Stan

When Church leaders fail us...

225 posts in this topic

Tom's words in blue; mine in black

The problem is the fearful fallacy that it will bring disunity.  In North America and the rest of the Western world and in China, we have had women as minsters for at least 40 years. In fact, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has had women ministers as long as the denomination has existed, indeed even during the Millerite movement there were women preaching and teaching the Advent message along side of the men.  (Don't forget that you keep quoting one of them.)

What the rest of the world and even Adventism has been doing for the last 4o years has no standing unless it is in accordance with scripture. There have been no ordained women ministers in the Adventist Church to my knowledge. If you know of some please give me their names and references.

Ellen White never pastured a congregation, conducted a baptism or performed a wedding.. She was a prophet/messenger of the Lord . Prophets are ordained by God and  have a message for His people , but they have no ecclesiastical authority. There were women prophets in the Old and New Testaments, but they were never priests or elders.

Notice how Mrs. differentiates between the roles of men and women in the church:

Those who enter the missionary field should be men and women who walk and talk with God.  Those who stand as ministers in the sacred desk should be men of blameless reputation. (598)

The great Head of the church (Christ) superintends His work through the instrumentality of men ordained by God to act as His representatives. . . . In Christ’s stead they are to beseech men and women to be reconciled to God. (Acts of the Apostles 360)

 those of us in favor of ordaining women by simply and officially as a Church recognizing that fact of their God given gifts of the Spirit.

God given gifts is a subjective term and is not listed by Paul as trumping male headship in the home and church. The Spirit never gives a gift to be used in an office by a person the Spirit has prohibited from holding that office.

Being of the tribe of Levi, Korah thought he had the gift to be a priest even though he was not a descendant of Aaron. God called him a rebel.

What has and is creating disunity and threatening to split the Church is precisely that last point in reverse. We do not wish to force the rest of the Church to have women in ministry and leadership where it is not accepted.  But where it is, we are now being threatened with a possible ultimatum that that POV be forced upon us, here in North America, South Pacific, Europe and anywhere else it is acceptable.

Disunity comes when some Adventist churches attempt to disregard the vote of the General Conference and willfully rebel against its decision..

The ordination of women is simply the culmination, the top of the hill we have been slowly climbing all these years. Quite clearly, it is the opposition, not those in favor, that are threatening to force disunity on what has long been a united movement.  Even with women in ministry.

The WO today is the result   a of a slow process of  relying less and less on taking the Bible as written. Just look at all you have posted me and see if you can find one scripture that you have used to substantiate your view.

But more importantly, this is not the source or reason for our unity all along. Our unity is in Christ. He is the source of our unity. It is a false notion that this issue is one that will bring unity or destroy unity.  The spirit of the accuser brings disunity. False accusations.

The spirit of Christ is what actuated Paul. If your unity is with Christ, as you say, then follow what He commanded Paul to write concerning the qualifications of both elders and bishops.

Luke 6:46        And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

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Jackson made a statement below is interesting on a number of aspects:

1)  Probably the majority of  males who are ordained have pastored a congregation, but never either baptized or married couples at the time that they were ordained.

2)  Well into the 1900s the SDA denomination ordained males who had neither pastored a congregation nor baptized nor married couples.  And, in addition following their ordination they never pastored a congregation nor did they ever baptize nor marry couples.  Many of these were physicians.  However, I could give you an example of a person who was not a physician.

4)  I can give you an example of a person in the 21st Cent. who was ordained without ever pastoring a congregation and following that ordination never pastored a congregation.

5) In short, Jackson's example, as I  cited it below, has nothing to do with the actual situation as what he said about EGW could be said about others who were male. 

 

Quote

Ellen White never pastured a congregation, conducted a baptism or performed a wedding.

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Jackson said below:

1) If Jackson really believes that EGW never exercised ecclesiastical authority, he clearly fails in his understanding of denominational history.

2)  Ecclesiastical authority has a number of aspects.   Rebuke, discipline and naming sin are three of those aspects.  Does Jackson tell us that EGW never did any of those.  To do so would reflect a lack of knowledge of our denominational history. 

