Why the Church Has To Stop Saying Sexual Sin Is the Most Important Thing

(Tongkam) #378

Because Saul offered sacrifice, would it be right to assume God had called him to do so? Because he had the ability to offer the sacrifice, and did so in full sight of all of the people, should we say that God had evidently ordained him? (Of course, we know the answer–God had NOT ordained him.)

What makes you think God is calling women to the office of ordained minister of the gospel?

God certainly calls women. And children. And every Christian. But God does not call all Christians to be ordained ministers in the sacred desk. According to the Bible, God calls good husbands to be the elders in the church.


Raping and murdering has what to do with God calling a woman to be a pastor???

The equating of unrepentant RAPE with a Godly woman using her pastoral gifts affirmed by her congregation is outrageous.

(Tongkam) #380

Was it a sin for Saul to offer sacrifice? If so, why? If not, why not?

Raping and murdering is a sin. Assuming a position in spiritual leadership which God has not assigned is also a sin. That’s the only “equation” between raping and murdering and presumptuously thinking that women are called by God to do that which He has never directed in His Word. Sin is sin, of whatever stripe. We should seek to avoid all sin, even the appearance of it.


There is absolutely NO connection between the rejection of Saul and the ordination of women. Period.

@elmer_cupino @GeorgeTichy

(Winona Winkler Wendth) #382

Then a good share of church leadership who have been catapulted to positions of power through political machinations are living in sin.

(efcee) #383

Do we talk so much about sex because we think it is the most important thing - or because it is the one topic upon which we cannot decide whether or not it is actually sin? Maybe it’s our disagreements about the definition of sexual sin that make it out to be the “hot topic”.

(Elmer Cupino) #384

Some clarification needed. I want a commitment before engaging in any discussion.

Are you endorsing that “Women using their gifts from the Holy Spirit is somehow equal to raping” as @harrpa has asked?

(Winona Winkler Wendth) #385

No validation of this, which simply doesn’t make sense. Extra-marital sex is more common in the church that outside of it? Or does “adultery” mean what it did in the OT—having (unprotected) sex with another man’s wife? Ten times more frequent? I have read, however, that incest is more common among fundamentalist, authoritarian headship families than others and that alcoholism is higher among those who do drink who come from communities who prohibit it than it is among those whose cultures allow for it openly at celebrations and at the dinner table. And this brings us back to the sex-driven morality base for fundamentalists: “Living in Sin” does not usually refer to a pastor’s hoping he’ll be appointed the next conference secretary of whatever, or union president hoping for a Division office.

(Tongkam) #386


Not at all. Women definitely should use the gifts God has given them. But God does not ask them to serve as ordained elders/pastors/ministers in “the sacred desk” (as Ellen White would have phrased it). Women can pastor the children, the flock they are given. Women can minister to women. According to the Bible (see 1 Timothy), women are not eligible, and therefore God does not gift/equip them, nor call them to use such gifts as would be necessary, for the function of ordained minister of the gospel.

As for the “equal to raping,” consider Nadab and Abihu. Their sin was in putting common fire into the censers for the temple service. Consider Uzzah. His sin was simply in touching the ark of the covenant–to steady/protect it. It is obvious that the purity of the sacred office is important to God. One might think to be doing God service when actually doing something worthy of death.

Sin’s wages are death. No matter how great the sin. Rape is sin. Officiating in the temple without God’s authorization or command is also sin. In that sense, they are equal. Sin brings death regardless of how “great” the sin may appear. It could be simply eating a fruit–and death will result.

(Bryan Ness) #387

That was why I asked, but he seems to have misunderstood my question. I was specifically interested in the 10X statistic. More, I could possibly believe, but even if true would be hard to qualify. I see in his response though that he has chosen the unassailable source of SOP. Something tells me that EGW was using a wee bit of hyperbole there. :wink:

(Bryan Ness) #388

You know, I think it might not be wise to use OT examples when discussing these issues. All would agree, I think, that God, by and large as more brutally vindictive in the OT than Jesus seemed to portray in the NT. This is one of the biggest theological difficulties with the OT. You cannot just lift lessons wholesale from the OT, or we would still be stoning adulterers and disobedient children, although they are still doing those things in some Muslim cultures.

