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9- The Third Option: A Way Forward or a Step Backwards?

Jim Howard
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Recorded

  • October 3, 2014
    7:30 PM
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on the morning my blessing to be with you all today and tell you just how grateful I am to be willing to be here and humbled actually be part of the symposium I came in California yesterday and it was beautiful beautiful blue skies not a cloud in the sky and I hear you don't have clouds here in California the right no clouds as fantastic as it is a bunch of fog in the wintertime and I suppose that's okay because I come from Michigan and out it is lots of snow there is a whole lot of it and I got ahead backyard came in yesterday I'm heading back today because I'm in the middle of a series of preaching on the book of Revelation and does we got guess they're waiting for us back there and meetings are going really well we've already seen the power of the three Angels messages does blow people away we have a life-changing message and so thankful for it over and over again people come and say wow that thing we like as it is wonderful to hear messages that it is straight from the Bible you help us to see the truth right there in the Bible is one couple is coming to our meetings and they told me how they had tried going to this mega- church in the area but they were really getting anything out of it and by the fourth night she had recommitted her life to Christ and he had committed his life to Christ and the first time he said the sword is so thankful for the night after night it is keep commenting about how wonderful it is to study the Bible and asked why were here is not to study the Bible above all else we want to be true to the Bible we want to affirm women in their vital work and ministry who want to strive for unity in the church but we know that the best way to accomplish these and all of our other goals as a church is to be faithful to the Bible and all else will be added unto us and with that in mind of Mister Hassan she would bow your heads cinnamon asked the Lord 's blessing on our time loving father in heaven were so grateful for this privilege and three to talk about your church and we want Lord to be faithful to your word in other directions we take as a church so please Lord give us wisdom and discernment we all have blind spots and we need your help so guide and direct us this day we pray in Jesus name amen well the topic that I have been asked to speak to you about today has been referred to as the third option in the discussion surrounding women's ordination and surely there maybe somebody who is wondering today what is the third option well let me give you the Reader's Digest version and then we'll get into the more detail as we move along in essence there have been two traditional views in the Seventh-day Adventist church surrounding the issue of women's ordination those who are not in favor of ordaining women to the gospel ministry and those who are in favor accordingly the gospel ministry on the general conference theology of ordination committee study committee on which I have the privilege of serving those who are not in favor of ordaining women were group one those who were workgroup to that's the boiled down version only speak of the third option where speaking of a third view that came out in the general conference theology of ordination study committee and here's how the Adventist review recently summarized the position of this third view in an article posted to their website on September twenty three was just a couple of weeks ago it states position number three is the third option supports position number one in recognizing a biblical pattern of male leadership in Israel in the early Christian church but it also emphasizes that God made exceptions such as the case of granting Israel's desire for a king it says women's ordination is a matter of church policy and not a moral imperative and therefore the Adventist church should allow each field to decide whether or not to ordain women civil refining this description of the third group is that from a theological standpoint they see the pattern of male leadership in the church in much the same way as group number one those were not in favor of ordaining women and biblical office of the elder minister however they essentially teach that while it's God 's ideal for men to be ordained ministers it isn't a moral issue so God is okay with us straying from that ideal now before I really dive into the views and reviewing them of group three let me just say that I have a deep respect for those who provided this third option to women's ordination discussion I actually believe that they provided some very valuable contributions to the discussion there are some wonderful and very dedicated people who took a lot of time to put together the group three summary and I hope to be fair to their views as I'm making this response this is not about us and them group one versus group two versus group three because in this conversation brothers and sisters there is only us whether we like it or not we're all in this together we're grappling were studying were praying for God 's will to be done and as the angel frequently would tell Ellen White we need to press together pressed together press together while we never want to give up our convictions we also don't ever want to give up on each other so whatever constructive concerns as a criticism that I may have to share today about someone else's view his purpose is not to separate but to keep chipping away the truths that we can come to it together and just so you know I don't consider myself a definitive authority on this topic I know you probably came to hear one but I'm not that but I have thought quite a bit about this third option and I believe there's a lot at stake for the church if we were to accept its recommendation so as we dive into the review let me just point you to some helpful resources I want to make sure you know that there is an official website for the theology more nation study committee is at Adventist archives .org and Yahoo look looking around that you can get to the top ask we sometimes refer to a theology were nation study committee all papers mid-June papers section gives you the summaries of position one two and three are called some reason with her fifty pages of go figure the real summaries are called the way forward for position one two