Triumph, Injustice, and Lost Face: How to Reconcile after a Heated Debate

(Allen Shepherd) #163

I will ask you one question. If TW had supported WO, and the machines had worked flawlessly, and all was well, and the vote went NO anyway, would you have accepted it?

(reliquum) #164

Asking one hypothetical question in response to repeatedly being called out for parroting falsehood and not answering the basic question
“is discrimination towards anyone acceptable to God?” is risible-but opens a glimmer of hope. If (as your hypothetical question suggest, he did) TW and co used their power to thwart the HS and the conscience-driven constituencies intent and desire, how can anyone continue to support him and said “vote”?

Fact remains that unethical tactics to further immoral practice is not hypothetical.
Can you support a spiritual leader like that?

(George Tichy) #165

You see Allen, you are incapable of denouncing something that is/was wrong. You just cannot do it! Your congregation must be lucky, I mean, those “bad behavior members” will never be reproached, you will also find an excuse for them, right?

And, answering your question (to Timo), YES, I would have gladly accepted a “NO vote.” Because that would be a clear message of rejection of centralization of power, of prevention of a “Gestapo style” governance, and of destabilization of the current balance/distribution of authority in the Church.

But let’s see how more power in his hands will allow the GC Prez to establish uniformity and unity by decree now.

(Allen Shepherd) #166

Your answer is then, No, you would not have accepted it. That makes all your objections irrelevant
Nothing was acceptable but a YES.
You interpret all the “skulduggery” on that basis.

Note how self-righteous your statements are! All the others are evil. A year is a rush to judgement. Everything about the vote was illegitimate!

Your statements illustrate to a T the comment of the newspaper above (comment 154). Self examination is not a bad thing.

(reliquum) #167

Obtuse and presbyopic statements.

(Steve Mga) #168

The Question at SA2015 WAS STILL related to DIVISIONS.
Had NOTHING to do with UNIONS.
After the Vote – UNIONS were STILL autonomous regarding Ordination.

(George Tichy) #169

That’s true, the KGC has no power at the Union level.
But it’s certainly up to the Divisions to help making the law of (Adventist) land to be obeyed. The status quo remains for the Unions/Conferences

(Frankmer7) #170

I told you in an earlier post that I would have accepted it. I also said that what is more distressing to me than the no vote was the fact that we have a leader who is more interested in winning an ideological battle, and imposing an ideological uniformity, than leading the whole church, with its diversity, into true unity and reconciliation:

You didn’t respond to this. Does it not fit your preconceived ideas that anyone supporting WO wouldn’t accept the results? It is possible while still speaking out for change, and speaking to power to lead it. The two are not mutually exclusive.

This also does not preclude speaking out about the less than transparent runup to the vote, and the blundering heavy-handedness by leadership since. With that said, it would show progress if you would drop the idea that the vote was a product of a fair and unbiased process led by TW. It simply wasn’t. The evidence points to it in living color.


(Allen Shepherd) #171

I appreciate your stance. It is more open minded, but notice that you really do not accept the vote, but would have gone along hoping “accommodation” (The thing actually voted down!) would ensue in time. I think that a more reasonable view, but not one held by many here.

i was not at SA. Supporters of WO have criticized the vote for myriads of reasons and mainly have focused on TW as a culprit. I had a close associate there, a supporter of WO, who was at the vote, and did not see all that you folks here did. He saw it as fair and unbiased. The leader of the meeting was a WO supporter, and all sides had a chance to air their views. It went on for hours.

Now TW is not in favor of WO. He thus did not support the vote for. You all see this as sinister, but he has a right to his view. Paulson was a supporter but did not allow for a vote during his tenure. Why not? Because he knew it would fail, and I think he thought he could allow those doing it to continue and thus make it a fait accompli. There were clearly some that resented that, and it may have swung some to vote no.

You know, Obama was an ideologue, but had the support of most on the left. Trump is just the opposite, having no firm convictions either way, but is playing to win. I am not sure that being an ideologue would be judged badly as long as the ideologue was on your side. (BTW, if Schermer and Pelosi had been smart, they could have gotten Trump to do some of their agenda. The full court “resistance” kept them from getting something, a mistake in my mind).

