Stan

When Church leaders fail us...

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When Church leaders are willing to have a Church split over the trivial differences of what a Commission Minister and an Ordained Minister can or can not do, we either need new leaders or a new Church.

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"When the Holy Spirit leaves the church, all we have left is religion". - Bono (maybe not the exact quote)

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When persons of Spiritual integrity confronted Church leaders about errors in teaching, in the 1500s and after, we hail them as Reformation heroes.  How is it, that in the Third Millenium, we are urged to abandon our conscience in favor of "church unity"?  The counsel of Acts 4 is that we should obey God, rather than man.

I have been a baptized member of the Adventist Church for 53 years.  I was an ordained minister of the Church in three different conferences.  I love the Adventist Church.  I believe in the message of the Church, but, I will not sacrifice my conscience because of a majority vote.  History has repeatedly shown that the majority is very often wrong!  

If the General Conference takes punitive actions against Unions who follow their consciences, it is time to "stand for the right though the heavens fall."  My faith is in Jesus Christ and the Bible, not in humans, even if they are elected officials.

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It would be a huge thing to me if this was not a trivial item, and I know calling it trivial will seem insulting to some, but it is not.

 

So a conference thinks that women should be able to organize and close Churches.  that is about the only difference between a Commission Pastor and an Ordained...  for that they are willing to risk splitting the Church

 

I say leave the Unions and Conferences alone, if they grow than good, if they fail to grow the mission of the Church then they need to re evaluate. The proof will be in the pudding.

 

Not difficult to me.

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7 hours ago, Stan said:

When Church leaders are willing to have a Church split over the trivial differences of what a Commission Minister and an Ordained Minister can or can not do, we either need new leaders or a new Church.

Since we know from the Word that the remnant church is going through 'til Jesus comes, and we are told, without Jesus we can do nothing, and Jesus is identified as the Author and the Finisher of our faith, maybe it would be good to let each individual follow their own conscience? OTOH someone once said, "The freedom for you to swing your fist, ends where the tip of my nose begins!"

God is Love!~Jesus saves!  :D 

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The Unions need to ask for forgiveness or repent?

"According to reliable sources, should the unions choose not to repent or ask forgiveness for their actions, the item will be brought back to Annual Council in 2017."

This is TRAGIC.

Edited by carole1012
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It is about whether they can be a conference president or not. Ordained can; commissioned can't. That is what it boils down to. The GC doesn't mind if women are elders or pastors. The GC doesn't want them in the position of conference president. 

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Commissioned pastors cannot ordain local Elders.   If a commissioned pastor of a congregation wants a local elder to be ordained, that pastor must request that it be done by a male who is ordained as a pastor.

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2 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

Commissioned pastors cannot ordain local Elders.   If a commissioned pastor of a congregation wants a local elder to be ordained, that pastor must request that it be done by a male who is ordained as a pastor.

that just seems weird to me...  If all elders have to be ordained by ordained pastors, then all pastors have a common link up the line of antiquity of one common person who began the ordaining process.  Who would that be?  (And don't tell me it was Jesus — I don't think He ordained anyone....rather, He *commissioned* them.  Funny that *that* wouldn't be sufficient now...)

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11 hours ago, Doug Matacio said:

It is about whether they can be a conference president or not. Ordained can; commissioned can't. That is what it boils down to. The GC doesn't mind if women are elders or pastors. The GC doesn't want them in the position of conference president. 

 

2 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

Commissioned pastors cannot ordain local Elders.   If a commissioned pastor of a congregation wants a local elder to be ordained, that pastor must request that it be done by a male who is ordained as a pastor.

And these are basically loopholes so that the church can ordain women without actually ordaining women. It's sad that all this commotion is about being honest and doing away with these loopholes.

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A bit of historical trivia as it pertains to the SDA denomination. By the way, while the actual facts may be true, please do not take me seriously as to their application.  I am simply having some fun.

In the early days of our developing denomination, one of the clergy who became part of us was an Episcopalian priest.  Under the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, his ordination can be traced back to Saint Peter.

Therefore, any SDA clergy whom he ordained, also, under RC doctrine, can trace their ordination back to Saint Peter.

Who knows, many of our SDA clergy today may be able to trace their line of ordination back to Saint Peter.

 

:)

 

 

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Kevin is correct.

As I have said before.  The Bible is not concerned as to the ordination of women.  The Bible speaks to the role that men and women should have in spiritual nuture. 

From the Biblical stand point, either women should have a specific role, or they should not.  The actual ordination of women is not addressed.  Their role, whatever you might think it to be is addressed.

 

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There is actually another difference between one who is an ordained pastor and one who is commissioned.

When a  male is ordained to the ministry, inherent in that ordination is the right to perform ministry and to baptize world-wide.  Ministerial ethics says that such a person will not go into an administrative area of the world and do ministry without coordinating with, and receiving the permission of the administrative leader in that area.