and three and those are just a little over a page each now I also appointed to the fact that the section in that website and its called papers commissioned and submitted but not presented any go to that folder it has a paper that's entitled group one response to position summary number three and that's been going much more detail than what I have time to do with you today and I hope that you will go and read that paper now I'd like to do next is read from the group three way forward paper that's their true summary paper and read exactly what they states is there viewpoint and are fourteen points that are listed in this way forward paper and I like to spend a little time on each one but especially on the fourth or final point so let's start with point number one in the group three way forward paper it reads like this we affirm the need to provide more opportunities and resources everywhere in the world regardless of ordination for women in ministry and leadership including preaching evangelizing Bible work and teaching at all levels of education and to this we say amen one major benefit that has come out of this study on ordination of women admitted highlighting the incredible need that exists in the church were women to be engaged in the soul winning work of the church hello my states and testimonies for the church but and nine page one twenty eight this Savior will reflect upon these self-sacrificing women the light of his countenance and this will give them a power that will exceed that of men they can do and families a work that men cannot do a work that reaches the inner life they can come close to the hearts of those who man cannot reach their work is needed is so yes we need to provide encouragement and education to those women who want to dedicate their lives to the service of God I should hasten to add that for those of us who may not support the ordination of women to the roles of Elder or Minister wish and not for a moment fault are sisters who had taken these responsibilities because they only taken the opportunities that the church has afforded and we need to remember that God has used them they has served admirably and we need to be sensitive to the fact that for some of us while this issue is very academic to others it is life-changing and career involving so when it comes to providing opportunities for women to serve in the church we agree wholeheartedly with group three another second point is this we affirm the need to educate all members on the loving humble self-sacrificing servant leadership role that man since the fall had been called to as spiritual heads in their homes again we say a man with a third view with one exception this second point rightly affirms men as spiritual leaders in the home emphasizing that that leadership should be loving service rather than a dictatorial bossing around so far so good the only difference I have with this statement is that it refers to the distinct leadership role of men in the home is something that is only been in existence since the fall of Adam and he now the second point is actually in harmony with groups who knows you are in favor of women's ordination now I know we've already couple presentations in the symposium on this unlocking is spent an inordinate amount of time on it but I want to say a few things about this I don't fault people who feel that the role distinctions between men and women didn't come until after the fall because I personally know that it can be a little confusing when you read the the statements by Ellen Weiss particularly but I personally do believe that men and women were different before the fall I think the reason that role distinctions existed before the follows that men and women have always been different I don't believe that role distinctions were a punishment but a beautiful symmetry in which the sterner virtues of man and the sweeter graces of women were each to be utilized in the best way possible now don't get mad at me because I believe that men and women are different just talk to any relationship counselor and of course Ellen White concurs notice how she talks about the father listen closely to this all members of the family center in the father he is the lawmaker illustrating in his own manly bearing the sterner virtues so there you have it Ella White says that the father is the lawmaker because of his manly bearing and sterner virtues not just from a basic reading the Bible I always viewed this role of the husband and father as protecting in leading and in a self-sacrificing way guiding his family to have been established before the fall and my reasons for this biblically were simply that Adam always seem to be given the ultimate responsibility for the fall even though Eve sin first in the first few chapters of Genesis we discover that God created Adam first appointed Paul will later reference when he talks about leadership roles in the church and first of the two we discover that God came to Adam first after eating the fruit even though he was the first data and also the man is the one referenced as leaving father and mother and being joined to his wife then in the New Testament when you go to Romans chapter five in verse twelve Paul says that sin entered into the world through one man Adam which would be a very strange thing to say if Adam didn't have leadership responsibility in Aden since again and it was even and not Adam who was the first interim now some argue from Genesis three sixteen in which the woman is told that her desire would be for her husband and he shall rule over you that this was when the male leadership role began but it seems to me that each of the curses in Genesis were simply distortions of something that existed before the fall childbirth already existed and he went after saying it would be painful tilling the ground already existed in Eden but after saying it would produce thorns and would have to be by the sweat of the brow and male servant leadership already existed that distinct role Ari existed in Dunedin but now it would be made difficult by the proud hearts of both men and women that having said all this there is one statement that I had to wrestle with my own white electorate to assist in the creation is administered on page one fifteen in the creation God had made her the equal of Adam had they remained obedient to God in harmony with his great love love they would ever have been in harmony with each other but said had brought discord and now their union could be maintained and harmony