3)  If Jackson is telling us that Old Testament prophets never did the above It would demonstrate a lack of knowledge of the Old Testament. 

4)  Of course Jackson is correct that the Bible never presents women as priests.  What it does do is present the OT priesthood as being done away with in NT times.  Surely Jackson would not propose that we should have priests today.  Such would clearly be a Catholic position.

 

Prophets are ordained by God and  have a message for His people , but they have no ecclesiastical authority. There were women prophets in the Old and New Testaments, but they were never priests or elders.

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Jackson said below:

1)  Well, for a number of years EGW was listed in denominational records as an ordained minster and in addition was so issued such credentials.  Does Jackson deny that?  If so, he demonstrates a lack of knowledge

2)  Probably what is most interesting about Jackson's statement is that it is false on its face.  Whether Jackson likes it or not, there have been in recent times some females who have been ordained.  That can be demonstrated by those who claim that certain SDA organizations are in rebellion for ordaining women.  You cannot be in rebellion if you have not done the prohibited act.  The very act of saying that rebellion has occurred is saying that women have been ordained.  Yes,  I could give names and references.

3)  The bottom line is that Jackson's comments reflect a poor attention to detail.  Oh, well, that can happen to all of us as it has happened at times to me.

Quote

There have been no ordained women ministers in the Adventist Church to my knowledge. If you know of some please give me their names and references.

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Jackson said below:

1)  On many occasions EGW stood in the "sacred desk" and ministered the "word."

2)  Both in modern times and during the developing days of our denomination, to include the time of EGW, women  did the above.

Those who stand as ministers in the sacred desk should be men of blameless reputation.

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Jackson said below:

I can agree with his statement.  So, If I ever see a person demonstrating a gift of the Spirit I can decide that such must demonstrate that the Spirit does NOT restrict that gift from being given to that type of person.  IOW, China, for one, demonstrates that the Spirit has given certain gifts to women.

The Spirit never gives a gift to be used in an office by a person the Spirit has prohibited from holding that office.

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Jackson said below;

1)  What Jackson has said may represent his personal view.  But, it does not represent the view of the SDA denomination.

2)  There are literally hundreds of pages of material that have been written and posted on the Internet as to what the Bible says on this subject, by both sides.  The denominational position that has come out of this study of the Bible is that neither the Bible nor EGW prohibit women from being ordained.

3)  Rather that major theme that has come out of this study is that the decision not to ordain women is simply a policy decision.

Quote

The WO today is the result   a of a slow process of  relying less and less on taking the Bible as written. Just look at all you have posted me and see if you can find one scripture that you have used to substantiate your view.

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Jackson said below;

1)  The General Conference allows women to be ordained as local elders.

2)  Women have never been prohibited from being ordained  as deacons.

3)  The Biblical standards that are typically cited to restrict ordination to males are actually applicable to the ordination of what we call local elders.  By allowing women to be so ordained we open women up to ordination as clergy.

Disunity comes when some Adventist churches attempt to disregard the vote of the General Conference and willfully rebel against its decision.

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5 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

4)  Of course Jackson is correct that the Bible never presents women as priests.  What it does do is present the OT priesthood as being done away with in NT times.  Surely Jackson would not propose that we should have priests today.  Such would clearly be a Catholic position.

I wish that they had explained their evidence clearer but I had 2 or 3 professors  of Old Testament and Archaeology that say that there were women priests in Old Testament times. That they continued without controversy until about 200 years before Christ when on the one hand they were being confused with pagan cult prostitutes and on the other hand some Rabbis has poor marriages and did not like the equality the Hebrews tended to have and started to long for the male headship of the pagan nations. At that time the liberal rabbis began teaching that the Jews should STOP having women priests and rabbis. The Conservative rabbis supported the continuation of both. That Female priests ended when the temple built the court of women where women were allowed to go no further. That women rabbis continued for a while after Christ but that there were a lot less of them starting about 200 years before Jesus with the idea of women rabbis  being a huge debate among rabbis over those 200 or so years as to whether or not women should be rabbis.  

