Skip to content

27 Comments

  1. Margarita Merriman
    15 October 2012 @ 4:09 pm

    I trust many women (and men) will heed Pastor Dwight Nelson's call to action.  I, for one, will add my voice to the appeal for equality.  While the whole ordination issue deserves study, we cannot wait till the next GC convocation to debate the issue further.

    • Jean Corbeau
      15 October 2012 @ 4:41 pm

      Whky can't we wait?  Is impatience a virtue?  Look how long Jesus has waited for us to get our act together so He can come back and end this mess.  If He blew the whistle now, we wouldn't be much better off than when only 8 people survived the Flood.  Oh, yeah, most posters here at AT seem to believe that was a myth.  So maybe the Second Coming is, too.  In which case who cares about ordination–we're all compost anyway.

      • Elaine Nelson
        15 October 2012 @ 10:43 pm

        Jean,

        Are pickles your favorite food?

        • Jean Corbeau
          16 October 2012 @ 3:43 pm

          You continue to be an enigma wrapped in a mystery, Elaine.  I'm not sure what your point is, but no, pickles are not my favorite food.  In fact, I haven't eaten one in years.

  2. Ervin Taylor
    15 October 2012 @ 9:58 pm

    As I have noted several times, reading Mr. Corbeau's opinions on the AT website is helpful because it reminds the rest of us what type of individual is in opposition to moving forward toward the creation of a positive environment in the Adventist church where gender equality is a given and freedom of expression is fostered at all levels.    

  3. Anonymous
    15 October 2012 @ 10:56 pm

    Jean asks, "Why can't we wait? Is impatience a virtue?"

    Why couldn't the early Christian church have waited to abandon the ritual of circumcision? Why couldn't Christ have been more patient with the recalcitrant Jewish leaders of His day, and worked within the system in a spirit of unity. Talk about impatient! And speaking of the Flood…just who was it that was impatient then? I don't think it was Noah's impatience that brought on the deluge.

    I do not resonate with Erv's attempt to judge your character with demagoguery. I am sure that you are not against a positive environment in the Adventist Church, where gender equality is respected. Those terms just have different meaning for you. Having said that, I do think you demonstrate a blind spot by failing to recognize that moral change is only achieved through conflict and impatience. Not all change is moral even if, as is usually the case, it is sought in the name of morality. But true moral conflict in an organization or society is often a healthy thing, and indeed, impatience is sometimes very much a virtue – especially when, after decades of debate, patience is transparently a euphemism for "No way in Hell!"

  4. All4Him
    16 October 2012 @ 2:33 am

    There can be no Unity without Equality Mr. Nelson? 

    So are we going to bring before God complaints that the twelve gate were named after the twelve tribe of Isreal (which were all male names) or file petitions because the twelve foundations are named after the twelve Apostles that were male. 

    Or are we to take God at His Word and follow His commands and know that He is in control and He designed the roles for a reason.

  5. Bea
    16 October 2012 @ 3:06 am

    Jean says,"why can't we be patient"  how many years have we been practicing patience?  Then there's All4Him touting the reverence of maleness. And I say when we have that  mindset, it is a lost, hopeless cause to expect the World Church to have consensus on this issue of WO.  Maybe that is what the GC president is banking on!  In Adventist history, how many committees have labored for years – and never come to any resolution?  Raymond Cottrell told of a committee in the 1950's that met for five years – the only way they could have a unanimous vote was for five of the 13 people to wait outside the door while eight of the committee voted unanimously!

    • Kevin Riley
      16 October 2012 @ 3:12 am

      Or do as James White did – take a majority vote (even if only by one) and then vote to record it as 'unanimous' – again, even if the majority was only 1.

      I don't believe we will ever solve any problem while there are people absolutely convinced that their decision is the only one a reasonable and spiritual person could come to, so others must be either stupid, deceived, or evil.

  6. Trevor Hammond [22oct1844]
    16 October 2012 @ 1:22 pm

    I don't think that the Association of Adventist Women (AAW) is a full representation of Adventist Women around the World.  Lobbyists perhaps; but certainly not representing the majority.  I wonder what percentage of the sixty percent women in our church are represented by this group?

    Just recently I heard complaints about Dwight Nelson saying that Allah is God.  Is he right about this – and WO?

    • Stephen Ferguson
      16 October 2012 @ 2:35 pm

      Allah is not the Muslim God – it is just the Arabic word for God, if that is what you are suggesting.  As Arabic is closely related to Aramaic and Hebrew, it is actually a very similar word to Elohim.  Christian Arabs actually call God Allah as well.