preserved only by submission on the part of the one or the other but first I confused me that after taking time to carefully consider this statement I understand that it is saying that the submission taught by Paul in the marriage relation a relationship was actually unnecessary before the fall in its lowest sense because as she says if they hadn't send they would ever have been in harmony with each other she says sand had brought discord it is only when there is no harmony when this Court enters that submission in the sense of surrendering your ideas and judgment are your plans becomes necessary it is a bit man did not have the role as priest or leader of his home before said it's just that perfect harmony between he and he gave before sin made the need for submitting or surrendering when in disagreement unnecessary because they never disagree that recently a friend sent me a statement that to me is one of the strongest I've read in referring to men as the spiritual leaders of the home even before the fall in this particular statement is in the context of another institution that existed before the fall and that is the Sabbath it's an child guidance page five thirty five it says the Sabbath and the family were alike instituted in the and in God 's purpose they are indissolubly linked together on this day that's the Sabbath more than any other it is possible for us to live the life of Eden translation live how God intended before sin it was God 's plan that is what his original plan was before sin for the members of the family to be associated in work and study in worship and recreation the father as priest of his household and both father and mother as teachers and companions of their children is an incredible as a writer that the Sabbath is a time to go back to eating and it says that in the perfect Eden the father wants to serve in a beautiful self-sacrificing sense as the priest of his household and then goes on to describe how in this current life we have been so busy that bothers it separated minerals and spend time with their families and the Sabbath as a way to help reconnect with family so in light of all the inspired evidence while we appreciate the third options affirmation of loving sacrificial male leadership in the home we would not necessarily agree that the role the strength distinctions between men and women began only after the fall the dynamics of those role distinctions most certainly didn't change but the existence of role differences themselves were every bit as much a part of God 's perfect plan as the biological difference the differences that existed between men and women from the beginning now the third point on the summary statement by the third option six this we affirm that Christ is the only head of the church again we agree with our friends in group three Christ is the only head of the church of course we also recognize that God appointed spiritual leaders of his people throughout history and we don't want to get so crazy with our idea of Christ being the head of the church that we ignore the fact that he has appointed these spiritual leaders throughout history making it sound like God doesn't do that kind of leader the third group is doing that at all but I have heard some that have made that claim we should readily acknowledge that priests apostles and elders have all been entrusted by God with a certain measure of authority but that authority is not to be abused not to be something where we lord over others and every human leader among God 's people is duty bound to work as an under shepherd who willingly submits to the leadership of the true and only true Shepherd Jesus Christ and I think the group three would agree with those sentiments so far I can agree with much of what has been suggested by group three the foundational difference however between three in the other groups the two groups in the fourth and last point of their summary outweigh for document insomnia read that now we affirm the biblical pattern of male leadership under the headship of Christ in the office of the ordained minister however we do not see this pattern as a moral absolute or universal divine command or a sacramental or salvific significance not a salvation issue although based on important aspects of human nature it is primarily meant to promote order in the church and further its mission based on a wide range of biblical precedents we acknowledge that in certain circumstances God permits divine patterns or ecclesiastical organization to be adapted or modified in order to promote the mission unity and welfare of the church this is in contrast absolute moral commands and eternal truths which can never be humanly abrogated or adapted and then it draws this conclusion in light of the priority of mission the importance of church unity and the principles of Christian liberty we recommend the denominational leadership at a proper level be authorized to decide based on biblical principles whether such an adaptation may be appropriate for their area or region and then goes on to state such regional adaptations wherever they are allowed should not negate the general pattern of male or name leadership as understood and practiced by the world church so this fourth points and the ultimate recommendation of the third group that follows blazes its own trail as it were and becomes quite different from either of the other two groups so how should we relate to the third option I mean for decades the church has had these two views one says that the Bible doesn't allow for the ordination of women ministers and the other says that it does now with the third option appears to be saying is that it doesn't really her all that much what the text that had to say on the topic in the arena position summary for group number three you'll find that it really doesn't walk through the pertinent text on women's ordination as it offer new insights on those texts instead it says in the Bible does teach a male ministry similar to group one but that it isn't mandatory because this whole thing is just a nonmoral organizational issue a policy issue if you well in their studies led them to believe that biblical instruction on organizational matters need not always be followed this is the central claim of the third option and I may not have worried it just right but I think I'm pretty close so let's consider the claim is a lot in this claim so bear with me and we get to the end number for the enemy summarized for you so what evidence does group three