Now some of the evidence that they pointed out was that a number of the Psalms were written in the feminine indicating that they were to be lead out by female priests. That there was the difference between the different types of prophets such as the prophets of the Northern Tradition who were either from the Moshite priesthood or people God called to be prophets like Amos, and prophets of the Temple who were also priests of the Temple from the Aaronite priesthood. And that due to those differences that Isaiah's wife would also have to be a female priest to also be called a prophetess. Also that the literary structure of Jael and Sisera indicate that Jael was a female priest and that Sisera was looking for "Sanctuary" with her because of her being a priest.

 

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11 hours ago, jackson said:

Ellen White never pastured a congregation, conducted a baptism or performed a wedding.. She was a prophet/messenger of the Lord . Prophets are ordained by God and  have a message for His people , but they have no ecclesiastical authority. There were women prophets in the Old and New Testaments, but they were never priests or elders

I'm sorry Jackson but this argument that prophets have no ecclesiastical authority is a fairly recent myth that has formed. 1 Corinthians 12:28 gives the Ecclesiastical hierarchy : And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

The highest authority is of course Jesus. Then come the Apostles; People who actually heard Jesus, studied with Jesus, people who had memory of Jesus and who were also witnesses to his resurrection. This included 11 of the 12, the 70 and potentially the group of over 500. So we have over 500 people who were Apostles and next to Christ themselves they had the highest ecclesiastical authority. By the time of the writings of John most of the Apostles were dying off, so we find in the books of John more emphases on the second highest ecclesiastical authority; the prophets.

While there was the Aaronite priesthood, there was also the office of Judge which united the offices of Prophet, Priest and King. The major separation of these offices were in the Samuel compromise and did not meet together again until Jesus. Thus Deborah was a Judge who's job was the union between Prophet and Priest and King. The book of Judges gives one judge from each tribe and we know that there were more than these 12 Judges (Samuel for example being one) so the indication of the book of Judges was that each tribe submitted a story (or that the compiler of the Deuteronomic history picked one story for each tribe.) and since there is evidence that their were more than the 12 and one of the 12 who we have the record of was a woman and it was taken for granted that a woman could be a judge opens the possibility that there could have been other women judges besides Deborah.

In the Samuel compromise the Prophet had the highest ecclesiastical authority. The New Testament continues this authority except that they had something greater than the visions, dreams and ways God gave information to prophets, that was when God lived among us and the people who got to experience that situation were thus given a higher form of ecclesiastical authority. And when the Apostles died the prophet's ecclesiastical authority became only secondary to the written records of the Apostles.

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On 11/1/2016 at 10:32 AM, Kevin H said:

I'm sorry Jackson but this argument that prophets have no ecclesiastical authority is a fairly recent myth that has formed. 1 Corinthians 12:28 gives the Ecclesiastical hierarchy : And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

 

Is it really right/biblical to say that  1 Cor 12:28 is presenting us with a "hierarchy?"

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On 11/1/2016 at 5:11 AM, Gregory Matthews said:

2)  There are literally hundreds of pages of material that have been written and posted on the Internet as to what the Bible says on this subject, by both sides.  The denominational position that has come out of this study of the Bible is that neither the Bible nor EGW prohibit women from being ordained.

3)  Rather that major theme that has come out of this study is that the decision not to ordain women is simply a policy decision.

I see that some do like to relegate this decision to one of "policy" but to say that the Bible or Ellen White does not say women cannot be ordained is to me a rather one sided view that is being made to appear as the "official" view.  I have been looking at some of these "studies" and they are rife with biases and falsehoods, hidden under guises such as choosing only Bible versions that have wording which appears to support a particular view. This whole thing has gotten people up in arms against each other for no good reason at all. Especially is it wrong  to portray this as an "equality" issue when the Bible does not do so anywhere. Those "hundreds of pages" do not mean a thing. It is not numbers of pages that show correctness. t is the general, over-riding theme and content of said pages.

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As there are hundreds of pages that support opposing views, it should be clear that "hundreds of pages" does not imply correctness.  There are opposing views so obviously every view can not be correct.

However those hundreds of pages does demonstrate (mean) something of importance and value:

 1)  It demonstrates the submission to Biblical teaching by people on both sides of the questions.  This is in marked contrast to those who summarily dismiss the opposing side with a comment that the other side is not committed to submission to Biblical teachings.  This is important.