I think you and others here attribute to much power to TW. He had he support of the third world folk, and so had the vote. You see him as manipulating them, when I think they just agreed with one another. Maybe he knew he would win. i am not sure that is a crime. I also don’t see the run up as you do. I received 3 for and 1 con brochures as a pastor, to hand out to members which I left on the foyer table so people could view them. So, it was pretty one sided (pro) from my standpoint.

A few members and I discussed the issue of the committees this AM. I asked them to come up with a way to deal with the vote and the non-compliance issue. Even the person supporting WO could not come up with a way to deal with non-compliance. One man, who runs a construction company, and has not said much one way or the other on the issue, noted that he had to have the power to fire on his job, because he was responsible for the work, and could not have people on the job who would not follow his instructions. i think it is logical that the church, once it has stated its position, needs to have a way to have the employees comply with policy. it cannot be done any other way, or there will just be confusion.

As a missionary in Africa for several years, I was used to having things done “according to policy”. It meant that everyone was treated equally, and thus avoided favoritism. It prevented myriad of problems.

So, I see policy as a positive thing.

I spoke to one this evening that has a dog in the fight. He sees that there will likely be a change in the presidency in 2020. There will not be a North American, or European president, but one from the third world. In my mind that is a foregone conclusion. The names bandied about, though, are conciliators, and will likely put this to rest. I do NOT think that a foregone conclusion.

I do not see the vote as an unfair and biased process. It think it was fair. I don’t see what you see in living color. I have noticed that in this polarized age, those that do not get their way immediately make claims such as WO supporters have made about fairness. You are not as hardened as some others, but still cannot accept a vote you do not agree with. I do appreciate your more even-handedness on the matter.

Sorry for the long reply.

(Allen Shepherd) #172

Rally Timo? If you would not have accepted anything but YES, how is it that your objections ARE relevant? Nothing, that is NOTHING would have satisfied but YES. So, no matter what happened, only a YES vote was acceptable. Objections are thus irrelevant.

And as a corollary, no matter how a YES vote was obtained, no objections would have been entertained.

So, how is my statement “Obtuse and presbyopic”??

(reliquum) #173

Not that it will help (based on failure to accept WHAT was “voted” and how) but I will answer your willful ignorance and then desist.

To label as “irrelevant” the conscience derived perspective of folks who differ from you simply because they refuse to be pigeonholed by your contrived (and false) black and white litmus-template is evidence of severe obtuse scotoma.

I would caution anyone to consider that the GC equivalent Sanhedrin “voted” and gained consensus sufficient to murder Jesus.

(EdZirkwitz) #174

It may be difficult to see beyond culture. Jesus was not the supreme leader but taught principles that focused on helping the disadvantaged and downtrodden. He was not on favor of hierarchy. It was about was inside of us primarily that mattered not the external so much.

(Allen Shepherd) #175

Hmmm. Now I am willfully ignorant, I pigeon hole people and demand a false black and white test. And I was not labeling as irrelevant your conscious, but you complaints about the vote. Yes was the only acceptable outcome, so any other outcome, regardless, was illegitimate.

I know you feel that WO is a moral issue. You say it is discrimination to not do WO. And since you believe that fully, any who might differ with you are discriminators, and thus evil? Not so?

So, by your definition of terms, one who does not support WO is evil.

The problem here is your definition of discrimination, a western concept. More traditional cultures allow for distinct gender roles, they do not interrupt that as discrimination. You do.

Thus there is an impasse that is impossible to breach.

Look how you condemn me because I differ with you! I am a liar, hater and oppressor of those with a conscious. You even see the GC as similar to the Sanhedrin in its condemnation of Jesus! There is no scriptural admonition to do WO, but you see those who are not willing to do it as the worst of all folk.

Who set you up was the arbiter of what is morally right or wrong? We believe the Bible teaches us moral truth. Go ahead and show me where we are told that we HAVE to do WO, and that we are transgressing the law, or the words of Jesus if we don’t.

You have set up a standard that is not there. That then would be, a false standard.

I don’t mind so much that you feel WO is moral. But you then become the judge of others that do not agree, and condemn them as morally depraved. That i have a problem with. Jesus said you should not judge, but you are ready to jump to judgement if one does not agree with you on this.