p.m. that biblical instruction is open to adaptation well several biblical examples are given in the full position summary on the toss website to support this point you will find it in the one page summary and the first scriptural support offered by group three to suggest that women may be ordained is the example of Israel asking for King you heard about that mentioned in the Adventist review article now the third option logic here is that even though it wasn't God 's will for Israel to have a king he did allow it any conclude that the reason he allowed it was because it was only an organizational issue and not a moral one like for instance the ten Commandments would be so why wouldn't God 's allowance of the king give us permission to ordain women well first of all I think there's a difference between civil leaders such as judges in kings and religious leaders such as priests apostles and elders are ministers appointed I also think bears consideration in one of their other examples that of Deborah because the leaders that is doesn't Kings do not appear to be equivalent to the spiritual leadership roles a priest apostle L S secondly in first Samuel chapter twelve verse nineteen the Israelites finally admit something about their decision to ask working the Bible says we have added all our sins the evil of asking a king for ourselves so the Israelites admitted that they were sitting and doing a evil thing when they ask working is this really a model that we want to follow third the results of asking for a king were disastrous a permanent decision division occurred in Israel the destruction of the Northern Kingdom the loss of the ten tribes and throughout there was widespread apostasy so I just struggle to see why would ever want to use this example to support doing something other than God 's ideal well even if he didn't allow us to do no God gave the Kings Israel he did not protect them from its inevitable tragic results any may not protect us neither should we choose to bury from his plan if anything this example teaches us that instead of looking for permission to modify God 's will we should seek his blessing by carefully obeying but more point here is this question does God 's allowance of the King contrary to his ideal for Israel give license or permission to the present day church to establish practices that are contrary to the teachings of Scripture what if this logic were used just done trying to use a different framework here with polygamy or divorce being allowed in Old Testament times would we not then have to conclude that because God allowed polygamy even blessing David and Solomon in spite of it this gives permission to the church to deviate from even Bob's moral law today is simply not all you need examples like these are not all that you need in order to draw conclusions such as what's being drawn I don't believe I'm concerned about where this method would take us but is an important distinction the story that I don't really notice group three mentioning in their paper in first annual eight verses six and seven the Bible gives this account of the story and I'm reading if you text to you and will him a heavy open your Bible of the later but I've got a time constraint and they don't so I'm trying to get it to you straight from my notes notices were sent out eight verses six and seven but the thing displeased Samuel when they said give us a king to judge us so Samuel prayed to the Lord and the Lord said to Samuel came the voice of the people in all they say to you for they have not rejected you but they have rejected me that I should not reign over them notice here that Israel did not receive a chain until all God himself allowed in response to the prayer of Samuel the prophet got been really good up to the people in here I think is an important distinction if any is wisdom God allows a variation from his revealed will perhaps in this case in order for them to see the folly of their course this is his prerogative but it doesn't give permission to the church to make variations to other biblical instruction in the head with a practice for which there is no scriptural basis or prophetic guidance merely because God himself has chosen in rare instances to allow variations from his will would be for the church to take a prerogative that belongs only to God we can't say what God calls an exception only God can say when God calls an exception and only he knows why if we start taking that prerogative upon ourselves it seems to me that he can only lead the church councils having authority over Scripture and I just don't think we want to go down a road and a third option summary paper gives several other examples besides that of the king being allowed to Israel explores the exception made for the daughters of so often had to receive an inheritance the story of David eating the showbread the example of Boaz marrying Ruth even though she was of Moabite heritage and we deal with these and a few other specific examples in the appendix of the paper I told you about earlier it's the group one response to position summary number three and you can download that often the theology ordination study committee website rather than go into each example right here allowing you to say that my primary concern is not so much with the individual examples themselves but with what seems to be an unwarranted conclusion drawn from them in the church may now adapter disregard biblical instruction without clear direction from God and without prophetic guidance and the biblical foundation that serves as the premise for the third option appears to be almost if not entirely based upon inferences from these biblical stories now certainly biblical examples they help us to help us to understand in and in shed light on God 's will but they can also be interpreted in many different ways and if were going to draw strong conclusions from them such as the conclusions being drawn by the third option that we have the authority to act contrary to God 's will and organizational matters we probably ought to have some clear inspired permission to go along with that conclusion and this is what I believe the third option lacks what group three appears to do and I think this is important is to make first a risking assumption that the reason God made exceptions in the specific cases cited in their paper was because of the nature of the instruction because it was nonmoral or ritual or ceremonial or organizational or legal to use the different words that they use in their