2) Regardless of the position that one finally takes, it provides a wealth of material that should assist one who wants to do in-depth study of the issues involved.

3)  It clearly demonstrates the investment that the SDA denomination has made in time, which is money, emotional energy and effort, and finds which went to administrative expenses  that the denomination has expended on this issue.

4) By placing major downloads of material on the Internet for all to see, and material which supports each side, it demonstrated the denomination commitment to making such material available for members to study and come to their own conclusion.

Folks let us not devalue and summarily dismiss the material that the denomination has placed on the Internet for our review, study and understanding.

 

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The view that came out of the massive studies of this issue following the 2010 General conference was that neither the Bible nor EGW prohibited nor required that women be ordained.

From this perspective, the issue becomes a policy issue rather than a  biblical issue.

 

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1 hour ago, Gregory Matthews said:

As there are hundreds of pages that support opposing views, it should be clear that "hundreds of pages" does not imply correctness.  There are opposing views so obviously every view can not be correct.

However those hundreds of pages does demonstrate (mean) something of importance and value:

 1)  It demonstrates the submission to Biblical teaching by people on both sides of the questions.  This is in marked contrast to those who summarily dismiss the opposing side with a comment that the other side is not committed to submission to Biblical teachings.  This is important.

2) Regardless of the position that one finally takes, it provides a wealth of material that should assist one who wants to do in-depth study of the issues involved.

3)  It clearly demonstrates the investment that the SDA denomination has made in time, which is money, emotional energy and effort, and finds which went to administrative expenses  that the denomination has expended on this issue.

4) By placing major downloads of material on the Internet for all to see, and material which supports each side, it demonstrated the denomination commitment to making such material available for members to study and come to their own conclusion.

Folks let us not devalue and summarily dismiss the material that the denomination has placed on the Internet for our review, study and understanding.

 

You make some good points. And I agree; the number of pages does not always denote  "correctness." One item mentioned in your post several times is "the denomination," as if, much of the material available online is "from/by the church."  This is not so. I have visited a number of sites recently which were clearly not "by or from the denomination" and I am talking about sites put out by both sides. There are very few sites which are "officially" done "by the denomination."  Of course, freedom of expression must be allowed, and it is our right to investigate said expressions; but this "wealth of material" that you refer to is clearly biased, and in some cases very aggressive, as I am sure you know. There are many people taking it on themselves to put up web sites with "the truth" for whatever side they are on, but my point being is that most of them are not done by the denomination. And to be honest, none of that was really the point of my post. Reflecting on your point #2 above, it was mostly my intention to state the fact that this whole issue does not make sense, does not have to happen at all, and it cannot be shown by the Bible to be a rights or equal rights matter that we need to deal with. I dont believe this is an issue to "take sides" on or to ascribe to the tumultous arena of "rights" or "equal rights." None of the web sites out there will ever come close to the Bible truth on womens ordination, or any other kinds of ordination, as long as its made out to be a matter of "equal" rights", so called. "Equal rights" or even the idea of it, in regards to "ordination" is never used to describe it in the Bible or in EGW writings. I will look forward to your response. This topic is forcing me to think more than usual. :)

Edited by The Wanderer

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Wanderer, you are correct in referencing the multitude of sites that  have sprung up and are not denominational.

My post was centered in the denominational sites, which is why I used the word "denomination."   I also included in my reference denominational leaders who I believe have made an important contribution to the discussion.  These have included, in my consideration, documents produced by our various educational institutions and by administrative levels below that of the General Conference.

In addition I included certain retired denominational leaders.  I justified this due to the fact that certain denominational leaders are considered to continue to have a leadership role even after they leave their position.  E.G.  Former General Conference Presidents continue to have an advisory role after they leave office as it states in the GC Constitution & By-laws.

By the way, I may read material that I consider to be biased and one-sided because experientially I have often learned something from doing so.  E.G.  While I remain a creationist, I read and have books in my library that present a  different view of life on this planet.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

By the way, I may read material that I consider to be biased and one-sided because experientially I have often learned something from doing so.  E.G.  While I remain a creationist, read and have books in my library that present a  different view of life on this planet.