      If you want to get technical, and I think you might be in criticising Dwight Nelson, calling God Allah is far more biblical than the English word of 'G-O-D'.  Wikipedia (for what it is worth) says the word god is proto-German from 'gudan' meaning 'to pour'.  It probably has a pagan origin and is similar to Hindu Sanskrit word (given Hindi and English-German derrive from the same Indo-European language) 'to sacrafice.'  

      Thus, to be technical, the word 'Allah' is just an accented version of the biblical name of God, whilst the English word 'G-O-D' is arguably a pagan word.  Not to support JWs in anything, but on that basis you can kind of see why they think using the word God is a breach of the commandment not to take the Lord's name in vain (but they get in wrong anyway in saying Jehovah rather than Yahweh).  

      So do you still have a problem with Dwight Nelson's comment?

      • Trevor Hammond [22oct1844]
        16 October 2012 @ 3:18 pm

        If he was not referring to Allah the Muslim God then he should have been more specific in his usage of the name.  This caused confusion and controversy which could have easily been avoided.  I actually like him but that doesn't necessarily mean I agree with everything he says.  My concern is that he is one of the members on a WO committee and I'm quite sure holds a WO bias.  It's not so much the bias that is concerning but rather his persistence in saying he is right.  That's according to those who complained that he kept repetitively insisting that "no one must tell him the Allah is not God" whereas he could have clarified that the Arabic word for God is Allah and one used in the Arabic Bible.

        I've now become very weary of overbearing theologians in general (and I'm not saying that Dr. Nelson is one) who think they can railroad petty theological spins on Fundamental Adventist positions especially when inspired by the dictatates of certain preferred cultural norms.

      • Trevor Hammond [22oct1844]
        16 October 2012 @ 4:23 pm

        By the way, I only referred to Pastor Nelson as his name cropped up in the article.  Let me explain that my primary concern in the WO matter is not whether WO is right or wrong, although I have my own personal views on this, but that I firmly believe in respecting the authority of the GC and it's leadership.  The fact that this is being done using very questionable underhanded tactics, which undermine the GC leadership and attack them openly, is very much akin to mutiny and concerns me more.  What or who will such covert operators/operations target next?  Remember that they aren't willing to work within Church structures as they have no voting power base against a majority world church and have to rely on the cultural Adventist camp for support together with those others who lean towards the religious left and some insiders in GC who are spies.  That is my main dog in this fight.

        • Anonymous
          16 October 2012 @ 8:11 pm

          "I firmly believe in respecting the authority of the GC and its leadership."

          Where would you draw the line, and be willing to say that the GC and its leadership should defer to God's Spirit moving among tens of thousands of devout Church members in a given region? Would your response be that, if it was God's Spirit, the GC would be supportive?

          If your views are merely personal, and you are not convinced that WO is clearly an issue of Biblical right or wrong, then wouldn't it be reasonable to suggest that it is illegitimate for the GC to use its authority to block WO?

          What leads you to claim that the "operation" or "tactics" have been covert or underhanded? From what I have seen, WO plans and "tactics" were pretty open and well-known in advance. If you were persuaded that the Unions actually did have de jure structural authority for their actions (and there are very strong, if not dispositive, arguments that they did), would you still believe that they should have deferred to the diktats of GC leadership? The exhortations of the GC have suggested that its leadership views this more as a matter of respect for unity and authority than Biblical interpretion or controlling authority in governance documents.  If so, what source do you rely upon for the contention that the GC's self-defined spere of authority should trump legal rights and responsibilities of intermediary entities, like Unions, to respond, within their sphere of authority, to God's Spirit as He manifests His guidance in the body of believers?

          • Trevor Hammond [22oct1844]
            16 October 2012 @ 10:08 pm

            The Intermediaries aren't the highest point of authority: the General Conference in Session is.  Intermediaries should acknowledge and respect the authority of the GC.  A disregard of this shows a disconnect with the structured framework and authority of our church hence my calling it mutiny.  Total autonomy at Union Conference level which is independent of GC leaves no reason to believe we are a united Church in Christ especially when bad blood sets in due to rebellion in the camp.

            Just because some loopholes were found at Union Conference level doesn’t make it right to disrespect and undermine the authority of the GC and force WO on the Church.  The fact that the majority singing the WO anthem are from the Culture Club Choir exposes a fickle side to the argument in favour of this as their credibility as true bible believing Adventists isn’t worth their salt.  Why do I say this?  It’s called worldly compromise which has wreaked havoc in the West without question and the Church most definitely has been a biiig casualty too.  Now they want to impose their pet causes in a hurried current of voting frenzy even making threats to hold back tithes if their tantrums aren’t going to go in their favour. 
             