paper then it appears that a second risky assumptions made and that is the God made exceptions due to the nature of the instruction being nonmoral or ritual or ceremonial organization or legal that was her first assumption than a third option concludes that any command that fits into this large loose category is that opens adaptation by the church to try to explain what I believe the third view is doing by comparing it is inspired counsel that does come with a measure of flexibility when is my counsel is open to adaptation or just put it easier is not mandatory common sense can generally deduce it from the language of the inspired instruction itself for instance to get some clear examples we have Paul giving counsel in first Corinthians seven verse twenty six to twenty eight to stay single you may read that before but in the same passage he says but even if you knew Mary you have not sent so Paul suggested that he could be beneficial to remain single methods by counsel but he also denies by her counsel certainly do not make it mandatory and my wife and I are very glad about but notice that Paul included the flexibility right in the text right in the text another example is an Ellen White's inspired counsel on diets listen to this or selected messages book three page two eighty seven tea coffee tobacco and alcohol we must present as sinful indulgences we cannot place on the same ground meat and butter cheese and such articles placed upon the table the former tea coffee tobacco beer wine and all spiritual slickers are not to be taken moderately but discarded the poisonous narcotics are not to be treated in the same way as the subject of eggs butter and cheese notice in this Council that you have some items that were to be discarded right and others that could be taken moderately as the Christian grows in their experience in the nature of each is clearly conveyed in the language of the inspired instruction itself notice also now stay with me here they can capture on that within the same category of instruction in this case dietary instruction some aspects may be flexible such as meat and eggs are or what have gleaming scores while others are clearly mandatory tobacco coffee etc. to be discarded how do we know which is which not by the category of the instruction because they were all part of dietary instruction but by the language of the instruction itself it could turn out drastically wrong for us to assume that every aspect of an entire category of instruction is somehow to be treated the same way for instance while eggs and pork are both part of dietary instruction we should be careful not to assume that is because giving up eggs is not mandatory that getting a port is any right you must look at the instruction itself to discover whether it's mandatory or not but I believe that this is precisely what I'm afraid the third option is doing when they first locked the gender instruction of the office of the elder or minister into a loosely defined category of all nonmoral organizational ritual ceremonial legal practices that's an ideal and then second conclude that this entire category of instruction is flexible even though much of it including the gender requirement that Paul gave to Timothy and Titus indicates no flexibility on the point here is that we should never assume flexibility to biblical commands it should be clearly stated or we could end up presuming to do things that could be disastrous for the church and to try and express his point will further we actually have other biblical examples that seem to contradict the conclusion drawn from the examples that were used in the third option summary for instance these are examples of those who assumed that what appeared to be a nonmoral command didn't turn out to be flexible after all for instance Adam and Eve were punished for eating a piece of fruit an act it certainly isn't absolute it is wrong in every circumstance that's in Genesis three Keynes offering was rejected due to a slight modification in Genesis four and other was punished merely for studying art in second Samuel six both of these were transgressions of ritual 's it may have appeared adaptation the sons of Aaron were punished for offering a different fire from that which they were instructed to use in the sanctuary again what could be considered a ritual nonmoral command the last thing we want to do with the church is to assume from these exceptions that God has allowed in rare instances in the past you are given a third option paper to somehow conclude from these rare instances that God will now allow exceptions to biblical instructions ourselves today perhaps the most relevant example of all is not mentioned in the third option proposal is that of Cora Deighton and a buyer demanding that Aaron and his descendents not be the only ones to serve as priests the Bible says and not chapter sixteen versus two and three and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel two hundred and fifty leaders of the coronation representatives of the carnation miniver now they gather together against Moses and Aaron and said to them you take too much upon yourselves for all the congregation is holy every one of them and the Lord is among why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord notice that the requested adaptation here is on organization one that's really wallet is it does not appear to be moral issue Cora and his company appear to be fighting against favoritism and appealing for equality in a coronation for all the congregation is holding in the listener what it says in verses thirteen fourteen very interesting is it a small thing you have brought us up out of the land flowing with milk and honey to Gillis in the wilderness that you should keep acting like a prince over us moreover you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey nor given us the narratives of fields and vineyards Moses your plan isn't forwarding the mission it's not getting it done and emancipatory majority of the people in agreed with Cara his friends which means it could easily have been argued that in order to preserve the unity where you have to make an adaptation here but while the story seems to the burn options criteria for an acceptable adaptation it obviously was not accepted so I think we need to be careful what we conclude from a few isolated examples we have no clear inspired permission to change direction and I think we need to ask some hard questions about the foundational claim of this third option to church