Thank you for that clarification. I also do the same with such materials. My library is full of such books as well. If I ever make it down to your area, maybe you will let me look at your library?

I am just trying to explain that I hope people will soon stop trying to assassinate the church with such polarization. It doesnt do any good. For eg, WO, if it was viewed in light of what we teach on "Unity In Diversity," it would be a giant leap forward for both men and women, and the whole problem would be solved right now. In it's current form of debate we are producing doctrines of stigma and polarization. Our history will be what we make it and terrible retribution will not fall behind in catching us off balance as we let loose  to embroil and consume ourselves with current crusading policy and philosophy of WO. (NOTE  I refer to both "sides" in saying this last remark). It appears in your post above, that you have decided, people will eventually "take sides," and this is what saddens me about the whole issue. I wont "take sides."  I have seen dozens upon dozens of papers or web sites on the subject, and they all carefully navigate around our teachings on unity, and they wont stop until they get their way. One "side" wins, one "side" loses. Thats very clear. What kind of history is that for our children, or childrens children to read? I have grown tired of the crusading theological whipping points making sport of  of anyone who truly wants to adhere to the Bible on WO and this gives great comfort to our enemies to see us preoccupied like this.

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Wanderer said below:

I have a strong history of attempting to bring people together who seemingly were locked into two opposing positions which could not be reconciled.  I did this for 18 years as an Army chaplain in issues related to religious issues and for nine years as a VA Chaplain on a multitude of issues which were not religious.  Sometimes in the VA, I had to work formally. 

But, in both the VA and in the Army in working informally I would proceed as follows:

1)  I would attempt to determine the core issues that each side had, on which neither could compromise.

2)  If both sides had the same core issue, I had a problem and probably could not resolve the issue.  However, if each side did not have the same core issue the opportunity existed for me to bring them together.

3)  In the later case I would work to bring the two sides together in a manner that each got the core issue which was not the core for the other side.  This would often include reaching a common understanding of the issues.

4)  Unfortunately the issue of female ordination in the SDA denomination is so structured that I question whether or not the two sides can come into a common agreement.  Yes, in the context as I have stated it above, I believe that there is a resolution.  But, as I see it, the two sides are not prepared to accept it and therefore that common agreement remains elusive.

 

NOTE:  I have been formally trained by the Office of Personnel Management in Mediation.  What I have stated above constitutes a vital part of Mediation.

It appears in your post above, that you have decided, people will eventually "take sides,. . . "

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2 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

4)  Unfortunately the issue of female ordination in the SDA denomination is so structured that I question whether or not the two sides can come into a common agreement.  Yes, in the context as I have stated it above, I believe that there is a resolution.  But, as I see it, the two sides are not prepared to accept it and therefore that common agreement remains elusive.

This is certainly one of the things I was getting at, and that I could agree with.

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2 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

4)  Unfortunately the issue of female ordination in the SDA denomination is so structured that I question whether or not the two sides can come into a common agreement.  Yes, in the context as I have stated it above, I believe that there is a resolution.  But, as I see it, the two sides are not prepared to accept it and therefore that common agreement remains elusive.

NOTE:  I have been formally trained by the Office of Personnel Management in Mediation.  What I have stated above constitutes a vital part of Mediation.

Gregory; it is nice to hear of your training and credentials in these posts. It helps me to understand your points better..

What do you think of my comments re the teaching we have re "Unity In Diversity?"  In my mind, without making either side right or wrong, they could use this teaching to still show unity. Both sides could drop their guns, and the world would have a witness that could not be denied. Without giving specific references, I think that the unity fundamental belief would tell both sides that if it gets to this point, that is, if an issue gets to an impasse, like this, then BOTH sides need to leave it alone, and try to continue working together as is? I dont have my books and stuff with me so cant cite references in this post. I believe that some on both sides of this issue will choose this option. Certainly, it has worked for other issues in our history?

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For many, it is not an issue for which they could drop their guns.

I rather suspect that at least one person, whom I will not name, thinks that he/she can hasten the 2nd Advent by sticking to his/her guns.