That is not a Christian attitude of acceptance of others, even “sinners” as Jesus did.

(Robert Lindbeck) #176

Actually, the impasse is easy to breach, but we go full circle everytime it is raised. Let those cultures that identify discrimination (Western by your definition) have WO. Those more traditional cultures can “not have WO”. There is no compulsion to ordain women in those areas.

What is so hard about that solution? The fact that TOSC could not reach a definitive conclusion suggests that there is no definitive biblical reference regarding WO. Therefore, to ordain women is not breaking a biblical command and not ordaining women is not breaking a biblical command. Neither side is breaking a biblical command.

Mission is the ultimate goal. In areas where having orained women pastors will advance mission, it should be allowed - regardless of any cultural implications or sensitivities.

Saul thought that he was doing God’s will in persecuting early christians. It took physical intervention by Christ to change his mind. Does the Adventist church have to wait for intervention from Christ before they get back on mission?

(Allen Shepherd) #177

A good idea, but voted down by the church at large. The problem with this solution is that those who do not favor it have already nixed it.

I agree completely, but your friends show feel it is a moral issue do not see these ideas as adequate. We must do WO as it is a moral imperative.

I don’t think that WO has a provided a way to advance mission. Those churches that do it are shrinking. It is not the cause of that necessarily (I think it is a constellation of issues), but WO has not stabilized their losses. Some are soon to become irrelevant.

Well, maybe so! Your statement seem to indicate that you feel this an issue that God is going to call us on. Maybe, maybe not. Both sides are recalcitrant. So we have the impasse.

I pray God will help us.

(reliquum) #178

No Allen, it is you who have chosen to ride the high moral horse, claiming that the artful vote is valid to quell conscience.
And it is your attitude of dismissing the valid perspective of others as irrelevant that is the judgment.

Nevertheless, your whole chain of thin king starts at the weakest link-that Womens Ordination was voted on. It was not- what was voted on was a heads I win, tails you lose artful wording “Give me power over the Divisions, and I’ll give power to the Divisions to give you Womens Ordination”.

Even a little child can see through this two-headed coin. Had the vote been yes, then do you really believe TW would have permitted something that he clearly has made known HE believes whose proponents are heretics, evil, worthy of being shaken out? He undoubtedly would have (or already had prepared) a document wielding his newly acquired power over the Divisions. Talk about a Christ-like attitude and series of behaviors.

I do not understand how any rational person could support such a vote, taking from the pews their constituent representative power vis-a-vis the Unions and handing it over to a leader quite apparently ready to foreshorten the arm of grace to a mere “year of (so called) grace” who then tries to ram down documents from his pulpit to invert the church into a hierarchical denominational juggernaut completely divorced from Christian mores.

If you refuse to see that your your position is defending a completely indefensible vote, nothing will disabuse your notion that we who agitate for gender non-discrimination are illegitimate rebels. I actually feel quite confident, as kin to such societal outcasts, I’m in pretty good company,

(Allen Shepherd) #179


I am the one who is riding the high moral horse (a negative criticism), and you compared the GC to the Sanhedrin when it crucified Jesus, because they did not vote for WO. I have never compared WO advocates that negatively!

I disagree. I think you set up a false standard, for there is no scriptural admonition to do WO, and you and yours have not provided one, but do insist that you are on the moral high ground by insisting that it must be done.

As far as the “indefensible” vote, your side wanted it! I saw all the campaigning by WO advocates! If is indefensible, why was it not that then?

That is why I see your view is untenable. You guys wanted the vote. The church had nixed WO twice before, and you wanted those votes overturned. So you went for it. Sorry you lost. It has been too hard for you and the church.

The problem with this statement is that you agitated for something, a vote to overturn the other votes, did not get what you wanted, and now refuse to recognize that it is not fair play to participate and then refuse to abide by the result. It is called good faith.

If you had refused to partake in the vote, and all walked out in protest, that would have supported your present position (that the vote was indefensible). Your side did not do it. AND, if it had gone yes, you would not now call it indefensible. One result cannot be defensible while the other not. It is both or none.

(Spectrumbot) #181

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