councils really have the authority to stray from the third option option refers to is God 's preferred will and even if God did make exceptions with that give the church authority to do so would we not been risk placing ultimately tradition or church degrees above Scripture further how safe is the distinction between moral commands and organizational ideals I'm not so sure the biblical commands that so neatly into these categories what about tithing the ordinances lifestyle teachings would we consider these moral and unchangeable or open to adaptation I really don't know based on the guidance given by the grocery summary I don't know that we have they would feel about I suspect that they would not want to make that claim but just based on the guidelines I can't see would we want to say that five percent is good enough for time or perhaps state that drinking alcohol is okay in moderation the truth is that the church has been faced with continually increasing pressures over the last few date decades to lower its stance on many biblical teachings that are considered non- salvation issues but who are we really to make this claim is this not a slippery slope Jesus said that while some issues are weightier than others these you ought to have done and not let the others undone the attitude of the Christian should never be how little can I do and still make it to heaven but because I love Jesus guy no more and more closely follow his will in other words the question for us to ask is not is it traumatic is a salvation issue but is at the will of God now at this point I like us to take our physical Bibles and I like to look at the primary passage related to women serving elders and ministers and save ourselves whether there's any flexibility in the passage itself to take your Bible and turn with me to first Timothy chapter two first Timothy chapter two now in first seventy chapter two we see the challenging passage beginning in verse eleven this has led a woman learn in silence with all submission and I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man but to be in silence for Adam was formed first then Eve and Adam was not deceived but the woman being deceived fell into transgression nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith love and holiness with self-control now there are some who claim that because Paul says I do not permit a woman to teach here and we as a church muster we do allow women to teach that we are already adapting nonessential biblical commands but I think that mistaken 's approach to this is that the Bible does not prohibit women from all teaching Seventh-day Adventists do take a literal reading of the Bible but we do not take a surface reading the Bible in other words we don't simply read the text and draw conclusion without first reading all of the inspired evidence on the same topic in the Bible and the spirit of prophecy then we let common sense and the reading of those texts inform us of course we taken the cultural and historical applications but the word in a plain reading of the word is foremost in an prominent now in this particular passage there's some some basic logic immediately tells us that Paul is not saying that women can't teach all the reason is because we already know that Paul T got tells the older women to teach the younger women and Titus chapter two so we know these are well thinking just like the secondly we know that it says in acts chapter eighteen there was some teaching going on between equivalent Purcell apples so we know there was engaging going on at church we know that it also says that women were told they could prophesy in a church ally and concurs to she urged one female speaker that was very gifted address the crowd whenever you can so Paul could not have been prohibiting all teaching in saying I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man Paul links the prohibited teaching with having authority over a man and a few verses later he actually identifies I believe the authority of which he speaks because as you continue reading you come into chapter three the very next thing that he talks about happens to be the qualifications of an elder which is a church office that receives delegated authority interchurch by election or appointment and is recognized by ordination so is talking about authority and then he goes into the office that is delegated authority and he says in chapter three verse one this is a faithful saying if a man desires the position of a bishop he desires a good work a bishop then must be blameless the husband of one wife temperate sober minded of good behavior hospitable able to teach not given to wine not violent not greedy for money but gentle knock quarrelsome not covetous one who rules his own house well having his children submission with all reverence for the man does not know how to rule his own house how would he take care of the Church of God nonanonymous listing popped up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil so here is the qualifications given for the elder now notice that Paul specifies in these qualifications that the elder must be able to why the change so in the very context what we say to the prohibition given to women not to change or have authority over men is in the context referring not to teaching in any place but the kitchen in a position of official church authority that is occupied by the elder or minister and recognized by ordination we don't need to think that we been adapting Biblical instruction when women are encouraged to change and preach when you take all the inspired evidence you find it they may do so as long as they're not usurping the authority to velocity ordained elder or minister in this humble nondisruptive attitude toward authority in the church is described in the text as learning in quietness and was fascinating about this is if you look in not personally to which I close my Bible so you have and I don't but if you look in verse twelve where it speaks about silence in verse eleven Greek word is the noun form of what is in adjective adjective form scene of adverse to where it says for kings and all who are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life that adjective form is called peaceable in an respect to Kingston and the authority is simply talking about not being disruptive of authority and in this case is talking about church delegated authority and in the context that happens to refer to the elder or minister an extra will evidence seems to be along the same lines