Yes, there often comes a point when one must accept a given situation and march on regardless.

As I once posted:  I had negotiated an agreement where an employee had all termination actions against her stopped and several thousand dollars was restored to her.  Yet, I sent  the hospital CEO a detailed and specific letter outlining why I had strong disagreements with some aspects of the agreement.

In our spiritual life we sometimes just have to wait for God to act when we cannot.  Just maybe God is acting and we do not perceive it.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Gregory Matthews said:

In our spiritual life we sometimes just have to wait for God to act when we cannot.  Just maybe God is acting and we do not perceive it.

Thats the option I am going with.

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On 11/1/2016 at 3:30 AM, Gregory Matthews said:

 

 

On 11/1/2016 at 3:30 AM, Gregory Matthews said:

Jackson made a statement below is interesting on a number of aspects:

1)  Probably the majority of  males who are ordained have pastored a congregation, but never either baptized or married couples at the time that they were ordained.

2)  Well into the 1900s the SDA denomination ordained males who had neither pastored a congregation nor baptized nor married couples.  And, in addition following their ordination they never pastored a congregation nor did they ever baptize nor marry couples.  Many of these were physicians.  However, I could give you an example of a person who was not a physician.

4)  I can give you an example of a person in the 21st Cent. who was ordained without ever pastoring a congregation and following that ordination never pastored a congregation.

5) In short, Jackson's example, as I  cited it below, has nothing to do with the actual situation as what he said about EGW could be said about others who were male. 

 

Gregory, I was giving evidence .it wasn't sufficient in itself to prove she wasn't ordained, but it was designed to show that she never performed those  services that required ordination..

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On 11/1/2016 at 3:45 AM, Gregory Matthews said:

Jackson said below:

1) If Jackson really believes that EGW never exercised ecclesiastical authority, he clearly fails in his understanding of denominational history.

2)  Ecclesiastical authority has a number of aspects.   Rebuke, discipline and naming sin are three of those aspects.  Does Jackson tell us that EGW never did any of those.  To do so would reflect a lack of knowledge of our denominational history. 

3)  If Jackson is telling us that Old Testament prophets never did the above It would demonstrate a lack of knowledge of the Old Testament. 

4)  Of course Jackson is correct that the Bible never presents women as priests.  What it does do is present the OT priesthood as being done away with in NT times.  Surely Jackson would not propose that we should have priests today.  Such would clearly be a Catholic position.

 

Please Gregory, anyone can rebuke ,. others and name sin. Discipline in church matters is reserved for the church as a whole. By ecclesiastical authority I mean authority in church administration and function. Phillip had four daughters who were prophets. That did not give them any authority in church matters.

Mrs. White's authority came from God , but church leaders could refuse to act on it. They did then and they still do today.

Now I suppose one could be both a prophet and an ordained minister, but the point is that a prophet is independent of church authority. That Mrs Wite is a prophet, then, has nothing to do with the ordination of women.

The point about priests in the OT is that God restricted this to men of the family of Aaron. Now if the Bible authorized women priests in the OT would you refuse to use that as an argument for ordaining women because there are no priests in the NT? I think not. Why not stop all the scarping at my posts and give some Biblical authority for your position?

 

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On 11/2/2016 at 4:57 PM, Gregory Matthews said:

The view that came out of the massive studies of this issue following the 2010 General conference was that neither the Bible nor EGW prohibited nor required that women be ordained.

From this perspective, the issue becomes a policy issue rather than a  biblical issue.

 

What we need is a "plain thus saith the Lord" that countermands the commands that Jesus gave to Paul for the requirements necessary for elder and bishops, and the headship given to man in Eden and its validation by Paul in 1 Cor 11:3   All the studies in the  world are meaningless without that. 

But God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible, and the Bible only, as the standard of all doctrines and the basis of all reforms. The opinions of learned men, the deductions of science, the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils, as numerous and discordant as are the churches which they represent, the voice of the majority--not one nor all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith. Before accepting any doctrine or precept, we should demand a plain "Thus saith the Lord" in its support.  {GC 595.1} 

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