E.G.  As a military chaplain, I had the authority to do military ministry world-wide, and the GC/NAD was my administrative  supervisor.  But, whether in the United States or serving in Asia or Central America I always coordinated any ministry that I might do outside of the military, with the administrative leader in that area.

A person who has been Commissioned to pastoral ministry does not have that same level of authority.  [NOTE:  To surprise some, we do give Commissioned credentials to some males.]  A Commissioned pastoral leader of a congregation is always given permission, by the Conference President, to baptize.  But, that permission to baptize is governed by any boundaries that the Conference President might place upon that permission.  Someone who is Commissioned, but not a congregational pastor, may or may not be given permission to baptize.

Our women, who understand the differences between an Ordained pastor and a Commissioned Pastor are correct in feeling that Commissioned role is a lessor role.  

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For any large organization to function, rules and procedures have to be in place, but it seems to me that the SdA denomination has created its own convoluted corpus of canon law.

As a lay member, about as far removed from church politics as I can be (I did once sit on a conference committee, once on a church board and twice on nominating committees) I have trouble seeing the hand of God in things like the GC sessions. It seems to me that the session was little more than good old fashioned politicking and vote hustling, the kind one sees at political party conventions.

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1 hour ago, rudywoofs (Pam) said:

that just seems weird to me...  If all elders have to be ordained by ordained pastors, then all pastors have a common link up the line of antiquity of one common person who began the ordaining process.  Who would that be?  (And don't tell me it was Jesus — I don't think He ordained anyone....rather, He *commissioned* them.  Funny that *that* wouldn't be sufficient now...)

The Catholics have the doctrine of apostolic succession whereby only bishops can ordain priests, and thus theoretically every priest can trace his ordination from a line of ordained bishops all the way back to Peter. With our byzantine rules and regulations and our own version of "canon law", it seems we have the same sort of tradition for the SdA professional clergy - we're just missing the robes and the funny hats.

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I have been informed that the NAD Working Policies that govern the ministry of Commissioned Ministers may be found in L-26 & L 27.

I have been told that under L-26-10, a Commissioned Minister must be elected as a Local Elder in the congregations that person serves.


"A commissioned minister is authorized by the conference to perform substantially all the religious functions . . . in the church or churches to which the minister is assigned and elected as a church elder."  L-26-10

I am told that the NAD Working Policies that govern the ministry of Ordained ministers are found in L 45.

"Ordination to the ministry is the setting apart of the individual to a sacred calling, not for one local field alone but for the world Church. . ."         L 45-05

NOTE:  There is a substantial difference.

 

 

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Fascinating Gregory. One of my favourite topics of interest is federalism in its various forms, but especially the Canadian and US versions (which are quite different). I think one can make an analogy with the recent debates on same-sex marriage. Marriage is clearly under state jurisdiction and therefore each state can set its own rules - but under the constitution each state is to give "full faith and credit" to the acts of other states. Some opinions were issued suggesting that if a couple (same-sex) legally married in one state moved to another state that did not allow same sex marriage, the later state might be required to recognise the marriage.

Although ordination is a union matter, if an ordination is valid worldwide, would an instance ever arise where a non-female-ordaining union would be required to "recognise" the ordination of a woman from another union?  Or is this concern strictly theoretical since a woman pastor would never be called to a non-female-ordaining union?

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What would happen if the powers that be allowed lay members to baptise into Jesus' fold without church membership?

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1 hour ago, Gail said:

What would happen if the powers that be allowed lay members to baptise into Jesus' fold without church membership?

There would probably be a lot more Christians and a lot fewer members of denominations.

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Puierrepaul:

In general, the answer to your question is No.  As areas of the Church that did not recognize female ordination would not be required to recognize it.

An exception might be if  the President of the General Conference were a female, etc.

 

 

 

 

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On 10/5/2016 at 6:59 AM, Stan said:

When Church leaders are willing to have a Church split over the trivial differences of what a Commission Minister and an Ordained Minister can or can not do, we either need new leaders or a new Church.

"New Leaders" or "new Church" would not solve the issue at all.

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On 10/5/2016 at 1:18 PM, LeftCoastFrank said:

When persons of Spiritual integrity confronted Church leaders about errors in teaching, in the 1500s and after, we hail them as Reformation heroes.  How is it, that in the Third Millenium, we are urged to abandon our conscience in favor of "church unity"?  The counsel of Acts 4 is that we should obey God, rather than man.

I have been a baptized member of the Adventist Church for 53 years.  I was an ordained minister of the Church in three different conferences.  I love the Adventist Church.  I believe in the message of the Church, but, I will not sacrifice my conscience because of a majority vote.  History has repeatedly shown that the majority is very often wrong!  

If the General Conference takes punitive actions against Unions who follow their consciences, it is time to "stand for the right though the heavens fall."  My faith is in Jesus Christ and the Bible, not in humans, even if they are elected officials.

When your conscience contradicts the conscience of another, then what?