as this we don't have a single clear example of a female priest apostle or elder in the Bible and oddly this is important I really do I have a friend who's been trying to not only convinced me biblically about the concept of women being ordained to the gospel ministry which am very open to discussion we've had some good conversation is very helpful but he's also been trying to convince me about monogamous homosexual practice being biblically allowable and he just has some different arbitrations of Leviticus eighteen Leviticus twenty and Romans just to name a few what I encouraged them to do and that the other hurdle that I was struggling with outside of just the text themselves was I encouraged him to consider if if if his interpretation is correct we should have evidence of an approved same-sex relationships somewhere in the Bible or spirit prophecy at least one affirmation of a same-sex couple of minutes the Bible never even with speaking negatively about that monogamous relationship and where are those approved relationships using ultimately we can't say that just because there were male priests no apostles male elders that settled the but it sure helps to give support when we read the passage and personally to Antiochus and we begin to piece it together it fits interpretation and that I do believe is important now group three interprets this passage in person the two similarly this is why they refer to the mail ordained ministry as God 's preference and they recognize the consistent pattern of male spiritual leadership in the church but they make a couple of assertions that I think I like to think of a few months to consider one is that they believe that the local elder is that it exists today in the church is equivalent to a biblical bacon and so this does not relate to that at all now as far as I can tell from the Bible there's no real biblical distinction made between the local elder and a minister in terms of qualifications the role of the elder and the qualifications for that seem to be one and the same and I don't believe that the local elder can be considered same as our current local begin for these reasons number one if the local elder is equivalent to today's date and then today's vacancies no unique purpose that was apparently biblically designated number two the truth is that local elders unlike deacons often do fulfill the role of pastor for their coronation when the pastor is is gone or in some places of the world where there is one pastor for many churches it's a far different role between those local elders in the role of the local bacon and number three rather than being satisfied with pastors who hover over the churches and a diminished role for local elders shouldn't we simply return to the biblical role in the biblical duty of the Minister Elder and Deacon second point that is raised in this passage that like to address from the third option is that gender is just one characteristic among many in the passage and should not be therefore considered absolute the idea here is we don't nominate perfect elders and all the other areas they might not be almost hospitable they might not always be the most temperate and for these reasons we shouldn't look at the gender qualification any differently here's what I would say this number one eighty one attacks genders not really a qualification being the husband of one wife is a qualification being one who rules his own house well which would seem to be fine the priest in the home is a qualification but they may tell us just a prerequisite to being a husband or to being a priest of the home and gender also is not measured in degrees like you say with and other types of things gender is very unambiguous it's very clear where prohibitions are measured in degrees we have to give room for the individual conscience but where the prohibition is unambiguous we should draw the line in the same place of Scripture guys we don't really have a story to otherwise and third being male is not a only necessary to meet the qualifications of being a husband but also to harmonize with the prohibition against women having authority over men it was given in the previous check after that's the whole connection in the past now lastly I just want to point out that the gender aspect of this instruction is not adaptable when you look in the text Paul says I do not permit a woman in the context is not like Ellen White this is no moderation or like Paul if you do this and do not sin is nothing within the text itself it tells us that it's somehow we can be flexible with it is not mandatory pulses I do not permit one to teach outdoor government the husband must be our elder must be the husband of one wife so these reasons in addition to the fact that Paul Brown's 's statement in the fact that Adam was formed first and then he point us back to the distinct roles between men and women as the real heart of what Paul is talking about so let me summarize my concerns here about the biblical rationale provided by group three for adapting the biblical instruction on the gender of elders and ministers number one I'm concerned that it's based on inferences drawn from descriptive Bible stories rather than having clear permission in the language of the text itself ever to it suggests that isolated exceptions allowed by God in ancient times and under extreme circumstances are enough to give a broad scale allowance to a nonbiblical practice in his last day church under what amounts to any circumstance since they would adopt each region of the church to essentially decide for themselves bird it confuses what God allows in his mercy with what he actually endorses with his blessing for it draws conclusions from Bible stories that are actually unrelated or at least that far removed from the issue of women's ordination that it does not carefully consider key biblical examples that could actually contradict its conclusions such is the story of Koran is requested adaptation of the priesthood sex it does not appliance logic I don't believe in every case such as in God 's allowance of polygamy and divorce seventh a places church councils in a position of authority over God 's word and eight and lastly in regards biblical instruction is flexible when the inspired instruction itself has given us no such indication Sonata look at the foundational claims I just want to take our last few minutes to review its recommendation under reader recommendation the third option once more in light of the priority of mission importance