Regardless, it is outrageous to compare the sins of Nadab and Abihu with women’s ordination. That is simply out of bounds. Can we please stop making such comparisons?

(Tongkam) #389

Who sets the “bounds”, Bryan, you? I would rather tend to think that the Old Testament is well within “bounds” for Adventist discussions. Jesus used it solely in His teachings–and He promoted it to His disciples. Do you think God has changed His mind about it? Perhaps you also think God has changed His mind about who should be elders in His church, is that it? And, more to the topic, has God changed His mind about who can marry whom, or who is allowed to “play” with whom?

I’ll claim an Old Testament fact: God does not change (see Malachi 3:6).

(Pauline Balta) #390

Lists make it very easy, simple, non-thinking, etc., to be a “non-sinner.” As long as I stick to my list, I am not a sinner. No need to think.

When one has developed the habit of following the list, the list-follower then needs to add more to the list to make the list more difficult ; thus feeling like a “non-sinner” again. Can we say “addiction?”

(Bryan Ness) #391

Well, then, start casting stones. I think you know what I meant, unless you are just tone deaf to the theological difficulties of using OT material and applying it to our time. And just because you choose to misinterpret the NT as well, doesn’t mean I have to agree with it.

My main point is that you need to stop making such outrageous comparisons. Again, Nadab and Abihu’s actions are like ordaining women? Really? Come now, and let us reason together.

(Allen Shepherd) #392

OFFICIAL SDA position: We also believe that by God’s grace and through the encouragement of the community of faith, an individual may live in harmony with the principles of God’s Word. Seventh-day Adventists believe that sexual intimacy belongs only within the marital relationship of a man and a woman. (See official statement on homosexuality)

Bryan’s position: Similarly, if a person marries someone of the same sex and then has sexual relations with that person, that is not sin either.

If a few churches go against official positions, is it appropriate for you as a church employee, to choose their heterodox position over the official one and support them? And you don’t see dissonance here?

[quote=“bness, post:354, topic:9095”]
Our colleges need some of us who understand these issues, as uncomfortable as that may be to some such as yourself. We have openly LGBT students, and they need to know there are safe people on campus with whom they can talk.
[/quote] etc…

I can see the value of such an individual as you on campus. And I can see why you are appreciated. However, your stance does not help the univeristy against the onslaught that is about to break on the church on this matter. In fact, having someone as you on staff who openly supports homosexual marriage against the church position compromises the school to such an extant that it, I believe could not defend itself in court against suits to allow practicing gays in.

And BTW, who are you to determine which gay relationship is OK? Gays have won, you know. SDA’s are now on the defensive. And for an SDA such as yourself to designate certain gay behaviors as appropriate and other as not is, well a point to contention, and most would say out of order. Gays are gays, and can have any type of sex they want, and for us, or you to say what can go and cannot go is a pretty big assumption. That is unless one hues to the Biblical norm strictly, something you feel is inappropriate.

Are you saying that your position is different before gay marriage was legal? That is, at that time, all gay sex was sinful? My impression is that you consider sex between those of the same orientation legitimate. Gays with gays is OK, and heteros with heteros. And this was so even before gay marriage was legal.?

And so the Bible admonition against gay sex is now voided by a civil law? You mean there is something new under the sun?

[quote=“bness, post:354, topic:9095”]
So, essentially, you are using the same argument here, that same-sex marriage is “against nature.” Unless, of course, you just want to consider God as making it arbitrarily wrong, and I do not believe God deals with us that way. He is not arbitrary, he has reasons for the prohibitions that He supports.