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On 10/8/2016 at 1:08 PM, Gerry Cabalo said:

When your conscience contradicts the conscience of another, then what?

Excellent question Gerry. That is why the Christian never makes conscience the final authority. The word of God, a "What saith the Lord" is always the final authority on doctrine and practice in the church as well as in the life.

Prvb  21:2    Every way of a man [is] right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts. 16:2    All the ways of a man [are] clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

Judg     In those days [there was] no king in Israel: every man did [that which was] right in his own eyes.

Possible to Be Conscientiously Wrong.--The idea is entertained by many that a man may practice anything that he conscientiously believes to be right. But the question is, Has the man a well-instructed, good conscience, or is it biased and warped by his own preconceived opinions? Conscience is not to take the place of "Thus saith the Lord." Consciences do not all harmonize and are not all inspired alike. Some consciences are dead, seared as with a hot iron. Men may be conscientiously wrong as well as conscientiously right. Paul did not believe in Jesus of Nazareth, and he hunted the Christians from city to city, verily believing that he was doing service to God.--Lt 4, 1889.  {1MCP 322.4} 

God's Word the Standard.--It is not enough for a man to think himself safe in following the dictates of his conscience. . . .The question to be settled is, Is the conscience in harmony with the Word of God? If not, it cannot safely be followed, for it will deceive. The conscience must be enlightened by God. Time must be given to a study of the Scriptures and to prayer. Thus the mind will be stablished, strengthened, and settled.--Lt 21, 1901. (HC 143.)  {1MCP 324.1}

Whether to ordain women or not is not a dispute over conscience  or fairness vs the Union or the GC. It is about the role of scriptural authority in the church. Paul was clear and concise on the requirements for an elder and bishop. The GC takes the words of Paul as the words from Christ. Others don't. 

The Adventist church went against scripture by allowing women elders, and now they no longer stand on a "thus saith the Lord" regarding this whole matter. This is what happens when you concede scriptural authority to try and keep unity.- as if unity was more important than God's word.

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On 10/5/2016 at 10:26 AM, Stan said:

It would be a huge thing to me if this was not a trivial item, and I know calling it trivial will seem insulting to some, but it is not.

So a conference thinks that women should be able to organize and close Churches.  that is about the only difference between a Commission Pastor and an Ordained...  for that they are willing to risk splitting the Church

I say leave the Unions and Conferences alone, if they grow than good, if they fail to grow the mission of the Church then they need to re evaluate. The proof will be in the pudding.

Not difficult to me.

In matters of doctrine the proof is never to be left to the taste of the pudding. The proof is to be is a "thus saith the Lord"

God has given men no liberty to depart from His requirements. The Lord had declared to Israel, "Ye shall not do . . . every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes;" but ye shall "observe and hear all these words which I command thee." Deuteronomy 12:8, 28. In deciding upon any course of action we are not to ask whether we can see that harm will result from it, but whether it is in keeping with the will of God. "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death." Proverbs 14:12.  {PP 634.2}

You don't ordain women and decide it was a good decision because the church involved "seemed' to prosper  . You don't ordain women because in China they  "seemed" to function well. You don't ordain women because you want to maintain unity by appeasing  a vocal segment, or even a majority of the congregation. You don't ordain women because it "seems" only fair to do so and downright "unconscionable" not to.

You ordain women because you have shown scriptural authority to do so, and you have the agreeing vote at the next session of the GC.

I have been shown that no man's judgment should be surrendered to the judgment of any one man. But when the judgment of the General Conference, which is the highest authority that God has upon the earth is exercised, private independence and private judgment must not be maintained, but surrendered. - Testimonies For The Church, Vol.3 p. 492 (1875)  {{PC 422.1-2}

If you believe Mrs White when she says she has been shown that churches and members  must abide by the decisions of the GC in session, then why continue to press the issue and risk unity by violating inspired counsel from both Mrs White and the Apostle Paul- especially if ,as you say, this is a small matter?

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8 hours ago, jackson said:
8 hours ago, jackson said:

Whether to ordain women or not is not a dispute over conscience  or fairness vs the Union or the GC. It is about the role of scriptural authority in the church. Paul was clear and concise on the requirements for an elder and bishop. The GC takes the words of Paul as the words from Christ. Others don't. 

The Adventist church went against scripture by allowing women elders, and now they no longer stand on a "thus saith the Lord" regarding this whole matter. This is what happens when you concede scriptural authority to try and keep unity.- as if unity was more important than God's word.

 

I fully agree that the issue is about the role of scriptural authority in the church. The issue is are you willing to study the words of scripture to understand what the Bible writer was saying, or do you want to just grab the words that a superficial reading makes it appear like it is supporting your view and use your imagination and tradition to interpret scripture. Are you going to follow the methods of those who believe that Paul was clear and concise that the dead go to heaven at death and that Paul did not want us to continue to keep the Sabbath. Or are you willing to study Paul in his context?

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