of church unity and the principles of Christian liberty we recommend a denominational leadership at a proper level be authorized to decide based on biblical principles whether such an adaptation to be appropriate for their area or region the recommendation also highlights here the priority of mission priority admission and I like to talk about that for a moment giving that as a reason for why we should allow for the ordination of women I guess I'm not convinced that I have I really don't understand what's being suggested here it is necessary for someone to be ordained in order to forward the mission this is something that has been a question of mine from both group to an group three since my time in the toss committee to understand the thinking of those were looking for equal recognition that's another issue entirely but I guess I'm concerned about what this necessity for position or ordination says to our laypeople who are the true engine to finishing the work of God on this earth when Ellen Weiss is a great Reformation take place in which hundreds and thousands are seen with their Bibles under their arms going and in families and opening more than the word of God I don't think she was seeing ordained ministers furthermore women who have served admirably have done so in many cases in areas of the world church where there were no qualified men in a position that the Church manual calls church leaders you can find that in page seventy five and seventy six of the church when these women give management the local churches that are not ordained instead ordained ministers visit the area periodically to carry out the ordinances and do that which is only to be done by an ordained individual as I think about whether or not there would be any circumstance that would require ordaining women into docile ministry for the furtherance of the mission and maybe there is one I'm not thinking up the bloodline goes to the fact that in all salvation history no circumstances ever arose that would merit an exception to the pattern no exception was made to the maleness of the priests not one of Jesus disciples was an exception not a single clear example of a female apostle or elder can be found in the New Testament so I just don't know what is different about our situation today am also concerned when group three along with group to suggest that the reason we should allow each region of the church to decide for themselves whether or not to ordain women is that that's what they did in the Jerusalem Council of acts fifteen they were allowed to either be circumcised or to not be circumcised but if you read carefully individual decisions to be circumcised were never the issue in X50 the issue was whether or not the churches should teach the Gentiles must be circumcised in order to be saved and a Council decision was that no no church was allowed to teach that circumcision was necessary for salvation it was a universal decision about the nature of salvation and every church was to be united on that decision friends the church has experienced a growing polar as Asian in many areas of faith and practice of the last few years and I don't think this is the only one that we're going to face we just cannot afford to set a precedent of leaving disputed areas of Scripture to every division union conference or local church to decide world world church we got to remain united on biblical truth no matter how strong the pressure might be to do otherwise I hope you believe me when I say that I truly have great sympathy for the third options desire to hold together a church that is currently divided on the issue of women's ordination I just don't think that it's noble intent will be realized by the plan that recommends when reading the third options position summary with all of its references to organizational and ecclesiastical and nonmoral those references to biblical teachings these words can begin to have lessening effect on the weight of the words or the teachings to the point where it gives them a more human quality and it makes it easier for us to view them as flexible but we have to remember that this is not the church manual that were dealing with here this is not working policy they were talking about this in the Bible I just don't believe that we have the authority to adapter or disregard inspired instruction I suspect a lot of laypeople who will at first glance see surreal appeal to in the third option let me just say that if you ever felt that some of those who are not in favor of ordaining women ever come across as overconfident or unsympathetic or not the most thoughtful in their approach and I'm sure that's been me somewhere down the line and you know if you want to be associated with that kind of attitude I can relate but above all the voices in our own feelings and fears we got to seek first to be true to God and his word in the beginning of the group one way forward statement we give three reasons for our recommendation to remain faithful to Scripture to reaffirm and further promote women in ministry and to preserve Bible -based unity in the church but let's be clear these three goals are not equal the truth is the only way that we will truly accomplish our goal of affirming women in their work and ministry is if we are faithful to Scripture the word of God must be to us as it was winning we agreed to baptismal vow number five the only rule of faith and practice for the Christian the Bible must be our only rule no other consideration can be allowed to crown him and not only for our faith but for our practice as a church as well Gregory has been a valuable contributor to the women's ordination conversation they reaffirmed the pattern of loving sacrificial male leadership in the home and church they resisted going down the full scale abandonment of our methods of biblical interpretation but I'm afraid that in an effort to preserve the unity of the church they could be making another dangerous mistake it's too late in the day for us to do anything contrary to God 's word father in heaven so grateful for the privilege and opportunity to talk about your wording your will help us Lord help us to be gracious with one another and help us to be a Marine Jesus is a a this media was brought by bodybuilders the website dedicated to spreading God 's word through reading sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about our universe is much more so than please visit www. done on universal .org

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