Time to Speak Out


Perhaps some systematic education is in order, to explain to those believers that the TOSC did not reach the conclusion that ordination of women is a theologically forbidden. Instead of just allowing people to go along in error, they could be provided with clear information as to the Biblical reasons why.

We all want people to have open access to sound information, right?

(William Noel) #122

What I read in the motions were attempts to ban WO and both were voted down. But a lot of people think the motions passed. To borrow a farming simile, it’s like closing the barn door after the horses have run away and thinking you’re keeping them inside. I see it as trying to make it a doctrinal issue where there isn’t one and there is no possibility of it nurturing harmony in the church.

(William Noel) #123

Who says the G.C. settles any doctrinal issue. The history of how doctrines developed in the church was the members studying the Bible and coming to a consensus on the topic. The concept that the G.C. approves doctrines has only come about following the publication of the books on doctrines.

(George Tichy) #124

REally? An Adventist University cannot grant certain degrees to women without the GC’s approval?
Where sis you get this info from? Just curious.

(George Tichy) #125

I hope they also have enough information about the TOSC fiasco, when the GC spent over $1MI in the hopes that the final report would support what the GC wanted - proof that WO was theological issue.

Then, when the TOSC failed to play the music wanted by the GC, the just dismissed the TOSC results, and the we know the rest of the scandalous maneuver done by the GC.

By the way, it’s an established fact that the Unions have the autonomy to manage ordination issues, and not the GC. This is why the GC is so much invested in assaulting the Unions’ rights as currently clearly established.


Well George, at least the commentator got it out there for all to see.

Based on this type of thinking not only should women be excluded from pastoral related roles and tasks but education in matters of pastoral leadership and theology are forbidden. Additionally that the leadership has (the few in power that made EGW so concerned in the 1890’s) doctrinal authority and essentially is the voice of God on Earth.

This is exactly the kind of thinking that gives rise to fanaticism and enables misuse of power isn’t it? The founders of the church established governance that was designed to avoid this. When Leadership started to go in this direction they were admonished for this in the 1890’s. With messages from many including EGW that this is wrong and when folks are encouraged to examine these they chose to ignore or refuse to recognize them at all.

In our time this issue rises again under the guise of perfecting the role of women. It is fascinating that their is such fear and paranoia regarding women’s role in society and life when it has been demonstrated by the TOSC as a non issue.

Examples of this type of thinking and its logical conclusion is evident in many other religious groups such as the Papacy, the Taliban as well as other fanatical groups in a variety of religious sects.

It is unbelievable that an SDA could think this way let alone claim the majority of church members agrees therefor they are right…sigh…

It would seem that in their desire to retain their cherished beliefs the leadership has unhitched themselves from the Advent truth and drawing together a fearful/ignorant membership through false claims to piety/authority encourage them also to separate from the Advent movement without ever realizing.

(Robert Lindbeck) #127

Is it as far removed from the traditional as a Golf Ministry? We have that listed as one of our church ministries and I am trying to get a Market ministry working where we hold a local market on our church grounds for the public to come and mingle with us strange people.

(Sirje) #128

The church should consider dividing its theological administration and its financial institutions. Those running the money section of church administration are not qualified to deal with its theology. We can’t be making theological decisions with one eye on how its going to impact it finances.

A familiar text gets bandied about when the church is looking for donations - No servant can serve two masters… but they leave out the last part …You cannot serve God and wealth. Church finances too often dictate what the largest donors support.

(William Noel) #129

The ministry I lead is called the Angel Team. We got the name from people saying we had to be angels because humans wouldn’t do what we were doing to help them with their home challenges. We help with things like minor home repairs and maintenance, typically for people who can’t afford to hire someone to do the work, who have become unable to do it for themselves, or they just don’t know how to do what needs to be done. The first result of every miracle Jesus performed was an improvement in the recipient’s life so we’re ministering in the model of Jesus because there are few ways I have ever seen to improve a person’s life than by solving problems with how a person lives.

Ministries can be measured by a number of questions and I think the biggest one is: Does it turn the attention of the recipient to God? I’ve heard of a golf ministry in several places and how it provides a neutral setting for having fun and building friendship. Jesus built friendships that enabled him to share spiritual principles. The last and least measure we should be using is how quickly it leads to baptisms because Jesus told us to create disciples. Baptism is merely a milestone in a much longer process of encouraging spiritual development. Having a variety of ministry activities in a church is critical to the spiritual vitality of a church because they encourage people to become followers of Jesus while giving the opportunity to be drawn even closer to God by becoming the leaders and examples that others follow.

