was with the girls in Kindergarden, in the RC children - girls ! - activities, a good sport , so in the National skiing team - of course in the girls team.

The eraly teenn once got bewildered - the other girls developed more and more interest in the boys and their lodge. Erika was in panic : Am I lesbian ? I feel this strange attraction to the girls around me !! ( TV interviev decades later) Then at some internatinal competition thecoach of another nations team demanden a chromosome test. Erika was Erik, a boy ! Some painfull and very costly operatios corrected the insufficiently developed outer genital.

Biblical advices please ! And what, if Erik(a) would have been born in Golden Valley, some way north from Bismarck , ND ? Into the little SDA Church there (i hope it still exists).?

Addition to Professor Kent : One of the first researchers on sexuality, Volkmar Sigusch, recently published his last book when retiring , a summary of his researches and observations : “Sexualitaeten” That means a plentitude, and - sorry to say - is far away from sixpack Adam and cute blonde Éve as the only possibilties.now (?).

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A group of anonymous “scholars” has edited all of the major Bible passages that condemn homosexuality in an effort to make the homosexual lifestyle appear acceptable. … You know that wicked people will not inherit the kingdom of God, don’t you? Stop deceiving yourselves! Sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunks, slanderers, and robbers will not inherit the kingdom of God. That is what some of you were! But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of our Lord Jesus the Messiah and by the Spirit of our God. 1Cor.6:9-11 (ISV) NKJV was used in the article.

I find it enlightening from this article: http://www.amazingfacts.org/news-and-features/from-pastor-doug/letter/id/11173/t/the-great-rainbow-robbery

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So good to see @hopeful return to Spectrum to comment. We’ve missed you!

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I’m 18 years old and I’ve been in the Adventist church all my life. Even attended Adventist schools, I’ve been searching for an answer for many years… “Am I going to go to hell for being transgender” I read pray everyday and read my bible ever so often. I love the church and I stand for what I believe in. I don’t believe homosexuality is right actually It’s caused phycologically every homosexual I’ve met have been bullied, raped, secluded and so much more, others however are differently putting on a show some people say they’re homosexual to “fit” in which is why I believe some people can go back to being “straight” . Ever since the age of 4 when I wanted to stand up and pee I’ve known I was different. I’ve prayed about this for years and so have my family but, there’s never been a real answer. I want one … the statement stated a few passages up that people after surgery still aren’t happy… Isn’t true. I’ve started basic changes and I literally feel 100% that this is me and I’m a million times happier, I’ve even came closer to God throughout the Years. Whoever said or says they’re still unhappy after surgery was obviously wrongly diagnosed or they lied to themselves thinking that changing their gender will give them some satisfaction because they want it to be okay that they’re with the same sex. My mother didn’t know she was pregnant with me for 5 months and the entire time she was on birth control called depo provera which she believes could possibly be the reason that I am transgender. It could be chemically from
The food we eat, the environment we live in and so much more no one knows. I don’t know why I am the way i am and everyday I pray that I would become “normal” I do not want to be this way, I wish I had an “easier” issue like lying or something but I don’t. I’m transgender and there is apparently no answers on of its okay or not. So tel me? Anyone from the Adventist church… Will I be burnt with the unsaved for being transgender ?

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I’m no longer a member of the church, but my answer would be a resounding no.

If someone in the church is telling you this, please put as much distance between you and them as quickly as possible. There are many programs and support groups for young people such as you seeking affirmation of self. I seriously doubt you will be able to find what you are looking for in the church. Please, please seek one out. Outcenter.org is one in my area, the good people here would likely be able to put you in touch with a similar organization where you live.

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Thanks so much for your response, so many affirming churches where I live but, I’d like to continue being a member of the SDA church. I was born and grown in this church, I’ve seen Miracles before my own eyes. I’m still in pathfinders and I even lead classes. Again I attended Adventist schools and more… I love what I believe in and stand by it. Obviously no one knows that I am transgender in my church, other than my family but, All I want is a real answer… Which you’ve answered as no and it has given me a sort of peace of mind so again, thank you so much for that Brian. I’d do anything to go to heaven. I don’t think many people understand what transgenders like myself go through.

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What is disturbing and discouraging Mr. Ness, is that you are commenting on subject matter that is plainly dealt with in the bible yet you seem to obviate that fact completely. Remember, we do not make the rules… God does. If you find a need to vent your frustration for the church’s lack of compassion toward people with certain conditions then shake your fist at God first.

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The comment that you made here

PS: Dont forget Male Seventh day Adventist Brains judging Female Seventh day Adventist Brains. And the Males at SA2015 voted what THEY think of Female Brains.

does not make any sense. I know of no one who thinks that women have inferior brains. In my opinion the quality of a brain is not defined by gender.

Why not open up your mind to the possibility that people voted NO for reasons other than bigotry?

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Sadly, it was not an accurate representation of the church (at least 60% female) that voted this policy. Should we have an overwhelmingly imbalanced “representation” the other way, 80 percent women and 20 percent men, making church policy, there would be loud cries of “foul.” Men would not stand for it.

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Thanks for doing the research @hopeful.

It confirms what I suspected from the evidence I could find.

Let’s look at a “Baptist” splinter group for a fitting comparison: The “Westboro Bapists Church” is nothing more than one man’s self-proclaimed “church” - one which is populated by his family. It appears to exist for the sole purpose of attacking gay people. (Some info about the leader is not very savory.)

His proclaiming himself a “Baptist” does not make him a representative of any genuine Baptist church. Neither does the Henriques’ proclaiming themselves “Adventist” make them representative of the Adventist Church OR of any portion of the church, other than their followers. By accepting their self-identification we give them credibility among Adventists. I believe that, for the sake of accuracy, they should be identified the way Hopeful did every time they are mentioned.

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The matter of sexuality is one of the things that a modern SDA church will have to contemplate. Of the range of expressions I think priority of attention(religious. civic in terms of legal partnerships and community acceptance) should be given to those who have biological/hormonal mixed messages, as it were, that is the transgenders, Next would come lesbians and gays , but I feel bi-sexuality is more of a choice than a compulsion. Nevertheless I think that in heaven , or more realistically , in the world made new, all expressions of sex will be practiced, since this activity is the single most ecstatic experience available to humans and in heaven(or earth made new) a paradisiacal existence must necessarily include such experiences. Human motherhood may well be made obsolete and disappear due to the development of ectogenetic technology, bjut sex will thrive marvelously in “heaven”

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The whole idea behind votes is to count how many people hold one position vs how many hold a different one. The winner is the one who has the most “votes”.

Are you saying the vote count was fraudulent or that something is wrong with the list of people who voted?

Or are you saying that people can only vote against a position you think is popular for bigotted or dishonest reasons?

You missed the point of my post. Sorry if I didn’t communicate clearly.

My point was that those who are voting on the issue of women in ministry at the highest levels, are in no way representative of the organization’s membership, which is about 60 - 70% women.

Women belong at decision tables and votes. If I recall, it was about 12% representation at the most recent meeting.

I have no idea what you are saying here in relation to the statistical representation of women who are delegates and sit on Adventist institutional voting opportunities.

This is a “duh” statement and completely misses the point.

My apologies for any confusion.

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