Well, I am not God, so do not presume to know the reason behind all of his admonitions. He has his reasons. Now you may find them arbitrary, but at least you admit there is some problem with gay sex outside marriage. And I know that AIDS is much more prevalent among gays here than heteros. And that is not the end of it.

Some gays say that there is no such thing as a gay monogamous relationship.

I was using this (stoning of rebellions sons) as an example of where sacrifice must trump mercy for the better of all. You acknowledge that such action is sometimes necessary. I was countering your oft repeated “choose mercy or sacrifice” mantra. That is all. And it may be that God has seen that a for the good of all, a small minority might have to sacrifice, that is refrain from gay sex.

Scripture says such sex is forbidden. Now think of it this way:

Little Suzy, an attractive coed in your biology class, comes to your office, the door of which is always open, and sits down nearly in tears, 'My boyfriend, Joe, is pressing me to have sex with him. I know it is fornication, but he is so handsome, and masculine, and I am having a hard time resisting, and sometimes I really WANT to! What can I say to him?" You ponder for a while, and then mention that God has forbidden sex outside of marriage, and that there are real benefits to waiting. Having sex crosses a certain line, and you give her tips on keeping out of certain places and refraining from doing certain things, etc… She heaves a sigh of relief and leaves much more cheerful than she came, thanking you profusely.

Next day, while cleaning up after that terrible crayfish dissection that went so horribly wrong this year, Joe comes to the door. He IS a big handsome fellow, but he does not seem at all interested in crayfish or polite conversation. He goes to where you are standing and pokes his stubby finger into your chest, putting a grease stain on your tie, “What do you think you are doing,” he sputters, “filling my girlfriend’s mind with such drivel? I know that you are not opposed to gay sex in marriage, even though the Bible calls it an abrombersation. Well, if you think that is OK, why are you pestering Suzy with those silly ideas about having sex with me? It is not even CALLED an abombernasion, for Pete’s sake!! Where do you get off? If gay sex is OK, even though the Bible calls it an abombenation, then me having sex with Suzy is OK as well.” You push his 10/30 soaked finger away and say, "…

He who offends in one point is guilty of all…

(Bryan Ness) #393

No, I do not. Sorry, but church positions are not there so that every person in the church must check them all off to be eligible to work for the church. Why are you so hung up about this? Are you out of compliance with some church position and hope that I will show you how to deal with that? It is not a problem for me, and whatever you say about is not going to change that.

Your problem in this area is that there is not such onslaught. There is no “gay” agenda to infiltrate the church. All the want is to be able to worship with God’s people just like everyone else without having to endure dirty looks and judgmenmtalism at every turn.

Look, sexual activity outside of a committed relationship, because of the deep level of intimacy involved, is just not good for a person. This, added to the ritual purity aspects of sex outside of marriage, pretty much says all that needs to be said. You still have not given me any valid argument against same-sex marriage other than the “against nature” ritual purity kind of argument. This is because there simply is not an argument that works.

Your little story example is troubling, to be sure, but I do not get your point. I am not on some sort of crusade to get everyone to believe that same-sex marriage is okay. If a student comes to me troubled about homosexuality I would try and talk them through the issues, and leave it to them as to how they will deal with it. My concern is simply that the church not condemn LGBT people for who they are, by nature. They should be allowed to be regular members, as long as they meet the same moral requirements that anyone else does.

(Carolyn Parsons) #394

You do realize that ordination as it is practiced in the SDA church is drawn from the Apostolic tradition, not from the Levirate tradition. right?

(David Read) #395

You’re quite right, Birder. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has never been one of those churches that consider sexual sin the worst sin.

(Tongkam) #396

Yes. And where did the Apostolic tradition come from?

(Carolyn Parsons) #397

I’m not sure. Since leaders were chosen or “ordained” by fellow believers in recognition of gifts and priests were ordained by birth they look quite different to me.