            Questioning me for questioning them is a shallow attempt to smother my main concern for the mutiny at hand: their disrespect for the GC and its President (which would include the world church too as represented by them).  It is quite clear that no matter how they go about achieving their own ends you will justify it as long as they sing the same chorus as you.  Even if I used a biblical explanation of my views it wouldn’t make a difference as the cultural mantra is much more powerful than the word of God in some quarters. 

            The fact that mudslinging solely on the part of certain Union Conference leaders and their choirs unashamedly hurled at the GC President and other non-choir leaders reeks of the rebellious nature of their cause.   Please don’t try and spin this!  This is a fact.  Whether done subtly  – or in most cases openly – it remains a matter of fact and leaves me to believe that these are arrogant rebels who have brought false accusations of gender discrimination against the church.

            I did not say that WO is neither right nor wrong and I'm not saying is cannot be either. What I am saying is that my main concern is the mudslinging hurled at the GC leadership which represents the world church including President Ted Wilson.  Are you supporting the demands made by such unscrupulous means just because votes were cast and ignore the arrogance associated with what they think is a worthy cause.  Feminism isn’t a worthy cause as it seeeks to make women become men and teaches them that it's ok to kill their babies (well it's my take on it in a nutshell).  With it has come a host of evils which can be seen in the western culture of today – but you know how some cultures can make evil look good. 
             
            What is quite hilarious is when WO foot soldiers, who don’t care two hoots about Ellen White, start making false claims that she was ordained as a Pastor and therefore call for WO on these grounds (as though they are believers in her writings and ministry) – what a crock.  Touting WO without a concrete biblical basis only makes matters worse as it points only to a cultural agenda as its firing engine.  Yes,  I do have my personal views which may differ with the current preferred cultural norms of western indoctrination – but like I said "my primary concern in the WO matter is not whether WO is right or wrong, although I have my own personal views on this but that I firmly believe in respecting the authority of the GC and it's leadership."
             
            With WO coming from heavily compromised religious left-wingers within the cultural Adventist camp there's no doubt that it will raise eyebrows.  Did they expect a standing ovation?

          • avenger
            18 October 2012 @ 11:56 pm

            Ahh yes the ole human authority trip trumping what is morally right. How many Germans listened to the authority of mein fuhrer? Did Luther listen to the authority of the RC Church?
            Did Jesus to the Jewish priests or Roman authorities?

            Moral courage to stand up for human equality at all costs is never wrong, period. Once we start letting committees decide what is morally right for us it is not 1844 we have to worry about, but rather Orwellian 1984.

    • Elaine Nelson
      16 October 2012 @ 8:27 pm

      It must be disconcerting, even worrisome to discover that Adventist's don't have exclusive ownership of God and that there are millions who speak a different language and worship God, also.  Can anyone determine the name for God that Adam and Eve used?  Or Abraham?  Does it essentially change his character to be called by a different name?  Evidently, for some it does.

      • Anonymous
        16 October 2012 @ 9:00 pm

        "Does it essentially change [God's] character to be called by a different name?"

        Most definitely! – at least insofar as humans perceive, and have formulated an understanding, of God's character. Words matter. Even if they don't change essences, they change our perceptions of that which is essential. Everyone who has learned another language understands that very well. Politicians and Orwellian apparatchiks understand that. Why does God rename people in scripture? It strikes me, Elaine, that your suggestion that names don't matter is closely akin to your argument that the day of Sabbath worship doesn't matter.

  7. Trevor Hammond [22oct1844]
    16 October 2012 @ 7:08 pm

    oh – it's a dog fight all right.  There's no doubt about that.  There's a whole lot of barking going on too.  Bringing the 'knickers' chorus into the arena means some are intent on taking it below the belt, perhaps?

    • Elaine Nelson
      16 October 2012 @ 8:35 pm

      There have been worse that dog fights over names.  But the congregations addressed by Dwight don't have to have explanations that "Allah" is God to the Muslims.  They are in a university setting and likely have not been insulated in an SDA community but in environments where there are a great variety of religions represented.

      It would be beneficial to many Adventists to learn more about other religions.  It might remove some of the strong biases about those who were born into another religious community.

  8. Elaine Nelson
    16 October 2012 @ 9:59 pm

    Humans cannot change God's character.  You are confusing reality and human perception.  There is a vast difference.  We are only affected if we believe that a name given God is the only one.  After all, when there are so many perceptions about God, why do we believe that any one is correct, or that all may not also be right?