(William Noel) #130

When my church was organized 14 years ago one of the critical decisions we made was to re-formulate our administrative structure. We’d had so many frustrating experiences with being on dysfunctional church boards that we divided it into two teams: Administration and Spiritual Focus. The Admin team is led by the head deacon/deaconess and is focused on the financial and facility issues. The Spiritual Focus team is chaired by the head elder (who rotates every three months) and is composed primarily of the leaders of different ministries. The results have been nothing short of amazing. We don’t spend hours arguing but instead are focused on getting things done in a harmonious way.

We also eliminated the Nominating Committee because we couldn’t find a basis for it in scripture. Instead we found where the Holy Spirit empowers people to serve for life. So we have a Connections Team that works to connect people to the ministry they feel God calling them to do.

You would LOVE our business meetings! They’re more like a party. Yes, we’ve had some issues where we had intense discussion, but it was respectful and with the smell of popcorn in the air. In all those years I think we’ve had two or three business meetings that lasted longer than an hour.

(Sirje) #131

That needs to happen on the GC level. Those business majors took “religion” classes as core requirements. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

(Cfowler) #132

Do you (and other members of your church) attend events at other (non-SDA) churches in your area? Do you do things with them at their functions/churches?

(George Tichy) #133

It is mind boggling that we basically see no theologians being part of the GC groups making decisions on theology. This speaks loud.

(Steve Mga) #134

To get people to NOT believe SDAs are strange, weird, SDAs as a CONGREGATION need to
be willing to socialize with those they need to influence.
The CONGREGATION as individual members need to attend Sunday church, need to
VOLUNTEER in community happenings.
In other words, SDA Members need to BECOME MEMBERS Of the COMMUNITY.
It is ONLY THEN that community members will attend what you have to offer.

(Steve Mga) #135

Having a Ministries Fair might also be something you might try several times.
My Sunday church does that every year.
Each Ministry has a “booth” in our fellowship hall. Make displays of what they do,
what they want to do with pictures, etc.
Then there are sign-up materials at each booth to either volunteer or to seek more
information as it looks like something they might like to try.
Our Ministries include flower beds [Merry Gardeners], plant maintenance, community
tutoring program, feeding the homeless in town once every 6 weeks [other community
churches do the other weeks], youth program, children ministries.
HOW do our Ministries get started?? We have a morning snack time every Sunday in
our Fellowship Hall. People are invited to sit down with coffee, tea, hot chocolate,
lemonade and snacks members bring, bagels with crème cheese and jelly, baked
goods. Conversation is encouraged. Many times in Conversation someone brings up
an idea – this is a problem, or what if we did this? And before one knows it, a committee
is formed to investigate, and many times the Idea becomes a NEW MINISTRY with a
core group who have invited themselves to do it.

(Cfowler) #136

Yes, but do so as human to human. Not with an agenda. Do so with the minddset that others have lots of valuable things to show and share with the Adventists. Also, regarding socializing with other Christians, SDA’s can learn a lot from them. Don’t think that your group is the be all and end all of Christianity (because it isn’t), and that everyone should join you, because they shouldn’t.

(Steve Mga) #137

AMEN!! [18 more characters, LOL]

(Johnny Carson) #138

Not even an agenda to convert them to Adventism or for that mater, Christianity. Only an agenda of loving and caring for one another, because that’s what good people do, without a preconceived outcome.

(Robert Lindbeck) #139

Our pastor likes to use a continuum to describe the spiritual journey. The centre point (decision point) is zero. Those to the left are undecided, searching, not interested or anti. Those to the right are committed, active, wavering etc. It includes all religions, all classes. Most of the churches efforts are in the sector just to the left of the centre - those almost decided. Why? Because that is where you can visibly measure success - decisions for Christ (baptisms). It requires more effort to “move” someone from “Anti” to “Neutral”, or from “Neutral” to “Considering” but we don’t have the ability to measure success at that end of the spectrum and therefore can’t measure a return on our effort or investment. As a result, we leave that territory to the Spirit.
Ministry should occur at every point along the continuum, even the extreme right - the hyper committed, not just where we can measure success.

(Robert Lindbeck) #140

I do attend some non-SDA church functions. It is not done as a deliberate strategy but rather as a member of the community.
As church members we are active at community events, socialising and mingling in the community. Our big social event of the year - Barn Night - attracts a large number of community people. Peole driving by drop inthe see what is happening - all are welcome.