    God changed HUMAN names, and the belief was that names defined an individual, and since it was perceived that way, it probably did affect their character.  Just as people who believe in the efficacy of voodoo curses when given a curse, they may sicken and even die.

    Humans change; God is changeless.  Anyone reading just a few chapters in the Hebrew Bible will see how humans perceived him quite differently.  So no one has the true picture of God.

    The Sabbath does not matter to most of the world's population; it only matters to those who have been taught that they are breaking God's law if they ignore it.  I repeat:  Sabbath does not matter–unless you believe it matters.  You are making a blanket statement that only applies to those who accept that premise. Does sabbath matter to all your friends and acquaintces?  Your next door neighbor?  The postman?

    • Anonymous
      16 October 2012 @ 11:53 pm

      Again Elaine, risibly, you speak as if you actually know something about the essence of that which is transcendent – completely beyond the realm of accurate human understanding. Whether God has an essence, as we think of that term, and what impact if any, human experience and time have on His essence, is completely speculative. I suppose if you view the Bible as the authoritative Word of the eternal God (that would be news to most who read your comments on AToday), you could make reasonable arguments for both a changing God and a changeless God.

      I am not confusing reality with human perception, because I begin with the acknowledgement that the reality of God is unknowable, and that words and names matter precisely because human language creates reality. It is you, who presume to know the reality of God and His character, and thus confuse human perception with an unknowable, unchangeable abstraction of your own making.

      • avenger
        19 October 2012 @ 12:04 am

        Nathan,

        Based on your premise, does that mean it was beyond  EGW or any other human biblical prophet to understand the transcendant essence of God? If not, why would Elaine be any different in her understanding?

  9. Elaine Nelson
    19 October 2012 @ 12:56 am

    No human can know God as we have all created our own ideas in our minds.

  10. Trevor Hammond [22oct1844]
    19 October 2012 @ 3:58 am

    Hey avenger – RE:
    "Moral courage to stand up for human equality at all costs is never wrong, period."

    I don't see anyone else on these blogs (except perhaps one only who gets elbowed in the face everytime he does) who fights for the human equality of the unborn.  Are you saying that abortion too would qualify as morally right and fit in the 'human equality' category with WO?  Or did someone else decide for you?  The fight for WO must be at all costs – yet the fight against an atrocity like wholesale abortion isn't worthy of being a part of the 'at all costs' category?  If there is an 'at all costs' fight by Christians going on against abortion, it isn't on this planet.  Oh – I forgot WO is higher up on the list!  Where does the moral courage fit in here and who calls the shots – do you?

  11. Tapiwa Mushaninga
    19 October 2012 @ 10:37 am

    I believe there is a counterfeit equality that is being talked about. If someone desires a post God did not ordain for them (pun intended) then that is not equality but rebellion. Lucifer, Korah and co all fought for the equality that many here espouse but will be dissappointed to know that they is indeed hiearchial order in heaven. I have always said ontological equality does not mean duplication of responsibilities.
    Radical egalitarianism is not biblical but is a western human construct and is imposing itself on the bible.

    One astute writer says (she is female)

    Unlike radical feminists, who reject Scripture entirely, and reformist feminists, who adopt a hermeneutics of suspicion based on a perceived patriarchal bias in Scripture, evangelical feminists on the whole claim to consider Scripture as authoritative, inspired and inerrant. For this reason they cannot simply dismiss scriptural passages that do not conform to their egalitarian commitment, nor can they expand the Christian canon or say Paul or other writers of Scripture were in error. Their major interpretive option is therefore to find ways to interpret biblical passages along egalitarian lines, and, where this proves difficult, to postulate a “center of Scripture” with regard to gender roles that allows them to set aside as culturally relative or otherwise inapplicable passages that do not support evangelical feminism. The result is at times strained exegesis, and at other times unlikely interpretations that seem to be driven more by egalitarian presuppositions than by an inductive study of the text."

    There are many who say the bible is suppotive of WO but such can only come to such a conclusion by using a HER meneutical approach! I still maintain that the onus is on those who support WO to prove conclusively from the bible that ordination is God ordained (again with the puns)
    "

  12. Elaine Nelson
    19 October 2012 @ 6:25 pm

    Any time a statement is prefaced with such pejorative terms:  "radical feminists, who reject Scripture entirely, and reformist feminists,"  sounding like Rush Limbaugh, one should stop reading, as all that is needed to know is in the first sentence:  disdain for those who disagree with the writer's opinions who is unable to express sentiments in a rational manner and must resort to despicable descriptions.